Before 50 BBY
|Chronological and political information|
- "Stand by. Stand by…"
- ―Tenn Graneet
Graneet had served in the Navy for thirty years and had served in the Clone Wars as a gunner.
As the Death Star neared completion, Graneet was transferred to the superlaser gunnery crew. Graneet was initially thrilled with the new assignment, but as he familiarized himself with the new superweapon, he began to question whether any person was capable of wielding such power wisely. He rationalized his concerns with the mistaken belief that the Empire would not actually fire the weapon at full power on an inhabited planet, rather on uninhabited moons, planets, and other bodies. During the final months of construction, Graneet and his crew trained on a simulator of the main firing control chamber, familiarizing themselves with the firing sequence and working to shorten the firing sequence as much as possible.
As the ranking NCO on the superlaser's gunnery crew, it fell to Graneet to actually complete the firing sequence by pulling the firing lever. The first time he actually fired the weapon was against an old Lucrehulk-class battleship, Fortressa, that was being used by the Rebel Alliance. Even though the weapon was only at four percent power, it was more than enough to completely destroy the Rebel capital ship. Eventually he grew such a dislike of his job, he started to wonder about other possibilities, and stated that it was his dream to become a commander of a Super-class Star Destroyer.
Graneet later fired the superlaser against the planet of Despayre. The destruction of Despayre took three shots to complete over the course of several hours. The first shot killed every living thing on the planet and cooked the surface of the planet. The second caused further tectonic stress to the planet, and the third shot finally blew the planet apart. Later Graneet was ordered to fire on the inhabited planet of Alderaan—killing nearly two billion sentients in the process.
Following the destruction of Despayre and Alderaan, Graneet had a severe pang of conscience. Knowing that he had sent billions to their deaths, he soon came to see himself as the largest mass murderer in galactic history, and knew that if somehow the Rebel Alliance were to win the war he would be tried and executed for his crimes. As news that it was Graneet who fired on Despayre and Alderaan spread throughout the Death Star's population, many of the people who Graneet encountered began reacting differently to him.
When given the order to fire the superlaser at the rebel base on Yavin 4, Graneet froze, wishing desperately for something to save him from his dreadful duty. He informed his gunnery crew and the overbridge to "stand by" and then repeated his order a few seconds later. His wish was granted, as his few moments of hesitation were sufficient to allow Luke Skywalker to destroy the Death Star. Graneet died in the resulting explosion. Incidentally, his hesitation also allowed the Rebels to eliminate multiple key members in the Imperial Army, as Grand Moff Tarkin, who had ordered the destruction of Alderaan, was killed, along with other members of the Imperial Army who would have posed a threat to the Rebels.
Behind the scenes
The gunner that mans the superlaser in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope was identified in the Death Star novel as Master Chief Gunnery Officer Tenn Graneet. Contrary to the nature of the character's responsibility, Death Star portrays Graneet as a morally conflicted individual who hated his actions but found himself forced to carry them out.
- Star Wars: X-wing
- Death Star (First identified as Tenn Graneet)
- Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (First appearance)
- Star Wars: Battlefront
- Tag & Bink Are Dead 2 (Non-canonical appearance)
- Children of the Jedi (Indirect mention only)