|Chronological and political information|
- "Sir, we have a priority signal from the Star Destroyer Avenger."
- ―Lieutenant Venka
Venka was a Human male officer in the Imperial Navy during the height of the Galactic Civil War. A native of the Imperial throne world of Coruscant, Venka had a spoiled childhood, raised the son of a wealthy industrialist. Venka attended one of the oldest military training academies in the Core Worlds, where his many connections helped him graduate at the top of his class.
After the Empire's catastrophe at the Battle of Yavin, Venka was one of many non-commissioned officers promoted to fill the hole of many of the Imperial Navy's best lost in the destruction of the Death Star. Venka's academy connections earned him a prestigious assignment to the Super Star Destroyer Executor, the personal flagship of the Lord Darth Vader. During the Hoth campaign of 3 ABY, Venka served as a lieutenant on the Executor's bridge, under the command of Captain Firmus Piett.
Upon Vader's execution of Admiral Kendal Ozzel, the Executor's commanding officer, during the Battle of Hoth, the Executor's admiralty passed to Piett, although Piett denied Venka a corresponding promotion to captain, saying the remainder of the Hoth campaign would be a test of Venka's command abilities. Venka secretly detested Piett for the denial, but he nevertheless resolved to do his job the best he could. At the conclusion of the Hoth campaign, which ultimately saw the escape of the Rebel Alliance and Luke Skywalker, Vader's son, Piett finally granted Venka his promotion to captain.
Privileged Coruscant upbringingEdit
- "The big lizard-man is Bossk, Admiral. Twelve captures, eight of them alive. That droid is IG-88, modified battle robot."
"And the human with the scars?"
"Dengar, former gladiator. Twenty-three captures, six alive. The one in the helmet is called—"
"Boba Fett; I know."
"They've lost count of his captures. Very few of them were alive."
- ―Lieutenant Venka and Admiral Firmus Piett discuss the bounty hunters' arrival aboard the Executor
Venka was a native of the galactic capital of Coruscant, born circa 24 BBY, in the midst of the Separatist Crisis that would eventually spawn the full-blown Clone Wars, leading to the eventual formation of the Galactic Empire. Venka was raised a spoiled child, the son of a wealthy industrialist. He learned military basics at one of the oldest and most prestigious training academies in the Core Worlds, and the many connections he had at the academy as a result of his privileged upbringing helped Venka graduate at the top of his class.
Following the Imperial defeat at the Battle of Yavin in 0 BBY, the Imperial Navy promoted many low-ranking officers to fill the void of many of the Empire's finest who were lost in the destruction of the first Death Star. Among the many non-commissioned officers promoted under these circumstances was Venka, who found himself appointed to the Super Star Destroyer Executor, the personal starship of the Lord Darth Vader, and the premier flagship of the Imperial Navy, at the ripe age of twenty-seven standard years. Venka worked hard for his transfer to the Executor, but it was the connections from his academy days that got him his prestigious appointment.
A test of command abilityEdit
- "Bounty hunters! We don't need their scum."
"Those Rebels won't escape us."
- ―Admiral Firmus Piett and Lieutenant Venka
Lieutenant Venka served aboard the Executor as a bridge officer under the command of Captain Firmus Piett. When Vader executed Admiral Kendal Ozzel, the Executor's commanding officer, just prior to the Battle of Hoth in 3 ABY for gross incompetence, Piett was promoted to admiral to lead the Imperial Death Squadron, Vader's fleet, and subsequently much of the operation of the Executor fell to Venka. Much to Venka's displeasure, however, Piett denied him a similar promotion to captain, declaring that the remainder of the Hoth campaign would be a test of his command abilities. Nevertheless, Venka vowed to carry out his responsibilities the best he could.
Following the Battle of Hoth, Vader summoned a group of six bounty hunters aboard the Executor to assist in the Imperial search for the elusive Rebel Han Solo and his starship, the Millennium Falcon, in the Hoth asteroid field. Upon the bounty hunters' arrival, Venka directed the group to wait for Vader on the bridge, but Piett warned Venka to watch the bounty hunters' every move, for they were all notorious killers. Together, from a distance, Venka and Piett scrutinized each of the hunters' career merits and the lethality each presented, particularly the notorious Boba Fett.
While the hunters waited for Vader, a tense atmosphere gripped the Executor's bridge. The Executor's crew felt extremely uncomfortable in the bounty hunters' presence, especially Piett, who voiced his displeasure to Venka moments later while Venka was working closely in the bridge's portside crewman pit with Commander Brandei, the Executor's TIE operations officer. However, Venka temporarily relieved Piett of his concerns with news that the Executor had received a priority signal from the Imperial Star Destroyer Avenger at the forefront of the fleet—Solo and the Millennium Falcon had been found.
Although the Millennium Falcon would go on to escape the Avenger and the Executor in the Anoat system, the Imperial Fleet caught up with the Rebels once more above the planet Bespin. With the Executor closing in on the Millennium Falcon, the responsibility fell to Venka to organize a boarding party to capture the Rebels onboard, including Luke Skywalker, Vader's son. Assembling the boarding party would be Venka's last act as lieutenant, however. The Millennium Falcon unexpectedly jumped into hyperspace to escape the Executor's pursuit for good. Afterward, Piett finally promoted Venka to captain, realizing how lucky he was to avoid execution at the hands of Vader for losing the Rebels.
Personality and traitsEdit
- "Snap to it, soldier."
- ―Lieutenant Venka
Venka secretly despised Piett for his decision to deny him a promotion to captain following Piett's own promotion to admiral. Venka believed Piett was merely lucky to be the next in line to the Executor's admiralty, questioning Piett's true abilities. But, faced with the Hoth campaign as a test of his own command abilities, Venka buckled down and performed his job the best he could.
Behind the scenesEdit
Lieutenant Venka was first mentioned in the 1989 first edition of the West End Games sourcebook Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back as an example of a standard Star Destroyer officer for use with Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game. The first edition of Galaxy Guide 3 only provided the Venka character with roleplaying statistics. The July 1996 release of the second edition of Galaxy Guide 3 included a full profile for Venka with a detailed character background as part of a major expansion on the sourcebook by Pablo Hidalgo.
Galaxy Guide 3, however, did not explicitly identify Venka as being any character appearing in the film Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. The "Lieutenant Venka" card from the April 1997 Dagobah Limited expansion set of the Star Wars Customizable Card Game was the first source to identify Venka as being the Imperial officer who informs Admiral Piett that the Executor had received a priority signal from the Star Destroyer Avenger during the search for the Millennium Falcon in the film.
While the second edition of Galaxy Guide 3 explains that Venka was Piett's immediate successor to the Executor's captaincy, some sources fail to take into account Venka's involvement. The 2002 The New Essential Guide to Characters and the 2008 The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia explain that Captain Kallic was Piett's immediate successor, with no mention of Venka.
Alternatively, The Official Star Wars Fact File 89 and the Admiral Piett character entry in the StarWars.com Databank do correctly identify Venka's relationship to Kallic in the Executor's captaincy lineage—Kallic eventually succeeded Venka.
- Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back novelization (First appearance)
- Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back junior novelization
- Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
- Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back PhotoComic
- Therefore I Am: The Tale of IG-88
- Payback: The Tale of Dengar (Indirect mention only)
- Of Possible Futures: The Tale of Zuckuss and 4-LOM (Indirect mention only)
- Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back (First named)
- The Empire Strikes Back: The National Public Radio Dramatization
- Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back, Second Edition
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Dagobah Limited (Card: Lieutenant Venka) (First identified as Venka)
- Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays
- Star Wars: Behind the Magic
- Aurra Sing: Dawn of the Bounty Hunters (Indirect mention only)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 47 (EXE2, Executor) (Picture only)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 89 (PIE5, Admiral Firmus Piett)
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back, Second Edition
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
- ↑ The New Essential Chronology
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Dagobah Limited (Card: Lieutenant Venka)
- ↑ The Empire Strikes Back: The National Public Radio Dramatization
- ↑ Of Possible Futures: The Tale of Zuckuss and 4-LOM
- ↑ Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Dagobah Limited (Card: Commander Brandei)
- ↑ 9.0 9.1
- ↑ The New Essential Guide to Characters
- ↑ The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- ↑ The Official Star Wars Fact File 89 (PIE5, Admiral Firmus Piett)