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"He is as clumsy as he is stupid".
~ Darth Vader giving Ozzel an evaluation of doom.

Admiral Kendal Ozzel is a minor antagonist in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. He was a Human male who originally served in the Republic Navy during the Clone Wars. In the midst of the conflict, he was granted a commission as a major in the Grand Army of the Republic by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine; in this position, Ozzel commanded the 44th Special Operations Division during the Battle of Khorm before being demoted to captain.

Following the Republic's transformation into the Galactic Empire, Ozzel continued to serve in the armed forces, eventually reaching the rank of admiral in the Imperial Navy during the Galactic Civil War. A man of outdated tactical thinking, Ozzel was considered by many Imperial personnel, Darth Vader included, to be inept, clumsy, and stupid.

He was portrayed by the late Michael Sheard, who also played Adolf Hitler in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Biography

Ozzel: Lord Vader, the fleet has moved out of lightspeed, and we're preparing to — *chokes*
Darth Vader: You have failed me for the
last time, Admiral!
~ Ozzel's last moments before Vader kills him for incompetence.

Ozzel came from a wealthy landowning family on Carida, and served as an instructor there before becoming captain of the Imperial-class Star Destroyer Reprisal. The incident prompted a group of troops under LaRone to flee the Star Destroyer. At the same time, Ozzel believed that Jade was investigating the desertion of LaRone and his stormtroopers, and he conspired with Colonel Vak Somoril to kill her in order to prevent the incident from hurting his chances at becoming an admiral.

Ozzel took the Reprisal to ordered a bombardment of Gepparin to achieve his goal of rising through the ranks. Ironically, he did not become an admiral due to his loyalty or skills, but his apparent disloyalty. Jade did not trust Ozzel, so she advised Darth Vader to keep him under close supervision. Vader took Jade's advice, and Ozzel was promoted to admiral, succeeding Amise Griff as the commander of Vader's flagship, the Star Dreadnought Executor, at the forefront of Death Squadron. Ozzel would serve under Vader for approximately three years. He saw command of the Executor as a path to attaining more power, and he believed that he would be able to control the universe with the Super Star Destroyer.

Ozzel's searches for the Rebels' hidden headquarters were unproductive and only served to agitate Vader. His overconfidence in his abilities ultimately led to his death before the Battle of Hoth. In preparation for the battle, he had Death Squadron emerge from hyperspace too close to the planet Hoth, alerting the Rebels to the Imperials' presence. He had at last succeeded in finding the Rebels' headquarters, but he had made a fatal error that allowed the Rebellion the time needed to raise their planetary shield and evacuate Echo Base. Vader, having had enough of the admiral's failures, telekinetically executed Ozzel for the blunder shortly thereafter, promoting his subordinate Captain Firmus Piett to fill the vacancy.

Trivia

  • Admiral Ozzel only appeared in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, released in 1980, in two brief scenes.
  • According to actor Michael Sheard, he did not audition for the role of Ozzel. Instead, he was sent the Empire Strikes Back script by the casting director. By the time he finished his work on the 1979 movie Escape to Athena, his name was up on the casting's board for the role of Ozzel.
  • In the reference book Ultimate Star Wars, Ozzel's first name was mistakenly once spelled as "Kendel" instead of "Kendal".

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