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I was overjoyed when he returned and I finally found a commander I could follow with a genuine hope of victory, rather than an endless string of defeats.
~ Gilad Pellaeon about Thrawn

Gilad Pellaeon is a major character in Star Wars Legends. A dedicated Imperial officer, Pellaeon assumed command of the Star Destroyer Chimaera after the deaths of Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader. Some time later, his Star Destroyer fell under the command of Grand Admiral Thrawn, one of the Empire's few alien officers and the secret thirteenth Grand Admiral. Throughout the trilogy, Pellaeon served as both Thrawn's protégée and as the reader's insight into the titular antagonist's character. He serves as a major antagonist in Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, The Last Command and Darksaber. He is an anti-hero in the New Jedi Order Saga and one of the supporting protagonists in the Legacy of the Force Novels. He also made a cameo appearance in the finale of the 2014-2018 animated series Star Wars:Rebels.

History

Initially distrustful of him, Pellaeon grew to respect and admire Thrawn throughout the Grand Admiral's campaign against the New Republic. Over time, Pellaeon would adapt some of Thrawn's traits. By the end of his life, he was even viewed as being almost as brilliant a tactician as his mentor Thrawn. However, when Thrawn was assassinated during the climax of Last Command by his own bodyguard Rukh, Pellaeon again was forced to call a retreat.

Pellaeon with Thrawn, his mentor

After Thrawn's death and the failed return of Palpatine, the Empire crumbled around Pellaeon. He next appeared in Kevin J. Anderson's Darksaber, once again as one of the two main antagonists, next to Durga the Hutt. He initially appeared as the second-in-command of the warlord Treuten Teradoc. However, when Admiral Natasi Daala shared with him her vision of rebuilding the Empire and ending warlordism, he defected to her, as she gassed the entire Imperial leadership. Once this was done, Daala and Pellaeon assumed leadership of the Imperial Remnant.

Pellaeon was at Daala's side when she led the Super Star Destroyer Knight Hammer to bombard the Jedi Praxeum on Yavin IV. To the two Imperials surprise, they might a formidable resistance from the Jedi, among them Callista Ming, an ancient Altisian Jedi Pellaeon knew as a young captain serving in the Grand Army of the Republic. Notably, Jedi Knight Dorsk 81 sacrificed his life to deflect the Star Destroyer away from Yavin IV, using the Force. Shortly after, Daala's flagship was sent crashing into the gas giant Yavin, presumably taking Daala and Callista with her. However, both Daala (and unknowingly to Pellaeon) and Callista survived. Ashamed by her failure, Daala turned the leadership of the Remnant over to Pellaeon.

Natasi Daala, Pellaeon's ally

Now Head of State of the Empire, Pellaeon made several attempts to undermine the New Republic, but he was swiftly impeded as Imperial resources depleted. It was with grim resignation that Pellaeon realized he would never be able to return the Empire to its former glory. At the climax of Timothy Zahn's Hand of Thrawn duology, Pellaeon signed a peace treaty with interim New Republic Chief of State Ponc Gavrisom, bringing an end to Galactic Civil War which had consumed over twenty years of Pellaeon's life.

This was also the end of Pellaeon's role as an antagonist. The Corellian subsequently served as a major protagonist in later Star Wars novels, playing a key role in convincing the Imperial Remnant to ally with the Galactic Alliance and the Jedi against the extragalactic Yuuzhan Vong. Following the Yuuzhan Vong War, Pellaeon rose to the position of Galactic Alliance Supreme Commander. However, after GA Chief of State Cal Omas created a secret police force (known as the Galactic Alliance Guard) to be led by Jacen Solo, Pellaeon resigned in disgust.

The Sith Lord Darth Caedus soon becomes Pellaeon's greatest adversary.

However, Solo (now Darth Caedus) eventually assumed the position of Chief of State and transformed the Galactic Alliance tyranny. As a GA victory seemed sure, Caedus approached Pellaeon to once more convince the Imperial Remnant to ally with the Galactic Alliance and help him recreate a new Galactic Empire. It was with great reluctance that Pellaeon agreed. However, as a contingency plan, the elderly Imperial recalled his old friend Daala to help him stand against Caedus. Tragically, after Pellaeon refused to support Caedus during the climax of Legacy of the Force: Revelation, Pellaeon was assassinated by Caedus' servant named Tahiri Veila.


Quotes

Empire can be different. Provided we shoot all the lunatics who enjoy the idea
~ Gilad Pellaeon, on rebuilding the Galactic Empire.
I'll get right to the point, Councilor. The war that began twenty-odd years ago is effectively over…and the Empire has lost
~ Gilad Pellaeon to Leia Organa Solo.
Empty, Vorrik! You may win the occasional battle against us, Vorrik, but the Empire will always strike back! That I promise you! You tell Shimrra from me that if he wants to get the job done, then he's going to have to send a bigger fleet - and a more competent commander to oversee it!
~ Pellaeon to the Yuuzan Vong Fleet Commander Vorik.

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See Also
The Old Republic Villains | Star Wars Legends Villains | Star Wars: Visions Villains | 20th Century Studios Villains | Warner Bros. Villains | Disney Villains

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