You can’t swing a dead womprat on a Star Destroyer without hitting a terminated Imperial officer, Force-choked to death by Darth Vader for some failure or another. But who deserved their termination the most? These dozen would-be heroes of the Empire, that’s who.
1) Admiral Kendal Ozzel
Let’s start with the obvious: Admiral Ozzel, the fleet commander who messed up the Empire’s approach to Hoth, giving the Rebels warning and time to (mostly) escape. As Vader points out in Empire Strikes Back, Ozzel took the fleet out of lightspeed too close to Hoth, alerting the Rebels to their presence, and giving them time to put up their shields. Basically, Admiral Ozzel screwed up the job of parking his Star Destroyer. For that, along with a whole list of screw-ups chronicled in the old expanded universe, Vader offed him.
2) Mulchive Wermis
The colorfully named Wermis was captain of the first Star Destroyer seen in A New Hope, the one that captured Princess Leia’s ship. Under Wermis’ command, C-3PO and R2-D2 managed to escape in a pod with the Death Star plans which eventually led to the destruction of the Death Star, so that wasn’t particularly good for him. In the Dark Horse comics, Wermis was basically Vader’s chauffeur as he chased Luke, Leia and Han Solo around the galaxy, and Wermis managed to screw up capturing them on multiple occasions. As such, Vader would Force-choke him constantly. Still, he managed to survive to get demoted to a desk job, where he eventually had a heart attack.
3) General Nevar
This boob only managed to attain the rank of general because of nepotism. While chasing a potential Force-sensitive being to Hoth, his subordinates found traces of Rebel activity. Nevar thought this was so ridiculous that he deleted their reports. Seriously, here’s the quote: “Rebels on Hoth? All I have is your word for it? What could they be doing on such a worthless planet? I’m deleting your reports.” Of course, what his underlings had actually found was the earliest beginnings of the Hoth base as seen in The Empire Strikes Back. Apparently, Nevar was in the battle of Hoth, on the AT-AT that tripped on tow cables and was then shot in the neck by Wedge Antilles and blew up. Somehow Nevar survived that only to be assassinated by an unknown Imperial, mainly for being a boob.
4) General Otto
Otto rose to the rank of general only because of his good friend Admiral Motti. I say “only” because he quickly proved himself to be terrible at fighting space battles, and was also probably a drug addict. His friendship with Motti did keep him from being executed, and he was shipped to the distant planet Lok. He was supposed to keep the peace, but instead was constantly harassed by space pirates and Rebels; eventually, he got so fed up with trying that he stole a transport ship, went AWOL, and entered a demolition derby held by Jabba the Hutt in hopes of winning enough money to buy a luxury apartment in Cloud City.
5) Chalden Smethwile
This Imperial Customs Officer worked as an inspector at the Kelada spaceport. He was, without question, a supercilious asshole, punishing pilots for the tiniest infractions. Actually, he hated space pilots and was so focused on insulting and belittling them that he often forgot the whole “inspection” part of his job, meaning pilots could often smuggle goods right under his nose if they could handle a few insults.
6) Captain-Supervisor Grammel
This commander of the Imperial Mining operation of Circapous IV is a cautionary tale for incompetent Imperials. He managed to catch a pair of Rebels, who told him about the Kaiburr crystal and the whereabouts of Luke and Leia. Grammel passed along the news to Vader, but the two Rebels escaped before he arrived (in an explosion that cost Grammel part of his face). Later, he was ordered to capture a group of Rebel leaders, and failed this too—so Vader literally cut him in half with his lightsaber. I don’t know why he died and so many bigger idiots on this list managed to live.
7) Loka Hask
This space pirate-turned-Imperial was far too focused on fighting Rebel pilot extraordinaire Wedge Antilles to be a decent officer. The two tangled for years, with Hask killing Wedge’s parents, framing Wedge for murder, and capturing him more than a few times. Eventually, Hask captured an experimental weapon called the “gravitic polarization beam”… but forgot to check if it had an off-switch. Wedge, tired of Hask’s crap, had the scientist operate it remotely—destroying the beam, but also creating a hyperspace wormhole in Hask’s ship, killing the hell out of him.
8) Lon Isoto
This admiral was so incompetent that he was known as “Isoto the Indecisive” in the Empire and the Rebel Alliance. Besides losing battle after battle, his hobbies including cheating on his wife with a harem of concubines and taking the drug glitterstim. He was assigned to Brentaal IV, where he was used as a pawn in various plots between the Empire and the New Republic formed after the Battle of Endor. Kendall let the New Republic establish a base on Brentaal’s moon from which to attack the planet, because he somehow thought that giving his foe the chance to make a fortified HQ in his effective backyard would somehow make them easier to defeat. He was eventually assassinated by one of his concubines. What a maroon!
9) Harlov Jarnek
By all accounts, Moff Jarnek was a “coldly efficient leader” in the Empire. But he was also a raging moron, because he was once given a pet Covallon (a furry bipedal alien) which he always kept by his side… never realizing that Covallan are totally sentient beings that understand the Common language and thus understood everything he said and did. Yes, Moff Jarnek unknowingly kept an actual Rebel spy as a “pet,” who fed the Rebellion every single detail of his command.
You might know these two officer from the recent Star Wars Rebels cartoon. Their constant failure to capture a small group of Rebels who almost never left the planet in general and one 13-year-old boy in particular. It wasn’t the most entertaining of failures, but it did result in Grand Moff Tarkin taken the Inquistor’s double-bladed lightsaber and extending it simultaneously through their skulls, so that was pretty amazing.
12) Garil Dox
After his homeworld was destroyed, Lt. Garil Dox was determined to help the Rebels defeat the Empire from within. For some reason, he thought the best way to accomplish this was, when Rebels were captured, to kill them all before they could be interrogated and reveal the location of Reel bases. It was weird. Eventually, Dox pulled this stunt at a target on Ejolus, only to discovered he’d murdered everyone at a refugee camp containing the last Alderaanians in the galaxy. Nice move, slick.
Honorable Mention: Sulamar
Technically, Sulamar was only an Imperial technician when he pulled this, not an officer, which is why he’s not an actual entry. However, in Darksaber, he pretended to be an Imperial General, and yet early in his technician career, he managed to screw up something as basic as entering the orbital coordinates of an Imperial mining station, causing it to fly directly into a sun. They called it “The Massacre of Medicat.” His Wookieepedia entry reads “it can only be guessed how Sulamar managed to avoid being decommissioned, or executed.” Even they don’t know!
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