...speaking of respecting your enemy.
General Maximilian Veers is a hero (or in this case anti-hero) of mine. To me, he seemed to be the ONLY truly competent Imperial officer shown in the movies. Sure, he looked a little squeamish when he saw Vader without a helmet, but other than that? He seemed to be the only officer in that fleet that 1) was not frightened of Vader and 2) had his sh*t together. He also led from the front—commanding his walker forces right into the teeth of the Rebel defenses. In an organization where the rest of the officers are shown to be backstabbing (Piet) or inept (Ozzel)...well, it was nice. And just as in my previous post about respecting your enemy, it made me respect the Imperial army as organized, deadly and ruthlessly efficient—not just a bunch of buffoons waiting around to be attacked. That, in turn, made me appreciate the outmatched Rebel forces for even being able to stand against him for as long as they did.
In the RPG sourcebooks further help to define Veers—both through his character profile in several sourcebooks and through a short story written for the Imperial sourcebook. In this, we see a lowly Lieutenant Veers in trouble with his current (and inept) commanding officer. Assigned to base guard duty, he can only watch from afar as the General goes to meet with the native peoples. Having had a 'bad feeling' about the meeting in the first place, Veers is thus ready to react when the natives attack the General and his bodyguard. Disobeying orders, Veers and his AT-AT crew manage to rescue the General and throw back the native attack. The General, evidently feeling foolish and embarrassed for having had to be rescued, threatens Veers with a court-martial—only to be cut short when his XO shoots in him the back and kills him. Holstering his blaster, the XO (now CO) orders MAJOR Veers to take him and the surviving troops back to base. So lowly Lieutenant Veers is suddenly a Major—and the roots of his rise to power are sunk. It was a fun little story that helped to add depth to what was really a very minor character in the movies. I loved the RPG for providing this kind of color.
In my own Campaign, Veers survived the fall of the Empire—growing so disillusioned with the parade of would-be emperors and warlords that he took up the career of Mercenary. In my reckoning, Veers was attracted to the Empire more for the chance to exercise his true military genius than he ever was to serve the oppressive ideals of the new order. Thus, as a 'soldier' and not a politician, the aspect of 'pure combat' offered by Mercenary work would be the next best thing. Eventually, however, Veers did return to the Imperial fold (after Thrawn) and now commands their crack Walker assault units. He even showed up in the Vermillion campaign, with his walkers relieving a New Republic infantry line (as, in my campaign, the Empire and New Republic are reluctant allies against the Nagai).
In any case, I guess this whole post can best be summed up with: I think Veers is cool.