"I think General Dodonna is quite the tactician."
- Cesi Eirriss
Jan Dodonna was an exemplary military leader during the waning years of the Galactic Republic, and one of the Rebellion's first generals during the Galactic Civil War.
A native of Commenor, Jan Dodonna signed up for military service with the Judicial Corps and began his distinguished military career fighting pirates. The largest engagement with pirates was the Stark Hyperspace War, and during that time he served as a lieutenant in the Republic military.
Dodonna would become a hero during the Clone Wars when he was given command of the Victory fleet during the Siege of Foerost Shipyards. Dodonna, along with his good friend Terrinald Screed, fought a series of skirmishes to save the Core Worlds. They eventually cornered the last of the Bulwark fleet at Anaxes and emerged victorious. The two commanders were honored with the Holt Cross medal upon their return to Coruscant.
As the Clone Wars continued, Jan Dodonna served alongside Jedi Master Plo Koon in the diplomatic mission to Rendili to keep the Rendili Defense fleet out of Separatist hands. The negotiations quickly fell apart, leading to their capture. A great battle took place between Republic fleets under the command of Jedi Master Saesee Tiin and Separatist forces deployed by General Grievous. The Republic forces emerged victorious and Dodonna and Plo Koon were rescued.
Time passed quickly. Jan Dodonna was given command of a Republic fleet and tasked with an assault on Cato Nemoidia, but the war was coming to an end. Dodonna watched as the Jedi Order was destroyed and the Galactic Republic became an Empire. During his time as a servant of the new Emperor, Jan Dodonna revolutionized warfare. His expertise in military warfare revolved around logistics and siege weaponry. He made several proposals to revolutionize these two fields, proposals that the Empire did not hesitate to adopt. His ideas came to fruition during the Siege of Dalron V, and Project Asteroid.
Jan Dodonna greatly disapproved of the Empire's ethics, but remained a loyal peon to the Emperor. He eventually retired from military service and was given the Commenor moon Brelor. Over the years of retirement, Jan Dodonna was approached numerous times by Mon Mothma to join her rebellion. He refused each and every time, refusing to fight against the Empire that he had loyally served.
Despite Jan refusing Mon Mothma's offers, Imperial agents saw Dodonna as a threat and attempted to assassinate him. Rebel agents learned of the impending assassination and tried to warn him, but Dodonna refused to believe that the Empire would do such a thing. He was quickly proved wrong when Imperial Agents arrived. Jan quickly fled with the rebels.
During their escape, their freighter was attacked by an Imperial warship. Dodonna quickly devised a tactic and took control, using his tactic to destroy the warship and escape to Rebel headquarters. Jan was quickly promoted to General by Mon Mothma and was second in command of the Rebellion's meager military. He spent much of his time familiarizing himself with Rebellion tech and logistics, putting his knowledge to good use during the Battle at the Silken Asteroids.
After the death of General Sewell, Jan Dodonna was given complete control over Rebellion ground forces and starfighter operations. He was the second most important military member and advisor after Mon Mothma. Dodonna kept the Rebellion HQ on the move, never staying in one place for too long to avoid Imperial detection. They eventually came to Yavin IV.
During his service to the Rebellion, Jan Dodonna made several contributions to the Rebellion's military tech. He engineered the A-Wing Starfighter and created the Battle Analysis Computer, a device that enhanced a commander's knowledge of the upcoming space battle. It provided detailed information on possible enemy fleet strength and logistics using real-time feeds. The computer also engineered tactics and strategies to aid the commander in achieving victory.
A major victory for the Rebel Alliance was near when Princess Leia brought the plans of the Imperial Superweapon- the Death Star- to Yavin IV. Dodonna studied the plans and could not see a weakness. The only strategy that he saw working was to ram the entire Alliance fleet into the massive station in hopes of destroying it. But he then realized that the Death Star had an exhaust port that lead straight to the main reactor. He noted that the Death Star's defenses were built for fleet engagements and that a small fighter could break through and launch Proton Torpedos into the thermal exhaust port and blow up the main reactor.
His strategy proved correct when young pilot Luke Skywalker executed the strategy flawlessly and destroyed the Death Star. But Imperial retribution came swiftly and Dodonna was captured by Darth Vader. Dodonna was sent to the Lusankya and was held prisoner there. Despite being a prisoner, Jan became a leader amongst his fellow inmates. He encountered Corran Horn there, and aided his escape. Horn offered to help Dodonna escape, but the aged man refused, saying that the prisoners would be harshly punished. Rogue Squadron would soon rescue the prisoners and free Dodonna.
After being freed, Dodonna served on the New Republic council- which consisted of old war dogs who named the council "The Grey Cadre"- and advised the New Republic on battle strategies during the battles with the Reborn Emperor.
After the crisis ended, Jan Dodonna retired to New Alderaan and passed away before the onset of the Yuuzhan Vong War.
During his exemplary military career, Jan Dodonna wrote a book on modern space combat. His book detailed combat strategies that revolutionized warfare. His skills as a tactician were exemplary and his knowledge of Imperial strategies gave the Rebellion many victories. The Rebellion would have had a more difficult time had Dodonna not joined them.
*How did Jan Dodonna discover the weakness of the Death Star?
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