The Emperor may have died, but his spirit still lives within me. The Empire will prevail, the Rebellion will be crushed!
—Grand Admiral Grant
Octavian Grant was one of the original twelve Imperial Grand Admirals appointed by Emperor Palpatine two years before the Battle of Yavin. A Tapani lord of House Mecetti, Grant saw himself as superior to those who were not members of the nobility, and held a particular dislike for droids and other species. His Humanocentric beliefs stood firm after he joined the ranks of the Galactic Empire, and he proved himself to be an expert military strategist. Due to his military talents, he was appointed as one of the twelve Grand Admirals created by Palpatine in 2 BBY, though he was one of the least popular Grand Admirals, and did not attempt to curry favor with the Imperial moffs.
After the death of the Emperor at the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY, Grant was left virtually alone, as he did not build up a base of followers like many of his fellow Grand Admirals. He bid his time, lying low in the Pentastar Alignment and waiting for the moment to strike. He watched as Warlord Zsinj, Grand Admiral Thrawn, and the resurrected Emperor Palpatine were defeated by the New Republic. He decided it was time to make his move in 14 ABY, shortly after the defeat of the Disciples of Ragnos. The Grand Admiral approached some of the remaining members of the Disciples, led by Milnn Rudor, and offered them a full alliance with the Imperial Remnant. However, while Admiral Gilad Pallaeon (the leader of the Remnant) did not initially support Grant, the Grand Admiral's New Empire faction got the support of much of the Remnant's military.
They began a campaign against the New Republic, spreading from New Republic space and conquering large swaths of territory. Grand Admiral Grant's skills as a strategist, combined with the battle meditation technique used by the Disciples, forced the New Republic on the defensive.
Early military careerEdit
Octavian Grant was born into nobility in the Tapani sector, a wealthy sector located in the Colonies region of the galaxy. A lord of House Mecetti, Grant showed aristocratic tendencies, and was deeply contemptuous of those he felt were lesser beings compared to Humans like himself and his fellow Tapani nobles. He referred to them as the "working class," and he held a particular contempt for droids and alien species, as well as politicians. He was also very contemptuous of those who flaunted the trappings of Tapani nobility that weren't nobles themselves, such as the pirate Reginald Barkbone, who sported a stolen lightfoil. Following a successful stint in the Tapani Home Defense Fleet, Grant joined the Republic Navy and proved to be a brilliant tactician late in the Clone Wars.
Transitioning into the service of the Galactic Empire, Grant led a fleet against the Trade Federation resistance in the Outer Rim Territories in 19 BBY. Grant pursued remnants of the Trade Federation, led by Customs Vizier Marath Vooro. After a confrontation at Farstine, Grant hunted Vooro down the Five Veils Route and captured him at the Hook Nebula. Grant's exploits, along with other early victories against Separatist holdouts by well-known Imperial leaders like Terrinald Screed and Hurst Romodi, were cause for celebration in the Core Worlds, and Grant rose to a prominent position in the Empire.
Ascension to the Circle of TwelveEdit
Two years prior to the Battle of Yavin, Emperor Palpatine created a new flag rank for the Imperial Navy: the rank of Grand Admiral. Palpatine decreed that only twelve could ever hold the rank of Grand Admiral at one time; among them was Grant. The man from Tapani joined Palpatine's "circle of twelve" alongside such notable Imperial officers as Josef Grunger, Rufaan Tigellinus and Demetrius Zaarin. Outside the Tapani sector, Grant did not develop the kind of popular following that other Grand Admirals cultivated. Within his home sector, however, Grant generated media attention with everything he did. There were journalists whose only duty was to follow his movements, and both his professional achievements and social life were reported on in great detail.
Of the twelve Grand Admirals, only Grant, Grunger, Tigellinus, and Peccati Syn continued to perform regular naval duties. The others were assigned special projects or missions. Grant did not participate in politics or socialize with moffs and other politicians as many other Grand Admirals did, considering it to be lowering himself; he simply carried out the duties assigned to him by the Emperor. Secretly, however, he wondered if even Palpatine was beneath him, as the Emperor was neither Tapani nor did Grant believe he was a true noble (though in fact the Emperor was a member of the noble House Palpatine of Naboo).
Although the Emperor had stated that there would only ever be twelve, Palpatine privately broke his own rule when he appointed Mitth'raw'nuruodo as the thirteenth Grand Admiral in a secret ceremony. Grant was contemptuous of any aliens rewarded by the meritocracy of the Empire, so he loathed the Chiss Grand Admiral and his achievement. Grant did not act on this, though, and when the Galactic Civil War began, the Tapani aristocrat proved that he was talented, emerging victorious in a series of battles against the Alliance to Restore the Republic.
With the demise of Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader at the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY, the Empire began collapsing from the inside. Grand Admiral Grant did not build up a sturdy base of supporters like most of the other Grand Admirals had, and was left virtually alone. He initially returned to Imperial Center upon hearing of what happened and promised to serve Grand Vizier Sate Pestage. Pestage, who was Palpatine's long-time deputy and now the interim Emperor, grew paranoid and distrustful of everyone. Grant was tipped off that Pestage may have been planning to arrest the Grand Admiral and charge him with treason, so he left the Imperial capital for the Outer Rim Territories.
There, he found shelter in the Pentastar Alignment, a faction formed by Grand Moff Ardus Kaine. Grand Admiral Grant did not want to get involved in politics and believed that the Empire would ultimately prevail against the Rebellion (now the New Republic), but this belief began to falter as the Empire suffered one disaster after another. Coruscant fell in 6 ABY to the New Republic, with the most powerful Imperial warlord (as many officers went rogue after Endor), Zsinj, being defeated in 8 ABY. When Grand Admiral Thrawn (the more common name of Mitth'raw'nuruodo) returned in 9 ABY and nearly defeated the New Republic with his brilliant tactics, Grant came to have a new respect for alien species and his dislike of non-Humans gradually began to fade. However, Thrawn was killed in battle and his gains were quickly spoiled by squabbling warlords.
When the resurrected Emperor Palpatine returned in 10 ABY, Grant did not return to him. He heard about the reborn Emperor's campaigns of destruction, of both Imperial and New Republic forces, and became convinced that the man who emerged from Byss (his "throneworld" in the Deep Core) was not the same one who died at Endor. Grant continued lying low as the Emperor was defeated for the final time in 11 ABY, and the Empire subsequently lost all central authority. The Grand Admiral was now worried at the state of the Empire. In 12 ABY, many of the factions were reunited in a successor state known as the Imperial Remnant. Grant regained hope about a possible victory against the New Republic, despite the fact that they held three-quarters of the known galaxy, and began to make contacts in the Remnant. Among his early supporters were Espan Balfed, a naval officer and fellow aristocrat, and Sularus Brenn, ace TIE fighter pilot.
Leading the New EmpireEdit
The Emperor may be dead, but his spirit lives within us. All of us! The glorious Empire did not fall because of some twenty-odd outdated ships and misguided youths! No, the Rebellion is not an enemy, it is a thorn in our side. The main enemy are the treacherous members of the fifth column! The corrupt politicians who began backstabbing before the second Death Star's remains had even cooled! But now that they are mostly gone, we will push the so-called New Republic aside and reclaim what is ours!
—Grand Admiral Grant in a speech to his forces
In 14 ABY, the New Republic was briefly shaken by the Disciples of Ragnos crisis. The Disciples of Ragnos were a Sith cult that attempted to resurrect the ancient Sith Lord Marka Ragnos, but ultimately failed in the attempt. However, several members of the cult survived, and Grand Admiral Grant saw the advantage of having dark siders in his forces. The Grand Admiral contacted several groups of survivors, who recognized the Dark Jedi Milnn Rudor as their leader. Grant and Rudor came to an agreement: the Grand Admiral would be the overall leader of their faction and provide the military strength, while Rudor would be the leader of the New Disciples of Ragnos, and would lead the Force-sensitive warriors of their faction. Later that year, before things could get any worse, he decided to take action.
Emerging publicly and calling upon all Imperials to join him, Grand Admiral Grant declared the creation of the New Empire faction, that would seek to restore the Galactic Empire founded by Palpatine. Many Imperials, tired of being defeated by the New Republic, flocked to his banner. The strategist had kept track of the recent military actions and had planned out a campaign. Gathering his forces and leading them from aboard a recently-constructed Executor-class Star Dreadnought Dark Hammer, Grant began his offensive from Imperial space. They first struck the world of Garqi, due to the presence of a New Republic base there and it being located in a strategically important position. The Imperial fleet routed the local New Republic garrison, and proceeded with the invasion.