A while ago someone asked if anyone was willing to write lore about Moff Panaka and the resistance and ultimate defeat of the Empire in the Chommell sector. I do have some loose ideas on the topic, maybe they get too grimdark sometimes and I need a stronger basis in existing lore.
From what we know he was appointed Moff shortly after the Senate was dissolved and ruled until only a few years after the battle of Endor. As a pessimist his style of military command should be cautious, and as the inventor of a successful decoy system he should know how to use deception against the enemy. He was loyal to the Emperor not just as his superior but also as his friend, and an orthodox follower of the New Order's principles.
The story begins with his investiture as Moff. Palpatine himself is in Naboo and after the cerimonies they meet at Panaka's estates, where the Emperor receives a statue as a gift and promises to generously give whatever is necessary to keep the Chommell sector in order.
At this point Panaka had spent prolonged periods far from his homeworld, which had changed considerably together with Imperial remodeling of the whole sector. Though Naboo superficially looked the same, it now housed a much greater number of off-worlders: Imperial bureaucrats, traders and a collection of university students, scientists and engineers: the planet was now a center of technological development for the military-industrial complex. Its technologies were used in a production chain made up of two other systems in the sector, which would also receive some lore. As there are several systems with next to no information they can be any of the other known systems in Chomell. Let's say they are Karlinus and Chommel Minor.
Karlinus was long a backwater. Its idyllic, undeveloped plains were inhabited by a near-Human species organized into tribal fiefdoms which collectively rejected almost all external contact except for the trade in the eponymous tea. As order weakened into the late post-Ruusan period pirates and illegal miners began to visit the planet. A pro-opening faction among the fiefs negotiated with other systems in the sector to open up the planet for trade and limited settlement. Extensive mining operations were set up and eventually monopolized by the Trade Federation, which became hegemonic but ruled negligently and left the fiefdoms in place. Colonists slowly poured in. The indigenous population boomed and slowly modernized. The system was under CIS control in the Clone Wars but the Republic seized it with little resistance. Later a governor was installed and the planet fell into more enlightened and orderly rule with much investment into infrastructure and civil services. New indigenous elites with studies abroad arose, but found they could not rise further into the closed ranks of the off-world mining elites. They then became a hot spot of anti-Imperial sentiment and formed their own rebel groups against the Governor, off-worlders and traditional chiefs.
This planet is a provider of raw materials.
Chommell Minor is a densely populated urban world, not yet an ecumenopolis as it has vast oceans and wastelands but its cities already reach high into the skies. Though dystopian and decadent it has in the past two decades housed new manufacturing capacity. I haven't settled on which rifts in society produce conflict. There'd be criminal groups holding the lower levels which the Imperial governor desperately allies with when losing, off-worlders involved with manufacturing siding with Imperial rule, powerful local elites with maybe some of them being behind rebel activity and frontlines being more vertical than horizontal.
With abundant support, the Chommell sector receives a large and modern fleet including a Praetor II, which serves as a flagship. The Rebellion launches hit-and-run attacks with small craft against military and economic infrastructure across the sector. Panaka's admiralty divides hyperlanes and systems into control zones (like quadrillage in the Algerian War), each patrolled by a garrison, and with its material superiority suppresses the insurgency down to a weak and tolerable level. Minor insurgencies pop up within the planets and in Naboo Gungan radicals harass the areas bordering their swamplands. As Boss Nass makes empty promises of holding them back they are kept in line with a heavy but soft-handed Imperial Army presence. Moff Panaka takes a lax attitude to civil life in Naboo, correctly assessing that though the traditional aristocrats are fond of a Republican style of rule they are too conformist and invested in the status quo to defy his authority. Within Human-populated Naboo there is no insurgency of note
The Battle of Endor is a game-changer. Panaka is devastated by Palpatine's death, organizes a day of mourning and prepares a speech. However he failed to realize that in his free atmosphere radicalism had swept through the off-worlders involved in technology on Naboo. Instead of mourning the Emperor they flock to the streets of Theed to celebrate. Panaka hurries away in a Lambda shuttle. The Royal Security Forces, among them Gregar Typho's son as a high-ranking officer in Theed, fold and don't resist the demonstrations. An apparent political vacuum develops as protests spread and Gungans enter the cities. The traditional landowning families, believing the regime had already changed, join the off-worlders.
Panaka orders Storm Commandos to forcefully retrieve the Queen from the Royal Palace before she can make a stand and she is kept in house arrest on the Lake Country. In a change of heart, he reflects on Tarkin's theories and chooses to crush the so far mostly peaceful uprising with an iron fist. The Imperial Army lays siege to Theed and moves in with AT-STs and other walkers for maximum psychological effect. Gunships hover ominously above and TIE Bombers drop leaflets. Some demonstrators, Gungans and Security Forces enter the Royal Palace, where surrender after a firefight with stormtroopers. After a few days Theed is pacified with hundreds dead, thousands under arrest and noticeable damage to valuable buildings. Panaka stands at night in a corridor of the empty Royal Palace, lit only through a broken window with its glass strewn through the floor, and ponders.
Prominent noblemen are tried and banished or even executed. Gregar Typho's son publicly humiliates himself begging for forgiveness and invoking his father's name, but Panaka shows himself ice-cold and says no word. He is also executed.
The Gungans also have to be dealt with. Panaka brings Boss Nass to a chemical weapons facility and tells him he wants to speak in frank and clear terms. He shows him intelligence reports that the Gungan radicals have official backing and threatens to attack the entire Gungan civilization if he does not stop all attacks. Nass feels insulted but has to accept. Panaka offers him a valuable work of art as a gift but Nass refuses.
The swift and public annihilation of the protest movement successfully instills fear and Theed remains peaceful for the rest of his rule. However, it also builds resentment against him and the Panaka family among Naboo's aristocrats. During the siege of Theed some minor looting was done by the Imperial Army and though the artifacts were restored, the officers who allowed it to happen were too useful to remove; a handful of scapegoats were punished and the rest moved to other systems. A cover-up failed to hide everything and the incident worsened the reputation of Panaka, though he was not directly responsible.
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