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The galaxy was a far different place when Claudius Rodney was born fifty-four years before the Battle of Yavin. He was born into the House of Rodney, a noble family in the Alderaan Sector. His father was Julius Rodney, who recently had succeeded his father as the Duke of Delaya. His mother was the Duke's young wife, Livia, an official in Alderaan's Ministry of Education and a noble in her own right.

Claudius was born on the planet Delaya, Alderaan's smaller and less noteworthy neighbor, where his father governed. From birth, Claudius was known as Count of Leiliani, an honorary title granted to the Duke's eldest male child. Claudius spent his early years split between Delaya and Alderaan, where his mother was occasionally needed to represent their House on the High Council of Alderaan. As a child he first met a young Bail Organa, a man who would later play an influential role in his life.

Due to his position in society, Claudius was not permitted a normal childhood. While other children were free to play, Claudius remained inside developing the skills he would need for his predetermined future as a leader of his people. To that end Claudius left home at an early age and attended the finest private school on Alderaan. Claudius would see his father on important holidays, at festivals, and on their birthdays, but his mother would make regular trips to his school whenever her duties took her to Alderaan.

As Claudius entered his teenage years, surprising news arrived: his mother was pregnant. His brother Marcus, twelve years his junior, was an unexpected edition to the House of Rodney. Claudius did not have many opportunities to spend with his brother who was being raised on Delaya. When Marcus was born, his mother retired from public life and Claudius became the sole member of their House on Alderaan. It was a lonely existence and the first of many sacrifices his father would force upon him for the sake of the family.

As a member of the school's shockball team, Claudius entered the record books as part of the team with the worst losing percentage in Alderaan's history. His team was no match for the teams from the public institutions who took a thrill in embarrassing the children of Alderaan's nobility. Claudius was never comfortable among his peers whom he found too detached from society. He would regularly sneak away from the dormitory to explore the glittering city of Aldera and get a sense of what he considered normal life.

When Claudius finished preparatory school he, like most Alderaanians, chose to enter the University of Alderaan. For the first time in his life, he was among the best determined by merit and achievement rather than by House. His time at University was a breath of fresh air. In this environment he excelled in his political studies and earned the admiration of the liberal faculty who found his open-minded stances a refreshing change from the other noble students.

Claudius' time at the University seemed to pass too quickly for him. His graduation was a time of great joy due to completing his education that prepared him to serve his people. It was also a time of sadness because he had to say goodbye to a place that was so dear to him. Julius arranged for Claudius to receive a position with Alderaan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a member of the Diplomatic Corps.

The same month Claudius graduated from the University of Alderaan, events occurring across the galaxy were set in motion when the Trade Federation conducted the Invasion of Naboo. However, this was hardly on his mind as he began his first position in the distant Ottega system. As Alderaan's Ambassador to the Ottega system, his primary responsibility was dealing with the Ithorian people. He spent several years with the Ithorians aboard the Herdship Jubilee in the care of their herd leader, Pilaq Tohan.

Claudius enjoyed his time with the Ithorians. He found them to be a remarkably caring people who had a classless society, which he preferred to Alderaan's elevated nobility. Claudius developed a strong working relationship with Pilaq Tohan, which strengthened relations between Alderaan and Ottega. However, Claudius' success was also his undoing. He earned high marks for his work with the Ithorians and he was soon recalled and given a more difficult task.

Claudius' next assignment was as Ambassador to the Tyrius system. In this capacity, he lived on the planet Rodia and was forced to deal with the notorious Rodian people. Claudius' old world sensibilities were not suited for the cunning tactics of the Rodians and from his first day on the planet things did not go well. In refusing a bribe, which was unheard of on Alderaan and commonplace on Rodia, he set a precedent for his tenure on Rodia that prevented him from serving effectively. It was not long before Rodian officials refused to meet with him at all. He considered his time spent on Rodia to be the low water mark of his career and welcomed his recall.

Alderaan's Foreign Ministry struggled to find an assignment for Claudius. He had excelled in the honest Ithorian society, but had failed miserably in the corrupt Rodian one. During his hiatus from serving as an ambassador, he had the opportunity to reconnect with his family, including his younger brother Marcus who was now a teenager. His father pressured him to take a position at home and find a wife, but there was still more of the galaxy for him to see. A potential argument was avoided when he received his next diplomatic assignment.

Claudius' third ambassadorial assignment returned him to a pleasant setting. As Ambassador to the Squab system, Claudius dealt with the Squib population of Skor II. Claudius got along splendidly with King Ebareebaveebeedee. Claudius lived with a Squib family as part of an old custom. The Squibs believed the best way to get to know a people was to live with them. He found the Squib race to be a kind if not a curious one. He found entire sections of Metrobig City, their capital, to be developed entirely from materials thrown out by other cultures. One of the highlights of his time as Ambassador there was arranging for the Squib Reclamation Fleet to clear the Alderaan system of debris.

Towards the end of his stay on Skor II, the family he had stayed with gave birth to a daughter, whom they named Ewwiekewwieikkie. Claudius became one of the few outsiders to take part in the ritual ceremony welcoming a newborn into Squib society. The family honored Claudius by naming him their daughter's Guardian, a ceremonial title given to close friends of the family. His time at Skor II soon came to a close. His next assignment would bring him closer to events that were about to tear the galaxy apart.

Claudius was appointed the representative of the planet Delaya in the Galactic Senate. There he served under his old friend Bail Organa, who was serving as the Alderaan sector's Senator. Claudius and Bail did not always see eye-to-eye and discussions were particularly heated as the Separatist Crisis loomed. Claudius believed the Republic was not prepared should the two opposing factions come to war and supported those who urged the creation of a strong Republic military.

When the war finally came, Claudius and other likeminded individuals were vindicated. Claudius was only thirty-two years old and chose to directly serve in the military. Before resigning his position in the Senate, he sponsored legislation stripping any Republic contracts involving species whose governments supported the Confederacy. Although he did not know it at the time this legislation would later play a major role in his life.

Based solely on his noble birth, Claudius was commissioned a Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Alderaan Civil Fleet. He was assigned as the executive officer of the newly commissioned Thranta-class cruiser Valiant. Trained to be a leader since birth, he excelled in his administrative position aboard the ship, but it soon became clear that the vessel would never leave the Alderaan sector. With an attack on Alderaan unlikely, Claudius petitioned for a transfer to the space arm of the Grand Army of the Republic. With some help from Bail Organa the transfer went through.

Claudius was commissioned a Lieutenant in the Republic Navy and assigned as the operations officer aboard the Acclamator-class Star Destroyer Repulse. It was two years into the war before Claudius took part in his first major battle. Unfortunately the clash came at Skor II where just a few years ago he had lived.  The Confederacy of Independent Systems had seized the planet and the Third Systems Army under Jedi Master Mace Windu was sent to liberate it.

Once the space around Skor II was cleared, Claudius expected his participation in the battle to be over. Unfortunately, during General Windu's briefing, he volunteered the information that he had lived on the planet for several years and was familiar with the layout of Metrobig City and several key structures. Because of the importance of the mission the General insisted that Claudius guide the first wave of Clonetroopers. Their object was to take as much of the city intact as possible, while sparing civilian casualties.

Claudius found himself in a LAAT/i Attack Gunship with a squad from the 2nd Airborne Company. The Republic effort to liberate the city without casualties was for naught. The Confederacy's occupation had taken a major toll on the planet and its population. The destruction of a city he once called home strengthened his resolve and gave him the courage he needed to lead the 2nd Airborne through the city. The Confederacy was taken completely by surprise. General Windu landed with the remainder of the army and the planet was liberated in a resounding victory for the Republic.

While the others celebrated the Republic victory, Claudius decided to check on the condition of the family who had opened their home to him. He was relieved to see that their home was still intact, but nothing could have prepared him for what he would find once he went inside. In the first room he found the corpses of his friends and young Ewwiekewwieikkie sitting next to them crying. He picked up the four year old and carried her from the home. No objections were made by any of the authorities when he declared his intention to adopt the young girl. He was granted a short leave and returned home to the Alderaan system.

On Alderaan, Claudius traveled to the Castle Lands, an ancient and mysterious series of structures that dotted the graceful plains of Alderaan. While reflecting one night he met a beautiful young woman named Julia Reln, a schoolteacher from Alderaan. They fell in love and chose to get married. However, Claudius' father objected to him marrying a woman of common birth. Despite his father's protests, he married Julia in a lavish ceremony on Alderaan before returning to service in the Republic Navy.

Claudius had been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander following his involvement in the Battle of Skor II. He was assigned to the new Venator-class Star Destroyer Superb as a tactical officer under the command of Captain Tyrax Brady. Claudius was aboard the Superb when it, and numerous other Star Destroyers from the Open Circle Fleet, returned to Coruscant following a daring surprise attack by General Grievous.

Following the Republic's victory, he made a mad dash home to find his wife had given birth to their first child. However, the news was not totally joyous as Julia had been injured during the birth and nearly died. The couple named their daughter Jelena and they were warned not to attempt to have another child. Claudius' father was disappointed that the child was a daughter and encouraged them to attempt again to produce a male heir.

Claudius intended to resign his commission from what had become the Imperial Navy and return to the newly renamed Imperial Senate. However, Claudius had caught the eye of Admiral Terrinald Screed who was building a cadre of officers that would become the future of the Navy. Screed encouraged Claudius to remain with in the service and promoted him to the rank of Commander.

Claudius and numerous other veterans of the Clone Wars attended special courses at the Raithal Academy where they reviewed the lessons of the war and shared their experience with one another. The bonds that were born in these early days would last for decades into the future as these junior officers ascended swiftly through the ranks. They were referred to as "the young katarns" by senior officers, such as Jan Dodonna, whom the Emperor felt were unsuitable for this new form of training.

Claudius' first assignment in the Imperial Navy was as the executive officer of the Victory I-class Star Destroyer Audacious. During this time, Julia had begun pressuring him to have another child. She believed that his family would finally accept her if she could deliver the male heir they all so desperately wanted. He begrudgingly agreed and Julia became pregnant once again. Unfortunately the Doctor Tohan's prediction came true and she died shortly after giving birth to the couple's second daughter, Drusilla.

After burying his wife and turning his children over to the care of his parents and Pilaq Tohan, who had come to live with them on Alderaan following the Empire's blockade of Ithor, Claudius returned to the Audacious. His time aboard passed without incident, but he put in the time required to earn him his first command.

Claudius never forgot the first time he looked out the shuttle viewport and saw the Nebulon-B Frigate Thunderer. It was a small ship designed to escort the Star Destroyers, but it was his ship and that made all the difference. He would rather command the smallest ship in the fleet than serve as an executive officer aboard the largest. Claudius took to the crew immediately.

Claudius commanded the Thunderer for five years in an escort and patrol capacity. During that time, the Empire underwent a time of expansion and reached its zenith. Many of his assignments brought him to planets whose populations were considered a threat by the Empire. The Imperial blockades prevented these species from freely roaming the galaxy. Following his five years aboard the Thunderer, he was promoted to the rank of Captain and transferred to a new assignment.

Claudius found himself in command of an Imperial I-class Star Destroyer, the mightiest weapon the Galactic Empire had yet constructed. As commanding officer of the Conqueror, he took part in several missions that he was not proud of. He was involved in the blockade of proud planets such as Ithor, Mon Calamari, and Kashyyyk. His vessel was part of a lucrative slave trade that had developed under Imperial control.

Through his success and influence with other Imperial officers that he had risen through the ranks along side, he was promoted to the rank of Admiral after just over a year in command of the Conqueror. Claudius was placed in command of the 219th Battle Squadron, which he commanded from the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Warspite.

Claudius' first assignment as commander of the 219th Battle Squadron, was to protect the Bilbringi Shipyards. This was a quiet time in his military career where he spent the time getting to know his officers and preparing himself for the larger conflict he and other individuals could see on the horizon.

It was during this time that Kerrie Kiley entered Claudius' life. Kerrie was a Clawdite, whose family had been disrupted by his legislation, which involved canceling the contracts of individuals whose species had supported the Confederacy. She attempted to assassinate the Admiral while he was on a personal trip to Ithor, but she failed. He should have had her executed, but when he learned of how his actions had affected her he hesitated. He thought of his own daughters and felt guilty and could not bring himself to sign the order of execution. Realizing her hatred of him was all that she had left, he convinced her to protect him so that no one could deprive her of her last possession. Over time she would become one of his closest companions.

Claudius was just settling into what he expected to be a peaceful day, when news of a Rebel insurgency near Brentaal reached his desk. He was summoned to a meeting with Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, who ordered him to take command of the situation in the Ringali Shell before it got out of hand. The opportunity to serve as regional commander allowed him to move his family to the region, which he hoped would bring them closer together.

Claudius' combination of military and political experience would serve him well in the months to come as the situation in the Ringali Shell developed into an increasingly dangerous situation.

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