A prisoner of war is a man who tries to kill you and fails, and then asks you not to kill him.
Conrad Bac was a respected Organian General and the father of Jonathan Bac, the man who went on to become the first Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic. The first notable member of the Bac family, he held the rank of General and Army Chief of Staff in the Organian Army decades before the Unification War and encouraged his son to pursue a career in the military. Before he had a chance to see his son join the military, he was assassinated by a then-unknown assailant. For decades, it was believed that the assailant was a covert agent from the Corellian Empire, which was the reasoning behind the launch of the Unification War. At the end of the war it was revealed that he had been assassinated by a member of the Anarchic Brotherhood of Planets, a lose alliance of worlds determined to stop the unification of governments and the creation of one galactic federal government.
Conrad was known throughout the Organian Empire as one of three men to serve longer than any other citizen as a prisoner of war behind Corellian lines. He was captured during the Battle of Alderaan after tensions rose between the two governments and was held with two of his men for one and a half years. During that time, has subjected to immense physical and psychological torture, and he refused to be released unless his men were released with him. He and his men were not released until months later after his father Dylan Bac had joined the Organian Legislature and negotiated for their release.
Although Conrad was not well known outside of Alderaan during the time that he lived in, he was remembered by his family as a brave soldier, an effective commander, a caring father and one of the men responsible for the course that his family took in the thousands of years following his untimely death. Jonathan Bac also said during his term as Supreme Chancellor that many of his military tactics and political ideas were influenced by the journals and logs of his father, meaning that Conrad had an influence on the outcome of the Unification War and the formation of the Galactic Republic.
Conrad Bac was born during the monarchy of the House of Organa to Dylan Bac and his wife Shannai Belatrice. His father was an army captain who met Shannai during a tour of duty on Anaxes where his mother had been working as a local bartender. After spending one year together on Anaxes, Dylan proposed to her and she accepted the proposal. Shortly thereafter, Shannai moved to Alderaan with him and they were married two weeks later. It was only three months later that Shannai learned that she was pregnant, and six months later Conrad was born in his parent’s home in Aldera.
When he was ten years old, Conrad followed in a family tradition and joined the Alderaanian youth organization called Becoming Soldiers of Alderaan, known as the B.S.A. for short. After four years in the organization, he earned the organizations highest award, known as the Falcon Medal. Earning the Falcon Medal had become something of a Bac family tradition, so he was incredibly proud to be able to carry on the tradition and he hoped that if he had a son that he would be able to continue to carry on the tradition.
When he was eighteen years old, Conrad was accepted into the Alderaanian Military Academy just outside of Aldera. He was on the intercollegiate Grav-ball and Jetboarding teams during three out of the four years he was in school, was an academically distinguished cadet who was in the top five percent of his class for the first three years and was a Cadet Captain during his fourth year. Though his studies mainly included military doctrine, tactics and leadership, he took a great interest in the Order of the Jedi Bendu of the Ophuchi as they had taken great strides to maintain peace within the Core Worlds.
Conrad graduated from the top of his class and gave the commencement address as the class valedictorian, the first member of his family to receive such an honor during their time at the academy. After graduation, he was given three weeks of break time before beginning his first tour of duty. Two days into his break, he met Tella Crel in a market in Aldera and was immediately taken with her. He saw her many times during his three week break, and he felt that he had fallen in love with her. She told Conrad the same thing, but he had to leave for his tour of duty so he bid her goodbye.
Upon the start of his first tour of duty, Conrad was commissioned as a full Organian Lieutenant and began his career with an assignment to a light infantry unit, the 905th Airborne Infantry Battalion, on Onderon, which was a member-state of the Organian Empire. With his unit, he joined with Onderonian military brigades to patrol the sector on board starships in order to ensure that no Corellian vessels entered the restricted area. Conrad felt that it was a boring assignment, because in the year that he served in the sector there was not a single Corellian presence.
After his year on Onderon was completed, he left the 905th as an Organian Captain. He had hoped that his increased responsibilities would result in actually seeing action against the Corellians, so he was somewhat disappointed when he was assigned to Alderaan as the assistant operations officer to General Northan Olvar at Fort Aldera, one of the most heavily fortified and strategically important forts in the Organian Empire. When he arrived at the fort, he was also assigned to help train a mechanized infantry regiment that was stationed at the fort.
After taking a week to settle in to his new assignment, Conrad made his way to a local jewelry store and bought the best-looking engagement ring that he could find. Two hours later, he surprised Tella by arriving unexpectedly at her apartment. After a brief reunion, Conrad bent down on one knee and asked her to marry him. Despite what Conrad thought would be an easy engagement, Tella turned him down and asked him to leave. He tried to contact her for days and left dozens of messages for her. Finally, he returned to her apartment and proposed to her once again. Unlike the first time, she accepted the proposal. When he asked her what made her change her mind, she told him that she knew from his persistence that he truly loved her and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her.
Conrad and Tella began planning a wedding to be held six months after they became engaged. For months, Tella planned the wedding while Conrad continued with his duties at Fort Aldera, during which time he was promoted to the rank of Organian Major. Three months before the wedding, Tella learned that she was two months pregnant with Conrad’s child, so they moved up the date of the wedding to two weeks after she told him and their families of the pregnancy. They were all thrilled, and Conrad was furthered excited by the fact that they would be having a son.
Two weeks after finding out about the pregnancy, Conrad and Tella were married in a ceremony at Fort Aldera performed by Conrad’s commanding officer. He was given a one week leave for them to have a honeymoon in which they traveled to the northern lakes of Aldera for a relaxing vacation. At the end of their honeymoon, they returned to Aldera and purchased a house on the shores of Lake Aldera. Seven months later, Tella gave birth to a son whom they named Jonathan Bac. Conrad felt nothing less than blessed to have a son of his own and had great hopes for the child’s future standing in the Empire.
After one year of duty at Fort Aldera, Conrad became the aide-de-camp to General Olvar. Because his duties were mainly administrative, he took the extra time he had and pursued further military education at the University of Alderaan’s military program where he earned a military doctorate. After earning his doctorate, he taught a class once per week at the university in Organian Military History. Shortly after he began teaching, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and was given a post as the Assistant Executive Officer to Organian Army Chief of Staff General Casey Petrus. His responsibilities were again mostly administrative, and he wished he could have seen action, as he was never able to in his career despite constant threats made by the Corellian Empire.
It was not long until Conrad believed that he would finally be able to see action. The government of the Corellian Empire began what Conrad believed was a smear campaign that said that the Organian Empire was launching suicide attacks within Corellian territory. Conrad believed the claims to be frivolous, but news reports suggested that the people of the Corellian Empire believed the reports and were becoming increasingly angry and suspicious of the Organians, even more so than usual. Relations between the two empires became increasingly tense, and while the other neighboring governments attempted to make peace between them many felt that an all-out war was inevitable.
Two months after tensions rose, the Corellians launched an attack on Alderaan. Conrad and two of his men made sure that Tella and Jonathan were brought to an underground bunker with other families of high-ranking military officials and the royal family, and shortly thereafter they made their way back to Fort Aldera to prepare for the battle. Conrad briefed the mechanized and light infantry units on the progression of the battle and what their specific duties would be during the defense. After the briefing and the departure of the soldiers, Conrad boarded a shuttle with his men and made his way to a base in the northern mountains.
Prisoner of War
The journey to the northern base took nearly two hours, and during that time Conrad watched what was happening below him and saw all-out war unleashed before his very eyes. For centuries, there were tensions between the two empires but he never expected it to erupt into all-out war, and because of the untold damage he knew it would bring he wished he could take back his desire to see action. Regardless, he knew that there was no way he could change what had happened and could only hope that victory would come swiftly and easily with a minimal amount of losses on both sides, as he himself held no personal ill-will towards the Corellian people.
As the shuttles prepared to land at the base, a Corellian fighter squadron approached them. After a brief skirmish, Conrad’s shuttle was shot down and he was knocked unconscious in the crash. However, he regained consciousness and watched as Corellian soldiers made their way to the crash site. The soldiers gathered around him and spat on him, kicked him and stripped him of his clothing, leaving him exposed to the frigid temperatures. Others crushed his bones with their rifle butts and broke his right arm. Shortly thereafter, the Corellians boarded him and his surviving men onto their shuttles and left the planet with them as their prisoners. However, they refused to put Conrad into the hospital as they believed that he would quickly die from his wounds, but when they realized he was a high-ranking officer with critical intelligence they gave him medical care on board the shuttle and decided that they would bring him to a hospital when they returned to Corellia.
Conrad spent six days in a hospital, though he received very little important care. The only care he received was enough to keep him alive. When the doctors decided that he was stable, the Corellian Secret Service brought him to a base south of Coronet and kept him in isolation for five days. At the end of the five days, they began a painless and brief interrogation on him, though he refused to answer any questions despite their offers to send him home to his family. While he did not want to leave Jonathan without a father, he was not prepared to sacrifice the security of the Organian Empire to do so. Shortly thereafter, they began new interrogation methods using torture tactics, though Conrad continued to refuse to give any information but rather he only provided them with his name, rank, serial number and date of birth.
After an additional two weeks of torturous interrogation, Conrad was sent to a prisoner-of-war camp in the mountains north of Doaba Guerfel. When he arrived, he was placed into a cell with the two other men that survived the crash on Alderaan and the interrogations of the Corellians. Conrad had been so severely beaten at the hands of the Corellians that his men did not believe that he would survive even one week. However, they were able to nurse him back to health and keep him alive. A few days after his recovery, he was placed into solitary confinement for two weeks as so-called punishment, despite the fact that he did nothing to warrant punishment, and was brought back to his cell at the end of the two weeks.
One month later, the Corellians learned that Conrad’s father had been elected to the Organian legislature. Conrad was surprised, as he did not expect his father to ever take on a political position due to what seemed like a lack of ambition, but he could only assume that it was to give him leverage to save Conrad from the Corellians. For a few moments when the Corellians told Conrad that he would be released, Conrad believed that his father had been able to gain the leverage to see him released. However, the Corellian captors told Conrad that only he would be released, but Conrad told them that he would not leave without his men. The Corellians begged Conrad to take advantage of their mercy, which made him realize that they simply wanted to use him for merciful propaganda purposes. Because of that and the refusal of the Corellians to release his men, Conrad declined their offer of release.
Because of Conrad’s refusal, the Corellians became enraged at their loss of a political and propaganda tool. Because of that, they launched a program of vigorous torture methods against him. Such tactics included rope bindings in painful positions, beatings every two hours constantly broken teeth and bones. After three weeks of such constant torture, Conrad agreed to sign an anti-Organian propaganda confession that said he was a terrorist and had helped the Organian Empire plan attacks within Corellian territory. However, he wrote the confession in such a manner in hopes that he would signal to his people that he had been forced into writing it to avoid further torture.
Within the following months, treatment of Conrad and his men had improved. Shortly thereafter, they were transferred to the Corellian military hospital outside of Coronet. Only two weeks later, Conrad learned that his father had finally arranged for the release of all of the prisoners of war. After two days of additional medical treatment, the Organian Fleet arrived peacefully over the skies of Corellia and Organian soldiers escorted Conrad and his men to shuttles where they would be taken back to Alderaan. Conrad was relieved to be able to see his family again, and though he always loved and held a large respect for his father he had a newfound respect for him. He also knew that he would have to be an even better father to Jonathan than he had been. Overall, Conrad and his men held as a prisoner of war for a year and a half, longer than any Alderaanian had ever been held by the Corellians.
Return to Normalcy
Upon their arrival on Alderaan, Conrad and his men were taken to the military hospital where they were kept under observation for twenty-four standard hours. When the physicians were satisfied that the Corellian doctors had healed them, they released the men back to their families. Conrad shared a joyous reunion with Tella and Jonathan, both of which could not stop crying with joy. Conrad was amazed at how far the two and a half year old Jonathan had grown and was pleased to see that his son considered him and the other prisoners of war true heroes. Within the following days, the media and the people shared that sentiment.
As the leader of the returned prisoners of war, Conrad became a celebrity of sorts. The media ran numerous stories about him, and he also published a story describing his ordeal and his support of the government’s handling of the aftermath of the attack, which he learned about when he returned. He also participated, with the other prisoners of war, in a “Welcome Home” parade in the streets of Aldera. The next day, he was invited to the Royal Palace and met with King Organa, a fairly young monarch, and the images of him and the others shaking hands with the king quickly became iconic throughout the Organian Empire.
The day after meeting with the king, Conrad was reunited with his father who told him that his mother had passed away from a cancer-like disease. Conrad was devastated by the loss, but with the help of his family he was able to pull through and visit her grave just outside of Aldera. When he was able to finally pull himself back together, he spoke to his father for the first time about how his father had joined the legislature and orchestrated the release of Conrad and his men. When Conrad asked Dylan why he had become a legislator without having any ambition, he told Conrad that having his son taken hostage by the Corellians was more than enough incentive and ambition to give his life to public service. Conrad could not help but agree, though he hoped that he would not have to give continued public service if it meant having Jonathan’s safety jeopardized.
Following his six months of extended leave from the military, Conrad returned to active duty and was promoted to the rank of Organian Colonel. However, he formally requested more time with his family, so instead of preparing to send him into combat against the Corellians if the time came, the Army Chief of Staff personally approved his request and assigned him to Fort Aldera once again to oversee all training operations on the base. He held the post for ten years and watched as thousands of soldiers entered the base as recruits and left the base fully transformed into the best soldiers the Organian Empire provided. During that time, he also watched as Jonathan grew into a young man.
After ten years of service overseeing training, Conrad was preparing to retire from the Organian Army as he felt that he had given more service than was truly required by the Organian Empire. When the Army Chief of Staff learned of that, he offered to promote Conrad to the rank of Organian General if it meant keeping him in the army. Conrad was torn between retirement and promotion, but after speaking with Tella and Jonathan he decided to accept the promotion, as both Tella and Jonathan said that being a public servant was who he was. Conrad could not help but agree and he quickly realized that he was a leader at heart and would not be himself unless he was in a position where he would be able to help people and truly make a difference.
Along with his new rank came new responsibilities, most of which included traveling to the numerous worlds within the Organian Empire to inspect all different army battalions, regiments and units. Though he regretted having to leave his family often, he knew that it was better at that point than if Jonathan had still been a boy rather than a teenager. Regardless, he did not enjoy being away from his family and, at times, regretted his decision to remain in the army and even considered declaring his intention to retire once again and teach at the University of Alderaan. However, he carried out his duties as best as he could and received high praise for it.
One of the proudest moments of Conrad’s life came shortly after Jonathan’s sixteenth birthday. Jonathan had joined Becoming Soldiers of Alderaan four years earlier after Conrad told him numerous stories about how much fun he had when he was part of it, and after Jonathan turned fifteen he too was awarded the Falcon Medal. While Conrad had been proud of himself years earlier for carrying on a family tradition by earning the award, he was even more proud of Jonathan for doing it and knowing that he had successfully raised a son capable of receiving such a high honor.
Shortly after Jonathan was awarded the Falcon Medal, Conrad was unexpectedly called to the Royal Palace for a meeting with King Organa. Shortly after he arrived, he was brought into the throne room where Organa told him that he wanted to nominate him for the position of Army Chief of Staff. Conrad knew that he would be able to continue to serve the people of the Empire while spending the rest of his working career with his family. Therefore, he put his desires to teach at the University of Alderaan on hold and accepted Organa’s nomination.
One week later, Conrad began his legislative confirmation. He was put through a series of grueling questions and discussions about his military service, specifically about why he signed the anti-Organian statement when he was a prisoner of war. However, he felt comfortable with the answers he was given but knew it would take a few days to find out if the legislature was as well. Three days after his hearings ended, he found out the answer: the legislature almost unanimously approved his nomination with a vote of one hundred and ninety-four members in support, four in opposition and two absent from the vote. The next day, the outgoing Army Chief of Staff swore Conrad into office and he immediately began working with his new responsibilities.
As the Chief of Staff of the Organian Army, Conrad was the professional head of the army and was responsible for ensuring the readiness of the army in the event of another battle or an all-out war with the Corellian Empire. However, he did not have any operational command authority, though he was the highest-ranking officer in the army by default. The position also allowed him to serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff and to be the chief military adviser to King Organa on army matters. He also assisted the Secretary of the Army in his external affairs functions, including the presentation and justification of army policies, plans, programs and budgets to the legislature.
One year after his assignment as Chief of Staff, Conrad was tasked with traveling to Onderon for the first time in years to inspect troop deployments. It was a relatively ceremonious assignment, considering he had no real authority over troop deployments, but he made the four day trip regardless. When he arrived on the planet, he was given a ceremonious welcome by the planetary government and was greeted by the Onderonian Governor himself. When they were making their way through the starport to make their way into the Merchant Quarter of Iziz, a bomb triggered a large explosion and the entire area collapsed in on top of them. Emergency crews worked for hours to clear through the rubble, and as they were doing so they found that body of the Onderonian Governor and realized he had been killed almost instantly. Shortly thereafter, they found Conrad still alive, albeit barely. He survived just long enough to see the light of day once again and to tell emergency crews to tell his family that he loved them, but he then quickly passed away. After clearing the rest of the rubble, Conrad’s body was retrieved and returned to Alderaan.
Two days after the assassination, Conrad was given a full military funeral. His casket was drawn by carriage through the streets in a hero’s parade before it reached the First Church of Alderaan where his funeral was head. One hour later, his body was laid to rest in the Bac family cemetery just outside Aldera. During his burial, a squadron of fighters flew overhead. One fighter left the squadron, symbolizing Conrad’s death. The next day, Conrad was posthumously given the Monarchial Medal of Freedom. Two days after that, King Organa officially declared war on the Corellian Empire, though he said that it was the Corellians that had declared war first by assassinating Conrad and the Onderonian Governor.
Out of all of the notable members of the Bac family, Conrad had perhaps the least amount of impact on the direction of the galaxy. However, his assassination did have lasting consequences. Shortly after he was assassinated, the Organian Empire made an official declaration of war against the Corellian Empire, though the Organian Empire maintained that it was the Corellians that had committed the first act of war by assassinating Conrad and the Governor of Onderon. For thirty years, the war raged on nearly destroyed both sides, despite the fact that the other galactic governments and the Jedi Bendu attempted to intervene and stop the bloodshed.
Conrad’s assassination gained additional notability during the last battle of the Unification War. Just before the final battle, Jonathan Bac and the Jedi Bendu realized that the Corellian Empire and the Organian Empire were both being manipulated by the Anarchic Brotherhood of Planets. During the battle with the Brotherhood forces, Jonathan led a team of commandos onto the Brotherhood ship to destroy it. In the main command chamber, Jonathan accessed the main computer and found information pointing to the Brotherhood being responsible for the death of Conrad Bac. Shortly thereafter, the Brotherhood ship was destroyed and the Brotherhood collapsed, thereby avenging Conrad’s death.
Shortly thereafter, the galactic governments came together and formed the Galactic Republic. Jonathan was elected to be the first Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic and immediately went on to set up the democratic system and the numerous policies that would last for thousands of years. Conrad’s legacy lived on through his son during that time, as Jonathan remarked during his eight years as Chancellor that many of his military tactics and political ideas were influenced by the journals and logs of his father, meaning that Conrad had an indirect influence on the outcome of the Unification War and the formation of the Galactic Republic.
Personality and traits
Conrad recognized, above all else, the power and responsibilities of leadership. He was known to have two styles of leadership, those being Powerful Leadership and Perfectionist Leadership. As a Powerful Leader, he was always known as the lion of the army. He was a person that loved to be in the driver seat, albeit a person that also always wanted to be with his family. His strength in that regard was that he had good decision making skills, though during training exercises he conducted he was known to be a morale killer. However, once people saw his caring heart, they learned to respect him and grow from his challenges, as he only killed morale to challenge people to be better than they thought they could be.
As a Perfectionist Leader, he was also known as the beaver of the army, particularly when he reached the higher ranks, including Army Chief of Staff. He was the person that made sure everything was perfect in reports, personal appearance and training. With that type of personality, he was able to easily handle the details of day-to-day operations, though he could sometimes let smaller things get in the way if he felt that it was necessary. Most that came into contact with him were able to learn something from his wisdom.
After he returned from his time as a prisoner of war and served an additional ten year at Fort Aldera, he became more of a family man than he ever thought he could have been. He wanted to spend more time with his family and less time with the military, but he was able to balance the two as he had strong values and strong obligations to both. While his decision to do so led to his assassination, he did not regret it as he passed away, nor did his family.
Talents and abilities
Conrad was known to be a very capable military tactician. He also kept up with and noted his opinions on politics in his military tactical journals, and he was later known to have had a shrewd political mind. While his father and son were both heavily involved in politics, Conrad never had a desire to despite the fact that many believed that he would have been able to significantly change the warring democratic and monarchical system. However, his political and military talents did later influence his son, as Jonathan Bac remarked that many of Conrad’s military tactics and political ideas were influenced by his journals.
Conrad was also known to be a useful mentor and an efficient and effective teacher to his military trainees. It was one of the many reasons that he considered becoming a professor at the University of Alderaan before he decided to become an Army Chief of Staff. One of the more enjoyable lessons he taught were military mechanics, as he considered himself to be very talented at repairing technology, specifically on starship engines and engines on other vehicles. There was one instance on a training cruise when the hyperspace engine shorted out and caused a minor explosion in the engineering department, injuring several crew members. Conrad risked his life to fix the engine as quickly as possible, and in doing so saved the lives of his entire crew. After that event, he took it upon himself to learn as much as he could about mechanics, and shortly thereafter he began teaching it at the military academy.
Behind the scenes
Conrad was never intended to be a character in the Alternative Star Wars Saga. He was not given a name until the creation and development of Jonathan Bac, and even then he was only known as an Organian General. In fact, Conrad Bac was the original name of Jonathan Bac before the latter became a partial homage to Scott Bakula and Jonathan Archer. Even though the character has been developed, there are currently no plans to include him in any novels in the Alternative Star Wars Saga other than being mentioned by other members of the Bac family.
While the character's appearance is that of William Shatner from Star Trek, the inspiration for the character's history comes from General David Petraeus, who is the current Commanding General of all multinational forces in Iraq, and Senator John McCain (R-AZ).