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Abelt Dessler
Desler 33026.jpg
Born At least 103 years as of 2199[1]
32 years human equivalent as of 2199[2]
Species Garmillas
Gender Male
Allegiance Great Garmillas Empire
Rank Leader
Commands held Desura, Desura II
Battles/wars Battle of Garmillas, Battle of the Galactic Theater Gate
Relations Grand Duke Eric Dessler (ancestor)[3]
Portrayed by Koichi Yamadera (2012-)
This article describes the character Abelt Dessler from Space Battleship Yamato 2199. For his counterpart in the original Space Battleship Yamato and its sequels, see Dessler (OS). For the similarly named personification of half the Gamilas hive mind consciousness in the live action film, see Dessla.

Abelt Dessler is the supreme leader of the Great Garmillas Empire. Dessler oversees an expansion of the empire across a vast area of space during his time as ruler. Despite the brutality of his regime, Dessler is inspired by his desire for closer ties with Garmillas' pacifist neighbor, Iscandar.

HistoryEdit

Early LifeEdit

Dessler ascended to the throne of the Great Garmillas Empire in or around the year 2096, almost nine hundred years after the founding of the empire.[4] By 2199, he had united the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds even as opposition from "barbarian" adversaries such as Gatlantis continued, and he had begun an invasion of the Milky Way Galaxy. Once an alien race was conquered, though, he was willing to grant individuals opportunities within Garmillas society, including the chance to earn full citizenship ("The Trap on All Sides", "Wish Upon a Star", "A World I Once Saw"). Dessler himself personally rescued two Jirel girls from captivity, gave them protection and status on Garmillas, and eventually appointed one of them, Miezela Celestella, as his minister of propaganda ("The Planet That We Head For"). However, his relative generosity was matched by a doctrine of absolute control. Under Dessler, the Imperial Guard grew enormously into a force that watched over all the empire's citizens and was authorized to wipe out entire worlds that resisted imperial rule[5] ("Point of No Return", "Out of the Forest of Memory").

DesslerCourtsTheQueen

Dessler visits Iscandar seeking a political alliance with Queen Starsha.

At some point prior to 2199, Dessler traveled to Iscandar to meet with the planet's queen, Starsha Iscandar, and propose the unification of the Great Garmillas Empire and the dying remains of her empire. Dessler pledged to carry out her goal of bringing "salvation" to the universe, and through charm and genuine affection for Starsha he received her consent. He ordered the construction of Baleras II, a space station positioned between Garmillas and Iscandar meant to serve as their joint capital city. Dessler also obtained access to Iscandar's greatest technological achievement, wave motion energy ("The Planet That We Head For", "The Distant Promised Land", "The Forever War").

New ThreatsEdit

Dessler is made aware of an unexpected challenge from the planet Earth, a technologically inferior world on the far Milky Way frontier. Upon hearing that Garmillas forces besieging Earth had been almost completely wiped out within a matter of days by a new warship, Yamato, Dessler sends the survivors and their commander, Colonel Walke Shultz, into exile for their humiliating defeat ("The Sun Sets on Pluto"). Weeks later, a chance for redemption is given to Shultz, created as entertainment for Dessler and the royal court during celebrations of the empire's one thousand year anniversary. Shultz and his crew fail once again to defeat Yamato and are killed in the line of duty, but Dessler posthumously awards them with first-class citizenship for their heroism ("Wish Upon a Star"). Publicly, Dessler expresses little worry about the situation, even as he assigns one of his most accomplished generals, Erich Domel, the task of hunting down Yamato, and as news of Yamato's victories encourages more outspoken opposition among the subject peoples of the empire. Privately, though, he suspects and eventually confirms that Queen Starsha has been aiding the humans, and the Earth vessel becomes a distraction from state affairs ("What Lies Beyond", "Point of No Return").

A member of Dessler's inner circle takes the leader's preoccupation as an opportunity to make his own bid for the throne. Herm Zoellik, chief inspector of the Garmillas armed forces, plots to assassinate Dessler by arranging for an overload in the engines of Dessler's first flagship during an inspection tour ("Point of No Return"). The ship is destroyed as planned, but the explosion kills a body double planted in Dessler's place before the flight. Acting on information acquired by the telepathic Miezela Celestella, Dessler goes into hiding aboard the inter-dimensional submarine UX-01, allows General Domel and the supreme fleet commander to be falsely convicted of the crime, and waits for Zoellik to make an open claim to leadership of the empire ("Out of the Forest of Memory"). As Zoellik appeals for support from a massive military fleet summoned to the planet Balun, Dessler reveals himself and the plot against him.

Zoellik's treachery is dealt with swiftly by one of Dessler's loyal officers, but a surprise raid by Yamato obliterates many of the ships assembled at Balun and cuts the empire off from its farthest territories ("Over the Black Light"). With his empire substantially weakened by a new alien threat and his own ally on Iscandar working against him, Dessler moves to confront both challenges at any cost.

The Rebirth of GarmillasEdit

DesslerIntroducesMori

Dessler presents the "third princess of Iscandar" at the public memorial for General Domel.

Dessler orders the release of Erich Domel from prison soon after returning to Garmillas, and with an apology for Domel's ordeal, he assigns the general two tasks ("They're Coming!"). Domel appears to succeed in the first, having Queen Starsha's younger sister abducted from Yamato and brought to Garmillas, but is killed attempting to destroy the Earth vessel ("Under a Rainbow Sun"). Dessler eventually learns that the kidnapped woman is not Iscandarian and is in fact a human, Lieutenant Yuki Mori. He is unfazed, and at a memorial for Domel in the capital city of Baleras, he publicly introduces Mori as a princess of Iscandar who has come to endorse the final unification of her world and Garmillas, in spite of the queen's reluctance.

Dessler waits for Yamato's inevitable arrival, and with Mori by his side, he reveals his own wave motion weapon--the Dessler Cannon, fired from the Baleras II station ("The Planet That We Head For"). The shot barely misses Yamato and obliterates a gas giant planet, Epidora. Dessler accepts a final call from Starsha, who expresses her sadness and horror that he has used her world's technology to create a weapon of mass destruction. First with annoyance and then with tenderness, he responds by telling her that the humans aboard Yamato are equally guilty of using wave motion energy as a weapon, and that everything he has done has been for her.

As the Battle of Garmillas progresses and Yamato charges toward Baleras and the royal palace itself, Dessler rockets away from the city aboard Desura II with Mori aboard and resumes the fight from the Baleras II space station. He orders a massive component of the station to detach and plummet toward the enemy. Knowing that his cabinet and vast numbers of his own people will also be annihilated, he triumphantly makes a broadcast to the citizens of Garmillas, assuring them that "this noble sacrifice will give rise to the rebirth of Garmillas." Rather than fleeing, Yamato fires its own wave motion gun as the component enters the planet's atmosphere, preventing a catastrophe. Dessler refuses to accept defeat and targets the palace with the Dessler Cannon. Pleas from Minister of Defense Welte Talan to stop fall on deaf ears. Before the weapon can be fired, the wave motion core of Baleras II is sent out of control by Mori, who escapes before the core explodes. Desura II warps away just as the station is consumed by the blast, carrying Dessler, Talan, and the Dessler Cannon with it ("One Man's War").

Believing that Leader Dessler died along with his new capital, a provisional government on Garmillas attempts to move away from his ruinous legacy and find a new future together with Iscandar ("The Distant Promised Land", "The Forever War").

ExileEdit

Dessler'sLastStand

Dessler prepares his final move against Yamato.

Effectively banished, Abelt Dessler spends the next two months aboard his flagship, gathering the support of scattered military units that refuse to recognize the new leadership. He knows that it will not be enough to reclaim the empire, and he plans to seize Yamato as his own. Major General Gremdt Goer ambushes Yamato as it returns to Balun, driving it through a surviving Aquarius gate and toward Desura II, lying in wait inside a subspace corridor. Yamato is quickly immobilized and hundreds of Garmilloid soldiers take control, deck by deck. Dessler himself boards the ship, where he finds and subdues the "false princess," Lieutenant Mori. Without warning, Dessler feels a telepathic presence invade his mind, and he spins around to fire at its source--and is aghast to see that he has shot Miezela Celestella, an exile herself after Dessler's fall from power. Elsewhere, the Garmilloid advance is halted, and in shock, Dessler retreats.

He returns to the bridge of his flagship and orders the Dessler Cannon to be charged, not caring that using the weapon inside the subspace corridor would be an act of suicide. As Dessler targets Yamato, it comes about and opens fire with shock cannon shells, disabling Desura II and incapacitating or killing everyone on the bridge. Dessler remains standing but is injured, and with a final thought of his beloved Starsha, he fires. The Dessler Cannon activates, tearing Desura II apart and hurling the flagship bridge off into the subspace corridor, but sparing Yamato ("The Forever War").

PersonalityEdit

Abelt Dessler can be generous, charming, and charismatic with public audiences and in private, with Garmillas and non-Garmillas alike. Although Dessler's rule is absolute and is built on the threat of physical force, he cultivates genuine enthusiasm among some of his subjects. Most members of his inner circle are sincerely loyal, and in the case of Minister Celestella, affectionate ("The Sun Sets on Pluto", "Wish Upon a Star", "Point of No Return", "The Planet That We Head For"). When he turns to violence, he does so without hesitation and with an easy ability to justify it--and he is equally willing to inflict it on members of his own species as he is on aliens ("Over the Black Light", "The Planet That We Head For", "One Man's War").

Regardless of the political and technological advantages of his relationship with Queen Starsha Iscandar, Dessler grows to love her, and identifies with her desire to help all intelligent life in the universe. However, he confuses this desire with his own need for control ("One Man's War", "The Forever War").

Dessler does not shy away from the wealth and ostentation of his position. His surroundings are luxurious, and he indulges in drink, private hot springs, and other pleasures, even after being toppled from power ("The Sun Sets on Pluto", "Wish Upon a Star", "The Forever War").

Behind the ScenesEdit

  • His Japanese name is believed to come from Nazi Germany's Adolf Hitler, and Dessler's title Sōtō (総統?) is the Japanese translation of führer. Leiji Matsumoto has claimed this similarity is in fact a coincidence, and that Dessler comes from "Death-Ra" (also written as デスラー in Japanese).[source?]

Notes and ReferencesEdit

  1. In "Wish Upon a Star," Vice Leader Redof Hiss congratulates Dessler on a 103-year reign, placing an absolute minimum on Dessler's age.
  2. Official Space Battleship Yamato 2199 website character data
  3. Dengeki Hobby, June 2013 (translated July 2013)
  4. ibid
  5. ibid

Japanese language informationEdit

アベルト・デスラー Aberuto Desurā

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