The first encounter with the Empire in the halls of the Tantive IV in A New Hope showed us their might and their structure. Subsequent scenes in Star Wars illustrated how they were a tidy and massive organization with uniforms, ranks, and interesting headgear. Though the Rebel Alliance had a semblance of military-style framework, the Empire was altogether more impressive and, well, more “put together.” It was easy to imagine them lining up for bunk inspection, while the Rebellion was probably too concerned with survival to worry about making their beds.
On the same line of thought, there just had to be a thorough Imperial handbook detailing acceptable ranges for uniform styles, cleanliness, and personal appearance. That manual must have contained pages about facial hair, because Imperial officers seem to be all about the sideburns. Given that military life is often about bare essentials and that many companies with employees who deal with the public have strict grooming rules, I’m always surprised to see so many unshaven faces in the Empire. I’m guessing the trend started with a few high-ranking officers, and everyone else copied them. Some of the specimens are especially impressive, so obviously, I had to rank them.
No one does mutton chops like Agent Kallus. Appearing in Star Wars Rebels, the Imperial Security Bureau officer was tasked with responding to rebel threats. He’s constantly foiled by the crew of the Ghost. I’m guessing he’s distracted because he’s too busy combing out tangles and looking for the perfect oil to tame his sideburns.
General Moradmin Bast did his best to get Grand Moff Tarkin to evacuate the Death Star, but Tarkin was overconfident in the Empire’s military prowess. The real story: Tarkin was jealous of Bast’s sideburns and shut him down out of spite.
A general, Cassio Tagge warned of the threat of the Rebel Alliance to the Empire and its Death Star, but couldn’t get anyone to listen to reason. I think they were all probably too stunned by his bold bowl-type haircut paired with lengthy sideburns to retain whatever was coming out of his mouth.
Admiral Kassius Konstantine worked closely with the Inquisitor, and like Kallus, the rebels of Lothal have constantly evaded him. He’s stern and no-nonsense, and I can only surmise the combo of lengthy and tidy sideburns and a mustache make him extra intimidating.
Treidum served aboard the Death Star. He might not technically be an officer, but he’s certainly mimicking their style. He was the one who noticed the stormtroopers guarding the Millennium Falcon were missing. His glorious, somewhat unruly facial hair couldn’t save him from being shot by Luke Skywalker.
Gunnery Captain Bolvan was only seen from the side in A New Hope when he made the call not to fire on the escape pod containing R2-D2 and C-3PO. His sideburns are of the shorter variety but admirably full. Yes, that is a thing I just typed.
Admiral Motti might have called out Darth Vader for having a “sad devotion” to an “ancient religion,” but that’s not why he received a Force throat hug from Vader. Nope. It was because his sideburns were short and lackluster.
The real reason why Moff Tiaan Jerjerrod was so behind schedule in building the second Death Star? Because his hair was lacking. Do those even count as sideburns?!
Which Imperial sideburns do you think should take first place? Let me know your pick in the comments.