Maarek Stele was a pilot in the Imperial Navy and one of the Emperor's Hands. A native of Kuan, he enlisted in the Imperial Navy after the Galactic Empire rescued him from Bordali agents near the end of the Taroonian Civil War. Although he initially served as a mechanic, Stele was offered the opportunity to train as a TIE pilot after saving the life of Admiral Mordon. Over the course of several campaigns, Stele fought against the forces of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, as well as those of the treacherous Imperial Admirals Harkov and Demetrius Zaarin. Stele quickly became an ace pilot and went on to be considered one of the greatest pilots in the Empire. He was also well known as a test pilot, being one of the first to fly the TIE Avenger, TIE Defender and the Missile Boat into combat.