Elheru Aran wrote: ↑
Piett and Vader really didn't do a whole lot of commanding in the OT far as I know, other than Vader expressing frustration at Ozzel's bungling in ESB and telling Death Squadron to enter the asteroid field. About all Piett ever did in the movies from what I recall was stand around, look nervous, and be Vader's milquetoast. He does give some direction towards the end of the ROTJ battle (increase forward firepower) but that's about it.
Vader takes a pretty hands on role at Hoth and in the pursuit of the Falcon, with mixed results. His performance in "Siege of Lothal" is more impressive, tracking the Ghost crew to their fleet and destroying most of a fighter squadron and the Rebel command frigate personally in exchange for zero Imperial losses (though it could be argued that that's more down to his personal combat prowess than his skill as a commander). He failed to prevent the rest of the fleet from escaping, as he got into a dogfight with one of the few pilots who can match him (Hera Syndulla) and his subordinates bungled the capture.
Also, though commanding only a single ship, he effectively cut off the escape of a large portion of the Rebel fleet at Scariff, though he failed to capture the ultimate goal (the Death Star plans).
He's competent, but he keeps just missing the main goal either by getting personally fixated on an single person, or just falling short due to plot necessity.
Piet strikes me as a pretty by-the-book, unimaginative and too-easily ruffled commander in the films, yes (much as Ackbar does, really).
Holdo similarly doesn't really deserve a place, unless she has some feats detailed in new-EU books or something. All she did was transfer her flag from one ship to another, and then hold the course. Nothing particularly striking on a tactical level, never mind strategic. The whole notion of getting close enough to Crait to send cloaked transports there wasn't even entirely her idea IIRC, Leia came up with that one with her I think.
She's one of the admiral characters who gets the biggest roles and the most screen time, and she did command a (small) fleet in battle. So I felt she should be in. Granted, Hux would too, but I ran out of room, and come on-anyone voting for Hux is doing it purely to troll.
As to her performance, I'd say she scores high on personal courage, tactical innovation in the planning stage, and grasp of the larger strategic picture, but lower on charisma, and perhaps demonstrates a certain lack of flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances.
Outside of TLJ, there's the battle Poe references her participating in when she first appears, but I don't know if its ever been depicted or described anywhere in detail.
Ackbar and Raddus did do some actual commanding of ships, Raddus notably above Scarif. I might argue that Lando Calrissian shares some credit for the Rebel fleet action in ROTJ, though he mainly led the fighter wing; Ackbar in his turn didn't do a whole lot in the sequel trilogy.
Ackbar strikes me as competent but limited- fairly by the book and too easily rattled. Raddus handled Scariff very well, yes.
It's been a long time since I watched Clone Wars, but I don't think Yularen was ever an Admiral in that series, mostly just a Commander/Captain. Maybe in season 5? I want to say Anakin Skywalker and General Kenobi did most of the commanding in the actions Yularen was at. Honestly, Skywalker and Kenobi might deserve a place in their own right... Mace Windu as well, perhaps (I want to say he was in charge during at least one battle?)
I was sure he was an admiral.
I thought about including the Jedi, because I'm pretty sure some of them did command fleet actions at times, but there were too many to include them all, and they are mostly ground commanders. So they can go under "other". Of them, Kenobi and Anakin (ie the future Vader) are probably the best. Anakin is inventive, brave, and charismatic, but a bit too reckless. Still, he might be the best for that era. Kenobi seems to be more deliberative, and perhaps more skilled at misdirection.
Grievous doesn't do a whole lot of commanding in TCW either. I might argue that as far as the CIS goes, Admiral Trench was a more competent fleet commander, as he was able to blockade Christophsis fairly effectively IIRC.
Hmm, I don't recall much of him.
Yavin 4 probably doesn't count as a 'fleet action' since it was Rebel starfighters versus the Death Star, but Jan Dodonna might get a nod.
I haven't watched Rebels, so I can't comment on anything there (Thrawn, Sato or Vader).
Anyway, Raddus gets my vote, mostly because he's the most involved commander, and the one that gives the most actual battle direction from what I recall apart from Ackbar.
Raddus is a pretty good option, yes. I'd say its probably between him, Vader, and Thrawn.