I feel Daala's an almost offensive character. While I do enjoy the angle of a character believing them self to be a genius yet actually being little more than a sadistic bastard, I simply don't get the impression that that what KJA was going for. I'm left with the impression that he was truly attempting to write a competent female villain, and failed utterly. I'll mention one thing that always sticks out in my mind: her fanatical devotion bordering on worship of Tarkin. Every move she makes is accompanied by her considering whether Tarkin would approve, or applauding herself and thinking how proud her Knight in Shining Armor Tarkin would be. She constantly recalls how Tarkin saved her from discrimination, how he taught her how to "turn planets into slag". When her attack on Calamari falls apart, if I recall correctly, the first thing she thinks of is that she did everything Tarkin instructed, that there's no way she could have failed because her man was infallible. One of the only women in a position of power in the Empire, and every action she takes has to have what she believes is the approval of a dead man. I'm no feminist, and even I find this offensive. It speaks to the age-old stereotype that every woman wants and needs a man to save and protect them. I certainly don't believe KJA was attempting to create a strong female character, but if he was, then he failed spectacularly. Even if we're lowering the bar a bit and accepting that Daala is meant to be nothing more than a slightly competent tyrant, I feel she still comes up short. When she encounters a trader ship, her absolute first reaction is to blow it up. This would be fine, I suppose, if we're trying to establish that she's a brute. But she changes her mind, and invites the trader aboard. She attaches a bomb to the ship, and in the COMPLETE SURPRISE OF EVERYONE EXCEPT THE READER, the ship blows up. The entire Star Destroyer applauds Daala's brilliance. Here, KJA is clearly trying to establish that Daala is intelligent and ruthless, but it just doesn't work. Knowing the future of the character just makes reading Daala's sections difficult. Her random sadistic tendencies are one thing, but knowing that she'll be rewarded for slaughtering a colony of innocent people by becoming leader of a known galaxy? Star Wars, why do you do this.