von Goldenbaum Rudolf
After graduating at the top of his class from the Galactic Federation Armada Officer Academy, Rudolf von Goldenbaum served in the Galactic Federation Armada in the Frontier Worlds. In 288 UC Rudolf was in command of an Armada fleet in the Betelgeuse Starzone, where he fought against the Main Street Pirates to an overwhelming victory. (Archival footage indicates that Rudolf may have used nuclear weapons to completely obliterate the pirates.)
While some people criticised Rudolf's battle tactics for being too brutal, most of the Galactic Federation's citizens praised him as a great hero. Some even declared him to be the reincarnation of another Federation hero, admiral Christpher Wood. Rudolf would remain in the military service for another 8 years, at which time he was promoted to the rank of admiral at the age of 28. After the promotion, he retired from the armada in order to pursue a career in politics.
After his victory over the Main Street Pirates, Rudolf von Goldenbaum's celebrity had escalated dramaticlly. In 296 UC he was voted into the Galactic Parliament in a landslide election. Rudolf quickly began building a power base, gathering various other young, idealistic and conservative-minded politicians around him, forming a new political party — the National Reform Alliance.
The National Reform Alliance was dedicated to restoring the Galactic Federation to its former glory, and ushering in a new 'Golden Age of Humanity'. With each election cycle, the NRA gained more and more seats in Parliament, until it was the dominant political party in the Federation. By referendum, Rudolf von Goldenbaum was appointed Prime Minister of Parliament: he was voted President of the Federation soon thereafter.
Holding the office of both Prime Minister and President, Rudolf was the most powerful man in the Galaxy. Free Planets Alliance historian D. Sinclair said: "By unwritten law, it was prohibited to hold these two posts concurrently, but Rudolf took advantage of the fact that no constitutional article forbade it. And when these two posts, whose separate power were limited, were combined in one individual, no one alive could oppose Rudolf's political power."
President Rudolf's rule became increasinly authoritarian; his power increasingly unquestioned. He transformed the Federation into a dictatorship, declaring himself "president for life."
Rudolf von Goldenbaum declared the re-organization of the Galactic Federation into the Galactic Empire in 310 UC and declared himself emperor. A new calendar, the Imperial Calendar, was initated to mark the ascension of Rudolf to the new imperial throne.
Rudolf's government was extremely efficient, and managed to quickly root out the corruption that had plagued the Galactic Federation. Lifestyles and recreations deemed "unhealthy" by the state were prohibited and vigorously prosecuted, resulting in a dramatic decrease in crime and juvenile delinquency.
In 9 IC, Rudolf announced the Inferior Genes Exclusion Act. Social welfare policies were abolished; handicapped and poor citizens were sterilized by force; and the mentally ill were euthanised. The sheer violence of the act outraged the citizens and the Imperial Parliament, who criticised the emperor for his brutality. Rudolf responded by dissolving the Parliament and creating the Department of Social Discipline within the Empire's Ministry of the Interior. A secret police force, the Department of Social Discipline prosecuted Rudolf's political enemies and any amongst the citizens who might be considered a dissident.
In the following years, Rudolf would consolidate his empire by forming a new aristocratic class to support it: the High Nobility. When Rudolf died in 42 IC at the age of 83, he left no heir, which led to a brief succession dispute, eventually ending when the son of Rudolf's eldest daughter became Kaiser Sigismund I, the second emperor of the Goldenbaum Dynasty.
Rudolf had at least one wife, the Empress Elizabeth, who gave birth to four daughters. Rudolf's eldest daughter married Joachim von Neue Stauffen and their son, Sigismund I, succeeded Rudolf to the throne after his death in 42 IC.
Rudolf is also known to have had at least one concubine, Magdalena, who gave birth to a son but it was rumored he suffered from a congenital birth defect. Magdalena, her family, and all medical and nursing staff involved in the birth were all executed, suggesting the rumors were true. The son's fate is unknown, but it is reasonable to assume that he was either killed or hidden away where opponents could never use him.
"Until Rudolph von Goldenbaum got his hands on power, even if he was rather self-righteous, perhaps he was no more than a reformer burning with ideals and conviction. That changed completely once he had authority. He travelled the road from simple self-affirmation to self-deification." -Free Planets Alliance Secretary of the Treasury, João Rebelo.
Centuries after his death, Rudolf would be remembered by people throughout the galaxy. In the Free Planets Alliance, he served as a symbol of utter tyranny and evil, a warning to all free democratic people of the dangers of autocracy. In the Empire, he was a hallowed figure. The holy founder of the greatest nation in human history, and a symbol of imperial power.
To Yang Wenli, Rudolf was a constant reminder that political and military authority ought never be mixed. On the other hand, although Reinhard von Lohengramm disapproved of Rudolf himself, his methods served as an inspiration — his life's accomplishments teaching Reinhard that one man could change the galaxy; that if one does not like the world, one has the power to change it by ones own hand.
Voice actor: Otsuka Chikao