Walex Blissex was widely regarded as a technical genius despite the fact that he had no formal training or education.
Walex grew up on Coruscant. After dropping out of high school a few credits short of graduation, he took an entry level job in the Galactic Senate building mopping floors. During the early part of the Clone Wars, Walex overheard a small group of Senators discussing the bidding process for military contracts. Misunderstanding the idea of a "winning design," Walex went to work creating a model of a starship out of elbow macaroni and pipe cleaners. When he finished his model, he personally presented it during the open bidding process. Basically, he copied the existing Star Destroyer design, but added fins to reduce wind resistance and added a racing stripe, which he felt was sharp. The Emperor agreed. Walex was named Chief Starship Engineer of the Republic, despite the animated objections of Bevel Lemelisk, who attempted to point out that Walex was an idiot, before electrocuting himself.
As Chief Starship Engineer, Walex was given the task of designing new ships for use in battle. Since he had no training in this field, and, in fact, could not even use a computer, he relied heavily on those working below him. In many cases he would add nonsensical notes or insignificant additions to their designs, and send them back to be reworked. Since the engineers were used to this kind of exercise in frustration, no one seemed to notice his lack of skill. He was credited with revolutionizing combat spacecraft, and became one the Emperor's most trusted military advisors.
When the Clone Wars ended, Walex feared that he would at long last be exposed by Bevel Lemelisk, who had recovered from his wounds and had risen to a place of prominence among the Imperial Engineering Corps. Walex retired his position, and secretly went to join Jan Dodonna on Dantooine. Walex worked with Dodonna and Vanden Willard to develop new weapons and strategies. Having spent years around engineers, Walex was able to convince the others that he knew what he was doing. He proposed many "super weapons," that were enthusiastically accepted by Dodonna.
The Flaming Droid of Death Project
One of Walex's most ambitious projects was an astromech droid capable of firing an oversized missile. One prototype was built and installed inside the droid, R5-D4. Unfortunately, Walex's inability to read and write caused it to be lost in shipment en route to Mon Mothma. The incident led to the closure of the Dantooine base.
Walex based many of his starship designs on objects that he saw around him. During one late-night meeting with Dodonna, he held out his hand and started moving it around and making laser gun noises. Dodonna thought that he was suggesting a shape for a small starfighter and immediately put his team to work in fleshing out the design. In truth, Blissex was not paying attention to the meeting and was just trying to entertain himself. The result of this design was the A-Wing starfighter. Since Dodonna was captured before it was finished, Blissex received full credit for the idea.
Battle of Endor
"Aim for the balls!"
-Walex Blissex, on targeting the shield generators of Star Destroyers.
Due to his years of experience with both Star Destroyers and small starfighters, Admiral Ackbar insisted that Blissex be part of the command team during the Battle of Endor. During strategy meeting, Blissex would occasionally spout off some bizarre factoid about Star Destroyers that the other military commanders would use to plan strategy. While much of his knowledge of the ships was faulty, his plan to attack the shield generators was vital to the Rebel fleet's success. When asked about the most vulnerable spot of the Super Star Destroyer, Blissex poked himself in the eye. The other commanders somberly interpreted that gesture as a suicide flight directly at the bridge of the ship. The pilots were briefed of this information, and Arvel Crynyd, realizing that his ship was about to be destroyed, successfully carried it out during the battle.
After the battle, Blissex was hailed as a hero, but was forced to retire by Mon Mothma who finally realized that he was functionally retarded. That’s not to be mean. The man accomplished amazing things, but had a very low IQ. Mothma took care of things quietly to avoid scandal and spare Walex’s feelings.