- "It's like you said: the Death Star had to be stopped. Just as the Empire must be destroyed. If that's going to happen, some of us have to get blood on our hands. We have to be willing to kill, and willing to die. It's not easy and it never will be. But I can tell you this much, Kyrell. It's easier than standing by and doing nothing."
- ―Wedge Antilles, to Thane Kyrell
The Alliance to Restore the Republic, commonly known as the Rebel Alliance, Alliance, or the Rebellion, was a resistance movement formed by Bail Organa and Mon Mothma to oppose the reign of the Galactic Empire. Before the Alliance came to be, another less organized movement to oppose the Empire existed, which was secretly led by Organa. This early group came together from a series of rebel cells, including the crew of the Ghost and the Phoenix rebel cell.
The Alliance was born from the remnants of the Jedi Order and with the support of renegade members of the Imperial Senate such as Bail Organa and, later, his daughter Leia. Founded and united by Organa, the early rebels were assisted by several surviving Jedi, such as Ahsoka Tano, Kanan Jarrus, his Padawan, Ezra Bridger and later Luke Skywalker. Clone officers such as Captain Rex also assisted in the initial movement.
As opposed to waging all-out war, the Alliance waged a war of attrition against the government, establishing small settlements across the galaxy instead of totally controlling a planet.
When the Alliance successfully stole the plans for the Empire's ultimate weapon, the Death Star, and destroyed the space station in the Battle of Yavin, the tide of the war began to change and the Rebel threat begun to prove a severe thorn in the Empire's side. However, under the command of Darth Vader, the Imperial forces succeeded in defeating the Alliance on Hoth, driving their remaining troops back into hiding.
Eventually, the Alliance prevailed against the Empire and badly crippled it when they launched an attack against the second Death Star during its construction. Not only did the Rebellion manage to destroy the space station, but their Jedi Luke Skywalker also managed to redeem his father Darth Vader who killed the Emperor Sheev Palpatine before dying himself in the Battle of Endor. The Rebel Alliance was soon reformed into a fledging New Republic.
- "So this is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause."
- ―Padmé Amidala, to Bail Organa following the declaration of a New Order
While the Alliance to Restore the Republic was a resistance movement opposed to the tyranny of the Galactic Empire and its New Order, its roots predated the actual birth of the Empire itself, when the Galactic Republic was in its last years of existence. During the Clone Wars, a conflict that pitted the Republic against the Confederacy of Independent Systems, Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine had managed to obtain emergency powers from the Galactic Senate. Gradually, certain members of the Chancellor's own Loyalist Committee, including Bail Organa of Alderaan, Padmé Amidala of Naboo, and Mon Mothma started to complain about the chief of state's conduct. The discontent senatorial representatives ended up forming the Delegation of 2,000. They signed the Petition of 2,000, a document that formally expressed its signatories' concerns with Palpatine's rule and called for him to relinquish his emergency powers as soon as possible. Senator Meena Tills of Mon Cala was among the petitioners.
Shortly thereafter, the Clone Wars was brought to an end. Far from relinquishing his dictatorial status, Chancellor Palpatine unilaterally abolished the Republic in front of the whole Senate. Anointing himself Galactic Emperor, he transformed the democratic government into an authoritarian regime, the Galactic Empire. Unbeknownst to most of the galactic community, the self-promoted Emperor Palpatine was in fact a Sith Lord, known as Darth Sidious, and he had masterminded the Clone Wars just so he could overthrow the Republic. The Emperor immediately started to subvert democracy in the galaxy and declared the peace-keeping Jedi Knights enemies of the state. In the immediate aftermath of the Clone Wars and Senator Amidala's death at the hands of her Jedi husband turned Sith Lord, Senators Organa and Mothma started working in secret to overthrow the Empire.
Age of the EmpireEdit
- "They're not trying to make a difference. They're just trying to strike back."
"And I understand that. But if the people who have a beef with the Empire act solely in their own interests, it won't do anybody else any good. In fact, it might make it harder for any kind of real rebellion to flower—"
- ―Kanan Jarrus and Hera Syndulla
In the absence of any major opposition, the Galactic Empire thrived during the early days of Palpatine's reign, amassing a vast military and using it to instill fear in the civilian population. The reformed Senate, being even less effective than it was during the last years of the Republic, did nothing to restrain that massive military expansion. Meanwhile, in the deepest secrecy, the Empire worked on the Death Star, a moon-sized battle station capable of destroying entire planets. Although many people held a grudge against the Empire, few dared to act. Those who did often acted solely in their own interests, which actually made it harder for any kind of real, organized rebellion to appear.
Rebellion on RylothEdit
A rare example of organized resistance was that of Cham Syndulla's Free Ryloth movement. It was formed from the Twi'lek Resistance, whose members had resisted the occupation of the planet Ryloth by the Separatist Emir Wat Tambor during the Clone Wars. Over the years, the movement established hidden bases across the Ryloth system and executed raids against the Imperials.
The Berch Teller insurgencyEdit
- "We can either decide right now that it's hopeless and call it a day, or we can hold out for hope and do what we can."
- ―Berch Teller
Another example of rebel cell emerged one year after the end of the Clone Wars, when the Empire decided to severely punish the world of Antar 4 for its past ties with the Confederacy of Independent Systems. That murderous operation, spearheaded by Wilhuff Tarkin and known to the media as the Antar Atrocity, prompted the former Republic Intelligence agent Berch Teller into founding his own resistance cell. Those insurgents' most remarkable action occurred fours years later, when its members managed to steal the Carrion Spike, the personal starship of Wilhuff Tarkin. Using the hijacked ship, Teller and his crew set off on a campaign of destruction against various Imperial targets, with intelligence provided to them by an Imperial traitor, Vice Admiral Rancit of the Naval Intelligence Agency. After their informant was caught, Teller's insurgents launched an attack on an Imperial convoy transporting important parts for the Death Star project, but their plans were thwarted by Tarkin's timely intervention. While most of the insurgents were killed by the Empire, Teller managed to escape. He later resurfaced on Tarkin's home planet of Eriadu, where he fell into a trap. After finding him, Tarkin and his grand-uncle Jova left him to die in the Eriaduan wilderness.
The Organa-Tano networkEdit
- "I know nothing of a larger rebellion. And if I did, I'd rather give my life than tell you."
- ―Kanan Jarrus, to the Inquisitor
However, by the fourteenth year of Palpatine's reign, a number of rebel cells had formed, operating all across the galaxy and in reaction to growing Imperial oppression, especially in light of the Empire's continuing expansion throughout the Outer Rim. Those cells, which included the Lothal rebels led by the former Jedi Kanan Jarrus and Commander Jun Sato of the Phoenix Squadron, were part of a larger rebel network led by former Padawan Ahsoka Tano and Senator Bail Organa, who had already opposed Palpatine many years earlier. At that point, members of those cells were not supposed to know they were part of a larger movement, in case they were captured and interrogated. The cells were only provided with intelligence on a need-to-know basis by Ahsoka Tano, using the code name of "Fulcrum."
The network's existence was finally revealed to the Empire when Kanan Jarrus was captured and his rebels launched a mission to rescue him from an Imperial Star Destroyer over Mustafar. In order to save one of their cells, and the only other Jedi involved in the movement other than herself, Tano led a Rebel fleet to assist in their escape, and informed them that their protocol of secrecy had changed. In response to rumours of the rebel action over Mustafar, anti-Imperial unrest begun on several worlds, including Lothal. The Emperor sent his apprentice, Darth Vader, to deal with the issue.
Following the siege of Lothal, the Lothal rebels were forced to leave Lothal and Phoenix squadron was crippled when Vader destroyed their command ship. Despite the attack, the network was able to recruit retired Clone Captain Rex to their cause. The network were also able to acquire a B-wing starfighter prototype from Mon Calamari engineer Quarrie. The network also prevented members of the Inquisitorius from capturing several force-sensitive children.
The Galactic Civil WarEdit
By the nineteenth year of the Imperial period, a full-fledged resistance movement headed by Bail Organa and Mon Mothma, with the latter bearing the title of Chancellor, was established. Now in possession of a respectable starfleet that included T-65B X-wing starfighters and A-wing starfighters, the Alliance was able to fight the Empire on more equal terms. At the time, the Alliance was headquartered on the lush moon of Yavin 4, in an ancient stone structure known as the Great Temple of Massassi. Leia Organa, surrogate daughter of Bail Organa and crown princess of Alderaan, had succeeded her adopted father in the Imperial Senate, and was also a secret member of the Alliance. Prominent Alliance war leaders of the time included General Jan Dodonna and Admiral Gial Ackbar. Some of the Empire's Joint Chiefs, like General Cassio Tagge, realized the full threat of what they called "the Rebellion." Others, like Admiral Conan Antonio Motti, believed in the infallibility of the Empire's might.. The Imperials, in an attempt to avoid dissent and sympathy for the Rebellion amongst loyal Imperial citizens, ensured that, through the use of propaganda, they did not know how large of a threat the Alliance truly was, assuring them that it was merely an unorganized and vengeful terrorist organization.
Victory at YavinEdit
- "Thanks to your courage, we have delivered a telling blow to the Empire with the destruction of their Death Star. But our own casualties were not small."
- ―Leia Organa
A major blow to Palpatine's regime was struck when Princess Leia Organa managed to steal the blueprints of the Death Star, the Empire's planet-killing battle station, which had just been completed after nearly two decades of work. However, the princess's ship fell under Imperial attack over Tatooine. She was captured by Emperor Palpatine's right-hand-man, the dreaded Darth Vader, which prevented her from bringing the blueprints to her father back on Alderaan. She still managed to entrust the plans to the droids R2-D2 and C-3PO, who escaped the ship in an escape pod and landed on Tatooine below. After Imperial Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin ordered the destruction of Alderaan with the Death Star's superlaser, Leia Organa was rescued from the battle station's jail by a crew of unlikely heroes: Luke Skywalker, a farmboy from Tatooine turned Jedi apprentice, Han Solo, a Corellian smuggler, Chewbacca, Solo's Wookiee copilot, and the two droids. The group escaped the Death Star aboard Solo's starship, the Millennium Falcon, and headed for the Alliance headquarters on Yavin 4, where the plans of Empire's superweapon were analyzed.
Having traced the fleeing rebels, the Empire discovered the location of the Alliance base, and the Death Star closed in to Yavin 4. The Alliance then launched its assault against the battle station, with Princess Leia monitoring in the command center. Luke Skywalker joined the mission in his own way, piloting an X-wing under the call sign of Red Five. As the Empire readied to destroy Yavin 4 and the Alliance with a single blow of its superlaser, Han Solo unexpectedly saved Skywalker by blasting a group of Imperial TIE/LN starfighters that were giving chase. Skywalker managed to fire a proton torpedo into the Death Star's exhaust port, destroying the battle station by exploiting its only weakness.
In the shadow of Yavin, the Alliance had won its first major tactical victory, but at an enormous cost in lives. In addition to the Alliance pilots who died during the assault, at least millions of Alderaanians had perished with their planet, and Bail Organa was among them. After an award ceremony during which Princess Leia presented the heroes of the day with medals of valor, Alliance General Dodonna made it his priority to have Yavin 4 evacuated. Now that the Empire knew their location, they had to find a new base of operations as soon as possible. Darth Vader became obsessed with finding the young rebel who had destroyed the Death Star right under his nose. Unbeknownst to himself and the rebels at the time, he was in fact the biological father of both Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa.
Failure at HothEdit
- "Your Highness, we must take this last transport. It's our only hope."
"Send all troops in sector twelve to the south slope to protect the fighters!"
- ―C-3PO and Princess Leia Organa
Three years after the Battle of Yavin, the Alliance to Restore the Republic had established a new settlement, Echo Base, on the icy planet of Hoth. However, one of the many Imperial probe droids searching the galaxy ended up discovering the Rebels' presence. The Imperial Death Squadron, Darth Vader's personal armada, headed for Hoth with a contingent of ground troops, ready to crush the rebellion once and for all. However, due to a mistake by the Imperial admiral Kendel Ozzel, the Alliance forces were warned of the Empire's arrival. The Rebels had time to activate the deflector shield protecting Echo Base, rendering orbital bombardment impossible. As the Alliance prepared for evacuation, Imperial troops disembarked on the surface of Hoth, beyond the range of the energy shields. Once there, several legions of snowtroopers advanced on Echo Base. A squadron of All Terrain Armored Transports under the command of General Maximillian Veers was tasked with destroying the massive generators powering the Rebel base's shield.
Luke Skywalker, now a commander, led his Rogue Squadron of snowspeeders against General Veers' armored transports. By using a harpoon gun and tow cable, the Rebels managed to bring down one of the transports, but Skywalker's snowspeeder was shot down. Unlike his gunner Dak Ralter, the Rogue commander survived the accident. With the help of his lightsaber and a grenade, he still managed to destroy another walker. Despite the Rebels' best efforts to delay Veers' armored transports, the Imperial general successfully blew up the protective shield generator, allowing Darth Vader and his men to enter Echo Base. While the Rebel command personnel and material was loaded into transports and whisked away just in time, the unprepared Alliance soldiers engaged the Imperials in conventional warfare. Unable to reach a transport, Princess Leia Organa, Han Solo, and the droid C-3PO took their flight in the Millennium Falcon. The Alliance delayed the Imperial troops long enough to get its most important staff off planet, and its ground-based ion cannon temporarily disabled all ships of the Imperial Death Squadron, preventing them from attacking the escaping transports. All in all, the Empire still won a major victory on Hoth, as the Alliance was routed from its base once again and barely escaped Death Squadron's blockade.
Triumph at EndorEdit
- "The Emperor has made a critical error and the time for our attack has come."
- ―Mon Mothma
Six months after the Hoth debacle, the Alliance to Restore the Republic was determined to deal a fatal blow to Emperor Palpatine's tyranny. Having learned that the Empire had secretly begun construction on a second Death Star even more powerful than the first one, the Alliance fleet rendezvoused near Sullust to plan an attack. Thanks to its Bothan spies, the Alliance had learned that Palpatine himself was to oversee the final construction stages of the new battle station.
It was decided that a rebel strike team led by Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, Han Solo and Chewbacca would land on Endor in a stolen Lambda-class T-4a shuttle, with the mission to deactivate the Death Star's energy defense shield. Little did they know that they had fallen into a trap. When they reached the shield's bunker, the Imperial army was waiting for them. In orbit of Endor, the Alliance fleet was ambushed by a large Imperial armada that emerged from hyperspace. Unable to attack the Death Star until its shield was destroyed, the rebel fleet focused its attack on the Imperial Star Destroyers. Although its starfighters were able to maneuver easily around the Death Star, they were still vulnerable to the battle station's superlaser.
On Endor, the rebel strike team ended up allying with the native Ewoks, who used their knowledge of their homeworld's forests to take the Imperial army by surprise. The strike team were finally able to destroyed the shield generator, allowing their starfleet to attack the Empire's dreaded superweapon. The Alliance general Lando Calrissian managed to fly the Millennium Falcon into the Death Star's reactor core. He then detonated the battle station's power plant, which destroyed the Death Star completely.
Meanwhile aboard the station, before its destruction, a blow of an entirely different kind was struck against the Empire. A captive Luke Skywalker, now a Jedi in his own right, appealed to Vader's paternal love, convincing him to turn on his master. Vader—once again Anakin Skywalker—seized the Imperial head of state and hurled him down a shaft to his death, but at the cost of his own life. With the loss of both the Emperor and his right-hand man, Vader, the destruction of the Death Star itself, and significant losses inflicted on the Imperial fleet, the Imperial remnants were forced to withdraw. The Empire had suffered a decisive defeat, leaving the Rebels to celebrate in victory.
After the Battle of Endor, the Alliance was eventually reorganized into a New Republic. The new government, however, still had to deal with Imperial holdouts. One year after the destruction of the second Death Star, the two groups notably fought a major battle on the desert world of Jakku.
The Alliance to Restore the Republic was a military resistance movement, headed by the Alliance High Command and dedicated to upholding the ideals of the Old Republic. It frequently changed its base of operations, ranging from numerous worlds across the galaxy in order to avoid detection or regroup from an attack by its nemesis, the massive Galactic Empire. The Alliance Diplomatic Corps sought to maintain friendly relations and procure support from various worlds in the galaxy. Despite this, the Alliance had few worlds openly declare their support for the movement, while those few that did found their worlds cordoned behind Imperial blockades.
The Alliance was served by capable military leaders such as Admiral Gial Ackbar, and received intelligence updates through its own intelligence branch known as Alliance Intelligence and Signal Intelligence. It could also receive information through the Bothan spynet, and maintained the Alliance Fleet, along with the Rebel Alliance Starfighter Corps. Rebel troopers across the galaxy fought for an end to galactic Imperial rule in units such as the Sixty-First Mobile Infantry and Thirty-Second Infantry, while the Alliance Special Forces was composed of elite commandos of the trooper ranks.
Behind the scenesEdit
Dave Filoni mentioned that George Lucas saw the Rebellion as originating from the Jedi teaching guerrilla groups to fight the Separatists themselves, as depicted in the Onderon arc of The Clone Wars.
Notes and referencesEdit
- Rebel Alliance on Wikipedia