- "Good morning, Wedge. The rest of Rogue Squadron is still back at base, but I thought we could take an early morning run through Beggar's Canyon."
- ―Luke Skywalker, in a transmission to Wedge Antilles
The Ambush at Mos Eisley was conducted by the Galactic Empire against the Rebel Alliance over the Tatooine spaceport Mos Eisley. Six months after the destruction of the Death Star—an Imperial battle station—members of the elite Rebel starfighter group Rogue Squadron were taking an off-duty morning run through the infamous Beggar's Canyon outside of Mos Eisley. The Empire deployed detachments of Viper probe droids and TIE Bombers to Tatooine to bomb the spaceport and the surrounding areas to root out Luke Skywalker, a member of Rogue Squadron and the Rebel pilot responsible for the Death Star's destruction. The X-wings of the fighter squad provided support for the homesteads and native Jawas under Imperial fire. The team then made a run through Mos Eisley, shooting down the six TIE bombers before the city could be destroyed.
Ever since Rebel pilot Luke Skywalker became a thorn in its side by destroying the Death Star, the Galactic Empire kept an eye on his homeworld of Tatooine. Acting on a tip from an unsavory bounty hunter, the Empire dispatched probe droids and bombers to root out Skywalker's squadron by terrorizing civilians and searching for clues to Skywalker's whereabouts.
Cleanup of Imperial patrols
- "Mos Eisley is under attack; we need to assist!"
- ―Luke Skywalker, to his wingmates
Six months after the Battle of Yavin, the newly formed Alliance to Restore the Republic starfighter unit Rogue Squadron visited Mos Eisley on the planet Tatooine. Commander Luke Skywalker, the Rogue Leader, initially planned to simply patrol the outskirts of the spaceport. As three squadron members flew in an early morning run through the area, Wedge Antilles, one of the Rebel pilots, spotted several Viper probe droids opening fire on a number of homesteads. The pilots were caught off guard, and one member of the squadron was shot down near Jabba's Palace, headquarters of the gangster Jabba the Hutt, but the pilot survived the crash-landing. Rogue Squadron fanned out and destroyed most of the eighteen probe droids in the area. The squadron flew by two civilian T-16 skyhoppers in Beggar's Canyon.
As Skywalker neared the last of the homesteads, he veered off to the area around the Great Pit of Carkoon, site of the sarlacc—a giant, flesh-eating beast—and knocked out the 4-member stormtrooper and dewback-riding stormtrooper patrol there. The Rebel pilot then destroyed the last three probe droids, saving a nearby Jawa sandcrawler transport.
Bombing of Mos Eisley
After the probe droids were taken out, a six-fighter squadron of TIE Bombers began an attack on Mos Eisley, flying in a circular pattern to drop proton bombs on vital parts of the city. Skywalker ordered Rogue Squadron to assist, and they quickly flew overhead; the bombers were no match for Rogue Squadron's T-65 X-wing starfighters, and all the bombers were shot from the sky.
- "We did it! We saved Mos Eisley! Nice work, Rogue Squadron. We might make a name for ourselves after all…"
- ―Luke Skywalker, at the end of the mission
After the ambush force was destroyed, Skywalker thought that the newly formed Rogue Squadron would go on to make a name for itself. With the success of their mission, the Rogues were assigned to escort supplies on the planet Barkhesh shortly afterward.
Behind the scenes
The Ambush at Mos Eisley appears in the first mission in the 1998 video game Star Wars: Rogue Squadron. Due to the gamemechanics, it is possible to destroy Jabba's Palace and other civilian targets, although this is non-canon; if enough civilian targets are destroyed by the player's actions or lack thereof, the mission will end in failure. To achieve the gold medal on this mission, it is necessary to veer over to the side by the Great Pit of Carkoon and take out extra stormtroopers, although such an action is optional. The X-wing is the default craft for the mission.
The game's official guide suggests the players prioritize attacking the probe droids which target the civilian structures to keep a high "friendlies saved" score. After the droids are destroyed, the guide tells the player to activate the speed boost by closing the S-foils on the X-wing. Once the player reaches Mos Eisley, the guide suggests targeting the second group of bombers first, as it is closer and the first group targets the player's wingmen.
- Star Wars: Rogue Squadron (First appearance)