After the completion of the first Death Star the Independence was carrying members of the Alliance High Command, including Mon Mothma, to the Rebel base on Yavin 4 to coordinate that Alliance's defense against the major Imperial offensive that was expected to begin. While near Bestine IV it came under attack from the Imperial-class Star Destroyer Immortal.
The Imperial attack consisted of TIE Bombers to attack the cruiser while Assault Gunboats and TIE Interceptors engaged the defending X-wings and R-22s. Despite splitting up and attacking from three different directions two of the Imperial bomber groups were quickly destroyed. The third made it through and began firing proton torpedoes at the Independence. The defending starfighters were caught up fighting the Gunboats but eventually broke away and were able to help the Independence's gunners destroy the last bombers. The Independence escaped to hyperspace with its shields down but with only minimal hull damage.
By the time the Independence arrived at Yavin 4 during the night shift work had already begun to repair the damage, which was mostly confined to the shield coils and some electronics.
After escaping from Imperial custody Leia Organa had arrived with the Death Star plans which indicated that their best hope of defeating it lay in their starfighters, rather than their larger ships. However the Death Star was in pursuit and the Independence's pilots and starfighters were transferred to the Rebel base to assist in the forthcoming battle.