The Battle of Jakku served as the decisive last stand of the Galactic Empire and final large-scale battle of the Galactic Civil War over one year after the Battle of Endor. The battle was fought between the New Republic and the depleted forces of the Imperial Military on and over the Inner Rim desert planet of Jakku.
- "Here we have the desert world of Jakku—worthless on its own but soon to live forever in history as the place where the Empire defeated the Rebellion once and for all."
- ―Randd, during the planning of the Battle of Jakku
During the Battle of Endor, the Galactic Empire was drastically weakened when the Alliance to Restore the Republic managed to destroy its dreaded battle station, the second Death Star. Before it was destroyed, Luke Skywalker, a Jedi Knight, turned his father, the Sith Lord Darth Vader, away from the dark side of the Force. Vader, once again the Jedi Anakin Skywalker, threw Darth Sidious, his former Sith Master and Galactic Emperor of the New Order, down the second Death Star's reactor core, where he died. The Rebels celebrated their victory on the Endor moon, believing the fight to be won. Nevertheless the Rebellion, which had been reorganized into a government known as the New Republic, would still be engaged in bloody combat against the remaining forces of the Empire in the year following the station's destruction.
Following the Liberation of Kashyyyk, Emperor in effect and Counselor to the Empire Gallius Rax brought the last Super Star Destroyer under Imperial control, the Ravager, as well as most of, if not the entirety of, the remaining Imperial fleet to Jakku.
- "Our victory on Endor was just the beginning. Now over the barren world of Jakku, we stand against the Galactic Empire."
- ―New Republic soldier
The battle of Jakku occurred one year and four days after the battle of Endor between the forces of the New Republic and the Galactic Empire. With the rebels aiming to capture a critical sector in the Galactic Civil War and receiving intelligence of an Imperial weapons facility on the planet, the Empire readily dismissed the notion of a rebel victory and sent a large portion of its now depleted Navy to combat the rebels over control of the planet in a battle that could change the course of the war. Due to the Empire's martial defeats across the galaxy, along with severe depletion of its military reserves, the barely settled planet would serve as a rallying point for the Order's shattered forces. With the Empire's command of many of the galaxy's major shipyards, Republic forces planned a bold move to capture the Imperial-class Star Destroyer Inflictor, sending Thane Kyrell, Kendy Idele and a number of former Imperials to board the ship and disable its hyperdrive and self-destruct mechanism, due to their knowledge of Star Destroyer layouts.
The battle would soon begin as New Republic warships initiated an intense assault. The battle, while tactically in the Empire's advantage from the beginning soon turned into a rout, with New Republic soldiers assaulting the concentrated Imperial positions from multiple sides at once both on the ground and in space. With the Imperials no longer having the martial advantage it once had in the years before Endor, flawed tactics as much as leadership gnawed away at an Imperial victory. With Imperial Captain Ciena Ree of the Inflictor about to contact Grand Moff Randd to suggest splitting up the fleet to combat the Rebel star cruisers from multiple angles, as well as sending twenty-gun raiders into the atmosphere to support the TIE fighters in orbit, her ship was suddenly boarded by New Republic soldiers. With no choice, the commander of the vessel attempted to activate the ship's self-destruct, only to discover that the boarders had disabled it. Seeing no other option, as well as seeing a way to leave the Empire she disliked while keeping her oath, Ree ordered her crew to evacuate and then scuttled the ship by crashing the Star Destroyer onto the surface of Jakku, sending shockwaves across the desert world. However before the crash, Thane Kyrell stunned and managed to carry her to an escape pod before the Inflictor crashed, bringing the Captain and miraculously his former lover into Republic custody.
After the Star Destroyer crashed on the surface, a stormtrooper named Corlac shot his corporal, feeling that there was no more reason to fight anymore. His fellow squadmate Terex questioned this, but after they realized that the Empire was losing the battle, they both quit. They buried their armor to keep the Rebels from hunting them down and walked off into the sunset.
With the battle turning against the Empire, Imperial ships began entering the planet's upper atmosphere in order to tighten their cordon, unleashing a fanatical defense to prevent the New Republic from capturing its secret research facility below. In a last-ditch effort, crippled Imperial ships began utilizing their tractor beams to drag Republic vessels into the sandy wastes. Upon impact with the surface, nearly the entire populations of the falling ships would perish. The battle soon ended when word of a peace treaty, the Galactic Concordance was signed. Nonetheless, the retreating Imperials ultimately managed to destroy their research base and weapons facility before jumping into the Unknown Regions. The battle had ended in a decisive defeat for the Galactic Empire.
- "In the month since the Battle of Jakku, the Empire has attempted no further large-scale offensives. Sources report all Imperial vessels within the Core and Inner Rim staying within the boundaries defined by the treaty. A few prominent members of the Provisional Senate have speculated that the New Republic's war with the remnants of the Empire has finally come to an end and that a final surrender may be imminent. However, in her address today, the chancellor warned that all planets should remain on high alert, and that the New Republic Starfleet should be kept on a war footing for the foreseeable future."
- ―A New Republic news holo
With the battle ending with a victory for the Republic soon after the signing of the Galactic Concordance, Captain Ciena Ree wondered whether the Empire's plans for making a stand at Jakku were betrayed by an admiral or Grand Moff in a power play, as well as believing that outdated Imperial battle tactics played a part in the Empire's defeat. With the old strategy calling for a concerted, simultaneous effort by all ships engaged in combat and controlled by a central command, the lack of martial resources and effective leadership played a key role in the Empire's surrender. Rebel attacks on Imperial flanks also proved fatal and contributed to heavy Imperial losses.
Over a month following the battle, the Empire did not attempt to instigate any other large-scale offensives with the New Republic. The exhausted Empire would be bound by the punitive treaty, forcing it to order all Imperial vessels located in the Core and Inner Rim to remain within pre-determined boundaries, as well as cede the Imperial capital of Coruscant over to the new government. Harsh war reparations and severe restrictions on its military capabilities effectively turned the fractured Empire into a rump state. With the treaty signed, a few prominent members of the reestablished Galactic Senate believed that the New Republic's war with the Empire was nearing its end and that the Empire's total capitulation was imminent.
Wreckage and conspiracy theories
In the decades after the battle, Jakku's desert landscape was still littered with wreckage from the battle in an area known as the Graveyard of Giants, with the fallen Executor-class Star Dreadnought Ravager and Star Cruisers of both sides littering the landscape. Despite most ships having crashed in the Graveyard, wrecked fighters, warships and miscellaneous debris could be found in locales such as Kelvin Ravine, Carbon Ridge, the Goazon Badlands and other points across the entire world. Survivors of the battle who ejected from a fighter or came down in an escape pod often wandered the desert in search of inhabited settlements. With Jakku's nearly non-existent population at the time, many died of exposure wandering the Goazon, or starved to death in caves, becoming carrion for ripper-raptors. As a result, the planet became littered with bodies, and the bones of fallen soldiers still in uniform strapped to ejector seats or stuck under wreckage littered locales from Feressee's Point to the Spike. The moving sands of the Sinking Fields often exposed crashed ships for a short time before burying them once more. Lifeforms such the iron-beaked carrion birds known as steelpeckers would break down metals in the crashed starships, while transplanted creatures and parasites from the battle would stubbornly find a place in the desert ecology.
After the establishment of Niima Outpost by Niima the Hutt, an entire economy would be established based on the foraging of valuable technology in the Graveyard, with local junk boss Unkar Plutt controlling a monopoly over the business from his base at Niima Outpost following the Hutt's death at the hands of a bounty hunter. As a result, many stories would circulate over the origins of the wreckage and the battle that was fought, with many local residents falsely claiming to have been on the planet when the ships fell. Most Imperial ships were noted by locals to have suffered considerable battle damage, while some Republic ships did not. To some, this gave further credence to the tractor beam theory of how some of the ships crashed on the surface. The result of washing table gossip, one theory as to why the Empire put up such a fervent defense was to protect a secret research base at Carbon Ridge. This theory was supported by the presence of wide-eyed, bearded old men known as dead-enders twenty-nine years after the battle, with dead-enders throwing rocks and babbling strings of numbers while chasing scavengers away. Some believed that the old men were actually former Imperials guarding their secret base owing to them wearing scraps of old Imperial armor. Others such as the scavenger Rey, believed that an Imperial warship came down on the Carbon Ridge instead of crashing into the Graveyard, with the surviving officers sending out stormtroopers to secure the crashsite while they waited for a rescue, only to have a giant rockslide bury the ship, leaving the stormtroopers there guarding nothing. It was a known fact to locals that Unkar Plutt became irritated when mentioning Carbon Ridge owing to him having sent a failed expeditionary force of six thugs to the Ridge, only to have four of them return with brittle stormtrooper armor, having found nothing other than abandoned caves. As a result, treasure hunters generally left the caves alone.
The second theory for the stalwart Imperial defense resolved around the rebuttal of the notion that the Imperial base was at Carbon Ridge, but rather that it was underneath the Sinking fields and was a storehouse filled with treasure looted from ancient civilizations and hidden by order of the Emperor. The third theory was that the Emperor maintained a hidden throne room on the planet, and had planned to explore and conquer the rest of the galaxy from this secret facility.
Decades later, the battle would be taught as one of the last major stands of the Empire within the New Republic educational system. Additionally, an Imperial artifact collector would name himself after the battle, going under the pseudonym 'Avenger of Jakku'.
Despite most inhabitants on Jakku either living in the sacred villages of isolationist religious worshippers such as at Tuanul or Niima Outpost, some folks such as Rey, a female human scavenger, scavenged through the old battlefront with her speeder bike and maintained the destroyed AT-AT Hellhound Two as her home.
Decades later, an abandoned Republic corvette carrying secret information coveted by both the Imperials and New Republic during the battle was discovered. It would become the focus of a group of scavengers to retrieve this information.
Twenty-nine years after the battle, the Millennium Falcon piloted by Rey and a deserting First Order Stormtrooper known as Finn would fight against several First Order TIE fighters over the wreckage.
Behind the scenes
The Battle of Jakku made its first appearance in the novel Lost Stars, but is also seen in Star Wars Battlefront as a free downloadable level released on December 8, 2015, two weeks before the premiere of Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens. Anyone who pre-ordered the game received the DLC one week early on December 1, 2015. The space portion of the battle would also appear in Hyperspace Mountain, a temporary overlay of Disneyland's Space Mountain attraction that opened on November 16, 2015 as part of the Season of the Force event. The attraction storyline puts guests into the role of a recon team sent to investigate the Imperial presence on Jakku, which escalates into the beginnings of the battle.
- Aftermath: Life Debt (Indirect mention only)
- Lost Stars (First appearance)
- Aftermath: Empire's End
- Blade Squadron: Jakku
- Hyperspace Mountain
- Star Wars Battlefront
- Bloodline (Mentioned only)
- The Phantom Limb (Mentioned only)
- Poe Dameron 1: Black Squadron, Part I (Indirect mention only)
- Poe Dameron 8: The Gathering Storm, Part I (Appears in flashback(s))
- Poe Dameron 9: The Gathering Storm, Part II (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens (Wreckage only)
- The Force Awakens, Part II (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens Beginner Game
- "Launch Pad"—Star Wars Insider 158 (First mentioned)
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Incredible Cross-Sections
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary
- Star Wars: Rey's Survival Guide
- Star Wars: Complete Locations
- Star Wars Propaganda: A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- Entertainment Weekly's Ultimate Guide to Rogue One
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 Lost Stars
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Bloodline
- ↑ Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 4.21 4.22 Aftermath: Empire's End
- ↑ 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 5.23 5.24 5.25 5.26 5.27 5.28 5.29 5.30 5.31 5.32 5.33 5.34 5.35 5.36 5.37 5.38 5.39 5.40 Star Wars Battlefront: Battle of Jakku
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Aftermath: Life Debt
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Star Wars: The Force Awakens Beginner Game
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Star Wars: Complete Locations
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Poe Dameron 8: The Gathering Storm, Part I
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 Star Wars: Rey's Survival Guide
- ↑ Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
- ↑ Talking Season of the Force with WDI's Brent Strong