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"This will be a day long remembered. It has seen the end of Kenobi; it will soon see the end of the rebellion."
Darth Vader to Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin before the battle[src]

The Battle of Yavin, also known as the Battle of the Death Star, was a major battle of the Galactic Civil War that led to the destruction of the first Death Star. It was a crippling blow to the Empire and one of the Rebellion's first major victories.


"My father built a fuse in the middle of your machine, and I just told the whole galaxy how to light it."
Jyn Erso to Orson Callan Krennic[src]

During the Battle of Scarif, Jyn Erso managed to steal detailed plans and design specifications for the Imperial battle station known as the Death Star and transmit them to the Rebel Alliance fleet above; these plans soon made their way to Princess Leia.[17] Imperial forces under the command of Darth Vader soon captured Princess Leia and the crew of the Tantive IV.[1]

Princess Leia was taken prisoner aboard the Death Star by Darth Vader. The Princess was rescued from captivity by an unlikely alliance of the smuggler Han Solo, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, a young farmboy from Tatooine named Luke Skywalker and a Wookiee named Chewbacca. The group, in possession of the Death Star plans, fled to the Rebel base on Yavin 4—closely pursued by the battle station.[1]

Before Organa arrived, Senator Mothma was evacuated aboard a shuttle, as General Dodonna considered her the core of the rebellion. During her time away, she composed a contingency plan: surrender to Emperor Palpatine.[18]

The battleEdit

"Lock S-foils in attack position."
―Red Leader[src]

An analysis of the plans identified a weakness in the battle station, placed there by unwilling engineer Galen Erso:[17] a small thermal exhaust port leading to the main reactor which would allow access to a point that could cause a chain reaction that would destroy the battle station.[1]

General Jan Dodonna briefed Rebel pilots on the plan. The Death Star's defenses were designed for a direct, large-scale assault. By using small, one-man fighters, the Rebels would slip through the Death Star's main defenses, maneuver down a narrow trench leading to the exhaust port, and insert proton torpedoes through the exhaust port.[1]

Yavin dogfight

Dogfight between X-Wings and TIE fighters over the Death Star surface

With the Death Star approaching, Y-wings from Gold Squadron and X-wings from Red Squadron and Green Squadron[14] were dispatched to carry out the attack plan. A total of 30 ships were deployed in the assault on the Death Star: 8 Y-wings as part of Gold Squadron and 22 X-wings, some part of Red Squadron.[13] The deployment of Imperial TIE fighters, including Lieutenant Iden Versio,[16] devastated the Rebel attackers, destroying them far faster and more efficiently than the station's weapon emplacements had been able to.[1]

During the battle, Rebels in the temple, including pilots who were left behind watched the battle from the command center,[19] along with Fighter Boss Nera Kase. She tallied the Rebel starfighter losses as they occurred during the battle.[13]

Some time into the battle, Imperial officer Jude Edivon aboard the Death Star identified the threat of the Rebels' attack strategy, and attempted to warn her superiors of the danger. However, Grand Moff Tarkin ignored the warning and refused to evacuate.[15] Meanwhile, Darth Vader himself decided to lead a squadron of TIE fighters to destroy the remaining Rebel fighters.[1]

The first attack run was performed by a trio of Y-wings from Gold Squadron. Led by Jon "Dutch" Vander, the three Y-Wings were shot down by Darth Vader. A second trench run was performed by a trio of X-wings from Red Squadron led by Garven Dreis. Dreis was able to fire off a shot at the exhaust port, but his proton torpedoes missed their mark. Before being shot down by Darth Vader, Dreis ordered another attack run.[1]

Following the final command of Red Leader, Luke Skywalker led the final attempt with Wedge Antilles and his old friend, Biggs Darklighter, as wingmen. Rushing down the trench at full throttle, they found themselves being tailed by Darth Vader and his fighters.[1]

Vader personally damaged Antilles' fighter and destroyed Darklighter's X-wing, but had difficulty destroying Skywalker. To Vader's surprise, one of his wingmen was shot down beside him. Han Solo, believed to have abandoned the Rebels prior to the assault, unexpectedly returned to assist Skywalker in his most desperate moment.[1]


The destruction of the Death Star

Momentarily distracted by the intervention, Vader's remaining wingman attempted to protect Vader but collided with his ship, both spiralling himself into the side of the trench and knocking Vader away from the Death Star, allowing Skywalker to fire the shot that destroyed the Death Star. The torpedoes shot along the trench and down the shaft, as the two surviving X-Wings, the lone surviving Y-Wing and the aging freighter made for Yavin 4. On the Overbridge, unaware of his impending doom, Tarkin continued to examine the battle as the technicians counted down the moments until firing commenced. Mere seconds before the superlaser could obliterate the moon, the torpedoes struck the reactor and the mammoth station exploded into a million pieces, killing all aboard instantly and saving Yavin 4.[1]


"Great shot, kid! That was one in a million!"
―Han Solo to Luke Skywalker[src]

Skywalker, Solo, and the surviving Rebel fighters returned to Yavin, where they held a celebration ceremony and awarded the pair with medals for their achievement in saving the Rebellion.[1]

Senator Mothma, having heard of the victory, permanently discarded her contingency plan.[18]


The Death Star's debris field

Darth Vader, one of the few Imperial survivors of the battle, was recovered in his damaged TIE Advanced x1 by Imperial pilots Ciena Ree and Berisse Sai.[15]

Iden Versio, who was outside of the Death Star's explosion, managed to pilot her damaged TIE Fighter to Yavin IV, where she ejected before it crashed into the jungle. There, she patched her wounds and stole a transport from the Rebel Base during the festivities.[16]

Thane Kyrell and the other Imperials stationed at the abandoned Rebel base on Dantooine during the battle were cut off from communication with Coruscant after the Death Star was destroyed. Unconfirmed rumors spread through the ranks that the new weapon was gone. Early on, these rumors were dismissed as an Imperial trap to lure the Rebels out of hiding.[15]

The destruction of the Death Star caused chaos within the Imperial ranks, leading to deliberate oversights on internal investigations and the rapid promotion of many young officers and lieutenants such as Ciena Ree to replace the higher-ranked officers killed on the Death Star.[15]

Eventually, the Rebels were forced to leave the site of their victory, fleeing the Empire once again.[20]

To capitalize on the Empire's weakness following the destruction of the Death Star, the Rebels began to conduct dozens of raids against Imperial targets to weaken the now-vulnerable Empire. In addition to attacks carried out on the shipyards of Kuat and a supply base on Imdaar, a Rebel team composed of Leia Organa, Han Solo and Luke Skywalker assaulted and destroyed the Empire's largest armament factory on Cymoon 1, severely undermining Imperial military production.[21]

Six years before the destruction of the Hosnian system, an unofficial political faction in the New Republic's Galactic Senate known to admire the Galactic Empire's rule, the Centrists, questioned the official New Republic historical accounts of the Battle of Yavin and the Galactic Civil War. They believed that the Death Star was destroyed by an Imperial traitor and not by Luke Skywalker and the Rebel Alliance.[22]

Behind the scenesEdit

In a Korean webcomic released in 2015 and written and drawn by Hong Jac Ga, the Battle of Yavin is often referred to as the Miracle of Yavin.[23]


Non-canon appearancesEdit


Notes and referencesEdit

Galactic Civil War
(0 BBY5 ABY)
Galactic timeline

Previous: Early rebellion against the Galactic Empire · Jedi Purge · Jedha insurgency

Concurrent: Campaigns of Saw Gerrera's Partisans · Ryloth insurgency

Next: Cold war

Battles of the Galactic Civil War
0 BBY Scarif · Tatooine (I) · Death Star · Yavin
0 ABY Taanab · Yavin 4 · Alderaan survivors · Cyrkon · Llanic
Rodia · Fex · Denon · Pasher · Omereth · Giju · Devaron · Tibrin · Cymoon 1 · Tatooine (II) · Monsua Nebula · Nar Shaddaa · Vrogas Vas · Coruscant (I) · Sunspot Prison · Ghost Moon · Harbinger · Tureen VII · Skorii-Lei (II) · Ocean planet · Horox III · Jedha · Crait
1 ABY Mid Rim Retreat (Haidoral Prime · Coyerti · Chonsetta system
Redhurne system)
3 ABY Rebel flotillla · Hoth (I) · Cloud City (I) · Cloud City (II)
Operation Ringbreaker (Mardona III · Obumubo · Najan-Rovi · Nakadia · Naator · Xagobah · Kuliquo belt) · Inyusu Tor
4 ABY Operation Yellow Moon (Basteel · Sesid · Jaresh · Shieldmaiden)
Invincible Faith · Tatooine (III) · Hudalla · Endor (I)
Coruscant civil war (Monument Plaza) · Endor (II)
Cawa City · Operation: Cinder (Fondor (I) · Vardos · Naboo (I)) · Tayron
Iron Blockade (Bespin· Anoat (I) · The Crypt · Mataou · Hoth (II) · Anoat (II)) · Malastare · Akiva (I) · Naalol · Geonosis · Uyter · Sevarcos · Akiva (II)
5 ABY Vetine · Takodana · Hyborean Moon · Vorlag · Wild Space
Nag Ubdur (Govneh Ridge · Binjai-Tin) · Arkanis · Kuat · Kashyyyk
Chandrila · Chinook Station · Sullust · Naboo (II) · Fondor (II) · Jakku
Other Blacktar Cyst · Chargona · Crucival · Imdaar · Kuat shipyards
Related topics and articles
Galactic Empire · Hutt Clan · Jedi · Rebel Alliance · Sith
New Republic · Death Star · Death Star II
Imperial Senate · The Disaster · Royal Award Ceremony · Funeral of Anakin Skywalker
Liberation Day · Contingency · Imperial-Republic peace talks · Galactic Concordance

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