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.
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. Imperial forces under the command of Darth Vader soon captured Princess Leia and the crew of the Tantive IV.
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.
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.
- "Lock S-foils in attack position."
- ―Red Leader
An analysis of the plans identified a weakness in the battle station, placed there by unwilling engineer Galen Erso: 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.
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.
With the Death Star approaching, Y-wings from Gold Squadron and X-wings from Red Squadron and Green Squadron 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. The deployment of Imperial TIE fighters, including Lieutenant Iden Versio, devastated the Rebel attackers, destroying them far faster and more efficiently than the station's weapon emplacements had been able to.
During the battle, Rebels in the temple, including pilots who were left behind watched the battle from the command center, along with Fighter Boss Nera Kase. She tallied the Rebel starfighter losses as they occurred during the battle.
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. Meanwhile, Darth Vader himself decided to lead a squadron of TIE fighters to destroy the remaining Rebel fighters.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- "Great shot, kid! That was one in a million!"
- ―Han Solo to Luke Skywalker
Senator Mothma, having heard of the victory, permanently discarded her contingency plan.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Behind the scenesEdit
- LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures – "A Hero Discovered" (Appears in hologram)
- LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales Episodes I-III
- LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales – "Mission to Mos Eisley" (Appears in flashback(s))
- Star Wars Blips – "Fan Droids" (Appears in hologram)
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 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 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 1.40 1.41 1.42 Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- ↑ "One Thousand Levels Down"—Star Wars Insider 151
- ↑ Princess Leia, Part I
- ↑ Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- ↑ Aftermath: Life Debt
- ↑ Darth Vader 1: Vader
- ↑ Ultimate Star Wars
- ↑ Star Wars: On the Front Lines
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 "Grounded"—From a Certain Point of View
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 "Sparks"—From a Certain Point of View
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 Lost Stars
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 16.2 Battlefront II: Inferno Squad
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 "Contingency Plan"—From a Certain Point of View
- ↑ "Duty Roster"—From a Certain Point of View
- ↑ Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
- ↑ Star Wars 4: Skywalker Strikes, Part IV
- ↑ Bloodline
- ↑ Star Wars