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Ororo Transportation, a front company for the Tenloss Syndicate, had long operated the shipyard in Vergesso Asteroids. The Rebel Alliance had established a key base there some time after the Battle of Yavin. The Galactic Civil War had resulted in strange bedfellows, as some Rebel personnel had questioned working with a corporation that had ties to organized crime. However, the arrangement was mutually beneficial to both the Rebels and Tenloss, as the resource-strapped Alliance was fortunate to have such a facility at their disposal, while the presence of Rebel forces augmented the defenses of the syndicate's shipyard and discouraged reprisals from rival criminal organizations. Nebulon-B frigates regularly lurked among the asteroids. They often shut down all but the most essential systems, drifting among the planetoids so they could save consumables and attract even less attention, though it often took 45 minutes to get into a combat-ready stage.
Aeron and Ace Azzameen learned from friend and Rebel pilot Olin Garn that the Alliance base in the Vergesso Asteroids was critically short on supplies. The siblings teamed up to raid supplies from the Viraxo, a rival shipping family. During the raid, Black Sun Supa Fighters came to the assistance of the Viraxo Razor-class Starfighters. The Azzameen craft managed to escape to the Vergesso Asteroids, but were tracked by a couple of Supa Fighters. Though the fighters were destroyed, the Rebel outpost was compromised to the Black Sun organization. In an attempt to gain favor with Emperor Palpatine (and embarrass Darth Vader at the same time), Prince Xizor provided the location of the outpost in the Bajic sector, saying that a large number of Rebel vessels were currently undergoing repair at the facility. The Emperor tasked Vader with the responsibility of personally overseeing the shipyard's destruction, against Vader's own preference as he did not consider it necessary that he go along for the assault, believing any half-competent line officer could see it through to successful completion. He selected Admiral Okins to join him in command of the Executor for the expedition. This act served a double purpose for Xizor. Not only did it allow him to gain more favor in the eyes of Palpatine, but it would serve as a fitting punishment for the Tenloss Syndicate who had recently incurred the wrath of Black Sun.
Nearly a standard week after Xizor disclosed the location of the shipyard, the Imperials exited hyperspace at the base. Vader brought his flagship, Executor, Imperial II-class Star Destroyer Avenger and two Victory II-class Star Destroyers for battle. The Rebel shipyard was a giant asteroid housing hundreds of docked starships undergoing repair, less than a challenging operation. Before Okins could bring his task force to engage the shipyard, however, several Rebel capital ships emerged from behind the asteroid, and suddenly Okins was faced with a considerably greater opposition. The Rebels immediately deployed over a dozen starfighters to meet the Imperial task force, to the annoyance of Okins. He ordered the Executor's TIE operations officer to scramble their own fighters in response, not caring to waste the Executor's firepower on such insignificant targets. Still, the presence of Rebel fighters proved enticing to Vader, who chose to join the battle in his own custom TIE fighter, despite Okins' voiced reservations, leaving the destruction of the shipyard solely in Okins' hands. Aeron Azzameen, who recently arrived at the base, put out a distress call to her younger sibling Ace, who departed from the nearby Mon Calamari Star Cruiser Liberty aboard Otana.
Meanwhile, the attack continued on the base uninterrupted. Vader himself entered the battle in his personal fighter and easily destroyed seven enemy fighters. However, sensing none of the excitement he had experienced in his fight against Luke Skywalker at Bespin, he withdrew from the battle in disgust. In the meantime, with the defending Rebel fighters being overwhelmed by TIEs, the Star Destroyers easily dealt with the Rebel frigates. The Imperial Fleet then commenced its attack on the shipyard itself. As the battle neared its conclusion, Otana arrived, dodged the swarms of TIE/LN starfighters and other craft in the area, and docked with Vergesso Prime, Ace intent on rescuing his sister. Aeron eventually boarded Otana, which disembarked from the station shortly before its destruction and joined the other survivors in fleeing the area. As soon the assault concluded, the Executor immediately returned to Coruscant so that Vader could return to his domestic affairs. Although 65% of the station's personnel had escaped, very few Rebel fighters and warships survived, so this was a serious loss for the Alliance. It also dealt a heavy blow to the Tenloss Syndicate and taught them a lesson: never to cross Black Sun again.
Behind the scenesEdit
In a glaring contradiction of both the description of the battle from the Shadows of the Empire novel and the level depicting the battle in the video game Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance, the Shadows of the Empire Ertl minicomic depicts the Rebels' asteroid base as a verdant, inhabited planet, rather than an asteroid, which the Executor fires upon.
- Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance
- Shadows of the Empire novel (First appearance)
- Shadows of the Empire audio book (Indirect mention only)
- Shadows of the Empire junior novelization (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire Ertl minicomic
- Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi radio drama (First identified as Battle of the Bajic Shipyards)
- Return of the Jedi: The National Public Radio Dramatization
- Shadows of the Empire Planets Guide
- The Secrets of Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire trading cards (Card: The Emperor Insists) (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire trading cards (Card: Vader Destroys the Rebel Base)
- Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire trading cards (Card: Guri Does Xizor's Dirty Work) (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: The Art of the Brothers Hildebrandt
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 70 (XIZ3, The Rise of Prince Xizor and Black Sun)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 125 (VER1-2, Vergesso Asteroid Field)
- Anakin Skywalker: The Story of Darth Vader
- Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance: Prima's Official Strategy Guide
- The Essential Atlas
- The Essential Reader's Companion
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Shadows of the Empire
- ↑ Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance
- ↑ The New Essential Chronology
- ↑ Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance: Prima's Official Strategy Guide
- ↑ Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance: Prima's Official Strategy Guide states that 85% of base personnel survives the battle.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Shadows of the Empire