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In 14 BBY, former Galactic Republic Intelligence officer Berch Teller led a failed rebel campaign against the Galactic Empire. Teller and his rebel cell were secretly aided by Vice Admiral Dodd Rancit, who shared Teller's antipathy towards Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, who was in charge of the Empire's secret Death Star project. Teller and his cell stole Tarkin's personal starship Carrion Spike which they used to attack several Imperial facilities across the galaxy. Tarkin teamed up with Darth Vader to stop the insurgents, exposing Vice Admiral Rancit's collusion with Teller's cell. After exposing and executing Teller, Tarkin defeated the insurgents during the a battle near the Gulf of Tatooine. With the defeat of Teller's insurgents, Tarkin was promoted to Grand Moff and Governor of the Outer Rim Territories. Seeking retribution against Tarkin, Teller made a failed assassination attempt on the Grand Moff's life.

PreludeEdit

During the final year of the Clone Wars, Captain Berch Teller was a Republic Intelligence station chief stationed on the Gotal moon of Antar 4. He helped train and organize Gotal and Koorivar loyalist partisans who mounted an insurgency against the Separatist forces stationed on Antar 4. Following the establishment of the Galactic Empire, Imperial forces under Wilhuff Tarkin launched a violent purge known as the Antar Atrocity which saw the arrest and killings of many Koorivar and Gotal loyalists. Media coverage of the Antar Atrocity triggered widespread public outrage throughout the galaxy.[1]

In response to public outrage, Emperor Palpatine reassigned Tarkin to overseeing pacification operations in the Western Reaches. Rising to the position of Moff, Tarkin later became the commander of Desolation Station and Sentinel Base, the bases servicing the top-secret Death Star project. Tarkin replaced Vice Admiral Dodd Rancit, who was reassigned as Deputy Director to the Naval Intelligence Agency, a subdivision of Imperial Intelligence. Teller perceived his reassignment as a demotion and resented Tarkin's position in the Empire. [1]

Tarkin's central role in the Antar Atrocity sparked some of the earliest resistance against the Empire. Outraged by the brutality of the Antar Atrocity, Berch Teller formed a rebel cell. This cell's members included the outspoken dissident journalists Anora Fair and Hask Taff, the Gotal starship pilot Salikk, the Koorivar munitions and surveillance expert Cala, and the former Mon Calamari Knight Artoz, and the former Republic Intelligence contractor–turned information broker Knotts. While Teller was serving as head of security at Desolation Station, he encountered Rancit. Sharing a resentment for Tarkin, the two men decided to work together.[1]

In 14 BBY, Teller and his group embarked in an insurgent campaign against Tarkin. Their plan involved stealing the Moff's personal starship Carrion Spike, which was fitted with an advanced hyperdrive and stealth technology that allowed it to travel throughout the galaxy undetected. Teller's cell intended to use the Carrion Spike, a symbol of Imperial power, against the Empire by targeting Imperial facilities along the Perlemian Trade Route and disrupting convoys transporting material to the Death Star project. Seeking to advance his own position in the Imperial hierarchy at Tarkin's expense, Rancit used his intelligence and underworld connections to supply the dissidents with proscribed armaments, communications jammers, and confiscated Separatist materiel including droid starfighters and a modified Providence-class dreadnought; which was assembled by the Tenloss and Crymorah syndicates at shipyards in the Bajic sector.[1]

HistoryEdit

Baiting TarkinEdit

Equipped with Separatist weaponry and communications equipment, the dissidents tried to use a fake holotransmission claiming that Rampart Station was under attack in an attempt to lure Moff Tarkin and his forces away from Sentinel Base on the desolate Sentinel moon. Sensing a trap, Tarkin took his Venator-class Star Destroyer Electrum on a microjump to the edge of the Sentinel moon's system. The dissidents' Providence-class dreadnought exited hyperspace only to be ambushed by the Electrum and its starfighter escorts. Though the former Separatist carrier managed to escape into hyperspace, the Imperials managed to capture several former Separatist droid starfighters.[1]

While attending a meeting of the Ruling Council on Coruscant, Moff Tarkin and Darth Vader were assigned by Darth Sidious to examine a captured communications cache on the former Separatist world of Murkhana. The Imperial Security Bureau's Deputy Director Harus Ison believed that the communications cache was evidence of a potential plot to incapacitate the Imperial HoloNet. The communications cache had purportedly been found by the Koorivar ISB asset Bracchia and his ISB case officer Stellan. In truth, Vice Admiral Rancit had deliberately leaked intelligence about the communications cache to Military Intelligence, who passed them on to the ISB. This was part of Rancit's plot to lure Moff Tarkin to Murkhana so that the Teller's cell could steal the Carrion Spike.[1]

Playing into the conspirators' hands, Tarkin and Lord Vader traveled aboard the Carrion Spike to Murkhana. While the two Imperials were inspecting the cache and questioning Bracchia, Teller's cell used a false holotransmission to lure Sergeant Crest and his stormtroopers away from the corvette. The dissidents then fled offworld. Pursuing the shipjackers, Tarkin and Lord Vader forcibly commandeered the Sugi crime lord Faazah's personal starship Parsec Predator. Thought the dissidents disabled the ship's communications and slave system, Tarkin and Vader were able to track the stolen ship using a paralight tracker and the Sith Lord's meditation chamber. Tarkin suspected the theft of his starship was linked to the attack on Sentinel Base and the Murkhana communications cache.[1]

Hunt for the Carrion SpikeEdit

Pursuing the Carrion Spike, Tarkin and Vader followed the ship into the Fial system. With the Imperials hot on their trail, the insurgents did a jump to Galidraan. Using the Carrion Spike's stealth system, Teller's cell attacked the Imperial station orbiting Galidraan III, damaging the station and destroying several V-wing and Aggressive ReConnaissance-170 starfighters. Vader and Tarkin caught up with the Carrion Spike and engaged in a dogfight but their ship Parsec Predator was disabled. The insurgents also jettisoned Vader's meditation chamber and destroyed the system's hyperspace buoy. Despite the insurgents' escape, the Imperials managed to inflict significant damage on the stolen Carrion Spike.[1]

Continuing their "campaign of destruction", Berch Teller's cell attacked TaggeCo's mining facilities on Lucazec. To inspire resistance against the Empire, Anora Fair and Hask Taff transmitted holovids of the group's raids. In response to the Carrion Spike's attacks, the Empire deployed the Imperial Navy to protect key Imperial installations and facilities along the Perliemnian Trade Route and the Hydian Way. Vader and Tarkin regrouped aboard the Star Destroyer Liberator where the Sith Lord Vader received his personal Eta-2 Actis-class light interceptor from the Empire. Studying the shipjackers' travel patterns, Tarkin speculating they were working with the warship that attacked Sentinel Base. Due to the Carrion Spike's unique fuel requirements, Tarkin speculated that the ship would travel to either Gromas in the Perkell sector or Phindar in the Mandalore sector.[1]

However, Vice-Admiral Rancit had warned Teller and his cell to stay away from Gromas. Teller used a fake Imperial uniform, rank plaque insignia, and command cap disk to pose as the Imperial Commander Abel LaSal to obtain the fuel cells from a tanker docking above Phindar. Before they could finish refueling, Tarkin and Lord Vader arrived aboard the Imperial escort carrier Goliath with a squadron of V-wing starfighters. Unaware of Teller's identity, the tanker dispatched a squadron of ARC-170 starfighters to intercept Vader's fighters. Before Tarkin could fire proton torpedoes at the stolen freighter, the Carrion Spike used its cloaking system to disappear from the scanners before jumping into hyperspace. The escort carrier's missiles instead hit the oil tanker and the ARC-170s. Vader, who had issued the command, took responsibility for the resulting collateral damage.[1]

Despite evading Tarkin and Vader, Anora was unable to transmit more holovids since the Empire had suspended HoloNet service to most of the Mandalore sector. However, Teller reassured her that they just needed to reach one to trigger a snowball effect. Meanwhile, Phindar authorities determined that the tanker had been destroyed by an explosive device concealed inside fuel cell. As a result, Tarkin realized that the dissidents had intended to draw them into a trap. After receiving intelligence that the Carrion Spike was heading to the Expansion Region, Rancit convinced the Emperor to deploy interdictor cruisers from the Deep Core Security Zone to safeguard Imperial installations on Lantillies, Cartao, Ice Station Beta on Anteevy, Taanab, and Garos.[1]

Uncovering a conspiracyEdit

After uncovering an Imperial paralight tracker aboard the Carrion Spike, Teller transmitted fake coordinates to make it appear that they were traveling to the Obroa-skai system in the Inner Rim. To throw the Imperials off-scent, Teller got the broker Knotts to sell a shipping job to the crew of the YT-1000 freighter Reticent. In response, Tarkin assembled various Imperial warships including the Star Destroyer Executrix and three Interdictor vessels—a Detainer CC-2200, a CC-7700 frigate, and a prototype Immobilizer 418 cruiser—to interdict the stolen ship. Instead, the Immobilizer's gravity well projectors malfunctioned, yanking out the Reticent and several civilian transports including the MC80 star cruiser Stellar Vista. The Stellar Vista collided with the Detainer CC-2200, killing 1,100 civilians. While the Imperial frigates rendered assistance to the civilian ship, Tarkin ordered the interdictors to negate the field so that they could use tractor beams to grab the lifeboats.[1]

The incident in the Obroa-skai system generated considerable media interest due to the presence of civilian holovids and media teams. The damaged Stellar Vista and the Detainer CC-2200 were towed away for repairs while the Immobilizer was returned to the Corellian Engineering Corporation for reassessment. Despite failing to capture the Carrion Spike, the Imperials managed to destroy the Lux-400 yacht Truant, which was wanted for smuggling. In addition, Imperial forces also seized the Reticent and interrogated its crew including its Koorivar captain. Under interrogation, the captain admitted buying the freighter from Knotts, who also instructed him to travel to the Obroa-skai system. After questioning the captain's Sy Myrthian navigator, Vader learnt that the Sugi smuggler Faazah had obtained a supply of custom fuel cells prior to Tarkin and Vader's visit to Murkhana. Tarkin also investigated the dissidents and learnt that several members including Teller, Anora, Hask, and Knotts had been present on Antar 4 during the Antar Atrocity. He also determined that Teller had bluffed his way into obtaining the Phindar fuel cells by posing as Commander LaSal. [1]

Meanwhile, Darth Sidious investigated the source of the Murkhana communications cache. After interrogating both Bracchia and his ISB handler Stellan, the Emperor learned that someone Military Intelligence had relayed the information to the ISB. Further investigations revealed that the dissidents had been supplied with confiscated warship modules, Separatist weapons, communications equipment, and intelligence on Imperial facilities from Imperial assets with high clearance. Having thrown the Empire off scent, Teller's cell attacked an Imperial facility an Nouane, a client state system in the Inner Rim. However, the facility was heavily fortified due to Vice-Admiral Rancit's precautions and the Carrion Spike only managed to inflict minimal damage before fleeing into hyperspace.[1]

Following the failed Nouane attack, Teller and his fellow dissidents determined that Vice-Admiral Rancit had betrayed them. They fed him with false intelligence that the Carrion Spike was going to attack the Imperial Academy on Carida in the Inner Rim. The dissidents escaped onto another ship and set the Carrion Spike on autopilot to Carida. To cover his tracks, Rancit ordered the Secutor-class Star Destroyer Conquest to destroy the Carrion Spike. However, Vader had discovered Teller's collusion with Teller's dissidents and confronted him aboard the Conquest. After asserting control over his crew, the Sith Lord ordered that Rancit be placed in an escape pod. As a final insult, Rancit was ordered to transmit the order to destroy the pod.[1]

Last stand at the Gulf of TatooineEdit

Having recovered the Carrion Spike, Tarkin decided to put an end to Berch Teller and his dissidents. Teller and his cell returned to their modified Providence-class dreadnought, which lay in wait behind a barren moon in a star system Coreward of the Gulf of Tatooine. Continuing their campaign against Moff Tarkin, the dissidents decided to ambush a convoy of starships transporting materials to the Death Star project. This convoy was scheduled to revert to realspace at the edge of the system before traveling by sublight to the Imperial marshaling station at Pii. From there, the supply ships would be escorted to Sentinel Base and finally Geonosis. Before his death, Rancit relocated the convoy's escorts to safeguard Imperial installations along the Perlemian.[1]

By the time Tarkin arrived aboard the Executrix, Teller's ships and droid starfighters had already ambushed the convoy. Despite the cargo ships and transports drawing together to allow the escort gunboats and frigates to fashion a defensive circle, the insurgents' nimble droid starfighters were able to inflict significant damage. The dissidents' forces included a EF76 Nebulon-B escort frigate, multiple droid tri-fighters, and four starfighters. While the Executrix's starfighters took on the enemy fighters, the Executrix opened fire on the Nebulon-B frigate, destroying it. With the battle turning in the Empire's favor, Teller escaped on a Z-95 Headhunter with the help of his comrades, who stayed behind.[1]

The Executrix then disabled the enemy carrier's shields and master control computer. Imperial reinforcements arrived in the form of the Star Destroyers Compliant and Enforcer. Stormtroopers then boarded the ship and captured the dissidents including Anora Fair, Hask Taff, Knoff, and Artoz.[1]

AftermathEdit

The rise of TarkinEdit

Following the defeat of Berch Teller's cell, the Empire spent the next three weeks interrogating the captured dissidents. Though the ISB advocated public executions, the Emperor instead had them secretly executed to deny them martyrdom. While the details of Rancit's death were kept secret, his death sent a clear warning to the Imperial intelligence community that no rank or position was a guarantee of privilege or exemption from punishment. In addition, the Empire also punished several warehouse workers and salvagers who had supplied materiel to Teller's cell. Several scientists stationed at Desolation Station who violated their security oaths were also punished. The Empire also targeted the members of the Tenloss and Crymorah syndicates who had outfitted the dissidents' warship.[1]

The Emperor also instituted a reorganization of the Imperial bureaucracy. Naval Intelligence was folded back into Imperial Intelligence with Colonel Wullf Yularen replacing the late Rancit as deputy director. Harus Ison was reassigned to the Ubiqtorate while Admiral Nils Tenant was promoted to Joint Chief. Other Ruling Council members including Conan Antonio Motti and Tagge were also promoted. In return for his services, the Emperor promoted Tarkin to the newly-created position of Grand Moff and appointed him Governor of the entire Outer Rim Territories. Tarkin was also regarded as a hero by the media and developed the Tarkin Doctrine to justify the Empire's military expansion into the galaxy. As Governor of the Outer Rim, Tarkin's purview included the secret Death Star project. To maintain the project's secrecy, Tarkin tightened security restrictions and labor movements at Desolation Station, Geonosis, Sentinel Base, and the various marshaling stations. Tarkin also increased military patrols in the surrounding space and issued orders for pirates and smugglers to be eliminated on sight.[1]

Imperial forces later tracked down Teller's Headhunter starfighter to Christophsis but found no sign of the future. Teller later traveled to Tarkin's homeworld of Eriadu and attempted to assassinate the Grand Moff on the grounds of a wildlife reserve called Carrion Plateau. However, he fell into a pit trap. Tarkin left his nemesis to climb out of the pit before nightfall.[1]

LegacyEdit

Despite the defeat of Berch Teller's insurgency[1], resistance against the Empire would see the emergence of several rebel cells throughout the galaxy including Phoenix Cell.[4]

Some time after Teller's campaign, the early Rebel Alliance saw Teller as a prime example of how counter-propaganda would be useful, and that if it weren't for him, the galaxy would not be aware of the Antar Atrocity.[5] In 2 BBY, these rebel cells under the leadership of former Senator Mon Mothma declared publically the Alliance to Restore the Republic.[6] Over the next several years, rebel operatives including the Spectres and Saw Gerrera's Partisans uncovered evidence of the Empire's secret Death Star project including the Sterilization of Geonosis[7] and the shipment of kyber crystals.[8]

In 0 BBY, the discovery of the Death Star's existence led the Alliance to mount a daring heist to steal the Death Star plans from the Imperial complex on Scarif[3]; marking the start of the Galactic Civil War.[9] Despite sustaining heavy casualties, the Alliance managed to escape with the plans aboard Princess Leia Organa's starship Tantive IV.[3] The Emperor's dissolution of the Imperial Senate and Grand Moff Tarkin's use of the Death Star to destroy Alderaan set the stage for the events of the Battle of Yavin. During that climatic battle, Tarkin was killed when the rebel pilot Luke Skywalker fired a proton torpedo down the Death Star's thermal exhaust port, destroying the superweapon.[10]

Behind the scenesEdit

The Berch Teller campaign serves as the main conflict of James Luceno's 2014 novel Tarkin, the second book in a new line of Canon adult novels published by Del Rey.

AppearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

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