- "Back in the early days, before the Rebellion formally existed, a lot of guerrillas got their hands dirty doing things no one else wanted to do—or even think about. The Alliance would never have existed without them, Princess. Those men and women were my mentors—I've spent my entire career trying to live up to their example."
- ―Major Lokmarcha to Leia Organa
After the Clone Wars and before the Galactic Civil War, an early rebellion against the Galactic Empire was waged by a collection of rebel cells that ultimately formed the Alliance to Restore the Republic. These militant cells were covertly organized by Senator Bail Organa of Alderaan and quietly given political support in the Imperial Senate by such senators as Mon Mothma of Chandrila and Leia Organa of Alderaan. Major rebel cells included the Massassi group led by General Jan Dodonna, Phoenix Squadron led by Commander Jun Sato, the Spectres led by Captain Hera Syndulla, and the Partisans led by resistance fighter Saw Gerrera. They were often supported by agents known as Fulcrum, including Commander Ahsoka Tano and former Imperial Security Bureau Agent Kallus.
The early rebellion against the Empire originated in the last days of the Galactic Republic, when Senator Organa and other members of the Galactic Senate convened in secret to discuss ways to counter the executive power amassed by Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine. When the Clone Wars, a pretext for Palpatine to amass power, came to an end in 19 BBY, the Republic was transformed into the Galactic Empire and Organa began organizing armed resistance against the Imperial regime. By 4 BBY, many resistance cells began working together after they aided in the rescue of the captive Jedi Kanan Jarrus over Mustafar. The cells continued amassing strength, though they were dealt a devastating blow by Grand Admiral Thrawn during the battle of Atollon.
The cells, which joined together under the leader of Mon Mothma to form the Rebel Alliance, headquartered themselves on Yavin 4. From there, they continued their early operations against the Empire, but whether to declare open war remained a source of debate amongst the Alliance High Command. The question was settled in 0 BBY during the Battle of Scarif, when Sergeant Jyn Erso and Captain Cassian Andor led a team, Rogue One, to capture the plans to the Empire's planet-killing superweapon, the Death Star. The battle marked the outbreak of the Galactic Civil War, in which the Alliance ultimately triumphed over the Empire and formed the New Republic.
In 22 BBY, in response to the growing threat that the Confederacy of Independent Systems represented to the stability of the Galactic Republic, the Galactic Senate granted Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine emergency executive power to raise the Grand Army of the Republic and wage the Clone Wars against the Separatists. Palpatine, secretly a Sith Lord using the conflict as a pretext for galactic domination, amassed almost total-power during the three-year conflict. Numerous senators, including Bail Organa of Alderaan and Mon Mothma of Chandrila, were alarmed by the increasingly-dictatorial moves of the Supreme Chancellor and began meeting in secret to discuss how to counter centralized power. At the end of the war, in the name of peace and security, Palpatine declared himself Emperor and transformed the Republic into the Galactic Empire.
In the years after the Clone Wars, disconnected resistance movements began to crop up throughout the galaxy to combat the Empire. Berch Teller, a former Republic Intelligence captain and defected member of the Imperial Military, led a cell that stole the Carrion Spike, the personal starship of Moff Wilhuff Tarkin. Their actions targeted operations related to the secret construction of the Death Star, an Imperial superweapon capable of destroying entire planets, and were in response to the Empire's actions during the Antar Atrocity a few years earlier. Another resistance cell, the Free Ryloth movement, was led by General Cham Syndulla on Ryloth. The cell, focused only on liberating Ryloth, attempted to kill Emperor Palpatine and his apprentice, Darth Vader, by attacking the Star Destroyer Perilous. Neither the actions of Teller or Syndulla succeeded in achieving their goals, but they represented some of the first attempts to combat Imperial rule.
- "I want to take your recruits and find missions for them. I want to be the one who listens to what people need, who finds out what people can do and then helps them do it."
- ―Ahsoka Tano to Bail Organa
In the earliest days of the rebellion, Senator Organa worked with members of the Alderaan guard to identify resistance movements across the galaxy and find Jedi who might have survived the fall of the Jedi Order at the end of the war. In 18 BBY, Organa heard of an uprising on Raada in the Outer Rim Territories that was rumored to have been led by a Jedi. Organa discovered that the Jedi in question was Commander Ahsoka Tano, a former Padawan who left the Jedi Order during the war after she was falsely accused of bombing the Jedi Temple. Organa asked Tano to join his growing rebel movement, and she agreed on two conditions: that Organa help her discover the mysterious Imperial agents who were hunting Force-sensitive children, and that he help rescue her friends in the Raada resistance. Organa made good on his promise and sent his ship, the Tantive IV, and RZ-1 A-wing interceptors to evacuate her friends on Raada. Tano and the resistance members joined the rebellion, and Tano took on the role of finding missions for recruits. She became the leader of Organa's rebel intelligence and began operating under the codename "Fulcrum."
Various rebel cells joined Organa's rebellion over the years. Phoenix Squadron, led by Commander Jun Sato, had a fleet of its own, along with a number of A-wing starfighters. The Massassi group, led by General Jan Dodonna, also had a large fleet and operated out of the Great Temple of Massassi on Yavin 4. Saw Gerrera, a resistance fighter trained by Jedi such as Commander Tano during the Clone Wars, led the Partisans in a number of campaigns. The different cells had different ways of conducting themselves. Gerrera, for example, was more militant than other cells and was willing to take any action necessary in order to free the galaxy from the Empire. This put him at odds with leaders such as Organa and Mothma, and allowed members of the Empire to view rebel activities in a negative light. Agent Kallus of the Imperial Security Bureau recalled that one of his earliest missions was an attempt to pacify Onderon but he encountered brutal resistance from Gerrera and his rebels.
Prior to 4 BBY, rebel cells generally did not work together or even know of one another's existence. This protocol ensured that if any cell was compromised by the Empire, the identities and locations of other cells would not be put into jeopardy. Tano coordinated many of the activities and missions of several rebel cells under her Fulcrum codename, providing them with Imperial targets and supply opportunities. One early example of coordinated activities was a joint operation between the Commenor Underground and the Partisans, around 10 BBY.
Rebellion on LothalEdit
- "Why did you come here?"
"Because of you, and your apprentice. Many in this system and beyond have heard your message. You gave them hope in their darkest times. We didn't want that hope to die."
- ―Kanan Jarrus and Ahsoka Tano
By 5 BBY, a growing rebellion on the planet Lothal, a vital production center for the Empire's expansion in the Outer Rim, was led by Captain Hera Syndulla of the Ghost and her Jedi companion Kanan Jarrus. Together, they organized a crew that included the Mandalorian warrior Sabine Wren, Lasat soldier Garazeb Orrelios, and the astromech droid Chopper. The crew grew to include Ezra Bridger, a Force-sensitive youth whom Jarrus took on as his apprentice. Their actions came under increased Imperial scrutiny when they rescued Wookiee slaves from the spice mines of Kessel. They were pursued by Agent Kallus, and the actions of the Jedi drew the attention of the Grand Inquisitor as he hunted down surviving Jedi.
Organa's droids, astromech droid R2-D2 and protocol droid C-3PO, encountered the Ghost crew on Garel as the rebels stole illegal weapons from the Empire. Artoo monitored the activities of these rebels and reported back to Organa, who took an interest in the growing rebellion on Lothal. Captain Syndulla, who became aware of the protocols of the growing rebellion, began receiving missions from Fulcrum. This caused some tension within the Ghost ranks, as Wren questioned who Fulcrum was and wondered why they were taking orders from a mysterious stranger. Per rebel protocol, they remained unaware of the existence of a larger rebellion against the Empire.
The rebellion on Lothal became enough of a problem for the Empire that now-Grand Moff Tarkin, Governor of the Outer Rim, personally traveled to Lothal to oversee an operation aimed at eliminating the Ghost crew once and for all. Tarkin was particularly concerned that the presence of the Jedi could inspire the people of Lothal to put their faith in something other than the strength of the Empire. The rebels undertook an operation to infiltrate the Imperial Communications Center on Lothal and broadcast a message to the planet's citizens to bring the people hope. Tarkin and the Empire were ready for the rebel incursion and captured Jarrus, but the rebels were able to broadcast a message of hope and tell the people of Lothal that the rebels were fighting for the freedom of all the people.
The Ghost crew wanted to find a way to rescue Jarrus, but Tano ordered Syndulla to lay low. In defiance of Fulcrum and Syndulla, Bridger led the other rebels in discovering that Jarrus was being taken to Mustafar, a volcanic planet that Jarrus had once told Syndulla was a place where Jedi were taken to die. The rebels mounted a rescue mission, one in which Jarrus and Bridger faced off against the Grand Inquisitor aboard Tarkin's Star Destroyer, the Sovereign. Jarrus defeated the Grand Inquisitor, who fell to his death during their battle, and the rebels fled from the Sovereign. They were nearly killed before the timely arrival of Tano and Phoenix Squadron, who were inspired by the message the rebels sent to Lothal and surrounding star systems and decided to help rescue Jarrus. The Ghost crew finally met another cell and Tano face to face, and Tano told them that the protocol had changed: the cells were beginning to work together as a rebellion.
The loss at Mustafar, including the destruction of the Sovereign, was an embarrassing defeat for Grand Moff Tarkin. The Emperor dispatched Darth Vader to Lothal to quell the rebel activities, and Vader began working with Agent Kallus, the planetary government, and in consultation with Tarkin. Meanwhile, the Ghost crew joined Phoenix Squadron and the two cells began working together as one. One operation that the Ghost crew undertook as part of Phoenix Squadron was to rescue Minister Maketh Tua of Lothal, who feared for her life after she was unable to deal with the rebel insurgency. This, however, was a trap laid by Vader and Kallus during the Siege of Lothal; Tua was killed as a pawn, and Vader pursued the rebels across Lothal. Vader allowed them to flee in order to discover the location of Phoenix Squadron, and he single-handedly attacked the fleet using a TIE Advanced x1 starfighter. During the battle, in which Phoenix Squadron escaped despite losing its command ship, Vader discovered that Tano was still alive. This was the first encounter between Vader, who trained Tano as his Padawan when he was known as Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, and his former apprentice since the fall of the Republic. Vader and the Emperor both believed that they could use Tano to find other surviving Jedi.
With Lothal under siege, the Ghost crew decided that, for the time being, they would have to leave Lothal. Their activities had increased the Imperial occupation on the planet, and the Empire knew that Lothal was important enough to them that it could be used as bait to lure them and the planet's citizens into dangerous traps. The crew was unwilling to subject Lothal to that type of treatment.
In the wake of Vader's attack against their fleet, Phoenix Squadron set out to locate new bases for the rebel cause. Tano sent the Ghost crew to make contact with Clone Captain Rex, an old friend whom she spent years fighting alongside during the Clone Wars. The rebels traveled to the planet Seelos where they made contact with the former clone trooper, along with Clone Commanders Gregor and Wolffe. The Empire discovered their location and Agent Kallus led a mission to destroy the clones and the rebels, but they were able to work together to fend of the Imperial assault. In the battle's aftermath, Rex agreed to join Phoenix Squadron and help the rebels find a base and offer his tactical knowledge and experience. Using Rex's information, the rebels gained access to a list of abandoned Republic military bases and facilities. During a mission to salvage medical supplies from an abandoned Republic station, three of the Ghost rebels—Bridger, Wren, and Orrelios—were confronted by two Inquisitors, the Seventh Sister and the Fifth Brother, who were tasked by Darth Vader with destroying the Jedi and locating Tano's whereabouts. The rebels were able to escape, but the Inquisitors continued their search.
Notes and referencesEdit