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Organa: "Have you located the source of the distress beacon?"
Dodonna: "It appears to be an Imperial escape pod, your Highness. One lifeform on board."
Leia Organa and Jan Dodonna[src]

An emergency beacon or distress beacon was a type of homing beacon that was designed for use in emergency situations to summon or locate aid. Alliance operatives used them when they were in trouble, signaling other members of the Alliance during times of distress. Sometime before the Battle of Endor, when Princess Leia Organa was preparing for a diplomatic mission to the planet of Yinchorr, Luke Skywalker forced Leia Organa to take an emergency beacon with her. The gesture proved to be life-saving, as Organa was attacked and captured by Imperials led by Governor Marcellin Wessel. Due to the emergency beacon, Organa was able to be rescued with the Millennium Falcon.