Hadder Ponta was the younger child of Akshaya Ponta, a cargo pilot on the planet Skuhl. Hadder's father died when he was a small child. Shortly after this, his sister, Tanith, started co-piloting Akshaya's freighter, the Ponta One. After a long time flying the freighter, Tanith became ill with the incurable disease Bloodburn. To keep her illness under control, she took large amounts of hadeira serum. The addictive substance eventually sucked Tanith in. When Hadder was seven, his sister died of a serum overdose.
After Tanith's death, Akshaya became paranoid of Hadder getting the disease. Convinced it ran in families, and since it usually befell young pilots, Akshaya banned her son from leaving Skuhl's atmosphere, making flying the one career he was forbidden to pursue.Unfortunately, flying had been Hadder's dream since he had been very young. 
Meeting Jyn ErsoEdit
- "I can't take myself away from you"
- ―Hadder Ponta, telling Jyn Erso that he would give up the opportunity to fly for her
One night, when Hadder was around sixteen, Akshaya returned from a cargo run and brought a girl with her: Jyn Erso. Newly abandoned by Saw Gerrera, Jyn was adrift, with nowhere to go. Akshaya took the girl in, letting her stay in Tanith's old room.
From the start, Hadder had taken an interest in Jyn, almost fascinated by her strength and unique eyes. During the time Jyn stayed with him, the two began to develop feelings for each other. On a secret flight in his mother's planet hopper, Hadder told Jyn of his interest in flying for a rebel group. Jyn, not wanting to be involved with rebels again, declined his offer to join him. Not wanting to leave her, even for a chance to fly, Hadder told her he would rather stay with her. During this exchange, the two admitted their feelings for each other, starting their relationship.
When Akshaya returned from her cargo run, she told the two of her fears of the Empire's oppression. Her belief that the Empire ignored them was shaken, and the family decided to flee Skuhl for the Five Points system. But, the night before they were to leave, stormtroopers invaded their house, looking for Jyn. The group split up, escaping just before the house was burned.
As the family left Skuhl, an Imperial-rebel battle was unfolding. Caught in the crossfire, the Ponta One was shot down over Skuhl, killing Hadder and Akshaya. Jyn later felt responsible for her new family's deaths, blaming herself for not allowing Hadder to join the rebel group that left Skuhl.
- Rebel Rising (First appearance)