|Present for battles/events|
The Independence was a MC80 Home One type Star Cruiser that, under the command of Admiral Gial Ackbar, acted as the Rebel Alliance Fleet's flagship in the early years of the Galactic Civil War. Originally constructed as an exploration ship, the Independence joined the Alliance to Restore the Republic after the Galactic Empire subjugated the Mon Calamari homeworld. It acted as a staging ground for several hit and fade attacks against the Galactic Empire and saw action several times against Imperial forces, including the Alliance victory at the Battle of Turkana. During this time it also oversaw the training of several promising Alliance recruits.
The Independence was replaced as Ackbar's flagship by Home One following the evacuation of Hoth in 3 ABY, but continued to serve an important role and acted as communications control ship for the Alliance Fleet at the Battle of Endor. Six months later it participated in the Battle of Brentaal IV. Almost twenty years later, it would again see action, fighting the Yuuzhan Vong for the New Republic.
- "The Independence was almost like a small city, with various zones and support services roughly located in four quadrants of the ship."
- ―Keyan Farlander
Like other Mon Calamari Star Cruisers, the Independence was unique. Originally constructed as exploration vessels, the ships' military-grade deflector shields and ability to carry starfighter squadrons saw them become the Mon Calamari's main defensive force. The Independence's handcrafted outer shell was formed of layers of flattened ribbon-like structural beams, with no right-angles to be found. The elongated hemispheres on the hull took on an organic appearance from a distance. A series of airlocks and hangars were located around the ship, including a large shuttle hangar towards the rear of the ship, near the engine housings. The Independence saw its share of combat and this took a toll on the vessel, leaving streaks of blackened scorch marks on the hull.
Long well-lit corridors ran throughout the ship, with main corridors wide enough to accommodate five people, lined by iris-like doors and sometimes intersected by smaller, tributary hallways. Hallways, like the design of the hull were not straight but curved left and right along their length.
The ship was split into four quadrants, each containing various zones and support services—the bow quadrant, for example, was where most planning and navigation operations took place. Several large concourses around the ship were devoted to supporting the crew. The aft quadrant contained Lucky Lower 13, originally a ballroom which, by the Galactic Civil War, served as a meeting place for many of the crew in the nearby engineering and administrative departments.
One of the lower decks contained the Quarren section which had lower lighting levels than the upper decks, suiting the Quarren inhabitants who were used to the dark depths of the Mon Calamari seas. Crew quarters were often simple—small rooms with a desk, chair, a multi-species toilet, and a cot which came out of the wall at the touch of a button.
The ship's starfighter pilots, choosing to be as close to their ships as possible, made use of a section of the ship aft of amidships. The facilities in this section included a simulation room for training purposes and several briefing rooms for mission planning. The pilots spent so much time in their ready room that they converted it into a lounge. The large room was fitted with holo decks, tables and food dispensers. When the pilots wanted something more elaborate than the snacks provided by the machines, they were able to get food sent over by the kitchen staff rather than going to the mess hall. A makeshift bar had been set up in the corner of the lounge which the senior officers overlooked. The pilots also had access to a holo film room where they could review flight recorder footage from previous missions.
Although primarily used as a warship, the Independence had a variety of facilities to assist with the administration of the Rebellion. Alliance Chief of State Mon Mothma had an office on board and there were several lecture halls located on the ship.
In addition to the mess halls used by the crew, there was also an executive dining room for senior personnel, which had the appearance of something planet-side with fabric-covered tables and fine crockery. The food, too, was above the level enjoyed by most of the crew, with meals prepared individually rather than in large vats.
The Independence also had a Med Deck where doctors and medical droids would treat any injuries sustained by the crew, often with the use of one of the ship's bacta tanks. Some of the ship's medical droids, such as M4, were capable of conducting psychological evaluations to assess if crew members were fit for duty.
Expanding the AllianceEdit
The Independence was one of many Star Cruisers originally constructed by the Mon Calamari as both exploration vessels and to defend their homeworld, Mon Calamari. After the rise of the Galactic Empire, the Calamari system was subjugated by Imperial forces and the Mon Calamari people were enslaved. The Independence was one of only a handful of Mon Calamari vessels to escape the occupation and join the Alliance to Restore the Republic, serving as a starfighter depot and mobile command ship. During the early days of the Galactic Civil War, the Independence became the flagship of the Alliance Fleet, under the command of Admiral Gial Ackbar, and was one of the first ships in the fleet to carry the T-65 X-wing starfighters. In the months leading up to the Battle of Yavin, the ship was one of several Rebel capital ships orbiting the planet Turkana when they were discovered by an Imperial patrol consisting of several Star Destroyers. The Imperials moved to intercept and launched their TIE squadrons. Ackbar responded quickly by launching the new starfighters, catching the Imperial forces by surprise and helping the Rebels to ensure a victory.
Around this time, the Rebel Alliance was attempting to draw more support to its cause. The Independence played a major role in this initiative by carrying Mon Mothma to meet with resistance movements on planets throughout the Galactic Empire in an attempt to persuade them to join the Alliance. Security on these diplomatic missions was tight. On one such trip to Agamar in the Lahara sector, while Mon Mothma delivered her "A Call to Reason" speech to members of the resistance on the planet, the Independence remained in orbit, deploying four X-wings and four Y-wings, and keeping watch for signs of Imperial activity. Mon Mothma's visit paid off quickly—the Independence had arrived with a skeleton crew of 1,230 and, despite leaving some advisers behind to assist local efforts, left orbit with 1233 on board, having acquired several new recruits.
During this time the vessel also played host to meetings between senior Alliance personnel, including Mon Mothma, Admiral Ackbar, General Jan Dodonna and General Crix Madine. One such meeting occurred in orbit over Mon Calamari upon the ship's return from Agamar.
Operation Strike FearEdit
During this phase of the Alliance, the fleet participated exclusively in hit and fade attacks, for which Independence acted as a staging ground. The Independence launched several operations against the Empire in an attempt to slow down Operation Strike Fear. Its pilots assisted in the evacuation of Brigia and oversaw the protection of diplomatic negotiations between the Alliance and the Sullustans. When a shortage of astromech droids threatened the Alliance's starfighter operations, the Independence launched an operation to steal some R2 units from the Empire.
The Independence later launched missions to capture an experimental warhead and an Imperial shuttle which was later used to deliver the warhead to the Imperial-class Star Destroyer Invincible. The destruction of the Invincible was instrumental in ending Operation Strike Fear.
With the end of Operation Strike Fear, the crew of the Independence were confident about their chances against the Empire. However, news soon reached them that the Empire was developing a new weapon, which posed an even greater threat to the Rebellion. The Alliance launched a campaign to discover the nature of this threat.
Over a series of operations the Alliance was gradually able to discover more about the Imperial weapon. The Independence played a major role in this by launching a mission to capture some Imperial communications satellites which were later deployed near outpost AX-235 in the Cron Drift. The satellites eventually intercepted schematics for the new Imperial weapon, the Death Star.
Due to the importance of the information, the Alliance dispatched Biggs Darklighter in an X-wing to retrieve it. However, after leaving AX-235, Darklighter's X-wing broke down and he came under attack by Imperial forces. The Independence sent three R-22 Spearheads to protect him until a rescue team could arrive and repair his ship. After escaping the attack he delivered the plans to the Independence.
The plans were later delivered to Leia Organa on her CR90 corvette, the Tantive IV. From here Leia was due to transfer to the Mon Calamari Star Cruiser Liberty but an Imperial attack prevented the transfer and the Independence had to send starfighters to assist in Leia's escape. However, shortly after, she was finally captured by the Empire near Tatooine.
At around the same time the Independence launched the Alliance's first direct starfighter assault on an Imperial capital ship. After the Imperial-class Star Destroyer Intrepid became stranded the Independence launched missions to destroy a convoy delivering a replacement hyperdrive and to eliminate its escort. In-keeping with the Alliance's hit and fade strategy the final assault to destroy the Intrepid was conducted by the Independence's starfighters without the cruiser's intervention.
With the loss of the Death Star plans the Alliance focused its efforts on delaying the completion of the battlestation by attacking Imperial infrastructure and learning all they could about it by capturing senior Imperial officers and members of the design team. The Independence oversaw a plan devised by General Dodonna, launching starfighters to destroy the Imperial supply base near Kalla VII. The Battle of Kalla VII was a big success for the Alliance, resulting in the Imperial EF76 Nebulon-B escort frigate Priam becoming stranded in the system and subsequently being captured.
After the completion of the first Death Star the Independence was carrying members of the Alliance High Command, including Mon Mothma, to the Rebel base on Yavin 4 to coordinate that Alliance's defense against the major Imperial offensive that was expected to begin. While in the Bestine system it came under attack from the Imperial-class Star Destroyer Immortal. All available fighters were scrambled to defend the ship.
The Imperial attack consisted of TIE Bombers to attack the cruiser while Assault Gunboats and TIE Interceptors engaged the defending X-wings and R-22s. Despite splitting up and attacking from three different directions two of the Imperial bomber groups were quickly destroyed. The third made it through and began firing proton torpedoes at the Independence. The defending starfighters were caught up fighting the Gunboats but eventually broke away and were able to help the Independence's gunners destroy the last bombers. The Independence escaped to hyperspace with its shields down but with only minimal hull damage. However two R-22 Spearheads were lost in the battle.
By the time the Independence arrived at Yavin during the night shift work had already begun to repair the damage, which was mostly confined to the shield coils and some electronics. After escaping from Imperial custody Leia had arrived with the Death Star plans which indicated that their best hope of defeating it lay in their starfighters, rather than their larger ships. However the Death Star was in pursuit. To assist in the forthcoming battle the Independence's pilots and starfighters were transferred to the Rebel base. Several would participate in the Battle of Yavin, as the Rebels won a major victory by destroying the Death Star.
After the destruction of the Death Star the Alliance began to move away from its previous reliance on starfighters to a fleet-first strategy developed by Ackbar. The Independence continued to serve as the Alliance's flagship and its pilots were involved in several more missions including covering the Evacuation of Yavin as well as the cruiser Maximus and the frigate Anvil when they were attacked by Imperial forces during the retreat. Shortly thereafter, a memorial service for Jan Dodonna was held aboard the Independence to honor the general's apparent death during the evacuation. Other missions launched from the Independence led to the destruction of the Imperial frigate Red Wind and the capture of an Imperial corvette, later renamed the Ram's Head and used to ram an array of Star Destroyers in a shipyard.
When the Mon Calamari drove the Empire from their world, Ackbar resigned his position with the Rebel Alliance and left the Independence to return to his homeworld and secure his people's full support for the Rebellion. He later returned his flag to the Independence after the Mon Calamari became full members of the Alliance. During his absence, Ackbar had continued to oversee Project Shantipole, the secret development of the Slayn & Korpil B-wing starfighter, and the Independence was one of several ships in the Alliance fleet to take delivery of the new fighters. They went on to be used in several missions, including the destruction of the Imperial-class Star Destroyer Relentless.
When the Alliance was attempting to persuade the Habassa to join the Rebellion the Independence launched missions to rescue Habassan prisoners from the Empire and to help a Habassan convoy under Imperial attack. The operations succeeded in persuading the Habassa to join the Rebellion and the Independence was chosen as the location for the formal declaration of their support. Security for the arrival of the Habassan envoy was kept tight with three R-22s from Red Squadron requested by the Habassa to provide protection.
Shortly after the R-22s rendezvoused with the Habassan transport Bardictol the Imperial frigates Havok and Riptide came out of hyperspace and flanked the Independence. Two CR90 corvettes from Birkby came to assist in the fight against the frigates and the R-22s were able to hold off the Imperial TIEs and Assault Gunboats until the Bardictol reached the Independence and the cruiser safely escaped into hyperspace.
After the Rebels were forced to abandon their base on Hoth the Mon Calamari Star Cruiser Home One became Ackbar's flagship and the Alliance's traveling headquarters. The Independence, however, continued to be an important part of the fleet.
When the Empire began working on a second Death Star the Alliance was able to capture an Imperial computer containing data on the project which was taken to the Bothan colony on Kothlis to be decrypted. When they were later forced to evacuate, the corvette Razor was scheduled to rendezvous with the Independence to transfer the computer. Due to the importance of the computer's data, Admiral Ackbar was on board the Independence to see it to its final destination. Following the capture and destruction of the Razor, the computer found its way onto the Dreadnaught-class heavy cruiser Mercury which took it to the rendezvous point.
The transfer was interrupted by the arrival of the Executor-class Star Dreadnought Executor which quickly began firing on both ships and launched TIE Bombers to assist in their destruction. A group of X-wings sent from the Liberty quickly moved to intercept and were soon joined by RZ-1 A-wing interceptors launched by the Independence. The Rebel fighters were able to hold off the TIEs until the transfer was complete and both the Independence and the Mercury escaped to hyperspace.
Around the same time, the Nami pirate Ali Tarrak was able to acquire a prototype TIE/D Defender and, after the Nami began manufacturing the starfighters, she entered negotiations to supply them to the Rebel Alliance. With the negotiations complete, the Independence, accompanied by the Strike-class medium cruisers Lonsigar 1 and Lonsigar 2, traveled to Tarrak's Deep Space Manufacturing Facility. However, they came out of hyperspace to find the facility under attack from the Star Destroyer Grey Wolf, commanded by Admiral Thrawn. A Missile Boat flown by Maarek Stele attacked the Independence, though it managed to escape. At some point the vessel also survived an attack by the Star Destroyer Merciless.
Mustering the fleetEdit
- "Gold Group reporting in, Admiral. Sorry we're a little late."
"We've been expecting you, Gold Group."
- ―Olin Garn and Ackbar after Gold Group arrive to assist the Independence
With the threat of the second Death Star revealed, the Alliance began to assemble their fleet near Sullust in preparation for a major attack on the battlestation. The Independence, again under the command of Admiral Ackbar, headed towards the rendezvous leading a group comprising the CR90 corvette Saki, the EF76 Nebulon-B escort frigate Redemption, the Corellian gunship Chandi and the bulk cruiser Urjani. With the Empire searching for the location of the Rebel fleet, the threat of an attack was high and the Independence's group encountered a number of Imperial patrols on the way.
For the final leg of the journey the Independence was to rendezvous with an A-wing group from the Liberty, led by Olin Garn, which would escort it the rest of the way. However, the escort was delayed after assisting the Defiance's group make its final jump to hyperspace and, by the time they arrived, the Independence's group had come under attack from the Star Destroyers Immortal, Protector and Vanguard.
While the A-wings moved to clear the area of the enemy TIEs, particularly the TIE Bombers which were launching torpedoes towards the Independence, Ackbar ordered B-wings to launch and counterattack the Star Destroyers. The Rebel fighters were able to hold the Imperials back long enough for the Independence to escape to hyperspace, after first ensuring that the rest of the group was safely away.
Battle of EndorEdit
With the Independence and the Defiance having safely arrived at the rallying point the Alliance was ready to begin its attack on the Death Star. The stolen computer revealed that the Death Star was being constructed in orbit of Endor. Furthermore, the Emperor himself was overseeing the final stages of construction. While incomplete it would be possible for a small ship to fly inside the superstructure and destroy the station's reactor. Although this ruled the Independence out, it, along with the rest of the fleet, would move to engage any defending Imperial ships. Ackbar would command from Home One while the Independence acted as the Alliance's fleet communications control center.
When the fleet emerged from hyperspace they discovered a large Imperial fleet waiting for their arrival. Furthermore, the Death Star's primary weapon was fully operational. The fleet was forced to confront the Imperial Star Destroyers at close range to avoid the Death Star's firepower but the Independence was able to survive the fighting until the Death Star eventually succumbed to the Rebel attack. Following the battle, the Independence took on some of the surviving pilots from the Liberty, which had been destroyed by the Death Star, including Ace Azzameen.
Service to the New RepublicEdit
- "Rogues, back to the Independence. Now!"
- ―Rogue Squadron are ordered to break off their attack on Vuultin
During the months that followed the Battle of Endor the Alliance evolved into the New Republic and looked to continue their momentum by scouting out Imperial locations in search of suitable targets. After Rogue Squadron scouted Brentaal IV in the Bormea sector, the new Imperial leader Sate Pestage vowed to defend the world at all costs forcing the Alliance to move quickly against the world. Consequently, six months after Endor, the Independence saw action again as it participated in the Battle of Brentaal IV.
After arriving at Brentaal IV, Admiral Ackbar, commanding the Republic forces from aboard the Independence, ordered Rogue Squadron and Aggressor Wing to attack the starfighter defenses resulting in the quick capture of the planet's moon. However, the arrival of Baron Soontir Fel's 181st Imperial Fighter Group reinforced the Imperial defenses. When fighting resumed the 181st inflicted heavy losses and Rogue Squadron were ordered to break off their attack on Vuultin and return to the Independence. However, their feint had succeeded in causing Admiral Isoto to withdraw Fel's forces from Oradin which subsequently fell to the Republic. With their forces on the ground the Republic forces soon secured the planet and the capture of Fel.
Little is known of the Independence's actions during the early years of the New Republic as the New Republic Defense Fleet looked to modernize its forces. However, the ship would see action during the Yuuzhan Vong War. As part of the New Republic's response to the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, the Independence was assigned as flagship of a small task force charged with locating and destroying stray Yuuzhan Vong patrols. To assist in this mission the Independence was assigned two squadrons of X-wings. During the course of its patrol the Independence's task force engaged a small Yuuzhan Vong force, consisting of a Yorik-vec assault cruiser and three squadrons of coralskippers, near Mon Calamari.
Commanders and crewEdit
When fully staffed the Independence's crew numbered in excess of 5,000. The crew was drawn from several species from across the galaxy. Joining the many Mon Calamari and Quarren on board were representatives of a number of species including Humans and Sullustans. The crew worked in shifts, with time synchronized with the light and dark cycles of the ship's most recent planetary call.
The most senior officer on the Independence during the early Galactic Civil War was Admiral Ackbar, commander of the Alliance's Fleet Command. Other members of the crew included the navigator, Lieutenant Commander Chiithii'n and Resinn, who led the prosecution of the Hurrim leader Golov Nakhym after his capture by Alliance forces. The crew was divided into several departments including Operations, Communications, Logistics, Sector Command and Intelligence, with each responsible for just part of the ship's operation.
The ship's complement of starfighters were manned by pilots from Red Squadron, Blue Squadron and Gold Squadron. Starfighter Command maintained a large presence on board and General Dodonna was frequently on the Independence. Among the senior Starfighter Command personnel serving on the Independence were the tactical training officer, Commander Wex "TIE-Die" Dafid, the mission planner, Commander S'man, and the debriefing officer, Lieutenant Commander Lagrane. These senior officers would frequently attend meeting with the senior pilots to plan for upcoming missions.
The ship was often used as a first assignment for top prospects among newly recruited officers and served as a training ground for Alliance starfighter pilots. Among the new recruits trained on the Independence were; from Agamar, Keyan Farlander, Sunnar Jan-lo, 'Ndranth Poussan and Breth Gart, from Bestine IV; Namrhe, and from Devaron; Grizz Frix.
Behind the scenesEdit
The Independence appeared in Star Wars: X-wing as the Rebel flagship, a position held by Home One in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. The designers also used imagery from the films as a basis for cut-scenes in the game, giving the Independence the same appearance as Home One. This led to some debate as to whether they were the same ship. In the Q&A section on StarWars.com, it was confirmed that the vessels were two different ships sharing the same design. A promotional image of Home One was also used in Star Wars Customizable Card Game: Death Star II Limited, where both ships have unique cards, to portray Independence as well.
Star Wars: X-wing uses the main concourse on the Independence to allow the player to select which game mode they want, with each door representing a different option. When the player selects a campaign, they are shown transferring to the Defiance from which the missions launch. However, X-wing: The Official Strategy Guide confirms that the player's character, Keyan Farlander, serves on the Independence and all but a handful of missions are launched from the ship.
Issue 99 of Computer Gaming World, released in October 1992, featured a preview of Star Wars: X-wing which described transitions between missions taking place on the Mon Calamari Star Cruiser Dreadnought and at a Calamari space port. The Independence and the Defiance appear to take the place of these in the finished game, with the Independence acting in the role of the space port.
The Independence's involvement in the Battle of Turkana is shown in the opening cutscene to the original DOS version of Star Wars: X-wing. The 1998 re-release of X-wing for Windows 98 featured some changes to cutscenes, including a shorter version of the opening cutscene which no longer identifies the Independence by name, but still shows Admiral Ackbar commanding the battle from it.
Due to a limitation in lengths of ship names, the Independence appears in the Star Wars: TIE Fighter mission "Eliminate TIE Defender Factory" as the Independenc, though TIE Fighter Collector's CD-ROM: The Official Strategy Guide uses the full name. In the mission the destruction of the Independence is listed as a bonus goal. However, TIE Fighter Collector's CD-ROM: The Official Strategy Guide describes its destruction by Maarek Stele. Since the Independence has been depicted by other sources after this event its destruction is presumably non-canon.
- The Farlander Papers
- Star Wars: X-wing (First appearance)
- Star Wars: TIE Fighter
- Star Wars: X-wing Alliance
- Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (Retcon)
- X-wing Rogue Squadron: In the Empire's Service
- X-wing: The Official Strategy Guide
- X-wing Collector's CD-ROM: The Official Strategy Guide
- TIE Fighter Collector's CD-ROM: The Official Strategy Guide
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Guide to Planets and Moons
- Star Wars: Behind the Magic
- Star Wars: X-wing Alliance: Prima's Official Strategy Guide
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Death Star II Limited (Card: Independence)
- Star Wars Silent Death: The New Jedi Order"—Star Wars Gamer 7 "
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- The Essential Reader's Companion
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 Star Wars: X-wing
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 The Farlander Papers
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Death Star II Limited (Card: Independence)
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 X-wing Rogue Squadron: In the Empire's Service
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Star Wars Silent Death: The New Jedi Order"—Star Wars Gamer 7 "
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Star Wars: TIE Fighter
- ↑ 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 Star Wars: X-wing Alliance
- ↑ 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 8.13 8.14 8.15 8.16 8.17 8.18 8.19 8.20 8.21 8.22 8.23 8.24 8.25 X-wing Collector's CD-ROM: The Official Strategy Guide
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 The Essential Guide to Warfare
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 The New Essential Guide to Characters
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
- ↑ The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi