- "Either him or a member of his staff. He seemed an unlikely candidate, but one never knows. Someone is providing the terrorists of the so-called Free Ryloth movement with knowledge of what transpires here. The hijacking you thwarted was indicative of that. The treason must originate in Taa's staff."
"And that's why we'll travel to Ryloth? To act as bait? Why take that risk, when I could simply kill Taa and his entire staff? That would eliminate the traitor."
"But that would not eliminate the roots of the treachery. Nor would it reveal the scope of the treason, which I suspect reaches well beyond the senator's staff."
- ―The Emperor and Darth Vader discussing their mission to Ryloth
In 14 BBY, the Galactic Emperor Sheev Palpatine—secretly Darth Sidious—undertook a secret mission to quell the growing rebellion on Ryloth known as the Free Ryloth movement. Sidious took his Sith apprentice Darth Vader with him, using Vader's flagship the Star Destroyer Perilous as a transport. The Moff Delian Mors was only informed that the Galactic Empire was sending the senator of Ryloth—the Twi'lek Orn Free Taa—on a state visit to his homeworld.
Spies within Taa's circle secretly informed the leader of the Free Ryloth movement—Cham Syndulla—that the Emperor and Vader would be with the senator aboard the Perilous, and so Syndulla's goal turned to assassinating both Sith Lords as they entered the Ryloth system. Although the Perilous was successfully destroyed—and Taa's fate left unknown—the two Sith Lords survived the Star Destroyer's destruction in orbit and skirmished with the Movements forces on the planet's surface.
Some of the Emperor's Royal Guardsmen were killed on the surface as Sidious and Vader escaped into nearby lylek caves, before the two Sith Lords and Sergeant Erstin Deez wiped out the entire lylek hive. In the meanwhile, Moff Mors learned of the truth of Taa's mission to Ryloth and aided in the search for the Emperor, as well as exposing the traitor Belkor Dray, who had been feeding Syndulla information before and during the conflict. In the search that ensued, Mors eventually managed to kill Dray and come to the Emperor's rescue.
After escaping from the lylek caves, the Dark Lords and Deez encountered a Twi'lek girl named Drua, who welcomed the Imperials to her remote village—completely oblivious to their true identities or the ongoing battles nearby. There, Isval attacked Vader and the rest of the Imperial forces before they were routed, but not before Syndulla escaped and evaded capture. In the aftermath of the victory, Sidious commanded Vader to kill Drua and her people, as they had witnessed too much of the events of the day.
The Ryloth insurgencyEdit
- "No more half measures. We stay smart, but we think bigger."
- ―Cham Syndulla
During the Clone Wars, the Separatists invaded and occupied the Twi'lek homeowrld of Ryloth. The planet was liberated by a joint coalition consisting of the Jedi Order, the Galactic Republic and Cham Syndulla's Twi'lek Resistance. The Republic subsequently occupied Ryloth. After the Republic was succeeded by the Galactic Empire, the Empire imposed a protectorate on Ryloth. While Ryloth was nominally independent and represented in the Imperial Senate by Senator Orn Free Taa, real power rested in the hands of Moff Delian Mors, the planetary governor.
The Empire exploited Ryloth for its spice resources. Eventually, a resistance movement known as the Free Ryloth movement developed under the leadership of Cham Syndulla. By 14 BBY, Cham had succeeded in training hundreds of resistance fighters. He also cultivated a network of friendly contacts and informants across the Ryloth system, established bases, and hoarded material and weapons including several Clone Wars–era Vulture droids and Droid tri-fighters.
In the years leading up to 14 BBY, Cham launched several raids against the Imperials, which killed dozens of Imperial personnel and disrupted the planet's spice trade. Cham was also helped by Colonel Belkor Dray, Moff Mors' second-in-command, who resented his boss. In an attempt to discredit Mors, Belkor supplied the Free Ryloth movement with intelligence on Imperial movements and shipments. Cham also had another spy among Senator Orn Free Taa's staff.
One of Cham's lieutenants Pok and his team successfully hijacked an Imperial weapons shipment at the Yaga Minor shipyards. They managed to escape into hyperspace but were pursued by Darth Vader and a squadron of V-wing starfighters. Despite making multiple jumps, Pok was unable to outrun his Imperial pursuers. Before he could rendezvous with Cham's ship, Vader caught up with the hijacked transport and killed Pok and his team. Following Pok's death, Cham decided to shift from "half-measures" and take stronger action against the Imperial occupiers.
Laying a trapEdit
- "Now we get everything ready. And I mean everything. This is the operation we've been waiting for. Mobilize everyone and get all the weapons and ships ready for use. We'll have full Imperial patrol schedules so we can move things into place. Let's find out if we're as good as we think we are."
- ―Cham Syndulla
Following the Yaga Minor incident, Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader came to suspect that a spy was leaking information to the Free Ryloth movement. In an attempt to ferret out the spy, the Emperor organized a secret visit to Ryloth. He and Lord Vader would be visiting the planet along with Senator Orn Free Taa, whose official mission was to rally support for the Empire. The Emperor also instructed Vader to inform Moff Mors that Senator Orn Free Taa would be undertaking a state visit to Ryloth aboard the Imperial Star Destroyer Perilous.
As the Emperor had anticipated, a spy among Senator Orn Free Taa's staff leaked intelligence that the two Sith Lords would be visiting Cham Syndulla in ten days. After consulting his lieutenant Isval, Cham decided to contact Colonel Belkor Dray to ascertain that it was not a trap. During the meeting, Belkor indicated he was aware of Orn Free Taa's visit but was ignorant about Palpatine and Vader's visit. Belkor also tried to break his relationship with Cham by threatening to reveal the Free Ryloth movement's hidden bases. However, Cham outflanked him by threatening to reveal all records of their meetings should he betray them. In the end, Belkor agreed to supply intelligence to the Ryloth rebels in return for using Free Taa's assassination to discredit Mors and boost his own character.
Based on the meeting, Cham decided that it was safe for the Free Ryloth movement to proceed with his ambitious plan to assassinate the Emperor and Lord Vader. Cham hoped to bring about the collapse of the Empire through the Emperor's death. For the next nine days, Cham and his fellow rebels including Isval, Gobi Glie, Xira, and Kallon spent their time planning for the assault on the Perilous at an underground base on Ryloth's third moon. Their assault force included a swarm of Clone Wars-era Vulture droids, Buzz droids, space mines, droid tri-fighters, and strike teams disguised as repair crew. Cham was able to assemble the strike force in the margins of the Ryloth system because Colonel Belkor had diverted patrol craft and flight clearances away from the periphery under the pretext that Imperial resources were limited.
Ambushing the PerilousEdit
- "Sound battle stations. Helm, full reverse!"
"There are mines on all sides of us, sir. If we reverse..."
"I don't care! Full reverse! Now!"
- ―Captain Luitt and the crew of the Perilous
Ten days after Cham received intelligence about the Emperor and Vader's visit, the Perilous exited hyperspace in the Ryloth system. Captain Luitt informed Vader and the Emperor that they had entered a space mine field. The Star Destroyer's deflector shields protected the Perilous from damage. Unable to retreat since they were surrounded by mines on all sides, Vader ordered Captain Luitt to dispatch the Star Destroyer's V-wing starfighters and to double the power to the forward shields. In response, Cham ordered Kallon to activated two dozen modified mines which set up a counter-grid that drained the Star Destroyer's shields.
Kallon's modified mines drained the Perilous's shields. When the Imperials discovered this, Vader convinced Captain Luitt to let him lead the V-wings to take out the modified mines. With the Perilous trapped and its shields depleted, the Free Ryloth movement deployed several hundred Vulture droids from a nearby asteroid field. While Vader led the V-wings in combat, Palpatine remained aboard to watch the battle unfold. Vader and his V-wings quickly found themselves outnumbered by the Vulture droids and the V-wings. The Perilous's hull also sustained damage from the mines.
With the Imperial fighters overwhelmed, Gobi launched a wave of Vulture droids carrying hundreds of buzz droids, which were capable of dismantling starships. These Vulture droids proceeded to ram the Perilous in an effort to deliver their cargo. Vader and his fellow pilots fought valiantly and managed to shoot down many Vulture droids but were unable to hold back the tide. Using the dark side of the Force, Vader ripped apart a wave of Vulture droids, causing the droid fighters and their buzz droids to collide and explode in space. While the V-wings formed a perimeter around the Perilous, Vader returned aboard the stricken Star Destroyer to rejoin his master.
Meanwhile, Isval and a strike team of fighters waited aboard disguised repair ships ready to board the Perilous disguised as repair crew. Upon learning of the attack, Colonel Belkor feigned shock to both his superior Moff Mors and his subordinates. Belkor also learned from Moff Mors that the Emperor and Vader were aboard the Perilous. Belkor dispatched repair ships and fighter escorts to aid the Perilous. He then contacted Cham and learned that the Twi'lek rebel leader's true plan was to kill the Emperor and Vader. Cham forced Belkor to continue with the plan and instructed him to do nothing more than supervise the repair and rescue missions and report for anything suspicious. Unknown to Belkor, the repair ships were carrying Free Ryloth boarding parties.
Boarding the PerilousEdit
- "You are go. All teams. You are go. But we aren't hot yet. Repeat, we aren't yet hot."
- ―Isval communicating with the other Twi'lek boarding parties
After Belkor sent a distress signal calling for repair ships to board the Perilous, the Free Ryloth movement launched the second phase of their attack. Three Free Ryloth boarding teams including Isval's Repair Eighty-Three joined a fleet of Imperial and Rylothian repair ships which departed from Ryloth into space. Isval commanded a team that included Faylin, Drim, Crost, and Eshgo. The repair teams discovered that the Star Destroyer was badly damaged and was leaking flames from dozens of onboard fires. Imperial and Twi'lek fire suppression ships began spraying suppression foam on the Perilous. Isval and her team managed to gain permission to land aboard the Perilous by claiming to be a specialist team that would assist with the engine compartment.
Upon boarding Bay 266R, Isval and her repair team were escorted by a Lieutenant Grolt down a turbolift that led to the engine compartment. On the way, Isval shot Grolt in the head with her concealed blaster and hid him inside their antigrav pallet. Isval's team then made their way past two Imperial officers to the hyperdrive chamber. The boarders found their path blocked by four stormtroopers, who were guarding the hyperdrive chamber. Isval tried to convince the stormtroopers to let them through when Grolt's comlink began beeping. As a result, the stormtroopers drew their arms and Isval and her team were forced to kill them as well.
Meanwhile, Darth Vader returned to the bridge of the Perilous. Overcome by rage, he used the Force to levitate and Force choke Senator Orn Free Taa. After throttling Taa, he hurled the Twi'lek to the floor and reported that there was a traitor among his staff. When Captain Luitt asked whether Taa was a traitor, the Emperor reiterated that one of Taa's staffers was a spy. Taa apologized and vowed to help them root our the traitor. The Emperor ordered Luitt to restrict the senator's staff to their quarters and to deny them access to communications equipment and computer terminals. The Emperor then warned a sniveling Taa that the Empire would have to impose harsher measures on Ryloth in light of the insurgency.
After hearing reports of a firefight on Deck Seventeen, Darth Vader realized that the attack by the droid fighters had been a ruse. He ordered Captain Luitt to order the security teams to kill every Ryloth repair team on board. When Luitt protested that there were almost a hundred teams, the Emperor responded that one hundred teams was a manageable number. Meanwhile, Isval and her team forced their way into the hyperdrive chamber and killed the tech officers and engineers inside. They then proceeded to plant explosives and barricaded themselves inside.
Vader led a team of stormtroopers to the hyperdrive chamber. On the way, he killed a Twi'lek repair team and one of the Free Ryloth decoy teams with his lightsaber. Vader used his lightsaber to force his way into the chamber. However, Isvak and her team managed to attach twelve charges to the hyperdrive and its adjacent field amplifiers before fleeing through the opposite door. Realizing that there was only 27 minutes before the bombs exploded, Vader ordered Captain Luitt to order an immediate evacuation of the Perilous. With Vader in pursuit, Isval and her team hid inside a pallet while their human team member Faylin pushed the transport.
The Ryloth rebels managed to find an escort boat but Vader caught up with them. Seeking revenge for Pok's death, Isval fired at the Sith Lord but her comrade Eshgo dragged her aboard. They managed to disengage the docking clamp before Vader could force his way aboard the escort boat. Vader and the Emperor escaped the stricken Perilous aboard a shuttle. By that stage, Senator Taa had also fled the Star Destroyer.
- "Orientation"—Star Wars Insider 157 (First appearance)
- Lords of the Sith
- "Mercy Mission"—The Rise of the Empire (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars Rebels – "Homecoming" (Indirect mention only)
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 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 1.40 1.41 1.42 1.43 1.44 1.45 1.46 1.47 1.48 1.49 1.50 1.51 1.52 1.53 1.54 1.55 1.56 1.57 1.58 1.59 1.60 1.61 Lords of the Sith
- ↑ "Mercy Mission"—The Rise of the Empire
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Storm Over Ryloth"
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Liberty on Ryloth"