Following the failed offensive against the New Republic in early 12 ABY and the subsequent retirement of Admiral Daala, Vice Admiral Gilad Pellaeon assumed command of Imperial forces in the Deep Core. Before abandoning the Deep Core and retreating to the Pentastar Alignment, Pellaeon salvaged cached equipment located by analyzing the records he had inherited. Among the bounty were the Super Star Destroyers Dominion and Megador, both of which had been abandoned intact at the Deep 3 shipyard. When Pellaeon absorbed the Pentastar Alignment, these two warships were joined by the Executor-class Reaper. Reaper would serve as the Admiral's flagship in the coming campaign.
The three Super Star Destroyers gave Pellaeon enormous leverage, and he was made Supreme Commander of the Remnant's forces by the Council of Moffs. With his new authority, Pellaeon resolved to wage a decisive offensive to restore Imperial morale, and demonstrate to the New Republic that the Empire was still a power to be reckoned with.
Orinda was chosen as the primary target. Symbolically the world held value as the former seat of the Ruling Council; Pellaeon also felt that the demonstration of strength displayed in retaking it would give the New Republic pause without actually provoking an overwhelming response.
The campaign would rely upon the New Republic remaining ignorant of the existence of Dominion and Megador until the crucial moment. Megador was deployed to Agamar to guard the Empire's eastern flank., while Reaper embarked the elite 181st Imperial Fighter Wing at Borosk.
Pellaeon's struck Coreward along the Entralla Route, capturing Orinda and six other systems within a few weeks before digging in at Lonnaw. At the same time, there was an attempt to covertly subjugate Dathomir and its witches.
Once entrenched at Lonnaw, the New Republic was informed that Orinda had been reclaimed to secure the Empire's borders and for its cultural significance. Pellaeon sincerely added that if the New Republic respected the claim, the Empire would refrain from further offensive action.
New Republic response and politicsEdit
The New Republic was unconvinced by Pellaeon's pledge to respect the new border, and saw the capture of Orinda as the first phase of a renewed Imperial push to the Core. The counter-offensive was spearheaded by the Executor-class Lusankya, commanded by General Wedge Antilles, and Rogue Squadron.
The deployment of Lusankya was controversial within the New Republic military. The fleet was moving toward smaller warships and starfighters, as embodied by the Defender program; Lusankya was seen by many as an anachronism, a relic of the Galactic Empire's emphasis on large capital ships. But events during the campaign would cause a partial shift in the thinking of the New Republic military and helped affirm the place of larger capital ships in its fleet.
Reaper and Lusankya, as well as the 181st and Rogue Squadron, fought numerous skirmishes in the Mid Rim. While the public on both sides were enthralled by the duel, the indecisive nature of these encounters induced the New Republic to deploy Endurance, the name ship of her class of fleet carrier, and her complement of E-wings. Endurance was commanded by Admiral Areta Bell, who was under pressure to prove the superiority of starfighters over capital ships, and the E-wing in particular.
Pellaeon ordered a gradual withdrawal toward Orinda. The New Republic fleet obliged by faithfully pursuing Reaper, which they thought to be the Empire's last Super Star Destroyer.
Disaster at OrindaEdit
The Imperial and New Republic fleets engaged at Orinda, with Reaper and Lusankya squaring off against one another. Once both sides were entangled, Pellaeon sprung his trap. Dominion and six Interdictor cruisers arrived to trap the New Republic fleet. Endurance was destroyed with her fighters still in their hangars, and Lusankya only barely managed to escape.
The New Republic expedition ended as a debacle; Orinda was abandoned in favor of reinforcing nearby systems.
The campaign was a resounding success for Empire. However, that same success only inspired the Moffs to order an ill-conceived offensive that led to the destruction of Reaper at the Battle of Celanon the following year. For the most part, the Orinda campaign was followed by six years of relative calm in the Civil War, as the New Republic was largely occupied with consolidation and the dealing with internal crises with Corellia and the Duskhan League. The calm would be broken by a major New Republic offensive in 17 ABY, followed by peace accords the next year.
- The Essential Chronology
- The Essential Atlas
- The Essential Guide to Warfare (First identified as Orinda campaign)
Notes and referencesEdit