During its final centuries, the Galactic Republic spent on programs such as the Planetary Pioneers to promote settlement in the New Territories. As a result, this region of the galaxy remained strongly loyal to the Republic and then the Empire.
During the Galactic Civil War, sometime after the Battle of Yavin, Luke Skywalker joined the Planetary Pioneers on an unidentified planet. Skywalker trained with them at the New Academy for Space Pilots, commanded by Rebel Alliance General Oleson. The students of the academy were training to fly young men and women to uninhabited planets. There, those smart and talented people would build new colonies, founded on peace, justice, and good will. Some of the colonists would build homes, schools, and power stations. During that time, the Planetary Pioneers were planning to use the powerful Zukonium rays in their power stations. Instead of being used for war and destruction, the Zukonium rays would provide energy for the colonies.
At some point, Princess Leia Organa came to visit the academy and Skywalker told her about the work of the Planetary Pioneers. However, the tour was interrupted by an emergency siren. For unknown reasons, a small moon from a nearby system had been blasted out of its orbit and was on a collision course with the planet housing the academy. Having no time to evacuate, Skywalker and the Planetary Pioneers boarded their old X-wing starfighters in an attempt to destroy the maverick moon with Zukonium rays. Using the power of the Force, Skywalker was the only pilot able to penetrate the moon's strong magnetic field. He then fired the Zukonium rays at the center of the moon and successfully destroyed it. Skywalker's X-wing was damaged by the explosion, which forced him to make an emergency landing. After his return to the academy, Princess Leia Organa awarded Skywalker a medal of honor for saving the planet.
Behind the scenesEdit
- "It was enormous fun exploring the odd nooks and crannies of the Star Wars universe. For instance, there's an old children's storybook called The Maverick Moon, in which Luke leaves the Rebellion to join the Planetary Pioneers. It doesn't make a lot of sense, but my little boy loved it, so I found a way to work the Planetary Pioneers into the Atlas."
- ―Jason Fry
The Planetary Pioneers first appeared in the 1979 children's storybook The Maverick Moon, written by Eleanor Ehrhardt and illustrated by Walter Wright. They were later mentioned in the 2009 reference book The Essential Atlas, written by Jason Fry and Daniel Wallace.
- The Maverick Moon (First appearance)