The First Mission to Ord Mantell was a mission that Luke Skywalker and Han Solo undertook during the Galactic Civil War. The aim of the mission was to feed the Empire false information, leading them to believe that the Rebel Alliance was attempting to establish a new base on Ord Mantell. The Alliance believed this would lead the Empire away from their new base on Hoth.
In order to achieve this misdirection, the Rebel Alliance sent Solo and Skywalker to the planet to fly X-wings on a false reconnaissance mission over the jungle planet
The two Rebels intentionally allowed their starfighters to be sighted by an Imperial cruiser. Their escape plans were threatened, however, by the appearance of a second cruiser. Skywalker formulated an emergency tactic of merging the two starfighter's shields, effectively doubling their strength and giving the X-wings enough protection to withstand the imperial turbolasers and safely jump to hyperspace.
Upon arriving at Echo Base, Han Solo and Luke Skywalker began to prepare for their next mission: hijacking a large amount of credits intended as an Imperial tribute, which was being paid by a shipping company once owned by the Organa estate before the destruction of Alderaan. The Rebel Alliance intended to use the credits to fund the purchase of equipment for their new base.
The Rebels' plan called for Han Solo, Leia Organa and the astromech droid R2-D2 to send a code from Ord Mantell to divert the cargo container, using Leia's palmprint to access a secret backdoor into the shipping company's secure files. While they were engaged in the attempt, Luke Skywalker and protocol droid C-3PO would liberate the container, secreting it away aboard the Millennium Falcon and leaving behind a fake cargo container in its place. Once the stolen container was aboard the Millennium Falcon, Solo's Wookiee co—pilot, Chewbacca, would activate the hyperdrive and the Rebels would make their escape.
Before arriving on Ord Mantell, the group was met by their contact, an insectoid Nalrithian named Phoedros, who was to help them infiltrate the command center. Solo privately expressed his distrust of the insectoid agent, as its species had a "hive mind," which meant that memories would be shared amongst "eggmates." Leia, however, dismissed Han's fears out of hand, explaining that Phoedros had proven his loyalty to the Rebellion by killing an eggmate who was about to betray the Rebellion.
On Ord Mantell, Han, Leia, Artoo, and Phoedros made their way to the computer center, and while Artoo was attempting to access the computer, Solo accidentally referred to Princess Leia as "Your Highness," alerting the Nalrithian to the group's true identity. Before Artoo could send the release signal, Phoedros drew his weapon and forced Han to throw away his own blaster. "Phoedros" revealed that he was actually Cypher, a notorious bounty hunter who was Phoedros’ eggmate, and that it had actually been Phoedros who had died in his place. Cypher planned to claim the bounties that the Empire and Jabba the Hutt had placed on Leia Organa and Han Solo, respectively.
Cypher forced R2-D2 to disengage from the computer before he had completed sending the signal, preventing the release of the cargo container’s shackle. Cypher then ordered Han to throw away his gunbelt, but Han instead used the belt to whip Cypher’s pistol out of his hand. The two dove for their weapons, but Solo narrowly managed to reach his blaster first and killed Cypher.
As the release signal was prematurely shut down, the computer's safety protocols prevented it from being sent again and had activated an alarm, summoning a detachment of stormtroopers. Once they'd discovered this, the group opted to head back to their ship.
Back at the Millennium Falcon, Solo and Organa sent a comm message to Luke Skywalker, who was still waiting on the container's cargo bay once the alarm sounded and stormtroopers began to arrive. Using his lightsaber, Skywalker cut through the container's shackles and warned the crew to prepare for a 'flying catch' before traffic control jammed their transmissions.
Han took off, heading for the loading dock. Traffic Control ordered them to land, but, using a seductive voice, Princess Leia identified herself as Captain Valrond of the starship Victory Ring, who was running a test on her lifters. This confused the controller into leaving them alone long enough for Solo to maneuver into position. Chewbacca opened the ship's cargo bay and Luke piloted the cargo carrier into the hold, barely stopping in time as the Millennium Falcon took off into space.
- Rebel Mission to Ord Mantell (First appearance)
- Young Jedi Knights: Return to Ord Mantell (Mentioned only)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I ("Bos, Cypher")