- "Several transmissions were beamed to this ship by spies who are now unfortunately dead."
- ―Darth Vader
Red Hand Squadron was a team of Rebel Alliance commandos and Y-wing pilots (called Crimson Fury) established by Bria Tharen whose primary goal was the liberation of slaves. Tharen founded the team as part of the developing Alliance and as a reaction to her experiences on Ylesia. Although Red Hand Squadron did not primarily attack Imperial forces, they earned a reputation for effectiveness and a brutality not often found in the Alliance.
Tharen proved to be a capable and adept commander, demanding nothing less than excellence from her troops. Red Hand Squadron attacked and captured the CR90 corvette Helot's Shackle, which was full of Exultation-addicted slaves from Ylesia. The boarding was fierce and violent, and numerous Rebels died along with dozens of slavers. Tharen herself killed the captain when he refused to surrender. The ship was recommissioned Emancipator at Tharen's suggestion.
Red Hand Squadron was also key to the Battle of Ylesia, but that would lead to the undoing of the squadron. The battle proved to be far more difficult than expected, and Tharen's betrayal of the smugglers helping her left a bad taste in everyone's mouth. Even her one-time lover, Han Solo, grew to hate her. Solo and Tharen parted on bad terms after the battle.
Red Hand Squadron would make its final stand on Toprawa. There they were tasked with taking and holding an Imperial communications center long enough for the stolen Death Star plans to be beamed to the corvette Tantive IV, which 'happened to be passing through the system'. The mission was successful, but the squadron took heavy casualties, and their positions were subsequently overrun by the Imperial counterattack. Rather than face capture and torture at Imperial hands, Tharen and the small group of Rebel survivors swallowed poison pills. Red Hand Squadron was disbanded after the Toprawa mission.
- The Hutt Gambit (First appearance)
- Rebel Dawn (First identified as Red Hand Squadron)
- Star Wars 1 (First mentioned)
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 83 (CAM2, Rebel Campaign Against the Death Star)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Reader's Companion