- "Y-wing pilots bragged of their great victory at the First Battle of Ord Biniir. Of the Second Battle of Ord Biniir, they say little. Perhaps it is because few of them survived to brag. Then again, perhaps they knew that battle was insignificant."
- ―Colonel Soontir Fel
The Second Battle of Ord Biniir, also simply known as the Battle of Ord Biniir, took place in 0 ABY, during the Galactic Civil War. A few days prior, a group of Rebel Alliance Y-wing starfighters had managed to capture the planet Ord Biniir from Imperial control in the First Battle of Ord Biniir. In response, the Empire launched an operation to retake Ord Biniir, which included the second squadron of the 181st Imperial Fighter Wing under the command of Captain Soontir Fel. With the help of the 2/181st, the Imperial counterattack was a success, and the Empire wiped out the Rebel forces occupying Ord Biniir. Although the battle was only a minor victory, it took place the same day as the Battle of Yavin and the destruction of the first Death Star battlestation, causing Imperial propaganda to mark the Second Battle of Ord Biniir as a major victory and to regard Fel as a hero of the Empire.
- "A wing lost it and a squadron is being sent to take it back?"
- ―Captain Soontir Fel, prior to the battle
In 0 ABY, during the Galactic Civil War between the Galactic Empire and the Rebel Alliance, the Alliance successfully took the planet Ord Biniir in the Outer Rim Territories from Imperial control in the First Battle of Ord Biniir. The battle—which pitted the Empire's 233rd fighter wing against a large force of Alliance BTL Y-wing starfighters—was a resounding victory for the Rebellion, and the Empire subsequently planned to launch an operation to retake Ord Biniir.
Part of the operation involved air cover provided by the TIE/LN starfighters of the second squadron of the 181st Imperial Fighter Wing, led by the disgraced Captain Soontir Fel. Fel had previously been a flight instructor at the Empire's Prefsbelt Fleet Camp when several of his former trainees defected to the Alliance, and, as a result, he was transferred over to the disreputable 181st. However, upon taking command of the 2/181st, Fel transformed his new squadron into a respectable fighting unit fit for battle.
Shortly before the battle, the captured Rebel sympathizer Princess Leia Organa claimed that the Alliance's main base was on the planet Dantooine, near Ord Biniir. With the Imperial task force already on its way to Ord Biniir, Imperial Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin ordered a detachment of the task force to inspect Dantooine to see if Organa's statement was true. The task force complied with their new orders, and the detachment soon discovered that the Dantooine base was in fact abandoned.
- "Seven, stay with your wing, help each other."
- ―Captain Soontir Fel, issuing orders to his squadron during the battle
The Empire soon launched its invasion of Ord Biniir, with the 2/181st engaging the Rebellion's Y-wing starfighters defending the planet. Despite the Rebel starfighters previously defeating an entire wing, the 2/181st—thanks to Fel's leadership and guidance—were able to fight off the enemy Y-wings, destroying many of them. At the same time, Fel's squadron strafed a Rebel-controlled building protected by a number of anti-aircraft guns, neutralizing resistance enough for the Empire to land its Lambda-class T-4a shuttles, which dispensed stormtroopers to capture the rest of Ord Biniir. After intense fighting, the Empire had either killed or captured the majority of the Alliance soldiers on Ord Biniir.
- "Because of Rebel action beyond my control, my modest success became an Imperial event."
- ―Colonel Soontir Fel, during his interrogation
By the end of the battle, Ord Biniir was once again under Imperial control, due in large part to Fel and the 2/181st. Although the skirmish was in reality a minor victory in the larger galactic conflict, the battle took place on the same day as the Battle of Yavin, in which the Rebellion scored its largest triumph yet against the Empire by destroying the first Death Star, an Imperial battlestation powerful enough to destroy an entire planet.
Because of the crushing defeat at Yavin 4, Imperial propaganda glorified Fel's part in the Second Battle of Ord Biniir, hoping to distract the public's attention from the Yavin debacle. Fel was given the rank of major, and a very elaborate gala event that depicted him as a hero of the Empire was held for him on the galactic capital planet Coruscant.
In 4 ABY, Fel, by then an Imperial colonel, was captured by the New Republic during the Battle of Brentaal IV. In his interrogation by New Republic personnel following his capture, Fel recounted the events surrounding the Second Battle of Ord Biniir, as well as other portions of his life.
Behind the scenesEdit
The Second Battle of Ord Biniir was first mentioned in the twenty-second issue of the X-Wing: Rogue Squadron comic series, In the Empire's Service, Part 2. The battle was later expanded upon in the twenty-fifth issue of the same series, The Making of Baron Fel, in a flashback sequence.
Ord Biniir's entry in The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia states that the Second Battle of Ord Biniir was not widely celebrated by the Empire, as it occurred on the same day as the Battle of Yavin. However, this contradicts The Making of Baron Fel, which states that because the battle took place on the same day as the Battle of Yavin, the Empire venerated its victory at Ord Biniir, even holding an award ceremony on Coruscant for Captain Fel. For consistency, this article assumes that the battle was widely celebrated.
- X-Wing Rogue Squadron 22: In the Empire's Service, Part 2 (First mentioned)
- X-Wing Rogue Squadron 25: The Making of Baron Fel (First appearance) (Appears in flashback(s)) (First identified as Second Battle of Ord Biniir)
- The New Essential Chronology (First identified as Battle of Ord Biniir)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 140 (FEL1, Baron Soontir Fel)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II ("Ord Biniir")
- The Essential Atlas (Indirect mention only)
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
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 X-Wing Rogue Squadron 25: The Making of Baron Fel
- ↑ Star Wars: Force Commander
- ↑ Rebellion Era Sourcebook
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 The Essential Atlas
- ↑ X-Wing Rogue Squadron 24: In the Empire's Service, Part 4