The Clone Wars
As a member of Ryloth's nobility, Cham Syndulla opposed the policies of the Galactic Republic and Ryloth's senator. When the Clone Wars began and the Separatists invaded his world, Syndulla formed a group of freedom fighters to combat the invading droid army. When the Republic came to Ryloth to free the world from the Separatists, he formed an alliance with Jedi Master Mace Windu and his Clone Troopers to liberate the capital city of Lessu. The liberation of Lessu ended the battle for Ryloth and saw the capture of Separatist leader Wat Tambor.
Rising of the Empire
After the Clone Wars ended, the Republic was replaced by the Galactic Empire and Ryloth was occupied by the new government who planned to use its resources for its own military production. Syndulla opposed the Imperial presence on Ryloth and formed a new group of freedom fighters to drive the Empire out of the system. When his wife was killed during the resistance, Ryloth's freedom became more important to him than his own family. His relationship with his daughter became difficult when she left to join the Rebellion against the Empire. He preferred to have Hera by his side in Ryloth's fight for liberation rather than fighting for hope and freedom.
Cham's relationship with his daughter become a difficult one, especially when she chose to leave and fight in the Rebellion against the Empire. For several years they hardly stayed in touch, but were reluctantly brought together again for a mission to steal an Imperial carrier and use it to house the Rebellion's starfighter. However, Cham had other plans for the carrier. He wanted to destroy it to symbolise the strength of Ryloth and his people. Accompanied by two of his best warriors, Numa and Gobi Glie, They were successful in boarding the carrier with help from the Rebels. But then he turned against them and proceeded with his plans to destroy the ship, only to be stopped by Hera. Listening to his daughter's wise words of how he became an inspiration to both her and their people, Cham abandoned his plan and assisted the Rebels in getting the carrier to the Rebellion. Following their victory, Cham showed new loyalty and respect for the Rebellion and for his daughter.
Recovering the Kalikori
Following the events above Ryloth, the Free Ryloth movement forged closer ties with Hera's rebel cell and the rebellion. Two years before the Battle of Yavin, a new Imperial commander named Grand Admiral Thrawn was sent to Ryloth. Studying Twi'lek culture, art, history, and philosophy, Thrawn was able to decide successful counterinsurgency tactics which led to the Imperial occupation of Tann province, the home of the Syndulla clan. Cham was forced to flee his family home, leaving behind many artefacts including his late wife's Kalikori heirloom.
Cham and Numa rode blurrgs to rendezvous with his daughter Hera, who was on a supply run. However, they were pursued by several scout troopers on speeder bikes and an Imperial Troop Transport. Hera arrived with the Ghost and managed to scatter the Imperial forces. Cham and Numa along with their blurrgs escaped aboard the Ghost. One of the scout troopers tried to follow them but was knocked out and had his armor stolen by the Lothal rebels. Once aboard, Cham informed his daughter about the plight of the Free Ryloth movement.
When Hera vowed to recover the Kalikori, Cham along with Numa, Gobi, and the Lothal rebels volunteered to help. As part of the plan, Cham, the Ryloth rebels, Kanan, Sabine, and Zeb staged a diversionary attack on Imperial forces in Tulara Ravine while Hera, Ezra, and Chopper infiltrated the Syndulla household. Despite destroying a troop transport and an AT-DP walker, the rebels were unable to stop the advance of a second AT-DP walker; which managed to blast through rock. Later, the rebels were contacted by Thrawn's subordinate Captain Slavin who issued an ultimatum. Slavin offered to spare the lives of Hera and Ezra if Cham surrendered to the Empire. If not, he threatened to execute the prisoners.
Despite Gobi's pleas, Cham reluctantly complied out of fatherly love for his daughter. He traveled with the other rebels aboard the Ghost to Syndulla house to surrender. However, Hera and Chopper had devised an escape plan which involved igniting bombs throughout the house. Despite his shock at the sudden destruction of their home, Cham, Hera, Ezra, and Chopper took advantage of the resulting chaos to escape aboard the Ghost. Thrawn allowed the rebels to escape because he believed they had earned their victory. Back aboard the Ghost, Cham apologized for underestimating his daughter and emphasized his love for her. Despite failing to recover the Kalikori from Thrawn, Hera recognized that her father and her crew were her true family and home.
- A New Dawn (Indirect mention only)