- This page is about the loose resistance movement of rebel cells. You may be looking for the formalized Alliance to Restore the Republic formed by Mon Mothma.
The Rebellion was a movement dedicated to vanquishing the Galactic Empire, and restoring freedom and peace to the galaxy. It was made up of different rebel cells and militias across the galaxy on their own initiative, but coordinated as a larger movement in secret by Senator Bail Organa and former Jedi Padawan Ahsoka Tano. It was the predecessor movement to the Rebel Alliance.
The Rebellion was loosely formed some time after the end of the Clone Wars, in which Supreme Chancellor Palpatine—secretly Darth Sidious—declared himself Emperor and transformed the Galactic Republic into the Empire. The Rebellion, led by Organa and Ahsoka, founded rebel cells throughout the galaxy and secretly worked to feed them missions to undertake against the Empire while maintaining all cells' low contact between them in order to avoid Imperial crackdown. One such cell, Ghost Crew came to Organa's attention after they successfully stopped an arms deal involving illegal T-7 ion disruptor rifle. Organa had sent his two droids, R2-D2 and C-3PO, to handle the weapons, and the droids encountered the Ghost crew. R2 recorded much of his time with the crew and, once they were returned to Organa, presented the senator with his recordings. After the encounter, the crew received missions from Ahsoka, operating as Fulcrum, though only the owner of the Ghost, Hera Syndulla, knew Fulcrum's identity or any information about the Rebellion.
New Allies and Challenges
Some time later, the leader of the Ghost crew, the Jedi Kanan Jarrus, was captured by the Empire. His capture came about after the crew infiltrated the Lothal Communication Tower in order to send out a message of hope to the planet's citizens. The attempt was successful and the message was broadcast to Lothal and to many other planets, drawing the attention of both Ahsoka and the Imperial government. Knowing that the cell could be endangered, Ahsoka urged Hera to take her crew into hiding. Ahsoka believed that it was the best way to keep Ezra Bridger, Kanan's Padawan, safe, as he was a source of hope. Kanan, meanwhile, was taken aboard the Sovereign, the personal Imperial Star Destroyer of Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin. The Empire had learned about the Rebellion and hoped to extract information about it from Kanan, but Kanan had no information to give them.
Despite Ahsoka's warnings, the crew set out to rescue Kanan. They infiltrated the Sovereign when it was in orbit of Mustafar, and the crew's droid, C1-10P, contacted "Fulcrum" for assistance. Knowing the importance that the Ghost crew had because of their Jedi crew members, Ahsoka organized a fleet of Alderaan Cruisers, made up of members of other cells, and brought them to Mustafar, where they helped the crew escape—with Kanan in tow. Once the crew was reunited aboard the Ghost, Ahsoka revealed herself as Fulcrum and told the rest of the crew that they were part of a larger rebel movement.
Following Kanan's rescue, the Rebellion suffered a setback when the Phoenix Squadron was attacked by Imperial forces led by Darth Vader. The Ghost crew, who had recently joined the Rebellion, had embarked on a mission to rescue defecting Imperial Minister Maketh Tua. That mission failed and the rebels barely escaped with their lives in a stolen Imperial shuttle. However, Vader had installed a tracking device on the shuttle which he used to locate the Rebel Fleet. Vader's TIE Advanced x1 destroyed the Phoenix flagship Phoenix Home and several A-Wing Starfighters. The remaining rebel ships including the Ghost narrowly escaped Vader's Star Destroyers.
Evading the Empire
In the wake of the near-destruction of the Rebel Fleet, the Rebellion faced a shortage of bases for their forces. Ahsoka sent the Ghost crew to make contact with her old friend, the former Clone Captain Rex. The rebels traveled to the desert planet of Seelos where they succeeded in making contact with Rex and two other Clone Commanders. In exchange for participating in a hunt for Joopas, Rex supplied the rebels with a list of abandoned bases that the rebels could use. After fighting off an Imperial attack led by Agent Kallus, Rex agreed to join the Rebellion.
Using Rex's information, the Rebellion gained access to a list of abandoned Republic military bases and facilities. During a mission to salvage medical supplies from an abandoned Republic Medical Station, several members of the Ghost encountered two Inquisitors known as the Seventh Sister and Fifth Brother. Following the mission, Hera and Kanan compiled a report on the encounter with the Inquisitors for Commander Jun Sato. At some point, the rebel network's Phoenix Squadron established a presence on Garel. On one occasion, Sato dispatched members of the network to find energy cells to help the people of the frozen planet Riin, who were experiencing an energy crisis. With the help of Ezra and Chopper, the rebel network gained access to five power generators from the criminals Hondo Ohnaka and Cikatro Vizago.
Later, the Phoenix Squadron delivered relief supplies to the famine-stricken planet Ibaar, which was being blockaded by an Imperial fleet. The Empire had doubled the Ibaarians' work quotas and reduced their rations, creating a famine which threatened the most vulnerable Ibaarians. The first attempt failed and ended with the destruction of the Alderaan Cruiser transporting the supplies. Still, the rebel network persisted and the rebels succeeded in breaking through the blockade with the help of a B-Wing Starfighter, which destroyed one of the Imperial Light Cruisers. This enabled the Ghost crew to deliver supplies to the Ibaarian resistance, which subsequently distributed the supplies. In addition, the resistance gained a new ally in the form of the Mon Calamari engineer Quarrie, who agreed to helped the rebel network produce more B-Wing Starfighters.
Two crew members of the Ghost including Sabine Wren and Chopper later helped courier the GNK Power Droid EG-86 to several other members of the rebel network on Havoc Outpost, which included R2. EG-86 carried information that was vital to the Rebellion. For this mission, the rebels were helped by the Black Sun bounty hunter Ketsu Onyo, who helped them escape an Imperial light cruiser. Later, Sato obtained a new command ship: a Alderaan Cruiser called the Liberator. While searching for a missing patrol in the Del Zennis System, Sato, Ezra, and several other rebels were captured by an Imperial Interdictor, a prototype warship equipped with gravity well projectors capable of dragging ships out of hyperspace. In response, Kanan along with Rex and Chopper staged a rescue mission which ended with the destruction of the Interdictor; dealing a serious blow to Imperial forces.
The rebel network also continued searching for a permanent hidden base that was far from populated worlds. Lacking a permanent base, Phoenix Squadron hid in several spaceports scattered across Garel. The rebels were later forced to flee Garel after the Empire learned of the rebel presence there and sent a fleet to crush them. While most of the rebel ships including the Ghost and the Liberator succeeded in jumping into hyperspace, at least one was shot down.
Following the losses on Garel, Senator Organa sent his adopted daughter Princess Leia Organa to deliver three Hammerhead Corvettes to the Rebellion. Since the Alderaanians could not be seen directly supporting Phoenix Squadron, Bail arranged for Leia to deliver the vessels to Lothal. There, the rebels would "steal" the ships. However, the local Imperial commander Yogar Lyste had fitted the Hammerhead Corvettes with gravity Locks. With the help of the former Lothalian Governor Ryder Azadi, Leia and the Ghost Crew managed to steal the vessel during a skirmish with Imperial forces on Lothal. Thus, the rebels succeeded in delivering the Hammerhead Corvettes to the Rebel Fleet.
With the Empire hunting down the rebels throughout the Outer Rim Territories, the rebels decided to create a new route through the Lothal Sector. Sabine identified the Concord Dawn System as a viable route that the rebels could use. The system was home to The Protectors, a Mandalorian faction that was led by Fenn Rau, a former veteran of the Clone Wars. Sato sent Hera and Sabine on a mission to negotiate safe passage through the Concord Dawn System with Rau. However, Rau had already aligned the Protectors with the Empire and attacked Hera's mission; seriously wounding Hera and killing at least one Phoenix Squadron pilot. In retaliation, Sabine and Kanan infiltrated The Protectors Camp on Concord Dawn's Third Moon and destroyed their Fang Fighters. The rebels also managed to capture Rau, who agreed to give the rebels safe passage through the Concord Dawn System in return for keeping his capture a secret from the Empire.
As part of the rebel network, the Ghost Crew took part in a mission to rescue two Lasat refugees at Nixus Hub 218. These Lasat refugees, the former Lasan High Honor Guard Gron and the mystic Chava, were searching for the legendary Lasat refuge of Lira San. The rebels agreed to assist their quest and traveled to Lira San's purported location in Wild Space. After braving a collapsed star cluster and Imperial pursuers, Zeb agreed to fulfill an ancient Lasat prophecy by allowing the Force to guide his bo-rifle and the Ghost safely through the maelstrom. Due to their efforts, the rebels managed to rediscover Lira San, which was revealed to be the original Lasat homeworld. After dropping Gron and Chava on Lira San, the crew returned into the known galaxy.
As Phoenix Squadron began losing more pilots and starfighters in subsequent engagements with the Empire, the Ghost Crew plotted to steal a Imperial Light Carrier above Ryloth, to house their fighters, and collaborated with the Free Ryloth Movement led by Cham Syndulla, Hera's estranged father. However, Cham, singlemindedly obsessed with Ryloth's freedom above the greater galaxy, turned on the Ghost Crew and attempted to destroy the carrier as a rallying point for all Ryloth. The Ghost Crew recovered and, after seizing control of the carrier, Hera managed to convince her father to believe in the Rebellion's cause. Together, the Ghost Crew and Ryloth rebels destroyed an Imperial Light Cruiser, before taking the carrier back to the fleet, achieving both factions' objectives.
Several months later, Kanan and Ezra's efforts to help the Rebellion find a new site for a base were hampered by the Fifth Brother and Seventh Sister. Ezra and Kanan had traveled to Oosalon but were attacked by the two Inquisitors. Despite escaping the Inquisitors, the rebels were forced to abandon the idea of setting up a base on Oosalon. Kanan's concerns that the Jedis' struggle against the Inquisitors was hampering their efforts to aid the Rebellion led him, Ezra, and Ahsoka to travel to the Jedi Temple on Lothal to seek answers from Master Yoda.
Phoenix Squadron later identified Berzite's moon in the Yost System as a prospective rebel base. Lacking sufficient fuel to travel there, the Ghost Crew raided the Imperial fuel depot at Horizon Base at the advice of Ketsu. Despite obtaining the fuel, Chopper was separated but managed to befriend a maltreated Imperial inventory droid named AP-5. Together, they managed to hijack an Imperial Cargo Ship. Meanwhile, the Rebel Fleet came under attack from Imperial forces led by Admiral Kassius Konstantine. The other crew of the Ghost returned in time to unload the fuel, which allowed the Rebel Fleet's fighter carrier to refuel. AP-5 and Chopper then managed to warn Hera and Sato that the Empire had set a trap in the Yost System. AP-5 managed to send them the coordinates for Atollon, a planet which lacked an Imperial presence. Using AP-5's information, the Rebel Fleet traveled to the safe haven.
Following the discovery of Atollon, Phoenix Squadron established a base on the planet called Chopper Base. While the Rebel Fleet remained in orbit, several personnel were assigned to the base. Operations to establish the base were spearheaded by Rex and Hera. While the rebels encountered opposition from a nest of Krykna Spiders, Hera managed to rectify the situation by erecting several sensor markers around the base. Shortly later, Kanan and Ezra departed with Ahsoka on a quest to Malachor. On Malachor, Ezra encountered an individual who referred to himself only as "Old Master", whom enlisted Ezra to assist him in claiming a Sith Holocron within the depths of the Sith Temple on the planet's surface. During the mission, Kanan and Ahsoka recognized him as being the former Sith Lord Maul. The mission to Malachor was ultimately a failure, Ahsoka being lost and Kanan having been blinded in a duel against Maul. However, the mission wasn't a total loss, as the Fifth Brother, Seventh Sister and a new Inquisitor named the Eighth Brother were all killed on Malachor. Upon their return to Chopper Base, they continued working on growing and expanding the Rebellion.
The Rebellion Grows
Phoenix Squadron later gained intelligence that the Imperial scrapyard Reklam Station was dismantling thousands of Y-Wing Starfighters from Hondo. Following a dangerous mission to Reklam Station, the rebels managed to steal five Y-Wings which were immediately transferred to General Jan Dodonna's unit. In addition, Phoenix Squadron gained the attention of the Imperial strategist Grand Admiral Thrawn who embarked on a campaign to hunt down and destroy the Rebellion. Prior to that, Thrawn was promoted for wiping out the rebel presence in the Batonn Sector. While Agent Kallus was concerned about the high civilian casualties, Governor Arihnda Pryce justified Thrawn's actions on the ground that there were no more rebels there.
Later, Maul attacked the crew of a Hammerhead Corvette and lured the Ghost Crew into a trap. Maul forced Kanan and Ezra to deliver Kanan's holocron and the Sith holocrons in return for sparing his friends. Following a struggle, Kanan managed to free the other rebels and convince Ezra to resist Maul. However, Maul escaped. A rebel convoy later attempted to deliver food supplies to Teralov. However, they were ambushed and destroyed by an Imperial force. Following the convoy incident, Sabine infiltrated the Skystrike Academy after learning that several Imperial cadets wanted to defect to the Rebellion. As a result of the mission, the Rebellion gained two new pilots in the form of Wedge Antilles and Derek Klivian.
The Hand of Thrawn
As the Rebellion continued to grow, the organization gradually became more and more of a threat to the Empire. With Imperial forces now under the direct command of Thrawn, who had since studied the tactics utilized by the Rebellion, they carried out a series of successful attacks against the Rebellion, focusing on the Free Ryloth Movement.
During this time, the Ghost Crew undertook a mission to deliver supplies to Cham's Free Ryloth Movement. During the course of their mission, they learned that Imperial forces under Thrawn had made military advances in the Tann Province. Despite a failed attempt to recover Hera's mother's Kalikori heirloom, the rebels managed to escape an attempt by Captain Slavin to capture them. After that, Rex and the crew undertook a salvaging mission to recover Proton Bombs from a wrecked Separatist Supply Ship on Agamar. There, they encountered a Separatist holdout led by the Super Tactical Droid Kalani. Following a brief conflict, the two sides joined forces to escape Imperial forces. Despite becoming allies with the rebels, Kalani thought that the Rebellion had a 1% chance of success against the Empire and departed for parts unknown.
The Imperial Viceroy Gar Saxon eventually discovered that the rebels were using the Concord Dawn System in order to avoid Imperial sector patrols. Saxon destroyed the Protectors encampment on Concord Dawn's Third Moon in an attempt to lure Rau back. With the permission of the Phoenix Squadron leadership, Rau returned with Sabine, Ezra, and Chopper to investigate. After escaping, Rau decided to join the Rebellion.
After Sato received information that the Empire was planning to impose martial law on Mykapo, he dispatched Hera and elements of Phoenix Squadron to evacuate rebel sympathizers. Upon arriving, the flotilla encountered a YT-2400 Light Freighter, which was engaged in a dogfight with an Imperial advance patrol. Joining forces, the two rebel cells destroyed the TIE Fighters and a Gozanti cruiser. As it turned out, the vessel was captained by Sato's own nephew, Mart Mattin, and was crewed by a ragtag group of young insurgents calling themselves the Iron Squadron.
Thrawn, aware of the Rebel presence in the Mykapo System, dispatched an Imperial light cruiser to assess the situation, placing it under the command of Konstantine in order to test the officer's questionable capabilities. The admiral was successful in crippling the Iron Squadron's freighter, prompting the crew with the exception of Mart to escape aboard the Phantom II with the Ghost Crew. The Ghost Crew and the other Iron Squadron members soon returned with reinforcements from Phoenix Squadron to rescue Mart. During the skirmish, Konstantine's cruiser was badly damaged and most of his forces were destroyed. The rebels fled into lightspeed just as the Chimaera arrived in the system.
Later, Hondo and his Jablogian business partner Azmorigan managed to convince the Ghost Crew to help them steal cargo from an Imperial Cargo Ship by pointing to the presence of Proton Bombs, a commodity desired by the Rebellion.
Following a joint mission undertaken by Ezra, Kanan, Chopper and Ryder's cell, the rebels discovered that Thrawn was developing a new TIE fighter equipped with deflector shields. Kanan and Hera feared that this new TIE posed a threat to the Rebellion's survival.
Using the information stolen by Ezra, Kanan, and Chopper, Hera planned a strike on the Lothal Imperial Factory. She then briefed her crew, Rex, and the Phoenix Squadron. Hera gave orders to deploy a small unit and for Ezra to conduct reconnaissance work on Imperial military positions. Before they could proceed with the mission, Ezra succumbed to a dark side vision created by Maul. While Hera and the rest of the Phoenix Squadron proceeded with their mission, Ezra, Kanan, and Sabine followed Maul to Dathomir where they discovered that the Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi held the key to destroying the Sith.
Rebel Command later dispatched Saw Gerrera and a team of his Partisans to investigate the apparent disappearance of the Geonosians. After losing contact with Saw, Bail dispatched the Ghost Crew and Rex to find Saw and complete his mission. The rebels found Saw, recovered a Deflector Core, and encountered the Geonosian Klik-Klak; who was the guardian of a Geonosian queen egg. While fleeing from Imperial forces into the depths of Geonosis, the rebels discovered evidence that the Empire had perpetrated genocide against the Geonosian species. The Rebellion used images of the poison canisters to sway more systems into joining them.
Thrawn later dispatched several Imperial Infiltrator Droids to search the Outer Rim for Chopper Base. However, Kallus warned Zeb about the threat. As a result, Zeb, Chopper, and AP-5 managed to stop the infiltrator droid EXD-9 from infiltrating Chopper Base. They then turned E-XD9 into an improvised bomb that destroyed a Star Destroyer. Despite their efforts, Thrawn was able to narrow the search for Chopper Base to 94 planets.
Kanan, Fenn, and Hera later discussed the matter of the Darksaber, an ancient Mandalorian symbol of power and leadership. They saw Sabine as a potential leader who could rally the Mandalorians over to the rebel cause. Hera believed that the Mandalorians could help the Rebellion attack the Imperial presence on Lothal. Despite her self-doubt and fears, Sabine agreed to train with the Darksaber under the tutelage of Kanan and Ezra.
Birth of an Alliance
As the Rebellion grew, Senator Mon Mothma felt she could no longer keep the Empire at bay in the Imperial Senate. Through a speech on the HoloNet News, Mothma resigned from the Senate and openly opposed the Emperor's brutal and tyrannical rule. She had to flee her homeworld Chandrila, seeking to unite the various rebel cells across the galaxy in a formal Alliance with the purpose of restoring the Galactic Republic. After escaping Imperial pursuit through the Archeon Nebula with the help of the Ghost crew and Gold Squadron, Mothma arrived over Dantooine. From there, she sent out a call to all rebel cells to meet at her coordinates and stand united against the Empire. Within minutes, numerous rebel ships arrived over Dantooine and thus, the Rebel Alliance was born.
- The Lothal Rebels' look is based on Ralph McQuarrie's original concept art of the protagonists of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
- The showrunners have stated in the Rebels Recon featurettes that even by the beginning of Star Wars Rebels Season Two, the "Rebel Alliance" as an official organization, using that name, does not yet exist. As Tarkin explained in late Season One, different rebel cells and militias have popped up throughout the galaxy on their own initiative, but they have not yet been organized into a large-scale movement. Season Two is still about 3 years before the events of A New Hope, by which time the Rebel Alliance is a formally established organization.