Ryder Azadi was the former governor of the planet Lothal and later rebel leader of the Lothal Rebels. He was good friends with young Jedi, Ezra Bridger's parents and helped them escape the Galactic Empire, thus he was placed in prison and replaced as governor of Lothal by Arihnda Pryce. He would later escape from prison with the aid of the Bridgers during a prison riot, and would make his way back to Lothal and, after a brief encounter with the Ghost Crew and the Rebellion, would join the Lothal Rebels.
Age of the Empire
Prisoner of the Empire
Ryder hailed from Lothal, where he served as its governor during the early days of the Galactic Empire's rule there. Despite being a member of the Imperial government, Ryder supported underground revolutionary broadcasts that were made by Ephraim and Mira Bridger. As a result of his actions, Ryder was charged with treason and incarcerated in an Imperial prison, along with the Bridgers. Azadi was given the label "Prisoner X10" while he was imprisoned.
Eight years later, the Bridgers' son, Ezra Bridger, had become part of a rebel cell that fought the Empire on Lothal. He sent out a message of Rebellion to the people of Lothal, one that also reached the ears of prisoners like Ryder and the Bridgers. This inspired the Bridgers to rally Ryder and fellow inmates to escape. Ryder was able to escape from the prison, but the Bridgers lost their lives during the attempt. Ryder returned to Lothal in the hopes of finding Ezra, so he could tell the boy what happened to his parents, and Ezra likewise traveled to Lothal from Garel after seeing his parents and Ryder in a vision. Ezra found the former governor in a stone circle on Lothal, though Ryder did not know who it was at first and fired a blaster rifle at Ezra and his Jedi master, Kanan Jarrus.
Ezra managed to calm Ryder down by telling him that he was the son of Ephraim and Mira Bridger. Satisfied, Ryder led Ezra, Kanan, and the astromech droid C1-10P into the stone circle which served as his adobe. There, the former Governor told Ezra about his connection to his parents. He also informed Ezra that his broadcast had inspired his parents to stage an escape but that they had perished during the attempt. Ryder then stayed inside the stone circle while Ezra went out into the open to grief his parents' deaths. While Ezra was devastated by the loss of his parents, he was able to come to terms with his grief after he encountered them during a Force vision.
Helping the Rebellion
Ryder stayed behind with Chopper while Ezra and Kanan traveled to the town of Jalath to greet Princess Leia Organa, the daughter of Senator Bail Organa, who was delivering three Hammerhead Corvettes to the Rebellion. Kanan and Ezra had invited him to come along with them but Ryder did not want to expose himself to the Empire. While Ezra and Kanan were away, Ryder and Chopper were captured by a group of Stormtroopers, who had orders to execute Ryder. Before the Imperials could take their prisoners into the custody, they were ambushed by Ezra, Kanan, Leia, and the other members of the Ghost Crew. Following a brief skirmish, Ryder and his rescuers fled aboard the Ghost; with Ezra and Kanan disguised as a kidnapped Imperial cadet and Stormtrooper respectively. To hide Leia's dealings with the rebels, Ryder pretended to "kidnap" the princess.
Once aboard, Ryder was present when the rebels discussed their plans to "steal" Leia's corvettes from the Imperials. To hide Alderaan's support for the Rebellion, Bail had arranged for the cruisers to be sent to Imperial worlds where they would be "stolen" by the Rebellion's agents. In response to these "thefts", the Imperials had installed Gravity Locks on them. Since Ryder had worked on building gravity locks during his captivity, he was able to advise the rebels that explosives would not be able to disable them. He then offered the rebels his help in escaping offworld with the corvettes.
With the help of Ryder, the rebels concocted a plan which involved using the Phantom, to enter Commander Yogar Lyste's base. Still wearing their Imperial disguises, Kanan and Ezra escorted Leia back to the base and claimed to have rescued the princess from the rebels. While the Imperials were distracted, Ryder worked with Chopper and another rebel named Sabine Wren to disable the gravity locks on one of the cruisers. While Sabine departed on the first corvette, Ryder and Chopper moved to the next ship and proceeded to disable its locks. However, they were discovered by Lyste and several of his Stormtroopers. Before any harm could befall Ryder and Chopper, Kanan and Ezra knocked the Imperials out with the Force.
During the ensuing battle, Ryder watched Kanan using his lightsaber and quickly realized that the man was a Jedi. Kanan's intervention allowed Ryder and Chopper to disable the second gravity lock; allowing Kanan to pilot the ship. Realizing that the crew needed help, he boarded the third ship while Chopper proceeded to disable its gravity lock. Two Stormtroopers pursued Ryder but Ezra used the Force to snatch their blasters while Leia stunned them with her blaster. At the helm of the third Hammerhead Corvette, Ryder forced the ship to fly despite the gravity lock by engaging the thrusters, toppling an All Terrain Armored Transport in the process. Ryder then escaped with the other rebels into hyperspace with the three stolen corvettes. After realizing that Ezra's parents had inspired a rebel movement, he agreed to join the Rebellion and free Lothal to honor them and their son Ezra.
After the Empire fully occupied Lothal, Ryder used his influence as a former governor and known opponent of the Empire to assemble a new group of Lothal Rebels, including Morad Sumar, Jho, and Marida Sumar. When Ezra and Kanan returned to the planet to scout it out for a forthcoming Rebellion assault, Ryder came to meet them in a speeder while being pursued by Scout Troopers on speeder bikes. During the ensuing chase, Ryder revealed that Imperial equipment was being sabotaged, and brought the two Jedi back to his cell's base where they explained their intent and mission. The pair, Chopper, and Morad infiltrated the Lothal Imperial Factory, but Morad was then killed after his sabotage was discovered by Grand Admiral Thrawn.
The pair were eventually able to contact Ryder after receiving unexpected help from a new Fulcrum agent, and Ryder led his cell in an attack on the factory's weakest entry point to buy them time to escape. This effort succeeded, and the rebels were able to inform Phoenix Squadron of the production of the TIE Defender, a fighter that could turn the tide against the rebels if it were allowed to go into production. Ryder and his rebels later watched Mon Mothma's broadcast to various Rebel cells encouraging them to stand up against the Empire. He was also in conference with Hera Syndulla, General Jan Dodonna, and Commander Jun Sato prior to being jammed by the Seventh Fleet during the Battle of Atollon.
Personality and Traits
Even though Ryder served as an Imperial governor, he supported the revolutionary broadcasts made by Ephraim and Mira, a decision that led to him being charged with treason and incarcerated in an Imperial prison. Time spent in Imperial prison had wearied Ryder. Following his escape, he initially wanted no part in rebellious activities, fearing that any such involvement might land him back in prison, a fate he could not bare. He agreed reluctantly only to assist for one mission, feeling that he owed the rebels for his rescue. Participating in this rekindled his spark for resistance against the Empire's activities and he joined up to continue fighting.
- He is voiced by Clancy Brown, who previously voiced Savage Opress in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
- His name in development was Vol Freilus.
- He may have been Arihnda Pryce's immediate predecessor.