Emblem of the Rebel Alliance
|Type||Resistance movement striving to form a republic|
|Founded||2 BBY, with the signing of the Corellian Treaty|
|Defunct||4 ABY, Declaration of the Alliance of Free Planets|
|Fate||Reorganized into the Alliance of Free Planets then the New Republic|
|Location||Various Hidden Bases, Coruscant|
|Key people||Bail Organa, Garm Bel Iblis, Admiral Ackbar, Cabinet|
|Currency||Galactic Standard Credit (Imperial Dataries)|
|Founding document||Declaration of Rebellion|
As a direct reaction to the Galactic Empire, the Rebel Alliance warred against the Imperial Fleet throughout the Star Wars galaxy, in order to restore the ideals of the Old Republic. The Rebel Alliance was first featured in the 1977 film Star Wars as the main protagonists as well as its sequels: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983). The faction's origins were alluded to in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005) and their early activities are featured in the Disney XD television series Star Wars Rebels.
The first antecedents of the Alliance to Restore the Republic are told during the events of Episode III. It is explained (in scenes that were mostly cut from the theatrical version) that the Delegation of 2000 is a group of Senators who are disgruntled about the already unjustified extraordinary powers of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine as the Clone Wars were waning. The group included Padmé Amidala, Garm Bel Iblis, Mon Mothma, and Bail Organa, amongst others. Amidala was, at the time, the most famous and prominent of the group, and was thus their spokesperson, but she realized that this made her a target and later advised the others to go quiet in their dissent and exclude her from any future proceedings. The young senator died in premature childbirth not long after her last-ditch attempt to prevent Anakin Skywalker's fall.
The TV series Star Wars Rebels, set five years before A New Hope and fourteen years after the fall of the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order in Revenge of the Sith, chronicles the beginnings of the rebellion against the Galactic Empire. The show focuses on a motley group of rebels (all of whom have been affected by the Empire in one form or another) that band together aboard a freighter starship called the Ghost. By the end of the first season, it is revealed that there are various cells that are resisting the Empire, with Bail Organa and former Jedi Ahsoka Tano both playing a role in coordinating them.
During the events of A New Hope, the Alliance learns of the construction of the Death Star, an enormous battle station intended to secure the Empire's power. Operation Skyhook, a military campaign commanded by Princess Leia Organa, successfully steals the schematics of the station, but her ship is crippled and captured by the Imperial fleet while attempting to deliver them. Princess Leia is held hostage for a time by the Emperor's second in command, Darth Vader, but is rescued by Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Obi-Wan Kenobi, who are able to deliver the station schematics to the Alliance. This leads directly to the Alliance's victory in the Battle of Yavin and the loyalty of Luke, who becomes the Rebellion's only remaining member with training in the Force.
In The Empire Strikes Back, the Alliance suffers a crushing defeat on Hoth when one of their main command centers, Echo Base, is overrun by the Empire's 501st Legion. The remaining forces of the Rebellion are forced to stay mobile, using Admiral Ackbar's flagship, the Home One, as their headquarters.
By Return of the Jedi, the Rebel Alliance has regrouped and learned that a new Death Star is being constructed, and will be completed under Emperor Palpatine's personal supervision. Mon Mothma has Admiral Ackbar and Lando Calrissian command the Alliance fleet and dispatches Han Solo and Princess Leia to disable the station's defenses, while Luke distracts Vader. The Alliance subsequently wins the Battle of Endor, in which Darth Vader, Darth Sidious, and much of the Imperial hierarchy are destroyed. Thus, the Empire is essentially defeated, and the Rebellion liberates most of the galaxy.
- According to Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, the Cantham House Meetings of Coruscant, including the participation of Senators Mon Mothma and Bail Organa, take place with the purpose of discussing the formation of a Galactic Alliance in opposition to Palpatine's Galactic Empire. In addition, the RPG tells that although throughout the galaxy many sectors are already fighting against Imperial interests, resistance is relatively quiet until the incident on the planet Ghorman, which takes place 18 years before the Battle of Yavin. The incident begins when an Imperial military cruiser commanded by Captain Wilhuff Tarkin is blocked by peaceful anti-Empire protesters who refuse to move off the ship's landing pad. With implied permission from the Emperor, Tarkin lands the ship anyway, injuring and killing many, an incident that history would record as the Ghorman Massacre. The myriad of civilizations which are fighting the Empire continue to grow in number and progressively coalesce into a ragtag organization known as the Resistance. They intend upon removing the evil Emperor, but the growing ruthlessness of the Imperial state forces them into secrecy, as they are initially unable to undermine the Empire's regime. The RPG tells that part of the strategy of the Rebel Alliance is the Doctrine of Space Denial, wherein the Rebellion would attack Imperial shipping frigates in hit and run raids, both to disrupt Imperial supplies and operations, and also to loot desperately needed materials. These Rebel starfighters were equipped with hyperdrive capability along prearranged routes which would allow this kind of harassment and escape before the Empire may react.
- The video game Star Wars: The Force Unleashed presents a differing view of the Alliance's beginnings, hinting that the Emperor actually secretly pushed for its formation. Palpatine clandestinely bids for the creation of another opposing force, intent on starting yet another war in order to consolidate his power with the fledgling Empire, just as he had done earlier with the Confederacy of Independent Systems. The Emperor orders his apprentice Darth Vader to use his own secret apprentice, Galen Marek (called "Starkiller"), as a pawn to gather together the Empire's enemies, manipulating him into believing that the intention is to start a rebellion. Vader quickly realizes that this is obviously a ploy by Palpatine in order to lure any significant rebels into a trap; however, it is unclear whether Vader (or the Emperor) had intended for the Rebellion to survive. At the supposedly secret meeting known as the Corellian Treaty, Mon Mothma, Bail Organa, Garm Bel Iblis, Jedi-General Rahm Kota, and others meet to formally create the Rebellion against the Empire. However, the proceedings are ambushed by Vader under orders from the Emperor, whom had actually secretly orchestrated the Treaty himself in order to gather all the Rebel leaders together and eliminate them. Starkiller, now aligned with the Rebellion after two betrayals by his former master, manages to save the principal founders from the Empire, though at the cost of his own life. Regrouping on Kashyyyk, the Senators formally proclaim an open Declaration of Rebellion, which states the grievances of the Empire against the Alliance to Restore the Republic and concludes with an open threat to depose the Emperor. This marks the formal "founding" of the Rebel Alliance, and Galen Marek's family crest becomes its official symbol. Thus, the Rebel Alliance is effectively founded by Darth Vader himself, and, by extension, Emperor Palpatine, though it is clear neither had imagined that the Alliance would actually ever become a serious threat. The Galactic Civil War consequently ensues, during which the Rebellion confronts the Empire many times throughout the galaxy.
- Star Wars: Empire at War depicts various allies contribute secretly to the Alliance, slowly making the united Rebel Force more powerful. The most notable equipment contributions include the defection of the Incom Corporation staff and all relevant material involved in the development of an advanced spacefighter, the X-wing.
The symbol of the Alliance is the "Starbird", which is revealed in The Force Unleashed to be the crest of Galen Marek's family. Princess Leia selected it to honor Marek's sacrifice, declaring it a "symbol of hope".
- Galen Marek ("Starkiller")
- Senator Mon Mothma
- Senator Bail Organa
- Senator Garm Bel Iblis
- Senator Padmé Amidala
- General Rahm Kota
Senior civil government and military high command
- Mon Mothma - Co-founder and commander-in-chief
- Bail Organa - Co-founder
- Garm Bel Iblis - General and Co-founder
- Admiral Ackbar - Supreme Commander of the Rebel Alliance Fleet
- Crix Madine - Supreme General of the Rebel Alliance Ground Forces
- Rahm Kota - General and Jedi Master
- Luke Skywalker - Commander and Jedi Knight; former Commander of Rogue Squadron and current Grand Master of the New Jedi Order
- Leia Organa - Senior diplomat
- Han Solo - General and former smuggler
- Lando Calrissian - General and former Cloud City administrator
- Wedge Antilles - Commander of Rogue Squadron and, following Luke Skywalker's resignation, General
- Carlist Rieekan - General and Commander of the Alliance's Echo Base on Hoth
- Jan Dodonna - General and Commander of the Alliance base on Yavin IV
- Col Serra - Commander of Renegade Squadron
Notes and references
- Rebel Alliance in the Official StarWars.com Encyclopedia
- Rebel Alliance on Wookieepedia: a Star Wars wiki