Rebel Alliance

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Alliance to Restore the Republic
Emblem of the Alliance to Restore the Republic
Emblem of the Alliance to Restore the Republic
Universe Star Wars
Type
Founded 2 BBY, with the signing of the Declaration of Rebellion
Fate 4 ABY, reorganized into the New Republic
Location Alderaan, Atollon, Dantooine, Yavin, Hoth, various other hidden bases
Leader
Key people
Currency Galactic Standard Credit (Imperial Dataries)
Founding document Declaration of Rebellion
Official language Basic

The Alliance to Restore the Republic; colloquially known as the Rebel Alliance, is an interstellar pro-democratic republic coalition of revolutionary factions and clandestine cell systems within the fictional universe of Star Wars.

As a direct reactionary to the formation of the Galactic Empire, the Alliance insurgency conducted covert operations on Imperial garrison-worlds and guerrilla warfare against the Imperial Fleet throughout the Star Wars galaxy. While the Empire considers all rebellion as acts of extremism and terrorism in Imperial propaganda, the Alliance is described and portrayed in various Star Wars media as a resilient freedom fighters, one based on toleration, empowerment in diversity, insurgency weapons and tactics, and a hope for a better future.

The Rebel Alliance was first featured as the main protagonist-faction in the 1977 film Star Wars, 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 and the 2016 anthology film Rogue One.

Flag of the Alliance
to Restore the Republic
Flag of the Rebel Alliance.svg
Use Faction wide banner and ensign
Design White banner with two black horizontal stripes and red emblem in the center

Depiction[edit]

Origin[edit]

Early insurgency and founder members[edit]

The origins of the Alliance to Restore the Republic are told during the events of Revenge of the Sith. It is explained 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 Bail Organa, Padmé Amidala, and Mon Mothma, amongst others. At the time, Amidala was the most famous and prominent of the group, and was thus their spokesperson. 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, begins with 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 Ghost. By the end of the first season, it is revealed that there are various clandestine cell systems that are resisting the Empire. Senator Bail Organa of Alderaan and former Jedi Ahsoka Tano both play a pivotal role in coordinating these splinter cells into a legitimate threat capable of challenging Imperial rule. Funded primarily by the Royal House of Alderaan, the alliance began to allocate resources towards a united front against Imperial rule.

Formal Declaration of Rebellion[edit]

Near the end of the third season of Star Wars Rebels, one of the Alliance founders, Senator Mon Mothma, escaped assassination for speaking out against the Emperor. She calls out to the various rebel cells and insurgency factions to unite into a unified coalition:

We, the beings of the Rebel Alliance, do this day send forth this Declaration to His Majesty, the Emperor, and to all sentient beings in the Galaxy, to make clear to all the Purposes and Goals of this Rebellion.

We believe that the Galactic Empire has willfully and malignantly usurped the rights of the free beings of the Galaxy and therefore, it is our unalienable right to abolish it from the Galaxy. We, the Rebel Alliance, do therefore in the name—and by the authority—of the free beings of the Galaxy, solemnly publish and declare our intentions:

To fight and oppose you and your forces, by any and all means at our disposal;
To refuse any Imperial law contrary to the rights of free beings;
To bring about your destruction and the destruction of the Galactic Empire;
To make forever free all beings in the galaxy.
To these ends, we pledge our property, our honor, and our lives.[1][2]
— Chancellor Mon Mothma, Commander-in-chief, Formal Declaration of Rebellion from the Alliance to Restore the Republic

Many Rebel ships arrive at a rendezvous point above Dantooine to unite and form the "Alliance to Restore the Republic".

Organization of power and members[edit]

Senior civil government and military high command[edit]

Alliance Starfleet[edit]

The Alliance Starfleet and its activities were overseen by Alliance High Command, who managed the logistical and strategic matters of the Rebellion's efforts against the dominant Galactic Empire, with Gial Ackbar serving as grand admiral of the Fleet.

The Alliance military largely consisted of improvised, repurposed, or stolen civilian ships; they lacked the means or resources to build and crew thousands of capital ships. The biggest and most powerful warship they had available were several MC80 star cruisers supplied to the Alliance by Mon Calamari, but the Alliance Fleet kept these in reserve and never risked deploying them, even when strategically-critical bases in Atollon, Yavin, and Hoth came under siege. The Alliance fleet is geared towards space superiority, wolfpack operations and hit-and-run tactics. They used gunships and corvettes to screen Imperial starfighters. Their warships carried a complement of expensive endurance-capable starfighters that traveled alongside the fleet. These of these was equipped with life support systems, deflector shields, and FTL-drives. The Alliance's focus on small light combat ships and on starfighters allowed them to effectively fight the Galactic Empire's well-funded and well-armed military.

The Alliance Starfleet's grand strategy avoided attrition and conventional engagements with the Imperials at all costs. Instead of engaging the Imperials in open firefights, the Rebel Alliance largely embraced hit and run tactics utilizing mainly fast attack CR90 corvettes supplied to the Alliance by Alderaan. The Imperial leadership considered collateral damage as "acceptable margins" in rooting out insurgents; this contrasted against the Alliance's surgical precision to avoid civilian casualties. To minimize losses, the Alliance military leadership heavily favored carrier battle groups and starfighter strike crafts for fast-attack style of warfare. Anti-Imperial operations emphasized depredation and delayed actions, covertly relocating compromised bases to another secured system, interdiction in slowing down the Imperials' momentum, and inflicting maximum damage on the enemy without, in principle, becoming decisively engaged.

Alliance Starfighter Corps[edit]

The Alliance finds its strength almost entirely in the starfighter arena, offering some of the most effective and versatile small strike craft within Star Wars cannon. The introduction of the A-wing, B-wing and X-wing, along with the former Imperial officers who piloted them, only improved upon that advantage.

Galactic Civil War[edit]

Decisive Losses and Victories[edit]

The Star Wars Rebels episode, "Zero Hour", demonstrates the Imperials' absolute naval supremacy when they successfully entrapped the "Phoenix Fleet" during the Battle of Atollon, and forced them in engaging on equal footing; resulting a decisive victory for the Imperials and the total decimation of the Rebel fleet.

During the events of Rogue One and A New Hope, the Alliance learns of the construction of the Death Star, an enormous battle station intended to secure the Empire's power. With the help of the Rogue One squad led by Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor, the Rebels successfully steal the schematics of the station. This win was the Alliance's first major battle against the Empire on Scarif; but at a 75% casualty and with all remaining imperial and rebel forces planetside decimated. After successfully downloading the Death Star plans, Alderaanian soldiers aboard a Mon Calamari flagship barely manage to escape Imperial forces with the stolen data plans. Right after the battle, the Tantive IV, an Alderaanian corvette carrying Princess Leia Organa is captured by the Imperial fleet while attempting to deliver the Death Star Plans to Bail Organa on Alderaan. All members of the Alderaanian Consular Security onboard are either killed or taken prisoner and Princess Leia Organa is held hostage for a time by Darth Vader. In order to punish both her and her home planet's central involvement in the Rebel Alliance, Leia is forced to witness Alderaan's destruction by the Death Star. The Princess is subsequently rescued by Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Obi-Wan Kenobi, who then 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 Skywalker: 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, Home One, as their headquarters.

By Return of the Jedi, the 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, Emperor Palpatine, and much of the Imperial hierarchy are destroyed.

Birth of the New Republic[edit]

Following their victory at the Battle of Endor, a New Republic provisional government was officially formed by the Alliance. This, combined with the Imperial power vacuum and political infighting, encouraged thousands of inhabited planets to either declare independence from the Empire, or defect to the Alliance. In addition, the declining popularity of the Empire pushed many long time Imperials to the Rebel cause, including those of Inferno Squadron, who after Operation Cinder, which saw the destruction of countless Imperial worlds, opened the eyes of many to the atrocities of the Empire. Even the most dedicated Imperials such as Inferno Squadron commander Iden Versio were moved to defect after the witnessing the destruction of her homeworld Vardos. Finally realizing the Empire's evils, many Imperials began to feel shame over their actions in particular over the destruction of Alderaan. The Alliance Fleet, now finding itself with no shortage of recruits and resources, shifted military doctrine; the guerrilla warfare aspect of the grand strategy was de-emphasized, and conventional forces took over the primary prosecution of the war. Once the New Republic became powerful enough, the Alliance Fleet was reorganized into the New Republic Military, charged with the defense of the New Republic.

By The Force Awakens, the armed forces of the New Republic had decisively defeated the Imperial Loyalists during the Battle of Jakku; the largest naval battle in the galaxy's recorded history. Thus, the Galactic Civil War officially ended: with the Empire ceasing to exist, along with the Imperial Loyalists' armed forces decimated, the Imperial Remnants' forces succumbing to warlordism, and with the New Republic having liberated most of the galaxy.

Successor[edit]

By The Force Awakens, the New Republic has formed from the Rebellion. The Resistance, an army backed up by the New Republic and successor of the Alliance, is formed to stand against the First Order, a new military power formed by remnants from the Old Empire.[4]

Star Wars Legends[edit]

Backstory in Legends[edit]

  • 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.[5] 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.[5]
  • 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.[6] 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 contributing 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.[7]

Symbol in Legends[edit]

The symbol of the Alliance is the "Starbird", which in the old canon was the crest of Galen Marek's family. Princess Leia selected it to honor Marek's sacrifice, declaring it a "symbol of hope".

Formal Declaration of Rebellion in Legends[edit]

A Legends version of this declaration was previously depicted in the 1990 book The Star Wars Rebel Alliance Sourcebook, as:

We, the beings of the Rebel Alliance, do this day send forth this Declaration to His Majesty, the Emperor, and to all sentient beings in the Galaxy, to make clear to all the Purposes and Goals of this Rebellion.

We firmly acknowledge the importance and necessity of the institution of Galactic Government. We accept that all must subjugate themselves to that Government, giving up certain rights and freedoms, in return for peace, prosperity and happiness for all. We believe that the Galactic Government derives its power and right to rule from the consent of the governed. We believe that, should the rights of free beings be willfully and malignantly usurped, it is the unalienable right of said beings to alter or abolish said Government.

We believe that the Galactic Empire has willfully and malignantly usurped the rights of the free beings of the Galaxy and therefore, it is our unalienable right to abolish it from the Galaxy.

We do not take this course lightly. Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes, but when a Government displays a history of usurpation, abuse and moral atrocity, displaying a clear design to subjugate totally and absolutely beings born free under the auspices of nature, it is our right—our duty—to depose of that Government.

The history of the present Galactic Empire is of repeated injuries upon its members, with the direct objective of establishing you, Emperor Palpatine, as absolute tyrant over the Galaxy:

You have disbanded the Senate, the voice of the people;
You have instituted a policy of blatant racism and genocide against the nonhuman peoples of the Galaxy;
You have overthrown the chosen leaders of planets, replacing them with Moffs and Governors of your choice;
You have raised taxes without the consent of those taxed; You have murdered and imprisoned millions without benefit of trial;
You have unlawfully taken land and property;
You have expanded the military far beyond what is necessary and prudent, for the sole purpose of oppressing your subjects.

We, the Rebel Alliance, do therefore in the name—and by the authority—of the free beings of the Galaxy, solemnly publish and declare our intentions:

To fight and oppose you and your forces, by any and all means at our disposal;
To refuse any Imperial law contrary to the rights of free beings;
To bring about your destruction and the destruction of the Galactic Empire;
To make forever free all beings in the galaxy.

To these ends, we pledge our property, our honor, and our lives.

Members in Legends[edit]

The list of characters that do not exist within the canonical Star Wars story-line, and therefore only factor into the non-canonical Legends plot.

Founders[edit]

  • Senator Bana Breemu – Co-founder; early constituting member (deceased)
  • Senator Garm Bel Iblis – Co-founder; financed private army to fight against the Empire; rejoined Alliance during the Thrawn campaign.

Senior civil government and military high command[edit]

  • Col Serra – Commander of Renegade Squadron
  • Ylenic It'kla – Commander and Jedi Knight who escaped Order 66, serving as a personal aide to Bail Organa on Alderaan. Works with Alderaanian authorities to coordinate rebel activity.
  • Qu Rahn – General and Jedi Master who survived Order 66, mostly due to his connection and training with Yoda.
  • Rahm Kota – General and former Jedi Master who survived Order 66, thanks to the aid of his own private militia.
  • Echuu Shen-Jon – General and Jedi Master who survived Order 66, thanks to his exile on Krant.
  • Talon KarrdeGeneral and former smuggler who aided the New Republic during the Thrawn campaign.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]