- "T-they've sunk some kind of space station into Yavin's troposphere... one that can create that storm corridor!"
"And provides a base from which to continually strike at us!"
"Not as spectacular as the Death Star, Commander Willard... but nearly as insidious in the long run!"
- ―Jan Dodonna and Vanden Willard
Achtnak Turbine Station was a massive, unique space station that played a critical role in the Galactic Empire's blockade of the Rebel-held Yavin system in 0 ABY. Designed by Tagge Company scientist Silas Tagge and championed by his brother Baron Orman Tagge, Achtnak Turbine Station served as a mobile base for starfighters that could hide within gas giants, rendering it almost impossible to detect. The station could then generate a launch corridor within the gas giant, allowing starfighters a safe pathway through which to launch and return. The Empire used Achtnak Station to torment Rebel forces on the moon Yavin 4, before Alliance pilot Luke Skywalker destroyed the station after securing safe passage within the gas giant Yavin Prime in a captured TIE fighter.
- "To constantly throw so many TIE fighters at us, it has to be one of those big Imperial battle cruisers, General Dodonna."
"No! Tracking equipment would have detected anything in the Star Destroyer class long ago!"
"Well, our recon patrols can't find a thing on the other moons—maybe you scanner jockeys think we're fighting ghosts up there!"
- ―Two Rebel pilots during Achtnak Turbine Station's operation within Yavin Prime
The brainchild of Tagge Company scientist Silas Tagge, Achtnak Turbine Station was a unique concept for a mobile base that could hide within the troposphere of a gas giant and create a launch corridor for use by starfighters. In practice, this led the Tagge Company to create a turbine the size of a Star Destroyer, buoyed by nine repulsorlift engines with the power to keep the station steady within the crushing atmosphere and howling winds of a gas giant. Unarmed, the station relied on the TIE starfighters that operated out of its small hangar for protection— however, the station's primary defense was its difficulty to track, as when it was operating inside a gas giant it could not be detected by military tracking equipment. It also had a dock that could accommodate a large transport, as well as living quarters for a crew.
- "Little by little... they're whittling away our forces! Forces still not rebuilt to their level before the battle of the Death Star. And we don't know where in the name of the Force they're coming from!"
- ―Jan Dodonna
The massive platform that came to be known as Achtnak Turbine Station—a mobile base that could hide within a gas giant to serve as cover for starfighters—was first dreamed up by Silas Tagge, chief scientist of the megacorporation known as the Tagge Company, during the era of the Galactic Civil War. Tagge originally attempted to sell the idea to the Galactic Empire, but was rejected—instead, his brother Baron Orman Tagge took up the concept and spent millions of credits into developing the station. Tagge dubbed his new base "Achtnak Turbine Station," taking the name from a forest predator native to his homeworld of Tepasi.
Tagge's newly dubbed creation soon was put to the test in 0 ABY, when a third Tagge brother—Imperial General Ulric Tagge—found use for the station during the ongoing blockade of the Rebel-held Yavin system in the wake of the Empire's crushing defeat at the Battle of Yavin. In a joint operation between the Tagges and the Empire, Achtnak Turbine Station ensconced itself within the gas giant Yavin Prime to launch starfighter attacks on the Rebel base on the moon Yavin 4. The TIE strikes on Yavin 4 bedeviled the Rebels, led on the ground by General Jan Dodonna, whose tracking equipment could not find a trace of where the Imperial starfighters were coming from, and Dodonna soon realized that the mysterious launching point posed a significant threat to the still-rebuilding Rebel forces on the moon. What's more, the Empire was easily able to replace any fighters lost in their bombing runs on the Rebel base, with fresh TIEs being transported to the station via a Tagge Mining Explorer ship.
But fortunes changed for Dodonna's group with the return of Rebel leaders Leia Organa and Luke Skywalker to the Yavin system, after they heard news of the Imperial blockade while in the Mid Rim. Upon their entry to the system, Skywalker and Organa witnessed a flight of TIE fighters enter Yavin Prime by way of a sudden vortex appearing within the gas giant. Skywalker and Organa passed this information along to Dodonna upon reaching Yavin 4, providing the Rebels their first concrete evidence of the source of the incessant TIE attacks. Although it seemed hopeless to try and find the station on their own, Skywalker had an idea: while evading Imperial pursuit on the way through the blockade, he had shot down a TIE fighter that only crash-landed instead of being vaporized, giving hope that it may have a signaling unit still intact that could hail Achtnak Station and prompt it to open a storm corridor for him. Skywalker's hunch was correct, and once he returned to Yavin 4, a plan was put in place. The Rebels attached the signaling device to an old TIE unit that was kept to familiarize Alliance pilots with enemy craft, which would travel through the storm corridor and assault the station. As the most experienced and trusted fighter pilot the Alliance had on Yavin, the hero who destroyed the Death Star, Skywalker was chosen to fly the craft, a task some considered a suicide mission.
The Rebel plot worked almost without a hitch: Achtnak Station created a pathway for Skywalker's starfighter upon receiving his signal, mistaking him for another Imperial pilot. The Tagge and Imperial personnel aboard the station—which included Baron Orman Tagge—soon learned they had been duped when Skywalker opened fire, wrecking the station with precision proton charges that blasted the massive turbine into space dust. Although the station's destruction sent his fighter spiraling into the chaotic winds of Yavin Prime, Skywalker managed to find his way to safety by using the Force to guide him: Baron Tagge, who had immediately boarded his Mining Explorer upon the first sign of trouble, followed his path out of the gas giant and also survived.
Behind the scenesEdit
Achtnak Turbine Station was first mentioned in Star Wars 25: Siege at Yavin, and made its first appearance in the Marvel Star Wars series' next issue—Star Wars 26: Doom Mission—written by Archie Goodwin and released in 1979. In its appearance, the station was illustrated by Carmine Infantino. Twenty-five years later, the station was finally named in Geonosis and the Outer Rim Worlds, a Wizards of the Coast Star Wars Roleplaying Game sourcebook.
- Geonosis and the Outer Rim Worlds (First identified as Achtnak Turbine Station)
- The New Essential Chronology
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia