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"Who's your friend?"
"General Airen Cracken. Head of Security and Intelligence for the Rebellion."
―Han Solo and Leia Organa[src]

Airen Cracken was a male human who served as a general and as Chief of Intelligence in the Alliance to Restore the Republic, and later the New Republic, during the Galactic Civil War.

BiographyEdit

Chief of Alliance IntelligenceEdit

"This is the pilot causing us so much distress? I'm underwhelmed to say the least."
―Airen Cracken upon meeting Han Solo[src]
Leia and Cracken HS1

Leia Organa and Cracken.

Even before the Alliance to Restore the Republic was established, the male human Airen Cracken was an accomplished freedom fighter. It was he who led the planetary militia that freed his homeworld from the oppression of the Galactic Empire, which led him to be fast-tracked to a general's commission within the Alliance Military.[4]

By the time of the Battle of Scarif, Cracken served as the Chief of Rebel Intelligence.[5] Cracken was personally involved in setting up spy networks throughout the Outer Rim, so Rebel Intelligence was represented on the rebel council by one of his trusted field operatives, General Davits Draven.[6] Despite his absence, he still compiled a dossier regarding Operation Fracture at Mon Mothma's request.[5]

Sometime after the Battle of Yavin, while serving in his capacity of Head of Security and Intelligence and confronted with the responsibility of rescuing three rebel spies in danger of capture by the Empire, Cracken showed reluctance in recruiting smuggler Han Solo for the mission. However, he was convinced by Princess Leia Organa, citing the fact that they were running out of options and out of time.[7]

A Rebel superweaponEdit

"We stole the plans—used 'em to destroy the damn thing. Why the hell wouldn't we build our own?"
―Cracken, to Aphra[src]

Despite their victory against the Empire at Yavin, the Rebels were forced to abandon their headquarters on Yavin 4.[8] Protecting Senator Mon Mothma, the Alliance's Chief-of-State, became a priority for Intelligence. At some point, Chief Cracken came to the conclusion that killing Emperor Palpatine could end the war in one swift blow. However, previous assassination attempts were known to have failed due to the Emperor's Force-fueled ability to sense intentions. Therefore, Cracken throught it necessary to create a superweapon that could be fired from half the galaxy away, making it impossible to detect. When analysis of Imperial propaganda revealed that the rogue archaeologist Chelli Aphra possessed the ancient lightsaber/sniper rifle known as "the Farkiller," Cracken sent Extraction Team Misericorde to retrieve both Aphra and the artifact, and bring them to the Trading Post Sh'ung-tesk. There, the Chief of Intelligence attempted to rally the archaeologist to the Alliance's cause. He explained to her how the Rebels could create a high energy superweapon by reverse-engineering the Farkiller, giving them a chance to destroy the Imperial Palace at a great distance.[9]

A battle to end all battlesEdit

CrackenEndor

Cracken served aboard the Millennium Falcon during the Battle of Endor.

In 4 ABY,[10] the Alliance learned from Bothan operatives that the Empire had begun construction on a second Death Star in orbit of Endor. Being Chief of Intelligence, Cracken was among the first to know, along with Chancellor Mothma and Admiral Gial Ackbar. He was present at the emergency summit on Zastiga, when the Chancellor revealed the existence of the new superweapon to the rest of the Alliance's top brass. Although General Crix Madine said that they would simply destroy that new Death Star like the first one, Cracken pointed out that the Empire was likely to have eliminated the particular flaw that had been exploited at Yavin.[2]

After a sleepless night, the Rebel leaders convened again. It was determined that, since the second Death Star was unfinished, its main reactor was vulnerable. Therefore, provided that the station's deflector shield was knocked out beforehand, it would be possible to destroy it. Princess Leia Organa then came up with a ruse to divert the Empire's attention to the Corva sector, allowing the Alliance Fleet to gather over Sullust in order to launch an assault on the Death Star. Although Chancellor Mothma had reservations, Cracken was quick to acknowledge the merits of that plan, and his approval tipped the scale in Organa's favor. Towards the end of the reunion, the Chief of Intelligence asked Organa who she had in mind for her "Operation Yellow Moon," and he recommanded Kidi Aleri as the team's communications specialist. Since it was vital that the Empire fell for the trick, Cracken had his agents seed various communications networks with rumors about their mission.[2]

Although there were casualties, Operation Yellow Moon was ultimately a success, allowing the Battle of Endor to take place. As was decided on Zastiga,[2] the Rebels decided to attack on two fronts: a strike team would disable the battle station's shield generator stationed on Endor, while a squadron of fighters would target the Death Star's exposed reactor.[1] Chief Cracken participated in the fighter assault, serving aboard the Millennium Falcon with Lieutenant Blount.[11] The two were initially in the ship's cockpit with its pilot, General Lando Calrissian, co-pilot Nien Nunb, and a navigator,[1] but they soon manned the ship's quad turrets and served as gunners.[11] The Rebels managed to destroy the second Death Star, and Emperor Palpatine was finally killed.[1] The Alliance then reorganized itself into the New Republic, and Cracken took command of the New Republic Intelligence.[3]

Chief of New Republic IntelligenceEdit

A few weeks into the New Republic's existence, Agent Caern Adan met with Chief Cracken to discuss the mission to destroy the lethal force of TIE fighters known as Shadow Wing. The meeting was short, as Cracken made it clear that Shadow Wing was a secondary concern for the provisional government.[3]

Behind the scenesEdit

In Star Wars Legends continuity, the character of General Airen Cracken was created for the 1991 sourcebook Cracken's Rebel Field Guide,[12] and an unnamed Rebel aboard the Millennium Falcon in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, played by Michael Stevens,[13] was later consolidated with that character.[14] Current Star Wars continuity has maintained the identity of General Cracken for that Rebel from Jedi.[11]

ContinuityEdit

The 2018 reference book Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary, New Edition states that Cracken was a spy and colonel who flew missions for General Crix Madine's Rebel Commandos and was later promoted to general and Chief of Rebel Intelligence.[15] This, however, contradicts various sources including Star Wars: The Rebel Files that had established Cracken was already Chief and a general since the early days of the Alliance.[16]

AppearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

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