- "This prison is under siege by an unknown force. One who's determined to kill every prisoner he can. Our mission is to make sure everyone gets out of here alive."
- ―Leia Organa
In retaliation for the deaths of pro-rebel senators and Rebel Alliance operatives during the Arrth-Eno Mission, Eneb sought to kill all Imperial prisoners housed in the Alliance's top-secret Sunspot Prison. However, he and his droids were thwarted through the combined efforts of Princess Leia Organa, Sana Starros, Chelli Lona Aphra, C-3PO, and R2-D2. However, numerous Imperial prisoners were killed and the Alliance abandoned the prison.
During the Galactic Civil War, the Rebel Alliance maintained a top secret prison called the Sunspot Prison. The prison orbited a star and was defended by a bank of turbolasers. The prison housed several war criminals, Imperial spies, mercenaries, and at least two Moffs. Due to its location, the prison was bathed in constant sunlight and warmth.
Following the Battle of Vrogas Vas, the rebel operatives Princess Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker, and Han Solo captured Darth Vader's secret ally, droid and weapon specialist Dr. Chelli Lona Aphra. Together with Aphra's estranged friend Sana Starros, Organa and several rebel troopers transported Aphra to Sunspot Prison aboard the Volt Cobra. A defiant Aphra held out for several weeks against Alliance interrogators.
Meanwhile, the former rebel spy Eneb Ray traveled with a force of droids including IG-RM bodyguard and enforcer droids to the remote Sunspot Prison. A survivor of the ill-fated Arrth-Eno Mission, Ray believed that the Rebel Alliance lacked the ruthlessness needed to win the war against the Galactic Empire. His plan was to kill the Imperial prisoners in the orbital prison and to convince his former spymaster Organa to adopt more ruthless tactics.
Boarding Sunspot Prison
To avoid alerting Sunspot Prison's advanced sensors, Ray and his droids disembarked at a distance from the space station. With Ray donning a mask and space suit, he and his droids traveled towards the station. Despite the scorching heat, Ray and most of his droids managed to use grappling lasers to cling on to the prison's hull. One of the droids fell into the burning star but the others managed to enter the station.
While a diversionary force attacked Q Sector, Ray and his main force seized the prison's command center, capturing the warden and the droids R2-D2 and C-3PO. Organa, Starros, and the rebel troopers under their command managed to defeat the droid boarders in Q Sector. However, Ray contacted her by comlink and told her that he had taken over the prison. After the warden dismissed him as a fool, Ray pistol-whipped him. Ray "reassured" Organa that he was not here to free the prisoners but that he was here to convince her that the prisoners were beyond "salvation."
Organa and Starros managed to stop two IG-RM droids from gunning prisoners in cellblock seven but were unable to save the lives of several of the prisoners. When Organa reiterated her objection to the intruder's plan, Ray countered that there was nothing noble about war. While Starros was tempted by Ray, she remained loyal to Organa. In an attempt to test Organa's resolve, Ray released 17 Imperial prisoners including the dangerous Kolar Ludd.
Though Organa and Starros managed to subdue the prisoners including Ludd, a Gamorrean, and a Zabrak, Ray sealed the prisoners in sector nine and lowered the sun shield. The prisoners were consumed by the blazing sun. When Organa protested, Ray chided her for thinking that she was better than the prisoners. He told her that he had embraced his identity as a murderer. When Organa asked who he was, Ray replied that he had seen the true face of their enemy.
The enemy of my enemy
Organa and Starros later saved Aphra from being gunned down by one of Ray's IG-RM droids. Despite the hostility between Starros and Aphra, the three women agreed to put aside their differences to defeat the "madman." Starros attempted to send a distress signal in K block but was blocked by one of Ray's IG-RM droids, who now controlled the prison's automated systems. Starros was subsequently attacked by an IG-RM. The tech-savvy Aphra tried to reprogram the droid but Organa shot it down.
After some arguing, Organa came up with a plan that involved scouring the cell blocks for prisoners to rescue and heading towards the docking bay so that they could escape. Meanwhile, in the control room, C-3PO warned R2-D2 not to do anything foolish since C-3PO had only had his arms recently attached. Elsewhere, Ray killed a prisoner in the maximum-security cell 17 who claimed to have killed three Jedi. Before leaving, Ray told the prisoner that the Emperor was a Sith Lord.
Ray then entered cell 18 before using the prison's automated systems to expose the Imperial prisoners to the vacuum of space, killing many. Contacting Organa by comlink, Ray regaled in his murderous acts and claimed that he was a true soldier of the Alliance. In the control room, R2-D2 shoved the cautious C-3PO into one of Ray's droid lieutenants, causing the latter to unlock the blast doors to the command center.
Following a gun battle, Organa and her allies managed to storm the command room with the help of one of Aphra's reprogrammed IG-RM droids. After reuniting with C-3PO and R2-D2, Organa confronted Ray's droid lieutenant at gunpoint and demanded to know who his master was. The droid refused to reveal his master's identity but claimed that his master was trying to "teach her the way she had once taught him."
Confronting the killer
While Aphra and Starros argued about the former betraying the latter, Han Solo and Luke Skywalker arrived aboard the Millennium Falcon. The two had returned from delivering nerfs to the planet Ibaar in an attempt to make up for the Alliance money that Solo had squandered during a game of sabacc on a planet. However, Ray ambushed the two men in the hangar and bound them.
When Organa, Starros, and Aphra arrived in the hangar, they confronted Ray, who offered Organa the chance of showing her how she could win the Galactic Civil War if she embraced his ruthless tactics. Ray threatened to shoot her friends if she did not execute the Imperial prisoner Aphra. While Organa refused to abandon her moral compass, Starros sought to settle scores with her estranged friend once and for all.
Ray then removed his mask, telling Organa that he was who she had made him and that she had sent him to them. Despite Ray's scarred and seared face, Organa recognized him as the former spy who had disappeared during the ill-fated Arrth-Eno mission. Taking pity on him, Organa offered to help him but Ray countered that she was the one who needed him. He then reiterated his demand to execute Aphra.
Unable to reason with Ray, Organa got R2-D2 to ignite an ion pulse, which knocked the station's gravitational systems offline. While Organa fought Ray, Starros attacked Aphra. Ray gained the upper hand over Organa and proceeded to choke her. Starros shoved Aphra into Ray, stopping her from killing Organa. The three women then attacked Ray and subdued him.
Following the capture of Ray, Rebel Alliance forces entered Sunspot Prison and evacuated the surviving prisoners. The dead who could be recovered were placed into body bags. The prison warden credited Organa with saving the lives of some of the prisoners but Organa thought that to many people including guards and prisoners had perished that day.
Meanwhile, Aphra escaped in an escape pod with the connivance of Organa and Starros. The rebels then evacuated the prison in their ships. Ray was also taken into rebel custody. Organa offered him medical treatment but he rejected her offers of help. While traveling aboard a rebel ship, Ray used an unlocking device disguised as a dental implant to escape rebel custody.
Several days later, the Task Force 99 stormtroopers Cav, Kreel, and Misty arrived at the evacuated Sunspot Prison searching for Ludd. However, they found that the rebels had already evacuated the prison. Under Kreel's orders, they proceeded on a new mission to kill rebels.
Behind the scenes
The assault on Sunspot Prison served as the main conflict of Marvel Comics' Star Wars Book IV: Rebel Jail story arc, which ran from February 17 to May 25, 2016. The story was written by Jason Aaron, drawn by Leinil Francis Yu, and inked by Gerry Alanguilan.[source?]
- Doctor Aphra: An Audiobook Original
- Star Wars (2015) 16 (First appearance)
- Star Wars (2015) 17
- Star Wars (2015) 18
- Star Wars (2015) 19
- The Screaming Citadel 1 (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars (2015) 31 (Indirect mention only)
- Doctor Aphra (2020) 14 (Indirect mention only)
Notes and references
- Darth Vader (2015) 15
- Star Wars Annual (2015) 1
- Star Wars (2015) 21
- This event occurs between the Battle of Yavin, which takes place in 0 BBY as stated by Star Wars: Galactic Atlas, and the assault on the Mako-Ta Space Docks, which Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition places one year after the Battle of Yavin, which, as already stated, takes place in 0 BBY, and therefore that assault takes place in 1 ABY. As such, this event occurs between 0 ABY and 1 ABY.
- Star Wars (2015) 16
- Star Wars (2015) 19
- Star Wars (2015) 17
- Star Wars (2015) 18