- "For the hunters, it was a very good day."
- ―Soontir Fel
Build up[edit | edit source]
Grand Admiral Thrawn, while working to undermine the influence of the criminal organization known as Black Sun on Corellia, discovered that the weapon-smuggling freighter Hopskip was bound for Derra IV. This information, combined with other evidence gathered by Imperial Intelligence, demonstrated that a Rebel supply convoy was intending to depart from that planet to the new Rebel base. Darth Vader and Thrawn worked together to develop the plan that would send the 181st Imperial Fighter Group to eliminate them.
Vader presented this plan to the pilots, though one of them Soontir Fel recognized that the plan was the brainchild of the quiet alien Admiral. This act left Fel irritated, disgusted at the hypocrisy of an alien being relied upon as the savior of the Empire, when Human superiority was a major premise used to justify Imperial policies. Ironically, Thrawn would receive no credit for his role in the battle, and Fel would later serve under Thrawn's fellow Chiss in the Empire of the Hand.
Battle[edit | edit source]
The convoy soon left Derra IV, but before it could enter hyperspace, a Star Destroyer appeared, and the TIE fighters of the 181st pounced on the unsuspecting Rebel ships. Despite the best efforts of Renegade Flight to defend the convoy, it was utterly destroyed. Soon afterward, Renegade Flight, which was part of Red Squadron, met its end as well, with Commander Narra dying at the hands of Fel himself.
The battle, although relatively insignificant and rather one sided, was a major victory for the Empire. The three major players in the 181st (Turr Phennir, Evir Derricote and Soontir Fel) were promoted in a major ceremony on Coruscant presided over by Emperor Palpatine himself. Phennir was given command of the 181st's second squadron and promoted to Commander for destroying four Rebel transports; Derricote was placed in charge of the Imperial facility on Borleias and promoted to General; and Fel was promoted to Colonel, given command of the 181st, and granted the Fel estate on his native Corellia as a Baron of the Empire, to which he moved his family shortly thereafter.
Though the plan was put together by Thrawn, he received no credit for the battle. As he was already a Grand Admiral at the time, there was perhaps no further honor he could receive. Some suggested that Ysanne Isard had the Emperor afterwards reassign Thrawn to the Unknown Regions to avoid the embarrassment of an alien's strategic achievement.
Moreover, the battle left the Rebel defenses at Echo Base on Hoth badly understaffed, with no opportunity for resupply and with only the forces of Rogue Flight to defend them. Following the death of Commander Narra, Luke Skywalker of Rogue Flight was promoted to Commander and took control of Red Squadron, which he soon after molded into Rogue Squadron.
Aftermath[edit | edit source]
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- "Side Trip"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 13 (Indirect mention only)
- The Empire Strikes Back radio drama (First appearance)
- Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron: In the Empire's Service (Mentioned only)
- X-Wing Rogue Squadron 25: The Making of Baron Fel (In flashback(s))
- Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron: Masquerade (Mentioned only)
- X-Wing: Rogue Squadron (Mentioned only)
- X-Wing: Wedge's Gamble (Mentioned only)
- X-Wing: The Krytos Trap (Indirect mention only)
- X-Wing: The Bacta War (Mentioned only)
- Legacy of the Force: Betrayal (Mentioned only)
Sources[edit | edit source]
- The Empire Strikes Back: The National Public Radio Dramatization
- Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back, Second Edition
- The Essential Chronology (First identified as Battle of Derra IV)
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 12 (REG1, The Alliance Regroups) (Indirect mention only)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 19 (VAD10, Darth Vader)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 21 (SKY10, Luke Skywalker)
- The New Essential Chronology
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia (see Derra IV)
- Rebellion Era Campaign Guide
- The Essential Atlas
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- (Indirect mention only)