- "An explosion bright as a star. A forest world, intrepid defenders, escaping ships, and… you, I think, somehow at the center of it all. Skywalker, it won't matter if you find them. It won't matter if you find and kill every Jedi who survived Order Sixty-Six. I understand now… the Force will never die."
- ―Roan Shryne's vision of the Battle of Endor in 19 BBY
The Battle of Endor, fought between the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire in 4 ABY, was one of the largest and most important engagements of the Galactic Civil War. It signified the decline of the Empire, with the deaths of Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader, as well as many major Imperial leaders, and the destruction of the Death Star II.
Plans for the battle began after the Rebels learned that the Empire was building a new Death Star above the forest moon of Endor. In addition, spies had informed Rebel leadership that not only were the Death Star's defense systems incomplete, but also that the Emperor himself would be overseeing the completion of the superweapon's construction. Seeing an opportunity to strike a crippling blow to the Empire, the Alliance planned an attack on the incomplete space station. One group of Rebels would fight on the moon's surface in an attempt to destroy the shield generator protecting the Death Star, while another would fight in space, assaulting the battle station in Endor's orbit once the protective shield was deactivated. Unbeknownst to the Rebels, Palpatine had deliberately leaked false information to them—the Death Star was, in actuality, operational and ready for combat. The Emperor also had a fleet of Star Destroyers waiting to ambush and destroy the Rebel Fleet upon their arrival.
On the ground, a group of Rebels led by General Han Solo fought the Imperial stormtroopers stationed on the forest moon in an attempt to destroy the shield generator protecting the Death Star. Meanwhile in space, the Alliance Fleet, led by Admiral Gial Ackbar and aided by Lando Calrissian in the Millennium Falcon, battled the Empire's naval forces and attacked the battle station. However, the Empire held a significant advantage in the space battle due to the massive fleet of Star Destroyers defending the battle station. In addition to the numerical advantage of the Imperials, Darth Sidious's battle meditation further helped the Imperials by scattering the attacking Rebel forces.
Shortly, the Rebels realized that they had been tricked, for the Death Star's weapon systems were already operational. Despite this quick realization, the Rebel fleet still suffered severe losses through the Death Star's superlaser, secretly controlled by IG-88, who also planned to overthrow the Empire. With the strike team on the ground still struggling to take down the shield, the Rebels were able to turn the tide of the battle with the help of the native Ewoks and gain access to the generator command bunker and rig it with explosives. After Solo's team was able to take down the shield generator, several squadrons of Rebel snubfighters led by Calrissian and Wedge Antilles began their attack on the Death Star's reactor core.
At the same time, Darth Vader brought Luke Skywalker to the Emperor in order to turn his son to the dark side of the Force. Skywalker dueled his father in the Emperor's throne room, and used his anger to emerge as the victor. However, after Skywalker refused to give in to Sidious's demands and kill Vader, the Sith Lord attempted to torture the young Jedi using his Force lightning. Unable to see his son die, Vader saved his son and killed his master by grabbing him and throwing him down the Death Star's reactor shaft. He had redeemed himself, becoming Anakin Skywalker once again and fulfilling his role as the Chosen One, though due to the damage inflicted by the Emperor's Force lightning, he died in the act.
Soon after, Calrissian and Antilles were able to destroy the Death Star's reactor core, setting off a chain reaction that obliterated the entire battle station, along with IG-88 and the other Imperials inside it. The Rebel fleet was able to escape its destruction, as did Skywalker. The Imperials, having seen the destruction of the Death Star and no longer having Sidious's battle meditation on their side, were forced to retreat. On Endor, Skywalker and the others celebrated their freedom, as did the inhabitants of many other worlds. With its two main leaders dead, the Empire began its long decline, with multiple warlords fighting for power. Many Rebel heroes of the battle, such as Wedge Antilles, were hailed as liberators, and they helped form the New Republic shortly thereafter. While the actions of the battle did not signify the end of the war, they marked the beginning of the end for the Empire and also succeeded in restoring balance to the Force.
- 1 Prelude
- 2 The battle
- 3 Aftermath
- 4 Notable participants
- 4.1 Galactic Empire
- 4.2 Alliance to Restore the Republic
- 5 Behind the scenes
- 6 Appearances
- 7 Sources
- 8 Notes and references
- "Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen."
In 4 ABY, the Rebel Alliance learned that the Empire was constructing a second Death Star space station under the supervision of Moff Tiaan Jerjerrod. The Alliance leadership soon discovered the Empire had corrected the design flaws that had been exploited in the original Death Star at the Battle of Yavin. It was decided that the station would have to be destroyed before it was completed, as it would be virtually impossible to stop after it became fully operational.
As part of Emperor Palpatine's preparations for the upcoming battle, he arranged for Darth Vader to arrive from Coruscant to Endor in order to ensure with the overseer of its construction, Moff Tiaan Jerjerrod, that the Death Star II's weapons systems were completed by the time the Emperor arrived at the station. In large part due to insufficient manpower, including the deaths of several construction crews in an incident where a stormtrooper infiltrator droid self destructed the second it was potentially discovered from objects falling, as well as the news that Palpatine was arriving on the station with the implied threat of facing a severe punishment should he be delayed any further, Jerjerrod vowed to redouble their efforts to ensure that the station's systems were completed on schedule.
In the meantime, when Palpatine was due to arrive at the battle station, Vader commanded an assembly of Imperial officers and stormtroopers to greet the Emperor's shuttle when it arrived, many of whom arrived for the rare opportunity to meet their commander-in-chief face-to-face, as the Emperor rarely left the confines of the Imperial Palace on Coruscant. Afterwards, Palpatine arrived on the station and was met with a parade of fighters and a flanking of troops and technicians. Vader, while accompanying the Emperor when marching to the throne room, informed Palpatine that the systems would be completed on schedule. After this notification, Darth Sidious, sensing Vader was still trying to search for Skywalker, told him that the latter was trying to seek him out, and that due to his growing power, they can only draw him to the dark side together. The Emperor then cackled in triumph as he believed that everything was proceeding according to his predictions.
After rescuing Han Solo from the clutches of Jabba the Hutt on Tatooine, Commander Luke Skywalker, while the others regrouped with the Rebel Fleet, traveled to Dagobah to complete his Jedi training with Grandmaster Yoda. When he arrived however, he found the ancient Jedi succumbing to the ravages of illness and old age. In response to Luke's pleas, Yoda informed him that he required no more training, but that, to truly achieve the rank of Jedi Knight, he had to confront Darth Vader one last time. Luke, who had been told by Vader during their duel a year before that the latter was his father, questioned Yoda as to the truth of Vader's revelation. Yoda reluctantly confirmed that Vader was indeed Luke's father as Luke had suspected, conflicting the young Jedi.
Through intelligence operations that cost the lives of many Bothan spies, the Alliance learned that the space station was orbiting the forest moon of Endor. In addition, the Rebels learned that, although the station was protected by a powerful deflector shield projected from a base on the moon, the station's weapons were not yet ready for service. Furthermore, they also learned from the Emperor's datapad itself, stolen in the Battle of Korriban, that the Emperor was personally supervising the final construction of the station. Destroying the station while he was still aboard would deliver a crushing blow to the Galactic Empire, perhaps the blow that would free the galaxy. Mon Mothma, the leader of the Rebel Alliance, gave a speech regarding the information with a heavy heart. A few moments prior to her speech, Mothma had received the letter from her then-deceased son, Jobin, who fell during the Battle of Hoth months earlier, and learned of her son's fate from General Crix Madine.
Determining the opportunity too vital to pass up, the Alliance planned a two-pronged attack. A commando squad, led by General Han Solo and coordinated by General Brenn Tantor, a former Imperial general who had set up the shield generator, would land on the moon in a stolen Imperial shuttle and disable the base's deflector shield projector. This would allow a Rebel fleet to attack and destroy the Death Star. Although the preparations to the shuttle in question, the Tydirium, including bringing in the task force, were complete, Solo did not find a command crew for the vessel in time, before Chewbacca and Leia Organa volunteered. Skywalker, who had just arrived at the Home One's briefing room after secretly training to become a Jedi at Dagobah, then volunteered as well, announcing his presence.
Meanwhile, Rebel ships launched an attack on Imperial forces near the planet of Sullust in an attempt to lure Imperial ships away from Endor. While the Rebels were successful in their objectives, it proved to be a miscalculation made by them, as Palpatine had devised a strategy to maintain the majority of the fleet close to Endor. There, the fleet would provide security and support for the second Death Star instead of engaging the Rebel Fleet, a strategy not revealed until the commencement of the battle above Endor's forest moon.
The Rebels were unwittingly falling into a trap devised by the Emperor himself. In an attempt to effectively eliminate the Rebellion, Palpatine planned on drawing the Alliance to Endor using simple disinformation: he hid the fact that the station's primary defense systems were already operational. Darth Vader's personal fleet, Death Squadron, was reinforced to a strength of over thirty Star Destroyers, assembled at Endor to await the Rebel attack. With Death Squadron hidden on the far side of the moon and an elite legion of Imperial troops standing by on the moon's surface near the shield generator, Palpatine was ready to crush the Alliance Fleet once and for all. Elsewhere in the galaxy, the Empire assembled massive invasion fleets on the borders of the Calamari sector and Mon Mothma's homeworld of Chandrila. Palpatine planned to smash Ackbar's fleet at Endor between the Death Star and Death Squadron while his fleets fixed the Mon Cals and Chandrila in place. Once the Death Star was completed, it would move to these worlds and destroy them to finally end the Rebellion.
As the Endor strike team arrived in the Endor system, they ran into several tense moments after they gave the de-facto leader of Death Squadron, Admiral Firmus Piett, via Controller Jhoff the confirmation codes to clear the Endor shield, as they were, although technically still functional, old codes. Because of these tense moments, just before Piett gave them the go-ahead, Solo verbally expressed concern and planned to abort the operation as soon as possible. However, as the strike team approached the moon, Luke felt Vader's presence onboard the Star Dreadnought Executor, which was functioning as a command ship for the Death Star's ostensibly light security screen. He quickly realized that, if he could sense Vader's presence, then Vader could likely sense his in return, and that as such he was endangering the entire mission by being there. As Luke had feared, Vader did in fact feel his son's presence aboard the shuttle Tydirium and allowed it to land on Endor for that reason. Before leaving to inform the Emperor of this development, he managed to tell Piett, when asking if he should not allow them in that he intended to deal with them personally.
Unknown to Luke at the time, the entire operation was a web of deception set up by Emperor Palpatine as a trap to destroy the Rebel Alliance. Both Vader and the Emperor were in fact expecting Luke to arrive, and each hoped to turn him into a new Sith apprentice. However, Sidious failed to sense Luke onboard the Tydirium, only discovering this when Vader disobeyed prior orders to remain on the Executor and reported his presence inside the Rebel vessel in person. The Sith Master then ordered Vader to go to Endor, anticipating that Luke would surrender himself in an attempt to bring Vader back to the light side. Knowing this, Sidious planned to turn the young Jedi to the dark side, installing the youth as his new apprentice, in much the same manner as Anakin had supplanted Count Dooku at his side 23 years before.
The ground assault
The Rebels took the Emperor's bait and a squad headed to Endor on board the captured shuttle Tydirium, stolen by Wedge Antilles on Prefsbelt IV. After using a stolen clearance code that, while outdated, the Executor cleared, Solo piloted the shuttle to the moon's surface. At that time, Luke began having second thoughts about coming on the mission after sensing that Vader was on the Executor; he feared Vader would sense his presence through the Force and endanger the entire operation. Sure enough, Vader had indeed detected his son and ordered the ship the pass before reporting back to the Emperor. At the same time, Renegade Squadron also slipped past the planetary shield. Solo's team landed, with Renegade Squadron landing some ways away.
After landing on the planet, Solo's team traversed through the forest until they encountered two Imperial scout troopers, Corporal Avarik and and Sergeant Elsek. Solo attempted to sneak up on the soldiers, but the attempt backfired when he accidentally stepped on a twig, giving away his position and forcing him to take them out openly. The commotion alerted two more nearby Scout Troopers, who escaped on speeder bikes to report to the main Imperial base. Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa, mounting the speeder bikes of the troopers Solo had felled, left in pursuit. During the chase, Luke Skywalker jumped onto another speeder bike and dislodging the driver. At that moment, another two Scout Troopers arrived on the chase, Sergeant Barich and Corporal Misik on their tail, Skywalker ordered Leia Organa to continue on her chase after the speeder while he take the other two speeders before Leia ended up being knocked away and then crashing her speeder by Barich, although he would eventually die shortly thereafter by crashing into a fallen tree. During Luke's pursuit, the Imperial reinforcement arrived on the chase and assist Misik to engaged Skywalker before several of their speeders ended up destroyed by Luke Skywalker.
Midway through his pursuit of the Scout Troopers, Skywalker stumbled upon and procured a case of homing concussion missiles.
Luke eventually encountered Misik, and they attempted to ram each other away. However, it resulted in them locking in place. Eventually, Luke managed to jump off from the speeder after disengaging. Misik then attempted to kill Luke by firing at him. However, Luke managed to deflect the blaster fire with his own lightsaber before he quickly sliced Misik's speeder bike's steering vane, forcing the doomed Misik to spin out of control and eventually collide into a tree, killing the corporal. Luke then departed to regroup with the task force.
After being separated during their pursuit of the Imperials through the forest, Skywalker returned to find Organa had not. Sending the rest of the strike team to continue on to their objective, and vowing to rendezvous with them at 0300, Skywalker, along with Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and R2-D2, left to search for Organa. However, the search ended up sidetracked when Chewbacca, due to undergoing "olfactory delirium" from the scent of a dead animal carcass, unwittingly ended up trapping his comrades in a net, set by the moon's indigenous population, the Ewoks. After R2-D2 brashly freed them by using his buzzsaw accessory, they ended up surrounded by the Ewoks, although they ended up worshiping C-3PO, believing him to be a deity from their pantheon mythology known as the Golden One, resulting in the group being taken prisoner by the Ewoks.
Meanwhile, Organa, unconscious after crashing her speeder bike, was awoken by a native Ewok named Wicket Wystri Warrick. Unsure whether she was friend or foe, Wicket was initially cautious of Organa because she was human and the local stormtroopers had killed many Ewoks. However, after the two were ambushed by Scout Troopers, including corporal Oberk, and worked together to overcome them, she had gained his trust and he took her back to his village. There she was reunited with Han, Luke, Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2 after they had been captured by the Ewoks and taken to Bright Tree Village, where they were to be sacrificed. The Rebel heroes would have met their end had Skywalker not convinced the Ewoks to help them by levitating C-3PO on his god-throne. After explaining their story, the Rebels were anointed as official members of the Ewok's tribe. One of the Ewoks also explained that he knew the quickest way to the Endor shield generator, with Han Solo telling C-3PO, shortly after the latter stated this, to ask which way, as well as their need of their weapons back and fresh supplies.
That night, Luke Skywalker, after asking about her real mother, revealed to Leia Organa that she was his sister and that Darth Vader was their father, information that shocked the Princess. Skywalker, sensing that Vader had felt his presence and had come to the moon in search of him, then left the Ewok village with a dual purpose: To protect his friends from discovery, and to surrender to Vader in an attempt to turn him from the dark side. Solo, unaware of this revelation when finding her outside shortly thereafter, tried to find out why Organa was upset, eventually asking irritably whether she wanted to talk to Skywalker when she was reluctant to divulge her discovery before consoling her. Afterwards, he ended up surrendering to a platoon of Imperial soldiers and was then boarded onto an AT-AT to be delivered to the main base, denying that any other rebels were in the area. However, both Vader and the commander of the AT-AT, Igar, did not believe his claim and with Vader's permission sent a search party for any potential rebels in the area. Skywalker then appealed to Vader to escape the Emperor and return to the Light Side of the Force, although Vader dismissed him, believing he was far beyond any chance at redemption.
In the meantime, Major Derlin and the rest of the team dodged Imperial patrols, then stopped to make camp as night fell. Shortly after starting their first sleeping shift, the camp sensors picked up an AT-ST moving in on their position. Derlin had Corporal Beezer jam its transmissions so it couldn't call for help, then Lieutenant Greeve took out both of the scout walker's searchlights. Finally, Corporal Delevar used the Caspel launcher to pop a smoke canister through one of the viewports in the head, forcing the crew to abandon the vehicle. Forcing the pilot to make check-in calls to explain its absence, the team was able to keep their rendezvous with General Solo without alerting Imperial forces.
- "This forested moon fits Lord Vader's requirements perfectly. Only conceivable threat is presented by furred, dwarf bipeds. Their technology is laughably primitive. The spears, bows, and slings of these pathetic savages pose no threat to disciplined Imperial stormtroopers. We can safely ignore these contemptible little fur-balls."
- ―Excerpt from report by Imperial reconnaissance unit IX3244-B
The next day, the Rebels, fully rendezvoused with each other, accompanied by a force of Ewok warriors, descended upon a secret entrance to the Imperial bunker. While planning how to infiltrate the bunker, one of the Ewoks, Paploo, in an attempt to create a diversion, snuck onto a nearby speeder bike and raced away into the forest, initially causing the Rebels some concern due to it carrying the high risk of their being discovered. After most of the Scout Troopers guarding the entrance raced away in pursuit of the Ewok, Solo and the rest of the rebels easily gained entrance to the bunker, including luring the remaining trooper towards the waiting task force and forcing him to surrender, and, after capturing the Imperials inside, began to set explosives. Their victory was short-lived, however, as they were soon ambushed by another contingent of Imperials led by Colonel Dyer and later Lieutenant Renz after the former was shoved beyond a railing to his death by General Solo, who led them out of the bunker where they were met by hundreds of stormtroopers and AT-STs. With the hopes of the Rebel task force all but dashed, the concealed Ewok force surrounding the Bunker clearing launched a furious ambush, stunning the Imperials who had already dismissed them as primitive natives. Meanwhile, Renegade Squadron heard over their comlinks that Solo was surrounded, and they rushed to his rescue. First, they liberated an Ewok village captured by stormtroopers. Finally, Renegade Squadron prevented the repairs on an AT-AT that had been crippled by Solo's strike team earlier from being finished.
Although initially surprised by the ambush, Tempest Force regained the upper hand and squads of stormtroopers pursued the Ewoks into the forest. Despite being outnumbered by the natives, the stormtroopers with their armor and advanced weapons forced the Ewoks back, and Imperial AT-ST scout walkers decimated Ewok holdouts. The Ewoks tried, but were unsuccessful with a number of tactics, such as using gliders to drop stones on top of the walkers, and trying to trip them with ropes.
Hoping to take the upper hand, a pair of Ewoks, led by the Wookiee Chewbacca, successfully captured Tempest Scout 2, one of the AT-ST walkers, throwing Lieutenant Watts out of the scout walker in the process, as well as knocking out Major Marquand.
Shortly after hijacking Tempest Scout 2, Chewbacca, while aiding the Ewoks and destroying Scout 2's former comrades, recovered a case of homing cluster missiles, stumbling upon it due to it being camouflaged.
Renegade Squadron also sent at least one of their men into a walker. The tide of the battle began to turn as Chewbacca used this AT-ST to take out isolated Imperial units as well as another Imperial walker. The sight of this rallied the remaining Ewoks, who had been retreating into the woods, and they doubled their efforts behind the stolen AT-ST. Meanwhile at the bunker door the Rebels try to break in again, but a new security code was put in place by the Imperials during the Rebels capture. Leia called for R2 to open the lock, but the droid was shot and disabled by a stormtrooper while doing so. As Solo tried to unlock the door manually, Leia was injured by a shot to the arm. Two stormtroopers then attempted to capture Han, Leia, C-3PO, and a damaged R2 only to get shot down by Leia who had concealed a gun on her person.
With the Ewoks springing a number of more successful traps, they, along with Chewbacca's commandeered AT-ST, were able to defeat the remaining scout walkers, before proceeding back to the entrance of the bunker to meet the Rebel Strike Team. The strike team was initially concerned with the AT-ST's arrival until Chewbacca popped out of the hatch. Solo initially ordered for the Wookiee to treat Organa's injuries, although he changed his mind when the AT-ST's presence gave him an idea of how to lessen security at the bunker: With the Imperials in disarray, Solo posed as Marquand, informing the Imperials within the bunker via comlink that the battle was over, that the Rebels were fleeing into the woods, and that reinforcements were needed to continue the pursuit. Three squads of reinforcements were sent to help search for the Rebels. The Rebels, however, were waiting at the bunker door, and the Imperial reinforcements, sorely outnumbered and under the guns of an AT-ST, surrendered to the combined force of Rebels and Ewoks. The Rebels proceeded to infiltrate the Imperial facility, clear out the remaining personnel, and destroyed the bunker with several proton charges. Renegade Squadron prevented any stormtroopers from entering the bunker while they did this. Storm commando Captain Sarkli attempted to intercept Solo and stop him from escaping the burning bunker, but failed and was shot dead, with Solo also stating that Sarkli had chosen the wrong side as the Empire was finished (referring to Sarkli's earlier defection from the Rebel Alliance). Upon rushing out of the doomed bunker, Solo then ordered everyone to clear the immediate area from the impending explosion. The destruction of the facility brought down the deflector shield surrounding the forest moon and the Death Star. At the same time, X2, a former elite clone trooper who turned against the Empire, also participated in the battle. He met up with Col Serra of Renegade Squadron on the surface of the moon. There, he fought a group of Imperial troopers and freed several Ewoks before shutting down the Imperial communications network. The space station was now vulnerable to attack, and the next phase of the battle began.
The space battle
At the same time the commandos were captured by the Imperials, the Alliance Fleet exited from hyperspace and moved to attack the apparently unshielded Death Star. General Lando Calrissian and his co-pilot, the Sullustan Nien Nunb, noticed that sensors were not detecting the residue of an active or a deactivated shield, which meant that the Empire was jamming the Alliance and the shield was likely still up. As they pulled up to avoid crashing into the shield, the Alliance Fleet spotted a group of Star Destroyers moving toward them. The Empire, having previously anticipated the imminent attack, staged a trap to capture and crush the Rebellion by sandwiching the Alliance Fleet between Death Squadron and the Death Star II. Interdictor cruisers moved into position to project gravity wells to trap the Alliance Fleet in-system.
TIE fighters and TIE interceptors were deployed from the Imperial Fleet to engage the Rebel fighters and capital ships. Some of the smaller warships were destroyed by the TIEs, and the Rebel and Imperial fleets engaged from a distance. Eventually, TIE bombers joined the fray, forcing the various squadrons to fight them before they reached the fleet. They then had to protect the medical frigate, which was heavily damaged from the earlier attacks from the TIE bombers and TIE fighters. The Star Destroyer fleet itself did not attack the Rebels, however, having been ordered by the Emperor to not attack the fleet as he intended to reveal a surprise for the Rebels, the fleet only being necessary to prevent the Rebels' escape. Commander Gherant, when learning from Admiral Piett about how the Executor wasn't going to actually attack the Rebel fleet shortly after Commander Merrejk informed them they were in attack position, was caught off-guard at this revelation. Calrissian also noticed the Imperial fleet's relative inaction despite having a clear tactical advantage in taking out the Rebels and got suspicious.
Soon, the "surprise" that the Emperor alluded to his officers earlier was revealed to be demonstrating the battle station's operability: the Death Star II fired its main superlaser on Liberty, destroying it. The Rebels, having believed that the Death Star's weapons systems were not yet operational, were shocked. Ackbar ordered a retreat, though Calrissian talked him out of it, reminding the admiral that this was their only chance to take out the Death Star II. Ackbar ended up agreeing, with Calrissian suggesting to Admiral Gial Ackbar that the Rebel fleet attack the Imperial Navy at point-blank range, hoping that the Death Star would hold fire to prevent destroying Imperial ships, and if that didn't work, they'd at least take a few of the Imperial vessels with them. Soon, the two sides were engaging each other at ranges little more than a few hundred meters, and the Death Star did limit its fire, though it still destroyed the Bulk Cruiser Urjani and an Unidentified MC80 Home One type Star Cruiser. The resulting strategy was also chaotic for both sides, largely because the scale and usage for broadside battles had been unprecedented. Calrissian's strategy along with the X-Wing squadron and Mon Calamari ship's firepower also resulted in the destruction of two of the Star Destroyers.
Around the time Calrissian targeted the two Star Destroyers, he also located and procured a case of homing cluster missiles that were floating in space.
Even with the Death Star's decreased rate of fire, the Imperial fleet still outnumbered and outgunned the Alliance and with the fleet in their path and interdictor fields raised and generated by Immobilizer-418s in the outer system, retreat was not an option for the Alliance. Furthermore, Calrissian pointed out to Ackbar that they would not get another chance at destroying the Death Star in its incomplete and vulnerable state.
As the enemy TIE fighters were launched, they began to swarm against Admiral Ackbar's flagship Home One. As a result, Ackbar needed to bring in X2 for aid. After destroying the enemy fighters, X2 was called to Home One, as it had been boarded by Imperial troopers. He and Ackbar defended the ship's reactor core from a group of stormtroopers, and X2 eliminated the invading troopers. Once the cruiser was secured, X2 proceeded to Endor's surface.
In the course of the battle, the Alliance engaged the Empire's main communications ship, the battlecruiser Pride of Tarlandia, which was generating the jamming that was hampering Rebel communications, and providing communications support to coordinate Death Squadron. The 181st Imperial Fighter Wing led by Baron Soontir Fel flew in defense of the Pride of Tarlandia and inflicted severe casualties on Green and Blue Squadrons. However, Fel was receiving contradictory orders and the Alliance concentrated its starfighters on the Tarlandia, outnumbering the 181st and allowing Gemmer Sojan, a Rogue Squadron veteran flying as Green Two, to destroy the ship with his A-wing. The loss of the Pride of Tarlandia caused the jamming to vanish and disrupted the Empire's communications. The Pride of Tarlandia was also the second-in-command for the fleet after the Executor, and with its loss, the Star Destroyer Chimaera became the next ship in line.
After receiving word that the Rebel strike team had destroyed the shield generator, Admiral Ackbar ordered the fighter squadrons to commence their attack on the Death Star's main reactor. Taking advantage of the new tactical situation, General Calrissian led all of the remaining fighters of Red and Gold Squadrons into the Death Star's superstructure, with several TIE Fighters and TIE Interceptors belonging to Scythe Squadron and the 181st Imperial Fighter Wing in pursuit. One TIE fighter crashed when it bumped into some wall pipes within the Death Star.
During this time, Calrissian spotted specs for an advanced targeting computer lodged in some support pipes, and procured it for later use.
After Keir Santage was shot down by pursuing TIE Interceptors when going through the reactor tunnel, General Calrissian ordered most of the surviving fighters to split up and head back up to the surface to draw away several of the fighters. Ultimately, this worked, leaving only two TIEs to pursue the Millennium Falcon and Antilles. However, the Millennium Falcon suffered minor damage when Lando Calrissian, while navigating through the battlestation, accidentally scraped part of the Millennium Falcon against the overhead, which resulted in the vessel's rectenna being knocked clean off.
In order to dissuade more Imperials from swarming the Rebel fighters within the Death Star's superstructure, Ackbar ordered a concentrated assault on the Imperial flagship, the Executor, in order to buy Calrissian more time. As Ackbar gave this order, one of the Star Destroyers also ended up exploding in a huge fireball. Green Squadron A-wings provided support for the Home One by disabling the ion cannons on three Star Destroyers. One of the Star Destroyers was severely damaged by a ramming attack from a CR90 corvette. With a combined effort of the entire Rebel flotilla of capital ships, the bridge shields were temporarily brought down. Admiral Piett, upon being notified of this, ordered for them to intensify the turbolasers' forward firepower to compensate for the new vulnerability, to prevent them from coming through.
Several fighter squadrons began to target the Executor's main sensors. After Jake Farrell - Green Four - destroyed one of the giant sensor spheres, Green Leader Arvel Crynyd attempted to perform a trench run across the Executor's dorsal cityscape, and destroyed several turbolasers before his fighter took critical damage from a turbolaser hit. Crynyd steered his crippled fighter into the Executor's bridge. Gherant witnessed Crynyd's A-wing approaching the bridge and attempted to warn his superior, Piett, about how it's too late to intensify the firepower, causing them both to duck into one of the crew pits as the A-Wing crashed through. This resulted in the cataclysmic destruction of much of the command bridge, killing all of the bridge command staff. Before the secondary command center could regain control of the ship, the Executor was caught by the second Death Star's gravity well, and was consequently pulled toward the battle station. It then crashed into the surface of the Death Star, exploding into a ball of fire and killing every remaining officer and crewman on board.
Moff Jerjerrod, remembering his orders from the Emperor to destroy the moon if the shield was brought down, began to rotate the Death Star toward Endor. The Rebel fighters, led by the Millennium Falcon, sped to the space station's reactor at its center. Jerjerrod responded by flooding the area with interference to hinder the Rebel's progress, and presumably issued an evacuation order to the battle station's non-essential crew, which included Scimitar TIE/sa bomber squadron members Captain Jonus and Major Rhymer. After this, Ackbar ordered that all ships be moved away from the Death Star, sensing that soon it would be destroyed.
Likewise, Wedge Antilles and General Calrissian managed to arrive at the Death Star's main reactor chamber. Antilles targeted the reactor core's power regulator with proton torpedoes while Calrissian targeted the core itself, proceeding to rush out of the core tunnel and narrowly escape just as the core erupted behind them. The pursuing TIE interceptors, however, were unable to evade the resulting fireball, being destroyed as they were pursuing the Millennium Falcon close to the exit.
While the Imperials had successfully led the Rebels into a trap, they were unaware of who truly controlled the Death Star. In the years beforehand, the droid IG-88, a feared assassin and bounty hunter, had prepared to launch a droid revolution. The last surviving model, IG-88A, built a duplicate of the Death Star's computer core and switched its fake one for the real system, transferring his consciousness into the computer itself. When the Imperials installed the core, IG-88A literally became the Death Star, with complete access and control to all systems. None of the Imperial personnel knew, although Palpatine suspected a foreign presence when a series of doors in his throne room opened and closed mysteriously. When the Rebels arrived, IG-88A fired the superlaser at the Rebel fleet when the Death Star gunners sent the signal to do so, letting the Imperials believe they were in control, while he prepared to transmit his master control signal that would cause all droids to turn on their masters. Many times, the aiming points and the firing coordinates of the gunners were slightly off and would have missed their intended targets completely had IG-88 not been in command to guarantee accuracy.
Demise of the Sith
- "You were right. You were right about me. Tell your sister… you were right."
- ―The redeemed Anakin Skywalker to his son, Luke
Meanwhile, just prior to the Endor Strike Team's failed assault into the shield generator bunker, Darth Vader brought Luke Skywalker to the Emperor's observation tower within the Death Star. There, Darth Sidious planned to turn Luke to the dark side of the Force and install him as his new apprentice in Vader's place. Vader also planned on turning Luke, but intended to use his son to help him kill Sidious. Upon witnessing Luke and Vader's arrival, Sidious, after welcoming Luke, proceeded to remove Luke's stun cuffs as well as dismissed the present Royal Guardsmen from the throne room.
When Sidious began to taunt Luke with what he believed to be the inevitability of Luke's fall, Luke implied that everyone on the Death Star, including himself and the Emperor, would soon be dead. Chuckling, Sidious, while the former and Luke indicated that their respective weaknesses were overconfidence and his faith in the Endor Strike Team's success, revealed that the Rebels were walking into a carefully orchestrated trap; Palpatine himself had provided the Rebels with all the information they had on the Death Star, including the construction site, the location of the planet-side shield generator, and (albeit false) information on the station's operational status. He also informed Luke of the fact that he had stationed an entire legion of his best troops at the site of the shield generator, and that as such, the small Rebel strike team on Endor had virtually no chance of deactivating the Death Star's shield before the Rebel fleet arrived.
Shortly thereafter, the Rebel fleet commenced its attack and was trapped between the shielded Death Star and Death Squadron. With the Rebel fleet in dire straits, Sidious began to taunt the young Jedi with the inevitable destruction of the Alliance and the deaths of all his friends. Luke, helpless to aid his comrades, began to grow enraged and he glanced down at his lightsaber, sitting on the armrest of the Emperor's throne. Noticing Luke's gaze, Palpatine began to goad Luke to take the lightsaber and strike him down. Luke, despite his anger, remained defiant and refused to be baited, although Sidious indicated that Luke's fall would be inevitable.
However, the Dark Lord still had one more card to play. As he continued his taunting, he revealed to Luke that the Death Star's primary weapons systems were in fact operational, and ordered Jerjerrod to begin picking off Rebel capital ships at his leisure. Luke, his emotions mounting, glanced down at his weapon a second time, and the Emperor repeated his challenge to Luke to strike him down. Luke turned back towards the viewport through which he had been observing the battle, but several seconds later, suddenly turned back towards Sidious and summoned his weapon with the Force. Igniting it, he struck out at Sidious, only to have his blow intercepted by Vader as the Emperor cackled in triumph.
Luke and Vader then began to duel atop the dais, with neither of them able to gain any sort of advantage for a considerable period. After a time, Luke suddenly intensified his attack, forcing a surprised Vader to retreat to the head of the stairs leading up to the dais. Taking advantage of Vader's precarious position, Luke kicked him in the chest, sending the Sith Lord careening down the stairs to land in a heap on the floor below. Seeing the power of Luke's anger, Sidious approvingly told Luke to continue drawing on his hate and anger as Vader regained his feet. The Dark Lord's words broke through Luke's anger and he deactivated his lightsaber, calming himself and refusing to play Sidious's game.
Witnessing Luke's discipline, Vader solemnly stated the Obi-Wan had taught Luke well and began ascending the staircase towards his son. Luke then refused to continue fighting and began slowly backing away from Vader. Dismissing his son's declaration, Vader reached Luke in short order and struck at the young Jedi with his lightsaber, forcing Luke to reactivate his weapon. After a brief flurry of swordplay, Luke leapt away from Vader into the center of one of the data pods in Palpatine's throne room. Vader drove his lightsaber between two of the slots on the device in an attempt to stab Luke, but the young Jedi backflipped out of the pod and onto a catwalk behind him.
Safely away from Vader, Luke attempted to sway his father from the dark side, telling Vader that he was emotionally conflicted and that he retained some good within him. Vader denied the presence of any sort of internal conflict on his part, to which Luke responded by stating his belief that Vader would not kill him now when he had not been able to bring himself to do so on Bespin. However, Vader asserted that Luke underestimated the power of the dark side, and that if he would not fight, he would "meet his destiny." With that, Vader hurled his lightsaber at Luke. Luke managed to duck to the side quickly enough to avoid his father's crimson bladed weapon, but the lightsaber sheared through several of the catwalk's support struts, destabilizing the section where Luke was standing. As the gantry fell, Luke slid down it and scurried beneath the dais as Sidious laughed. Vader strode down the stairs to where Luke had fallen, activating his reclaimed weapon as he did so.
As Vader reached the entry to the underside of the dais, Luke invited his father to follow him, claiming that he only wished to talk. Vader, however, believed that Luke was planning to ambush him and refused. To prove to Vader that he intended no treachery, Luke tossed his lightsaber out from under the dais, where it rolled to a stop at Vader's feet. Mocking Luke's foolishness in relinquishing his weapon, Vader picked it up and proceeded under the dais.
Vader began to stalk the shadows under the dais, but he could not find his son. After a short, fruitless search, Vader began a verbal attempt to draw Luke out of hiding, beginning with an assertion that Luke could not stay hidden forever. Luke, however, merely repeated his earlier insistence that he would not fight. Vader then began to prey on Luke's strong emotions for his friends, telling him that giving himself to the dark side was the only way to save them. As Luke's fears for his friends grew, Vader probed Luke's mind for more information about them that he could use to his advantage, and discovered that Luke had a twin sister. Derisively commenting on what he thought of Obi-Wan's decision to hide her lineage, he then stated that, if Luke would not turn to the dark side, then perhaps his sister would.
With that, Luke's rage exploded. Using the Force to retrieve his lightsaber from Vader, Luke tapped into the dark side and used his hate and anger to boost his physical prowess. He then attacked Vader with such intensity that their lightsabers, both of which contained synthetic crystals, began to short out. Vader, taken completely off guard by Luke's sudden increase in power and aggression, was forced onto his back foot and quickly driven onto a short bridge between the throne room and the elevator. Luke continued to hammer Vader with vicious power attacks until Vader lost his footing and collapsed against a railing on the side of the bridge. After a few more blows, Luke drove Vader's lightsaber aside with an undercut and brought his weapon down on Vader's wrist, severing Vader's weapon hand and causing him to collapse onto the floor.
As Luke held his defenseless father at bladepoint, he heard Sidious laughing and proclaiming his satisfaction with Luke's power. As Palpatine goaded Luke to finish Vader and take his place at the Dark Lord's side, Luke removed his prosthetic hand from his lightsaber and looked down at it. Glancing from it to the severed stump of Vader's own mechanical hand, Luke realized that he was on the brink of repeating Vader's destiny, and took a deep breath to calm himself. Deactivating his lightsaber and tossing it away, Luke proclaimed that he would never turn to the dark side, affirming his identity as a Jedi. Furious that he had failed to turn Luke, as had been the case with Galen Marek six years earlier, Palpatine proclaimed that, if Luke would not turn, he would die.
With that, Palpatine unleashed a barrage of relatively low-intensity Force lightning at Luke, blasting him backwards into several fixtures on the floor in front of a chasm above the reactor core. Intending to torture Luke for his defiance, Palpatine asserted that Luke was a fool and fired another low-intensity blast at Luke. Luke attempted to use Tutaminis to absorb the attack, but his lack of training in the technique, coupled with Palpatine's incredible power, resulted in failure. The electricity struck Luke head on as Sidious fired yet another blast, nearly forcing Luke over the fixtures upon which he was perched and into the chasm. The injured Darth Vader, who had by then regained his feet, approached Palpatine from behind as the Dark Lord mocked Luke, claiming that Luke's own skills were no match for the power of the dark side. As Luke struggled to pull himself off the fixtures and away from the chasm, Palpatine struck again and Luke fell to the ground. Snarling that Luke would pay the price for his refusal to turn, he began to fire a continual barrage of lightning. As he writhed in agony on the floor, Luke pleaded with Vader to help him, but the conflicted Sith Lord did nothing.
After a few more moments of torture, Palpatine ceased his barrage and informed Luke that his time had come. He resumed his attack, preparing to increase the power of his lightning to lethal intensity. However, unnoticed behind him, underneath the mantle of Darth Vader, Anakin Skywalker, unable to bear the sight of seeing his son in agony, found himself in a similar position from twenty-three years earlier when he made the decision to save Sidious from Mace Windu, who was killed by the Emperor and this began to bring to mind all of Anakin's painful memories. He had been unable to save his mother twenty-six years earlier, three years later he had allowed Mace Windu to die under his master's power, he had murdered hundreds of Jedi, he had killed his former master and best friend, Obi-Wan Kenobi, he had caused the death of his wife, Padmé Amidala, but he could save his son. Anakin Skywalker would not stand by and leave his son to fall. From that moment on, Darth Vader ceased to exist and Anakin Skywalker was reborn.
In a final, heroic act of self-sacrifice, rectifying his mistake of not helping Windu kill Sidious before, he grabbed Palpatine from behind as the Dark Lord increased the power of his lightning to its maximum. The energy however, flowed into Anakin and the emperor as the latter was hoisted off his feet, sparing Luke. Screaming in pain, rage and disbelief, Palpatine continued to fire his lightning at such intensity that Anakin's bones shone through his armor, but it did nothing to stop him. Anakin staggered over to the chasm above the reactor core and, with his last strength, he hurled Palpatine over the railing and into the abyss, the latter exploding into Force energy shortly afterwards.
With its Dark Lord dead and his apprentice redeemed, the Order of the Sith Lords was no more. However, the intensity of Sidious's lighting had been so great that it had completely shorted out most of the sensitive electronics in Anakin's suit and cybernetics, leaving him virtually helpless and on the brink of death. Luke, unwilling to leave his father behind, managed to drag Anakin's cumbersome, immobile body to his shuttle as a general evacuation of the Death Star II was proceeding around them.
As they reached the shuttle, Luke stopped on the boarding ramp to catch his breath. Propping Anakin's torso up, he looked down at his father, who requested that Luke help him remove his mask. Luke urgently reminded his father that, without the mask, he would die, but Anakin knew that the damage to his cybernetics was irreparable. Now, all he wanted was to be able to look at Luke without the ocular filters of his mask in the way. Telling this to Luke, the boy obliged him and slowly removed the mask that Anakin had worn for nearly half his life. His dying request fulfilled, Anakin told Luke to leave him and go, but Luke adamantly proclaimed that he would not; that he intended to save his father. But Anakin replied that Luke had already done so, and asked him to let Leia know that, in the end, Luke had been right about him. With that, Anakin Skywalker died in his son's arms, finally free from the evil that had consumed him from the conclusion of the Clone Wars throughout the Galactic Civil War having fulfilling his role as the Chosen One who would bring balance to the Force.
- "This is one victory that'll go down in history, for sure."
- ―Col Serra
While Luke and Vader had been waging their duel, Wedge Antilles and Lando Calrissian had been approaching the main reactor. Antilles fired two proton torpedoes into the power regulator. Calrissian then loosed two concussion missiles which scored a direct hit on the main reactor, causing a massive explosion. This ignited a chain reaction that ultimately destroyed the station. Luke was able to escape in Vader's shuttle just before the fireball reached the equatorial docking bays, while Wedge and Lando narrowly made it out of the superstructure before the station tore apart. The ground forces witnessed the explosion from the surface of Endor, with Solo becoming concerned about the possibility that Skywalker may not have escaped from the battle station prior to its destruction, although Organa confirmed that he had escaped, explaining that she felt it. Organa also confirmed that she loved Skywalker when Solo asked, with the latter deciding to let her go to Skywalker, although Organa then admitted that Skywalker was actually her brother before kissing a dumbfounded Solo.
With the Death Star's destruction and the cessation of fleet combat, there was only cleaning up to do for the Rebels. They landed a force of tanks and other weapons that, under the command of Brenn Tantor, successfully mopped up the last of the Imperial presence on the moon with a direct assault on their base. X2 captured the ion cannon command bunker and fired the weapon against several Star Destroyers. He and Col Serra then destroyed two AT-ATs heading toward the Ewok village. Finally, Renegade Squadron's soldiers captured the final three command posts on the surface, ending the Empire's control of the world. Meanwhile, Han Solo and the strike team, from an idea that Chewbacca inadvertently planted in the former's head regarding returning the Tydirium to the fleet, shortly after the destruction of the Endor Shield Generator bunker, disguised themselves as stormtroopers, with Solo himself disguising himself as an Imperial General, and utilized the Tydirium to land in the Star Destroyer Accuser, and then infiltrated the control bridge posing as Imperials who escaped from the ambush. Solo then knocked out the commanding officer and then sent every single personnel member to evacuate from the Star Destroyer, promptly capturing it for the Rebel Alliance. Solo and Lieutenant Page were later called in by Ackbar and Mothma to debrief the situation as they captured the Star Destroyer, by that point renamed the Emancipator, without consulting them first. When Ackbar congratulated Page on the success, and asked how they managed to accomplish this, Page corrected him and stated that they didn't even need to fire a single shot to take it over.
Having seen the destruction of the Empire's two most powerful weapons, the Imperial Fleet lost the stomach to fight and fled. After the destruction of the Executor, and with the destruction of the Pride of Tarlandia, command was supposed to pass from Fleet Admiral Piett to Admiral Horst Strage, the commander of the Imperial-class Star Destroyer Chimaera, which was serving as the secondary command ship. However, Strage had been killed when an ion blast overloaded his neural shunt, and it was Gilad Pellaeon, acting captain of the Chimaera, who ordered a retreat from Endor to Annaj, the capital of the Moddell sector. He did this without the consent of Admiral Harrsk, a higher-ranking officer than Pellaeon, who had this point was injured and incommunicado in a bacta tank. This would later lead to the Admiral's defection. Pellaeon also abandoned Grand Admiral Osvald Teshik, who escaped the destruction of the Death Star and instead of fleeing as his colleagues Miltin Takel and Afsheen Makati did, unsuccessfully tried to rally the fleet and fought on alone for three more hours. Finally, his flagship, Eleemosynary, succumbed to barrages of ion cannon fire and was captured. He was later executed for war crimes by Rebel authorities.
Had the Rebels failed to destroy the station, the end result would have been worse than anticipated, but surprisingly, it would have been an ill turn of events for the Empire as well. IG-88A was still planning to launch his droid revolution against the Empire. When the Death Star core exploded, all power was lost and the destruction of the station wiped out IG-88A for good.
The battle was thus sealed for the Rebellion. It was theorized by Grand Admiral Thrawn that with the death of Emperor Palpatine, the subtle influence he exercised on his troops through the Force disappeared with his death, drastically reducing the Imperial Navy's fighting ability. It is known, however, that Grand Admiral Nial Declann perished with Palpatine aboard the Death Star, and that he had been using the rare Force power of battle meditation to aid the Imperial Fleet.
With the deaths of both the Emperor and Darth Vader and the destruction of the Death Star, the Imperial leadership had been essentially decapitated, and the Empire had lost it's most powerful weapon. Demoralized, the remaining Imperials retreated deeper into Imperial space, believing that the Rebels would not press the attack. Despite having ultimately won the battle, the Alliance loses were still very heavy. One-fifth of the Alliance Fleet was destroyed, including several Mon Calamari cruisers and numerous smaller ships, and three-quarters of the surviving fleet was in need of extensive repairs. On the Imperial side, Death Squadron had lost the Executor, one of its two battlecruisers, a Tector-class Star Destroyer, and fifteen of its thirty-three Imperial-class Star Destroyers.
- "Wesa free!"
- ―A Gungan shouting from the Theed celebration following the Battle of Endor
The Rebels and Ewoks celebrated during the night, an event occurring on thousands of planets across the galaxy, as they had accomplished their main goals. The Emperor was dead, and the Empire had been dealt a massive blow. In this glorious celebration, Leia revealed to Han that Luke was her brother. The celebration continued into the night time, with the Rebels rendezvousing at Bright Tree Village. The Ewoks later proceeded to celebrate by utilizing helmets of stormtroopers and TIE pilots confiscated from the Imperial survivors as drums.
Shortly after his death, what little had remained of Anakin's organic body had vanished into the Force, leaving behind only his cybernetics and armor. Despite this, Luke created a funeral pyre for the armor in the traditional Jedi manner, and set it alight as the Rebel celebration got underway. After the armor had all but burned away, Luke returned to Bright Tree Village where most of the planetside Rebel commanders were celebrating. After warmly greeting both Leia and Han, Luke took a moment to gaze off into the distance, and saw the ghost of his father, along with the ghosts of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda, standing on the platform from whence he had just come. As all three looked on approvingly at Luke, he paused to exchange a brief smile with them before Leia arrived to bring him back to the celebration.
The remains of the Rebel Fleet screened the space directly above Bright Tree Village to avoid any debris from the Death Star blast from harming that area. However, some of the wreckage from the battle, including a Star Destroyer, remained on Endor for years afterward. So did an Imperial scout trooper and Rebel trooper, who ran into each other by chance a year and a month later without knowing who had won the battle. After the Imperial commented on the stupidity of the Rebel strategy, the two discovered that the shield generator had been destroyed, and the Imperial stated that the Rebellion would form a new, peaceful society.
After the battle, the Emperor's Hand operative Mara Jade oversaw an alternate-history simulation of the battle. The simulation ended with the capture of Solo and Organa and the destruction of the Rebel Starfleet. The Empire attempted to release a cover story about their devastating defeat at Endor. However, they weren't able to get that chance as the Rebel Alliance managed to transmit the feed of the full details of the results of the battle. As a result, upon hearing of the Emperor's death, citizens on many worlds, such as Naboo and Tatooine, staged various uprisings celebrating the death of the Emperor and Lord Vader and the defeat of the Imperial Fleet at Endor. At least the Naboo and the Tatooine uprisings were successful in galvanizing anti-Imperial sentiment, even though some of them were crushed. Bespin was liberated by Lando Calrissian several days after the battle; its inhabitants also celebrated the major Rebel victory. The celebrations, and the violence that came with them, spread to Coruscant, then called Imperial Center, where citizens staged an uprising upon hearing of the Emperor's death. They set off fireworks, attacked Imperial forces in the streets, toppled statues of Palpatine, and desecrated other symbols of the Empire. However, the Empire cracked down on the celebrations, killing citizens and covert Rebels before order was restored. The New Republic was finally able to invade Coruscant and liberate its people from Imperial rule a little over two years later.
Death Squadron regrouped and repaired near Annaj following the battle and its surviving commanders fell to debating the next course of action. Gilad Pellaeon urged a return to Endor: he believed that despite their losses, Death Squadron remained powerful enough to overcome them. Pellaeon was countermanded by Admiral Blitzer Harrsk, speaking from his bacta tank, who regarded Pellaeon's tactical command as nullified with the end of the battle. Command now belonged to Admiral Adye Prittick, who notified the rest of the Empire of the crushing defeat. However, Prittick dithered for so long over what decision to make that Harrsk chose to break with the fleet, taking the battlecruiser Ilthmar's Fist and five Star Destroyers into the Deep Core until a clear chain of command could be established. This prompted two captains from the Elrood sector to return there to await orders. This left Death Squadron with just twelve Star Destroyers, a force that Prittick judged too small to guarantee victory. He ordered a withdrawal to Yag'Dhul to guard against a strike into the Core Worlds.
The Alliance of Free Planets, and soon thereafter, the New Republic, was soon formed from the Rebel Alliance, and during the years immediately following the Battle of Endor, heroes of the Rebellion like Wedge Antilles traveled around the galaxy to drum up support for the burgeoning Republic. Luke Skywalker would fulfill his destiny by creating the New Jedi Order, eventually becoming its Grand Master and training many students in the Jedi ways, including many heroes of Endor and their offspring. Endor would soon become a battlefield again, when the Nagai invaded the world, though the Alliance of Free Planets defeated the invaders and set up its base on Endor.
What started as a trap to eliminate the Rebellion once and for all became the start of the Empire's downfall and demise. While the Empire continued to exist for many years after the Battle of Endor, it entered a state of decline, and did not revert to its original state. The disintegration and collapse of the Galactic Empire began shortly after the Battle of Endor as news of the Emperor's death became widespread. Palpatine had planned to rule the galaxy indefinitely, and as such he had not established any plans for who would succeed him. Compounding this confusion was the fact that Vader, Palpatine's right hand and de-facto successor, had perished with the Emperor. With the two Sith Lords dead, numerous Imperial leaders began carving out personal fiefdoms. This decay and collapse accelerated in 11 ABY after the resurrected Palpatine's final death. Years later, the small and mostly ignored Imperial Remnant signed a peace treaty.
Though Rebel Alliance and its successor governments extolled their victory during the Battle of Endor, they were not the only ones to utilize the Battle of Endor for propaganda purposes. Although the battle dealt a devastating blow to the Empire, efforts were made to provide it with a pro-Imperial spin. In one case, Imperial agents stated that the Ewoks had been annihilated following the battle. Also, a Galactic Museum exhibit presented the Second Death Star as a weapon of the Rebel Alliance, rather than the Empire, and portrayed Palpatine and Darth Vader as heroes who sacrificed themselves to destroy the battle station after attempts at peaceful negotiations failed. Although it presented a far stretch from the truth, even Wedge Antilles, who visited the exhibit while undercover on Coruscant, felt it was as compelling as the true history. Similarly, the duel between Vader and Luke was later "adapted" into a Holothriller film called Luke Skywalker and the Jedi's Revenge, under the orders of Lord Cronal, the former Director of Imperial Intelligence as part of a means of manipulating the new-found free speech to promote Imperial values. Skywalker, after watching the holofilm, expressed disgust at the ending, which depicted Skywalker killing Darth Vader to avenge Emperor Palpatine, and also cited most of the film's historical inaccuracies.
As late as 41 ABY, the aging Luke Skywalker and his allies were fighting a new Sith Order led by Darth Caedus, Darth Vader's grandson. After escaping from Coruscant, the Jedi used the former Imperial outpost from the Battle of Endor. In a costly mistake, Caedus refused to search for Luke Skywalker on places such as Hoth or Endor that reminded the Jedi Master of his Rebel years. Eventually, though, Caedus's fate was like that of his Sith predecessors, as he was killed and later redeemed, and peace was restored to the galaxy once again. During the same time, a reporter named Cindel Towani interviewed a surviving stormtrooper from the battle, where he explained to her the atrocities the Ewoks caused during the battle.
The victory at Endor would be celebrated for many years after the battle on a holiday called Endor Day.
The first emperor of the Galactic Empire, Palpatine was also known as Darth Sidious, Dark Lord of the Sith. In order to destroy the Rebellion once and for all, Palpatine planned a trap for the Rebels at Endor, leaking false information to them, such as the fact that the Death Star's weapon systems were not yet operational. He planned to turn Luke Skywalker to the dark side of the Force, and had him captured by Darth Vader. He set up a deadly lightsaber duel between Luke and Vader, and tempted the young Jedi to kill his weak father. When Skywalker refused, Palpatine used Force lightning to nearly kill him. Darth Vader, finally redeeming himself, threw Palpatine down the Death Star's reactor shaft, killing Palpatine and ending his menace. Palpatine's death threw the Empire into disarray; even when he returned as a clone six years later, the Empire never recovered from his death.
The Sith apprentice of Palpatine, Darth Vader had once been Anakin Skywalker, a heroic Jedi Knight. Prior to the Battle of Endor, he and Palpatine planned to turn Vader's son, Luke Skywalker, to the dark side. Vader took his son from Endor to the Emperor's throne room aboard the Death Star, and presented him to Palpatine. There, he dueled his son, and although Vader used the power of the dark side and tempted Luke, he lost the duel and was at the mercy of his son. When the Emperor tortured Luke for not killing Vader, Vader was torn, and finally killed his master by throwing him into the Death Star's reactor. Anakin Skywalker was redeemed but died from his injuries, with his life-support system damaged. He had finally fulfilled his duty as the Chosen One, having restored balance to the Force.
Admiral Firmus Piett
An Imperial captain of the Imperial Star Destroyer Accuser and later admiral of the flagship Executor during Galactic Civil War. Piett was instantly killed when the A-wing piloted by Arvel Crynyd crashed into the bridge of the Executor.
Moff Tiaan Jerjerrod
Hailing from Tinnel IV, Tiaan Jerjerrod had acted as the Moff of the Quanta sector during the Galactic Civil War. Just before to the Battle of Endor, he was assigned to supervise the construction of the Death Star II. Darth Vader was very displeased when he saw that the Death Star's completion was behind schedule; as a result, Jerjerrod ordered his men to accelerate their work. During the battle, Jerjerrod ordered his men to fire the battle station's superlaser at the Rebel fleet, destroying several of their capital ships. Jerjerrod later positioned the Death Star to destroy Endor's forest moon, remembering Palpatine's orders to destroy it if the Rebels brought down the shield. However, before he could carry out that order, he was killed when the Death Star was destroyed by the Alliance.
The first of the IG-88 assassin droids, IG-88A gained a strong level of sentience following his creation, and planned to launch a droid revolution against the Human-controlled Galactic Empire. After all the other IG-88 units were destroyed, IG-88A gained access to the computer core inside the Death Star II, and controlled the battle station's weapon systems. During the Battle of Endor, IG-88A was in control of the superlaser when it was fired at the Rebel Alliance's capital ships. While the Empire was unaware that he was actually controlling the Death Star, Palpatine was suspicious when several of the doors in his throne room mysteriously opened and closed. When the Rebels managed to destroy the Death Star, IG-88A was obliterated, and both his body and consciousness were destroyed. As a result, his planned revolution never occurred.
Alliance to Restore the Republic
A Jedi Knight and hero of the Rebel Alliance, Luke Skywalker was shocked when he learned of his identity as the son of Darth Vader. During the Battle of Endor, he was part of the Rebel strike force that descended onto the forest moon of Endor. He descended with the Rebels onto the moon; while there, he revealed to Leia Organa that the two of them were siblings. He then left to surrender to Vader, who had come looking for him, in order to protect his friends. On board the Death Star, Palpatine attempted to turn Luke to the dark side of the Force, and had Luke duel his father. Luke gave in to his anger and emerged victorious, but when he refused to kill his father and join the Emperor, Palpatine attempted to kill him using Force lightning. Finally, Vader saved his son by killing the Emperor, and redeemed himself, telling Luke that he had been right all along. Skywalker escaped the exploding battle station with his father's body, and though he was saddened by his father's passing, he joined the Rebel celebration on Endor that night. He would go on to serve the New Republic and form the New Jedi Order, achieving his destiny.
General Han Solo
A former smuggler, Han Solo joined the Rebel Alliance and fought for it on numerous missions. After being frozen in carbonite, he was rescued by his friends, and went on to command a Rebel force at the Battle of Endor. Solo was in charge of the strike team sent to the forest moon, and he lent his starship, the Millennium Falcon, to his friend Lando Calrissian for the space battle. After arriving on Endor, Han and Luke, Leia, Chewbacca, R2-D2, and C-3PO met the native Ewoks and gained their help. Solo and his group infiltrated the shield generator bunker, and after a skirmish during which the Ewoks helped the Rebels, the Death Star's shield was brought down, allowing Calrissian and the others to attack the superweapon. Following its destruction, Han Solo celebrated with the rest of the Rebels in Bright Tree Village. He learned from Leia Organa that Luke Skywalker was her brother, which allowed him to continue his love affair with her. Later, he served the New Republic, continuing what he accomplished at Endor.
An Alderaanian princess, Leia Organa became one of the Rebel Alliance's most important fighters. During the Battle of Endor, she traveled to the surface of Endor, along with Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Chewbacca, and a group of other Rebels. In the moon's forests, she and Luke rode captured speeder bikes against Imperial scout troopers. However her speeder bike crashed and she was knocked unconscious, isolated from the others. Wicket W. Warrick, one of the Ewoks, came across her body and after being revived she befriended him. Wicket then took her to Bright Tree Village where she was given new clothes by the Ewoks. Later the others were brought to the village and were to be sacrificed, despite her protests. However Luke was able to prevent the Ewoks from sacrificing the Rebels and Leia was reunited with them. That evening, Luke made a stunning revelation to Leia: he was her brother and Darth Vader was their father, shocking Leia. She would fight alongside the other Rebels in the assault on the shield bunker, and remained on Endor until the end of the battle. Following the Alliance's victory, Leia told Han the truth about Luke, and celebrated with the other Rebel heroes. She would continue to serve the New Republic, formed soon after the Battle of Endor, for many years to come.
Wicket Wystri Warrick
A scout from the Bright Tree Village Ewok tribe on Endor's forest moon, Wicket encountered the members of the Rebel Alliance during the early stages of the Battle of Endor. While on patrol through the forest, Wicket encountered Leia Organa, who had been injured during a speeder bike pursuit, and befriended the Human woman. When the rest of the Ewoks captured Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and R2-D2, Wicket opposed the religious ritual that the others wanted to perform. During the ensuing battle on Endor's surface, Wicket rallied his fellow Ewoks from Bright Tree Village to fight alongside the Rebels. When Solo, Organa, and the rest of the group were in distress, Wicket brought an army of Ewok warriors along with him, stunning the Imperial troopers. With the Ewoks' help, the Rebels were able to destroy the shield generator, and later, the Death Star itself. Wicket was involved in the Rebel celebration following the battle.
General Lando Calrissian
A smuggler, gambler, and friend of Han Solo, Lando Calrissian followed in his friend's footsteps and joined the Rebel Alliance. During the Battle of Endor, he was promoted to the rank of general by the Alliance. He was assigned to pilot Solo's ship, the Millennium Falcon, which had been his in the past. Lando flew in the space battle while Solo led the ground assault. He fought with the Alliance Fleet in orbit of Endor, but he, along with the other Rebels, realized that the battle had been a trap, as the Death Star's weapon systems were already operational. Calrissian flew in the desperate fight, but when Solo's team on the ground brought down the Death Star's shield, things turned better for the Alliance. Lando, along with Wedge Antilles, flew deep into the Death Star to destroy its reactor core, blowing up the station. Following the battle, he celebrated with his friends on Endor, and still fought for the Alliance, and later the New Republic, for many years following the battle.
A renowned Mon Calamari admiral, Gial Ackbar was a former Imperial slave who joined the Rebel Alliance. He was involved in the preparations for the Battle of Endor aboard his flagship, the Home One, and led the Alliance Fleet in the battle over Endor's forest moon. However, he soon discovered that the battle was a trap by the Empire, as the Death Star's weapon systems were already in operation, even though the Rebels had believed the opposite. The Alliance took heavy casualties, and the battle became a fight for the Rebels' lives as Ackbar's cruiser came under attack. However, Ackbar ordered the fleet to fire on the Executor to buy Calrissian and Antilles enough time to destroy the Death Star's core, and the tide of the battle turned in favor of the Alliance. Soon after, Lando Calrissian and Wedge Antilles were able to destroy the Death Star from the inside, leading the Alliance to a nearly impossible victory. Being hailed as one of the battle's many heroes, Ackbar would go on to serve the New republic for over two decades.
Behind the scenes
The Battle of Endor acted as the climax for Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. During its development, it was originally planned that the Wookiees participate in the battle. However, George Lucas shot down that idea, citing that he specifically wanted a primitive race with no prior ties to technology to be the ultimate victor of the battle, citing that Chewbacca had already used technology in the previous movies. According to Richard Marquand, George Lucas wanted the duel to be bigger than the Duel on Cloud City but changed his mind during the shooting, saying: "George is very blunt. He said, 'It's just a couple of guys banging sticks against each other. Don't worry about that. It is bigger because of what is going on in their heads. That is what makes it bigger.'"
Because of the above-mentioned requirements, and partially to make the film more marketable for kids, he decided to create the Ewok race and have them effectively win the ground portion of the battle, a decision that was met with much controversy both to the actors and to the fans. Lucas was inspired to have a primitive race win against a fully advanced army from the actions of the Vietcong, and also used the battle as a way of expressing his commentary on the United States involvement during the Vietnam War. The inspiration, when it came to light, led to further controversy, as it carried the implication that the Galactic Empire was supposed to represent the American forces.
The junior novelization of Return of the Jedi, written with knowledge of the prequels, goes into Vader's head as he watches Palpatine torture Luke, and suggests that the thought of Padmé and her love broke through to him, and, knowing it was her son being tortured, that it was then that he was restored as Anakin and turned on the Emperor. The Life and Legend of Obi-Wan Kenobi shows Obi-Wan watching the duel from the netherworld of the Force—once Luke refuses to kill Vader and the lightning attack begins, looking on in abject horror as Luke, and with him the hope of the Jedi, is destroyed by the Dark Lord of the Sith, Kenobi is hardly able to believe what he has seen when the friend he had given up on as hopelessly enthralled by the dark side reasserts himself and saves his son.
Lawrence Kasdan says: "My sense of the relationship between Vader and the Emperor is that the Emperor is much more powerful than Vader and that Vader is very much intimidated by him. Vader has dignity, but the Emperor in Jedi really has all the power."
Bob Anderson was Vader's double in this duel as well as in the Duel on Cloud City. Mark Hamill, complaining for the fact that Anderson was not recognized after the work he had done, said: "Bob Anderson was the man who actually did Vader's fighting. It was always supposed to be a secret, but I finally told George I didn't think it was fair any more. Bob worked so bloody hard that he deserves some recognition. It's ridiculous to preserve the myth that it's all done by one man."[source?] Despite the stuntman substitution, Hamill was persuaded to pose for publicity photos with Prowse in the rehearsal hall. "I thought that was nonsense," he charges. "They had us pose in rehearsal clothes with our swords crossed. I had actually been rehearsing all morning with the "real" Darth Vader, and then Dave just came in for the photo session."
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System game Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi featured the duel, although with a few differences: Vader ambushes Luke via a door and also utilizes Force Flight to a degree, and Luke ends up dueling Emperor Palpatine instead of simply being tortured by him as it was in the movie. In addition, Palpatine during the battle also ends up utilizing Force Flight throughout the later portion of the battle, with him falling into the reactor after Luke defeated him as a result. Despite this, Vader nonetheless ended up redeemed to some extent due to it using his final moments as well as the presence of his Force ghost.
In Star Wars Infinities: Return of the Jedi, Luke was captured by the Empire after leaving Dagobah and after he left two messages; one for to tell the truth to Leia that they are brother and sister and also that Vader is their father, and another to the Rebel fleet not to rescue him. Leia goes to the Death Star to rescue him but was captured and brought to the Emperor. As the Battle of Endor begins, Palpatine orders Vader to kill Leia but Luke blocks Vader's strike and duels him. Luke swings an attack to Vader's legs but Vader jumps and kicks him in the face. Palpatine gives one last chance to join him or die. Leia attempts to intervene, but Palpatine subdues her with Force Lightning. Luke says he doesn't want to fight anymore and ask Vader can he kill both of his children, and Vader and Palpatine are stunned by the revelation. Not swayed by Luke's proposal of trying to pull him from the dark side, Vader continues the fight. When Wedge Antilles and X-wings destroy the Death Star's reactor core, Palpatine escapes and Luke cuts Vader's right arm off. But the Dark Lord is still powerful enough to use the force with his left arm to summon his lightsaber and bring Luke down to his knees. Luke says he will not fight anymore, and says that if he wants to strike both him and Leia down, he should do so now and doesn't believe he will. Instead, Vader falls to his knees and begs forgiveness, causing him to turn from the dark side of the Force and become Anakin once again.
There was a deleted scene in Return of the Jedi expanding a bit on the actions inside the bunker during the second attempt: Specifically, where Han Solo and his unit encountered a stormtrooper squad inside the control room. Said event eventually appeared during gameplay in Star Wars: Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike.
- "Congratulations, commander, you've managed to defend the shield generator and thwart the plans of the Rebel Alliance. A statue will be erected of you on the planet Coruscant."
- ―Darth Vader to the player at the end of the Endor simulation.
The Battle of Endor, and the events immediately preceding and following it, form most of the 1983 film Return of the Jedi, from the rising action to the climactic final battle. The battle was introduced in the novelization, which caused slight discrepancies between the two versions, in addition to all the other spin-off materials released. Also, the re-releases of the original trilogy made some minor alterations to certain scenes, including those from the Battle of Endor. While most were trivial changes in color, sound effects, or music, very brief scenes of celebrations were added to the end, and Anakin Skywalker's Force ghost was changed from Sebastian Shaw's face to that of Hayden Christensen, who portrayed Anakin in the prequels. Lucasfilm Ltd. has stated that the 2004 DVD versions are the canonical depiction of the events in the trilogy, including the Battle of Endor.
The battle presented in Return of the Jedi inspired many other spin-off materials, including television series and video games. Many characters who had only had very brief appearances in the movie were given names and backstories. The Ewoks received much attention, spawning a television series, as well as two TV movies, Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor. The fate of the Ewoks has been discussed in the Endor Holocaust theory, which states that Endor, along with the Ewoks on it, was inevitably destroyed by falling debris from the Death Star. This theory has been asserted by Curtis Saxton's Star Wars Technical Commentaries website, but has been refuted by way of new source materials, such as Pablo Hidalgo's explanation in a question-and-answer column of Star Wars Insider 76. Hidalgo asserted that a hyperspace wormhole transported debris from the Endor system to the other side of the galaxy, as with Darth Vader's glove in The Glove of Darth Vader. Hidalgo also uses another argument, stating that the laws of physics can be put aside in this case because George Lucas wanted the story to end well for the protagonists. Two of the Star Wars: Legacy of the Force novels are set on Endor; these show the moon and its inhabitants as fine, with only very limited damage to their habitats.
The Battle of Endor was also shown in various toys, such as a large LEGO playset, as well as numerous video games, such as X-Wing Alliance and Force Commander. Star Wars: Battlefront and Battlefront II allowed gamers to replay the battle as they wished, therefore making its portrayal non-canon. Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron, released in 2007, and its 2009 sequel, Elite Squadron, both had Endor missions in their campaigns. These showed the battle from different viewpoints, the first from Col Serra's Renegade Squadron and the second from X2, with the objectives in both paralleling the events in Return of the Jedi. LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy and its remake, The Complete Saga, both had four missions related to the Battle of Endor, though the portrayal of the events varied from that of the film. Because the events in the game are treated with a humorous approach and do not strictly follow the story, this article assumes that they are non-canon.
The 2001 video game Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds offered two versions of the Battle of Endor, one in the Leia Organa (Rebel/New Republic) campaign and the other one in the Darth Vader (Imperial) campaign. The latter was an alternate-history version narrated by Mara Jade. The player was given a large army and tasked with defending the shield generator from Rebel and Ewok forces. After 15 minutes of real-time play, the scenario ends, and the "commander" is promised a statue on Coruscant. The Rebel mission followed the movie version more closely. The player was given 18 troopers and 2 medics, along with Organa, Solo, and C-3PO. The force advanced forward and met Wicket, and then fought through a stormtrooper camp. At the next base the force destroyed a command center. After that base they come to the Ewok village and gain reinforcements, including Chewbacca in an AT-ST. The force then advanced toward the shield generator bunker, gained entrance to it, and destroyed it. The game's strategy guide recommends for the Imperial campaign that the player push back quickly against the stream of attackers. For the Rebel mission, the guide recommends using the Ewok gliders once they join the team to scout ahead and destroy turrets. The missions were also included in the game's 2002 expansion pack, Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds: Clone Campaigns.
Another non-canon portrayal of the battle occurred in the comic Star Wars Infinities: Return of the Jedi, which rewrote the events of the film in an alternative scenario. While this storyline involves the same characters, locations, and battles as the movie, the plot is altered. During the Battle of Endor, a group of Rebels manages to land on Endor and destroy the shield generator, but in this story, Han Solo is unfrozen from carbonite aboard the Home One and mans the turrets on the Millennium Falcon while still blind, Luke has been captured by the Empire after leaving Dagobah, and Leia goes on a mission to rescue the latter. When Wedge Antilles and the X-wings under his command manage to destroy the Death Star's reactor core, both Skywalker siblings are in the Emperor's throne room. After Luke loses his lightsaber duel to Vader, the latter asks to be forgiven. Anakin is redeemed and changes to an all-white version of his armor. The Rebels, along with the redeemed Anakin, go on a mission to stop Palpatine, who has escaped the Death Star's destruction.
The Battle of Endor also made a frequent appearance in the Star Wars: Rogue Squadron series of video games, mostly as the final missions of the campaign. In Rogue Leader, in addition to four different missions that led up to the Battle of Endor, the battle itself was the focus of two different missions. The first, titled Battle of Endor, focused on the initial stages of the space battle. The second, "Strike at the Core", focused on the primary objective of pushing towards the reactor core and destroying it. In Rebel Strike, like in Rogue Leader, the final missions focused on the Battle of Endor. In this case, however, the missions, referred to collectively as the Endor campaign on the mission select menu, focused on the ground aspects. The first mission, Speeder Bike Pursuit, focused on Luke and Leia's attempts to stop several Scout Troopers from reporting their presence on Endor, and ends when Luke kills the last scout with a lightsaber, as in the movie. The second mission, Triumph of the Rebellion, focused on the ground battle proper, specifically on Chewbacca's travelling to aid the Rebels at the bunker after hijacking a AT-ST, and then Han Solo's setting of detonation charges and his final battle with Sarkli. In addition to the two main missions, the Endor campaign in the same game also included a bonus mission called "Attack on the Executor." As the title suggests, it focused on the events between Admiral Ackbar's order to attack the Executor to buy Calrissian more time and the successful destruction of the Executor. "Attack of the Executor" was also the only bonus mission in the single player mode of Rebel Strike to not include footage taken directly from the film. Instead, it utilized its own cinematics. Aside from this, both the Luke and Wedge campaigns ended with a direct lead-in to the Endor campaign (the former via the Battle of the Great Pit of Carkoon and the latter via the Fondor shipyard assault, the latter of which had an indirect reference to the Battle of Endor via the debriefing between Vader and Palpatine where the latter implies he deliberately allowed the Rebels to succeed in destroying the prototype cloaking device-equipped Executor star dreadnought specifically to make them overconfident and have them walk right into his trap.).
The Force Unleashed II: The Battle of Endor
- "A great day, Lord Vader. Today marks the death of the Rebellion, and the birth of a new era of peace for the Empire. There is but one last detail to take care of. Do you take me for a fool? Your feeble schemes to overthrow me, using that pathetic clone of your former apprentice, were pitifully obvious from their inception. Now, Skywalker, you will die."
- ―Emperor Palpatine, to Darth Vader
The video game Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II includes a downloadable bonus level, featuring a non-canon version of the Battle of Endor. Darth Vader's Dark Apprentice, the only stable clone of Galen Marek, travels in secret to Endor with orders to thwart the Rebel attack on the Imperial shield generator bunker. After landing the Rogue Shadow on the forest moon, the apprentice makes his way to the bunker's secret entrance, killing numerous Rebels and Ewoks along the way. Han Solo and Chewbacca also die by the Dark Apprentice's hand just before he enters the base.
The remaining Rebels are caught in a firefight with the bunker's Imperial guards. The apprentice kills everyone in his path before finally confronting Princess Leia Organa, who reveals herself to be a trained Jedi due to her twin brother's death in the Battle of Hoth. Wielding a yellow-bladed lightsaber, the Jedi Princess engages her Sith nemesis and although Organa impresses him with her combat skills and Force potential, she is ultimately outmatched by the more experienced Sith apprentice. Organa makes her final stand at the top of the SLD-26 planetary shield generator where she dies after the apprentice fatally stabs her through the abdomen with one of his dual lightsabers, thus ending the duel and the Alliance's only chance to destroy the second Death Star.
In the incomplete battlestation's mooring tower throne room, Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader are observing the space battle outside the circular viewport. As the Galactic Empire prevails over its enemies, Palpatine declares that the Rebellion has been destroyed, thus allowing the Empire to return to a state of peace. However, he also uses this moment to reveal how he knew about the secret cloning project on Kamino; more specifically, Vader's plot to overthrow the Emperor by utilizing the dark clone of the original apprentice as an asset. As such, the Emperor blatantly threatens to execute Vader for treason, mockingly calling him "Skywalker." Vader activates his lightsaber, but is unable to defend himself against his Master's Force lightning attack. Defeated and on his knees, Vader can do nothing to stop Palpatine from dispatching Captain Sarkli and his troops to kill the clone.
Meanwhile, the Dark Apprentice sits in meditation with Leia Organa's corpse nearby. As a group of Imperial Star Destroyers approach his position, the clone opens his eyes, both of which reflects his extreme immersion within the dark side of the Force.
The story after Endor
While the events during the Battle of Endor conclude both the original Star Wars trilogy and the Star Wars movie saga, it did not end the whole Star Wars story. George Lucas, who constantly denied any possibility of any future movies, affirmed his belief that the saga ends with the death of Anakin Skywalker, since he was the tragic hero. However, the Expanded Universe became a source of many post-Endor stories, and countless new Expanded Universe works told stories of what had happened to the Rebels and the Imperials in the following years. The Truce at Bakura by Kathy Tyers, released in 1994, detailed the events in the aftermath of the Battle of Endor; so did the Marvel Star Wars comics. Timothy Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy, beginning in 1991 and ending in 1993, showed the continuing war five years later (in the in-universe chronology), with the New Republic fighting the newly ignited force of the Empire. Many later works introduced new post-Endor stories, including Palpatine's resurrection as a clone and Luke Skywalker's foundation of the New Jedi Order, and the conflicts and challenges facing it. For both the Battle of Endor and all other events in the Star Wars movies, the film continuity and the Expanded Universe material have been meshed together to form part of the whole Star Wars epic. This, however, was not to last with the re-boot of the canon in April 2014 (two years after Disney bought Lucasfilm Ltd. and the rights to Star Wars), which effectively rendered the Expanded Universe non-canon. However, the Star Wars sequel trilogy, which lasted from 2015 to 2019, provided the new canonical account of the story past the Battle of Endor.
- Shadows of the Empire audiobook (Indirect mention only) (Palpatine farsight)
- Shadows of the Empire junior novelization (Indirect mention only) (Palpatine farsight)
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
- Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi novel (First appearance)
- Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi junior novelization
- Return of the Jedi: A Storybook
- Return of the Jedi 3
- Return of the Jedi 4
- Classic Star Wars: Return of the Jedi 2
- Star Wars Manga: Return of the Jedi 3
- Star Wars Manga: Return of the Jedi 4
- Return of the Jedi radio drama
- Star Wars: Return of the Jedi video game
- Classic Star Wars: Return of the Jedi Random House adaptiono
- Return of the Jedi Step-Up Movie Adventure
- Star Wars: Return of the Jedi: Death Star Battle
- Battle for Endor (Solitaire)
- The Ewoks Join the Fight
- The Ewoks Save the Day
- "The New Republic Campaign: The Battle for Endor from the PCs' Perspective"—Polyhedron 90
- Therefore I Am: The Tale of IG-88
- Slave Ship (Mentioned only)
- Hard Merchandise (Mentioned only)
- One Last Night in the Mos Eisley Cantina: The Tale of the Wolfman and the Lamproid
- (Mentioned only)
- (Mentioned only)
- (Mentioned only)
- The Truce at Bakura (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars (1977) 81 (Indirect mention only)
- Mara Jade – By the Emperor's Hand 3 (Indirect mention only)
- Mara Jade – By the Emperor's Hand 4 (Indirect mention only)
- "Escape from Balis-Baurgh"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 1 (Mentioned only)
- "One of a Kind"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 5 (Mentioned only)
- "A Day in the Life"—Star Wars Tales 12 (Mentioned only)
- "Black Curs Blues"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 8 (Mentioned only)
- X-Wing: Rogue Leader 1 (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars (1977) 82 (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars (1977) 95 (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars (1977) 98 (Indirect mention only)
- A Credit for Your Thoughts"—Star Wars Gamer 2 (Mentioned only) "
- "Lucky"—Star Wars Tales 23 (Mentioned only)
- X-Wing Rogue Squadron Special (In flashback(s))
- X-Wing Rogue Squadron 1 (In flashback(s))
- X-Wing Rogue Squadron 4 (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron: The Phantom Affair (Mentioned only)
- Gathering Shadows (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron: The Warrior Princess (In flashback(s))
- Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron: In the Empire's Service (In flashback(s))
- X-Wing Rogue Squadron 25 (In flashback(s))
- "Marooned"—Star Wars Tales 22 (Mentioned only)
- "Conflict of Interest"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 13 (Indirect mention only)
- The Glove of Darth Vader (Mentioned only)
- The Lost City of the Jedi (Mentioned only)
- Zorba the Hutt's Revenge (Mentioned only)
- (Mentioned only)
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- (Mentioned only)
- (Mentioned only)
- "A Glimmer of Hope"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 1 (Mentioned only)
- (Mentioned only)
- "Mission to Zila"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 3 (Mentioned only)
- "Shadows of Darkness"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 4 (Mentioned only)
- Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor (Mentioned only)
- "Missed Chance"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 7 (Indirect mention only)
- "The Kaal Connection"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 7 (Mentioned only)
- X-Wing: Rogue Squadron (Mentioned only)
- X-Wing: Rogue Squadron unabridged audiobook (Mentioned only)
- X-Wing: Wedge's Gamble (Mentioned only)
- X-Wing: The Krytos Trap (Mentioned only)
- X-Wing: The Bacta War (Mentioned only)
- "Chessa's Doom"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 1 (Mentioned only)
- "Big Quince"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 2 (Mentioned only)
- "Explosive Developments"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 3 (Mentioned only)
- "Starter's Tale"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 4 (In flashback(s))
- "Kella Rand, Reporting..."—Star Wars Adventure Journal 6 (Mentioned only)
- X-Wing: Wraith Squadron (Mentioned only)
- "Vengeance Strike"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 5 (Mentioned only)
- The Courtship of Princess Leia (Indirect mention only)
- Tatooine Ghost (Indirect mention only)
- Crisis of Faith (Indirect mention only)
- "First Contact"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 1 (Mentioned only)
- (Mentioned only)
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- "The Trap"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 6 (Mentioned only)
- "Artifact of Aaris"—The DarkStryder Campaign (Mentioned only)
- Heir to the Empire (Mentioned only)
- Dark Force Rising (Mentioned only)
- Dark Force Rising audiobook (Mentioned only)
- The Last Command (Mentioned only)
- The Last Command audiobook (Mentioned only)
- "Rendezvous with Destiny"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 6 (Mentioned only)
- "Relic"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 6 (Mentioned only)
- "Counterstrike"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 8 (Mentioned only)
- "Betrayal by Knight"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 12 (Indirect mention only)
- Boba Fett: Agent of Doom (Mentioned only)
- Jedi Search (Mentioned only)
- "Firestorm"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 15 (Mentioned only)
- I, Jedi (Mentioned only)
- Dark Apprentice (Mentioned only)
- Champions of the Force (Mentioned only)
- Simple Tricks (Mentioned only)
- Children of the Jedi (Mentioned only)
- Darksaber (Mentioned only)
- X-Wing: Starfighters of Adumar (Appears in recording)
- The Crystal Star (Indirect mention only)
- Before the Storm (Mentioned only)
- Shield of Lies (Mentioned only)
- Tyrant's Test (Mentioned only)
- "Two for One"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 15 (Mentioned only)
- The New Rebellion (Mentioned only)
- Vision of the Future (Mentioned only)
- Vision of the Future unabridged audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Red Sky, Blue Flame"—Star Wars Gamer 7 (Mentioned only) "
- Young Jedi Knights: Heirs of the Force (Indirect mention only)
- Young Jedi Knights: The Lost Ones (Indirect mention only)
- Young Jedi Knights: Jedi Under Siege (Mentioned only)
- Young Jedi Knights: Crisis at Crystal Reef (Mentioned only)
- "Apocalypse Endor"—Star Wars Tales 14 (In flashback(s))
- Star Wars: Chewbacca (Appears in hologram)
- The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos I: Hero's Trial (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Agents of Chaos II: Jedi Eclipse (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic II: Refugee (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic III: Reunion (Indirect mention only)
- The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force (Mentioned only)
- Legacy of the Force: Betrayal (Indirect mention only)
- Legacy of the Force: Exile (Indirect mention only)
- Legacy of the Force: Inferno (Indirect mention only)
- Legacy of the Force: Fury (Indirect mention only)
- Legacy of the Force: Revelation (Indirect mention only)
- Millennium Falcon (Indirect mention only)
- Millennium Falcon audiobook (Indirect mention only)
- Fate of the Jedi: Outcast (Indirect mention only)
- Fate of the Jedi: Outcast audiobook (Indirect mention only)
- Fate of the Jedi: Abyss (Indirect mention only)
- Fate of the Jedi: Abyss audiobook (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: Legacy 0 (Indirect mention only)
- LEGO Star Wars: Microfighters – "video game"
- Star Wars Infinities: Return of the Jedi
- The Return of Tag & Bink: Special Edition
- Star Wars: Battlefront II
- Star Wars Battlefront: Mobile Squadrons
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II (Downloadable content)
- LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy
- LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
- Star Wars -Phantasmagoria-
- Star Wars: Force Collection
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed video game (PSP versions only) ("Historical" mode only)
- "Do or Do Not"—Star Wars Tales 15 (Indirect mention only)