- "Sir, all the patrols are in. Still no…still no contact from Skywalker or Solo."
- ―Lieutenant Cal Alder, to Major Bren Derlin
Cal Alder was a Human male lieutenant of the Alliance to Restore the Republic during the Galactic Civil War. A highly-trained, expert scout from the Outer Rim Territories planet Kal'Shebbol, Alder served with Major Bren Derlin for many years during some of the Rebel Alliance's most dangerous operations of the war before receiving assignment to the Alliance High Command headquarters of Echo Base on the ice planet Hoth by 3 ABY.
Alder was responsible for patrolling Echo Base's outer perimeter under Derlin's command, and he was the officer to inform Derlin that fellow Rebels Luke Skywalker and Han Solo still had not reported in to the base after Skywalker had gone missing during a routine scouting mission one day. Despite their absence and its worrying toll on Princess Leia Organa, Derlin tasked Alder with closing the base's shield doors for the night, reluctantly trapping both missing men out in the Hoth cold.
During the subsequent Battle of Hoth, Alder helped to direct Rebel snowspeeder groups against the invading Imperial forces and survived the engagement. Years later, in 8 ABY, he helped to organize the DarkStryder Campaign, a New Republic operation to stop the rogue Imperial warlord Moff Kentor Sarne.
Early war and Echo Base serviceEdit
- "Your Highness, there's nothing more we can do tonight. The shield doors must be closed." [Leia nods reluctantly] "Close the doors."
- ―Major Bren Derlin orders Cal Alder to close Echo Base's shield doors for the night
A lieutenant of the Alliance to Restore the Republic, the Human male Cal Alder was a highly-trained, expert scout. He was originally from Kal'Shebbol, the capital planet of the Kathol sector, located along the Trition Trade Route in the Outer Rim Territories at the edge of the galaxy.
By the time Alder eventually received assignment to the Alliance High Command headquarters of Echo Base on the remote ice planet Hoth, he had already served for years with Major Bren Derlin in the Alliance Army, fighting in some of the Rebel Alliance's most perilous campaigns of the Galactic Civil War, including the battle of Nentan, an effort to evacuate refugees from Imperial forces. Alder's expertise in terrain scouting and native creatures impressed Derlin, and his abilities made him among the first to arrive at Echo Base. As one of the finest forward scouts present, Alder's duties included patrolling the facility's outer perimeter on the planet's icy wastes under Derlin's command.
When base personnel Luke Skywalker and Han Solo went missing out in one of Hoth's brutally cold nighttime blizzards during a routine scouting expedition in early 3 ABY, Alder coordinated a search party for the two men. Although Echo Base waited as long as possible before closing its protective shield doors for the night, in hopes that the two would return safely, Alder's responsibilities required him to report to Derlin that with Hoth's dropping temperatures threatening the conditions of the base's interior, Skywalker and Solo had still not reported in. The situation forced Derlin to inform worried base leader Princess Leia Organa that the doors would have to be closed for the night, to which she reluctantly agreed. With her approval Alder carried out Derlin's order to close the base's shield doors, effectively trapping Skywalker and Solo out, leaving them to their fates. Further search efforts rescued both men the following morning.
Battle of Hoth and New Republic careerEdit
Alder later fought during the subsequent Battle of Hoth, the large-scale Imperial invasion of Echo Base, serving along the main Rebel defensive perimeter, where he helped to organize snowspeeder groups against the attacking line of Imperial assault walkers. Despite the heavy losses that the Rebellion suffered during the battle, which proved to be the Alliance's worst battlefield defeat of the war, Alder survived the engagement.
Years later, in 8 ABY, Alder helped plan the DarkStryder Campaign in his home sector of Kathol under the leadership of New Republic Special Forces agent Lieutenant Judder Page to topple the rogue Imperial warlord Moff Kentor Sarne. The New Republic liberated the Kathol sector from Sarne's control largely through the efforts of the crew of the CR90 corvette FarStar, who tracked down and ultimately defeated the warlord.
Personality and traitsEdit
Cal Alder was highly trained as an expert scout in his service to the Rebellion, among the best stationed at Echo Base. His expertise in terrain and native creatures made him one of the earliest to arrive at the newly completed outpost, where he was trained in riding a tauntaun, one of Hoth's native beasts that the Rebels tamed for use as a mode of transportation.
When Alder informed Major Bren Derlin that Luke Skywalker and Han Solo still had not checked in from Hoth's exterior, he did so with crisp efficiency, initially unaware that Princess Leia Organa, whose thoughts rested heavily on her beleaguered friends, was nearby and could overhear his report. Derlin calmly raised a hand to cut him off mid-sentence in order to lower Alder's voice for the princess's benefit.
While on Hoth Alder wore the standard cold-weather armor of Echo Base personnel, including the set's headgear, anti-glare goggles, scarf, padded vest, lightweight tunic, gloves, leggings, and boots. His equipment also included a DH-17 blaster pistol, which he wore holstered at his right hip, and a datapad, used during the incident involving the missing Luke Skywalker.
Behind the scenesEdit
- "All patrols are now in except Skywalker and Solo, sir."
- ―Cal Alder's alternate line from The Empire Strikes Back novelization
Cal Alder's character first appeared, unnamed, in Donald F. Glut's 1980 novelization of Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, released just prior to his inclusion in the film. Actor Jack McKenzie portrayed Alder on-screen, credited only as "Deck Lieutenant" in the film. However, this crediting should not confuse Alder with the character of Tamizander Rey, also an Echo Base deck officer, whom Han Solo actually addresses as such in the film. According to the book The Making of The Empire Strikes Back, the Alder scene was filmed between May 22 and May 29, 1979. The Alder character was first identified by name on the "Cal Alder" card as part of the November 1996 Hoth Limited expansion set of the Star Wars Customizable Card Game.
An image of Alder was featured on the packaging of an action figure entitled "Rebel Soldier (Echo Base Battle Gear)," included in Kenner's 2011 Star Wars: The Vintage Collection toy line. The action figure itself bears a strong resemblance to Alder, although the character's name is not expressly used therein.
Character development and inconsistenciesEdit
Alder's backstory was greatly expanded on in the Star Wars Insider 74 article Who's Who in Echo Base, written by Josh Radke. The article connects Alder with information from The DarkStryder Campaign, a West End Games Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game adventure. This, in turn, is a connection drawing upon information originally found on Alder's SWCCG card, which identifies him as a native of the planet Kal'Shebbol, a planet first created for The DarkStryder Campaign.
While the Who's Who in Echo Base article identifies Alder as being a lieutenant in his respective character entry, the "Corporal Corman Quien" entry within the same article lists Alder as a sergeant.
- Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back novelization (First appearance)
- Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back junior novelization
- Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
- The Empire Strikes Back Notebook (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars Campaign Pack (Picture only)
- Classic Campaigns (Picture only)
- Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back, Second Edition (Picture only)
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Hoth Limited (Card: Cal Alder) (First identified as Cal Alder)
- Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars Trilogy Sourcebook, Special Edition (Picture only)
- Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back: The Illustrated Screenplay (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: Behind the Magic
- Star Wars: The Action Figure Archive (Picture only)
- "Who's Who in Echo Base"—Star Wars Insider 74
- Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 10 (Welcome On Board - Rebel infantry on Hoth: valiant protectors of Echo Base) (Picture only)
- Galaxy at War (Picture only)
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Action Figure Collection
- Star Wars: Force Collection (Card: Cal Alder (★★★) (link))
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Star Wars: Behind the Magic
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Star Wars Encyclopedia ("Alder, Cal")
- ↑ 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 "Who's Who in Echo Base"—Star Wars Insider 74
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back novelization
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Hoth Limited (Card: Cal Alder)
- ↑ The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 196 ("Kal'Shebbol")
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 203 ("Kathol sector")
- ↑ Kal'Shebbol system — Based on corresponding data for
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back, Second Edition
- ↑ The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 62 ("Hoth, Battle of")
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 The DarkStryder Campaign
- ↑ Endgame
- ↑ 15.0 15.1
- ↑ The Making of The Empire Strikes Back