- "We took an oath. We swore ourselves to the Empire's service. We can't break that, not ever."
- ―Ciena Ree, to Thane Kyrell
Ciena Ree, known as LP888 in the Imperial Navy, was a human female First Waver villager from the planet Jelucan who fought for the Galactic Empire during the Galactic Civil War. She grew up as a friend of Thane Kyrell, a second-wave aristocrat. They bonded over their love of flying and pushed each other to excel. As the most accomplished students of Jelucan's academy preparatory courses, they were both selected to attend the prestigious Royal Imperial Academy on Coruscant. During their time at the academy, the friendship between the two cadets would eventually turn into romantic feelings.
The destruction of Alderaan had an indirect cataclysmic effect on Ree and Kyrell's relationship. While Ree remained loyal to the Galactic Empire due to her belief in honor and upholding her sworn oath, Kyrell became disillusioned with the Empire's increasing brutality and defected to the Alliance to Restore the Republic. Despite their conflicting loyalties, the two continued to love each other. Despite eventually rising to the rank of Captain in the Imperial Navy, Ree also grew disillusioned with the Empire, particularly after her mother, Verine Ree, was convicted of a crime that Ree suspected an Imperial governor had committed.
Following the Battle of Endor, Ree was badly injured, but survived. Upon recovering, she became Captain of the Imperial-class Star Destroyer Inflictor. During the Battle of Jakku, Ree and Kyrell found themselves fighting on opposite sides. Kyrell was part of a New Republic boarding party that tried to seize control of the Inflictor. When Ree attempted to crash the Inflictor onto Jakku's surface in an effort to prevent the Republic from taking her Star Destroyer, Kyrell fought his way into the command bridge and forcibly rescued her. The two survived the battle, and Ree was taken prisoner by the New Republic.
- "It's always ships and flying, with you. There, save your strength for the big parade."
- ―Verine Ree commenting on her daughter's fondness for starships and flying
Ciena Ree was a rural villager from the valleys of the planet Jelucan in the Outer Rim Territories. She was the daughter of Paron and Verine Ree, who were First Wavers, the descendants of the first settlers to settle Jelucan. The valley-dwelling First Wavers had been exiled for refusing to break their allegiance to their king. The First-wavers were poorer than the Second-wave, a second group of settlers that arrived 350 years after the initial settlement wave. The more affluent Second-wavers looked down on the First Wavers as unsophisticated peasants. From her childhood, Ciena was raised by her parents to value honor and keeping her word, which would later affect her life choices.
Ree had a twin sister, Wynnet, who died only a few hours after they both were born. Though there was no way for her to remember her, she lived her life for both of them. She wore a leather bracelet as a symbol that she was still connected to her twin sister and when she saw something of significance would recite the phrase "Look through my eyes" as a reminder that she was seeing it for the both of them.
Meeting Thane Kyrell
- "Wouldn't you like to serve the Emperor someday, and fly ships like these? Then you might become Captain Kyrell and Captain Ree. What would you think of that?"
- ―Ciena and Thane's meeting with Grand Moff Tarkin left an indelible impression on the two youngsters
At the age of eight, Ciena accompanied her parents, Paron and Verine, on her first journey to the city of Valentia. That day, their trip to Valentia coincided with a visit by Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, a senior Imperial official. Ciena took an interest in the Imperial TIE fighters and Star Destroyers on display. Curious, she decided to take a look at a parked Lambda-class shuttle behind Tarkin's stage. Shortly, she was accosted by six older Second-wave boys, who bullied her for being a First-waver.
A second-wave boy named Thane Kyrell, who was the same age as her, came to her defense and fought the bullies. Their fight was broken up by Grand Moff Tarkin, who was accompanied by his entourage of Imperial officers and stormtroopers. While the bullies ran away, Ciena and Thane stayed behind. When Tarkin approached them, Ciena apologized for getting Thane into trouble. When Tarkin counseled the young boy not to fight against superior forces, Thane pointed out that he was counting on the Grand Moff to save him. Ciena apologized for trespassing in the hangar bay, but Tarkin instead praised the children for their bravery and intelligence.
Testing their knowledge, Tarkin quizzed Ciena and Thane about the starship, which they correctly identified as a Lambda-class shuttle. Satisfied, Tarkin took them on a tour of the shuttle. After allowing them to play with the instruments in the cockpit, Tarkin took the opportunity to encourage the children to serve the Emperor and join the Imperial Military when they grew up. Following their meeting with Tarkin, the two children decided that they would endeavor to join the Imperial Navy. When Ciena revealed that she did not have a flight simulator, Thane invited her to try out his. As a result, the two formed a lasting friendship.
Preparing for the Academy
- "If these tests are kicking my butt, how can I even pass the real ones?"
"Hey. You're smart enough. You're strong enough. You can fly any single-pilot ship in the Imperial StarFleet, and I bet you can even handle a Star Destroyer on your own, if they gave you the chance"
- ―Ciena and Thane encouraged each other through their tests and trials
For the next five years, Ciena and Thane continued practicing regularly with the Kyrell family's flight simulator to further their goal of joining the Imperial Academy. By the age of thirteen, Ciena's mother, Verine, had taken a job as a supervisor at a mines which meant she had to work long hours. When their neighbor, the Nierre family's patriarch, was accused of abusing his position as an Imperial communications monitor, the Rees joined their neighbors in upholding an ancient tradition of standing with them in their hour of trial. As a sign of solidarity, they contributed a flag. Despite the seriousness of the charges, the Ree family believed that no one should want to hide secrets from the Empire and that the Nierres' accusers had no honor.
Her father, Paron, disapproved of her friendship with Thane due to the mutual distrust between the first- and second-wavers. Paron counselled his daughter to become a better pilot than Kyrell and to strive for the Imperial Academy. Despite her father's objections, Ciena continued her friendship with Thane. The two continued practicing on the Kyrells' flight simulator and studying together. On one occasion, Thane took Ciena on a ride in his older brother Dalven Kyrell's V-171 airspeeder. In addition, the two children kept their gifts in a cave, which they nicknamed "the Fortress." While discussing politics at the Imperial Senate, Ciena explained to Thane that the phrase "Look through my eyes" was a reference to her late twin, Wynnet, and that she wore a leather bracelet in her honor.
By the age of fourteen, Ciena and Thane were studying for exams that would allow them to qualify for the Imperial Academy's preparatory courses. Since their homeworld of Jelucan had been a Separatist world, the Empire restricted recruitment from that planet. The two teenagers studied under the tutelage of the Kyrell's CZ-1 tutor droid. While CZ-1 complemented her knowledge of history, he told her that her calculus needed more work. With Thane's help and encouragement, the two managed to pass these exams and enter the Academy's preparatory program. By the age of fifteen, the two teenagers had to participate in frequent outdoor obstacle courses at the Jelucan preparatory academy that tested their physical fitness for the Academy. Ciena comforted Thane when he disclosed that he was regularly beaten up by his father Oris Kyrell and dressed his wounds with a first aid kit.
At the age of sixteen, Ciena and Thane attended a sorting ceremony at the Jelucan academy where cadets were informed which Imperial Academy they would be assigned to. As the academy's most accomplished students, Ciena and Thane were assigned to the Royal Imperial Academy on Coruscant, which was regarded as the most prestigious Imperial Academy. The two were overjoyed that they would be able to study at the same Academy. Unlike Thane's parents who had a difficult relationship with their son, Ciena's parents accompanied her to the spaceport. Their journey to Coruscant was the first time that they traveled offworld and experienced hyperspace travel.
The Imperial Academy
A new frontier
- "This is where everything happens. It's like—electricity, this incredible energy all around. Don't you feel it?"
- ―Ciena's first impressions of Coruscant
Ciena Ree's time at the Royal Imperial Academy on Coruscant was her first exposure to the city world and Core Worlds civilization. She shared her dormitory with two other female cadets: the short, dark-skinned Kendy Idele and the pale, tall Jude Edivon. She quickly befriended the two cadets particularly Jude, who was known as a science geek. While attending the induction ceremony, Ree listened to a speech by Commandant Deenlark exhorting the cadets to put aside ties to their homeworlds and families and to put the Empire first. Despite Deenlark's speech, she endeavored to continue her friendship with Thane. She was mollified to learn that they would be able to take some of their classes together. Putting Jelucan behind them, Ciena and Thane vowed to become Imperial officers.
For the next three years, Ciena and Thane endured the Academy's rigorous curriculum: studying science, mathematics, piloting, and physical training. As cadets, they also underwent a battery of difficult tests. Due to the Academy's punishing curriculum, the classes shrunk to half of their original size each year of the program. Despite these challenges, Ciena and Thane managed to stay at the top of their class of eight thousand. During the course of their studies, the two maintained a friendly rivalry. They also developed romantic feelings for each other. However, they were careful to keep this to themselves due to the Academy's prohibition on romantic or sexual relationships between cadets.
As an Imperial cadet, Ciena along with with Jude and Kendy took part in shooting practices using mock laser rifles. As their training progressed, Ciena and her fellow cadets took part in flying lessons using speeder bikes. One exercise called Small Craft Flight involved the cadets flying their speeder bikes through a series of Reitgen Hoops near the Academy. During the exercise, Ciena and Thane's speeder bikes became conjoined. With much difficulty, the two cadets managed to win the race and land their bikes back safely at the landing pad. Since this was the first time that the exercise had produced two winners, the flight commander awarded split the prize and awarded them 25 points. However, the commander was also displeased that they had found a loophole in their instructions. As a result, the Academy's Office of Student Outcomes decided to turn the two Jelucan cadets against each other.
Laser cannon incident
- "... I guess we were both idiots together. But the real blame belongs to whatever monster at Student Outcomes did this to us."
"They didn't intend for it to get this bad between us. We did that to ourselves."
- ―Thane and Ciena discussing the laser cannon incident in retrospect
Six months later, Ciena and her fellow cadets had to repair the laser cannons on their TIE fighters using salvageable parts. Ciena was present at a demonstration when Commander Harn inspected Thane's salvaged laser cannon. However, the gun was unable to fire because it had been sabotaged. After Harn checked the door panel, the inbuilt computer reported that Cadet Ree had been the last person to visit the repair bay between Kyrell's visit and Harn's inspection. Ree was summoned to Commandant Deenlark's office where she protested her innocence. Her friend Jude came to her defense and pointed out that Ciena had been with her and Kendy during the time when Ree allegedly tempered with Kyrell's laser cannon.
Based on this information, Jude speculated that someone not only sabotaged Kyrell's ship but also the repair bay computer in order to frame Cadet Ree. Using her datapad to access the computer system's data levels, she pointed the finger at Thane himself. Cadet Kyrell was promptly summoned to the Commandant's office where the two cadets received a dressing down from Deenlark. With his specialists unable to ascertain which layer of data was the falsified one, he decided to punish them both by failing their laser cannon assignment and downgrading their course rankings. Due to the lack of evidence incriminating either party, Deenlark decided not to expel the two cadets but to give them another chance.
Once they were alone, Ciena and Thane confided that neither of them had sabotaged the laser cannon. While Ciena suspected Ved Foslo, Thane disagreed since Foslo was a skilled mechanic and had little motive to cheat since his rankings were high. Both resolved to uncover the true culprit and to clear their names. With the help of Jude, the cadets looked at the computer data in further detail. Jude found some evidence pointing to the involvement of the Office of Student Outcomes, a department of the Royal Academy tasked with challenging students. When Thane proposed confronting the Student Outcome people, Ciena argued against it since it would jeopardize their relationship with the Academy. A heated argument between Ciena and Thane ensued with the latter calling the former a coward and Ree likening Thane to his hated father. After Thane stormed off in anger, Jude comforted a distraught Ciena.
The laser cannon incident drove a wedge between the two close friends. For the next two and a half years at the Royal Academy, Ciena and Thane cooled down their friendship. While they remained respectful, they did not confide in each other anymore. In class, Ciena and Thane competed for the top rankings. As their training progressed, Ciena was assigned to the command track while Thane was assigned to the elite flight track, causing them to see each other less in class. A few months before their graduation, Ciena encountered Thane outside the uniform dispensary. Ciena had just learned that her family's pet muunyak had died. Thane comforted her and the two began to repair their strained relationship.
A few weeks before their graduation ceremony, Ciena and Thane were among a handful of cadets invited to a ball at the Imperial Palace, which hitherto had been the Jedi Temple until the Great Jedi Purge. During the ball, Thane raised the the laser cannon incident. Before an argument could break out, their fellow Cadet Ved Foslo drunkenly revealed that the laser cannon incident had been staged by the Royal Academy in order to encourage cadets to focus their loyalty on the Empire rather than their own homeworlds. When Ved mockingly pointed out that Ciena and Thane had exceeded the Academy's expectations by hating each other, the two decided to mend their relationship for good.
Battle of Yavin
- "So what happened today—as many people as were lost—even more would die in a massive galactic war."
"Exactly. Think of the billions who perished in the Clone Wars."
- ―Ciena and Jude trying to rationalize the destruction of Alderaan
After graduation, Ciena Ree was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and assigned to the Devastator, Darth Vader's personal flagship. Her friend Thane Kyrell was assigned to a secret battle station. While aboard the Devastator, she was present during the battle over Tatooine where Princess Leia Organa was captured. During that pursuit, she operated the tractor beam at the auxiliary bridge that dragged the Tantive IV into the Star Destroyer's docking bay. Later, Ree was present when Imperial gunners shot an escape pod carrying four rebels trying to escape the rebel ship. However, she relented under orders from her captain when a second escape pod carrying no lifeforms detached from the ship. Ciena and her superior officer believed that it was empty and had short-circuited. Unknown to them, the pod was carrying the droids C-3PO and R2-D2, who were carrying the Death Star plans.
Following the capture of Princess Leia, Ciena handed the auxiliary bridge's hard data files to the ship's Imperial Security Bureau internal affairs officer Captain Ronnadam, a coarse man she disliked. While the Devastator was traveling to the Death Star, she chatted with a former classmate Nash Windrider, a young Alderaanian officer who believed that Leia had been misled by her courtiers. After delivering the files to Ronnadam, Ree met Grand Moff Tarkin, who recognized her as the Jelucan girl he had encountered during his visit to the planet years ago. When Ciena informed Tarkin about her and Kyrell's achievements at the Academy, Tarkin joked about recruiting from Jelucan more often.
After arriving at the Death Star, Ciena witnessed the destruction of Alderaan. Her friends Thane, Jude, and Nash were also present during the planet's destruction. Seeing that Windrider was visibly distressed, Ree escorted him to a lift that led back to the Devastator's docking bay. Despite her horrified reaction to Alderaan's destruction, she was able to justify it to herself, with encouragement from her best friend, Jude, by saying that it would help prevent a war that would cost even more lives.
Shortly afterwards, Ciena had to return the Devastator and said a quick farewell to Jude before leaving. This transfer inadvertently saved her life as she was not on the Death Star during the Battle of Yavin. Meanwhile, Thane departed on a scouting mission to investigate the rebel base on Dantooine. During the Rebel Alliance's attack on the Death Star, she monitored the battle's progress using the computers aboard the Star Destroyer's command bridge. After losing contact with the Death Star, the Imperials quickly learned that the battle station had been destroyed.
Following the Battle of Yavin, Ciena analysed the data they had received from the Death Star and found the report that Jude had written warning her superiors about the weakness of the Death Star exhaust port. After sending this information to Imperial command, she and fellow Lieutenant Berisse Sai were sent to the Yavin system to rescue Darth Vader, and secretly to confirm what had occurred. Upon arriving, she was horrified to see the debris from the destruction of the Death Star, and heartbroken at the realization that Jude, along with her fellow classmates on the Death Star, were dead. She greeted Darth Vader when he boarded, and was visibly shaken by him.
- "You can't get a job on Jelucan. Catch the next freighter to an independent world—and don't even think about indenturing yourself, okay? Find yourself some work somewhere else in the Outer Rim, where they'll never look for you."
- ―Ciena accepting Thane's decision to desert the Empire
After mourning the loss of her friend Jude, Ciena encountered Nash, who had decided to commit himself fully to the Empire in light of Alderaan's destruction. Nash informed her that Thane Kyrell was part of a scouting detachment that had visited Dantooine, meaning that he had survived the Death Star's destruction. A week later, Ciena encountered her friend Thane in the hangar bay of the Devastator. After a delay in receiving orders, Kyrell's ship had finally received orders to rendezvous with the Devastator. Shortly before departing for a new assignment to the spice mining world of Kerev Doi, the two embraced each other. Ciena informed Thane about Jude's death and Nash's struggle to cope with the loss of Alderaan. Before leaving, the two promised to keep in touch with each other.
While Thane was serving in Kerev Doi, Ciena was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander since the Empire had lost many personnel on the Death Star. In her absence, Thane witnessed the maltreatment of Bodach'i slaves on Kerev Doi. Disgusted with the Empire's brutality, Thane decided to desert the Imperial Navy. Before fleeing offworld, Thane had an awkward hologram conversation with Ciena where he wished her farewell. While Ciena sensed that Thane was not feeling alright, she reaffirmed her love for him. A few nights later, she confided with Berisse about her feelings for Thane.
The following days, Ciena learned from Nash that Thane had abandoned his post. Under orders from the ISB officer Ronnadam, she returned to Jelucan, finding him in a cantina, where she tried to convince him to return. However, Kyrell refused to, disgusted with what he had witnessed of the Empire's atrocities towards Alderaan and the Bodach'i. Heartbroken, Ree and Kyrell made love for the first time before Ree left the next day. Despite knowing about the Empire's ruthlessness, Ree found herself unable to leave the Empire since she believed it was dishonorable to break a promise. A week after her meeting with Thane, she wrote a false report claiming that Thane had committed suicide out of grief for fallen comrades who had perished aboard the Death Star. Ciena also took the opportunity to visit her mother, who comforted her. After returning to the Devastator, she delivered her report about Kyrell's death to Captain Ronnadam, who did not investigate her account since the Empire was preoccupied with other matters.
Seven months after the Battle of Yavin, Ciena took part in an effort to evacuate the Imperial garrison on the planet Ivarujar, where a volcano had overrun the capital city. Commanding a troop transport, Ree managed to evacuate several stormtroopers. Before returning to the Devastator, she ordered her men to evacuate several Ivarujarian civilians. Despite their shuttle being filled to capacity, Ree managed to pilot the ship and narrowly avoided a cyclonic firestorm. Despite her role in saving the lives of forty civilians, Ree was reprimanded by Captain Ronnadam for failing to consult her superior officers. As punishment, she was assigned to five weeks of double duty shifts. Due to this experience, Ree realized that the Empire did not tolerate those personnel who operated outside the official chain of command.
Serving Darth Vader
- "You were transferred to the Executor from the Devastator at the request of Lord Vader himself. A high honor indeed."
- ―Admiral Ozzel informing Ciena of her new posting
Two years after the Battle of Yavin, Ciena was informed by Admiral Ozzel that she had been transferred to the Super Star Destroyer Executor by order of Darth Vader himself, supposedly because of her excellent skill. However, Ree privately suspected that Vader wanted her there because she had seen him helpless after the Battle of Yavin, and wanted to send her a warning never to mention it. Later, she was informed by Lieutenant Nash Windrider that an Imperial probe droid had detected the rebel base on the icy planet of Hoth. Ciena was a member of the Imperial fleet that participated during the Battle of Hoth.
Following the Imperial assault on Echo Base, Ciena took part in the Imperial fleet's pursuit of the infamous rebel ship known as the Millennium Falcon. While serving aboard the bridge of the Executor, she provided auxiliary navigational assistance to the four TIE fighter pilots who pursued the Falcon into the asteroid field. One of the TIE pilots she coordinated was Penrie, a graduate of the Imperial Academy on Lothal. Ree was distraught by the deaths of the four pilots. After her shift ended, Ciena went to watch the battle footage from Hoth in order to learn the rebel tactics. She was shocked when she recognized Kyrell's flying from the battle footage, realizing that he had joined the Rebellion.
Ree was present during an Imperial operation to trap several rebel fugitives in Cloud City. During the mission, Ciena and Nash were ordered by Admiral Piett to disable the hyperdrive on the Millennium Falcon. However, R2-D2 was able to repair the hyperdrive, allowing the Falcon to escape, much to Ree, Piett, and Windrider's horror. Expecting Vader to slaughter them for this colossal failure, she was shocked when Vader silently left the bridge. Knowing Vader's violent temper, Ree and Windrider were shocked that they had escaped punishment for this severe failure.
Following the events in Cloud City, Ree met up with Nash and Berisse for dinner at the quadrant cafeteria. While feasting on nutritive beverages, the Imperial officers talked about their enemies' motivations for joining the Rebellion. Her comrades remarked that the rebels were misfits and criminals who deserved destruction. They then moved on to the conversation of Thane's purported "suicide." The officers expressed puzzlement at why such an aspiring elite TIE pilot would commit suicide. Ciena recalled Thane being a loner apart during his childhood on Jelucan apart from their friendship. Windrider then speculated that Thane's abusive father Oris Kyrell's years of abuse had finally caused Thane to snap. Before departing for sleep, Nash offered to spend more time with Ree in order to make up for the loss of Thane. Knowing that Thane was still alive, Ciena politely turned down Nash's offer.
Return to Jelucan
- "...Are you questioning the judgment of a fellow servant of the Emperor?"
"Of course not, sir [Captain Ronnadam]. But my mother could have been framed for the crime, or there may be some other mistake that has led to a ... misunderstanding."
- ―Ronnadam and Ciena; the wrongful conviction of her mother tested her faith in the Empire
Ree's loyalty to the Empire wavered over time after viewing the injustices of the Empire for herself. Following the events on Cloud City, she received news from her father, Paron, via hologram that her mother, Verine, had been accused of embezzling funds from a local mine on Jelucan where she worked as a supervisor. Knowing her mother, Ciena believed that Verine was innocent and that she had been framed. Having accrued seven weeks of leave, Ree secured permission from a reluctant Captain Ronnadam to visit her family on Jelucan in order to support her mother through the trial. Her friend Thane also learned about Verine's plight and traveled to Jelucan to support his lover.
Upon returning to her homeworld, Ciena discovered that Jelucan was polluted by smog from Imperial factories. She also noticed that the valley folk and second-wavers wore similar clothes, making it hard to distinguish between the two groups. Upon returning to her family home, she comforted her father. Both believed that Verine was innocent and hoped that the real culprit would be found. While having dinner, Ciena was surprised that none of their neighbors were honoring the ancient valley tradition of planting flags and sending relatives to provide moral support during their hour of need. Paron pointed it that few now followed the old ways. Despite Verine's plight, Paron still maintained that the Empire was a force for good and that to question the charges leveled against his wife would be tantamount to dishonor. Due to her experiences with the Empire, Ciena found this argument less compelling but held her tongue.
Late that night, Thane arrived and kindly offered to keep a vigil in Verine's honor so that Ciena could rest from her long journey. Out of solidarity with the Rees, he planted a plain red flag outside the Ree household in accordance with the valley people's traditions. Since he was their guest, Ciena and her father extended guest right to him, affording him their hospitality and protection. The following day, Ciena and Thane flew in his older brother Dalven's V-171. After their flight, Thane admitted that he had indeed joined the Rebellion. After a brief argument about politics, the two decided to put their differences aside and made love in the Fortress, their former childhood haunt.
After having sex, Ciena and Thane discussed their motivations for siding with the Empire and Rebellion respectively. Thane also confided that he had come to share her belief in the Force. Despite their ideological differences, the two promised to maintain their love for each other. The following day, Ciena helped Thane to return to his rented ridgecrawler so that he could return to the Rebel Alliance. Later that morning, Ciena and Paron attended Verine's trial, which was tried by a military tribunal. Because of the doctored evidence and the lack of a defense counsel, her mother was convicted of embezzlement and sentenced to six years of hard labor. While it was obvious that a superior Imperial officer was responsible for the embezzlement, Verine was punished since no one wanted to go against the Empire. Though Ciena was greatly distressed, she professed to accept the court's verdict when she reported back to Captain Ronnadam.
Dogfight in the Hudalla system
- "One of the rebels must escape. You're to see to it that at least one of the pilots manages to make it to hyperspace. Beyond that, it's irrelevant whether the rest live or die."
- ―Admiral Piett's secret order to Commander Ciena Ree
While traveling on the Executor to the uninhabited Hudalla system, Commander Ciena took the opportunity to practice her skills with her flamethrower. Troubled by her mother's plight, Ciena had spurned an offer by Berisse to meet up with Nash and the other officers at a cantina. Despite their friendship, Ciena did not discuss her mother's plight with Berisse since she feared that Berisse might report it to Captain Ronnadam. After finishing her flamethrower exercise, Ciena was informed by Berisse that they had arrived in the Hudalla system. Ciena found a large Imperial fleet already massing in that system. Their arrival coincided with a rebel reconnaissance mission by Corona Squadron, of which Thane was a member of. The rebels had come to investigate the unusual level of Imperial activity in that system.
Shortly after, Ree and Nash received orders from Admiral Piett to take part in a TIE fighter operation against Corona Squadron. Piett also gave Ciena special orders to make sure that at least one of the rebels escaped into hyperspace. The TIE fighters ambushed the five Coronoa Squadron starfighters. During the ensuing dogfight, Ciena and Nash discovered that one of the rebel pilots was Thane. Not knowing that Ciena had secretly faked his death, Windrider expressed anger that Thane had deserted the Empire and joined the Rebellion. Taking advantage of Piett's secret orders, Ciena made sure that Kyrell escaped the dogfight in his T-65B X-wing starfighter. Ciena used her TIE fighter to block Nash from closing in on Thane.
Despite obstructing Nash, Ciena was slightly relieved to learn that Nash was not angry at her but rather at Thane for faking his death. While Ciena knew the truth, she kept it to herself. She was also comforted by the knowledge that Thane had escaped. Following the dogfight, the Executor traveled to the Endor system, where the Empire was constructing the second Death Star. Ree was later horrified upon learning of the existence of the second Death Star, realizing that the purpose of the station was to crush innocent worlds, knowing even Jude could not have justified this.
Battle of Endor
- "Why would they ever build another one? It was only to stop the war before it began—and it failed—so why?"
- ―Ciena's personal reflections after discovering the existence of Death Star II
Ciena and her fellow Imperial officers Berisse and Nash Windrider were present at an assembly on the second Death Star to welcome the Emperor. As they headed to the hangar bay, Ciena and her comrades struggled to justify the new battle station. While Berisse and Nash saw it as a means to crush the Rebellion and restore order to the galaxy, Ciena was unsure. When Ciena mentioned Alderaan, Nash responded that it was the only way for the Empire to reveal its true strength. Nash then reassured Ciena by telling her to trust in the Empire, her oath, and her own integrity. Upon seeing the Emperor for the first time, Ciena was surprised to see Darth Vader bowing to him and was even more shocked to see his disfigured form. This terrifying visage of the Emperor along with her mother's wrongful conviction and Nash and Berisse's willingness to use genocide to justify military tactic made Ciena doubt the Empire.
Two days later, Ciena participated in the Battle of Endor, piloting a TIE/IN interceptor and leading a squadron against the Rebels. During the battle, she took part in the defense of the Imperial fleet orbiting the second Death Star. Despite her best efforts, Ciena was unable to stop an A-wing starfighter from crashing into the bridge of the Super Star Destroyer Executor. Ciena watched helplessly as the Executor drifted into the Death Star and exploded, killing all hands aboard including her friend Berisse. While following orders to regroup, Ciena disobeyed her training and aided several fellow TIE fighters retreating from the battle.
Despite her best efforts, Ciena was unable to escape the blast radius of the destruction of the second Death Star, and was caught in the shock wave, causing her to crash. Her injuries were extensive, causing her to need a life-support unit attached to her midsection. The implant acted as her liver whilst bacta was used to grow her a new one. She was devastated when she learned that her leather bracelet had been destroyed by the medical droids, destroying what she believed to be her last reminder of her late sister, Wynnet. By this point, Ree had lost all faith in the Empire, realizing that Kyrell had been right all along. However, she refused to defect from the Empire or join the New Republic, feeling honor bound by her oath. Also, she feared Imperial retaliation against her mother, who was still serving her prison sentence. The only small comfort that Ree took was that her friend Nash survived the battle.
Battle of Jakku
- "I wish you had left me aboard the Inflictor."
"If you're waiting for me to apologize for saving your life, you'll be waiting a while. But I understand why you feel that way."
- ―Ciena and Thane reflecting on the Battle of Jakku
Ciena Ree spent the next several months on medical leave at the space station Wrath. Instead of relaxing by reading holonovels and watching old spice-world dramas, Ciena devoted most of her waking hours to helping the Empire to track down missing and dead personnel. Her work involved confirming which Imperial officers were dead or alive, identifying the location of the survivors, and informing family members of their deaths. She also spent at least two hours each day undergoing bacta therapy for her damaged liver. Ree was dismayed by the infighting that gripped the Empire following the deaths of the Emperor and Darth Vader. She also regarded the New Republic, the government established by the Rebellion, as an illegitimate regime. Meanwhile, Thane believed that Ciena had perished aboard the Executor during the Battle of Endor and wore a customary Jelucan mourning band in her honor.
Following her recovery, Ree was promoted by Grand Moff Randd to the position of Captain and given command the Star Destroyer Inflictor. Barely twenty-five years old, Ree was easily one of the Galactic Empire's youngest captains, although she admitted to herself that this was only possible due to the chaos in the Imperial hierarchy caused by the Battle of Endor. After receiving her first command, Ciena met her longtime friend Nash Windrider, who had been appointed the flight commander aboard the Inflictor. Windrider informed her that the Empire was marshaling all its forces for a final showdown against the New Republic on the desert world of Jakku. Despite her disillusionment, Ree endeavored to continue serving the Empire due to her mother and her fear of how the Rebellion dealt with prisoners.
During the Battle of Jakku, Ree disagreed with the Imperial mass battle tactics. When the Inflictor was hit by enemy fire and experienced decompression in the aft starboard section, Ree sealed off the affected areas to save the ship. This was done with a heavy heart because this action condemned the crew trapped in those areas to death by suffocation. Before she could contact Grand Moff Randd to propose a change in tactics, the Inflictor was boarded by several Republic boarders bent on capturing the Star Destroyer to add to the growing New Republic Defense Fleet. The leader of the rebel strike team was Thane, who was familiar with the schematics of Star Destroyers due to his time at the Royal Imperial Academy.
Realizing their intention, Captain Ree tried to set the ship on auto self-destruction and ordered her crew to abandon ship. However, Kyrell managed to disable the ship's computer systems. With time running out, Ree decided to crash the Star Destroyer into Jakku's surface in an effort to deny the ship to the Rebellion. After bidding farewell to Nash, she also decided to remain on the ship, seeing the perfect opportunity to escape the grip of the Empire she loathed while keeping her honor. However, Kyrell recognized Ree's voice on the intercom and fought his way to the bridge. Thane was able to figure out the password Ree had used to seal the door, "Look through my eyes," leading to a confrontation between the two lovers. Ree refused to abandon ship but Kyrell would not leave her, resulting in a fistfight between the two. Kyrell managed to stun her and carried her to an escape pod, rescuing her from the doomed ship.
- "Either way, you know I'll be waiting for you, right?"
"You would, if it were me inside that cell."
"...yes. I would."
- ―Thane and Ciena reconciling their fraught friendship
Upon landing on Jakku, the two were picked up by New Republic soldiers, who promptly arrested the unconscious Ciena as a prisoner of war. Following her capture, Ree descended into a state of depression because she had been denied the opportunity to kill herself and leave the Empire. Despite fearing that she would be tortured by the Republic, she was relieved that they provided her with medical treatment and information on her legal rights. While recognizing the fairness of the New Republic, she still refused to recognize the new government's legitimacy. After a week of refusal, she finally allowed Thane to see her. Ciena believed that the New Republic would put her on trial as with every other Imperial war criminal, but Thane assured her that even if she did not give any intelligence in exchange for leniency, the New Republic wouldn't have time to prosecute every Imperial, and that she might have a place in the New Republic. Either way, he promised to wait for her so they could be together.
Ree was believed dead by her remaining comrades in the Galactic Empire and became a symbol as an upstanding Imperial officer who refused to give in to defeatist attitudes plaguing the Imperial forces following the Empire's defeat at the Battle of Endor. Nash Windrider, who had been romantically interested in Ree, had nominated her to become one of the only recipients of the Distinguished Medal of Imperial Honor for her bravery and stalwart resolve to remain with the ship during the entry into the atmosphere to ensure the New Republic hijackers would not gain access to Imperial technology.
Personality and traits
- "She said an oath was forever, a promise is a promise, you had to be true to your personal honor. I didn't even think she could lie. Now I discover that she broke her word to save you, but she still serves in the Imperial Starfleet. How can she do that? If she could defy them for your sake, why won't she do it for the sake of the entire galaxy?"
"Ciena was never disloyal to the Empire. One time, back then, she chose her loyalty to me. That doesn't mean she set aside her oath to the Empire."
- ―Kendy and Thane discussing Ciena's love for Thane and loyalty to the Empire
Ciena was from the valley on Jelucan, and she made her way through life with many of their traditions. For instance, she believed in honor above all and that making an oath was forever and entirely binding. That was why she never left Imperial service despite disagreeing with their actions. Her honor also bounded her to Thane, with whom she fell in love. Ciena fought within herself to honor these oaths, but it became too much for her to handle in her last few months of service, and she attempted suicide because of this. Due to her upbringing, Ciena also still believed in the Force, something that Second Wavers such as Thane rejected.
In large part due to a combination of Imperial propaganda and her belief in not breaking vows, Ciena was largely convinced that the Rebels were aimless terrorists and blamed them for the death of her friend Jude Edivon. Despite her patriotism, Ciena still loved Thane despite knowing that he had joined the Rebel Alliance. She could not bring herself to kill him and hoped to avoid having to meet him in combat. While her faith in the Empire was shaken by atrocities like the destruction of Alderaan and the wrongful conviction of her mother, Verine Ree, Ciena believed that she had little choice but to continue serving the Empire. Due to her strong moral compass, Ree was unwilling to let innocents and weak die. On one occasion, she rescued civilians on Ivarujar despite receiving no orders to do so. Later, she ignored Imperial military protocol during the Battle of Endor by covering retreating fellow TIE fighters.
Among her peers and colleagues, Ree was known as a diligent officer who volunteered for extra shifts and helped train newer officers about Star Destroyer protocols. Due to her leadership skills and selfless service, Ciena rose though the ranks of the Imperial Navy. Eventually, she was made captain of the Imperial-class Star Destroyer Inflictor during the pivotal Battle of Jakku. Despite no longer believing in the Empire, Ciena believed that she was still responsible for the lives of her crew and soldiers. In addition, she did not want to endanger her mother, who was still serving an Imperial prison sentence. When New Republic forces tried to hijack the Inflictor, she was prepared to lay down her life in order to destroy the ship in an effort to deny it to the enemy. By dying, Ree believed that she would finally be free from her vow. However, she was forcibly rescued by Thane and taken into Republic custody.
Following her capture, Ciena descended into a state of depression since she had been denied her chance to die. While she was grateful for the humane treatment and medical attention she had received at the hands of the New Republic, Ciena still refused to abandon the Empire or recognize the new government's authority. Though Ciena was still bitter towards Thane for saving her, she still relented to his visit. Unwilling to break her vow, Ree refused to consider any idea of receiving any leniency from the New Republic. However, she still reluctantly agreed to continue her friendship with Thane.
Skills and abilities
As an Imperial Navy officer, Ciena Ree was knowledgeable of Imperial military technology and hierarchy. From a young age, She had a love for flying and starships and could easily recognize most Imperial military ships. Due to several years of practicing behind a flight simulator, Ree could operate several different types of vehicles including speeder bikes, TIE fighters, shuttles, and Star Destroyers. As an Imperial officer, she was skilled in hand-to-hand combat and knew how to operate a flame thrower.
Behind the scenes
She was first pictured in The Star Wars Show, a weekly Star Wars talk show by Lucasfilm, which revealed her official appearance. The artwork was commissioned for Fantasy Flight Games and was chosen by Lucasfilm as the definitive, official look for the character.
- Lost Stars (First appearance, simultaneous with Lost Stars audiobook)
- Lost Stars audiobook (First appearance, simultaneous with Lost Stars)
- Lost Stars webcomic
- Star Wars: Starfighter Missions
- Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back (First mentioned) (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back junior novelization (Indirect mention only)
- "Faith in an Old Friend"—From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back (Appears on screen)
- "Blaster" – Star Wars Insider 159
- "Blaster" – Star Wars Insider 160
- (First pictured)
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 26 (Databank A-Z: Imperial Future Council–Inquisitorius) (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: On the Front Lines (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to a Galaxy Far, Far Away
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 35 (Databank A-Z: Kyber Crystals–Laser Cannons)
- Star Wars: X-Wing Second Edition – Galactic Empire Conversion Kit (Card: )
- Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy
- Star Wars: Destiny – Empire at War (Card: )
- Star Wars: Build Your Own X-Wing 24 (Starfighter Aces: CR-978 – Elite But Expendable)
- Star Wars: X-Wing Second Edition – Skystrike Academy Squadron Pack (Card: )
- Star Wars: X-Wing Second Edition – Skystrike Academy Squadron Pack (Card: ) (Picture only)
- "The Saga of Rey" – Star Wars Encyclopedia (Indirect mention only)
Notes and references
- Lost Stars
- Lost Stars states that Ciena Ree was eight years old when Wilhuff Tarkin visited Jelucan. Since Lost Stars also establishes that Tarkin's visit occurred eight years after the formation of the Galactic Empire, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 19 BBY, it can be deduced that Ree was born around that year.
- Star Wars: Armada – The Corellian Conflict (Card: )