- "I didn't rise to the rank of captain in the Alliance just to end up a side dish on some scaly-tongued maniac's table!"
- ―Cinda Tarheel
Cinda Tarheel was a Human female from the planet Socorro who served the Rebel Alliance as a pilot during the Galactic Civil War. Fast-talking and quick-shooting, she often made rash combat decisions and only survived due to her superb reflexes. In 3 ABY, Tarheel was part of the Alliance's starfighter complement at Echo Base on the world of Hoth, when the Galactic Empire discovered the base and attacked. Nala Hetsime in a T-47 airspeeder pilot's chair and Tarheel as the craft's rear gunner jointly made up Rogue Seven, flying in the makeshift Rogue Group against Imperial AT-AT walkers in the Battle of Hoth. The Rogues' efforts bought the Rebels enough time to evacuate the planet.
Later in the year, Captain Tarheel was stationed on Arbra at the Alliance's Haven Base, and she joined Commanders Luke Skywalker and Berl on a mission to make contact with the Serps of the planet Serphidi. She landed her X-wing fighter safely on the planet despite receiving an engine-disabling shot from Imperial TIE fighters, but a raiding party led by the Serps' tyrannical King S'Shah killed Berl and took Tarheel captive. After learning that her fate lay on the cannibalistic King's dinner plate, Tarheel attempted to escape from Castle S'Shah but was held steadfastly by her captor. Only when Skywalker defeated S'Shah in the Serps' annual Doom-Joust competition was Tarheel released and freedom restored to Serphidi.
War in the snow
- "Alright boys, keep tight now."
- ―Luke Skywalker, to Cinda Tarheel and the rest of Rogue Group
Cinda Tarheel, a Human female, was a native of the planet Socorro who lived during the Galactic Civil War. After working as a smuggler, she joined the Rebel Alliance, and in 3 ABY she was part of the Alliance's starfighter complement at Echo Base, an Alliance stronghold on the snowy world of Hoth. The complement included Rogue Flight, Blue Squadron, and Green Squadron. The Alliance was being actively hunted by the Galactic Empire, and when Echo Base was discovered by an Imperial probe droid, Alliance General Carlist Rieekan ordered an evacuation. The Imperial Navy quickly arrived in the Hoth system, and an ad hoc T-47 airspeeder unit known as "Rogue Group" was created from various members of the Rebel starfighter complement, including Tarheel.
With the dour Nala Hetsime in the pilot's chair and Tarheel serving as a rear gunner, Rogue Seven flew with the twelve-speeder group into the Battle of Hoth. Commander Luke Skywalker led the Rogues as they tried to delay the AT-AT walkers of the Imperial Army's Blizzard Force while Alliance personnel evacuated Hoth in GR-75 medium transports. Numerous airspeeders were shot down by the AT-ATs during the combat, including Skywalker's, and although the commander survived the crash, Wedge Antilles in Rogue Three became the temporary Rogue Leader. Several AT-ATs were brought down by the Rogues' harpoons and tow cables and by explosives, but the walkers managed to destroy the base's deflector shield generator. However, the Rogues bought enough time for the evacuation to proceed successfully, and both Tarheel and Hetsime survived.
- "Look, frog-mouth, I've gone along with this farce so far. But if you think making a member of the Rebel Alliance your bride is going to be easy, you're—"
- ―Cinda Tarheel talks back to King S'Shah
Several months later, Tarheel was a captain in the Alliance and a seasoned combat pilot. She was stationed at the Rebels' Haven Base on the planet Arbra when the Alliance learned of increased Imperial presence in the Belial system; Tarheel, Skywalker and Commander Berl were dispatched to the system's planet Serphidi in order to establish good relations with the local Serps. After being briefed by the Alliance's Princess Leia Organa, the three pilots took X-wing starfighters to the Belial system, where Tarheel's sensors detected the presence of four Imperial TIE fighters. The Rebels vaporized all four of the enemy craft, but the engines of Tarheel's X-wing were also destroyed in the melee. As fuel streamed from her fighter, she opted to make a controlled crash-landing on Serphidi's surface, and she set down safely on a mesa despite losing an S-foil during a brush with a cliff.
Skywalker and Berl landed nearby, but they were soon attacked by a raiding party of Serps riding atop mounts. The tyrannical King S'Shah himself led the raiders, and shots from their energy lances killed Berl and knocked Tarheel unconscious. Skywalker was forced to flee, and Tarheel was brought to Castle S'Shah, where she was dressed in an elegant gown and brought before the king as his "new toy." To her horror, she was told by S'Shah that she was to be served to him as a meal. Not long afterward, while the king was preparing to take on any challengers in the annual Doom-Joust competition, Tarheel was being dressed for the event but decided to mount an escape. After dispatching her Serp guards in hand-to-hand combat, she dashed from her room in the palace but was caught by S'Shah. Although impressed with her escape attempt, the king was still intent on eating her and slapped her hard across the face.
Tarheel was seated in S'Shah's royal viewing box for the Doom-Joust, where the only challenger, a Serp named Elglih, withdrew from the competition and announced his replacement: Luke Skywalker. Tarheel watched as the more experienced S'Shah knocked Skywalker off of his mount, but the commander recovered and brought the king to the ground as well. He then grabbed S'Shah's energy lance and forced the king to surrender, but when S'Shah attempted treachery by drawing a micro-jolt from his tunic, Skywalker quickly killed him. With Elglih on the throne, Tarheel was freed, and the Rebels found themselves with allies in the system. As Tarheel and Skywalker left the planet in the two intact X-wings, they took a moment to remember their fallen comrade, Berl.
Personality and traits
- "You look out, you cold-blooded slimehog—'cause Cinda Tarheel's comin' through!"
- ―Tarheel attacks her captors
Cinda Tarheel had blue eyes, light skin, and long, black hair. Although she sometimes made rash combat decisions, she could count on her superb reflexes to help her come out alive. During her time with the Alliance, she was a quick-shooting, skilled and seasoned combat pilot with iron nerves. A fast-talker, Tarheel was belligerent and insulting toward King S'Shah after being kidnapped by him, and she at one point physically attacked her captors—as a captain of the Rebel Alliance, Tarheel felt that she deserved more respect. After leaving Serphidi, she expressed sadness at the death of her comrade, Berl.
Behind the scenes
- "Cinda Tarheel is from Marvel #64, the immortal "Serphidian Eyes," after which she was never seen again."
- ―Jason Fry
Cinda Tarheel first appeared in Serphidian Eyes, the sixty-fourth issue of Marvel Comics' ongoing Star Wars series. Written by David Michelinie and Michael Fleisher and penciled by Joe Brozowski, the issue was released in 1982. Thirty years later, authors Jason Fry and Paul R. Urquhart referenced Tarheel in The Essential Guide to Warfare, naming her as one of Rogue Group's gunners during the Battle of Hoth, an event from the 1980 film Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back. Tarheel's airspeeder, as well as the eleven other speeders of Rogue Group, are visible in a panel of the first issue of Empire's manga adaptation.
- Star Wars Manga: The Empire Strikes Back 1 (Indirect appearance, airspeeder only) (Retcon)
- Star Wars (1977) 64 (First appearance)
Notes and references
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- Star Wars (1977) 64
- Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
- The New Essential Chronology
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Hoth Limited (Card: Blizzard Scout 1) (backup link)
- The Empire Strikes Back radio drama
- Star Wars Manga: The Empire Strikes Back 1
- Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
- Star Wars: Rogue Squadron takes place between the Battle of Yavin and the Battle of Hoth, which are respectively dated to 0 BBY and 3 ABY The New Essential Chronology.
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Death Star II Limited (Card: Red Squadron 7) (backup link)