- "We're not Marauders. We're allies. And the war has just begun."
- ―Enfys Nest on the Cloud-Riders
The Cloud-Riders, also known as Enfys Nest's marauders, were a pirate gang led by Enfys Nest during the reign of the Galactic Empire that rode swoop bikes. Nest inherited leadership of the Cloud-Riders from her deceased mother. When the gang encountered Han Solo, they revealed themselves as rebels that wanted revenge on the crime lords who persecuted the inhabitants of resource-rich planets and wanted to fight the Empire.
Pirates and rebels
The Cloud-Riders were a group of pirates led by a woman who fought reprisal against the Galactic Empire, the Five Crime Syndicates, and Crimson Dawn. Around 12 BBY, the Cloud-Riders' leader perished and leadership of the Cloud-Riders fell to her 16-year-old daughter, Enfys Nest, who took up her mother's mantle, mask, and armor. The Cloud-Riders carried on with their mission of fighting back against the threats to the galaxy's safety under their new leadership.
As nomads, the crew based themselves out of the carrier Aerie. In 11 BBY, six of the Cloud-Riders under Nest raided an Imperial medical spice cache on Gargon. They stole emergency packs and medical spice before they made their escape, leaving behind the valuable unprocessed spice.
Run-ins with Beckett
The Cloud-Riders, posing as Crimson Dawn's leader, Dryden Vos, were able to trick the smuggler Tobias Beckett into stealing a shipment of identichips from the Pantoran Dvorad on Hovun IV. The Cloud-Riders revealed themselves to Beckett and his gang when they arrived on Munt Ontdal with the indentichips. Unfortunately, Beckett destroyed the indentichips and his gang made their escape.
The Cloud-Riders ran into Beckett and his gang when they attempted to steal a coaxium shipment from a Imperial transport train on Vandor. The two gangs fought each other to take the coaxium. Despite killing Beckett's pilot, Rio Durant, the Cloud-Riders were unable to retrieve the coaxium when they were forced to drop it. Despite the setback, one of the Cloud-Riders, Weazel was able to follow Beckett and learned about his plans to steal coaxium from the spice mines of Kessel. Weazel was then able to plant a tracking device on Captain Lando Calrissian's ship, the Millennium Falcon.
An unexpected ally
Tracking the Millennium Falcon, the Cloud-Riders awaited Beckett's arrival on Savareen. The Cloud-Riders confronted Beckett, his gang and Qi'ra. After Calrissian escaped aboard the Falcon, Nest told Beckett, and his gang, and Qi'ra that the Cloud-Riders were not marauders, but freedom fighters. Nest was able to convince Solo to give the coaxium. However, Beckett betrayed them to Vos' Hylobon Enforcers.
Fortunately for the Cloud-Riders, Solo knew Beckett would betray them. Nest and her riders were able to fool the by having several of the Savarians pose as them. Nest and her riders then took out the enforcers. Nest and her riders were then given the coaxium and offered Solo a chance to join the rebellion though he refused. Nest then gave the coaxium to Partisans' leader, Saw Gerrera.
- "We met before…when you were a Cloud-Rider, right? You were a hero back then. What changed?"
«The galaxy changed. I did too.»
"Yeah, makes both of us. But…change goes all kinds of ways. We don't have to be anything we don't want to be anymore."
- ―Han Solo and Benthic
Following the exploitation of his people by the Empire and Crimson Dawn, Benthic joined the Cloud-Riders. However, he eventually left the riders and joined Gerrera's Partisans and became his second in command.
Behind the scenes
In response to Phil Szostak about if the concept of the Cloud-Riders originated from the 1977 Star Wars Legends comic Star Wars (1977) 9 or if it was just coincidental, Jon Kasdan, writer of Solo: A Star Wars Story, replied on Twitter that it was no coincidence, as when former directors Christopher Miller and Phil Lord settled on swoop bikes, Kasdan found the Star Wars Legends Cloud-Riders when browsing Wookieepedia, and the name stuck. Unlike the Legends Cloud-Riders, who were criminals, the canonical Cloud-Riders are rebels who fight against the Galactic Empire.
The red flags on the Cloud-Riders' swoop bikes were inspired by the Sashimono, banners worn by both foot and cavalry soldiers in feudal Japan, particularly the ones depicted in classic samurai movies like the 1985 film Ran. The swoop bikes' sawn-off X-wing vibe was a nod to the Alliance to Restore the Republic's origins.
Notes and references
- Solo: A Star Wars Story
- Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy
- Solo: A Star Wars Story: Tales from Vandor
- Star Wars: Scum and Villainy: Case Files on the Galaxy's Most Notorious
- Beckett 1
- Solo: A Star Wars Story: Expanded Edition establishes that Enfys Nest was approximately eighteen years old—seven years older than the 11-year-old Jyn Erso— as of the events of Solo: A Star Wars Story, which occur nine years after the formation of the Galactic Empire according to Solo: A Star Wars Story The Official Guide. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates the formation of the Empire to 19 BBY, placing the events in Solo to 10 BBY. Given that Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy states that Enfys Nest was only sixteen when she inherited leadership of the Cloud-Riders from her deceased mother, the group must have been formed at least two years before those events, in 12 BBY.
- Choose Your Destiny: A Han & Chewie Adventure
- Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy states that Enfys Nest was sixteen when she inherited leadership of the Cloud-Riders from deceased her mother. Given that Nest's birth year can be calculated as approximately 28 BBY from Solo: A Star Wars Story: Expanded Edition, it can further be calculated that Nest was sixteen around the year 12 BBY.
- Star Wars: Scum and Villainy: Case Files on the Galaxy's Most Notorious Establishes that the raid on Gargon took place in 7966 C.R.C., and the Boonta Eve Classic of Neva Kee's disappearance took place in 7945 C.R.C. 21 years earlier. Given that Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates this Podrace to 32 BBY, it can be calculated that the raid on Gargon occurred in 11 BBY.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story: Expanded Edition
- Star Wars (2015) 67
- Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide
- Solo: A Star Wars Story The Official Guide
- Star Wars 39: The Ashes of Jedha, Part II
- Star Wars (1977) 9
- The Art of Solo: A Star Wars Story