- "We will not rest until we bring an end to the Empire, until we restore our Republic! Are you with me?"
- ―Final lines of the declaration by Mon Mothma
The Declaration of the Rebel Alliance was a declaration by Senator Mon Mothma to rally the various rebel cells that formed the early rebellion into the Rebel Alliance. It was considered one of the most important moments of the Galactic Civil War. After a daring pursuit by Imperial forces, Senator Mon Mothma made a speech from the rebel VCX-100 light freighter Ghost, on all rebel communications channels and on HoloNet broadcasts where rebel forces could slice into, in which she resigned from the Imperial Senate and condemned the actions of the Galactic Emperor Sheev Palpatine.
She continued the speech and called for an alliance to restore the Galactic Republic, vowing to not rest until the Empire had been defeated. Following the speech, dozens of rebel starships emerged from hyperspace above the planet Dantooine, answering the call to action.
In the time following the Declaration of the Rebel Alliance, the newly created Alliance to Restore the Republic sent the Declaration of Rebellion to Emperor Palpatine, formally declaring the rebellion against the Empire. Subsequently, the Galactic Civil War erupted, and by its end the Empire was defeated, Emperor Palpatine was dead, and the Alliance had reorganized into the New Republic.
In the decades following the end of the war, the First Order, formed from remnants of the Galactic Empire, revealed itself, and was countered by the Resistance, an organization determined to protect the New Republic. It was during this time that the Rebel Files, a central archive depository, was recovered, which contained highly sensitive Alliance documents and notes, including Mothma's account of the moments prior to the Declaration of the Rebel Alliance.
Seeds of resistance
- "We cannot let a thousand years of democracy disappear without a fight."
- ―Bail Organa to several members of the Delegation of 2,000 in a Cantham House meeting
As the Clone Wars between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems entered its final stages, Supreme Chancellor of the Republic Sheev Palpatine continued to gain emergency powers from the Galactic Senate. By the final actions of the war, displeased senators formed the Delegation of 2,000, to counter Palpatine's growing political power, regularly partaking in the Cantham House meetings, a set of meetings between members of the Delegation of 2,000 during the Clone Wars.
Eventually, Palpatine declared the Jedi, keepers of peace and justice in the galaxy, and leaders in the Republic Military, as traitors, and quelled a supposed Jedi rebellion. Palpatine, secretly the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Sidious, sent his newly christened Sith apprentice, Darth Vader to Mustafar to destroy the Separatist Council and shut down the droid armies of the Separatists, effectively ending the war.
Chancellor Palpatine, taking the opportunity of a devastating war and the eradication of his Jedi enemies, proclaimed a new order, and reformed the Republic into the first Galactic Empire, with Palpatine as its Galactic Emperor. One day after the formation of the Empire, Imperial Intelligence cracked down on political rivals of Palpatine, conducting a mass arrest which resulted in the arrest of 63 senators, several of which belonged to the Delegation of 2,000.
Senators such as Mon Mothma and Bail Organa, who continued to work in the Imperial Senate, continued to politically oppose the Emperor, as well as beginning to monitor early resistance movements against the Empire, such as the Raada resistance. Years later, more and more rebel cells began to form and began working together. By 5 BBY, Bail Organa regularly conducted surveillance on these resistance groups, with Fulcrum, secretly the former padawan of Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano, who also gave these cells missions. After a skirmish above Mustafar, operating strategy changed, with these rebel cells operating more closely together, such as Phoenix Cell and the Spectres.
Insurgencies were also taking root in the Atrivis sector, with the Liberators and the Atrivis Resistance Group. The Liberators were devastatingly defeated by the Imperial Navy after they seized a garrison on Mantooine. After much deliberation, the Atrivis Resistance Group decided to join Mon Mothma in a rebel group that she nicknamed "the Alliance."
- "I name the Emperor, himself, for ordering the brutal attacks on the people of Ghorman. Their peaceful world is one of countless systems helpless against his oppressive rule. This massacre is proof that our self-appointed Emperor, is little more than a lying executioner, imposing his tyranny under the pretense of security. We cannot allow this evil to stand."
- ―Mon Mothma denouncing the Emperor's actions during the Ghorman Massacre
After years of being unable to limit Palpatine's power and the occurrence of atrocities such as the Ghorman Massacre, an incident which witnessed the slaughter of peaceful protestors, Mon Mothma denounced the Emperor's actions and resigned from the Senate, quickly becoming a target for the Imperial Military and designated a traitor, with the Imperial Security Bureau issuing an alert for Mon Mothma in an attempt to capture her. ISB agents also visited Cantham House on Coruscant, the meeting place of the Cantham House meetings, based on suspicions they had, and questioned Leia Organa and several others there.
Under orders from Senator Organa, Captain Hera Syndulla, Lieutenant Commander Ezra Bridger, and Captain Garazeb Orrelios onboard the Ghost, a modified VCX-100 light freighter owned by the Spectres of Phoenix Squadron, rendezvoused with Gold Squadron of Massassi Group, who were escorting Mon Mothma to safety onboard the Chandrila Mistress in order to refuel the vessel. Earlier however, the Ghost was discovered by an Imperial E-XD-series infiltrator droid, sent by Grand Admiral Thrawn, who was tasked with finding Mon Mothma.
After refueling most of the ships however, they were ambushed by Imperial forces, resulting in the destruction of the Chandrila Mistress and the rebels being force to take the Archeon pass. Soon, however, the rebels were ambushed by a second Imperial force, which included the new TIE/d "Defender" Multi-Role Starfighter, pressuring the rebels to flee through the Archeon Nebula in order to lose their Imperial pursuers, resulting in the rebels shaking off the Imperials, at the disadvantage of the Ghost and two remaining Y-Wing bombers being separated.
Two Imperial I-class Star Destroyers, led by Arihnda Pryce, Governor of the Lothal sector, and Admiral Kassius Konstantine, soon arrived and captured the Ghost in a tractor beam. Imperial forces were defeated when the two bombers, piloted by Ezra Bridger and Gold Leader Jon Vander launched Proton torpedos at the Nebula resulting in a release of energy, damaging the Star Destroyers and allowing the surviving rebels to escape.
- "This, my friends, this is our rebellion."
- ―Mon Mothma after the arrival of various rebel starships
After the skirmish, the Ghost, with the two Y-Wings docked with it, exited out of hyperspace above the Outer Rim forested world of Dantooine. As the Ghost ready to transmit, the rebels gathered in the cockpit and Mon Mothma began her speech. Mon Mothma's speech was broadcast on all rebel communications channels, as well as available HoloNet channels that were sliced by satellites, so that her call to arms could be heard by trillions of beings across the galaxy, as well as established resistance groups such as Phoenix Cell, Massassi Group, and the Lothal resistance group.
In the moments following Mon Mothma's call for an alliance, a CR90 corvette exited hyperspace, followed soon after by several other CR90s and Sphyrna-class Hammerhead corvettes, eventually with many vessels exiting hyperspace, including Home One and Phoenix Nest.
- "Following is the address I will make within the hour. It will go out across all Alliance comm channels and will be inserted into the public holonet wherever we have a satellite splice. Trillions of beings will soon hear my voice. This is a galaxy-wide call to arms. We can no longer fight in isolation. Today is the first day of the Rebel Alliance. Together, we will restore the Republic."
- ―An account of the moments before the Declaration written by Mon Mothma and uncovered in the Rebel Files decades later.
Following the Declaration of the Rebel Alliance, the Alliance to Restore the Republic was created and its branches and units were organized and structured. The Alliance was divided into two sections, the Alliance Civil Government with Mon Mothma as its Chancellor and Chief of State, and composed of civilian bodies such as the Alliance Cabinet and Propaganda Bureau, and the Alliance Military, with Mon Mothma serving as the Commander-in-Chief and led by Alliance High Command and its sub-units. A document, the Declaration of Rebellion, was sent to the Emperor to declare open resistance between the Alliance to Restore the Republic and the Galactic Empire.
Two years later, the first major battle of the Galactic Civil War saw the Alliance steal the plans for the Death Star, a moon-sized battle station capable of destroying entire planets, at the Battle of Scarif. The plans were used to destroy the dreaded battle station at the Battle of Yavin. Although the Alliance faced many major defeats, such as the Mid Rim Retreat and the Battle of Hoth, they were able to continue their campaigns against the Empire, who had constructed a second Death Star.
The second Death Star was then destroyed in the following Battle of Endor, which witnessed the defeat of the Imperial Navy, the death of Emperor Palpatine, and the Declaration of a New Republic, marking the creation of the formal New Republic government.
Despite Imperial operations such as Operation: Cinder, which sought to devastate loyal Imperial worlds, and the fragmentation of the Empire into various Imperial remnants, the Empire was defeated in the final action of the war, the Battle of Jakku, between the New Republic and the Empire led by Counselor to the Empire Gallius Rax. After the defeat of Rax and his forces, Grand Vizier Mas Amedda, who had been left powerless by Rax, signed the Galactic Concordance and the Imperial Instruments of Surrender, effectively ending the war and disbanding the Galactic Empire, instead forming into numerous independent governments such as the Coruscant provisional government.
Decades later, the First Order rose from pro-Imperial factions, including a faction formed after the Galactic Concordance. The First Order would evade notice from the New Republic, building up its forces in the Unknown Regions, and destroying the New Republic in one swift stroke, leaving a paramilitary force, the Resistance, led by General Leia Organa, adoptive daughter of Bail Organa, to oppose the First Order, and although the Resistance was defeated and suffered heavy losses, opposition against the First Order remained steadfast.
It was during the fight against the First Order that General Organa received The Rebel Files, a central data archive containing various documents and notes, including a note by Mon Mothma recording the moments prior to the Declaration of the Rebel Alliance.
|Source: "Secret Cargo"||Attribution: Mon Mothma|
This is Senator Mon Mothma, I have been called a traitor for speaking out against a corrupt Galactic Senate. A Senate manipulated by the sinister tactics of the Emperor. For too long I have watched the heavy hand of the Empire strangle our liberties, stifling our freedoms in the name of ensuring our safety. No longer! Despite Imperial threats, despite the Emperor himself, I have no fear as I take new action. For I am not alone. Beginning today we stand together as allies. I hereby resign from the Senate to fight for you, not from the distant hall of politics but from the front lines. We will not rest until we bring an end to the Empire, until we restore our Republic! Are you with me?
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Behind the scenes
The Declaration of the Rebel Alliance first appeared in the eighteenth episode of the third season of Star Wars Rebels, "Secret Cargo," which aired in March 4th, 2017. It was officially named and marked as an event in the 2017 boxed reference set Star Wars: The Rebel Files by Daniel Wallace. In the Star Wars Legends continuity, the Corellian Treaty was an accord that marked the official formation of the Rebel Alliance which was first mentioned in the 1990 roleplaying sourcebook by West End Games and Paul Murphy, The Rebel Alliance Sourcebook, and first appeared in the 2008 novel, The Force Unleashed.
- Star Wars Rebels – "Secret Cargo" (First appearance)
- Star Wars Rebels – "The Occupation" (Indirect mention only)
- "Heroes of the Rebellion"—From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back (Mentioned only)
- From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Rebel Files (First identified as Declaration of the Rebel Alliance)
- Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary, New Edition
- Star Wars: Scum and Villainy: Case Files on the Galaxy's Most Notorious
- Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: Build Your Own X-Wing 40 (Starfighter Aces: Jon 'Dutch' Vander – Gold Leader)
- The Star Wars Book
- Star Wars Bust Collection 1 (Star Wars Universe: Darth Vader) (Indirect mention only)
- (Indirect mention only)
Notes and references