- "Home is beautiful. There are mountains few and trees endless. My people are peaceful gatherers, weavers and builders."
Endor (also known as the Forest Moon of Endor and the Sanctuary Moon) was a small forested moon orbiting the gas giant planet of Endor and was the farthest moon away from it. An enchanted world, Endor was notable for being the native home of the Ewoks, and being the location of the Battle of Endor, which would result in the downfall of the Empire and the first death of the Emperor Palpatine. Due to its proximity to the Unknown Regions, Endor was a relatively quiet planetoid both prior to and after the battle.
Endor was also known for the vast amount of sentient species it supported, from baseline to exotic. This was largely due to the unusually large number of shipwrecks Endor experienced; it was compared to a "desert island" in space.
Terrain and climate
Endor's terrain was largely covered by massive, tightly-knit pine and redwood forests. However, the Forest Moon also contained vast dry deserts and grassy plains, small oceans, secluded lakes, and mountain ranges. The moon's low axial tilt and regular orbit of its gas giant primary helped ensure a comfortable climate. The Forest Moon was temperate and mild, with polar caps regulating the sea levels. Flora life included Cambylictus trees and other large plants, thriving with many types of fruit including the Grava berries. Endor was the second moon of the gas giant it orbited.
The forest moon was home to the Ewoks, famous for helping defeat the Empire at the Battle of Endor. The four other native sentient species were the tall and timid Yuzzums, the rodent-like Teeks, the amphibious Gorphs, and the Ewoks' mischievous and treacherous genetic cousins, the Duloks. The moon also boasted other slightly stranger beings, such as Mount Sorrow and the Sun King.
A number of semi-sentient species are also indigenous to the moon, including Kagles, the fairy-like Wisties, the predatory Grass Trekkers, the Gorax, and plant-like beings known as Dandelion Warriors.
The following are just some of the indigenous creatures that make up the Forest Moon of Endor's wildlife:
Around 3645 BBY, a black-market spice dealer claimed that his product, a rare flower, came from a secret Republic bio-lab on the moon. The spice dealer was later found to be incompetent or a cheat: the flower that he sold was improperly cared for by the spice dealer or the spice dealer's source.
The moon's history was constantly being shaped by starships crashing on the backwater satellite, introducing new species and technology which had to be integrated into the local politics and ecosystem. Known crashes included Sickly Tremor prior to 1100 BBY (introducing Phlogs and Gorax), a Starhunter menagerie ark in about 800 BBY (introducing Gupins, Teeks, and tree goat), the Free Enterprise in 130 BBY (introducing Jindas and Tulgahs), a stolen ship in 100 BBY (introducing Sanyassan Marauders and the witch Charal), Noa Briqualon's starship in 26 BBY (carrying Noa Briqualon and Salak Weet), and the Towani family's starcruiser in 3 ABY (carrying Cindel Towani and her family).
Endor was set aside as a protected nature reserve during the Galactic Republic, giving it the name Sanctuary Moon. Few spacers had ever heard of Endor, let alone visited the moon. Of those who had, there were two types: those who continued on their way, not wanting to waste their time on such an unimportant puffball of a moon and those who had crash-landed in the forests due to the stellar anomalies, such as the Endor Gate black hole, in the area. These travelers were forced to scrabble for food and shelter along with the natives.
As ships disappeared in the region, the Endor moon earned a reputation as a "desert island in space," and was usually given a wide berth.
When thousands of survey teams were sent by the Emperor to scout locations for the new Death Star's construction site, Endor was one of the potential locations. The forest moon met the strict requirements demanded by no less a person than Darth Vader; the location must be remote, and must have a diverse geosphere capable of sustaining Human life. Endor's location was quite advantageous; the Moddell sector was far from most Imperial outposts. Lord Vader thought that the Rebellion wouldn't expect a new base to be hidden so far from the Empire's seat of power.
The first Imperial scouting expedition, Survey Team IX3244-B, was led by Captain Toss, who recommended the Endor moon even before his team had explored the surface. The native Ewoks led his team around in circles, and Lt. Kiviett recommended that the Ewoks be studied further. He felt they were a potential threat to the new base. Toss, wanting the credit for discovering the new Death Star construction site, ignored him.
The lack of a detailed report displeased the Emperor who authorized the deployment of a second scouting expedition under Pfilbee Jhorn. Pfilbee Jhorn's team studied the Ewoks further and also discovered several other species including the Teeks, Goraxes, Yuzzums and the Sanyassan colony. In the end, only Pfilbee and two others survived the mission and went offworld.
By 3 ABY, the Empire had established a research outpost on Endor, to enable further study of it. The "harmless" Ewoks encountered there did not go unnoticed by others in the Imperial hierarchy. Dr. Raygar, a servant of the Emperor, believed that these Ewoks guarded a powerful artifact he had been seeking: the Sunstar. Though he had originally intended to present the Sunstar to Emperor Palpatine, Raygar decided that with such a powerful artifact in his possession, he could overthrow Palpatine and rule the galaxy himself. He used the Sunstar to construct a devastating weapon.
The incident ended disastrously for Raygar, as Ewoks boarded his ship, stole the Sunstar and escaped back to Endor. Admiral Kazz, who had never believed in the Sunstar's power to begin with, arrested Raygar for treason. The would-be-emperor was dragged kicking and screaming into the Emperor's shuttle for execution. Palpatine, for his part, was curious to learn more of this forest moon.
The Empire established an outpost on the Sanctuary Moon, and it was from here that preparations were made so that the construction site for the second Death Star could be moved there. When Imperial teams arrived to construct the shield generator complex and other installations, they discovered Alliance Captain Junas Turner, who had come to the moon to locate the new Death Star. He was taken captive and sent to the automated prison station Balis-Baurgh, along with an Ewok named Grael. They would later escape, but it was too late to inform the Rebellion of the threat.
Though the Sunstar was now safely returned to Bright Tree Village, its power had not prevented Raygar from stealing it, and so the Ewoks avoided the Empire whenever possible. They despised the crimes against nature perpetuated by the construction teams for the generator complex, but could see no way to fight against such powerful beings, particularly Darth Vader, who swept several Ewoks away on a wave of flame.
This attitude changed when Wicket W. Warrick spotted an AT-ST tumbling over the Yawari cliffs. This proved to the tribal elders that the invaders could be killed. On Wicket's recommendation, existing traps for the giant Gorax were modified to combat the Imperials.
Battle of Endor
As the Galactic Civil War drew on in the years of 3-4 ABY, a Rebel Alliance strike team, led by Dash Rendar and Luke Skywalker, captured information from the cruiser Suprosa at Kothlis. It confirmed the existence of a second Death Star, being constructed over the moon of Endor. It was not realized then, but Emperor Palpatine had purposely allowed the plans to be captured, so that the Rebels could be coaxed into a trap.
The Rebel fleet amassed near Sullust and was addressed by Mon Mothma. She and Admiral Gial Ackbar informed the battle-weary freedom fighters that the Emperor himself would be aboard the station, further emphasizing the need to win the battle, which would either way end the war. The entire operation was orchestrated to coordinate the fleet, commanded by Ackbar, and a substantial starfighter force, led by Lando Calrissian to jump to Endor through hyperspace and arrive to a shieldless, incomplete Death Star. A commando team would be sent on ahead in a coup-de-main (or, clandestine operation) and disable the shield generator and projector housed on the Endor moon.
The commando team, led by Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, and Luke Skywalker, used the stolen Imperial shuttle Tydirium to slip past Imperial defenses and land on the moon. After speederbike chases, Leia going missing, and other confusions, the team fell into a primitive trap set by the main indigenous species, the Ewoks. At first they saw C-3PO as a deity, and prepared to sacrifice the main team in celebration to the droid. The Rebels were soon freed however after Luke Skywalker, using a few clever Force tricks, and with the help of C-3PO deceived the Ewoks into believing the droid possessed powerful magic he would use against them if his friends were not freed. Afterwards, Threepio captivated the Ewoks with an epic recounting on the events leading up to their arrival on the forest moon. The Ewoks then inducted the Rebels into their tribe with great enthusiasm, cementing their cooperation against the Imperials in the forthcoming battle in which the Ewoks would play a pivotal role.
The Rebel fleet jumped insystem, prepared to assault the Death Star. With the shield still up, a massive Imperial fleet revealed itself, pinning the Rebels between them and the shield, and the climactic battle began. Luke, who had voluntarily allowed his capture by Imperials to meet Darth Vader in hopes up turning him back to the light, watched from the Emperor's tower on the Death Star as Palpatine's trap unfolded. On the moon below, Han Solo and the team had been captured. Things looked grave as the shield remained up, and Ackbar ordered the only thing the fleet could do: attack the Imperial Fleet.
But Rebel fortunes changed. The Ewoks, thanks to an impromptu distraction from C-3PO and R2-D2, attacked the groundside Stormtrooper legions, and the Rebel commandos took advantage of the confusion. Despite early setbacks, the Ewoks and the commandos beat the Empire through guerrilla tactics, but the Ewoks' presence was the catalyst needed. In space, the fleet succeeded beyond all odds in attacking the Imperial Fleet. Several vessels, including the Super Star Destroyer Executor, fell under the guns of the Alliance Fleet. Solo's team finally destroyed the shield generator; Lando Calrissian, Tycho Celchu, Wedge Antilles, and a handful of other pilots descended into the now shieldless battle-station's innards to destroy the core; and Luke Skywalker, who witnessed Anakin Skywalker redeem himself from the specter of Darth Vader and kill Emperor Palpatine, barely escaped with a father who did not survive long enough to get off the Death Star with him. It was a victorious day for the Alliance. Soon, races all over the galaxy from Tatooine to Coruscant would be celebrating, and soon afterwards the Rebel Alliance.
The day after the Battle of Endor, the local Rebel forces received a distress call from Bakura, and so the Alliance fought the Ssi-ruu Imperium from the Unknown Regions for a week. In the aftermath of that conflict, the Rebel Alliance was reorganized into the Alliance of Free Planets, where Bright Tree Village on Endor remained as the capital.
A day after the defeat of the Ssi-ruu, the alien race was replaced by another threat, known as the Nagai, and subsequently, their enemies, the Tof. This conflict was known as the Nagai-Tof War. The Nagai were an alien race, also from the Unknown Regions, and had encountered the Alliance of Free Planets on a number of occasions, but these were only minor missions to lay the groundwork for their invasion of the galaxy. In 4 ABY, they made a major assault on Endor, to strike the Alliance at its heart and mark the start of the new conflict.
The Nagai were aided by the Imperial forces of Lumiya and came close to victory, but the heroic actions of Luke Skywalker and Lando Calrissian helped to save the day and bring victory to the Alliance. However it was a hollow victory, as it had cost the Alliance many casualties and had began a new galactic conflict that threatened everything that the Alliance had gained, until the Tof were defeated, by a coalition of an Imperial faction, the Nagai and the Alliance of Free Planets.
Endor saw limited use as a tourist destination from travel agencies such as Galaxy Tours and Star Tours. Immediately following the Battle of Endor, some tourism companies attempted to cash in on the forest moon's sudden notoriety. Trips offered by the Star Tours travel agency met with a series of mishaps before the company was forced out of business. Interest in the moon dwindled over the years until only a small number of trading posts remained.
Grand Admiral Thrawn Crisis
Following the Second Battle of Endor, the planet was left mostly alone by both New Republic and Imperial forces as they shifted their focus to other battles and areas of contention. Five years after the battle of Endor, Leia Organa Solo chose Endor as a rendezvous with Khabarakh. When Khabarakh arrived, she left the Millennium Falcon in orbit of Endor while she traveled with Khabarakh to Honoghr. Some time later, Grand Admiral Thrawn came to Endor and had the Falcon brought on board his ship upon discovering it in orbit. While at Endor, Thrawn met with Mara Jade, and after promising very favorable terms in exchange for the location of the Katana fleet, he followed her and was able to briefly capture Talon Karrde.
Even after five years, Force sensitive individuals were still able to feel the disruption to the Force caused by the first death of Emperor Palpatine, particularly when vessels passed through the spot where the second Death Star had exploded. While at Endor, both Leia Organa Solo and Mara Jade felt evidence of the Emperor's death, which Mara Jade termed as not being very pleasant.
University of Sanbra studies
In 12 ABY, biologists from the University of Sanbra studied and cataloged the many non-indigenous and lesser-known indigenous lifeforms of Endor to determine how they lived together. The study was headed by Professor Mankuskett. It focused on the Jindas, Gupins, Duloks, Phlogs, Grass Trekkers, Makants, Dandelion Warriors, tree goats and Wisties. It was hoped the study would rectify the shortcomings of the incomplete surveys performed by Imperial scout troopers prior to the Battle of Endor.
Second Galactic Civil War
In 40 ABY, a conflict between the Galactic Alliance and Corellia exploded into a full-scale war. Jacen Solo fell to the dark side of the Force and took the name Darth Caedus. When Caedus tricked Ben Skywalker into killing former Galactic Alliance chief of state Cal Omas, the Jedi withdrew their support, despite the fact that Caedus had taken the students at the Jedi Praxeum on Ossus hostage. After a Galactic Alliance attack on Kashyyyk launched by Caedus had been driven off, the Jedi relocated to Endor.
The Jedi took up residence in former Imperial facilities still located on Endor. Many of their StealthX fighters were hidden in areas where debris from the exploding Death Star II had created burn zones on the surface of Endor. The surviving young students rescued from Ossus were hidden in a series of caverns on Endor, in order to protect them from Darth Caedus while many of the older Jedi and their allies moved to actively oppose Lord Caedus.
Tenel Ka traveled to Endor shortly after Caedus kidnapped Allana from her mother, and met with Grand Master Luke Skywalker. Luke informed Tenel Ka that the Jedi Order would help rescue her daughter from the Anakin Solo.
General Tycho Celchu later traveled to Endor with Captain Syal Antilles to relay an official request from the Galactic Alliance government to the New Jedi Order to return to the service of the Galactic Alliance. Even though it was believed that the request was from Admiral Cha Niathal, or at the least factions of the Galactic Alliance loyal to her, Luke refused the offer as it could have left the Order at the mercy of Darth Caedus. Realizing General Celchu would report the location of the Jedi base to his superiors and that Darth Caedus would sooner or later learn where the Jedi were hiding, Luke decided that the Jedi would leave Endor before Caedus could act against the Jedi.
Before the Jedi abandoned their base on Endor for the Transitory Mists, Ben Skywalker met with his aunt Leia Organa Solo and his cousin Jaina Solo to talk over his conviction that Alema Rar had not been responsible for his mother's death and showed them a recording that proved that Jacen had killed her, much to their horror.
Behind the scenes
With three films, a television series, and a comic book series based around it, Endor is one of the most documented locations in the Star Wars universe.
The orbit and ground of Endor serve as locations for multiple Versus Mode matches in Star Wars: Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike. The space Dogfight match features Star Destroyers which fire at the players. There is also a Speeder Bike race in the forests.
Earlier drafts of Return of the Jedi first identified the forest moon as the Green Moon of Endor, and later Jus-Endor. Originally, Green Moon was meant to be orbiting Had Abbadon—now known as Coruscant—along with two Death Stars under construction.
Discrepancies in canon
The planet Endor was never visible in any scenes in Return of the Jedi set on the forest moon, a fact which the novelization explains by asserting that it was destroyed some time earlier, and that the moon now orbits its star in a planetary orbit of its own. The Essential Atlas dismisses the planet's disappearance as an elaborate hoax. It should be noted that in two of Return of the Jedi's space battle scenes, a pinkish globe can be seen in the background, in the vicinity of the forest moon. Another shot showing TIE fighters flying towards the Death Star (and camera) with several Star Destroyers in the background shows this pinkish globe. In addition, a large globe can be seen in the sky during some scenes in the two Ewok telefilms (Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor), though this does not closely resemble the one seen in Return of the Jedi. Star Wars: Battlefront II shows the planet Endor as a large blue planet when in Galactic Conquest mode.
Some fans with some knowledge of physics have noted that if the destruction of the Death Star II actually occurred as depicted, the moon would have been rendered uninhabitable. This is known as the "Endor Holocaust". Because later publications confirm no such disaster happened, several explanations have been suggested, such as the Rebellion bringing large-scale, portable shield generators to protect the moon from radioactive fallout, or a wormhole being formed from the explosion of the second Death Star, explaining where all the drifting debris went (as confirmed in The Glove of Darth Vader).
Star Wars Battlefront II: Prima Official Game Guide erroneously states that Endor is located in the Unknown Regions instead of the Outer Rim Territories. A planet map displayed at the Star Tours attractions in Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disneyland places the moon within the "Zone of Sullust."
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