The Firebird Society was an all-female paramilitary organization that first existed during the Galactic Republic. It continued to exist when the Republic was reorganized into the Galactic Empire, and persisted in the years following the end of that regime. Its goal was to support the female members of the group who fell victim to misogyny exhibited by their male compatriots.
Organization and role
Initially, the Society was strictly a group that consisted of female fighter pilots though its ranks were ultimately open to all branches of military service including the Space Rescue Corps. The only requirement for entry was a distinguished military service. Membership was exclusively female and new recruits were often sought out with entry only being provided by two Firebirds of good standing with one of them producing their signature pin to the new initiate. Part of its membership meant that regional meetings were often conducted where new recruits were sought out and advancements for their fellow sisters were kept an eye on.
In the Imperial Period, the actions of the Firebird Society became much more aggressive and they became dedicated in striking back against their male oppressors that sought to deny them their rightful place in the military hierarchy. As such, this era of Firebirds used any means necessary short of collaborating with Rebels to accomplish their aims which included blackmail as well as vigilante raids. Their meetings were used to impart covert information on military officers or politicians that were believed to be responsible for stalling the careers of promising female officers. Such information was used to either leaking corrupt details about the target or place blame on them for some failure in order to discredit them.
The Firebird Society's activities were centered around close-combat training, and planning and executing strikes those that stood in the way of female advancement and the enemy of the galactic government. In action, members wore black body gloves with veiled hoods, disguising their identities while making their gender emphatically clear. These form fitting commando jumpsuits were made to intentionally make clear that their actions were conducted by women of high skill.
This organization was founded 2000 BBY on the planet Lianna in the Core Worlds where initially it was simply a social club consisting of the top female fighter pilots from the planetary military academy. Each of its members served as wingmates for one another or as a mentor to a newly recruited member into the Society. In time, the organization transcended its Lianna based planetary roots and became a more galactic based organization with chapters opening up throughout space as well as began to encompass all branches of the armed services. Membership into the organization still required certain qualities namely that the initiate be a female of exceptional skill along with dedication to the ideals of the Galactic Republic as well as their fellow sisters in general. This maintenance of the military traditions of the group made them a highly elite core group of soldiers in times of war. In certain theaters of war, their effectiveness was so great that they became a semi-official organization and were allowed to wear their Firebird pin on their uniform. One of the notable activities of the group was during the Freedon Nadd Uprising where some of the best officers and pilots that served alongside the Jedi Order were members of the Firebird Society.
It was during the reign of the Galactic Empire that the organization suffer a change. One of the many additions to the new Imperial Military in addition to xenophobia was sexism which meant that there were countless female officers that were passed for promotion simply because they were women. Only the most exceptionally talented or wealthy individuals were able to rise through the ranks while the rest were forced to watch their inferiors who lacked any talent being promoted simply because they were men. This was seen in both services namely the Imperial Navy and the Imperial Army. At this point in time, a young female officer in the Imperial Army known as Tessala Corvae was a member of the Firebird Society who had been relegated to patrol the Tapani sector and it became clear that she was subject to the sexism present within Emperor Palpatine's New Order. Thus, she sought to change that and she used her connection to the Firebird Society to transform the organization from a simple social networking group into a vigilante organization that sought to promote the rights of their fellow female members by any means necessary short of betraying the Empire to the Rebel Alliance. At its height, it was believed that the group consisted of at least 200 members within its ranks.
During the Galactic Civil War, they began staging increasingly high-profile strikes against enemies of the Empire that aimed to prove the effectiveness of female warriors to the Army high command, the Imperial leadership, and the galaxy as a whole. Although the Firebird Society's agenda and membership was Empire-wide, Tapani Sector became the center of their activities when Corvae was promoted to Major General assigned to command the 1st Tapani Assault Battlegroup at Tallaan. She found willing recruits among the local noblewomen, raising the group's roster to around a hundred active members. Each new recruit was expected to offer a useful gift on joining - small starships and discreet local bases were particularly appreciated - and members subsequently paid an annual subscription fee. General Corvae herself used her position as Army commander on Tallaan to arm the sorority with two Lambda-class shuttles, twenty sets of stormtrooper armor, and a small arsenal of infantry weapons.
The effectiveness of Corvae's more militant Firebird's during this era meant that they became a target for both Imperial Intelligence and Alliance Intelligence. While some of its members were captured, their complete loyalty to the Society meant that it remained protected and hidden from harm in these years. During the rise of Ysanne Isard as Director of Imperial Intelligence, Major General Corvae pledged the allegiance of the Firebird Society to her. Isard herself was quite impressed with the track record of the organization and promoted its members to key high level military positions while she kept others to covertly watch for any dissent within the Imperial ranks. This period of aggressive action conducted by the Firebird Society ended upon the death of Major General Corvae though the organization survived in later years.
The Society continued to exist in the years of the Legacy era where they came under the watch list of the Galactic Alliance Guard. While the group no longer practiced their violent vigilantism, the GAG were still wary of a group that owed more loyalty to themselves and not to the Galactic Alliance in general. In this time, the group continued its goal of covertly and aggressively seeking out damaging information against individuals or organizations that stood in the way of a noteworthy female officer's advancement simply due to her gender.