- "Code red! Activate flood lights. Secure the area."
- ―Sojan reacting upon a Hoojib attack
Gemmer Sojan was a Human male from Mimban who served the Rebel Alliance as a pilot. Originally a member of Blue Squadron, he flew the transport Bearing Lifter during the evacuation of Hoth, the ice planet that was home to the Rebels from 2 to 3 ABY. In the wake of the battle, he was integrated into Rogue Squadron, a brand new elite starfighter group led by Commander Luke Skywalker, one of the Heroes of Yavin. Sometime later, Sojan was stationed at the temporary Rebel base on Golrath, where he acquired a stone paperweight as a souvenir. The Rebels, however, needed a more temperate setting for their facilities, and Sojan helped the Alliance scout the planet Arbra in the Outer Rim Territories, as a possible location for a new base of operations. This ultimately led to the establishment of Haven Base and an alliance with the native Hoojibs.
Shortly afterwards, Sojan took part in one of the most fruitful missions launched from Haven Base. Along with Commander Skywalker and two other pilots, he was tasked with flying a refitted TIE/LN starfighter into battle on planet Spindrift in order to take control of that planet's Imperial outpost. Sometime later, the stone Sojan had picked on Golrath began to pulsate with strange lights and kept him from sleeping properly. It was discovered that the stone projected holoimagery that could warn the Imperials of the current Rebel base's location. Because of that, Princess Leia Organa ordered an immediate raid on Golrath to destroy their former base, and a battle ensued.
In 4 ABY, when the Rebel Alliance made a decisive move against the Empire over Endor, Sojan flew with Arvel Crynyd's Green Squadron, under the call sign Green Two. During the battle of Endor, Sojan destroyed the Imperial battlecruiser Pride of Tarlandia. Ultimately, the Alliance emerged victor of the confrontation, upon which the Empire shattered.
- "All troop carriers will assemble at the north entrance. The heavy transport ships will leave as soon as they're loaded. Only two fighter escorts per ship. The energy shield can only be opened for a short time, so you'll have to stay very close to your transports."
- ―Leia Organa to the assembled pilots
Gemmer Sojan was born to Human parents on Mimban, a jungle planet located in the Expansion Region of the galaxy. Around 2 BBY, a group of resistance fighters nicknamed the Rebel Alliance began to form and wage war against the authoritarian and dominant Galactic Empire, in a conflict that would be later known as the Galactic Civil War. Sojan ended up joining the Alliance as a starfighter pilot, entering the ranks of the Rebel Blue Squadron.
By 3 ABY, the Alliance had established its new headquarters, known as Echo Base, on the ice planet of Hoth. However, the base was attacked by the Empire, which prompted the Alliance to withdraw its personnel. In order to delay the advance of an invading line of Imperial All Terrain Armored Transport walkers during the evacuation process, an ad hoc snowspeeder unit christened Rogue Group was created by cobbling together members of Rogue Flight, Blue Squadron and Green Squadron. The remaining Blues and Greens either piloted evacuating transports or their fighter escorts. In that situation, Sojan flew as Blue Four in the Battle of Hoth. After attending Princess Leia Organa's pilot briefing, arriving late along with Tarrin Datch, he flew the GR-75 medium transport Bearing Lifter to safety.
From Golrath to ArbraEdit
- "[Whistles softly] "This is perfect. The Empire would never find us here.""
- ―Sojan, upon entering the Hoojibs' cavern
Following the harried retreat from Hoth, Rogue Squadron was expanded into a full-fledged, elite squadron under the orders of the Rebel hero Luke Skywalker, and Sojan was part of it. Now without a proper base of operations, the Rebels settled in a magma smelting plant on the volcanic world Golrath, and Sojan was assigned there for a time. When the cooling of the magma supply became problematic, the Rebels decided to abandon the Golrath Station in favor of a more temperate location. Before leaving Golrath for good, Sojan acquired a piece of stone from the bedrock that composed the station's foundations, which he planned on using as a paperweight. Unbeknownst to him, Sojan's innocent souvenir-picking would later lead to unfortunate consequences. Following the Alliance's departure from Golrath, Sojan joined the survey team under Leia Organa that was assigned to scouting out the Outer Rim planet Arbra, in the hopes of finally establishing a permanent base.
While camping in the forests of Arbra, the survey team was attacked during the night by a group of Hoojibs, a species of sapient lagomorphs native to Arbra, who fed on the energy from their equipment. Awakened in the middle of the night, Sojan was swift to react, immediately ordering to secure the area. Plif, who introduced himself as the Hoojibs' "spokesmind", then communicated with Princess Leia through telepathy, explaining that the slivilith, a green, winged monster, had driven his people from the underground cavern that provided them with the energy they needed. Suddenly, the creature attacked the Rebel camp. Sojan and several others assisted Princess Leia in corralling the creature into the crystals cavern. Since they Rebels had been deprived of the energy with which to power their blasters, Sojan and the others were forced to rely on melee weapons to fight the monster. By availing themselves of various spears and lances, they were able to keep the Slivilith hemmed in the corner of the cave. It was Chewbacca the Wookiee however, that dealt the final blow ending the Slivilith's life. Following the slivilith's demise, the Rebels entered the cave and discovered the immense, energy-absorbing crystalline formations—known as power rods—it contained. Those rods captured Arbra's geothermal energy, and the Rebels realized they could tap into that energy to power their new base. At the sight of the grotto, Sojan himself whistled in admiration, commenting that the cave would be the perfect location for the new Alliance headquarters. The Hoojibs, although initially reluctant, agreed to let their new allies occupy their home, and "Haven Base" was born.
- "The Rebels used rebuilt TIE fighters purchased from a disreputable arms dealer to intercept and infiltrate an Imperial armada under the command of one Admiral Giel."
- ―Cory Herndon
Shortly afterwards, the Rebels found out the enemy had come into possession of a Teezl, a powerful and dangerous creature that could be used as a natural hyperspace communications amplifier. It became obvious that the creature would become too big of an advantage to the Empire and had to be eliminated, which prompted the creation of Operation Earplug. Since the Teezl was transported within Admiral Mils Giel's secret armada, the first part of the operation concerned the acquisition of that fleet's route coordinates. For the sake of Operation Earplug, four TIE Fighters were acquired on the black market so that Rebel pilots could infiltrate the Imperial fleet. Along with Commander Skywalker, Captain Hanc Thorben, and Shira Brie, Sojan attacked the Imperial outpost on planet Spindrift, using surprise to take control of the base. The Rebels successfully strafed the munitions station and communication towers, forcing the commanders of the meager Imperial garrison to surrender. Years later, Cory Herndon, Court Archivist of Velmor during the New Republic, would refer to the skirmish as "one of the most successful Rebel missions launched from Arbra during the Galactic Civil War." In spite of his participation in the successful Spindrift mission, Sojan did not fly one of the refitted TIE Fighters of the Flying Bantha Squadron when they battled Giel's armada and destroyed the Teezl, as he was replaced Alph.
Golrath Never ForgetsEdit
- "That stone paperweight I brought from the Golrath medlabs started flashin' weird lights, an' kept me awake through my whole snooze shift."
- ―Sojan to Thorben
In the wake of the triumph of Operation Earplug, Sojan witnessed a trial of paramount importance in the veru walls of Haven Base. During the battle against Giel's armada, Commander Skywalker had fired on a friendly vessel. When it was found that the pilot was none other than Shira Brie, one of his squadron mates, Skywalker was stripped of command and put on trial. However, the ostracized former commander investigated the matter and discovered that Brie was actually an Imperial spy undercover. As all Rebels stationed on Arbra, Gemmer Sojan attended the last hearing of Skywalker's trial, where the three judges cleared his name and was reinstated him. He and Hanc Thorben briefly discussed their relief at the news. It was later discovered that the souvenir piece of volcanic bedrock Sojan kept in his bunk was a type of photoreceptive mineral that could project images from the time he spent stationed at the base. The light show spectacle prevented him from getting adequate amounts of sleep, and he complained about it to Thorben. Upon learning this, Thorben immediately contacted his superiors, and told them that the holographic imagery projected by the walls of the old base may tip off the Imperials as to their present location.
The Battle of EndorEdit
- "The Emperor has made a critical error and the time for our attack has come."
- ―Mon Mothma
By 4 ABY, Rogue veteran Sojan had been transferred in the Green Squadron, led by Green Leader Arvel Crynyd and flying RZ-1 A-wing interceptors. That year, the Rebel Alliance engaged the Empire in a decisive battle over Endor, in an attempt to destroy their new Death Star battlestation. During that battle, Sojan and the rest of Green Squadron were tasked with disabling the ion cannons of the Star Destroyers, thereby allowing the Alliance Fleet through to the Star Dreadnought Executor. The Mimban-born pilot, who flew under the call sign Green Two, was personally responsible for the destruction of the Imperial battlecruiser Pride of Tarlandia. After a long and fierce struggle, the Alliance Fleet got the upper hand, bringing the Imperial dominion to an end.
Personality and traitsEdit
While on piloting duty, Sojan wore the standard-issue orange flight suit of a Rebel pilot, complete with the flak vest and flight helmet, and carried a BlasTech E-11 blaster rifle. When working as part of the ground crew at the Arbra base, Sojan wore traditional utility fatigues, either grey or purple in color, with a matching cap.
Behind the scenesEdit
The character of Gemmer Sojan was created in 1981 by David Michelinie and Walter Simonson for Star Wars 55: Plif!, the fifty-fifth issue in the Marvel Star Wars series of comics. He made two other appearances in the series' sixtieth and sixty-fifth issues. However, his full name was only revealed in the 2012 reference book The Essential Guide to Warfare, written by Jason Fry and Paul R. Urquhart. In The Further Adventures: Planet of the Hoojibs, Sojan was depicted wearing a mustache.
In 2013, Sojan was identified as one of the pilots seen in Echo Base in the article "Rogues Gallery: Clearance for Immediate Launch" in Star Wars Insider 146. This retcons his first appearance to the 1980 movie Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, in which he was portrayed by actor Anthony Guilding. Guilding also performed another non-speaking role in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi.
- Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back (First appearance) (Retcon)
- The Empire Strikes Back: A Storybook (Picture only) (Retcon)
- Star Wars 40: The Empire Strikes Back: Battleground Hoth (Retcon)
- Star Wars 55: Plif!
- The Further Adventures: Planet of the Hoojibs
- Star Wars 60: Shira's Story
- Star Wars 65: Golrath Never Forgets
- Star Wars: Behind the Magic(Retcon)
- "The Hard, Cold Facts About Hoth"—Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 4 (Picture only)
- "Princess Leia: A Heroine's Tale"—Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 12
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Guide to Warfare (First identified as Gemmer "Sojan")
- "Rogues Gallery: Clearance for Immediate Launch"—Star Wars Insider 146
- Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game – Rebel Aces Expansion Pack (Card: Gemmer Sojan—A-wing)
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "Rogues Gallery: Clearance for Immediate Launch"—Star Wars Insider 146
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Star Wars 55: Plif!
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 The Essential Guide to Warfare
- ↑ Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
- ↑ Shadows of the Empire novel
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Star Wars 50: The Crimson Forever
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Star Wars 65: Golrath Never Forgets
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 The Further Adventures: Planet of the Hoojibs
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Star Wars 60: Shira's Story
- ↑ Star Wars 61: Screams in the Void
- ↑ Anthony Guilding. Aveleyman. Retrieved on December 30, 2013.