- "Messy work might have been good enough for the Republic—but the Empire is order from chaos. What we do here—and in thousands of systems just like this one—brings us closer to our ultimate goal."
- ―Denetrius Vidian
Gorse (pronounced /gɔːɹs/) was a tidally-locked planet located on the Inner Rim. It had one moon called Cynda, which was rich in thorilide crystals. During the Age of the Empire, Gorse had seemingly exhausted its thorilide reserves and had become a major refinery for thorilide exports from Cynda, which had been opened up to thorilide mining. Gorse served as the location of a conflict between the Galactic Empire and a small rebel cell led by Hera Syndulla and the former Jedi Padawan Kanan Jarrus. Following the Gorse conflict, thorilide mining was established in Gorse's sunward side while Cynda was restored to its former status as a nature reserve.
Closely orbiting its nearby star, Gorse was a rare example of a tidally locked planet. Gravitational forces of its star and its moon, Cynda, caused one side of the planet to permanently face its sun while the opposite side of the planet was stuck in perpetual darkness. As a result, the hemisphere of Gorse that baked in constant daylight experienced temperatures hot enough to melt droids. Only the humid night side of the planet was habitable. The planet suffered from constant groundquakes due to its strange gravitational state.
Cities covered much of the dark side of Gorse. There, thorilide crystals imported from Cynda were refined and processed for use in shielding starships from turbolaser cannons. Many of those working in this industry were housed at Crispus Commons, an apartment building for veterans of the Clone Wars. Gorse had several urban settlements including Gorse City, Shaketown, and Highground.
The Galactic Republic
During the last years of the Galactic Republic, Gorse was home to many thorilide mining operations. While visiting Gorse for a work trip, the mining inspector Lemuel Tharsa succumbed to Shilmer's syndrome, a painful debilitating disease that devoured his flesh and limbs. After being outfitted with a cyborg body, Tharsa rebuilt himself as the business guru Denetrius Vidian. Purchasing a secret stake in the comet-chasing company Minerax Consulting, Vidian issued a critical report claiming that Gorse had exhausted its thorilide reserves. As a result, surface mining companies like Introsphere went bust and the other remaining mining companies were forced to relocate their operations to Gorse's moon Cynda, which was rich in thorilide.
The Republic built a housing project called Crispus Commons in Gorse City to accommodate the Corellian demolitions expert Skelly and other homeless Clone Wars veterans. The Republic's successor government, the Galactic Empire, paid little attention to Crispus Commons and allowed it deteriorate into disrepair.
The Gorse conflict
Due to the rapid expansion of the Imperial Navy, Gorse struggled to keep up with the high Imperial demand for thorilide. In response, Emperor Palpatine dispatched his management consultant Count Vidian to increase production output in the Gorse system. After purging the mining workforce on Cynda of trouble-makers and the elderly, Vidian turned his attention to Gorse. While he had originally plan to correspond with the local mining industrial chiefs via hologram, Vidian changed his mind after a rogue miner named Skelly was captured by Moonglow Polychemical, who were based in Gorse's Shaketown. Skelly had made threats against the Empire, resisted arrest, and conducted an illegal test bombing.
In addition, Count Vidian destroyed the medcenter in Gorse City where he had been treated for Shilmer's disease in order to conceal evidence he and Lemuel were the same person. Officially, Lemuel was still listed in the Imperial official records as an independent mining consultant. Vidian used the pseudonym Lemuel to author fake reports that boosted his business interests. In addition, Vidian ordered a review of Transcept Media Solutions, the company that operated the security cameras that caught Skelly's sedition. As a result of the crackdown, the surveillance operator Hetto was arrested for corresponding with a known rebel operative on HoloNet named Hera Syndulla.
Before the Empire could take Skelly into custody, Hera freed Skelly from Moonglow custody with the help of a local criminal gang called the Sarlaccs. When the Sarlaccs demanded a pay hike and attempted to rob Hera, a local freighter pilot named Kanan Jarrus came to her aid. Kanan was a former Jedi Padawan who had survived the Great Jedi Purge and recently immigrated to Gorse. Later, Hera attempted to recruit Skelly into the rebellion but the miner was only interested in saving Cynda from destruction. Hera then went on to meet with her local contact Hetto at a local cantina called The Asteroid Belt. There, she met Hetto's friend Zaluna Myder who informed her that Hetto had been arrested by the Empire as part of Vidian's crackdown.
After learning of Vidian's planned inspection of Moonglow from Skelly, Hera managed to convince her local friend Kanan to lend her his Moonglow ID card. The two rebels infiltrated the refinery in a hoverbus and Hera attempted to tail Vidian. Meanwhile, Skelly infiltrated the Moonglow refinery in attempt to convince Vidian to end all mining operations on Cynda. He even passed a holodisk containing his research but the Count tried to kill him. Despite being badly wounded, Skelly managed to escape into the factory's conveyor belt system.
Later, Vidian murdered Moonglow's chief operations officer Lal Grallik after learning from his rival Baron Lero Danthe that the Emperor had tripled Gorse's thorilide output. Lal informed him that Moonglow could not meet the Emperor's new quota. Using Skelly's research, Vidian put into motion a plan to destroy Gorse's moon Cynda in order to meet the Emperor's new quota. Before he could return to Captain Rae Sloane's Imperial Star Destroyer Ultimatum, Vidian was attacked by Skelly, who blew up his shuttle. Vidian and his surviving entourage including Captain Rae commandeered the hoverbus and traveled to the spaceport at Highpoint.
Skelly followed Vidian to the spaceport and blew up the second Imperial shuttle. Vidian's problems were complicated by the arrival of Lal's vengeful husband Gord Grallik, who was seeking vengeance for his wife's murder. Gord managed to kill several stormtroopers before being killed by Vidian himself. Skelly along with Hera and Kanan then took the opportunity to escape in the hoverbus. Vidian and Sloane dispatched several Imperial Troop Transports and two TIE fighters after them but the rebels managed to evade capture and dumped their hoverbus in a quarry.
Hera, Kanan, and Skelly were joined by Zaluna, who had accidentally stowed aboard the hoverbus' toilet. Using Skelly's research, Count Vidian convinced Captain Sloane and her science officer Lieutenant Karra Deltic to conduct a test bombing on Cynda to back his theory that his detonation of the moon would not destroy its thorilide crystals. Under Vidian's orders, stormtroopers conducted a test bombing which killed many miners on Cynda. The explosion was witnessed by many on Cynda including Hera, Kanan, Skelly, and Zaluna. In response, the rebels formed an informal cell to stop Vidian's plot.
While the original reports indicated that a detonation would degrade the thorilide crystals, Vidian used his phantom consultant Lemuel to produce a false report stating otherwise. Due to his stake in the comet-chaser industry, Vidian wanted the comet-chasers to exploit Cynda's thorilide crystals before they disintegrated. He also wanted to discredit his rival Baron Danthe. Satisfied, Captain Sloane acceded to Vidian's plan. The Imperials did not care that Cynda's destruction could have catastrophic ramifications for Gorse. Count Vidian ordered all empty mining cargo ships in the Gorse system to follow the Ultimatum to his depot in the Calcoraan system. To cover up his true plan, Imperial media like Imperial HoloNews claimed that Moonglow's negligence had caused the explosion on Cynda and that Vidian was leading a "heroic effort" to stabilize the moon. As a result, the Empire seized the company's assets.
Vidian's plot was foiled by the combined efforts of Hera, Skelly, Kanan, and Zaluna. After learning about Vidian's deception, Kanan passed the original results to Captain Sloane while claiming to be an "agent" of the Emperor. Sloane dispatched the original results to Baron Danthe, who forwarded them to the Emperor. As a result, the Emperor terminated Vidian's project and Sloane issued orders to suspend the planned detonation and to arrest Vidian. When Vidian defied her and expressed his intention to proceed with the detonation, Captain Sloane ordered the Imperial fleet to bombard Vidian's flagship Forager. While the other rebels escaped, Skelly sacrificed his own life to kill Vidian; effectively saving Cynda from destruction.
Following Count Vidian's death, the Galactic Empire shifted all thorilide mining operations in the Gorse system to the planet Gorse; with Cynda being restored to its status as a nature reserve and tourist destination. Vidian's rival Baron Danthe gained control of the thorilide industry in the system and opened up the planet's sunward side to mining. Due to the dangerous conditions there, this mining was carried out by Baron Danthe's heat-resistant mining drones. Gorse's refineries received a new lease of life due to the thorilide mining in the planet's sunward side. Due to her efforts in stopping Vidian, Sloane was given permanent Captaincy of the Ultimatum.
In order to launch an attack on the Nadiri Dockyards, the Galactic Empire wished to divert New Republic attention away from the heavily protected facility. In their effort, the Empire launched a strike at Gorse as ordered by the now Admiral Rae Sloane.
Society and culture
Gorse was home to various sentient species including humans, Sullustans, Besalisks, and Twi'leks. Since Gorse's nightward side never experience any daylight, time on the planet ran in diurnal cycles. Gorse was home to large refining industry which included companies such as Moonglow Polychemical. In addition, other industries operating on Gorse including the media company Transcept Media Solutions and its surveillance division Myder's Mynocks, Okadiah Garson's cantina The Asteroid Belt, and two spaceports (including one owned by Moonglow).
Behind the scenes
- Adventures in Wild Space: The Snare (Indirect mention only)
- A New Dawn (First appearance, simultaneous with A New Dawn audiobook)
- A New Dawn audiobook
- Kanan 12 (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Squadrons (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars Rebels: The Visual Guide
- Ultimate Star Wars
- Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
- (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: Build the Millennium Falcon 34 (Starship Fact File: Gozanti-class Cruiser)
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- Entertainment Weekly's Ultimate Guide to Rogue One
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 12 (Databank A-Z: Cosians–Dagobah)
- Star Wars Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to a Galaxy Far, Far Away
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 28 (Databank A-Z: Queen Jamillia–Jedi Temples)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 52 (Databank A-Z: Hera Syndulla–Ahsoka Tano)
- Star Wars: Build Your Own X-Wing 8 (Starfighter Aces: Hera Syndulla – Rebel Cell Leader)
- "BB-8 and Other Astromech Droids" – Star Wars Encyclopedia