- "Have you learned any more about the others that were involved?"
"I don't think we need worry too much. A single rebellious act isn't the start of anything. This was a blip. A glitch in the system. Nothing more."
- ―Baron Danthe and Captain Sloane discussing the rebel involvement in the Gorse conflict
The Gorse conflict was a conflict between a small group of rebels on Gorse and its moon, Cynda, and the Galactic Empire, which was represented by the ambitious industrialist Count Denetrius Vidian. After learning that Vidian was visiting the Gorse system, the rebel operative Hera Syndulla traveled there to tail the Count. In an attempt to meet the Emperor's new thorilide quota and to discredit his rival Baron Lero Danthe, Vidian decided to detonate Cynda under the pretext of accessing the moon's substantial thorilide resources.
In response, Hera forged an informal rebel cell consisting of the dissident miner Skelly, the former Jedi Padawan Kanan Jarrus, and the former surveillance operator Zaluna Myder to stop the Count. After learning that Vidian had tampered with his research on Cynda's detonation, the rebels were able to convince the Imperial Captain Rae Sloane that Vidian's destruction of Cynda would cause the moon's thorilide crystals to disintegrate. Sharing a common enemy, the rebels and Sloane took action to stop Vidian's plan. The Count was killed during a fiery showdown above Cynda. Due to the rebels' actions and Sloane's "help," Cynda was saved from destruction.
Prelude[edit | edit source]
The genesis of the Gorse conflict can be traced back to a safety inspector named Lemuel Tharsa. During a routine inspection trip to Gorse, Lemuel had contracted a debilitating flesh-eating disease called Shilmer's syndrome. After remaining incommunicado for two years, Vidian was able to establish contact with a medical droid. Due to the severity of his disease, most of Vidian's body parts were replaced with cybernetic parts.
Rebuilding himself as Count Denetrius Vidian, the former safety inspector reestablished himself as a respected management guru over the next five years. Seeking revenge against the mining companies that had wronged him, Vidian bought shares in the comet-chaser industry. Four years before the fall of the Galactic Republic Vidian purchased Minerax Consulting and issued a critical report that ended all surface thorilide mining on Gorse. Vidian also suppressed information that Minerax had found vast reserves of thorilide beneath the hot, blazing sunside of Gorse.
This action bankrupted the local mining company Introsphere and the Interstellar Thorilide Guild. As a result, Gorse's pristine sanctuary moon of Cynda was opened to thorilide mining by the Galactic Empire, which had replaced the Republic. Thorilide was a crystal that was used as a shock absorber for shielding starships against turbolaser cannons. The thorilide mining operations on Cynda were opposed by Skelly, a veteran of the Clone Wars and a dissident miner who had compiled research which showed that the mining operations weakened the moon's fragile surface. Due to the rapid expansion of the Imperial Navy, the Gorse system fell behind the Empire's quota. In response, the Emperor Palpatine dispatched Count Vidian to the system to speed up production and to restore order.
In 11 BBY, Vidian traveled to the Gorse system in the Imperial-class Star Destroyer Ultimatum, which was captained by an ambitious young Captain named Rae Sloane. However, information about his schedule trip was leaked by the surveillance operator Hetto, who worked for Transcept Media Solutions' surveillance division Myder's Mynocks. Hetto contacted the rebel operative Hera Syndulla via HoloNet and arranged to meet her at a cantina in Gorse City called The Asteroid Belt, which was run by Okadiah Garson. Aware of Vidian's reputation for ruthlessly exploiting worlds, Hera traveled to the Gorse system to trail the Count.
The Gorse conflict[edit | edit source]
Inspecting Cynda[edit | edit source]
Upon arriving in the Gorse system, Count Vidian ordered the crew of the Ultimatum to stay clear of the mining traffic between Gorse and Cynda in order to avoid delaying production. Vidian also destroyed the laggard freighter Cynda Dreaming in order to sent the local freight haulers a clear message that the Empire would no longer tolerate delays. Vidian began his tour by visiting the mines on Cynda. Some of his first actions were to order the arrest of known trouble-makers under Security Condition One and to implement an age cap on the work force. When the Cyndan Mining Guild's Director Palfa expressed concerns about purging the older workers, Vidian murdered him in the presence of the miners and stormtroopers.
Vidian's tour was complicated by the presence of Skelly, a Gorsian miner who was known for being a trouble-maker. After failing to convince Moonglow Polychemical's chief of operations Lal Grallik not to mine beyond Zone Forty-Two, Skelly remarked that the Empire should watch out or it would have a real disaster on its hands. Unfortunately for Skelly, his remarks were picked up by the surveillance team Myder's Mynocks. The team's Sullustan leader Zaluna Myder reluctantly forwarded the incident report to her supervisor, who contacted the Empire. Imperial stormtroopers attempted to arrest Skelly but he managed to escape following a struggle. Skelly then went to detonate a test bomb in Zone Forty-Two, which caused a cave-in that disrupted mining operations.
The Great Jedi Purge survivor Kanan Jarrus, who had become a freighter pilot, and the miners Okadiah Garson, and Yelkin were caught up in the explosion in Zone Forty-Two but survived due to Kanan's quick thinking. Meanwhile, Vidian also survived the bombing and led Imperial forces on a manhunt to capture Skelly. Vidian's problems were further compounded when his rival Baron Lero Danthe informed him that the Emperor had doubled Cynda's weekly output. Meanwhile, Kanan managed to capture Skelly and delivered him to Moonglow Polychemical to face justice for his sabotage. Vidian and Sloane were subsequently informed of Skelly's arrest and made preparations to detain him. However, Hera also took an interest in Skelly after visiting Cynda.
Trouble on Gorse[edit | edit source]
Having completed his inspection of Cynda, Count Vidian then turned his attention to Gorse. He designed and issued new traffic patterns between Gorse and Cynda in order to speed up thorilide production. To increase productivity, he also made changes to the loader droids' subroutines on Cynda. To conceal his past as Lemuel Tharsa, Vidian also destroyed the medcenter in Gorse City where he had been treated for Shilmer's Syndrome. In addition, Vidian ordered a review of Transcept's personnel which resulted in the arrest of Hetto for "suspicious activity." Before his arrest, Hetto managed to inform his friend Zaluna of his correspondence with Hera and handed her a datacube containing sensitive information about Vidian and the Empire. The cube was wrapped with a note contained details for his planned meeting with Hera at The Asteroid Field cantina.
Changing his schedule, Count Vidian decided to conduct an inspection of the mining firms on Gorse, beginning with Moonglow Polychemical; a spinoff of Introsphere, one of the mining companies that had gone bankrupt due to Vidian's critical report. Before the Empire could take Skelly into custody, Hera hired a local criminal gang known as the Sarlaccs to stage a fight outside the Moonglow headquarters in Shaketown. While Moonglow's Boss Lal Grallik and her security chief husband Gord Grallik were preoccupied, Hera infiltrated the building and free Skelly. After slipping a tracking device into his pocket, she told him that she would "find him."
When the Sarlaccs' leader Charko demanded a pay hike, Hera was unable to pay him. Before Charko and his men could rob her, a local freight pilot named Kanan intervened and broke up the fight. Hera then went to meet Skelly at his apartment in Crispus Commons in the hopes of recruiting the dissident miner to the rebellion. However, Skelly was only interested in saving Cynda from destruction and claimed that the moon's surface was fragile. Unsatisfied with Skelly, Hera then went to The Asteroid Field cantina only to meet Zaluna and Kanan. Zaluna informed Hera that Hetto had been arrested by the Empire and passed her Hetto's information before disappearing.
Shortly later, Skelly arrived at the cantina and tried to convince Kanan to lend him his Moonglow ID card. Skelly wanted to infiltrate the refinery during Count Vidian's inspection and convince the industrialist not to destroy Cynda. Believing Skelly's plan to have little chance of success, Hera and Kanan refused to support him. However, Hera managed to convince Kanan to lend her his Moonglow ID so that she could infiltrate the facility and spy on Vidian. Despite their differences with Skelly, Hera, Kanan, and the cantina's owner Okadiah hid Skelly when an Imperial patrol visited The Asteroid Field.
Inspecting Moonglow[edit | edit source]
Due to his prominent status within the Imperial establishment, Count Vidian's tour of Gorse underwent extensive security preparations. The street outside Moonglow Polychemical's refinery was cordoned off to allow his Imperial shuttle Truncheon to land. Despite the precautions undertaken by Captain Sloane and Moonglow security chief Gord, Hera still managed to slip in a hoverbus with the help of Okadiah. Her friend Kanan waited outside with the hoverbus and feigned engine trouble. Meanwhile, Skelly managed to enter the facility through a manhole with the help of Drakka, whose diner had been forced to close to accommodate the Imperial tour.
Skelly managed to find Count Vidian during the tour and tried to convince the Count to cease mining operations on Cynda. However, Vidian assaulted him and Skelly was forced to flee into the factory conveyor belt system. While touring the refinery's xenoboric acid vats, Vidian was contacted by Baron Danthe, who informed him that the Emperor had tripled Gorse's thorilide quota. When Moonglow's chief operations officer Lal informed him that the company could not meet this quota, Vidian murdered her by throwing her into a vat of xenoboric acid. Hera witnessed Lal's murder and informed her grief-stricken husband Gord. Later, Kanan and Hera were detained for trespassing by Captain Sloane. Before she could apprehend them, Vidian decided to cut his tour short.
Skelly's research unwittingly gave Count Vidian a new idea to increase thorilide production in the Gorse system. Realizing that the moon's structure was fragile, he decided to destroy Cynda in order to access the thorilide. As a result, Vidian decided to cut his tour short and made preparations to leave on the Truncheon. However, Skelly destroyed the shuttle with a bomb. Vidian and his surviving entourage commandeered a hoverbus and headed to a nearby Imperial spaceport, where another shuttle Cudgel was waiting. Skelly pursued Vidian there and blew up the shuttle.
Vidian and his Imperial escorts escaped the second assassination attempt but were confronted by an enraged Gord, who had come to seek justice for his murdered wife. Gord managed to kill several stormtroopers with his blaster and a detonator before being killed by Vidian. Before Vidian could deal with Skelly, Hera, and Kanan, the three rebels managed to flee on their hoverbus. Vidian sent several Imperial forces including Imperial Troop Transports and two TIE fighters to apprehend them. However, the rebels managed to elude and destroy their pursuers before dumping their vehicle in a quarry. After arriving at the quarry, the rebels discovered that Hetto's friend Zaluna had accidentally stowed aboard the bus' toilet.
Vidian's Gambit[edit | edit source]
After returning to the Ultimatum, Count Vidian put his plans into action. During a meeting with Captain Sloane and the Ultimatum's science officer Lieutenant Kanna Deltic, Vidian used Skelly's research to outline his plans to detonate Cynda. When Sloane expressed concern that the detonation would damage the thorilide crystals, Vidian agreed to conduct a test bombing. The Imperials were unconcerned about the potential environmental catastrophe that Cynda's destruction would bring to Gorse. Under Vidian's orders, stormtroopers planted explosives in Zone Sixty-Six which destroyed the mining facilities on Cynda and killed many miners including Kanan's friend Okadiah. To cover up Vidian's role, Imperial investigators claimed that Moonglow's blasting activities had destabilized the mine. The Empire used this as a pretext to nationalize Moonglow.
Vidian then used his "phantom" mining consultant Lemuel Tharsa to fake the test results. While the original test results showed that the test blast destroyed Cynda's thorilide crystals, Tharsa's report claimed otherwise. Tharsa's report convinced Sloane, Deltic, and Commander Nibiru Chamas. Unknown to the others, Tharsa and Vidian were one and the same person. Satisfied, Captain Sloane ordered all mining cargo ships in the Gorse system to follow the Ultimatum to the Calcoraan system where Vidian operated a depot that stored baradium-357 explosives. To cover up Vidian's true agenda, Imperial HoloNews claimed that the Count was leading a "heroic" effort to stabilize the moon.
Meanwhile on Gorse, Hera formed an informal rebel cell consisting of herself, Kanan, Skelly, and Zaluna. Zaluna had decided to cast her lot with the rebels after discovering that she and her fellow surveillance operators had been suspended due to the Empire's crackdown. She was further embittered that she had been sacked despite thirty years of working for Transcept Media Solutions. The rebels were further motivated by learning about the Empire's "test-bombing" on Cynda. Using Kanan's freighter Expedient, the rebels followed the mining convoy to the Calcoraan system.
Upon arriving at the Calcoraan Depot, the rebels managed to breach Vidian's personal quarters and incapacitate the Count with a sleeping serum. After downloading his mind into a terminal and holoprojector, the rebels discovered that Vidian had once been a safety inspector named Lemuel Tharsa. They also discovered that he had faked the test results on Cynda in order to discredit his rival Baron Danthe by blaming him for the destruction of Cynda and its thorilide resources. The rebels managed to lure Captain Sloane into Vidian's chamber and restrain her in a stasis field.
Posing as an "agent" of the Empire, Kanan informed Captain Sloane about Vidian's deception and told her to pass the original results to the Emperor. The rebels then departed on the Expedient to save Cynda. After freeing herself, Sloane awoke Vidian and pretended that she was still loyal to him. Vidian then gave orders for Sloane and Imperial forces to return to the Gorse system with the mining fleet. Following her return to the Ultimatum, she and Commander Chamas secretly contacted Baron Danthe and convinced him to pass the original report to the Emperor.
Showdown above Cynda[edit | edit source]
Still determined to detonate Cynda, Count Vidian returned to the Gorse system in his comet-chaser mining ship Forager. Vidian planned to harvest the thorilide in the aftermath of Cynda's destruction before the crystals deteriorated. Since he controlled stakes in the comer-chaser industry, Vidian hope to profit at the expense of surface mining companies including Baron Danthe's operations. Vidian's workers also establish a Detonation Control link between the Forager and the Ultimatum. As a security measure against the rebels, Vidian deployed several TIE fighters and Gozanti-class freighter carriers.
Despite Vidian's security measures, Kanan used the Expedient to harry the freighters and prevent them from depositing baradium-375 on the moon. The Expedient also managed to destroy several TIE fighters before breaching the rear hangar bay of the Forager. The four rebels fought themselves through the factory ship and headed towards the Forager's command bridge to confront Vidian. While making their way through the factory, Skelly was hit and fell off a railing. Kanan and Hera managed to find Vidian but were overpowered by the cybernetic Count. Zaluna tried to help them but was blinded by Vidian.
Before he could eliminate the rebels and carry out his plan to destroy Cynda, the Emperor contacted Captain Sloane and confirmed that Kanan had been telling the truth. Armed with this information, Sloane ordered her crew to rescind the Detonation Control link to Forager and gave orders for her stormtroopers aboard the Forager to arrest Vidian. However, the Count revealed that he could still remotely control the Detonation link from the Forager. In response, Sloaned ordered her stormtroopers to kill Vidian's crew and gave orders for the Ultimatum and other Imperial ships to destroy the Forager. The Ultimatum's gunnery crew destroyed the Forager's transmission tower, severing the Detonation link.
Amidst the chaos, Hera, Kanan, and a wounded Zaluna managed to escape aboard an escape pod. While escaping the disintegrating Forager, Kanan used the Force to save his friends from a falling catwalk. Still determined to carry out his plan, Vidian tried to fly the Expedient and its bardium cargo into Cynda and detonate the moon. Before he could leave, Vidian was grabbed by a mangled Skelly, who detonated a bomb that destroyed both of them and the Forager. This effectively ended Vidian's plan to destroy Cynda.
Aftermath[edit | edit source]
Count Vidian's efforts to detonate Cynda was foiled by the combined efforts of the rebels Hera, Kanan, Skelly, and Zaluna, who were aided by their nominal enemy Captain Rae Sloane. The Imperial authorities' covered up Vidian's plot by claiming that he had died from a relapse of Shilmer's syndrome. In recognition of her efforts to stop Vidian, Rae Sloan was promoted to be the permanent captain of the Ultimatum and, eventually earned the position of vice admiral. Vidian's rival Baron Danthe gained control of all mining operations in the Gorse system. Some of his first acts was to open Gorse's sunward side to thorilide mining by heat-resistant mining drones and to restore Cynda to its status as a nature preserve.
After bringing Zaluna to a safeworld, Kanan Jarrus and Hera Syndulla joined forces and traveled aboard Hera's ship, the Ghost. Euphoric in his triumph over Count Vidian, Baron Danthe dismissed the rebel activity during the Gorse conflict as a blip or glitch that would not start anything. However, his assessment was later proven wrong when Kanan and Hera established a rebel cell that harassed the Empire. This cell later joined a growing rebellion against the Galactic Empire. Taking an interest in Kanan, Sloane tried to track Kanan down again. She later encountered the fugitive Jedi on the planet Lahn in the fifteenth year after the establishment of the Galactic Empire.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
While never explicitly named as such, the Gorse conflict served as a major plot element of John Jackson Miller's 2014 novel A New Dawn; the first Canon novel to be produced in consultation with the Lucasfilm Story Group. A New Dawn introduced several new characters and plot elements including the Star Wars Rebels characters Hera Syndulla and Kanan Jarrus, the antagonistic Count Vidian, the planet Gorse and its moon Cynda. It also reintroduced several Star Wars Legends plot elements including baradium and thorilide.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- A New Dawn (First appearance)
- Kanan 12 (In flashback(s))
- Star Wars Rebels: The Siege of Lothal (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars Rebels – "Jedi Night" (Indirect mention only)
- "Lord Vader Will See You Now"—From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back (Indirect mention only) (In flashback(s))
Sources[edit | edit source]
- Star Wars Rebels: The Visual Guide
- Ultimate Star Wars
- Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 10 (Weapons & Uniforms: Imperial Dignitaries) (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 12 (Databank A-Z: Cosians–Dagobah)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 28 (Databank A-Z: Queen Jamillia–Jedi Temples) (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: Build Your Own X-Wing 8 (Starfighter Aces: Hera Syndulla – Rebel Cell Leader)
Notes and references[edit | edit source]
- A New Dawn
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- Lords of the Sith
- Solo: A Star Wars Story
- Star Wars Rebels: The Visual Guide states that Kanan Jarrus and Hera Syndulla met on Gorse, as depicted in the novel A New Dawn, six years prior to the events of Star Wars Rebels. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas states that Star Wars Rebels begins in the year 5 BBY, thereby dating the events of A New Dawn to 11 BBY.
- Kanan 12
- Star Wars Rebels: The Visual Guide
- Star Wars Rebels – "Fire Across the Galaxy"