- "I've been hearing about a Mon Calamari called Ackbar, a slave we rescued from the Eriadu system—"
"Captain Ackbar has pledged his support to the Alliance. We already have him on our side."
"But we don't have his people."
- ―Juno Eclipse and Mon Mothma
The Heurkea operation took place on the planet Dac during the Galactic Civil War. In 1 BBY, a small Rebel team, consisting of former Senator Bail Organa, Captain Juno Eclipse, and the holodroid PROXY, infiltrated the Imperial-occupied world of Dac. Their objective was to add the strength and resources of the Mon Calamari Resistance to the Rebel Alliance, which was desperately in need of greater manpower and starships if it was to ever truly threaten the Galactic Empire's hold over the galaxy.
In addition to recruiting the Mon Calamari and even the Quarren species to the ranks of the Alliance, Organa and his team traveled to Dac in order to convince Captain Gial Ackbar, a runaway slave and leader of the Resistance, to join the Alliance Fleet as a commissioned officer. The official in charge of overseeing the occupation of Dac was Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, one of Galactic Emperor Palpatine's closest confidants and the former master of Ackbar.
- "Imagine if we had the resources of the entire Mon Cal shipyards at our disposal! Wouldn't the Emperor have to sit up and take notice of us then?"
"He would have no choice."
- ―Juno Eclipse and Garm Bel Iblis
Shortly after the botched mission on Cato Neimoidia, Captain Juno Eclipse reported to the Alliance leaders, consisting of ex-senators Mon Mothma and Garm Bel Iblis, along with Senator Leia Organa, who represented her adoptive father's interests in his absence. The presumed loss of Jedi General Rahm Kota was regarded as a disappointing setback. Mothma, fearful and overly cautious, became even more resistant against her colleagues' desire to openly confront the Galactic Empire. With the war starting off far out of their favor, she wished to conserve the few resources that the Alliance possessed.
Juno Eclipse had grown weary of Mothma's stagnant position, much as Rahm Kota had been before his disappearance on Cato Neimoidia. Believing that the Alliance would never be taken seriously by the Empire if it continued to pursue the former senator's slow and ineffective approach to war, Eclipse tried to convince the Alliance leaders that a strong display of rebellion would force Emperor Palpatine to take the Alliance more seriously. At the same time, she also implored the necessity of replacing Kota with a new military leader who could rally the soldiers around the Alliance's cause. Both objectives could be achieved with a single stroke on the planet Dac by recruiting the Mon Calamari Resistance and its leader, Captain Gial Ackbar. Although Ackbar pledged his support to the Alliance after being liberated from slavery, it was an ineffectual display of allegiance without the backing of his world or its valuable military resources.
But due to the fact that Dac was under heavy Imperial occupation, Mothma denounced Eclipse's plan as too dangerous for the fledgling Alliance to support. However, Garm Bel Iblis approved and sought to cast his vote in favor of a mission to Dac. Due to his absence from the meeting, Bail Organa's vote defaulted to his adopted daughter, Princess Leia Organa, who refused to act until after consulting with her father. Eclipse could only watch in anger and frustration as she witnessed firsthand how the Alliance leadership was deadlocked in division and indecision. As Mothma explained how another catastrophic setback would leave the Alliance in a more disadvantaged position and further discourage the Mon Calamari from fully committing to the Rebellion, Eclipse came to understand how Kota could hold the Alliance leaders in such high contempt.
When she threatened to resign her commission as captain of the Rebel flagship Salvation and leave the Alliance for good, Commodore Yat-De Viedas threatened her with the possibility of a court-martial for working alongside General Kota without the approval of Alliance High Command. Exhausted and feeling defeated, Eclipse resigned herself to the situation and awaited their decision. In the meantime, she was temporarily suspended from active duty.
- "Senator Organa, thank you for coming. And you must be Captain Eclipse."
- ―Captain Gial Ackbar
When the meeting concluded, Juno Eclipse decided to take matters into her own hands by pursuing her goal to strengthen the Rebellion, whether or not the Alliance leaders approved of her actions. However, she was initially unsure about how to proceed, given the fact that she was not a Force-wielding assassin who operated outside of the organizational hierarchy as Galen Marek had been. In stark contrast to Darth Vader's late apprentice, Eclipse thrived on knowing her place and performing all duties to the letter; "thinking outside of the box" was not her expertise. Thus, she welcomed the discreet assistance of Bail Organa, who had followed her to Dac's moon. Along with PROXY, Marek's old holodroid, Organa and Eclipse managed to arrive on Dac without alerting the Imperial garrison.
Upon their arrival, the trio were greeted by Captain Ackbar. The Resistance leader agreed to Eclipse's proposal, but only if they first helped him in a plan to free the Mon Calamari and Quarren from the Empire's control. Thus, they devised a plan to undermine the Imperial infrastructure that was keeping Dac suppressed. In order to improve the odds of a successful mission, Ackbar introduced Seggor Tels and five Quarren saboteurs. Though originally a collaborator with the Galactic Empire, Tels assured the Rebels that the enslavement and mass murder of Dac's native population caused him to take up arms against the Empire by joining with the Mon Calamari Resistance.
The focus of the mission was to infiltrate the city of Heurkea, which was guarded by the TIE fighters of the 181st Imperial Fighter Wing. With the exception of full-wing debriefings, which took place once every five days, the pilots of the 181st flew constant patrols with at least two TIEs in the air at all times. Hence, the Rebel group sought to make an example of Heurkea by disrupting the Imperial operation in the city. By doing so, they would also succeed in damaging the prestige of the Empire, thus garnering a symbolic victory that would galvanize the peoples of Dac to launch full-scale insurrection.
After stealthily entering Heurkea and killing several stormtroopers along the way, the group captured Evir Derricote, the commanding officer of the 181st. PROXY, utilizing his built-in holographic technology to impersonate Derricote, distracted the 181st pilots during a full-unit debriefing and then issued orders that would keep them occupied while the Rebels proceeded with their objective to assassinate Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin. As one of the Empire's most visible public figures, as well as the founder of the Imperial doctrine, Tarkin was regarded as a high-profile target for assassination by the enemies of the Empire. At the same time, the Quarren saboteurs discreetly planted explosives throughout the city.
When Tarkin and his stormtroopers surrounded the Rebels, the mission initially appeared to be compromised. The Grand Moff gloated about how Tels had betrayed the Mon Calamari by collaborating with the Empire once again. He also made comments about his intention to reclaim his slave, Ackbar, whom he had grown fond of.
He failed, however, to realize that it was a ploy to draw him out into the open, thereby exposing himself to his would-be assassins. As the 181st TIE fighter flew over the city, the explosives were intentionally detonated to make it appear as though the 181st was attacking the Imperial-occupied city of Heurkea. The Imperials were easily fooled into believing that their own pilots were attacking them, and thus attempted to retreat to safety. In the ensuing chaos, the Rebels killed many stormtroopers, but Tarkin managed to escape with his life.
- "We will join your Rebellion as one world, in the spirit you have shown us."
- ―Gial Ackbar, committing the full service of the Mon Calamari to the Rebel Alliance
Despite their failure to assassinate Grand Moff Tarkin, the Rebels considered their mission to be a success. The Galactic Empire's reputation had been damaged and the Imperials had been made fools of—all due to the efforts of a small team of Rebels and Dac resistance fighters. With their primary objectives achieved, minus the death of Tarkin, the Rebels released Derricote so that he could provide a report of the Rebel activity on Dac to his superiors, thus spreading the word throughout the Empire's chain-of-command about the Rebellion's determination to win at all costs.
By humiliating the Empire, Juno Eclipse knew that many other beings would be inspired to take up arms against Palpatine's oppressive regime. She also knew that their actions would motivate the peoples of Dac to continue resisting the Empire until their world was freed from Imperial control. As she and her companions prepared to depart from Dac, Captain Ackbar conveyed his gratitude to the Rebels by assuring them that the Mon Calamari Resistance was ready to join with the Alliance to Restore the Republic in their common goal to overthrow the Galactic Empire. The humiliation of Imperial forces during the Heurkea operation would finally led the Mon Calamari to revolt against their oppressor and liberate their world.
When Eclipse reported the events at Heurkea to the Alliance leaders, Mon Mothma was furious with the Rebel officer's lack of compliance to the Alliance's chain-of-command. She even regarded Bail and Leia Organa with suspicion, believing that the two assisted Eclipse behind her back. Despite the fact that the success on Dac achieved more for the Alliance than Mothma's overcautious approach to warfare, Mothma stood by her beliefs that all-out war against the Empire was a futile and reckless strategy. In her eyes, the Alliance would have lost Organa and Eclipse, as well as any hope of recruiting the world of Dac, if the mission had ended in failure. Garm Bel Iblis, discontented with Mothma's constant complaining, denounced his fellow ex-senator and scolded her for standing in the way of an entire organization that wanted to fight the Empire. By going against the will of the people, Bel Iblis compared Mothma's leadership to a tyranny, not so far removed from the one they were trying to fight—if Mon Mothma would just stand aside instead of always standing in the way. Mon Mothma, opposed by her own colleagues and the vast majority of the Rebel Alliance, accepted her personal defeat and realized that she could no longer enforce her own style of leadership over the Rebellion and its followers. Due to the example of Dac, the rest of the Rebel leaders began to seriously consider Eclipse's views on how the Alliance should conduct its operations against the Empire. Regarding her views, Eclipse preferred Rahm Kota's aggressive tactics to Mothma's complacency, but without Kota's recklessness. She advocated decisive and smart actions, making a difference through achieving well-planned victories on a major scale, or at the very least—symbolic ones as well.
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II novel (First appearance)
- The Essential Guide to Warfare (First identified as Heurkea operation)
- The Essential Reader's Companion (Indirect mention only)
- Strongholds of Resistance
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 The Force Unleashed II (novel)
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 The Essential Guide to Warfare, p. 147