Z-95 Headhunter

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"I'll let history decide my role in this battle. Like a friend of mine once said, whether I'm a traitor or hero will ultimately be decided by who wins this war. And quite frankly, General, your side isn't looking too good."
―New Republic General Brenn Tantor to Imperial Grand General Malcor Brashin[6]

The Liberation of Coruscant,[5] also known as the Seizure of Coruscant,[3] the Battle for Coruscant,[8] the Taking of Coruscant,[7] and the Siege of Coruscant,[6] was the battle in 7 ABY[4] in which the fledgling New Republic captured control of the galactic capital planet of Coruscant from the Galactic Empire, hastening an eventual end to the Galactic Civil War.


Upon hearing of the death of Palpatine, citizens on Coruscant—then Imperial Center—staged an uprising, attacking Imperial forces in the streets, setting off fireworks, toppling statues of Palpatine, and desecrating other symbols of the Empire. Many citizens died in the resulting Imperial crackdown, and the planet remained in Imperial hands. Despite Emperor Palpatine's death in 4 ABY at the Battle of Endor, the squabbling Imperial warlords still ruled most of the galaxy. Coruscant was in the hands of Ysanne Isard, Director of Imperial Intelligence, and with the New Republic realizing the importance of the galactic capital, it was decided that the planet would be captured in order to eliminate the Empire more quickly.[1]

To start off the invasion, the New Republic began capturing strategic worlds near the Coruscant system, including Borleias. In the latter half of 6 ABY the Provisional Council made the decision to have a covert mission sent to Coruscant to gauge the Imperial presence on that world in preparation for an invasion. The Council decided to move against the capital world, Coruscant. They made several different plans how to conquer the planet but none of them was truly practical and they had to be discarded one after another. Admiral Ackbar, the Supreme Commander of New Republic Armed Forces wanted to send military specialists and starfighter pilots to scout the planet and find possible weaknesses from its defenses.[1]

In an attempt to distract the Galactic Empire they arranged Rogue Squadron to release 16 Black Sun criminals from Kessel who were then transported to Coruscant. Other, more trustworthy, agents were also sent there while some—like Iella Wessiri—already lived on the planet. For the pilots they would send, Admiral Ackbar and General Airen Cracken found the Rogue Squadron to be most suitable to perform the mission.[1]

The seizure[]


"It looks as if Rogue Squadron has done it—they've taken down the planetary shields."
―Beri Tulon to Tyr Taskeen and Brenn Tantor[6]

Members of Rogue Squadron were inserted separately or in small groups to Coruscant. Erisi Dlarit and Corran Horn were traveling together disguised as a Kuat noble and her telbun in the ultra-class aboard Jewel of Churba, while Commander Wedge Antilles and Pash Cracken were on board the same ship in a lower class impersonating Imperial officers. Upon arrival they met their Intelligence contacts who helped them to take up their new identities. Other members of Rogue Squadron were brought in by Mirax Terrik in Pulsar Skate. Terrik's exit identity was revealed to the Imperials and she could not get away from the planet and was only barely able to avoid capture. She later met with Antilles, Cracken and Iella Wessiri in Galactic Museum in hopes to find out what she should do next.[1]

While performing their part of the mission Horn, Dlarit and Winter had a close call in the Grand Corridor in the Imperial Palace with Imperial Intelligence agent Kirtan Loor, who would have been able to recognize Horn and reveal their presence in the capital. This event and his conversation about Tycho Celchu with Winter gave Horn a lot of things to think about and he decided to clear his head by walking around. He found himself from a cantina called the Headquarters where he observed a meeting between Celchu and a Duros weapons dealer, Lai Nootka. When Horn attempted to follow Celchu and the stranger—who Horn believed to be Loor since he was not able to see the individual's face—members of the Black Sun stopped him and called in their leader, Zekka Thyne.[1] Horn escaped from Thyne's people by stealing a speeder bike from outside the cantina.

Firefight in Alien Combine warehouse[]

Gavin Darklighter, Riv Shiel, Nawara Ven, Rhysati Ynr, Aril Nunb and Ooryl Qrygg met a group of Alien Combine members in a cantina after a squad of stormtroopers had swept the place collecting Quarren. Asyr Sei'lar believed that Darklighter was a bigot and decided that Alien Combine should kill him as an example for Imperials. For this purpose all six members of Rogue Squadron were taken into a warehouse that functioned as the headquarters for the Alien Combine.

Ven quickly entered to his role as a lawyer and tried to reason with the leaders of the Combine doing his best to convince them that Darklighter was not a bigot. Before the Combine was able to decide one way or another they came under attack of Imperial troops and the speeder bike Horn had been flying came through another door causing confusion. During the fight that followed Darklighter saved Sei'lar's life convincing the bothan that he was not a bigot. Horn joined forces with Darklighter, Sei'lar and others but they were unable to find Nunb—who unknown to them had been captured by the Imperials who wanted to use Sullustans in their experiments with the Krytos virus. Horn and Darklighter trusted some of their mission to Sei'lar who then got a better understanding of what had happened in the cantina and in the warehouse.[1]

First sabotage attempt[]

"We have a new mission and you're here to help plan it out."
"I'll do my best, sir."
"Let's hope we can all do our best, and then some. We've got to come up with a plan that will let us, with a minimal amount of lead time, take over or destroy whatever we need to bring down Coruscant's shields and leave the world open to invasion."
―Wedge Antilles and Corran Horn[1]

When the members of Rogue Squadron were reunited with each other and were joined by the Alien Combine they learned that their original mission parameters had been changed. Antilles had been told to form a plan to take down the planetary shield and to be ready to perform that with a short notice. He called in a planning session with himself and Horn from the Rogue Squadron, Wessiri and Winter from New Republic Intelligence, Sei'lar and Dmaynel Kiph from the Alien Combine and Thyne and Vorru from the Black Sun.[1]

They decided to try to insert sliced computer cores to the main computer that controlled all the systems in Coruscant. In that way they could have used control codes to bring down the shield whenever they wanted. Winter and her people were ordered to create the sliced program that would be inserted to the computer cores during manufacture by the members of Alien Combine who were working in the factory that was producing the cores. In the end three auxiliary memory cores were equipped with the special slicing program that would give access to the shield.[1]

The operation to deliver the sliced memory cores went mostly well and in the end the Imperial technician who was responsible for choosing the cores took one of the modified ones. When the technician was heading out a large force of Imperials raided the warehouse in an attempt to slow down the expected New Republic attack against Coruscant. Antilles quickly realized that Thyne had sold them out and that the Black Sun lookouts had not reported the arrival of the Imperials. All New Republic personnel were able to escape from the ambush but Antilles had to call in his secret back up that had been concealed from all the other members of the task force—Tycho Celchu and Rogue Squadron's protocol droid Emtrey were on Coruscant and had been buying equipment and established hiding places for the squadron.[1]


Rogue Squadron's Z-95 Headhunters

During the fight Horn and Terrik got separated from the rest of the unit and met Inyri Forge, who took them to one of the Black Sun hiding places. There Horn was threatened by Thyne, but realizing that Thyne had left her to die in the hands of the Imperials Forge shot Thyne before he killed Horn. From Thyne Horn learned that there had been another traitor among the group beside Thyne himself, who had revealed everything he knew about the operation to Loor. In the end Terrik, Horn and Forge joined the other Rogues and found out how Celchu and Emtrey had rescued them from stormtroopers.[1] Learning that Celchu was alive alerted Horn to the possibility of his betrayal and he filed in a report concerning the meeting he had witnessed in the Headquarters two weeks earlier.[2]

Second sabotage attempt[]

Rogue Squadron decided that if they could condense a large amount of water and create a super storm, they could destroy the energy shield protecting Coruscant with lightning strikes.[1]

To do so, Rogue Squadron and its allies split into three teams: The first team flew support in Z-95 Headhunters, while the second team hijacked a construction droid and brought it to the command building, forcing an evacuation of imperial staff. There, the third team took remote control of one of the orbiting solar mirrors. The tightly focused light beam from the solar mirror rapidly boiled one of the planet's reservoirs. This caused a huge electrical storm which interrupted the power supply to the shield station and the inner planetary shields soon collapsed, leaving only the main shield layer intact.[1]

It was up to Rogue Squadron's Corron Horn to fly through the electrical storm and take out a power sub-station with the Z-95's concussion missiles, resulting in a power cut which finally disabled the entire the planetary shield.[1]

The siege[]

"We've analyzed Coruscant's defenses, and we've found a weakness."
―General Tyr Taskeen to General Brenn Tantor[6]

With the shields down, a New Republic force led by Admiral Ackbar entered the system. This task force easily overwhelmed the Imperial force, since Ysanne Isard only kept a few Star Destroyers to defend the capital world.[1]

Invasion of Coruscant

Ackbar's fleet arrives over Coruscant.

Since any large ground invasion force would be detected by the Imperial sensor net, General Brenn Tantor landed a very small initial ground force near Coruscant's north pole, which proceeded to capture Imperial command centers and disable sensor nodes. This allowed Tantor to bring down a larger force undetected, which he used to pound away at the defenses between himself and the Imperial Palace. However, the city planet would not be taken easily, as forces under Grand General Malcor Brashin continued to resist the Republic invasion force, leading to intense building-to-building warfare.

One of many obstacles the army faced was the heavily fortified walls barring off the most important parts of Imperial City from the outside world. After a prolonged battle, the New Republic succeeded in breaching Imperial defenses and capturing several important maintenance and command facilities. Then began the extensive cleaning out of the inner defenses, as Republic troops went further and further into the city, getting closer to the Imperial Palace.

Taking the palace[]

"OK, troops. This is the final battle. Our goal is the Imperial Palace. We need to destroy or capture every unit that stands in our way. Attack!"
―General Brenn Tantor[6]

Nearing the end of the battle, the remnants of the Imperial High Command barricaded themselves in the Imperial Palace. The Coruscant Defense Forces was tasked to defend the palace, with General Tal Ashen's Elite Force on the front line.[7]

General Solo dispatched a small force commanded by General Rand Talor with the help of Luke Skywalker to take the palace. The task force consisted of New Republic troopers, including mortar troopers, and several types of vehicles: combat speeders, T3-B heavy tanks, attack tanks and two Blaster Cannons. This ground force was supported by the Millennium Falcon and two squadrons of advanced X-wing fighters and heavy Y-wing starfighters.[7]

Arriving near the palace, the New Republic Forces arrived at a first gate and engaged the Imperial forces. They proceeded to destroy the two advanced turrets and the troops guarding the gate as well as the gate itself. They then entered in the streets of the Palace District and fought a number of stormtroopers, AT-series walkers and some mobile artillery units. Thanks to their Blaster Cannons, they also destroyed countless defensive towers. After destroying a second gate, alongside two more advanced turrets guarding it, Lancer Squadron, in the form of seven B-wing fighters, arrived into battle to back up the New Republic forces. The X-wing and B-wing starfighters were essential in the destruction of the Imperial TIE Advanced x1s and TIE/D Defender deployed from nearby Imperial airbases.[7]

Elite Force

Elite Force defending the Imperial Palace.

The New Republic Forces then advanced on the Imperial Palace. However, they discovered that the bulk of Elite Force, led by General Ashen, was waiting for them near an Imperial fortress with several elite troopers, bounty hunters, dark troopers, and various other heavy vehicles. Ashen himself rode in an AT-AT. During the firefight, the New Republic forces demonstrated their superiority. Ashen's AT-AT was brought down, but the general survived the crash. Ashen crawled out of the wreckage, pistol in hand, and began to fire on Republic troops alongside his stormtroopers. Shortly afterwards, Ashen was shot and killed. Not long after this, his remaining troops were killed and the Imperial fortress was destroyed. After fighting with Imperial Guards, the New Republic task force finally captured the Imperial Palace.[7]

The New Republic Forces soon rescued Rand Talor's wife, Kath, who was imprisoned in the palace.[7] Brenn Tantor also found his brother, Dellis Tantor, whom he had long thought dead.[6] Aside from the few rescued prisoners, many Imperial officials and functionaries that were found were lynched by the New Republic soldiers. These included the President of the Bureau of Punishments as well as the School of Torturers, as well as the Court wardrobe designer and a multitude of servants of all ages, sexes, and species who at most only had minor crimes against the fledgling New Republic and otherwise were completely innocent of any crimes whatsoever, many of whom didn't even have names reported. On a similar note, looting had also been committed by the New Republic soldiers, with it being partially done by the time they fully conquered it.[10]


"Welcome to the next chapter in the history of the galaxy."
―General Tyr Taskeen to Brenn and Dellis Tantor[6]

Very soon, Coruscant was in the hands of the New Republic. Coruscant's space defenses were very weak for a planet of its importance, and the battles on the planet itself were limited, mainly because of the scale of the planet. However, Director Isard was not to be found in the Imperial Palace. Worse still, the planet's alien population was being infected by an artificial virus called the Krytos virus. This lead to many fatalities. A battle at Yag'Dhul was fought thereafter for the bacta to cure the non-human population. While the New Republic was fighting on Yag'Dhul, the Imperials on Coruscant licked their wounds and the Empire still held control of about half the galaxy.[2]

Following their loss of Coruscant, the Imperial Ruling Council under Ars Dangor relocated to Orinda, which would serve as the Imperial capital until the Empire recaptured Coruscant in 10 ABY.[5]

Behind the scenes[]

Prior to the X-Wing series, the capture of Coruscant was established as having taken place in 8 ABY, just shortly before the Thrawn campaign.

The battle was also included in the expansion pack for Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, Clone Campaigns, although it was treated as an Old Republic mission instead of a Rebel Alliance/New Republic mission.

During the mission in Galactic Battlegrounds, players can find Jar Jar Binks by exploring the whole map. Since his appearance is most likely an easter egg, it is not known if it should be treated as canon.



Notes and references[]

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