- "It's for Ezra. We are liberating his home."
- ―Hera Syndulla
The Liberation of Lothal, also known as the Battle of Lothal, was a battle during the Lothal campaign between the Galactic Empire and the Lothal resistance group, the Spectres and a pack of native Loth-wolves shortly before the Battle of Scarif which resulted in the liberation of the Lothalites and their homeworld of Lothal. While Hera Syndulla and Rex traveled offworld to recruit allies for the liberation of Ezra Bridger's homeworld, Ezra, the other Spectres, and Ryder Azadi's resistance group lured Governor Arihnda Pryce into a trap at the Lothal cliff dwelling. With the help of Hera's reinforcements and a pack of loth-wolves, the rebels succeeded in defeating the Imperial forces and capturing Governor Pryce.
As part of the next stage of their plan, the Spectres and Lothal rebels used their captive Governor Pryce to gain entry to the "Dome," the center of Imperial power on Lothal. The rebels used a faux Protocol 13 to lure the entire Imperial garrison aboard the mobile Imperial Planetary Occupation Facility. Before they could disembark into space, Grand Admiral Thrawn returned aboard the Chimaera and bombarded Capital City. Seeking to end the bombardment, Ezra went to meet Thrawn aboard the Imperial Star Destroyer.
While Ezra parlayed with Thrawn, the Lothal rebels and Spectres reactivated the north and south deflector shield generators of the "Dome." Aboard the Chimaera, a holographic projection of the Emperor Palpatine tried to get Ezra to unlock the portal to the World Between Worlds by offering to reunite him with his parents. Ezra refused and instead destroyed the portion of the Lothal Jedi Temple aboard the Chimaera. Thrawn then ordered the Chimaera to bombard Capital City but the rebels had managed to raise the deflector shield.
Meanwhile, Wolffe, Cikatro Vizago, and Mart Mattin complied with Ezra's back-up plan and brought a large pod of purrgil, which devastated Thrawn's Seventh Fleet. Under Ezra's orders, the purrgil carried Thrawn and the Chimaera along with Ezra into uncharted space. Following Ezra's departure, the rebels fired up the "Dome"'s thrusters and brought the mobile occupation facility into Lothal's upper atmosphere. After detonating the explosives, the rebels escaped aboard the Ghost. Governor Pryce elected to stay aboard and perished with the Imperial garrison aboard the "Dome." The destruction of the "Dome" marked the end of Imperial rule on Lothal.
Before the Empire
The Clone Wars saw the Outer Rim world of Lothal untouched by war, but devastated by a drought and plague. Lothal's pleas for help were ignored by the Senate of the Galactic Republic. Later, the Lothalian government successfully petitioned for aid from the Republic's successor, the Galactic Empire, which resulted in the annexation of Lothal by the Empire in 19 BBY.
Imperialization of Lothal
By 18 BBY, the Empire had dispatched an Imperial Planetary Occupation Facility and planted it in Capital City, almost immediately asserting Imperial dominance on the world and projecting Imperial strength. The presence of the Empire was not favored by all Lothalites, however, which included Ephraim and Mira Bridger, who had begun conducting underground transmissions with the support of the Governor of the Lothal sector, Ryder Azadi. Within a month, Azadi had been ordered by the Empire to end the transmissions. When Azadi disobeyed and defended the Bridgers, the three were arrested by the Empire. As a result, the Bridgers' son Ezra Bridger was left orphaned.
Azadi would be supplanted by one of his rivals, the Lothalian Arihnda Pryce, who after exposing a rebel spy operation on Coruscant, had attained the temporary position of acting governor while she trained for the governorship of Lothal, bringing with her starship manufacturing contracts for Lothal, including the expansion of naval facilities and factories. The Imperialization of Lothal saw a further expansion of mining operations, as beneath the vast grasslands of the planet laid large veins of doonium, a metal that was primarily used for the construction of starships and a secret project. This expansion resulted in the eviction of farmers and expansion of mines and factories, resulting in anti-Imperial sentiments. By 6 BBY,[source?] a bombing attempt of Imperial seismic surveyor droids led to a massacre of peaceful protesters, and culminated in a small-scale skirmish between Imperial forces and a handful of insurgents, eventually resulting in the capture of the group.
By 5 BBY,[source?] another rebel group, the Spectres, led by the former Jedi padawan Kanan Jarrus and the Twi'lek Hera Syndulla, and consisting of the droid C1-10P, the Mandalorian Sabine Wren, and the Lasat Garazeb Orrelios, had begun operations on Lothal after successful small-scaled operations against the Empire on other worlds such as Toydaria and Christophsis.
Their early attacks, including a raid on an Imperial supply convoy, an attack on a Lothal airfield, and a heist in Capital City, which saw them collaborating with the Force-sensitive city orphan Ezra Bridger, resulted in the attention of Imperial Security Bureau agent Alexsandr Kallus. After further operations resulted in the attraction of Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin and The Grand Inquisitor, and culminated in the capture of Kanan Jarrus and the Spectres broadcasting a call to action to Lothal and nearby planets, the Spectres were able to defeat Imperial forces above Mustafar and rescue their friend with the help of the rebel cell Phoenix Cell and the former Jedi Ahsoka Tano.
Siege of Lothal
The events above Mustafar saw the destruction of the Sovereign, Grand Moff Tarkin's flagship, the death of the Grand Inquisitor, the attention of Darth Vader and the induction of the Spectres into Phoenix Squadron. Whispers of what had occurred above Mustafar eventually reached the citizens of Lothal, which according to Agent Kallus, made some believe that the Empire was weak and vulnerable. Consequently, the Empire's grip on Lothal tightened, imposing a siege in an effort to route out the insurgents. By this time, Emperor Sheev Palpatine, secretly the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Sidious, had become interested in Lothal, a secret known by a few, including Lothal's Minister of industry Maketh Tua who sought to exchange that information with Phoenix Group in exchange for safe passage off of Lothal.
After Phoenix Group's flagship, the Phoenix Home, was destroyed during the siege by Darth Vader and their hideout on Garel City was discovered by the Inquisitorius, Ezra's broadcast would eventually reach his parents, Ephraim and Mira, who were imprisoned with former governor Azadi. Hearing his rallying call, they instigated in a revolt, and although they lost their lives, Azadi was able to escape and begin a quest to search for their son, Ezra. Ryder informed Ezra of his parents' death, allowing the boy to make peace with his past.
The insurgent activities of the Phoenix Group and Spectres in the Lothal sector led Governer Pryce to request the services of the Seventh Fleet and Grand Admiral Thrawn, a rising start in the Imperial Navy. Meanwhile, Ryder formed a Lothal resistance group cell which included Morad Sumar, Marida Sumar, and Old Jho; who were allies of the Spectres. They sabotage Imperial vehicles and weapons being produced at the Imperial Armory Complex. In response, Thrawn ordered a crackdown and executed Morad by forcing him to ride a defective speeder bike.
The TIE/D Defender initiative
- "You cannot see. But I can."
"What? What do you see?"
"I see your defeat. Like many arms surrounding you in a cold embrace."
- ―Bendu, to Grand Admiral Thrawn, foreshadowing his eventual defeat following the Battle of Atollon
Despite Morad's death, Ezra and Kanan obtained intelligence on Thrawn's TIE/d "Defender" Multi-Role Starfighter program with the help of the renegade Kallus. Using this information, the Spectres joined forces with the Phoenix Group, Lothal resistance, and Massassi Group to plan a strike on the Imperial TIE Defender factory. However, Thrawn learned that Kallus was a double agent and tricked him into revealing the location of the Phoenix Squadron's Chopper Base on the planet Atollon. Thrawn's Seventh Fleet then ambushed them, destroying all but a handful of ships.
By 1 BBY,[source?] Imperial mining and industrial production on Lothal had intensified, leaving large areas of the planet polluted and shrouded in smoke. With the help of the smuggler Cikatro Vizago, the Spectres infiltrated Lothal and linked up with Ryder. Working together, the Spectres and Lothal Resistance managed to steal Thrawn's prototype TIE/D Defender Elite. While Hera and Chopper traveled offworld with the Elite's stolen hyperdrive, the other rebels liberated several indentured Mining Guild workers including Vizago. These grateful prisoners joined the Rebellion. Shortly later, Rebel Command authorized Hera to lead a second strike against the TIE Defender factory on Lothal.
The second attempt involved an Alliance X-wing squadron but Thrawn destroyed them with ease. The Spectres were there for both failures but refused to give up. When rescuing one of their own, Hera Syndulla, Governor Pryce open fired on the Lothal City fuel depot to stop them, killing Kanan Jarrus but also halting TIE Defender production. This enabled the Spectres to complete their initial mission to destroy the TIE Defender factory, something which infuriated Thrawn who vowed to "deal" with Pryce when he returned.
Seeking favors from friends
With Thrawn not on Lothal for the time being, the Spectres decided to seize their opportunity to liberate Lothal from the Galactic Empire. Ezra had Hera travel to the planet Seelos and round up all their old friends from their past missions over the years including the clones Rex, Wolffe, and Gregor, Hondo Ohnaka, Melch, Ketsu Onyo, and Kallus. While the mission was not sanctioned by the Rebellion, they all agreed to help Ezra with his endeavor. Despite the Imperial blockade of Lothal, Hera and these confederates managed to slip through by riding aboard Cargo freighter EF-75; a trick that had been employed by Hondo on several occasions during his pirating career.
Trapping Governor Pryce
Meanwhile, Ezra and Ryder Azadi devised a plan to lure Governor Pryce into a trap at the Lothal cliff dwelling. Ezra's plan was to capture Pryce and use her to get into Lothal's Imperial Complex or "Dome," the center of Imperial power on Lothal. Knowing that Pryce was seeking to curry favor with Thrawn, Ryder pretended to betray his rebel comrades in return for receiving immunity from imprisonment. Taking the bait, Pryce assembled an assault force of six patrol transports, stormtroopers, jumptroopers and Thrawn's Noghri assassin Rukh to attack the Lothal cliff dwelling.
After strafing the camp, Governor Pryce deployed several of the jumptroopers to apprehend Ezra and the rest of the rebels. With Sabine, Chopper and Garazeb Orrelios occupying most of the imperial forces, Ezra confronted Rukh. Despite Ezra's use of the Force, Rukh's reflexes and fighting style proved more than a match even for the Jedi Padawan.
Surrounded by Imperial forces, the Lothal resistance and Spectres retreated to a defensive position on top of an ore crawler. Having trapped the rebels, Governor Pryce ordered her gunships to bombard the ore crawler, wrecking the vehicle and killing at least three of the rebels in the process. Governor Pryce and her forces then took Ezra and the Lothal rebels into custody. When Pryce thanked Ryder for his "services," Ryder revealed that this was a ploy to lure her into a trap. At that moment, Hera returned aboard the Ghost with reinforcements including Rex, Wolffe, Gregor and Kallus.
After destroying a gunship, Hera, Hondo, and Melch strafed the Imperial forces from above. While the Ghost tangled with the two remaining gunships, Ezra led Rukh and the stormtroopers down a cave where a pack of loth-wolves lay in wait. The wolves rampaged through the stormtroopers, killing many of the Imperials. Rukh fought with the alpha White Loth-wolf, which threw him down the cliff. With the tables turned on them, the remaining stormtroopers lowered their weapons and surrendered. Pryce was captured by the white loth-wolf, who brought her before the rebels. Conceding defeat, Pryce surrendered and was taken into custody.
Following the battle, Hera praised Ezra for his victory. In return, Ezra thanked Hera and the rest of the Lothal resistance for their help. Having captured Governor Pryce, the rebels then turned their attention to the second stage of their plan: liberating Lothal from Imperial rule. Using the threat of the loth-wolves, the rebels forced Governor Pryce to help them infiltrate the "Dome" since she had the security codes necessary to enter the base. Posing as both prisoners and Imperial troops, the Spectres and Lothal Resistance made their way to the Imperial Complex."
Storming the Dome
Using Governor Pryce's clearance codes, the Spectres and Lothal resistance landed their stolen patrol transports on the Dome's Platform Zero Delta. After landing, they attacked the Imperial reception party. Despite the efforts of the Imperial defenders to seal the landing pad's blast doors, Zeb along with Sabine and Ketsu Onyo managed to enter the building and lock down the communications system. With the help of a distraction provided by the Ugnaught Melch, the rebels then fought their way into the command center and took the command staff prisoner.
Having seized the Dome's command center, the rebels proceeded with their next plan to issue a faux Protocol 13 order for all Imperial forces on Lothal to evacuate to the Dome. Once the Imperials had gathered inside, Ryder's plan was to launch the Dome, which turned out to be a mobile Imperial Planetary Occupation Facility, into space. With their plan underway, Hera contacted Wolffe, Cikatro Vizago, and Mart Mattin to arrange a pick-up. Before the rebels could depart for the Dome, Rukh resurfaced and stole their patrol transport. While flying back to the Dome, Rukh alerted Grand Admiral Thrawn about the rebels' plan to launch the Dome into space with the Imperial garrison.
Back at the Dome, Kallus issued Protocol 13 and ordered all Imperial forces on Lothal to report to the Dome. When one suspicious officer questioned the order, Ryder posed as the Imperial Security Bureau Colonel Wullf Yularen and announced that he was implementing "Override Code Base Gamma Zero." Throughout Capital City and Lothal, Imperial forces scurried back to the Dome. With their plan progressing, Ezra instructed Hera and Sabine to prepare the "Dome" for take-off. Before they could do so, Grand Admiral Thrawn arrived above the Dome in his Imperial Star Destroyer Chimaera.
Facing down Thrawn and the Emperor
With the Chimaera blocking their path, Ezra contacted Grand Admiral Thrawn and told him that he had taken Governor Pryce and the entire Imperial army on Lothal prisoner. However, Thrawn countered that Ezra had merely moved his forces to a safe position so that he could bombard the civilians of Capital City. Horrified, Ezra ordered that the deflector shields be raised but Rex reported they were offline. Meanwhile, Rukh had ordered Thrawn's forces to shut down the north and south deflector shield generators. The Chimaera then proceeded to bombard Capital City, destroying several buildings and killing and wounding numerous civilians.
Seeking to stop his people from being killed, Ezra pleaded with Thrawn to stop by offering to surrender himself. Thrawn accepted Ezra's offer and warned the boy and his friends not to attempt any heroics lest he destroy Capital City and Lothal. While the other rebels debated their next action, Ezra with the connivance of Sabine and Chopper managed to escape through a ceiling hatchway and depart in a patrol transport for Thrawn's flagship. Since the shield generator chambers were well-guarded by stormtroopers, Sabine proposed splitting the assault teams into two groups so that they could capture both power terminals.
Meanwhile aboard the Chimaera, Thrawn and Ezra debated the merits of Ezra's decision to surrender and Jedi philosophy. Thrawn then brought Ezra into a large chamber aboard the Star Destroyer where the Emperor had reassembled a portion of the Lothal Jedi Temple. Appearing remotely via hologram, the Emperor tried to convince Ezra to unlock the portal to the World Between Worlds by offering him the chance to reunite with his parents. However, Ezra realized the Emperor's plans and instead used the Force to collapse the Jedi Temple structure. The Emperor ordered three Royal Guards and several stormtroopers to kill Ezra, but the Jedi youth crushed them with debris from the Temple.
- "Sir, several unidentified objects have just entered orbit."
"My blockade will intercept them."
"They've destroyed the blockade. Our ships are just gone."
- ―An Imperial officer and Grand Admiral Thrawn
Proceeding with their back-up plan, the Spectres and Lothal resistance split into two groups: Team A (consisting of Rex, Hondo, and Ketsu) and Team B (consisting of Zeb, Kallus, and Gregor). While Hera and Sabine coordinated the assault from the command center, Teams A and B attacked the north and south tower. While navigating their way through the Dome's corridors, the rebels came under attack from stormtroopers, death troopers, and Rukh. Following fierce fighting, the rebels managed to obtain their objectives. However, Gregor was shot by an Imperial weapons technician. Zeb also fought Rukh in hand-to-hand combat and managed to pin the Noghri's leg to a conduit in the south tower. Rukh was electrocuted to death when the rebels reactivated the shield generators.
With Ezra on the loose again, Thrawn attempted to bombard Lothal City a second time only to find that the rebels had reactivated the Dome's deflector shields. When he contacted Rukh, Thrawn heard the Noghri assassin's death throes. Elsewhere, Mart along with Wolffe and Vizago embarked on Ezra's secret back-up plan which involved flying the Ghost to Lothal's upper atmosphere and transmitting on Frequency Zero. This signal alerted a large pod of purrgil, hyperspace–capable space-faring creatures, who had befriended the Spectres while fighting the Mining Guild years earlier.
Following the failed second bombardment, Ezra stormed the Chimaera's bridge and faced Thrawn, who was told Ezra that so far the Empire's failure was only a "momentary setback." At that point, Thrawn received a distress call from Captain Gilad Pellaeon that several "unidentified objects" had appeared out of hyperspace and wiped out Thrawn's fleet. An officer than reported to Thrawn that all of the ships in the blockade were "just gone." Thrawn and Ezra then saw the Ghost leading a pod of purrgil towards the Chimaera. The purrgil then latched onto the Chimaera and grabbed Thrawn and several stormtroopers with their tentacles. Determined to end the threat posed by Thrawn to Lothal and the Rebellion, Ezra used the Force to command the purrgil to carry him along with the Chimaera into the uncharted depths of space.
An explosive climax
After coming to terms with Ezra's self-imposed exile, the Spectres and Lothal resistance proceeded with their plan to launch and blow up the Dome with Lothal's Imperial garrison. While Chopper launched the Dome's thrusters, Hera arranged a pick-up with Mart Mattin. Before leaving, Ryder tried to reconcile with Governor Pryce and offered her a chance to escape with them. However, Pryce refused to abandon the Empire, willing to stay to the bitter end. The Spectres then climbed out the command center's transparisteel canopy and escaped aboard the Ghost just as stormtroopers stormed the room. The Ghost picked up the rebels on the executive landing bay.
Once the Dome had reached Lothal's upper atmosphere, Sabine activated the detonators aboard the "Dome." The resulting explosion destroyed the mobile Imperial occupation facility, wiping out Governor Pryce and most of the Imperial garrison on Lothal. The explosion was watched by Capital City's civilians, who cheered and celebrated the end of Imperial rule on Lothal. While the Spectres and their allies discussed the significance of Ezra's actions, Lothal's citizens then captured the remaining Imperials in the city. This marked the end of Imperial rule on Lothal.
- Rex: "Not to kill the moment, but the Empire won't just let us keep this planet. We need to prepare how we're going to fight back."
- Alexsandr Kallus: "Perhaps the Rebel Alliance will see our victory and finally send support."
- Garazeb Orrelios: "We took Lothal without them. We can keep it without them."
- Hera Syndulla: "Zeb, you may be right. Listen."
- Alexsandr Kallus: "Looks like the people are with you, General Syndulla."
- Hera Syndulla: "Then if the Empire wants a fight, we'll be ready for them."
- ―Rex, Garazeb Orrelios, Alexsandr Kallus and Hera Syndulla on the fate of Lothal[src]
The citizens of Lothal prepared for the Empire to return and take it back. However, with the Battle of Scarif and the Galactic Civil War, the Empire became too preoccupied too quickly and therefore never got the chance.[source?] The Alliance to Restore the Republic did not officially support the Liberation of Lothal. Nevertheless, the Alliance cited its success numerous times throughout the Galactic Civil War. Lothal soon prospered again, and the Emperor's reign over the galaxy came to an end at the decisive Battle of Endor in 4 ABY, which ushered in the collapse of the Galactic Empire.
Following the Battle of Endor, the Rebellion created the New Republic and restored the Galactic Senate. After a year of protracted warfare, the New Republic triumphed over the Empire at the Battle of Jakku in 5 ABY. The New Republic signed a peace treaty known as the Galactic Concordance with Grand Vizier Mas Amedda, formally ending the Empire and the Galactic Civil War. Following the Civil War, the Spectres went their separate ways, while Sabine Wren stayed on Lothal and hoped to find out where Ezra had gone and bring him home.
Behind the scenes
The Liberation of Lothal serves as the climax of Dave Filoni's animated Disney XD television series Star Wars Rebels, which tells the story of Ezra Bridger and the Spectres rebel cell. The liberation served as the main plots of the Season Four episodes "A Fool's Hope" and "Family Reunion – and Farewell," the penultimate and series finale of the Rebels television series which were released on March 5, 2018.
- Star Wars Rebels – "Zero Hour" (First mentioned) (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars Rebels – "A Fool's Hope" (First appearance)
- Star Wars Rebels – "Family Reunion – and Farewell"
- Alphabet Squadron (Mentioned only)
- Alphabet Squadron audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Pirate's Price (Mentioned only) (First identified as Liberation of Lothal, simultaneous with Pirate's Price audiobook)
- Pirate's Price audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 67 (Databank A-Z: Vibroblades–Cikatro Vizago)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 70 (Helmets: Commander Wolffe; Weapons & Uniforms: Grand Admiral Thrawn; Highlights of the Saga: Liberating Lothal) (First identified as Battle of Lothal)
- Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition
- "Imperial Troops" – Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Star Wars Book
- "BB-8 and Other Astromech Droids" – Star Wars Encyclopedia
- "Scarif and Other Outer Rim Planets" – Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: Battles that Changed the Galaxy