- "Lothal is just as important to our Empire as any world in the galaxy."
- ―Maketh Tua
Lothal was a planet in the Outer Rim Territories. During the early years of the Galactic Empire, Lothal was in a state of economic disrepair and invited the Empire to take over the planet's industries, with the promise of prosperity and security. Although many people said the Empire would bring doom, the ones preaching new jobs and prosperity were vindicated. By 5 BBY, Lothal became the nesting ground for the Spectres, a small rebel cell which operated from the starship Ghost. After harrying Imperial forces and disrupting Imperial activities for at least a year, the Spectres eventually attracted the attention of Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin and Darth Vader, who tried unsuccessfully to stamp out these rebels. Vader even imposed a blockade on the planet, but the Spectres managed to slip through and rejoin the larger rebellion.
A prison revolt led to the escape of several prisoners, including former Governor Ryder Azadi, who would go on to start another rebel cell on Lothal. The Imperial blockade would come to cause severe hardship and led Princess Leia Organa to undertake a mercy mission to Lothal. However, this mission was a ruse for the Organas to deliver ships to the rebellion. In 2 BBY, the ongoing rebellion led Azadi's successor, Arihnda Pryce, to invite Grand Admiral Thrawn and his Seventh Fleet to establish a presence on Lothal. Ryder's rebel cell's efforts to sabotage Imperial vehicles at the Capital City Imperial Armory Complex drew Thrawn's attention.
Around 1 BBY, the planet was under both heavy Imperial blockade and occupation, with her once pristine environment ruined and on the brink of collapse. Almost all traces of natural resources had been stripped from the planet. With fires scattered throughout, extreme pollution covering the planet was visible from orbit. Though pockets of resistance remained, the planet was by-and-large under Imperial control and those who remained who had not willingly joined the Empire pressed into service or simply killed. However, a ragtag group of rebels led by the Spectres spearheaded a daring move which completely expunged the Imperial presence on and around Lothal. For a time, the planet's citizens lived with the concern that the Empire might attempt to retake it, but the Empire was now fractured by the threat of the Rebel Alliance and Lothal remained a free world for the rest of the Galactic Civil War, almost completely recovering ecologically by the time the conflict came to an end.
- 1 Description
- 2 History
- 3 Inhabitants
- 4 Behind the scenes
- 5 Appearances
- 6 Sources
- 7 Notes and references
- "I like the one about the spine trees of Pelamir Gorge. I went there often as a juvenile. I remember the sound the wind made in the tree cones and the taste of the root tea. And the crisp smell of the needles in winter. The forests are all cut down now. Turned into mines and machines."
- ―Old Jho, reminiscing about Lothal before the Empire
The Lothal system was located on the frontier of the Outer Rim and was several minutes away from the planet Garel via hyperspace travel.The Lothal sector as a whole was located in the "northeast" of the galaxy, on the extreme edge of the Outer Rim, directly bordering the Calamari sector (noted for containing Mon Cala).
The planet Lothal was varied world with a temperate climate. It was primarily terrestrial, and was known for its grassy plains, spine tree forests, farmland, long, low, snow-capped mountains, and gentle, shallow inland seas of freshwater. The planet also had prairie wilderness and marshes, the later of which were said to house will-o'-the-wisps. Some notable fauna included the loth-cats and the loth-wolves. By the Imperial Era, loth-wolves were widely believed to be extinct but could manifest themselves to Force-sensitive individuals. They were connected to the planet through the Force and Kanan regarded them as messengers warning them that the Empire was doing something "malevolent" to the planet.
Besides the administrative and metropolitan center Capital City, Lothal was sparsely populated; other farming towns were located amid the plains and rock formations across the planet. Distinctive conical spires punctuated the skylines of Lothal's plains, ranging in height and often found in large clusters. Lothal was also known to contain several types of precious minerals, including scarce kyber crystals.
The Galactic Empire established several factories and mines which polluted and marred much of the planet's previously pristine natural environment. Imperial business even disrupted the planet's varied weather, which had once brought natural wonders such as thunderheads rolling over its mountains and the sound of the wind. Even those who only knew the Empire still came to miss things such as the smell of jogan blossoms on the breeze since the Empire destroyed many orchards to make way for mines. By 1 BBY, much of the planet's surface had been strip-mined to harvest minerals for the Empire. The planet was also polluted by Imperial factories.
Lothal also had a southern hemisphere which was covered in grassy plains. Individuals and animals could use a network of caves and tunnels to travel from the northern to southern hemispheres.
Society and economy
Prior to the coming of the Galactic Empire, Lothal was governed by a legislative body that was based at the Lothal City Capitol Building in Capital City. Under Imperial rule, Lothal was ruled by a Governor who commanded the planet's armed forces and political affairs. Several years before the Battle of Yavin, Lothal was governed by Governor Ryder Azadi, until he was arrested for treason. Arihnda Pryce then became governor and was supported by several ministers, including Minister Maketh Tua and Assistant Vice Minister Sarkos. Lothal was also home to several Imperial government departments including the Ministry of Agriculture, the Imperial Agricultural Collective, the Transportation Ministry, the Security Ministry, the Education Ministry, and a substantial Imperial Military garrison.
Known Imperial industrial operations including several mines in the Westhills, multiple Sienar Fleet Systems factories, and a BlasTech weapons laboratory in the Easthills near Capital City. Lothal was chosen by several Imperial corporations as a base since the planet provided plenty of open space for testing new spacecraft and weapons. These factories provided jobs for many of Lothal's citizens. Under Imperial rule, Lothal's previously self-sufficient farming communities were displaced as the Imperial Mining Institute evicted farmers to excavate their lands for metal deposits. Lothal's communications with the wider galaxy were handled by an Imperial Communications Center near the town of Jalath.
Lothal hosted several educational institutions including the Academy for Young Imperials, a one-year junior academy in Capital City that prepared Imperial cadets for further training offworld at senior academies throughout the Outer Rim. Other known educational institutions included the Technical Institute for Agricultural Research, the Pretor Flats Academy, the Junior Academy of Applied Sciences, and the Vocational School for Institutional Security. Schools and academies were used by the Imperial authorities to indoctrinate the planet's young people and to train them to contribute to Lothal's economic development.
In ancient times, the Jedi Order discovered a vergence amid the tundra on northern Lothal. Establishing a Jedi Temple hidden beneath the planet's surface, the entrance could only be exposed through use of the Force. According to the Lothal Calendar, the planet was settled around 3,245 years before Sheev Palpatine's rise to the position of Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic.
Settled by ranchers and farmers as an agricultural world, Lothal had an unremarkable early history. As Lothal became established as a sustainable ecosystem for farming, more and more immigrants trained as technicians and laborers flocked to the planet to support the needs of the farming community. As the colonies grew exponentially, the colonists established Capital City on the site of the planet's largest shipping port. As the population grew, Lothal's prosperity took hold on the world.
- "What was it like to fight in the Clone War?"
"Well, I don't think the fighting ever got to Lothal..."
- ―Ezra Bridger and Rex
Due to the location of Lothal far from any prominent hyperlane, the planet never became a destination for galactic travelers, and was therefore ignored during times of war. When the Clone Wars erupted throughout the galaxy, Lothal avoided invasion, but suffered a severe drought and a plague which swept through the herds of livestock which grazed across Lothal. As the crops died and entire herds of livestock perished, the economy of Lothal began to crash as the import/export trade slowed. Petitioning the Galactic Senate of the Galactic Republic for aid, the Lothalian government was constantly rebutted as the Senate was more concerned with the war effort. When the Galactic Empire supplanted the Republic, Lothal once more requested assistance from the Imperial Senate, and were relieved to obtain a confirmation that Imperial relief would be sent to the planet. The Empire was interested in Lothal as it seemed to be a great location for an outpost, and so a survey team was dispatched and, at first, discovered nothing of value except vast crops. As the survey team further investigated however, they discovered extensive starship-building materials beneath the surface along with the valuable discovery of kyber crystals. Within a week of the discovery, mining facilities and droid factories were dispatched, along with an Imperial garrison, and the planetary government sought to maintain sovereignty.
- "We want Lothal to be the center of this part of the Outer Rim. That means industry, mining, commerce, expanded youth and military academies... and a powerful navy presence to maintain it all. If Kintoni starts drawing away our ships, everything else will follow. Do you want to live on Lothal the way it was, Minister Tua? Or do you even remember that far back?"
- ―Governor Pryce's vision of Lothal
The Empire drastically changed the appearance of Capital City, evicting large amounts of people and demolishing existing buildings to pave the way for Imperial-style structures, and overnight, large sectors of the city were depopulated. These actions were met with mass protests, which ensued in large-scale arrests and crackdowns, allowing the Empire to cement their leadership and eventually establishing a governorship. What began as a simple loan of credits and supplies quickly became a fully fledged occupation. The Empire soon began plundering the minerals from Lothal with no regard to the people, and the environment became heavily polluted as the skies became clouded in smog, and the rivers were filled with factory waste.
As the Empire's mission on Lothal became more and more apparent, citizens grew increasingly upset and uneasy about the drastic negative changes to Lothal, which eventually led to individuals and groups to resist the Empire, only for them to be defeated. One of the earliest revolutionaries were Ephraim and Mira Bridger, who transmitted messages of rebellion and hope. Despite being secretly supported by several high-level government officials, the Bridgers eventually were arrested and imprisoned.
During the early Imperial Era, the corrupt Governor Ryder Azadi tried to force Arihnda Pryce into allowing him to buy a controlling stake in her family's company Pryce Mining. After Governor Azadi framed her mother Elainye Pryce for embezzlement, Pryce sought out Senator Domus Renking for help. Senator Renking agreed to help in return for the Pryces giving the Empire a controlling stake in their mines. As a sop, Senator Renking found Pryce's parents jobs at the mines of Batonn. Pryce herself found work at Senator Renking's citizen assistance services on Coruscant.
After exposing the illegal activities of the Higher Skies Advocacy Group and Moff Ghadi, Pryce convinced Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin to give her the governorship of Lothal, as revenge against Azadi for forcing her parents out of their mine. Azadi had already incurred the wrath of the Empire by supporting rebellious broadcasts made by Ephraim and Mira Bridger. After Azadi was removed from office and arrested for treason, Pryce was named acting Governor, and spent a year on Coruscant learning the skills of her new job before fully assuming the governorship and returning to Lothal. Upon her arrival, she liquidated Pryce Mining after learning that Senator Renking had exhausted the mine's doonium reserves.
Governor Pryce later lobbied for Lothal to host the expanded Imperial Navy facilities for that region of the Outer Rim. Lothal's bid faced competition from Governor Sanz of Kintoni. Pryce then convinced her rival Senator Renking to "persuade" Governor Sanz to withdraw her bid. Renking was subsequently arrested for bribery, entrenching Governor Pryce's power base on Lothal. Due to Pryce's efforts, Lothal won the bid to host the expanded Imperial naval facilities, turning the planet into an Imperial center in that region. As Governor, Pryce oversaw the expansion of the Imperial industrial, mining, and military presence on Lothal.
Most of the inhabitants of Lothal initially welcomed the Empire's presence on their planet since Imperial investment seemed to promise an economic boom for the beleaguered Outer Rim agriworld. Arriving on the planet, the Empire viewed Lothal as a world rich in resources to power the fledgling government. As the survey team made a quick scan of the planet, they initially dismissed the planet's resources until deeper scans revealed a wealth of ores and precious stones like kyber crystals. When the Imperial garrison landed in Capital City, they quickly began establishing modular mining facilities and droid-run foundries to begin strip-mining the world, destroying the few remaining successful farms and orchards. Almost overnight, Imperial industrial plants and mines polluted the planet's skies and waterways. Stormtrooper patrols restricted the freedoms of the citizens, who began turning to crime as joblessness and poverty skyrocketed. While some like Beck Ollet's family were compensated for the use of their lands, others were violently evicted from their property. Despite protests from local farmers who lost their lands to Imperial industrial, mining, and military operations, Pryce was unmoved and saw these as sacrifices in the name of progress.
When the Empire made plans to establish a new hyperspace route to the planet, industry and the Imperial government bureaucracy on Lothal expanded rapidly, in turn leading to significant offworld migration from the Core Worlds. The Leonises and the Spanjafs settled on Lothal to work as agricultural scientists and data-security experts respectively. Sienar Fleet Systems established a test facility that took advantage of the large swaths of uninhabited spaces for flight testing purposes. With a weakened planetary government, the average citizen was left at the mercy of the Empire and forced to work on some projects, many with Sienar, others in mines. As the local population grew increasingly disillusioned with the Empire's policies, a rebel insurgency developed on Lothal. Their activities including planting explosives on Imperial mining droids and attacking Imperial personnel and facilities.
About six years before the Battle of Yavin,[source?] Imperial forces under Lieutenant Piers Roddance massacred several peaceful demonstrators in the Westhills, who were petitioning Governor Pryce. The Empire covered up the massacre by claiming that the demonstrators were insurgents who had attacked Imperial mining equipment and personnel. One known rebel cell was a three-man cell that included Beck Ollet, a former Junior AppSci student who was angry that the Empire was destroying Lothal's orchards and murdering several unarmed protesters in the Westhills. Ollet's cell was captured after Imperial authorities managed to identify their landspeeder following an attempt to blow up an Imperial mining camp.
The Imperial-run Lothal Bulletin proclaimed itself to be the voice of the Empire on planet. About five years before the Battle of Yavin,[source?] the Trandoshan bounty hunter Bossk visited Lothal to collect a bounty on the Dug criminal Gronson Takkaro, who owed a lot of money to the Imperial Senator Hack Fenlon. Bossk enlisted the services of a local youth named Ezra Bridger. The two unlikely companions were then drawn into a conspiracy that involved the corrupt Imperial Security Bureau Lieutenant Jenkes, who was protecting Takkaro and running an illegal sporting event known as Gladiator Night. Despite Jenkes' efforts to eliminate Bossk, the Trandoshan bounty hunter succeeded in exposing the ISB agent's corrupt dealings to local spectators and the Imperial authorities.
By 5 BBY, Lothal's standard of living had significantly dropped, and once Imperial supporters and loyalists slowly began to have a change of heart. With the environment poisoned and the people having lived in poverty while Imperial officials grew wealthier, combined with cruel behavior and the deceitful offering of assistance by the Empire, outbreaks of insurgent violence and sparks of rebellion ensued, and tensions had reached tipping points. Insurgent attacks began on Imperial assets, including large-scale thefts and an outbreak of insurgent violence took root despite curfews and crackdowns in Capital City.
Galatic Civil War
- "We have been called criminals, but we are not. We are rebels, fighting for the people, fighting for you."
- ―Ezra Bridger, transmitting using a pirated Imperial tower
The most notable rebel cell to operate on Lothal were the Spectres, who lived on a modified VCX-100 light freighter called the Ghost. They were led by the former Jedi Padawan Kanan Jarrus and the Twi'lek pilot Hera Syndulla. The Spectres were part of a larger underground rebellion. The Spectres waged a campaign of harassment and sabotage against the Imperial authorities. Some of their most notable exploits including ambushing Imperial convoys and stealing their supplies, sabotaging Imperial facilities and vehicles, infiltrating the Academy for Young Imperials, and disrupting the Empire Day celebrations. In addition, the Spectres distributed relief supplies to the displaced inhabitants of Tarkintown.
Following the disruption of the Empire Day celebrations and the exfiltration of the disillusioned Imperial Information Office employee Tseebo, Governor Arihnda Pryce ordered a planetwide crackdown on sedition and dissent. Under the direction of the Imperial Security Bureau Agent Kallus, Imperial cadets and stormtroopers were used to investigate illegal activities, round up criminals and their dependents, and to ensure that the population complied with all Imperial edicts. The Empire even made an unsuccessful attempt to arrest the Spectres with the help of the undercover Imperial agent Gall Trayvis at the Lothal City Capitol Building. In response to the Spectres' insurgency, Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin visited Lothal to put a stop to the rebel insurgency there. After learning that the Spectres planned to hijack Lothal's Imperial Communications Center and use it to broadcast their own message, Tarkin devised a trap which succeeded in capturing Kanan.
However, Kanan's rebel associates staged a successful rescue with the help of members of the rebellion. News of Kanan's rescue and the destruction of Tarkin's Star Destroyer Sovereign later trickled down to Lothal. Later, the Spectres returned to Lothal to rescue the defecting Imperial Minister Maketh Tua. However, this was a trap and Maketh was killed during an explosion, which was blamed on the rebels. In response, Darth Vader placed the planet on lockdown and several Imperial warships blockaded the planet. During the Siege of Lothal, Tarkintown was burned down to punish its inhabitants for accepting help from the rebels in the past. As a result of the Siege, the Spectres resolved not to return to Lothal to avoid endangering the planet's inhabitants.
Slums had continued to grow due to the refugee crisis that had been created by farmers losing their farms, and citizens being evicted from their homes. One such slum was Tarkintown, which was destroyed by Darth Vader during the siege in retaliation for accepting rebel aid. The settlers were gathered and sent to prison camps.
Following the Siege of Lothal, Ezra's broadcast trickled down to the Imperial prison which housed Ephraim, Mira, and Ryder Azadi. Galvanized by hearing their son's speech, Ephraim and Mira staged a breakout from their prison. During the escape attempt, both Bridgers were killed but many prisoners including Azadi managed to escape. As a result of the escape attempt and his parents' deaths, Ezra experienced a Force vision which led him to return to Lothal with Kanan and Chopper. Their return to Lothal coincided with the departure of the Imperial fleet at Lothal for an assault on the Phoenix Cell's forces on the nearby planet of Garel. Shortly later, Ezra and his companions encountered Azadi and learned about the fate of his parents.
In 3 BBY, Senator Bail Organa arranged for his adopted daughter Princess Leia Organa to deliver three Sphyrna-class Hammerhead corvette to the planet Lothal. Since the Alderaanians could not afford to be seen supporting the rebels, Leia had come to Lothal under the pretext of carrying out a mercy mission. She also arranged for the crew of the Ghost to rendezvous near the town of Jalath in order to "steal" the corvettes. As a precaution, the Imperial Supply Master Yogar Lyste had fastened gravity locks to the starships. During a skirmish with Imperial forces in the wilderness, the crew of the Ghost, including Ezra and Kanan, managed to fake Leia's "kidnapping." Together with Leia, they then infiltrated the Imperial depot and stole the starships. Having completed their mission, the crew of the Ghost departed Lothal and rejoined the Phoenix fleet.
Several months later, the Jedi Kanan, Ezra, and Ahsoka Tano and the astromech droid Chopper traveled to Lothal to visit the Jedi Temple there. After clashing with the Inquisitors known as the Fifth Brother and the Seventh Sister on Oosalon, the three Jedi had traveled to the Jedi Temple in order to commune with Master Yoda. There, Ahsoka discovered through a Force vision that her former master Anakin Skywalker had indeed turned to the dark side and become "Darth Vader." Meanwhile, Kanan managed to complete his Jedi Trials and become a Jedi Knight while Ezra talked to Yoda through the Force. Together with Chopper, the three Jedi managed to escape Lothal before the Inquisitors and Imperial reinforcements under Vader arrived.
In 2 BBY, the rebel insurgency in the Lothal sector led Governor Pryce to solicit the help of Grand Admiral Thrawn and his Seventh Fleet. The Seventh Fleet established a presence in the Lothal system. Meanwhile, the escaped Ryder Azadi established another rebel cell which embarked on a sabotage campaign at the Imperial Armory Complex. This caused the factory to produce a high rate of defective vehicles, undermining the Imperial effort.
After the Phoenix Squadron received intelligence from the Fulcrum operative Kallus that the Empire was developing a new starfighter initiative, the Spectres Kanan, Ezra, and Chopper joined forces with Ryder's cell to infiltrate the factory. Despite the death of their local guide Morad Sumar, the rebels managed to steal the plans and escape with the help of Kallus. Meanwhile, Thrawn realized that the crew of the Ghost had a special connection to Lothal and that they were being aided by a traitor within the Imperial ranks. Later, as part of a mission to rescue Kallus, Ezra, Chopper, and AP-5 stole a Star Commuter 2000 from Capital City spaceport and were captured by Lieutenant Lyste's Arquitens-class command cruiser. Though Kallus managed to frame Lyste, Thrawn discovered that he was Fulcrum but allowed him to continue operating in order to lure the rebels out of hiding.
Later, the Phoenix Squadron and General Jan Dodonna's Massassi Group planned a coordinated strike on the TIE Defender factories on Lothal. However, Thrawn's spies reported their movements and the trajectory of Dodonna's fleet. In response, Thrawn convened a secret meeting with Governor Pryce, Admiral Konstantine, and Grand Moff Tarkin at the Imperial headquarters in order to lure Kallus out of hiding. After capturing Kallus, Thrawn was able to use the trajectory of his Fulcrum transmission to identify Atollon's location. Thrawn's Seventh Fleet besieged the rebel forces, preventing them from launching their attack on Lothal. The surviving rebels fled to Yavin 4.
By 1 BBY, extensive Imperial industrial production had left the planet pockmarked with areas of fire and heavy pollution reaching all the way to the upper atmosphere. Ezra Bridger, returning to the planet with Cikatro Vizago, thought that the planet was nearly unrecognizable and felt that it looked like it was dying. Mining Guild ore crawlers also excavated the planet's surface for raw minerals to feed the Imperial war machine, razing vast tracts of Lothal's plains and hurting the planet badly. Those who broke Imperial law including smugglers like Cikatro Vizago were forced to worked as slaves aboard these ore crawlers. The Empire also imposed a night curfew in major centers such as Capital City. Despite a harsh Imperial crackdown which claimed the life of Jho, Ryder Azadi's rebel cell managed to continue operating on Lothal and relayed intelligence about the Empire's TIE/D Defender Elite project to the Rebel Alliance on Yavin 4. Feeling a special connection to Lothal, the Spectres smuggled themselves in Lothal with the help of Vizago, who was subsequently arrested by the Empire for smuggling puffer pigs. In Capital City, Ezra and Sabine Wren reunited with an old rebel contact named Jai Kell. The Spectres and Jai Kell managed to evade Imperial forces by fleeing into the city's sewers and rendezvoused with Ryder's cell.
The Spectres, Ryder Azadi, and Jai Kell then infiltrated an Imperial testing facility in Lothal's wilderness where the Empire was testing their new TIE/D Defender Elite. The rebels' mission coincided with the arrival of Grand Admiral Thrawn and Governor Pryce. Prior to the test flight, Ezra and Sabine stole the TIE/D Defender Elite and shot down three TIE Interceptors. After crashing their fighter, Ezra and Sabine managed to recover the flight data recorder. While traveling through Lothal's wilderness, they were rescued by a loth-wolf, a mythical Force-sensitive Lothalian creature, which reunited them with their fellow rebels.
In response to the rebel heist, Thrawn dispatched the Noghri agent Rukh to hunt down the rebels. Later, Ezra, Jai, and Zeb returned to the crash site to recover the TIE/D Defender Elite's hyperdrive, which Sabine hoped to install on Ryder's U-wing. Despite being pursued by Rukh and scout troopers, the rebels managed to escaped. Hera and Chopper managed to escape offworld on Ryder's U-wing with the flight data recorder while the other Spectres and Ryder managed to escape to Lothal's southern hemisphere with the help of a pack of loth-wolves.
While traveling through Lothal's plains, the Spectres encountered the Mining Guild ore crawler Crawler 413-24. After subduing the Trandoshan Mining Guild captain Seevor and killing the foreman Proach, the rebels liberated the slaves including Vizago; who had been enslaved for smuggling in rebels and puffer pigs. The rebels also narrowly escaped an Imperial search party. Seevor escaped but was killed by Ezra. Out of gratitude, the liberated former slaves joined the Rebellion. Hera later contacted the Spectres to inform them that Rebel Command had authorized a strike on the Imperial armory complex on Lothal.
Hera led a squadron of rebel X-wings on a raid on Lothal. Despite Kanan and the other Spectres sabotaging the Imperial anti-air defenses, Grand Admiral Thrawn's fleet succeeded in shooting down most of the attack force. Hera, Chopper, and several of the surviving pilots including Mart Mattin crash-landed in the streets of Lothal's Capital City. Due to the failure of the air raid, Kanan and the other rebels were forced to retreat. Chopper and Mart managed to flee into Lothal's sewers but Hera was hunted down and captured by Rukh, who handed her over to Governor Pryce.
During the effort to rescue Hera, the Spectres were cornered in the fuel depot outside the capital. Determined to kill the rebels no matter the cost, Governor Pryce ordered her AT-ATs to fire on the depot, forcing Kanan to sacrifice himself so that the others could escape. Jubilant despite the losses, Pryce decided to hold a parade in the capital to celebrate the "victory," and to hide the fact that she had destroyed the entire fuel surplus required to power Lothal's factories, essentially shutting down the TIE Defender project - the entire objective of the Spectres' mission. Grand Admiral Thrawn, who had left for Coruscant to meet with the Emperor, was not fooled, coldly informed Pryce that he would deal with her when he returned, and ordered Rukh to eliminate the surviving rebels.
Liberation of Lothal
- "Whatever happens next happens to both of us.."
"That's the idea."
- ―Thrawn and Ezra prior to their disappearance
Maintaining the initiative, the rebels embarked on a daring plan to liberate the capital and end the Imperial occupation. Governor Pryce was contacted on a pre-Imperial channel by Ryder Azadi, who demanded amnesty in exchange for turning over the Spectres and their followers. Pryce leapt at the opportunity and led gunships to the coordinates Azadi gave her, destroying the rebel-controlled ore hauler taken from the Guild and managing to capture Ezra, Sabine, Zeb, and the others. However, it proved to be a ruse to lure Pryce into the open; the Ghost, joined by Hondo Ohnaka's crew and former clone troopers Wolffe and Gregor, destroyed Pryce's gunships, and a pack of loth-wolves were able to subdue the governor and her remaining troopers.
Taking Pryce hostage, Ezra's plan to finally liberate Lothal was to take control of the Imperial headquarters dome, lure the Imperial troops into the base, and launch the dome into the air, where it would be set to self-destruct. With his knowledge of Imperial doctrine, Kallus issued Protocol 13, the order for all Imperial forces to evacuate, an order legitimized by Azadi masquerading as ISB Colonel Wullf Yularen. However, Rukh was able to warn Thrawn of the rebels' capture of Pryce, and the Grand Admiral ordered him to disable the planetary shield generator. The Chimaera entered the sky just above the dome, which would prevent the rebels from launching the dome without causing catastrophic damage to the city below. Opening a channel, Ezra demanded that the Empire leave Lothal, to which Thrawn replied that unless Ezra surrendered to him, he would destroy the capital and kill everyone in it. Demonstrating his resolve, Thrawn ordered a brief bombardment of the city, leading Ezra to surrender himself to the Grand Admiral.
With Ezra aboard the Chimaera, Hera and Sabine directed their forces to take control of the shield generator and raise the planetary shields before Thrawn resumed the bombardment. The shield was able to prevent further devastation of the city and its inhabitants. They also received aid from an unlikely source. On Ezra's instructions, Mart Mattin flew the Ghost into orbit and transmitted a signal to lure a flock of purrgil, whale-like creatures that could travel through hyperspace, to destroy the blockading fleet in orbit and seize the Chimaera. Ezra remained aboard the Chimaera to ensure that Thrawn would not escape, as the purrgil took the Chimaera and its occupants into hyperspace, destination unknown. The rebels initiated the dome's launch sequence and escaped aboard the Ghost before activating the dome's self-destruct, killing Governor Pryce and nearly the entire Imperial garrison. Shortly after, the remaining Imperial officers and stormtroopers were captured and forced to surrender by the civilians of Capital City as the rebels celebrated their victory.
With Pryce dead, the blockade fleet destroyed, and Thrawn and the Chimaera missing, the Imperial administration on Lothal collapsed. Despite some concerns among the rebels, the expected retaliatory attack would never come. Distracted by the theft of the Death Star plans during the Battle of Scarif, the Empire was struck a gradually fatal blow with the battlestation's destruction during the Battle of Yavin, and finally fractured with the death of Emperor Palpatine at the Battle of Endor. In the wake of the liberation, Lothal underwent a process of recovery. By the aftermath of Endor, the grasslands had fully regrown and Capital City had been restored to its previous beauty.
New Republic era
Some time after the Battle of Endor, Sabine stood on the platform of the LothalNet comm tower E-272, the place where Ezra had lived years ago. While looking at Capital City, she saw two X-wing star fighters and a T-6 shuttle. She rode into the city after them and stopped in a building to look at a painting of the Spectres. Sabine then departed with Tano aboard the shuttle to find Ezra and bring him home.
The galaxy against the First Order
A very frontier-oriented world, Lothal was home to a diverse mixture of species including, but not limited to, humans, Xexto, Ithorians, Rodians, Aqualish, Gotals, and Ugnaughts. As such, the world's inhabitants spoke a variety of languages in addition to Galactic Basic Standard, including Aqualish, Huttese, and Ithorese. Some humans such as athletic director Janus Fhurek harbored xenophobic attitudes towards alien species, who believed that the Empire should ascertain which alien and immigrant species were desirable and undesirable and objected to the presence of aliens in his school's grav-ball team, but the majority of Lothal's human inhabitants coexisted harmoniously with the aliens. Lothal was also home to several criminals and crime syndicates including the Devaronian crime lord Cikatro Vizago and Yahenna Laxo's Gray Syndicate.
The sport grav-ball was also popular among Lothalians and was played by two opposing teams. In the Lothalian version of the game, a grav-ball grid was divided lengthwise into eight zones, called octets. The team that won the chance cube toss started at the center of the grid. They had three drives to move eight meters into the next octet. If they succeeded, they got three new drives to continue for another eight meters. If they failed, the ball went to the opposing team, who played in the other direction. Grav-ball was played during the winter season and several schools fielded teams. One notable team was Junior AppSci's AppSci SaberCats, which won the championship several years before the Battle of Yavin.
Behind the scenes
- "Where Ezra lives, where we meet him, the prairie that he lives on, the city, the town that it's adjacent to—all of that, literally down to what the alleys look like in the town—was inspired by Ralph's original art."
- ―Star Wars Rebels executive producer Simon Kinberg
After StarWars.com's reveal of the planet Lothal and its Sienar factory, a website at www.sienarfleetsystems.com appeared. It consists only of an image of an advertisement/propaganda poster for Sienar Fleet Systems on Lothal, which has been "vandalized" with pro-rebellion graffiti.