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"General Skywalker said he'd be a one-man Marg Sabl. What did he mean?"
"Oh. It's a battle tactic invented by his former Padawan apprentice. A warship turns its hangar bay away from its attacker and launches its fighters unseen. They stay in the ship's visual shadow while they form up and accelerate to attack speed. Then they come around their ship from all sides, attacking the enemy from every direction at once."
"Interesting. I can see how that could be useful against certain species."
―Thrawn learning of the Marg Sabl from Padmé Amidala[src]

A Marg Sabl[5] was a tactical maneuver used in naval warfare. It was a variant of the Fake.[6] Its name derived from a Togrutan flower that opened its petals in a sunburst shape every morning. The tactic called for a warship to turn its hangar bay away from its current enemy, allowing for its starfighters to be launched unseen and prepare for attack. During the Clone Wars, Jedi Padawan Ahsoka Tano invented the maneuver[1] at the Battle of Ryloth against a Separatist blockade.[3] Sometime after Tano left the Jedi Order, Padmé Amidala informed Thrawn of the maneuver during their time on Mokivj after Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, Tano's former master, used the term as a figure of speech.[1] During his time in the Imperial Navy, the Marg Sabl became one of Thrawn's best known maneuvers.[4]

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Behind the scenes[]

The Marg Sabl first appeared in Timothy Zahn's novel Heir to the Empire. The novel later inspired Star Wars: The Clone Wars director Dave Filoni to include the maneuver in the episode "Storm Over Ryloth".[7] The eighty-ninth issue of the Star Wars: Build the Millennium Falcon magazine series states that Ahsoka named the maneuver she employed at the Battle of Ryloth the Belly Rub.[6] This was later contradicted by the 2018 novel Thrawn: Alliances where it is stated she named the maneuver the Marg Sabl.[1]

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