Around 1 BBY, during the Galactic Civil War, the Partisans leader Saw Gerrera, along with Rebel Alliance members Ezra Bridger and Sabine Wren, undertook a mission to Faos Station. Bridger and Wren, along with the astromech droid Chopper, had wound up with Gerrera after the Spectres' mission to hijack the Galactic Empire's communications outpost on Jalindi. Gerrera had unexpectedly arrived to destroy the relay, and invited Bridger, Wren and Chopper on board his U-wing.
After Gerrera's U-wing and the Ghost were forced to separately flee into hyperspace due to the arrival of a Star Destroyer, before Hera Syndulla could dock with Gerrera's ship to pick up her people, Gerrera asked the three Spectres for help. He wanted them to assist with investigating a mysterious Imperial shipment passing through Faos Station, which Gerrera was convinced had a connection to the Empire's sterilization of the planet Geonosis. Bridger, Wren, Gerrera and Chopper snuck on board Freighter 2716 at the space station, and discovered that the supposed civilian freighter was actually an undercover Imperial vessel. They found a group of technicians, all specializing in power generators and reactors, who had been imprisoned on board.
A further search revealed the ship's special cargo: a giant kyber crystal. Gerrera, who wanted to ride the freighter to its destination in the empty Tonnis sector, turned on Bridger and Wren, who wanted to get the prisoners to safety, and rigged the crystal up to the freighter's hyperdrive to create a bomb. Upon discovering that the freighter was only rendezvousing with a Star Destroyer, Gerrera damaged the hyperdrive, beginning the process that would lead to the kyber crystal's detonation, before releasing Ezra and Sabine and departing in his U-wing, which had come to pick him up. Bridger, Wren and Chopper escaped in a shuttle with the prisoners before the explosion, which destroyed the freighter and the Star Destroyer. They were picked up by the Ghost, which Chopper had contacted earlier. The freed technicians decided to join the Rebel Alliance.
In 2 BBY, Saw Gerrera and a team of his Partisans were sent to the planet Geonosis, to investigate findings from an earlier trip made by the Ghost crew, which had discovered three Imperial construction modules and a large debris field around the planet. The Spectres had also discovered that the planet's population appeared to have been wiped out. Gerrera's team ran into trouble from a surviving Geonosian, Klik-Klak, whose repaired battle droids wiped out all of them, save Gerrera himself. The Spectres were sent to find Gerrera, and found him and Klik-Klak. During the investigation, the rebels found Imperial poison gas canisters, which served as solid proof that the Empire had wiped out the population of Geonosis. The rebels asked Klik-Klak what the Empire had been building at Geonosis, but due to a language barrier, could not understand what he was trying to tell them. After the mission, Gerrera decided to investigate why the Empire had wiped out the Geonosians. He was curious as to what they could have been building in Geonosis' orbit that was so secret they would resort to planetary genocide to cover it up. Eventually, the trail of information led him to discover that the Empire was making secret shipments through a civilian space station, Faos Station.
Meanwhile, the Empire had recently built a relay on the planet Jalindi that was hampering Rebel Alliance missions. Gerrera had warned the Alliance leadership about the relay, but due to his extremism and paranoia, they disregarded his intel as rumors. After a supply mission carried out by Captain Hera Syndulla's squadron failed, Alderaanian Viceroy Bail Organa finally presented Mon Mothma and the other rebel leaders with hard proof that the relay existed. Mothma assigned the Spectres the mission to install a spike on the relay, so that the Alliance could eavesdrop on transmissions through the station and reroute their operations to avoid Imperial fleets. However, Gerrera had made his own plans to destroy the relay instead. During the mission, Spectres Ezra Bridger, Sabine Wren and Chopper were on the relay's dish installing the spike when the mission was complicated by the arrival of the Marauder, an Arquitens-class command cruiser. While the Spectres were dealing with Imperial troops, and the Marauder's complement of TIE/d "Defender" Multi-Role Starfighters, Gerrera's UT-60D U-wing starfighter/support craft arrived and took out the cruiser's shields. He invited Bridger, Wren and Chopper onboard, while dropping proton bombs onto the dish. The trio accepted his offer, and the U-wing escaped before the bombs exploded, destroying the relay and the Marauder. As the Ghost and Gerrera's U-wing flew away from Jalindi, Syndulla contacted the U-wing, intending to dock and pick up her people. However, the sudden arrival of a Star Destroyer, which launched its TIE fighters, prevented this, and the two ships were forced to flee into hyperspace separately.
On board his ship, Gerrera invited Bridger and Wren to accompany him to Faos Station. He had heard of their recent exploits on Mandalore, and thought they could help his mission. Bridger and Wren were tempted, because they thought that the objective of the Jalindi mission should have been to destroy the relay from the beginning, and agreed to go. Chopper thought it was a bad idea, but he was outvoted by the two other Spectres.
Infiltrating Freighter 2716
Upon arriving at Faos Station, Bridger and Wren were skeptical, as there appeared to be no sign of an Imperial presence. Wren, noticing the presence of droids, gave Chopper a matching black-and-yellow paint-job as a disguise. Gerrera's lieutenant Edrio Two Tubes landed the U-wing in a docking bay, and Bridger, Wren, Gerrera and Chopper disembarked. Gerrera led the other rebels to the bay where Freighter 2716, which appeared to be a civilian ship, was docking. Bridger, Wren and Gerrera hid inside a cargo container, which the disguised Chopper brought on board the freighter. Once inside a cargo hold, the rebels climbed out. Gerrera contacted Edrio and told him that his tracker was activated, and that he would transmit coordinates when he was ready for pickup. Bridger thought he heard a kind of "singing," but Wren told him she didn't hear anything. Gerrera found a datapad with information that the contents of the crates in the hold were high-quality composites, used for constructing the Imperial Navy. Wren pointed out that the materials could have come from any world with a shipyard.
Upon exiting that hold, the rebels were forced to avoid a patrol of stormtroopers in the corridor, which led Wren to concur that Gerrera might actually be on to something. Gerrera ordered Chopper to plug in and find the ship's manifest. Doing so, the astromech droid discovered that there was an Imperial shuttle in Hold 12, and that the ship's destination was the Tonnis sector, which was known for being empty space devoid of settlements. Gerrera speculated that it would be the perfect place for the Empire to work on secret projects without anyone noticing, but Bridger pointed out that it could simply be a rendezvous point.
Chopper also discovered that Cargo Bay 17 was a restricted area, so Gerrera decided that they would go there. Upon arriving at the door, Bridger had Chopper stage a distraction to lure the stormtroopers on guard outside, where they were ambushed and knocked out by the rebels. Wren opened a cargo container present to discover several prisoners, and Bridger suggested that this was what the Empire was guarding. Gerrera was skeptical, pointing out that the Empire had prisoners all over the galaxy. One of the prisoners, Mich Matt, suggested that if there was any special cargo on the ship, it may have come from the Jedha system, which he had overheard some stormtroopers talking about. Matt revealed that all of the prisoners, himself included, were technicians specializing in power generators and reactors, and they had all been kidnapped by the Empire.
Bridger insisted that the rebels had to get the prisoners to safety, but they were alerted by Chopper to the approach of another stormtrooper patrol. The prisoners retreated into the cargo container as the rebels hid, but one prisoner was seen entering the opened container by the troopers. They pulled open the door and demanded to know who let the prisoners out and where the guards were, but were swiftly ambushed and stunned by the rebels. Bridger and Wren insisted that the civilians had to be kept out of the line of fire, and Gerrera suggested using the shuttle in Hold 12, but Wren pointed out that it would be guarded. She suggested using the freighter's escape pods instead, and sabotaging the hyperdrive to force the freighter to drop out of hyperspace, so they could just fly away. As Bridger, Wren and Gerrera left to do so, Chopper was ordered to get the prisoners to the escape pods. The two groups set out through the ship's corridors, avoiding stormtroopers. Chopper got the prisoners into two pods.
As Bridger, Wren and Gerrera headed for the engine room, Bridger heard the singing from earlier again, coming from behind a locked door. Wren opened the door to be confronted by a death trooper, who was promptly shot by Gerrera. She threw in several smoke bombs, and the rebels charged in to attack the other troopers. Blinded by the smoke, several of the troopers were picked off by the rebels, and their commander, DT-F16, ordered her subordinates to get to cover. During the skirmish, one of Gerrera's blaster bolts struck the hold's contents, a repulsorlift cradle containing a carbon-frozen object, prompting the commander to order a retreat. She was the only one who made it, as the rebels took out the other death troopers. Bridger was concerned about the remaining death trooper, but Gerrera told him to forget about it, as he was confident that he had found what he was looking for. The carbonite evaporated to reveal the cradle's contents, a giant kyber crystal. Wren warned her fellow rebels to put their blasters away, as the crystal's large size would make it unstable.
Meanwhile, DT-F16 contacted the freighter's captain, Wells, informing him that rebels under Gerrera's command had taken possession of the crystal, and to inform Director Krennic. She ordered that all security personnel be sent to her, and that the escape pods be purged so that no one could leave the ship. Chopper, noticing the pods being launched, ordered the prisoners out of their pods and escorted them back to Cargo Bay 17. Gerrera insisted to Bridger and Wren that the Empire had to be trying to weaponize the crystal, and that they had to let the freighter reach its destination. Bridger and Wren disagreed, insisting that the safety of the prisoners was more important. Bridger asked Gerrera to guard the crystal while he and Wren disabled the hyperdrive. Arriving at the engine room, Bridger and Wren swiftly took out the guards, but before Wren could override the hyperdrive, she and Bridger were stunned by Gerrera, who was adamant that nothing would stop him from uncovering the Empire's plans.
Destroying the kyber crystal
DT-F16 and her reinforcements arrived in the cargo hold where the crystal had been to discover it missing. Contacting Wells, she was informed that they had lost contact with the engine room, and set out again. In the engine room, Bridger and Wren woke up to find themselves handcuffed, and that Gerrera, who had just contacted Edrio for a pickup, had wired the kyber crystal to the hyperdrive. Gerrera explained that he was planning to set off a chain reaction causing the kyber crystal to ignite when the ship reached its destination, destroying whatever the Empire was building out there, as he was confident that the Empire was building a superweapon. However, when the freighter dropped out of hyperspace, it was revealed that it was only rendezvousing with a Star Destroyer.
Gerrera used Ezra's lightsaber and his blaster to damage the hyperdrive, beginning the process of detonating the crystal. Onboard the Star Destroyer, Captain Slavin was informed that there were rebels onboard the freighter, and ordered a boarding party sent to secure the crystal. Edrio arrived in Gerrera's U-wing, drawing fire from the Star Destroyer, but Slavin ordered his gunners to stop when the transport got too close to the freighter, as the crystal's presence made it too dangerous to shoot at the ship. DT-F16 and her stormtroopers arrived at the engine room, but were forced to retreat when two troopers were electrocuted, prompting the commander to order the ship abandoned. Bridger and Wren managed to persuade Gerrera to release them, but turned down his offer of a ride. He bid them farewell before departing for his ship. Wren informed Bridger that it was too late to stop the crystal from exploding, and the pair fled. Bridger contacted Chopper, ordering the droid to contact the Ghost and get the prisoners to the shuttle in Hold 12, regardless of the guards. As Saw's U-wing jumped into hyperspace, Slavin was informed that there was no sign that the crystal was onboard the rebel ship. He ordered the freighter secured.
In Hold 12, Chopper and the prisoners approached the Lambda-class shuttle. Matt claimed to the guards that Chopper had been ordered to evacuate them. When one guard stated that the shuttle was reserved for the commander, Chopper swiftly dispatched both guards, and the prisoners boarded the shuttle. Shortly after, DT-F16 and her remaining troopers entered the hold and attempted to take back the shuttle, but were promptly taken out by Bridger and Wren, who had been right behind them. The shuttle departed the freighter. Bridger told Wren that he was picking up a massive energy reading from the freighter, and she flew the shuttle around to put the Star Destroyer between them and the crystal, realizing that it was too late to jump into hyperspace. As the shuttle flew past the bridge, Slavin recognized it as the commander's shuttle and wondered where she was going. He was then informed by a technician that they were picking up something going critical onboard the freighter. The crystal's explosion destroyed the freighter and Slavin's Star Destroyer. The shockwave knocked out the engines on Bridger and Wren's stolen shuttle, leaving it drifting.
The Ghost arrived shortly after the explosion, and picked up Bridger, Wren, Chopper and the technicians from the crippled shuttle. On the journey through hyperspace, Syndulla offered to take the technicians to their home planets, but Matt informed her that they had decided to join the Rebellion. They figured that since the Empire had wanted to use their skills so badly, they could put them to better use working for the Rebels. Kanan Jarrus, meanwhile, found the implications of what the Empire might want with giant kyber crystals unsettling, as he remembered a previous mission in which the Spectres had prevented the Empire from getting its hands on one.
Notes and references
- Star Wars Rebels – "In the Name of the Rebellion"
- Thrawn: Alliances
- Star Wars Rebels – "The Occupation"
- The trivia guide for Star Wars Rebels: Heroes of Mandalore states that Bo-Katan Kryze was redesigned to advance the character's age by "18 years or so." As she was last seen was in The Lawless, which was dated to 19 BBY by Star Wars: Galactic Atlas, it can be assumed that the events of Heroes of Mandalore take place in approximately 1 BBY. As In the Name of the Rebellion takes place shortly after Heroes of Mandalore, it can be assumed it is also around the year 1 BBY.
- Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide
- Star Wars Rebels – "Ghosts of Geonosis"
- Star Wars Rebels – "The Honorable Ones"