- "If we could steal a squadron's worth..."
"They would be key to building a strike fleet."
- ―Hera Syndulla and Jun Sato discussing the mission objective
In 2 BBY, Phoenix Cell launched a mission to Reklam Station to steal a squadron of BTL-A4 Y-wing assault starfighter/bombers from the Galactic Empire on Reklam Station. A team of rebels led by the newly appointed Lieutenant Commander Ezra Bridger raided the station. Despite losing the starfighter Phantom, the rebels succeeded in stealing six Y-wings and liberating several Ugnaught laborers. Under orders from Grand Admiral Thrawn, Governor Arihnda Pryce's Imperial forces allowed the rebels to escape into hyperspace.
In 2 BBY, the Galactic Empire operated a floating junkyard called Reklam Station inside the gas planet of Yarma. Reklam Station was used to dismantle decommissioned Y-wing starfighters into scrap. The Empire hired a labor force of Ugnaught laborers. One of these Ugnaughts named Terba attempted to escape but was capture and imprisoned at the Imperial prison on Naraka. There, Terba befriended another inmate named Hondo Ohnaka, a scheming Weequay pirate.
Hondo contacted his one-time partner Ezra Bridger, who was a member of the Spectres, and convinced him to rescue him in return for providing information that was vital to the growing rebellion. Ezra and his team infiltrated the Naraka prison and freed Hondo and Terba. Terba was killed during the escape attempt but Hondo managed to provide the rebels with information about Reklam Station. The Phoenix Cell, which the Spectres were part of, agreed to send a reconnaissance mission to verify Hondo's claims. In return for his services, the Phoenix rebels agreed to supply Hondo with a hyperspace-capable smuggling starship and a crew.
Traveling to Reklam Station
The Phoenix leader Commander Jun Sato promoted Ezra Bridger to Lieutenant Commander due to his actions at Naraka and assigned him to lead the reconnaissance mission to Reklam Station. Ezra was accompanied by the rebels Sabine Wren, Garazeb Orrelios, Chopper, Rex, and Hondo. Ezra's team traveled to the planet Yarma in the Phantom. Since they could not travel to Yarma directly, Sabine and Chopper exited hyperspace at the Sereeda Waypoint in Mining Guild space.
The rebels were quickly intercepted by a Mining Guild patrol, which had detected their intrusion. After destroying two TIE/mg Mining Guild starfighters, Ezra's team jumped into hyperspace and continued their journey to Yarma. The Phantom traveled through Yarma's gassy atmosphere and eventually sighted Reklam Station. However, their ship was sighted by Imperial DTS-series Dismantler Droids. The local Imperial Commander Brom Titus dispatched two dismantler droids to intercept the ship. Titus had once been an Admiral who commanded a prototype Imperial Interdictor that had been destroyed by Ezra's rebel cell a year ago. As punishment, Titus had been demoted and reassigned to managing a junkyard.
Chopper managed to shoot down one droid with the ship's rear cannon. Another clung on to the rear of the Phantom. Captain Rex opened the ship's rear hatch and fought with the dismantler droid. He almost fell off during the struggle but Zeb pulled him back into the ship. Rex managed to shoot the dismantler droid with his blaster, causing the droid to fall into the volatile depths of Yarma. However, the Phantom suffered damage and Sabine almost lost control of the ship. However, she managed to regain control and landed the ship underneath a platform on Reklam Station.
The starfighters heist
After landing the Phantom, Ezra and his team infiltrated the junkyard. Shortly, they encountered a group of Ugnaught laborers. Hondo, who could speak Ugnaught, convinced the workers to aid the rebels in return for gaining their freedom. The Ugnaughts promptly disabled the station's conveyor belt. However, the rebels had to refuel the Y-wings since the Imperials had emptied their fuel tanks. The rebels eventually managed to refuel the starfighters but were spotted by a third dismantler droid, which alerted Commander Titus.
In response, Commander Titus activated the magnetic locks around the Y-wings and dispatched a squad of stormtroopers to deal with the rebels. After learning from the Ugnaughts that everything had been overridden by the control tower, Ezra and Rex headed to the command center. The third dismantler droid then attacked Chopper, Sabine and Zeb. It trapped the three rebels on a Y-wing and attempted to shake them off. However, Rex returned and used a magnetic crane to attack the "clanker." Following a brief struggle, he trapped the dismantler droid against a mental container before tossing it over the edge of the floating station. The dismantler droid fell to its demise in the volatile depths of Yarma.
Meanwhile, Ezra defeated Titus' squad of stormtroopers. Hera Syndulla and Commander Sato then contacted Ezra and the young Jedi claimed that the recon mission was going well. However, the two quickly deduced that Ezra had disobeyed orders and embarked on a recovery mission. They then dispatched three battle cruisers to Yarma. Ezra then fought his way into the Imperial control tower and confronted Commander Titus. Following a brief exchange, Titus revealed that he had sabotaged the control unit and that the only way to release the starfighters was to cut power to the station, which would kill everybody aboard.
However, Ezra was undaunted and destroyed the power unit. This freed the Y-wings but set in motion Reklam Station's destruction. Meanwhile, Hondo and the Ugnaughts escaped on a stolen Imperial landing craft which they took as payment for their services to the rebels. The other rebels departed on the remaining Y-wings with Chopper using the relay navigation system to remotely pilot the starfighters. The rebels minus Ezra then headed into space but were unable to jump into hyperspace since the starfighters' hyperdrives had been removed.
A brief showdown
To complicate matters, the rebel Y-wings were intercepted by an Imperial Star Destroyer commanded by Governor Arihnda Pryce, Admiral Kassius Konstantine, and Agent Kallus. Pryce had received Titus' message about the rebel raid but had arrived too late to prevent the rebels from destroying the station. Governor Pryce's Star Destroyer deployed a swarm of TIE fighters against the rebel Y-wings. Meanwhile, Titus ordered an evacuation while Ezra attempted to reach the Phantom. However, the platform that the Phantom was clinging to broke and fell into the volatile depths of Yarma.
With the station falling into Yarma's depths, Ezra called his master Kanan Jarrus for help. Shortly, Kanan arrived with Hera and Phoenix Squadron. The rebels landed the stolen Y-wings aboard the Quasar Fire-class cruiser-carrier Phoenix Nest, which evacuated the stolen Y-wings. Kanan and Hera then flew the freighter Ghost into the depths of Yarma where Kanan rescued Ezra from the disintegrating junkyard. Having rescued Ezra, the Ghost then headed back into space.
Despite holding an advantage over the Phoenix rebels, Governor Pryce received orders from Grand Admiral Thrawn to allow the rebels to escape with their meager rewards. After receiving a battle update from Pryce and her comrades, Thrawn realized that the rebels had not dispatched their entire fleet. As a strategist and tactician, Thrawn was not satisfied with destroying one rebel cell alone and sought the destruction of the entire rebel fleet. As a result, Ezra's strike team and the Phoenix rebel ships were able to flee into hyperspace.
As a result of Ezra's unauthorized "recovery mission" at Reklam Station, the Phoenix rebels liberated the Ugnaught laborers there and gained access to Y-wing starfighters. These starfighters were transferred to General Jan Dodonna's unit, which was part of the growing rebellion. Ezra was also disciplined by Hera for disobeying orders, endangering his team, and getting the Phantom destroyed. As punishment for his recklessness, Hera relieved him of his duties as Lieutenant Commander. Due to Kanan's role in his rescue, Ezra reconciled with his master.
Behind the scenes
- Star Wars Rebels: Steps Into Shadow (First appearance)
- Star Wars Rebels – "The Wynkahthu Job" (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars Rebels – "Zero Hour" (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: On the Front Lines (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 45 (Databank A-Z: Petranaki Arena–Proton Torpedoes)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 47 (Databank A-Z: Max Rebo–Sabacc)
- Star Wars Encyclopedia of Starfighters and Other Vehicles
- Cyphers and Masks (First identified as mission to Reklam Station)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 55 (Databank A-Z: Saesee Tiin–Toydaria) (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 65 (Databank A-Z: VCX-100 Light Freighter–Veers) (Indirect mention only)
- "Republic, Rebel, and Resistance Starfighters" – Star Wars Encyclopedia
Notes and references
- Star Wars Rebels: Steps Into Shadow
- Star Wars Rebels – "The Holocrons of Fate"
- Dawn of Rebellion dates the events of Star Wars Rebels: Steps Into Shadow to seventeen years after the end of the Clone Wars, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 19 BBY. Therefore, the events of Steps Into Shadow must take place in 2 BBY.