- "We are Alderaan. We answer rage with wisdom. We answer fear with imagination. We answer rage with hope. If one life with a single drop of Alderaanian blood survive, Alderaan survives. If one life with a passion for Alderaanian creativity survives—Alderaan survives. And we are, each of us, important. And whatever happens, I bow to all of you—and to our future."
- ―Leia Organa
During the Galactic Civil War, Princess Leia Organa undertook a mission to save the few Alderaanians left living in the galaxy after her homeworld of Alderaan was destroyed by the Death Star. Following the Disaster, the Galactic Empire sought out surviving Alderaanians in an attempt to eradicate them. In response, Organa set out with Rebel pilot Evaan Verlaine and astromech droid R2-D2 to rescue them. They first fled from the Great Temple, the Rebel's base on Yavin 4, over the objections of General Jan Dodonna.
After escaping, they made their way to the planet Naboo, where they rescued a group of Alderaanian musicians called Melodic Order, before heading for Sullust. Unknown to Organa and her followers was that the Empire was tracking their movements. Under duress, the Alderaanian Imperial officer Tula solicited information on Organa's whereabouts from her unwitting sister Tace. As a result, Jora Astane's Alderaan Enclave on Sullust was attacked but the Imperials were defeated with the help of Organa, R2-D2, and Verlaine, who unleashed a pack of rockrenders. The rebels then departed with the Alderaanians aboard the Lord Junn.
Organa and her followers discovered that the Empire was using Tula to solicit information from Tace. When Tula's Commander Dreed threatened to execute her, Organa agreed to surrender herself in order to save Tace's sister. She also dispatched Uwa Pareece and Astane on a mission to win over the Alder-Espirions, a hybrid species of Alderaanians who had settled on the planet Espirion. However, this mission fell apart due to Astane's xenophobic remarks towards Chief Beon Beonel. Meanwhile, Organa and Verlaine engineered a successful rescue mission which freed Tace and led to the death of Dreed.
Dreed's deputy Venk then attacked the Alderaanian refugee fleet that had gathered above Sullust under Organa's leadership. In desperation, Organa appealed to Chief Beonel for help. Beonel committed the Espirion warship Espirion Multi, which destroyed the attacking Imperial Star Destroyer. While Organa returned to the Rebel Alliance, Verlaine was elected "Princess" of the Alderaanian refugee diaspora fleet.
During the Galactic Civil War, Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin used the Death Star to destroy the planet Alderaan as a means of demonstrating the firepower of the Galactic Empire's deep space mobile battle station. Alderaan's destruction killed the millions of beings who lived on the planet and left only a small handful of Alderaanians alive in the galaxy. The Empire targeted the remaining Alderaanians with the intent of killing them as well and eradicating the culture of Alderaan, a planet that the Empire had seen as a hotbed of rebellious activity—Alderaan's leaders, including Viceroy Bail Organa and Senator Leia Organa, were leading members of the Alliance to Restore the Republic. The Empire's efforts were spread throughout the galaxy, including on the Imperial capital of Coruscant. The planet's Alderaanian population took to calling their world's destruction "the Disaster," and the people broke out into riots that led to mass arrests and killings.
- "As we speak, the Imperials are hunting down all surviving Alderaanians."
"All? How do you know?"
"Word travels through the Rebel forces. Too much so to simply be rumor."
- ―Evaan Verlaine and Leia Organa
Shortly after the Disaster, the Rebel Alliance launched the battle of Yavin. The Rebel pilot Luke Skywalker destroyed the Death Star. The Rebels celebrated their victory in the Great Temple, their base on Yavin 4, and prepared to evacuate due to the Empire having learned their location. As the base was being packed up, Princess Organa—the last surviving member of House of Organa, Alderaan's ruling family—met Rebel pilot Evaan Verlaine. The pilot shared rumors she heard with Organa, rumors saying that the Empire was hunting down surviving Alderaanians. Organa resolved to find and protect the rest of her people, and Verlaine swore loyalty to her—who she saw as the new Queen of Alderaan—and the two set out on a mission to save the surviving Alderaanian.
Since the Empire had imposed a huge bounty on Organa's head, General Jan Dodonna forbade her from leaving the Great Temple. Together with Verlaine and R2-D2, Organa traveled offworld aboard a T-1 shuttle. They were pursued by several T-65 X-wing starfighters including Skywalker. Skywalker attempted a herding maneuver in an attempt to prevent Organa and Verlaine's ship from jumping into hyperspace. While trying to avoid Skywalker's X-wing, what appeared to be the hyperdrive's alluvial damper. However, this turned out to be a decoy and the two Alderaanians' shuttle was able to escape the Yavin system.
Rescuing the Melodic Order
- "... And I vow to take care of you. Travel the stars with me, and together we will reclaim every last orphan of Alderaan."
- ―Princess Leia addressing the Melodic Order
Learning that there was an Alderaanian cloister on Naboo known as the Melodic Order, Organa and Verlaine landed in the city Keren disguised as Imperial auditors. Shortly after landing, they were greeted by Lord Junn, an old friend of Organa who gave them shelter. He informed the rebels that Mul Sanaka, the owner of Club Deeja, had made an arrangement with the Melodic Order. In secret, Junn betrayed them and arranged with Sanaka and his Besalisk henchmen to kill the two rebels behind a back alley.
Upon arriving, Sanaka and his Besalisk henchmen including Snes tried to ambush Organa and Verlaine. However, Organa and Verlaine quickly defeated them with a mixture of unarmed combat and Verlaine shooting one of the henchmen in the chest. R2 also used his cables to electrocute a Besalisk. Sanaka tried to kill the two rebels but his pistol–whipped by Uwa Pareece, the leader of the Melodic Order. Pareece tearfully confessed to hiding the destruction of Alderaan from her musicians and singers. After Pareece informed the Melodic Order the truth about Alderaan's destruction, Organa calmed the Alderaanians by telling them that they had to stick together and that their creativity was keeping Alderaan alive. She also vowed to reclaim every last orphan of Alderaan.
Organa then confronted Junn for his treachery. Instead of killing him, Organa requisitioned his luxury yacht Lord Junn in order to transport the Alderaanian refugees. Under Organa's orders, they set their hyperspace coordinates for the Sullust system in the Outer Rim Territories. Unknown to the others, the singer Tace contacted her sister Tula, an Imperial officer, via a computer. Tula, who was under duress from her Commander Dreed, pressed an unwitting Tace for information on Organa's whereabouts and travel plans.
Guests of the Preserver
- "The honor is ours, your highness. You came to us in good faith, and we repaid you with suspicion. We ask you to show us who we are again."
- ―Jora Astane initially distrusted Leia's mission and motives
Organa and Verlaine traveled to the planet Sullust where they sought to rescue the Alderaan Enclave, a reclusive group of Alderaanian expatriates led by Preserver Jora Astane. These Alderaanians had pooled their resources to buy the land which they built compound. With the help of the Sullustan guide Mr. Tivvy, Organa and Verlaine traveled through Sullust's tunnels towards the Alderaan Enclave. On the way, they were ambushed by several guards including Covis.
Organa and Verlaine managed to defeat the group in unarmed combat and forced them to lead them inside the Alderaan Enclave. Organa received an icy reception from Astane, who was unwilling to accept Organa's help because the Empire was hunting for all Aderaanians across the galaxy. Organa told Astane about the Lord Junn and offered to allow R2 to upload its coordinates so that her spy gear could see it for itself. Astane reluctantly complied and tasked Covis with mining every scrap of data from the Lord Junn including weapons profile, navigation history, and transmissions.
When Verlaine urged Astane to accept the Organa's word, Astane introduced her guests to the Eyewell, a surveillance operation that covered the entire Sullust system. Organa then questioned Astane about what her group were doing on Alderaan. When Astane claimed they were providing cultural services including food, education, and the arts, Organa countered that the Sullustans were mainly miners who had little interests in cultural pursuits. Astane rejected Organa's charge they were smugglers and asked whether it was better to break Imperial laws or to make them.
Skirmish on Sullust
- "Our link to the ground is dead, Sir."
"Then so is my platoon."
"Shall I dispatch another, sir? Two?"
"No. I'd rather see which world the Princess dashes off next."
- ―Commander Dreed discussing his plan to hunt down Princess Leia with one of his subordinates
Verlain accused Astane of cultural vandalism, prompting a barbed response from Astane. After the Eyewell intercepted Tace's communications with Tula, Covis reported than it originated from an Imperial cruiser three hours ago. Believing that Organa and Verlaine were Imperials, Astane ordered her men to kill them. However, the two women escaped with Organa landing on the back of one of Astane's followers. Astane's men fired on the Eyewell equipment by accident.
Organa warned the Lord Junn to leave without them but Pareece refused to abandoned Organa. The pilot then reported the arrival of an Imperial Sentinel-class landing craft. Organa, Verlaine, and R2 managed to escape down a trapdoor which led to the rockrenders' lair. Shortly later, an Imperial platoon stormed the Alderaan Enclave, leading to a gun battle above. R2 managed to herd the rockrenders out of the trapdoor and into the Enclave.
The rockrenders proceeded to attack the stormtroopers, feeding on the dense minerals inside their armor. Dreed learned about the loss of his platoon but decided to track Organa down instead. Organa's actions won her the respect of Astane, who convinced her followers to kneel before Organa. Though Astane apologized for her mistrust, Organa reassured her that she was right to be suspicious about the presence of a spy.
- "When Tula calls tonight, I want you to act naturally. We'll talk about what you should say. Do you think you can do that, Tace?"
"Lie to my sister?"
- ―Princess Leia briefing Tace
Following the events on Sullust, Organa, Verlaine, and the Alderaan Enclave escaped aboard the Mellcrawler with the help of the Sullustan Nien Nunb. The Mellcrawler docked with the Lord Junn. Organa and Verlaine also bought firearms from Nunb. In return for Nunb's services in helping them to evacuate the Alderaanians off Sullust, Organa awarded him the Chalcedony waves. Meanwhile, Astane and Covis apprehended Tace, whom they accused of spying for the Empire.
However, Organa was unwilling to condemn Tace without proving her guilt and questioned her about her calls to Tace. Tace told Organa that the calls were to her sister Tula, who was interested in Organa's whereabouts and travels. Organa pointed out that the calls originated from an Imperial base and realized that the Empire knew they were on Sullust. As a result of the questioning, Organa concluded that Tace was innocent. To investigate whether Tula was acting under duress, Organa instructed Tace to ask her sister about her wherabouts the next time she called.
Mishap on Espirion
- Pareece: "Consul, Please. We're trying to forge our destiny after losing our world. For that effort to be undermined by a misunderstanding..."
- Consul Rill: "There was no misunderstanding, Uwa. Chief Beonel saw what he saw, and made his choice."
- Jora Astane: "Convey my deepest apologies, then, if that's what it's going to take.."
- Rill: "I won't lie for you. Don't ask me again."
- ―Pareece, Consul Rill, and Jora Astane discuss the diplomatic mishap on Espirion
With the upcoming reunification talks with the planet Espirion looming ahead, Organa assigned Pareece and Astane to serve as the Alderaanian emissaries to Espirion. Espirion was a heavily militarized world that was open to refugees and travelers to the point of engineering micro-ecologies to support diverse lifeforms. The planet was also home to an Alderaanian diaspora of mixed Alderaanian-Espirion hybrids known as the Alder-Espirions. Pareece and Astane were tasked with enlisting the supporting of the Alder-Espirions.
Pareece and Astane traveled to Espirion where they met with Consul Rill, who arranged for them to meet the Alder-Espirion Chief Beon Beonel. Due to intermarriage, Beonel had the red skin and green eyes of the Espirion species. Pareece and Astane were aghast at Beonel's appearance, angering Beonel. When Astane made a xenophobic remark objecting to the dilution of Alderaan's identity, Beonel refused to continue the meeting despite Pareece's pleas. Pareece appealed to Rill, but he distrusted the Alderaanian envoys due to their unpleasant reaction to Beonel's appearance. In desperation, Pareece told Rill to promise that Organa would visit Espirion.
Before leaving Espirion, Pareece tried to apologize to Beonel and offered to arrange a meeting with Organa. Believing that Organa shared her subjects' bigoted views, he rejected the offer and departed on his wheeled airspeeder. Meanwhile, the Lord Junn traveled to Espirion where they discovered that a large fleet of Alderaanian refugee ships had converged above the planet.
Leia's sacrifice and escape
- "A double cross? You'll die for this, Princess!"
- ―Commander Dreed upon learning that he has been tricked by Princess Leia
Under Organa's direction, Tace contacted Tula and tried to ask her about her whereabouts. However, Dreed realized that the rebels were onto her and ordered his stormtroopers to lock her away for execution. Dreed taunted Tace for endangering her sister's life, causing her to weep. Taking pity on Tace, Organa intervened and offered to trade her freedom for Tula's life; an offer that the ambitious Dreed could not reject.
Despite Verlaine's objections, Organa insisted on proceeding with her mission. Unable to sway Verlaine, Organa revealed her true plan to the Alderaanian starfighter pilot. Though Covis objected to what he assumed was Organa's plan, he agreed to accompany her on her T-1 shuttle for the exchange. Before leaving, Organa told R2 that she would see him on the other side. The rebels traveled to the desert world of Skaradosh for the prisoner exchange.
Confident of victory, Dreed brought only a Lambda-class shuttle and a squad of stormtroopes with him. As part of the terms of the agreement, Dreed handed Tula to the rebels before taking Organa into custody. Jubilant, he believed that Organa was back in Imperial custody without a "prayer of rescue."
Before Dreed could take Organa away on his shuttle, Verlaine arrived aboard the Mellcrawler and opened fire on the Imperials, killing Dreed and several stormtroopers. Together with Covis, Verlaine, and Tula, Organa escaped aboard the Mellcrawler where they were joined by R2 and Nunb in the cockpit. To mislead Dreed's Star Destroyer, Nunb launched a decoy ship that was destroyed by the Star Destroyer. Believing that Organa was dead, Dreed's second-in-command Venk departed to attack the Alderaanian refugee ships that had gathered above Espirion.
Deliverance above Espirion
- "To all of our Alderaanian sisters and brothers, this is the Captain of the Espirion Multi, saying stay back. We've got this."
- ―Captain of the Espirion Multi
Ascertaining that Dreed's Star Destroyer was heading to Espirion to pursue their caravan, Organa and her followers traveled back via hyperspace only to discover that a huge armada of Alderaanian refugee ships had gathered upon learning of Organa's mission to reunite the Alderaanian survivors. Knowing that the Empire was coming, Organa ordered them to prepare for battle stations. Aboard the Lord Junn, the rescued Tula received an icy reception from Tace, who was angry that she had been helping the Empire albeit unwillingly.
In the briefing room, Organa was disheartened to learn that Pareece and Astane's mission had failed due to the latter's bigotry towards the Alder-Espirions. In desperation, Orhana met with Verlaine and R2 and decided to make a speech to the assembled Alderaanian fleets. Despite lacking the support of the Espirion fleet, Organa urged the Alderaanians to fight for their freedom and right to exist. R2 also beamed Organa's speech directly to Beonel, who had a change of heart towards his Alderaanian kin.
Though the Imperial Star Destroyer destroyed several Alderaanian ships, Organa continued speaking and said that she was prepared to die with her people. Beonel decided to intervene and sent a ship called the Espirion Multi, which was crewed by Alder-Espirions, Ithorians, and Givin. The Espirion Multi entered the fray and destroyed Venk's Star Destroyer, saving the Alderaanian fleet from destruction.
- "They need their Princess."
"So elect one. I endorse you, but make it a fair contest. Though whatever you do, don't let Jora win."
- ―Verlaine and Princess Leia before parting company
The intervention of the Alder-Espirion during the battle above Espirion proved decisive in saving the Alderaanian refugee fleet from destruction at the hands of the Empire. Following the battle, Organa celebrated with her subjects including Verlaine, R2, Nunb, Astane, Pareece, and Beonel. While Pareece thought that Espirion's attack on the Star Destroyer would bring down the Empire on Espirion, Beonel reassured her that the Empire was going to have to come up with something bigger. In addition, Tace also reconciled with Tula, who had been coerced into spying by the Empire.
Following the battle, Organa confided in Verlaine privately that she had to return to the Rebel Alliance since she helped to start the Rebellion. When Verlaine responded that the Alderaanians needed a princess, Organa convinced Verlaine to hold an election and nominated her friend. While Organa returned to Yavin 4 and reunited with her friends, Verlaine ruled the Alderaanian refugees in Organa's absence. The Alderaanian refugee fleet then departed into hyperspace.
Behind the scenes
Princess Leia and Evaan Verlaine's mission to rescue the survivors of Alderaan serves as the main plot of the 2015 Marvel Comics story arc Star Wars: Princess Leia. The comic was created by Mark Waid, illustrated by Terry Dodson, inked by Rachel Dodson, and colored by Jordie Bellaire.
- Star Wars Battlefront II (Mentioned only)
- Princess Leia 1 (First appearance)
- "Leia Charts Her Own Course"—Galactic Adventures Storybook Collection
- Princess Leia 2
- Princess Leia 3
- Princess Leia 4
- Princess Leia 5
- Age of Rebellion - Han Solo 1 (Indirect mention only)
- Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure (Mentioned only)
- Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Shattered Empire 2 (Mentioned only)
- Aftermath: Life Debt (Mentioned only)
- Aftermath: Life Debt audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars Propaganda: A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy
- Princess Leia: Royal Rebel
- Star Wars: The Rebel Files
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 29 (Databank A-Z: Jelucan–Lord Junn)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 34 (Weapons & Uniforms: Citizens of Alderaan; Highlights of the Saga: Alderaan Survives!)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 43 (Databank A-Z: Leia Organa)
- Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary, New Edition
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 53 (Weapons & Uniforms: The Adventures of Nien Nunb) (Indirect mention only)
- The Star Wars Book
- "Princess Leia Organa" – Star Wars Encyclopedia
- "The Pilots of the Rebel Alliance" – Star Wars Encyclopedia
Notes and references
- Princess Leia 2
- Princess Leia 1
- Smuggler's Run: A Han Solo & Chewbacca Adventure
- Star Wars: Princess Leia takes place immediately following the Battle of Yavin. We know from author notes that Heir to the Jedi, in which the cited event takes place, is set before the Marvel Comics series Star Wars, which takes place after Princess Leia. As such, we can deduce that the next known event after this mission is the cited event.
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 34 (Highlights of the Saga: Alderaan Survives)
- Princess Leia 3
- Princess Leia 4
- Princess Leia 5
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- The Rebellion Begins
- "One Thousand Levels Down" – Star Wars Insider 151