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This article is about the event. You may be looking for the short story by the same name.

There are two conflicting sources for this article: Mutiny on the Rand Ecliptic (short story) and Star Wars: Empire: Darklighter.

Lucasfilm has not yet established a cohesive timeline. Editor discretion is advised.

"Boys, you're taking the ship."
Captain Heliesk[src]

The Mutiny on the Rand Ecliptic was an insurrection on board the Imperial II-class frigate the Rand Ecliptic. Derek Klivian was leading the mutiny on board the ship while Biggs Darklighter was trying to defect to the Rebel Alliance with his three friends flying TIE fighters. The mutiny was first suggested by Captain Heliesk of Rand Ecliptic to Klivian after their stop on Bestine IV, where they "arrested" local rebel cell led by Klivian's friend Lindy. Darklighter was not aware of Klivian's plan and when Klivian found him plotting his own defection, Darklighter was sure he was going to turn them in. Only after returning to the Ecliptic after their dangerous escape in TIE fighters Darklighter and his companions found out that he and Klivian had been on the same side.


Class II

The Rand Ecliptic.

Both main protagonists of the mutiny, Derek Klivian and Biggs Darklighter, were assigned to the Rand Ecliptic after their graduation from Prefsbelt Fleet Camp.[6] In the academy they had participated in a group of friends dreaming about overthrowing the Empire. An informant sold out the other members of the group but Darklighter and Klivian were not discovered since they had not participated in the meeting in which the informant was present.[7] This made Darklighter suspicious of Klivian, and when they graduated he hoped to get an assignment somewhere far away from his former friend.[3]


Darklighter and Klivian arguing on board the Rand Ecliptic

Against Darklighter's hopes he was assigned on board the same Imperial II-class frigate, Rand Ecliptic, with Klivian. Without each other's knowledge they both formed small rebel cells among the crew and made plans to defect to the Rebellion. In addition to the groups led by Darklighter and Klivian there were two other rebel cells that revealed themselves only after the mutiny started.[3] During a stop in Bestine IV Klivian met his Rebel contact, Lindy, who was waiting his own contact, code-named "Starfire", to show up. They were shocked when Captain Heliesk of the Rand Ecliptic arrived with a stormtrooper escort, but soon Klivian found out that the captain was the contact they had been waiting for, when the Captain dropped the code word "Starfire" into the conversation. Later Klivian met Heliesk in private, and the Captain revealed his identity as a rebel spy. He instructed Klivian to stage a mutiny to help him protect his cover and deliver their cargo of rubindum ore to the Rebels.[5]

Soon after their departure from Bestine, the Rand Ecliptic met a ship that identified itself as the Lark. TIE fighters were deployed and ordered to disable the suspected vessel so that the Ecliptic could interrogate the passengers. Against Darklighter's orders one of the pilots, Tars Nandy, fired a shot that destroyed the ship. Darklighter was not able to find out who did it, and Captain Heliesk ordered him to stop the investigation before Klivian revealed he had seen Nandy firing the shot. The apparent indifference from the Captain angered Darklighter who invited his rebel friends to a secret meeting to make sure they would not be forced to take part in another massacre.[3]

The mutinyEdit

"You really forced my hand, Darklighter. If you'd just let me get a word out before trying to slit my throat, you would've learned yours wasn't the only rebel cell on the Rand Ecliptic."
―Derek "Hobbie" Klivian to Biggs Darklighter[src]

When Darklighter was on his way to the meeting he met Klivian in a passageway. Klivian noticed that Darklighter was doing something and walked past only to return and find out what was going on. He heard Darklighter and his three friends speaking inside a hidden compartment and making plans to defect. Darklighter noticed that someone was listening, and surprised Klivian with his companions. He threatened to kill Klivian and didn't listen when the other tried to explain his own connection to the Rebellion. Klivian detonated a concussion grenade which gave him a chance to escape. He started his own mutiny with the help from Lindy and others, while Darklighter and his companions allowed the effects of the grenade to wear off before disabling the Ecliptic. Darklighter and his friends did as much damage as they could to cover their escape and stole TIE fighters from the hangar.[3]

Klivian arm

Darklighter and Klivian talking about the mutiny afterward

At the same time Klivian threatened to activate the ship's self-destruct to force the Imperial supporters to abandon the ship.[5] He only kept Captain Heliesk and Nandy, who he wanted to punish for destroying the Lark. During the fighting two more rebel cells surfaced among the crew, giving Klivian some trouble figuring out who was the enemy and who was the ally.[3] When Darklighter and his companions were running out of air and fuel in their fighters they saw no other choice but to return to the Ecliptic and steal the supplies they needed. They soon found out that the ship had changed allegiance during their absence, and Klivian was de-facto captain after leading the mutiny. Fighting had been hard and Klivian had lost his left arm and suffered other injuries as well. He claimed that Captain Heliesk had barricaded himself in his room and that he had captured the captain and forced him to reveal communication codes.[8] Captain was still seen as a valuable spy because of his influential station in the Empire and the mutiny helped to protect his cover.[5]

After learning about the events on board the Ecliptic Darklighter decided not to make use of his higher military rank to take over the ship. He said that Klivian had earned the right to command the Rand Ecliptic, at least until Rebel Alliance would tell him otherwise, and that he was happy to continue to serve as the first mate.[8] When they were preparing to jump to light speed they were tracked down by TIE fighters, and with a skeleton crew, were not fit to fight back. Darklighter suggested to turn the ship and drop part of the ore they were transporting to create a minor asteroid field that would halt the fighters. The plan worked, and they were free to escape to hyperspace.[5]


When they got to the Rebels on the Rand Ecliptic, Klivian got a prosthetic arm to replace the one he had lost during the battle.[8] Their group of defectors was called Ecliptic Evaders and they were stationed on Yavin 4.[8][9] Later General Jan Dodonna used the Rand Ecliptic and a group of Evaders to steal X-wings from Incom Corporation's assembly facility.[8]

The mutineers didn't know that their actions had an unforeseen effect on their former tutor at the Prefsbelt Academy, Captain Soontir Fel. When two of his best students defected, ruined a group of TIE fighters along the way, and stole a brand new frigate, Fel fell to disgrace and was sent to the 181st Imperial Fighter Wing as a punishment.[6]

Later Klivian told a slightly altered version of the events to Luke Skywalker who was curious to hear stories about his late friend, Biggs Darklighter. Klivian told him that Darklighter had been working together with him to stage the mutiny and mentioned nothing about the estrangement that had followed the loss of their academy friends.[7]

Behind the scenesEdit

The short story Mutiny on the Rand Ecliptic by Michael Stern tells a different story about the mutiny than the one presented in the Star Wars: Empire story arc, Darklighter.

A cut scene from A New Hope that was later used in the A New Hope radio dramatization, A New Hope novelization and Marvel Star Wars #1 established that Biggs joined the Rebellion after the capture of the Tantive IV at the beginning of Episode IV. However, in X-Wing: The Official Strategy Guide it is stated that Biggs participated in stealing of the Death Star plans, which happened before the events on Tatooine. Years later, the comic story Star Wars: Empire: Darklighter revealed through Biggs had already joined the Rebellion, and kept the whole truth from Luke in that deleted scene to protect him.



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