- "We'll use codes that we know the Empire's broken but that it thinks we think are still safe. Meanwhile, our real fleet will be assembling as far away from Corva sector as possible."
"Operation Yellow Moon."
"You see? We even have a name."
- ―Leia Organa and General Carlist Rieekan
Operation Yellow Moon, also known as the mission to Yellow Moon, or simply as Yellow Moon, was an operation undertaken by Princess Leia Organa and a crew from the Alliance to Restore the Republic shortly before the Battle of Endor. Named after a yellow colored moon of the gas giant Galaan, the mission would see the placement of hyper-transceivers in the Corva sector in an attempt to distract the Galactic Empire from the Alliance Fleet gathering over Sullust in order to launch its assault on the second Death Star at Endor.
- "We could bring every capital ship we have to Endor and still not have the resources to defeat the Imperial starfleet."
"That's not the objective. We won't win the battle ship to ship. We'll win it by buying time for our fighters."
- ―Admiral Massa and Admiral Ackbar
After the Bothan spynet provided information to Alliance High Command regarding a new and improved Death Star under construction over the remote Outer Rim world of Endor, an emergency summit was convened on the remote trade world of Zastiga, where Leia Organa, Mon Mothma, Admiral Ackbar and numerous other commanders discussed how best to destroy the Emperor's new weapon. Knowing that their failure to do so would result in the very destruction of the Alliance. Needing time to assemble the Alliance Fleet, which was scattered after the battle of Hoth in an effort to deny the Empire another major propaganda victory, Leia Organa devised a strategy to divert Imperial attention to the Corva sector, where she would place hyper-transceivers and attract Imperial attention to her, and not at the fleet's gathering over Sullust. Despite her plan's disguise as a recruiting run, many began to voice protest over knowingly misleading potential recruits to their possible deaths over Galaan, as the Alliance would use codes it knew the Empire had cracked in order to capture its attention. With knowledge that the Empire planned to blockade the rebellious worlds of Mon Cala and Chandrila following the station's construction, upon which it would annihilate them just as its predecessor had destroyed Alderaan, Mon Mothma green lit the mission shortly afterwards, seeking to save countless more lives than those that would be lost.
Operation Yellow Moon
- "What I'm about to tell you is highly classified. Our mission has two objectives. I'll be meeting with local resistance leaders on three planets we're visiting. And we'll be recruiting ships to join us in a system we've given the code name Yellow Moon. In each of the three systems we visit, we'll set up a beacon designed to repeat a coded message. It will tell the starship captains we recruit the location of Yellow Moon and when to rendezvous with the ship's we're committing to this operation. While we're in port, maintain operational security. Be careful who you talk to and what you say. There's no reason for the Empire to think we're anything but a private craft. But the Emperor has fleets, intelligence agents, and bounty hunters searching the galaxy for any signs of rebel activities. And Nien, Lokmarcha, and I are all wanted by the Empire."
"It's good to be wanted."
- ―Leia Organa describing Yellow Moon to her team
Mission to Basteel
- Antrot: "You didn't say we were going into a cave. I have claustrophobia."
- Lokmarcha: "Then you've picked the wrong planet, pal."
- Nunb: "It's actually quite roomy in here. Plus it makes maintenance easier. The wind and ice do a number on any ships left out in the elements—up in the mountains your systems will freeze solid in a matter of days."
- Antrot: "I suppose that would be advantageous. I hate rust even more than caves."
- Nunb: "There you go, then. Things are looking up already."
- ―Antrot, Lokmarcha and Nien Nunb whilst landing at Eladro City[src]
Being piloted by ex-smuggler Nien Nunb in his starship, the Mellcrawler, Leia and her new team composed of ex-Imperial Survey Corps signals analyst Kidi Aleri, Dressellian commando Lokmarcha and tech specialist Antrot made their way to the planet Basteel where they would meet up with ex-rebellion contact Bon Yoth to place the first transceiver. A frigid and rocky, inhospitable world, the team landed in its capital, Eladro City, where they were aided, albeit reluctantly, by Bon Yoth at his house. With the city being underground, numerous smuggling tunnels were carved in the rock in which Bon Yoth told them they could set up their hyper-transceiver. Climbing up through his chimney, the team successfully placed the first transceiver in a dark passageway, where they then climbed to the surface, almost killed after native bugs attempted to kill them after climbing out of the walls. The pickup would not go as smoothly, with Imperial TIE fighters already in the sky and forcing Nien Nunb to remain grounded as stormtroopers began checking every ships registration and captain's license. Nevertheless, Nien was able to slip through the inspection owing to forged documents, picking up Leia and the others before they succumbed to hypothermia.
Mission to Sesid
- Leia: "We're not going to throw the beacon into the mouth of the volcano, Antrot. We'll set it up on the slopes. And don't worry, the terrain data shows this climb will be a lot easier than Basteel."
- Antrot: "But is the volcano active?"
- Nunb: "Just a little smoke and the occasional rumble. It hasn't actually erupted for, oh, five or six years."
- ―Leia Organa, Antrot and Nien Nunb upon arriving at Sesid[src]
Only hours after escaping Basteel, the Imperial-class Star Destroyer Shieldmaiden led by the formidable Captain Khione arrived in the system, punishing the world and its inhabitants by rounding up civilians and driving them in binders onto waiting shuttles. With Rebel Alliance Intelligence Service General Airen Cracken having already planted rumors of the operation into communications networks, the Imperials were already taking the bait. Despite the moral weight of the mission, of which Major Lokmarcha and Leia only knew the true purpose, the team continued onto the ocean resort and Imperial pharmaceutical research world of Sesid. After contacting Sesid Traffic Control and landing in a tourist town near the island of Thrinaka, the outfit donned civilian clothes, bought a repulsorcraft boat and headed towards nearby a volcanic island in order to meet their local resistance contact and place the transceiver. The contact failed to arrive, and after successfully placing the beacon, the team headed back towards the city before being contacted by Nunb, who informed them of the Imperials having locked down the port and the Shieldmaiden having arrived in orbit. Before they could make their escape, several Imperial stormtroopers on waveskimmers and an Imperial amphibious transport chased them across the tropical sea, exchanging blaster fire along the way. With their boat severely damaged, the group was suddenly rescued by their late resistance contacts, Aurelant and his submersible vessel the Daggadol. After formalities, the captain agreed to help them escape the system by launching them into space on one of the many escape pods on the planet, being placed there for speedy civilian evacuation in case of a volcanic eruption. Launching them and several hundred others, the Imperials were overwhelmed and distracted long enough for Nunb to make his escape.
Mission to Jaresh
- Kidi: "Everyone who helps us suffers because of it."
- Leia: "I know. That's how the Empire keeps people living in fear. By demonstrating that anything other than utter obedience brings brutality."
- Kidi: "But how can we ever stop such . . . such evil?"
- Lokmarcha: "You said 'evil' and you were right. There's no negotiating with people who would do that—or the far worse things done in the Emperor's name."
- ―Kidi, Organa and Lokmarcha discuss the costs of the operation[src]
The next day, reports of the Empire's reprisals against the civilian population had reached the team. Utilizing TIE/sa bombers and rounding up citizens onto waiting transports, the captain threatened to punish the entire planet if the whereabouts of Leia's crew were not revealed. Arriving at the farming communities of Jaresh and touching down outside of Jowloon, the team met up with their local contact Nyessa in the village's general store, where she announced her communities intention to rise up against the Empire who had recently occupied the planet, believing that the rebels had come to help them in their revolution. After providing Leia and her team with native urdas to ride on to a nearby communication's tower, the team successfully placed the third and last hyper-transceiver, before Leia, now morally conflicted over the purpose of the mission and knowledge of the villager's inevitable deaths in their attempt to fight the Empire, convened the entire team to inform them of the true nature of their enterprise. Resolved to do right, the team agreed to help Nyessa and the natives in a riot against a small Imperial contingent on the planet, freeing their livestock in the process. Blasting off into orbit, the team ran into the Shieldmaiden who attempted to hail them and ordered for their immediate surrender. Refusing, Nien Nunb skillfully escaped the Shieldmaiden's tractor beams by diving under a nearby freighter, causing the Star Destroyer to capture it instead of the Mellcrawler.
Alert at Yellow Moon
- "You are here as a small part of a larger plan—and I regret to say that has placed you in terrible danger."
- ―Leia Organa broadcasting to the recently arrived starships
In hyperspace, Leia, conflicted by knowingly leading potential recruits to their possible deaths over the gas giant Galaan through the hyper-transceivers they had placed, decided to arrive in the system and warn the newcomers to flee. Arriving an hour before the arranged rendezvous, the crew planned on sending a tightbeam transmission from ship to ship, giving them a means to listen to her encrypted broadcast upon which they could be warned of the true nature of the mission. With more than a dozen ships arriving, Leia managed to warn them of a possible Imperial arrival, allowing the ships to successfully flee, but not before the Shieldmaiden could capture Leia's ship, and begin interrogations on her and her crew. With Major Lokmarcha having hidden an EMP device inside his chest, he managed to send out an electric pulse, disabling much of the ships systems and allowing Leia and the rest of her team to escape, at the cost of his life. With the ship now under attack by an amalgam of vessels, Leia impersonated the unconscious Captain Khione and led her 'prisoners' to the Mellcrawler. The ruse was short lived, as a stormtrooper recognized the imposter, forcing them to flee onboard the Lambda-class T-4a shuttle Tydirium, while Antrot sacrificed himself by blowing a hole in the Star Destroyer's hull with the Mellcrawler, which was packed to the brim with an unstable fertilizer picked up on Jowloon that Nunb was hoping to sell back on Sullust. Escaping the ship, the crew realized the attackers were the vessels they had previously warned had returned to help them, with them escaping into hyperspace, destroying the Shieldmaiden just as another Star Destroyer arrived.
- "We fight for a cause, but what we're really fighting for is each other. That's why our pilots fly into fire instead of abandoning a wingman and our commandos stand their ground rather than leave a flank unguarded. It's because they care for each other. We fight for duty, yes. But we also fight because we love each other. And that's something even more powerful."
- ―Leia Organa
The operation was a complete success for the Alliance, owing much thanks to the bravery of Lokmarcha and Antrot; without their sacrifices the mission could not have succeeded. Following the operation, Leia Organa would meet with Luke Skywalker on Kothlis to discuss rescuing Han Solo from Jabba's palace, owing to Lando's earlier infiltration and intelligence regarding his whereabouts. Nonetheless, with the Alliance Fleet nearly assembled over Sullust, as well as the destruction of the Imperial-class Star Destroyer Shieldmaiden, the rebellion had gained valuable time before its ultimate victory against the second Death Star at the Battle of Endor.
Thirty years after the operation, a much older Leia Organa, now a general, would reflect upon the valuable lessons learned in the operation, and have them recorded as the first part of her much delayed memoirs, considering the story one in which all members of the Resistance would do well to remember.
- Star Wars Battlefront II (Indirect mention only)
- Forces of Destiny: The Leia Chronicles (Indirect mention only)
- Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure (First appearance)
- Leia and the Great Island Escape
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi (First mentioned) (Indirect mention only)
- Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side! (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: Return of the Jedi junior novelization (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
- Star Wars: Aliens of the Galaxy
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 1 (Databank A-Z: Ask Aak–Stass Allie)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 23 (Databank A-Z: Hassk Triplets–Holograms) (First identified as "mission to the Corva sector" and "mission in the Corva sector")
- Star Wars: The Rebel Files
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 37 (Databank A-Z: Luggabeast–Malakili)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 43 (Databank A-Z: Leia Organa)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 53 (Weapons & Uniforms: The Adventures of Nien Nunb; Highlights of the Saga: Operation Yellow Moon)
- The Star Wars Book
- Star Wars Complete Vehicles, New Edition
- "Battle of Hoth and the Second Death Star" – Star Wars Encyclopedia (Indirect mention only)
Notes and references