- "Why do you bring so little real food?"
"Jobs like this one usually don't give you enough time to prepare it or enjoy it. We'll be working nonstop and on alert at all times once we hit atmosphere. Food's just fuel then."
- ―Luke Skywalker and Nakari Kelen
Ration packs contained food or nutrients to consume when other sources were scarce. They were known by many names, including rations boxes, food packets, food rations, field rations, survival rations, or simply rations.
- "Dinner is the same thing every night: survival rations. The only variety is whether I get Imperial rations or the New Republic kind. Both are pretty much the same—the New Republic rations taste a bit better but the Imperial stuff is less likely to be stale after all these years."
Ration packs contained food or nutrients to consume when other sources were scarce, or there was little time available to prepare food or eat it. Some of the items that could be included in ration packs were ration bars, protein cubes, ration cubes, or nutrient paste. Other rations were identifiable foods such as joppa stew and nuna jerky.
The Galactic Empire regarded its field rations as nontransferrable Imperial property; transferring any to a civilian was a violation of Code E-9-73A. One type of ration pack used by the Galactic Empire, Rebel Alliance, and New Republic contained dehydrated substances that quickly expanded and became edible when activated with water. On Jakku, the junk boss Unkar Plutt referred to the packet combination of dehydrated veg-meat and polystarch as "meat and bread," though it was doubtful that the rations tasted like either. In her survival guide, the scavenger named Rey observed that Imperial rations were less perishable than those of the New Republic, but the latter tended to taste better.
- "I think it might be smart to start accumulating ration packs. If the Imperials start to dip into the food you grow to eat here, there isn't going to be a lot you can do to stop them."
- ―Ahsoka Tano
While in hiding from the Great Jedi Purge in 18 BBY, Ahsoka Tano briefly settled on a farming moon in the Outer Rim called Raada. She initially kept a low profile by trading her repair services for food rations, but she observed the Empire's growing power. The Empire exploited Raada to grow plants that would be processed into nutritional supplements for Imperial personnel working in low gravity environments. These plants destroyed the farmland that had once fed Raada's population. Ahsoka advised her friends to stockpile ration packs and other supplies in a safe place, and she assisted in those efforts. The Empire's destruction of the soil, work requirements, and food restrictions pushed Raada's citizens into an uprising.
In 4 BBY during the Galactic Civil War, the Empire doubled work quotas and cut food rations on the planet Ibaar, creating a famine. Led by Imperial Security Bureau Agent Kallus, an Imperial fleet blockaded the planet to prevent aid from reaching the starving population. After failed attempts, Captain Hera Syndulla succeeded in breaking the blockade with the Blade Wing prototype B-wing starfighter, and cleared the way for the Spectres to airdrop food supplies from the Ghost.
In 3 ABY, Luke Skywalker temporarily separated from the Rebel Alliance after the Battle of Hoth to search for the Jedi Master Yoda on Dagobah. Skywalker brought boxes of rations with him, and as he settled down to eat, Yoda approached him. Yoda rummaged through Skywalker's rations and sampled them as he tested Luke's frustration and impatience.
Following the Battle of Jakku in 5 ABY, the planet's surface was littered with a graveyard of wrecked starships from both the Galactic Empire and the New Republic. The scattered supplies from both sides of the conflict included ration packs which were divided into portions by Unkar Plutt, who used them to control the local food supply. At Plutt's Concession Stand in Niima Outpost, portions were traded for spare parts salvaged by scavengers, such as Rey.
In 34 ABY, Rey consumed veg-meat and polystarch portion bread for dinner before she met BB-8, a droid that she rescued in the desert. When BB-8 accompanied her to the trading post, Plutt offered to give Rey sixty portions in exchange for the droid. Though initially tempted by Plutt's offer, Rey declined it and took only what she was owed for the salvage that she brought to the outpost.
Behind the scenes
Although not named at the time, rations first appeared in the 1980 film Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back as a box containing foods that Luke Skywalker began to eat before Yoda helped himself to a taste. The 2015 canon junior novelization The Empire Strikes Back: So You Want to Be a Jedi? identified Luke's supplies as a rations box. The paperback novel Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, a 2017 update of the Star Wars Legends junior novelization, similarly referred to this as a box of food rations.
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary (First identified as Survival ration)
- Rey's Survival Guide
- Star Wars: Complete Locations
- Poe Dameron: Flight Log
- Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: Destiny – Spirit of Rebellion (Card: )
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Graphics
- Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, Updated and Expanded
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 43 (Weapons & Uniforms: Inhabitants of Jakku)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 45 (Databank A-Z: Petranaki Arena–Proton Torpedoes)
- Dawn of Rebellion
- Star Wars Character Encyclopedia, New Edition
- Star Wars: How Not to Get Eaten by Ewoks and Other Galactic Survival Skills
- Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition
- Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian: Making of Season Two
Notes and references
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Liberty on Ryloth"
- Battlefront: Twilight Company
- Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
- "Heroes of the Rebellion"—From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back
- Star Wars Rebels – "Wings of the Master"
- Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens
- Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion
- Join the Resistance: Escape from Vodran
- The High Republic: A Test of Courage
- Rebel Rising
- Rey's Survival Guide
- Heir to the Jedi
- The Legends of Luke Skywalker
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens: A Junior Novel
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas establishes that the founding of the Galactic Empire occurs in 19 BBY. The events of Ahsoka commence exactly one year after the Empire's founding, placing the novel's events in 18 BBY.
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 67 (Highlights of the Saga: Birth of the Blade Wing) establishes that the A/SF-01 B-wing starfighter was introduced into the Rebel Alliance during the Blockade of Ibaar and additionally dates the introduction of the B-Wing to 4 BBY, thus dating the Blockade of Ibaar to the same date.
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary dates the events of Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens to 30 years after Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, which is dated to 4 ABY in the Star Wars: Galactic Atlas. Therefore, it can be calculated that The Force Awakens occurs in 34 ABY.
- The Empire Strikes Back: So You Want to Be a Jedi?
- Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back paperback novel