"I absolutely must insist on greater Imperial Fleet presence in the Noonian system. An alarming number of pirates has recently been plaguing merchant vessels, particularly those hauling cargoes for Nebula Consumables."
Governor Trophan Thanis on Rebel privateers[src]

The Novahawk, symbol of the Rebel Alliance privateer

Rebel privateers were privateers hired by the Rebel Alliance to harass Imperial shippings during the Galactic Civil War. They were typically not formally members of the Rebellion, but nevertheless pro-Alliance.

Letter of marque and reprisalEdit

Rebel privateers were issued a letter of marque and reprisal, which was a contract defining the conditions under which the privateer would work. Letters of marque were issued by the Chief, Chief of Staff, Fleet Commander, Ordnance and Supply Commander, or Sector Commanders-in-Chief. The latter, however, were only valid in the relevant sectors. Since Mon Mothma was too busy to worry about privateers and Ackbar disliked pirates, virtually all letters of marque were issued by Sector Commanders and secretaries, while Ordnance and Supply Commander, Ral'Rai Muvunc was known to issue letters of marque as well. For example, Muvunc issued Chaeloe Dantin's letter of marque.

Commissions, duties, and privilegesEdit

Rebel privateers were commissioned with raiding Imperial cargo ships, supply bases and factories as well as similar targets owned by corporations associated with the Empire. Usually, Rebel privateers were to surrender 50% of the supplies and profits to the Rebel Alliance and could do what they pleased with the remaining 50%, which was often chosen to be sold to the Alliance anyway. Captured slaves were to be set free and illegal drugs were to be surrendered to the Alliance for destruction, while captured Imperial personnel were surrendered to the Alliance for interrogation and the like. Typically, a reward was given for captured Imperial personnel in the form of prize money. The Novahawk was the symbol of a Rebel privateer.

Rebel privateers were expected to seize cargoes with minimal bloodshed and were not allowed to attack Rebel or neutral ships or to take civilian hostages. Any such violation of the letter of marque made the privateer fair game for Rebels to hunt. Often Rebel observers were stationed aboard privateers' ships.

Rebel privateers, like Rebel mercenaries had certain privileges. They were allowed to use Rebel safe ports, repair facilities, supplies, and intelligence. They were also typically offered amnesty and pardon if they were former criminals, if promising not to commit crimes again.

Rebel Alliance and privateersEdit

"Deploy the shuttle and ready my launch. Main ion cannons fire!"
Urias Xhaxin - Rebel Privateer[src]

In the early days, the Rebel Alliance was hesitant to make use of privateers and other mercenaries with no ideological drive similar to that of the Rebellion. Eventually, sector commanders started hiring privateers to acquire the supplies that High Command failed at providing. Mon Mothma decided to run a trial period of officially issuing letters of marque. The trial was successful, and the Rebellion developed rules and guidelines and started making use of privateers regularly.

Rebels found privateers a useful resource, but also tended to distrust privateer captains due to their basic mercenary nature. Consequently, privateers were treated coolly by the Rebels like employers would treat employees.

Rebel privateers: an unruly stockEdit

Privateers for the Alliance SoT

A crew of Rebel privateers.

Rebel privateers were a varied and unruly stock consisting of very different types of people. Rebel privateers crews often comprised former bounty hunters, former scouts, and former criminals, but notorious ruthless criminals and cold-blooded murderers were not tolerated by the Rebels and were thus seldom found in Rebel privateer crews.

Many privateer crews also employed very skilled technicians who, apart from repairing the ship and similar chores, would be part of boarding parties to slice into computer and security systems as well as to strip the ship of components if it was not to be taken as a prize. In addition to technicians, there would often also be numerous other specialists in a Rebel privateer crew.

Many Rebel privateers were former pirates and criminals who wished to mend their ways or to secure retirement without the threat of persecution.

Alliance observersEdit

Since the rebels never truly trusted their privateers, they would often place Alliance observers aboard privateer ships. An Alliance observer was a Rebel officer assigned to a privateer's ship to keep an eye on the crew. Alliance observers would often be detached naval officers or mission group agents, but occasionally also bureaucrats, supply agents or free agents.


Rebel privateers were commissioned to raid and capture property of the following organizations:

Common vessel typesEdit

Rebel privateers, while essentially not part of the Rebellion or any other type of organization, did tend to share preferences for the same types of ships, caused by, more than anything else, the demands of their trade.

The preferred type of starfighter was the Z-95 Headhunter which was also widely used by pirates, though the Gauntlet starfighter was also frequently seen. Uglies and X-wing starfighters were a common sight as well. Rebel privateers would often make use of light, medium and bulk freighters as well as light frigates. Those privateers who had specialized in raiding container ships, star galleons and the like would often use modified CR90 corvettes which were also widespread in the Rebellion itself. Large frigates and cruisers were extremely rare among Rebel privateers as were blastboats and gunships. One Rebel Privateer group operated out of the EF76 Nebulon-B escort frigate Free Lance captained by Urias Xhaxin, another Nebulon frigate was used by privateers under the leadership of Dhas Fenoep Vedij, the Far Orbit.[1]



Notes and referencesEdit

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+