- "The secrets in his head must be damaging to the Empire. We'll need to smuggle him off Lothal."
- ―Kanan Jarrus, regarding Tseebo
The rescue of Tseebo was a mission carried out on the planet Lothal by the Spectres in 4 BBY, during the festivities marking the fifteenth anniversary of the rise of the Galactic Empire. The rebels discovered Tseebo, a Rodian who defected from the Imperial Information Office, and learned that he had a AJ^6 cyborg construct headpiece containing critical information about the Empire's plans for the Outer Rim Territories. Knowing that such information could be vital for their fight against the Empire, the Spectres fought their way out of Capital City with Tseebo in tow, while being pursued by Agent Alexsandr Kallus of the Imperial Security Bureau. The rebels were rescued from Imperial pursuit by their captain, Hera Syndulla, who picked them up with the starship Ghost. After a brief firefight in orbit with pursuing Imperial TIE fighters, the Ghost escaped into hyperspace.
The Grand Inquisitor, tasked with hunting Jedi like rebel crew members Kanan Jarrus and Ezra Bridger, pursued the rebels with a homing beacon that the Empire had attached to the Phantom, the Ghost's shuttle. Upon detecting the beacon, the rebels decided to split up; the two Jedi headed to the asteroid base Fort Anaxes to lure the Inquisitor away from Tseebo, while Syndulla brought the Rodian to her rebel contact, Ahsoka Tano—operating under the codename of Fulcrum as a rebel intelligence operative. As Tseebo was safely delivered into rebel hands, the Jedi engaged the Grand Inquisitor in a lightsaber duel on Fort Anaxes, with Bridger unknowingly using the dark side of the Force to beat the Jedi killer in battle and escape. Bridger's actions left him shaken, so Jarrus soon brought him to the Jedi Temple on Lothal to ensure that his Padawan was ready to be trained as a Jedi.
- "Imperial specs on the new TIEs and new T-8 disruptors; schedules of troop movements, tactics, and strategies. Half of it's encrypted, but it looks like there's a five-year plan for Lothal and every other world in the Outer Rim."
- ―Sabine Wren, revealing information contained in Tseebo's headpiece
During the Age of the Empire, the Galactic Empire took control of the Outer Rim world of Lothal. Two of the planet's citizens, Ephraim and Mira Bridger, sent out rebellious transmissions advocating against Imperial rule on Lothal. Tseebo, a friend of the Bridgers, encouraged them to stop, but they did not heed his concerns and the Empire captured the Bridgers. Feeling the weight of his guilt for being unable to protect his friends or their son, Ezra Bridger, who ended up living alone on the streets of Lothal, Tseebo joined the Imperial Information Office and volunteered to be outfitted with an AJ^6 cyborg construct attached to the backside of his head that was designed to increase productivity. Fifteen years after the Empire's rise to power, Tseebo uploaded Imperial secrets into the headpiece and defected from the Empire, hiding out in the Bridgers' old home on Lothal. He intended to use the secrets to make up for failing his friends, and the information he received in the headpiece scrambled his mind, causing him to fall in and out of lucidity. The Empire knew that the secrets in his head were critical, and they searched for Tseebo across Lothal in the hopes of finding him.
By that time, Ezra Bridger had become a Jedi Padawan and a member of the Spectre rebels, based on the starship Ghost, who operated against the Empire on Lothal. During the Empire Day celebrations of 4 BBY[source?] that marked the Empire's fifteenth anniversary, the Empire held a parade in Capital City, bringing out many military vehicles, including an experimental TIE fighter, as well officers and soldiers. The rebels set a thermal detonator on the fighter and destroyed it, a high-profile attack that led the Empire to send out a heavy military force to find them. The rebels fled into the streets of Lothal, where they were pursued by Imperial stormtroopers, Agent Kallus of the Imperial Security Bureau, and the Jedi hunter known as the Grand Inquisitor.
Bridger led two of his crewmates—rebel leader Kanan Jarrus and Mandalorian warrior Sabine Wren—to his old home to use as a safe house. It was there that they discovered Tseebo hiding from the Empire. Bridger was not pleased to see his parents' old friend, as the Rodian was a reminder of what he had lost. Wren examined the headpiece that Tseebo wore and discovered extensive Imperial records, including information about new weapons and starfighters, military schedules and strategies, as well as a five-year plan for the Empire's development in the Outer Rim Territories. Jarrus knew that the information could prove vital to their rebellion against the Empire, so the rebels decided to get Tseebo off of Lothal and bring him somewhere safe.
Escape from Lothal
- Syndulla: "Someone want to explain to me why we're extra popular tonight?"
- Jarrus: "We've picked up a passenger—the Rodian the Imperials are hunting."
- Syndulla: "And he's important because…?"
- Wren: "Because his cybernetic implant has downloaded half the Empire's secrets."
- Syndulla: "Okay, I can see why that's important. Let's get him out of here."
- ―Hera Syndulla, Kanan Jarrus, and Sabine Wren during the crew's escape from Lothal[src]
The rebels left the safe house with Tseebo in tow. To fight their way out of the city, Jarrus and Wren attacked a group of Imperial soldiers and hijacked an Imperial Troop Transport. Bridger, meanwhile, led Tseebo through the streets and into the transport. The craft made its way toward the outskirts of the city, where Imperial forces, led by Commandant Cumberlayne Aresko, had established a checkpoint to prevent anyone from leaving. The attacked troops reported that the transport was stolen, and Agent Kallus ordered Aresko not to let it pass the checkpoint. Aresko and his forces were unable to prevent it, however, despite firing on the vessel with blasters and All Terrain Defense Pods. Wren, who piloted the craft, was undeterred and drove the transport straight into the checkpoint and out of the city, destroying another ITT and an AT-DP in the process.
The Empire chased after the stolen transport with two speeder bikes and a Troop Transport carrying Agent Kallus. While in pursuit, Kallus contacted the Grand Inquisitor to inform him that the rebels had breached the main gates. The Grand Inquisitor, flanked by several TIE fighter pilots, boarded his TIE fighter, suspecting that the Ghost would be waiting to rendezvous with its crew. While the Grand Inquisitor prepared to chase them, Kallus' forces attacked the rebels to slow them down. One Imperial combat driver set a detonator on the door of the stolen transport and blew it off, giving the trooper an opportunity to board the transport. He discovered that Tseebo was aboard the craft before Jarrus attacked him; the Jedi used the Force to throw the trooper off the vehicle, sending him crashing into the second speeder.
Kallus's transport fired on the rebels as it moved in, giving Kallus room to jump from one vehicle to the other. The Ghost, piloted by Captain Hera Syndulla, arrived just as Kallus made it atop the stolen transport, and the ISB agent was fired upon by Lasat Honor Guardsman and rebel crew member Garazeb Orrelios. The Imperial craft turned its laser turret onto the Ghost, but the freighter's shields held under the barrage. The rebel astromech droid Chopper used the weapons on the Ghost to fire on the Imperial transport, causing it to flip over and be knocked out of the fray. Kallus was likewise knocked off the side of the stolen transport after taking fire from Orrelios, but the ISB agent held onto the back of the craft as the rebels began exiting and made their way onto the Ghost for a mid-air rescue. Kallus returned to the top of the craft in time to find that Tseebo was in the company of the rebels, but he failed to stop the rebels from leaving. He contacted the Grand Inquisitor once again, this time informing him that Tseebo was aboard the Ghost, and the Grand Inquisitor led four fellow pilots in pursuit of the escaping starship.
Syndulla set a course for space while Jarrus and Chopper manned the ship's blaster turrets. A direct hit by the Inquisitor damaged the ship and knocked Chopper out of commission, overwhelming his circuits. Syndulla prepared counter-measures to evade the ongoing attack and ordered Chopper to man the rear guns. With Chopper down, Orrelios took over the station and Syndulla executed her maneuver. They evaded further fire and Orrelios destroyed one of the TIE fighters, though four newly arrived fighters joined the attack. The Inquisitor ordered his forces to open fire and knock out the Ghost's shields, which they succeeded in doing after several more volleys. The Ghost was left vulnerable to further attack, and the situation grew more dire with the arrival of two Star Destroyers, including the Relentless. Knowing the Ghost would likely escape, the Inquisitor fired a tracking device onto the ship, which landed on the attached attack shuttle Phantom. Bridger worked to repair the damage to the navigation computer as eight more TIE fighters approached the ship, but he was unable to repair it. Instead, Tseebo entered the cockpit and directly fed coordinates into the ship, allowing the Ghost to escape into hyperspace.
- "You seem…better."
"Tseebo's mind is clearer now. But it is difficult. There's so much information inside Tseebo."
"Fulcrum's people will help you with that and keep you safe."
- ―Hera Syndulla and Tseebo
The Inquisitor made his way to the Relentless to speak with its commanding officer, Admiral Kassius Konstantine, who informed the Inquisitor that the tracking device was in place. Meanwhile, the Ghost crew tended to their damage, which included the damaged Chopper, and considered what to do with Tseebo. Jarrus asked Bridger what he wanted, as the boy had history with Tseebo, but Bridger at first refused to discuss it and dismissed the idea that Tseebo mattered to him. Though Bridger was still angry with Tseebo for not helping his parents, he learned with Wren's help that the Rodian voluntarily took on the implant in order to make up for what happened with Mira and Ephraim. Tseebo proved to be of further use when his headpiece detected that there was a tracker somewhere on the hull, and the once-again functional Chopper scanned the ship and found the tracker on the shuttle Phantom. Though it was risky, Jarrus came up with a plan to detach the Phantom from the Ghost while in hyperspace and take the shuttle to Fort Anaxes, an asteroid base that belonged to the Grand Army of the Republic during the Clone Wars. Bridger and Jarrus would go to the asteroid base to lure the Inquisitor away from the Ghost, while Syndulla and the rest of the crew would deliver Tseebo to "Fulcrum"—the codename of a rebel intelligence operative who, in actuality, was Commander Ahsoka Tano.
Bridger, who still refused to speak to Tseebo despite Wren's prodding to forgive him, soon left with Jarrus aboard the Phantom. The shuttle separated from the ship and was ripped out of hyperspace, briefly tumbling through realspace before Jarrus stabilized the shuttle and set a course for Fort Anaxes. The Inquisitor sensed their change in location through the Force, which Konstantine confirmed by saying that the tracker had detected the ship dropping out of hyperspace. At the Inquisitor's command, the Relentless laid in a pursuit course and made its way to the asteroid field.
Jarrus landed the shuttle inside the old clone base, which was filled with fearsome creatures known as fyrnocks. The creatures, which the rebels had encountered on their previous visit to Fort Anaxes, were part of Jarrus' plan. He told Bridger, whom Jarrus had been training to try to connect with animals through the Force, to make a connection with the fyrnocks and calm them while Jarrus removed the tracker from the ship. Bridger tried to make the connection, but he could not overcome his own fears that were blocking him—not fears over the creatures, but the fear of learning what truly happened to his parents. Overcome with emotion, Bridger finally forgave Tseebo, which the Rodian could sense through the Force. With his fears overcome, Bridger calmed the creatures, who no longer posed a threat to the two Jedi.
The Ghost, meanwhile, rendezvoused and docked with Fulcrum's ship. Syndulla brought Tseebo to the airlock, where his mind was clearer after somehow sensing that Bridger had forgiven him. Not knowing if he would see the boy again, Tseebo told Syndulla what happened to Bridger's parents: they were alive, but prisoners of the Empire. Tseebo was then handed over to Fulcrum, whose people would be able to help Tseebo with the information overload inside of his implant.
Dueling the Inquisitor
- "Unleash your anger. I will teach you what your master could not."
"You don't have anything to teach me."
"The darkness is too strong for you, orphan. It is swallowing you up, even now. […] Your master will die. […] Your friends will die. And everything you've hoped for will be lost. This is the way the story ends."
- ―The Grand Inquisitor and Ezra Bridger during their duel
Following the signal from the tracking device, the Grand Inquisitor arrived at Fort Anaxes on an Imperial shuttle accompanied by several stormtroopers. The Inquisitor ordered them to contain the two Jedi as he wanted to take them alive, so the troopers entered the base, preparing to take formation around the rebels. Making their way inside, the soldiers found the two Jedi silently meditating, with the fyrnocks calmly standing behind them. The Inquisitor sensed something through the Force, but by then it was too late—the two Jedi unleashed the fyrnocks on the stormtroopers. The Inquisitor, unimpressed with their plan, ignited his lightsaber, as did Jarrus, and the two engaged in a lightsaber duel.
The Inquisitor had the upper hand during their duel, so much that Jarrus grabbed his own blaster mid-fight and attempted to shoot the Jedi hunter. The Inquisitor disarmed him of the blaster, however, and used the Force to send Jarrus flying back into the wall of the base, knocking him unconscious. Bridger, who had continued meditating with the fyrnocks, sensed his master was in trouble and took Jarrus' lightsaber to fight against the Inquisitor. However, the Inquisitor quickly used the Force to pull the weapon from the boy's hand. The Jedi hunter used the Force to send the young Padawan flying back, and Bridger nearly fell into a deep pit at the edge of the base. Angry and afraid over the Inquisitor's threats to kill Jarrus and the rest of his friends, Bridger unknowingly called upon the dark side of the Force and connected with a giant fyrnock from within the pit. The large creature came to the surface, and the boy sent the beast after the Inquisitor. In doing so, Bridger was overwhelmed and collapsed.
Jarrus tended to his apprentice while the Inquisitor contended with the giant fyrnock. Bridger regained consciousness but had no memory of what happened, other than feeling cold. The two Jedi escaped—with Jarrus' lightsaber, which the Inquisitor had dropped—while the Inquisitor kept fighting the fyrnock and the smaller creatures distracted the stormtroopers. The Inquisitor scared the giant fyrnock away and threw his lightsaber towards Jarrus and Bridger, but Jarrus deflected it back. The two Jedi boarded the Phantom, and Jarrus piloted it out out of the base. As he did so, he used its turrets to destroy the Imperial shuttle before leaving the asteroid.
- "Ezra, when we were on that asteroid, you made a dangerous connection through the Force. Now I have to know that you… are ready."
- ―Jarrus tells his Padawan that he is worried about the boy's training
Bridger's experience on Fort Anaxes left him shaken, having never dealt with the consequences of the dark side before. He kept to himself at first, and both Jarrus and Syndulla agreed to keep the truth about his parents a secret until he was ready, but eventually he rejoined the normal activities of the crew. Still, Jarrus remained concerned over his Padawan's dark indulgences on the asteroid and needed to ensure that the boy was ready to continue on the Jedi path. He discovered that there was a Jedi Temple on Lothal and brought Bridger to the ancient Jedi structure, where the Padawan was sent in alone in order to face the fears that led him to briefly flirt with the dark side of the Force.
Inside the Jedi Temple, Bridger encountered visions of the Grand Inquisitor killing his friends, whom he had come to regard as his new family. This helped him realize that he was not afraid of dying, but rather of losing those he cared about and being abandoned again. Bridger soon heard the voice of Yoda, the once–Grand Master of the Jedi Order, who, from afar, guided Bridger into a chamber deep in the temple. Once there, he asked the boy why he wanted to become a Jedi. Bridger felt anger at the Empire at first, but he admitted that his true intentions were to help others. Yoda told him that despite the difficult path that laid before him, Bridger had it within himself to become a Jedi. The boy was granted a kyber crystal to create his own lightsaber, a rite of passage for a Jedi.
One year later,[source?] Bridger learned what Tseebo had told Syndulla about the fate of the Bridgers: they were imprisoned by the Empire. Though he had a vision of his parents in Imperial custody, it was too late to save them, however, as he soon learned that they had been killed during a prison break meant to free themselves and their fellow prisoners.
Behind the scenes
The rescue of Tseebo formed the basis of the November 2014 episodes "Empire Day" and "Gathering Forces," part of the first season of the animated television series Star Wars Rebels. "Empire Day" was written by Henry Gilroy and directed by Steven G. Lee, while "Gathering Forces" was written by executive producer Greg Weisman and directed by Steward Lee. In the original outline for the story, a character named Cob Tier, a human friend of the Bridger family, would have reconnected Ezra Bridger and Tseebo, but this was cut as the story evolved and the character was combined with Tseebo.
- Star Wars Rebels webcomic
- Star Wars Rebels – "Empire Day" (First appearance)
- Star Wars Rebels – "Gathering Forces"
- Star Wars Rebels – "Path of the Jedi" (Indirect mention only)
- Ezra's Duel with Danger
- Battle to the End (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars Rebels: The Ultimate Guide
- Star Wars Rebels – "Legacy" (Indirect mention only)
- Battlefront: Twilight Company (Mentioned only)
- Battlefront: Twilight Company audiobook (Mentioned only)
- (First identified as rescue of Tseebo)
- (Indirect mention only)
- Sabine My Rebel Sketchbook
- "Star Wars Rebels Recounted"—Star Wars Insider 156
- Ultimate Star Wars
- Star Wars Rebels: Rebel Power!
- Star Wars Rebels: Visual Guide: Epic Battles
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 18 (Databank A-Z: First Order–Fyrnocks) (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, Updated and Expanded
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 47 (Helmets: Ezra Bridger) (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 51 (Helmets: The Grand Inquisitor)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 57 (Databank A-Z: Trident Assault Ship–Turbolasers)
Notes and references
- Star Wars Rebels – "Empire Day"
- Star Wars Rebels – "Idiot's Array"
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas places the events of Star Wars Rebels – "Empire Day" in 4 BBY. As this event appear in Star Wars Rebels – "Empire Day", it takes place in 4 BBY.
- Star Wars Rebels – "Gathering Forces"
- Ezra's Duel with Danger
- The events of "Fire Across the Galaxy" reveal that Fulcrum is Ahsoka Tano and that she is the rebels' contact in the growing rebel movement that becomes the Alliance to Restore the Republic.
- Star Wars Rebels: The Visual Guide
- Star Wars Rebels – "Out of Darkness"
- Star Wars Rebels – "Legacy"
- Star Wars Rebels – "Path of the Jedi"
- "Star Wars Rebels Recounted"—Star Wars Insider 156