"That was the first time I had a real conversation with her and found out that she wasn't only a great pilot and shooter, but that she was smart, funny, nice, beautiful… Well, forget that. I'm just lucky to know her and to be able to fly with her."
―Rookie One[3]

Ru Murleen, a Human female, was a starfighter pilot in the Alliance to Restore the Republic during the Galactic Civil War. Murleen was the youngest pilot to reach the rank of commander and became a pilot instructor at the Rebel training facility on Kolaador, hoping to pass her skills on to others. Shortly after the Battle of Toprawa in 0 BBY, Murleen led a group of X-wing starfighters to Tatooine, where Anchorhead Base was under attack by Imperial forces, and later fought Imperial TIE fighters during the evacuation of Gamma Base on Hoth. She transferred to the Great Temple on Yavin 4 soon after and fought against the Death Star at the Battle of Yavin.

Murleen was later assigned to Imdaar Alpha to monitor Imperial activity on the planet. When the Alliance learned of an Imperial project to create cloaked starfighters, Murleen teamed up with her former student, Rookie One, on a mission to infiltrate the Super Star Destroyer Terror and steal one of the TIE Phantoms. The two Rebel agents not only acquired one of the new starfighters, but were able to use it to destroy the Terror, along with the TIE Phantom factory at Imdaar Alpha, effectively putting an end to the project.


Early career[]

"You impressed Commander Farrell. That's not easy. Me, I'm a little more forgiving, but the course ahead isn't. So follow me closely, and may the Force be with you."
―Ru Murleen to Rookie One — (audio) Listen (file info)[1]

Ru Murleen joined the Alliance to Restore the Republic as a starfighter pilot early in the Galactic Civil War. Her skill and daring attitude helped her to move through the ranks quickly and,[4] by 0 BBY,[5] she had been promoted to commander[4]—the youngest in the Alliance Starfighter Corps at the time.[6] Hoping to pass on her skills to others, Murleen took a position as an instructor[4] at a Rebel training facility on Kolaador, a position she held for much of the base's existence.[7] Murleen would lead rookie pilots in R-22 Spearheads through the planet's canyons, whose crystalline spires formed a natural obstacle course.[1] While serving on Kolaador, she trained many new pilots for the Alliance, who went on to serve throughout the galaxy.[8]

On the run[]

"Well done, Rookie One. We can use more pilots like you. Follow me to base, and we'll get you assigned to a squadron. And while we're waiting, I'll let you buy me a drink for that fancy flying."
―Ru Murleen to Rookie One — (audio) Listen (file info)[1]

Murleen shares a drink with Rookie One in the pilot's bar at Kolaador Rebel base.

Among her students was "Rookie One," who undertook the final phase of his training under her instruction shortly after the Battle of Toprawa, during which the Rebel Alliance stole plans to the Death Star, a battlestation with enough power to destroy a planet. Murleen was impressed by the young pilot's skill and, after he passed his canyon run, she joined him for a celebratory drink at the Rebel base while he awaited assignment to a squadron. However, their drink was cut short by the news that Anchorhead Base on Tatooine, Rookie One's base for his earlier training, was under attack by Imperial forces searching for the stolen plans.[1]

Anchorhead Base was unable to hold off the Imperial forces for long, so Murleen assembled a flight of T-65 X-wing starfighters and headed to Tatooine to assist them. To join her on the mission, she selected Rookie One and Thurlow Harris. When the group arrived in the Tatoo system, they found an Imperial-class Star Destroyer in orbit of Tatooine. Knowing that the group's chances on the surface would be slim with the Star Destroyer coordinating the attack, Murleen led her group in an attack on its command center, hoping to eliminate the threat before proceeding down to Tatooine. The group engaged TIE/LN starfighters launched by the Star Destroyer, while strafing the starship to weaken its defenses. When the deflector shields protecting the bridge finally fell, Murleen instructed Rookie One to arm his proton torpedoes and commence an attack run on the unprotected command tower. Rookie One scored a direct hit, crippling the vessel. With the threat eliminated, the group quickly proceeded to the surface to help the Rebels below.[1]

Murleen shortly before the Battle of Yavin

After entering the atmosphere, Murleen contacted Lieutenant Turland Hack at Anchorhead Base for a status report. Hack informed the group that the base was already under attack from three TIE fighters. Despite their best efforts, the group was unable to reach the base in time, and it was destroyed moments later. The attacking TIE fighters were now alerted to the presence of the Rebel reinforcements, and Murleen took her group into Beggar's Canyon to eliminate them before they could report to their commanders. After all three were eliminated, the Rebels were joined by the X-wing of Captain Merrick Simms. Imperial ground forces were already moving into Mos Eisley, and Murleen ordered Harris and Rookie One to join Simms in engaging the All Terrain Scout Transports and Imperial landing craft. Meanwhile, Murleen attempted to cut off the Imperial supply lines, and instructed the others to withdraw once the situation got too dangerous, and to rendezvous with her at the fleet, before proceeding to Gamma Base[1] on the ice-world of Hoth.[9]

All four Rebel pilots made it safely to Gamma Base. However, their escape would be short-lived. The Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Vader, determined to locate where they had fled to, had Viper probe droids dispatched throughout the Anoat sector. When the droids discovered Gamma Base, Imperial forces moved to attack it and the Rebels were forced to evacuate. Murleen led an X-wing group charged with protecting the last Rebel GR-75 medium transport to leave while it attempted to escape to hyperspace. Joined by Rookie One, who was delayed in leaving the planet, the group engaged waves of TIE fighters, keeping them away from the transport until it safely jumped out of the system. Once the Rebel pilots were clear of the Imperial fighters, they followed the transport to safety.[1]

Battle of Yavin[]

Murleen and the other Rebels fled to the main Rebel base on Yavin 4. However, they were still not out of danger.[1] Though the Alliance had been able to acquire the plans to the Death Star, the Empire had learned the location of their base and the superweapon was en route to Yavin. Fortunately for the Rebels, analysis of the plans indicated a weakness which would make the battlestation vulnerable to a starfighter attack.[10]

Murleen was assigned to Blue Squadron for the Battle of Yavin, along with Rookie One and Thurlow Harris, under the command of Merrick Simms. As the squadron approached the battlestation, a Star Destroyer in the Death Star's support fleet launched TIE fighters to intercept them, but Blue Squadron was able to eliminate the threat and proceed through the perimeter. After joining up with pilots from Red and Gold Squadrons, Simms led Blue Squadron towards the Death Star itself, before instructing Murleen and Rookie One to accelerate to attack speed and commence strafing runs on the Death Star's turbolaser batteries.[1] The battle plan called for navigating a trench along the surface in order to reach a thermal exhaust port—a direct hit from a proton torpedo would trigger a chain reaction to destroy the station.[10] However, before the assault on the trench could begin, Simms dispatched Murleen and Rookie One to eliminate a heavy cannon situated near the exhaust port. Since the cannon was too heavily armored to attack directly, the pilots opened a gap in its shielding and flew into the superstructure. There they destroyed several power relays, disabling the weapon, before regrouping with the others.[1]

With the threat of the heavy cannon neutralized, the way was clear for the Alliance forces to begin their trench runs.[1] Blue Squadron, meanwhile, were charged with attacking the Death Star's superlaser directly, in an attempt to both damage it and divert attention away from Red and Gold Squadrons while they attacked the exhaust port.[11] The initial trench runs failed to hit the target and time was running out when Luke Skywalker of Red Squadron succeeded in hitting the target, delivering the killing blow to the Death Star.[10]

Infiltrating the Terror[]

"Aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?"
"Shut up."
―Rookie One and Ru Murleen shortly after leaving the Epsilon Four — (audio) Listen (file info)[2]

Murleen awaiting Rookie One on Imdaar

Murleen turned thirty around this time.[12] At some point following the Battle of Yavin, she was assigned to the planet Imdaar to report on any Imperial presence. She began to notice high levels of Imperial fleet activity near the planet and its moon, Imdaar Alpha, leading her to conclude that the Empire was up to something in the area. However, she was unable to determine what the Empire was planning.[2] Shortly after the Battle of Hoth in 3 ABY,[13] Rookie One helped the Alliance uncover evidence that the Empire was working to develop cloaked starfighters, which they could use to devastate the Alliance Fleet. When the Rebels learned that the Executor-class Star Dreadnought Terror was en route to Imdaar, they theorized that it was preparing to deploy a full wing of the Phantom TIEs.[2]

Admiral Gial Ackbar dispatched Rookie One to Imdaar, instructing him to rendezvous with their agent, infiltrate the Terror and retrieve a TIE Phantom. The Alliance hoped that, by studying one of the fighters, they could devise a way to counter the technology before it was used against them. Rookie One made the journey to Imdaar in a BTL Y-wing starfighter, making his way past the Imperial defenses and rendezvousing with Murleen in a swamp on the planet. Not knowing who had been sent to join her, Murleen was surprised to see her friend emerge from the starfighter.[2]

The two had little time to catch up, however, as the Terror was due to arrive at any moment. In order to infiltrate the Terror, they would first need to gain access to the planetary supply base, where Murleen hoped to steal a cargo shuttle to get aboard the Star Destroyer. The supply base's landing platform was on the other side of the swamp, but Murleen provided speeder bikes which allowed them to make good time. After arriving at the base, they incapacitated the guards and, after assuming the stormtroopers' armor, stole the Lambda-class cargo shuttle Epsilon Four.[2]

Rookie One and Ru Murleen stealing a TIE Phantom

The Rebels took the stolen shuttle to the coordinates where they expected to find the Terror. When they could see no sign of it, Murleen tried hailing the vessel and got a response. After transmitting the shuttle's security code, they were given permission to land and the Terror, which was also fitted with the cloaking technology, appeared before them. The Rebels took the shuttle into the Terror's hangar and, using their stormtrooper disguises, began searching for the TIE Phantoms. When they tried to enter a restricted area, their lack of security clearance brought them to the attention of an Imperial officer who raised the alarm. With the Imperials alerted to their presence, the Rebels raced toward their objective but were soon stopped by a sealed door. Murleen was able to force a manual override to give them access and the pair continued to fight their way past stormtroopers until they reached a chasm and were unable to activate the bridge. Eventually coming to a dead end, and with the Imperials in close pursuit, they were forced to seek an alternate route through the sewer on the deck below.[2]

Although they had temporarily escaped their pursuers, Murleen knew the Imperials would not take long to find them. The pair moved quickly through the dark sewer tunnels but were soon intercepted by an Imperial search party. Fighting their way through the stormtroopers, Murleen covered the rear while Rookie One fought those to the front until they eventually came to a freight elevator to the service hangar. After riding the elevator up, the Rebels evaded the hangar's guards and boarded one of the TIE Phantoms. Murleen took the pilot's seat in the cockpit, leaving Rookie One to act as gunner.[2]

Murleen managed to get the fighter underway and they began to navigate through the Super Star Destroyer's massive hangars. However, the Imperials quickly sealed the hangar doors to prevent their escape, forcing Murleen to fly the stolen fighter through the superstructure in search of another way out—a search which eventually led them to the ship's main reactor. Realizing that they had the opportunity to destroy the Terror and its complement of TIE Phantoms, Murleen instructed Rookie One to target the reactor's beam focusers. When the reactor went critical, Murleen flew the fighter out of the Terror as explosions began to erupt throughout it.[2]

End of the TIE Phantom[]

"That's where they're making the phantom TIEs! There must be thousands of them in there. If we don't do something about them, it doesn't matter if we get this thing home or not!"
"Uh… what do you have in mind?"
"Maybe it's better if you don't know. Just hang on and don't let go of those blaster controls."
―Ru Murleen and Rookie One — (audio) Listen (file info)[2]

Murleen pilots the TIE Phantom.

Once clear of the Terror, Murleen began to plot a course to the rendezvous point. However, they were intercepted by TIE Phantoms, which cut off their escape route, forcing Murleen to bring the fighter around and head back towards the Terror, skimming along the Star Destroyer's hull while attempting to evade the fire from the incoming TIEs. Rookie One fought off waves of TIE Phantoms but the situation was looking bleak before Murleen managed to activate the cloaking device, hiding the fighter from the Imperials.[2]

However, before the Rebels could leave the system, the Terror was destroyed in an explosion which caused the previously cloaked factory on Imdaar Alpha, to which the Star Destroyer was docked, to become visible. Murleen realized that the facility was the source of the TIE Phantoms—with the factory capable of producing thousands of the fighters, the stolen one would do little to aid the Rebels in combating the threat. Knowing that they needed to stop the TIE Phantoms quickly, Murleen took the stolen fighter into the factory, negotiating the hazardous tunnels inside until the Rebels arrived at the main reactor. Rookie One fired at the reactor, causing it to destabilize, before Murleen took them to safety, moments before the facility was destroyed.[2]

With the threat of the TIE Phantoms effectively eliminated, the Rebels returned to base with the stolen fighter, holding high hopes that the technology could be adapted to provide Alliance fighters with an advantage over the Empire. However, this was not to be and the fighter self-destructed shortly after arrival. Despite the loss of the fighter, the mission was a major success and the Rebels were given a warm reception, with Admiral Krane leading the commendations. Following their return, Murleen and Rookie One became romantically involved.[2]

Personality and traits[]

"Rookie One, is that you?"
"In the flesh. Can you use another hand?"
"Well, no…but I can sure use another pilot."
―Ru Murleen and Rookie One — (audio) Listen (file info)[1]

Ru Murleen was a skilled and daring starfighter pilot[4] who was quick, bright and had a sarcastic sense of humor.[12] Eager to pass on her skills to others,[4] she helped train many new pilots and displayed an eye for talent.[6] This, combined with her quick wit, kept her rookies alert[8] and helped her gain the respect and friendship of those with whom she worked.[4]

Recognizing that piloting was her primary skill, Murleen originally avoided participating in activities that kept her out of the cockpit, preferring to serve the Alliance as a pilot only,[8] and her life was centered around flying.[12] Later in her career, however, she began to take on other assignments.[2]

Murleen first met Rookie One early in his Rebel career, when she acted as one of his instructors during his training. She was impressed with his skill as a pilot and the two became friends, sharing a drink after his assessment.[1] Rookie One started to feel attracted to her during this time,[3] but it was not until over three years later, after the two worked together to defeat the TIE Phantom project, that they acted on their mutual attraction.[2]

Behind the scenes[]

"I'm hit! It came from behind! I can't stay with you."
"Pull out, Blue Two."
"Sorry. May the Force be with you."
―Ru Murleen and Merrick Simms, as Murleen withdraws from the trench run during the Battle of Yavin — (audio) Listen (file info)[1]

Collette Michaud, the basis for Murleen's original appearance

Ru Murleen was created by Vincent Lee for the 1993 LucasArts video game Star Wars: Rebel Assault.[1] Her appearance in that game was based upon Collette Michaud, the director of the Art Department at LucasArts,[8] while she owes her name to Ru Murleen, the actress who provided her voice for the game.[1] The character's backstory was expanded in the manual which accompanied the game.[4]

Murleen later returned in Lee's Star Wars: Rebel Assault II: The Hidden Empire, the 1995 sequel to Rebel Assault, in which she was portrayed by actress Julie Eccles. If Rookie One is killed during the levels "Aboard the Terror" and "The Sewers" in the latter game, a game over cutscene shows her mourning Rookie One saying "Kid!".[2]

Jamison Jones and Julie Eccles on the set of Star Wars: Rebel Assault II: The Hidden Empire

Lee's storyboards and scripts document for Rebel Assault II, dated November 16, 1994, included a brief description of Murleen.[14] Though not included in the game or its manual,[2] the information appeared on the LucasArts website[12] and the document was later printed in Rob Smith's Rogue Leaders: The Story of LucasArts. Lee also made notes on the people he thought symbolized each character in the game, once again likening Murleen to Collette Michaud.[14]

Murleen was briefly mentioned in the Sue Seserman's "Excerpts from the Journal of a Rebel Pilot", a promotional article for Rebel Assault II which appeared in Star Wars Insider 27 (1995).[15] She was mentioned in The New Essential Chronology (2005), which discusses the events depicted in Rebel Assault II, but refers to Murleen and Rookie One only as "Rebel saboteurs,"[13] and received an entry in The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia (2008).[6]

Battle of Yavin[]

Rebel Assault depicts Murleen, as part of Blue Squadron, taking part in a trench run at the Battle of Yavin which contradicts the battle as depicted in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. The trench run in the game is almost identical to that of the movie—only the persons involved are different. The game depicts Blue Squadron attempting a trench run with Simms entering first while Murleen joins Rookie One and Harris in providing cover. As they negotiate down the long trench the group is pursued by three TIE fighters, including a TIE Advanced x1 which was presumably intended to be the one used by Vader in the movie. The TIEs open fire, killing Harris and forcing Murleen to pull out, echoing the fates of Biggs Darklighter and Wedge Antilles in the movie. Finally, it is Rookie One's shot that is depicted as destroying the battlestation, as opposed to Skywalker's.[1][10]

In December 2006 Leland Chee commented on the StarWars.com Message Boards that Rookie One's trench run was non-continuity.[16] The Essential Guide to Warfare (2012) later confirmed that Blue Squadron were assigned to attack the Death Star's superlaser while Red and Gold Squadrons attacked the trench.[11]



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