- "I was the governor of Lothal. I supported your parents and the messages they beamed out against the Empire. It was part of the reason I was accused of treason and sent to prison with them."
- ―Ryder Azadi, to Ezra Bridger
Ryder Azadi was a human male who held the rank of Moff and served as the Governor of the Lothal sector during the early years of the Galactic Empire's reign over the Outer Rim planet. He supported the revolutionary broadcasts of Lothalites Ephraim and Mira Bridger, leading to his arrest and imprisonment alongside the Bridgers. While in prison, the former Governor was labeled as "Prisoner X10." He escaped four years before the Battle of Yavin, after the Bridgers organized a prison break. The Bridgers were killed during their escape, so Azadi returned to Lothal to find their son, Ezra Bridger. Ezra, however, found him first after seeing him and his parents in a vision, so Azadi broke the news that his parents had been killed.
Azadi continued helping Bridger's Spectres rebel cell and Phoenix Cell, which later joined the Alliance to Restore the Republic. In the years leading up to the Battle of Yavin, Azadi became the leader of a Lothal resistance group group that aided the Alliance against Imperial forces on Lothal. Despite his initial misgiving about Ezra's leadership, Azadi would play an important role in the rebels' efforts to liberate Lothal from Imperial rule.
- "That's what everyone wants to know. Especially the Imperials. Old Azadi is running out of time."
- ―Cikatro Vizago to the Graf kids
Around 18 BBY, shortly after the Empire arrived on Lothal, Governor Azadi was instructed to find and capture those responsible for the anti-Imperial transmissions originating from his planet within a month. Despite these instructions from his superiors in the Empire, in reality, Azadi was complicit and at times directly involved in the activities of Ephraim and Mira Bridger, the couple creating the broadcasts. When Milo and Lina Graf were abducted by the bounty hunter Shalla Mondatha to be turned over to Imperial Captain Visler Korda, Azadi was the first person Ephraim Bridger contacted for help in mounting a rescue of the two children. Over the course of his association with the Bridgers, he also came to know their son, Ezra Bridger, when he was still just a small child.
Attempted takeover of Pryce Mining
During his tenure as Governor of Lothal, Azadi discovered that a vein of doonium had been uncovered in the Pryce Mine. Hoping to gain control of the doonium vein before Senator Domus Renking and the Empire could get their hands on it, Azadi sent his representative Arik Uvis to buy a controlling interest from owner Arihnda Pryce. Pryce, disinterested in letting someone outside of the Pryce family control the mine, turned down Azadi's offer, throwing Uvis out of the mine when he refused to relent.
In retribution for Pryce's refusal of his offer, Azadi and Uvis falsified embezzlement charges that led to the arrest of Elainye Pryce. When Pryce went to Renking's office to appeal for her mother's release, he confirmed that Elainye would be held by Azadi until proven innocent and he could not be convinced otherwise. Azadi's attempted takeover failed when Pryce turned the mine over to the Empire and Renking in exchange for her mother's release and a job on Coruscant.
Prisoner of the Empire
- "As it happens, that particular governorship may soon be vacant."
"Governor Azadi is retiring?"
"Yes. Rather against his will, it would seem."
- ―Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin and Arihnda Pryce
Despite being a member of the Imperial government, Azadi supported underground revolutionary broadcasts that were made by Ephraim and Mira Bridger. As a result of his actions, Azadi was charged with treason and incarcerated in an Imperial prison, along with the Bridgers. Azadi was given the label "Prisoner X10" while he was imprisoned. Governor Azadi's "forced retirement" and imprisonment coincided with Arihnda Pryce winning Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin's favor by disclosing the Higher Skies Advocacy Group's illegal espionage activities against the Empire and Moff Ghadi's attempt to use this intelligence to gain advantages over Tarkin. As a reward, Pryce was made the new Governor of Lothal. She oversaw the expansion of Imperial industry, mining, and military bases on Lothal, which under her rule became a major center of Imperial power in that region of the galaxy. Azadi's office was looted by his former associates. One of his former ministers Maketh Tua continued serving Governor Pryce as Lothal's Minister of Industrial Production.
- "They're dead, aren't they?"
"I'm sorry, son. They are."
- ―Ryder Azadi tells Ezra Bridger what happened to his parents
In approximately 4 BBY,[source?] the Bridgers' son, Ezra, had become part of a rebel cell that fought the Empire on Lothal. He sent out a message of rebellion to the people of Lothal, one that also reached the ears of prisoners like Azadi and the Bridgers. This inspired the Bridgers to rally Azadi and fellow inmates to escape. Azadi was able to escape from the prison, but the Bridgers lost their lives during the attempt. Azadi returned to Lothal in the hopes of finding Ezra, so he could tell the boy what happened to his parents, and Ezra likewise traveled to Lothal from Garel after seeing his parents and Azadi in a vision. Ezra found the former governor in a stone circle on Lothal, though Azadi did not know who it was at first and fired a blaster rifle at Ezra and his Jedi master, Kanan Jarrus.
Ezra managed to calm Azadi down by telling him that he was the son of Ephraim and Mira Bridger. Satisfied, Azadi led Ezra, Kanan, and the astromech droid Chopper into the stone circle which served as his adobe. There, the former Governor told Ezra about his connection to his parents. He also informed Ezra that his broadcast had inspired his parents to stage an escape but that they had perished during the attempt. Azadi then stayed inside the stone circle while Ezra went out into the open to grief his parents' deaths. While Ezra was devastated by the loss of his parents, he was able to come to terms with his grief after he encountered them during a Force vision.
Helping the rebellion
Ryder stayed behind with Chopper while Ezra and Kanan traveled to the town of Jalath to greet Princess Leia Organa, the daughter of the Alderaanian Senator Bail Organa, who was delivering three Sphyrna-class Hammerhead corvettes to the rebellion. Kanan and Ezra had invited him to come along with them but Ryder did not want to expose himself to the Empire. While Ezra and Kanan were away, Ryder and Chopper were captured by a group of stormtroopers, who had orders to execute Ryder. Before the Imperials could take their prisoners into the custody, they were ambushed by Ezra, Kanan, Leia, and the other crew of the Ghost. Following a brief skirmish, Ryder and his rescuers fled aboard the Ghost; with Ezra and Kanan disguised as a kidnapped Imperial cadet and stormtrooper respectively. To hide Leia's dealings with the rebels, Ryder pretended to "kidnap" the Alderaanian princess.
Once aboard, Ryder was present when the rebels discussed their plans to "steal" Leia's corvettes from the Imperials. To hide Alderaan's support for the rebellion, Bail Organa had arranged for the cruisers to be sent to Imperial worlds where they would be "stolen" by the rebellion's agents. In response to these "thefts," the Imperials had installed gravity locks on them. Since Ryder had worked on building gravity locks during his captivity, he was able to advise the rebels that explosives would not be able to disable them. He then offered the rebels his help in escaping offworld with the corvettes.
With the help of Ryder, the rebels concocted a plan which involved using the Phantom, the Ghost's auxiliary ship, to enter Supply Master Yogar Lyste's base. Still wearing their Imperial disguises, Kanan and Ezra escorted Leia back to the base and claimed to have rescued the Alderaanian princess from the rebels. While the Imperials were distracted, Ryder worked with Chopper and Sabine Wren to disable the gravity locks on one of the cruisers. While Sabine departed on the first corvette, Ryder and Chopper moved to the next ship and proceeded to disable its locks. However, they were discovered by Lyste and several of his stormtroopers. Before any harm could befall Ryder and Chopper, Kanan and Ezra knocked the Imperials out with the Force.
During the ensuing battle, Ryder watched Kanan using his lightsaber and quickly realized that the man was a Jedi. Kanan's intervention allowed Ryder and Chopper to disable the second gravity lock; allowing Kanan to pilot the ship. Realizing that the crew of the Ghost needed help, he boarded the third ship while Chopper proceeded to disable its gravity lock. Two stormtroopers pursued Ryder but Ezra used the Force to snatch their blasters while Leia stunned them with her blaster. At the helm of the third Hammerhead corvette, Ryder forced the ship to fly despite the gravity lock by engaging the thrusters, toppling an AT-AT walker in the process. Ryder then escaped with the other rebels into hyperspace with the three stolen corvettes. After realizing that Ezra's parents had inspired a rebel movement, he agreed to join the rebellion and free Lothal to honor them and their son.
Sabotaging the Imperial war effort
By 2 BBY, Ryder Azadi had become the leader of a rebel cell on Lothal that specialized in sabotaging vehicles being produced at the Imperial Armory Complex. His fellow operatives included the former farmer Morad Sumar and his wife Marida Sumar, and the Ithorian bartender Jho. When the Phoenix Cell received intelligence that the Empire was developing a new weapon, Ezra, Kanan, and Chopper arranged to rendezvous with Ryder in Capital City. The Phoenix Squadron wanted to take out the factory but needed the help of a local rebel cell.
Ryder drove his landspeeder into Capital City but was quickly pursued by two scout troopers on 614-AvA speeder bikes and an AT-DP walker. Ezra, Kanan, and Chopper managed to jump into Ryder's speeder and the rebels fled for the highway. On the way, they narrowly ran into an Imperial road block and Ryder was forced to do a U-turn. Ezra and Kanan managed to use their lightsabers to cut down the AT-DP walker's legs. Ryder then led the speeder bikes on a chase through the highway. After telling the Spectres about his cell's work as saboteurs, Ryder reassured his comrades that the speeder bikes could not go beyond 190 km/h. True to his word, the speeder bikes exploded and crashed.
Ryder then drove the rebels to his hideout at a stone circle in Lothal's wilderness. There, they were joined by the Sumars and Jho. Ryder discussed the details of the Phoenix Squadron's plan with Ezra and Kanan. Morad agreed to help Ezra and his team infiltrate the factory disguised as workers and an Imperial courier droid respectively. The mission was complicated by a surprise inspection by the Chiss Grand Admiral Thrawn, who had been sent by Imperial High Command to investigate the high rate of defective vehicles at the Lothal Imperial factory. Thrawn staged a dangerous test demonstration on a 614-AvA speeder bike that claimed Morad's life.
Kanan tried to contact Ryder but found that the Imperials were jamming all comlinks. Meanwhile, Ryder contacted Hera Syndulla and Commander Jun Sato via hologram to warn them that the Imperials had locked down the factory. Ryder described the new Imperial officer as pretty thorough and having red eyes. Hera quickly recognized the officer as Grand Admiral Thrawn, whom she had encountered on Ryloth. Ryder then told Hera that he and his team would attack the factory's east gate to facilitate Ezra and his team's escape.
With the help of the disillusioned Imperial Security Bureau Agent Kallus, Kanan managed to use a communication port to upload his comlink signals to Ryder. Ryder then told Kanan that he and his team were at the east gate and were ready to evacuate their team. Ryder remained in his landspeeder while Marida used a rocket launcher to damage an Imperial Troop Transport. The rebels then came under attack from two AT-AT walkers. Ryder and Marida watched as Ezra's team exited the factory in AT-DP Walker 216. When one of the AT-AT walkers proceeded to crush the rebel walker, Marida fired a rocket that hit the walker's foreleg.
Ryder expressed a humored surprise when he saw Ezra, Kanan, and Chopper exit the walker that Marida had shot down. When Ryder asked about Morad, Ezra informed him and Marida that the rebel had not survived the mission. Back at Ryder's base, Chopper uploaded the plans to the rebel base on the planet Atollon. After Sabine decrypted the plan, Ryder and the Spectres learnt that these contained the blue prints for Thrawn's new starfighter initiative. The rebels feared that the Empire would use these new deflector shield-equipped starfighters to destroy the rebellion.
Mon Mothma's speech
Later, Ryder Azadi along with his fellow rebel operatives Old Jho and Marida Sumar were frequenting Old Jho's Pit Stop when the rebel leader Mon Mothma delivered a speech on HoloNet urging the galaxy to rise up in rebellion against the Empire.
Battle of Atollon
Prior to the Phoenix Squadron and General Jan Dodonna's Massassi Group's planned assault on the TIE Defender factories on Lothal, Ryder corresponded with his rebel comrades via hologram and informed them that most of the Imperial fleet had left Lothal. As a result, Hera realized that Thrawn had discovered the location of Chopper Base and Atollon. Shortly later, Ryder's transmission was cut off as the Imperial fleet began jamming long-range transmissions. This preceded the Battle of Atollon, which saw the rebels sustain heavy casualties at the hands of Grand Admiral Thrawn's Seventh Fleet.
TIE Defender Elite heist
Even though Lothal was now heavily occupied by Imperial forces and the planet was suffering due to heavy mining by the Mining Guild, Ryder and his rebels continued to fight against the Imperials. He requested assistance from Rebel high command upon hearing of a new fighter being built in Lothal. During this time, he sent his fellow rebel comrade Jai Kell to what was once Old Jho's Pit Stop, to see if help arrived. Ryder's cell was also targeted by an Imperial crackdown which claimed the life of Jho.
Rebel high command eventually received his transmission, and sent help in the form of the Spectres. Jai encountered Ezra and Sabine, and after reconnecting with the other Spectres, they made their way to the sewer system, following the starbirds that were painted there. Ryder narrowly saved the group from being surrounded and captured by the Empire, and was surprised that his message got through, and that only the Spectres were given to him. Ezra assured him that they will free Lothal, as rebellions always start small. While Ryder understood Ezra's sentiments, he replied that the feeling will be gone when they see the new prototype fighter the Empire is designing.
Ryder later accompanied the Spectres to scout the Elite, and when the mission escalated into an encounter with Thrawn, Ryder became concerned with Ezra and Sabine's safety, but was reassured by Zeb that they would be fine. The two later made their way back to Ryder and the others, and they returned to his camp. The following day, the rebels obtained the hyperdrive from the stolen TIE Defender Elite and installed it into Ryder's U-wing. Shortly later, the camp was eventually found due to the Noghri assassin Rukh tracking them back to base. While Hera Syndulla and Chopper returned with the Defender's flight data recorder to Yavin 4, Ryder and his rebels managed to escape due to the help of several Loth-wolves, who brought the group from the northern to the southern hemisphere.
Continuing the fight
Ryder and his rebel cell later set up their new camp in the caves that the Loth-wolves brought them into. He later brings Ezra, Kanan, and Zeb to a nearby Mining Guild ore crawler, which they boarded. The rebels encountered several indentured civilians including the crime lord Cikatro Vizago, who had smuggled the Spectres into Lothal. Besides subduing the Trandoshan overseers Proach and Seevor, the rebels also narrowly escaped an Imperial search party. After liberating the prisoners, the rebels managed to get a connection to Hera, who informs them that Rebel high command is sending an attack force to Lothal to destroy the factories and fuel depots, cheering the rebels up.
During the Attack on Lothal, Ryder, his cell, and the Spectres sabotaged several towers housing turrets that were being used to defend the factory where the Elites were being manufactured so rebel fighters could bombard it. Out of range of the factory, they watched several fighters crash in and around the city, and realized that the strike force had been destroyed. Ryder became saddened by the turn of events, and when Sabine informed them that several gunships were coming, Ryder told the group that they needed to leave before they were found.
After the failed attack, Ryder, Mart Mattin, and Jai Kell watched as the Spectres built several Loth-bat gliders. He remained at the rebel camp while the Spectres mounted a mission to the Imperial Complex to rescue their leader Hera Syndulla. During the course of the mission, Kanan was killed when Governor Pryce blew up the Lothal City fuel depot in an attempt to kill the rebels.
Following Kanan's death, Ryder along with Mart and Jai Kell were listening to a propaganda broadcast by Alton Kastle, who claimed that the rebellion on Lothal was over and that their leadership had been crushed. When Ryder advocated contacting Rebel Command for reinforcements, Ezra told him that the fight on Lothal was over and that Mon Mothma would not commit anymore resources. Ryder the asked Hera what their next move should be. However, Hera was grief-stricken due to the death of Kanan. The rebels subsequently learned that Kanan's death had not been in vain and that the destruction of the fuel depot had knocked out Thrawn's TIE Defender factory on Lothal.
Trapping Governor Pryce
Following the Spectres' mission to the Lothal Jedi Temple, Ryder and several other rebels including Sabine, Zeb, and Mart Mattin attended a meeting where Ezra outlined their plan to take Capital City from the Empire before Grand Admiral Thrawn returned to Lothal. Cognizant of the failure of Hera's last attack, Ryder thought that the Lothal resistance had little chance of success against Thrawn. He argued that their best course of action was to stay low, reorganize, and rebuild their forces. When Ezra asked Ryder to trust him, Ryder countered that they needed an army to retake Lothal. Ezra responded that they only needed one person.
Under Ezra's instructions, Ryder contacted Governor Pryce and offered to sell her the coordinates of the Lothal resistance base in return for escaping imprisonment. Since Pryce was desperate to curry favor with Thrawn, she took the bait. As planned, Governor Pryce led a force of patrol transports and stormtroopers to the Lothal cliff dwelling that served as the Lothal resistance base. When the Noghri tracker Rukh entered the camp, Ryder took care not to shoot him in order to perpetuate the ruse that he was a traitor. Despite stiff resistance, Pryce succeeded in cornering the Lothal rebels and Spectres on top of a Mining Guild ore crawler.
After Pryce's forces had captured the rebels, the Governor praised Ryder for bringing peace to Lothal. When Sabine feigned anger at Ryder, he claimed that they needed an army to retake Lothal. When Pryce gloated over her victory, Ryder revealed that this was a ruse to lure Pryce into a trap. Shortly later, Hera returned with several reinforcements including the former Clone troopers Gregor, Wolffe, the Weequay pirate Hondo Ohnaka, the Ugnaught Melch, and the former Imperial Security Bureau Agent Kallus. Hera shot down Pryce's remaining gunships while Pryce's forces were overwhelmed by loth-wolves. The rebels then took Pryce and her surviving troops prisoner.
Prior to the assault on the Dome, Ryder and Kallus brought the captive Pryce before Ezra, who used the White Loth-wolf to force her cooperation in their plan to infiltrate the Dome, the center of Imperial power on Lothal which turned out to be a mobile Imperial Planetary Occupation Facility. The rebels then traveled in two patrol transports to the Dome, using Pryce's access codes to gain landing rights. Following a brief skirmish, the rebels managed to capture the command center.
After capturing the command center, Ryder assisted Ezra and Kallus' plan to initiate a faux Protocol 13. As a result, the entire Imperial garrison on Lothal evacuated aboard the Dome. When an Imperial officer expressed doubt, Ryder impersonated Imperial Security Bureau Colonel Wullf Yularen and ensured his compliance. Before the rebels could fire off the Dome's thrusters, Grand Admiral Thrawn returned aboard the Imperial Star Destroyer Chimaera and blocked their path.
Thrawn managed to force Ezra to come to him to discuss an unconditional surrender by bombarding Capital City. In Ezra's absence, the rebels adopted Sabine's plan to send two strike teams to recapture the northern and southern power terminals in order to reactivate the shield generators. Ryder remained with Hera, Sabine, and the captive Pryce in the command center for the duration of the fighting.
After Ezra used a pod of purrgil to carry himself, Thrawn, and the Chimaera into uncharted space, the rebels completed their mission to fire up the Dome into Lothal's upper atmosphere. Before the rebels detonated the Imperial base, Ryder tried to reconcile with Pryce and offered her the opportunity of coming with them. Pryce however rejected his overtures and perished when the Dome exploded. Ryder and the rebels evacuated aboard the Ghost. Due to their efforts, Ryder and his rebel comrades succeeded in expelling the Empire from Lothal, allowing the planet and its people to recover.
Personality and traits
Ryder Azadi was a human male with white hair, blue eyes, and copper skin. While serving as Imperial governor, Azadi coveted the Pryce family's Pryce Mining company. When Arihnda Pryce refused to let him buy a controlling stake in the family's company, Azadi framed her mother Elainye for embezzlement. While Pryce avoided Azadi's takeover by selling the company to the Empire, Azadi's actions earned him the enmity of Arihnda.
Though he served as an Imperial governor, he supported the revolutionary broadcasts made by Ephraim and Mira Bridger, a decision that led to him being charged with treason and incarcerated in an Imperial prison. Time spent in Imperial prison had wearied Azadi. Following his escape, he initially wanted no part in rebellious activities, fearing that any such involvement might land him back in prison, a fate he could not bear. He agreed reluctantly only to assist for one mission, feeling that he owed the rebels for his rescue. Participating in this rekindled his spark for resistance against the Empire's activities and he joined up to continue fighting.
Ryder later used his knowledge of Capital City and Lothal's natural landscape to help the Spectres undertake a mission to disrupt the Empire's TIE Defender manufacturing operations on Lothal. Ryder also owned a U-wing, which he lent to Hera in order for her to escape Lothal with the TIE/D Defender Elite's flight data recorder.
Ryder was also capable of deception and used his guile to trick Governor Pryce into sending her forces into a trap at the Lothal cliff dwelling. Ryder appealed to her desire to please Thrawn and depicted himself as a self-interested opportunist wanting to save his own skin. This ploy worked and the rebels succeeded in capturing Pryce, who was key to their plan to drive the Empire from Lothal's Capital City.
Ryder also used his ventriloquist skills to mimic Colonel Yularen in order to facilitate the rebels' plan to draw the Imperial garrison aboard the "Dome." Possibly in an attempt to atone for the wrong he had cause Pryce's family, Ryder offered Pryce an opportunity to come with them prior to detonating the Dome. However, Pryce elected to stay behind and die in service to the Empire.
Behind the scenes
Ryder Azadi first appeared in "Legacy," an episode in the second season of the animated television series Star Wars Rebels. He is voiced by actor Clancy Brown, the voice of Savage Opress from Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
- Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, Updated and Expanded
- Dawn of Rebellion
- Star Wars Encyclopedia of Starfighters and Other Vehicles (Picture only)
- Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition
- "Walkers and Ground Vehicles of the Empire and the First Order" – Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: Battles that Changed the Galaxy
Notes and references
- Star Wars Rebels – "Legacy"
- Star Wars Rebels – "Secret Cargo"
- Star Wars Rebels – "An Inside Man"
- Adventures in Wild Space: The Steal
- Star Wars Rebels: Steps Into Shadow states that the Governor of Lothal was the leader of the Lothal sector. Dawn of Rebellion mentions that during the time of the Galactic Empire, a sector was led by a Moff. Therefore, Ryder Azadi must be a former Moff.
- In Adventures in Wild Space: The Steal, Ezra Bridger is an infant. Since Ezra was born on the first Empire Day (which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas cites as 19 BBY), the Star Wars: Adventures in Wild Space series (the books of which take place in close proximity to each other) must be set around 18 BBY.
- Star Wars Rebels – "A Princess on Lothal"
- Star Wars Rebels – "Zero Hour"
- Star Wars Rebels – "The Occupation"
- Star Wars Rebels – "Flight of the Defender"
- Star Wars Rebels – "Kindred"
- Star Wars Rebels – "Crawler Commandeers"
- Star Wars Rebels – "Rebel Assault"
- Star Wars Rebels – "Jedi Night"
- Star Wars Rebels – "DUME"
- Star Wars Rebels – "A Fool's Hope"
- Star Wars Rebels – "Family Reunion – and Farewell"