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For other uses, see Sanctuary (disambiguation).

"The Empire has used S-thread boosters to create and maintain a secret hyperspace route running from Sullust all the way to the galactic edge. It's called the Sanctuary Pipeline and is one of the Empire's most important military secrets."
―Gial Ackbar[1]

The Sanctuary Pipeline was a top secret hyperspace route established and maintained by the Galactic Empire after it used S-thread boosters to reverse the gravitational muddying which collapsed a former hyperlane. The route went directly between the planet Sullust and the moon of Endor and was used by the Empire to covertly supply its secret construction of a second Death Star superweapon.

After Galactic Emperor Palpatine allowed information on the new Death Star into the hands of the Rebel Alliance around 4 ABY, the rebels analysed the Sanctuary Pipeline and decided to use it to make a surprise attack on the superweapon, with Sullust being the staging ground for an amassing Alliance fleet. The Alliance forces then used the route to make their attack on the Death Star at Endor, only to find the Emperor had set a trap there with his own fleet. However, the resulting battle ended with the destruction of the superweapon and Palpatine's death regardless.


"You see, a hyperlane existed here once, but galactic drift washed it out of alignment. Gravitational muddying is correctable through technology if you have exceptionally deep pockets, with S-thread boosters to prop up a collapsed hyperlane assuming you know where to place them."
―Capin Harinar, in a classified document to Crix Madine[2]

The Sanctuary Pipeline went to Endor in the Moddell sector.

The Sanctuary Pipeline was an artificially created[5] hyperspace route which travelled in a straight line from the planet Sullust in the Outer Rim's[2] Sullust sector[6] to the forest moon of Endor in the Outer Rim's Moddell sector, passing through the Mid Rim Territories. It was created in place of a former hyperlane which had been washed out of alignment by galactic drift, with S-thread boosters being used to correct gravitational muddying and prop up the collapsed route to keep. The Sanctuary Pipeline passed through Murk in the Moddell sector before it reached Endor. The route crossed paths with the Rimma Trade Route[2] and Incisor Sidestep at Sullust and also the Bakura Trace at Endor.[4]


Highway to Endor[]

"Look at the line on this map. Fast, clear, and straight. This is what the Empire is calling the Sanctuary Pipeline. It runs directly between Sullust on the Rimma and Endor in Moddell. That's how the Empire is doing it. That's how they've shunted thousands of cargo barges to a construction site without our agents on Annaj seeing a thing."
―Capin Harinar, in a classified document to Crix Madine[2]

The Sanctuary Pipeline was used to supply the construction of the second Death Star at Endor.

The Galactic Empire created the Sanctuary Pipeline, spending a fortune on S-thread boosters to restore and maintain the hyperlane. The route was top secret,[1] with its purpose being to funnel construction supplies to the Endor,[2] which it called the "Sanctuary Moon,"[5] without the rest of the galaxy noticing. The supplies being fed to the Endor system were used to construct the Death Star II superweapon, a successor to the Death Star which had been destroyed by the Rebel Alliance in the Battle of Yavin. Thousands of cargo transports transported supplies to the construction site through the Sanctuary Pipeline,[2] with Venator-class Star Destroyers being among the starships used to guard the secret route.[7]

Around 4 ABY,[8] Emperor Palpatine devised a plan to lead the majority of the Alliance's forces into a trap by revealing information about the new Death Star to the Alliance.[9] After rumor arose out of the Moddell sector, the Alliance collaborated with the Bothan Spynet in an intelligence operation coordinated by rebel General Crix Madine that led to the Bothans discovering the second Death Star and its location.[2] The navigational data for the Sanctuary Pipeline was additionally allowed into Alliance hands,[9] where it was analysed by Major Capin Harinar. Harinar used the findings to deduce the true nature of the Empire's secret route.[2]

At an Alliance High Command summit at the planet Zastiga, Admiral Gial Ackbar revealed news of a new Death Star to a number of Alliance leaders and the detailed the technicalities of the Sanctuary Pipeline. Numerous rebel leaders in awe of the technology keeping the route intact, knowing that such an endeavor would normally bankrupt several star systems while still costing less than constructing a Death Star.[1]

Jumping through the pipeline[]

"In light of Harinar's discovery, Sullust is the only acceptable fleet staging area. We must launch from there if we are to travel the Sanctuary Pipeline, yet such a rendezvous is unlikely to betray. We have already struck Sullust once during Operation Ringbreaker and it is wholly believable we might return for another engagement."
―Gial Ackbar, in an official document to Mon Mothma[2]

With the Alliance planning a largescale assault on the second Death Star, Corporal Ractivelle made a report on the Moddell sector and the known routes to reach the Death Star, concluding that reaching the battle site undetected through the established routes was impossible. However, Harinar instead suggested, in a classified document on the Sanctuary Pipeline to Madine, that the secret route would be the best route to use to take the Empire by surprise. Ackbar agreed, and in an official document to Alliance Commander-in-Chief Mon Mothma he proposed Sullust as a staging ground, believing that the Alliance's past involvement with the planet through the campaign Operation Ringbreaker would make the Empire think the rebels were merely making a seeking more conflict at the world. The reports between the Alliance figures on the Sanctuary Pipeline were compiled by Mothma's aide and archivist Hendri Underholt, who added them to his archive of non-electric Alliance documents named The Rebel Files.[2]

The Alliance fleet jumps down the Sanctuary Pipeline.

The Alliance fleet amassed in the Sullust system ahead in preparation to jump through the Sanctuary Pipeline and attack the Death Star. Meanwhile, at the other end of the route, Palpatine set his own trap, hiding a large Imperial fleet behind Endor. When the Alliance fleet jumped through the Sanctuary Pipeline and made its attack, the Emperor's secret fleet mobilized and flanked the rebels, resulting in a massive engagement. However, the Emperor's plan went awry when the Death Star's shield was destroyed by rebel ground forces, allowing rebel starfighters to enter and destroy the superweapon. Palptine was killed aboard the superweapon during the battle.[10]

Around the same day as the Battle of Endor, Underholt was killed during the Empire's bombardment of the Tak-Beam complex planet Durkteel, The Rebel Files being buried in the process. The archive was recovered in an excavation[2] in 34 ABY[11] and fell into the hands of the Resistance, a private military with roots with to the Alliance which was formed to combat the Empire's successor, the First Order. Resistance Admiral Ushos O. Statura annotated Harinar's document on the Sanctuary Pipeline, questioning whether the First Order could have been using S-thread boosters to navigate the Unknown Regions.[2]

Behind the scenes[]

The Sanctuary Pipeline first appeared in Richard Marquand's 1983 film Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, the final installment in the Original trilogy of Star Wars.[10] The route was identified in Canon through the 2015 junior novel Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure, written by Cecil Castellucci and Jason Fry.[1]



Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 Star Wars: The Rebel Files
  3. Tarkin places Sullust, where Moving Target establishes the Pipeline begins, in the Sullust sector. Therefore, the Pipeline must pass through that sector.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Star Wars: The Rebel Files establishes that the Sanctuary Pipeline goes from Sullust to Endor. Star Wars: Smuggler's Guide shows Sullust to be connected with the Incisor Sidestep while Build the Millennium Falcon.png Star Wars: Build the Millennium Falcon 18 (Guide to the Galaxy: Sectors of the Galaxy) shows Endor to be connected with the Bakura Trace.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Helmet Collection logo small.png Star Wars Helmet Collection 23 (Highlights of the Saga: Assault on Endor)
  6. Tarkin
  7. Build the Millennium Falcon.png Star Wars: Build the Millennium Falcon 35 (Starship Fact File: Venator-class Star Destroyer)
  8. Helmet Collection logo small.png Star Wars Helmet Collection 53 (Highlights of the Saga: Operation Yellow Moon) dates Operation Yellow Moon, which took place shortly after the Rebel Alliance learned of the second Death Star, to 4 ABY.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Helmet Collection logo small.png Star Wars Helmet Collection 14 (Highlights of the Saga: The Second Death Star)
  10. 10.0 10.1 Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
  11. The reference book Star Wars: The Rebel Files establishes that the in-universe artifact The Rebel Files was buried on the same day as the Battle of Endor, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 4 ABY. Given that the former also states that The Rebel Files was rediscovered thirty years after the battle, the artifact must have been found in 34 ABY.