The Smugglers' Alliance was a New Republic–sponsored coalition of smugglers and mercenaries that was led by Talon Karrde who banded together to take advantage of the power vacuum left by the decline of the Galactic Empire.
After the Battle of Yavin, the members of several illegal organizations worked together in an organization which was referred to as the Smuggler Alliance. Led by Talon Karrde from the Car'das smugglers, its members also included Dravis from Billey's smugglers, Shamdon Kree from the Valarian gang, Beissa from Jabba the Hutt's criminal empire as well as Nirame Sakute. Circa 1 ABY, the Smuggler Alliance recruited a number of freelancer pilots who formed a starfighter squadron that defended interests of the Alliance. This Smuggler Alliance also had ties with the Rebel Alliance and the Smuggler Alliance pilots sometimes worked for Rebel Admiral Willham Burke.
The Smuggler's Alliance found its roots in the loose coalition of top smugglers brought together by Karrde on Trogan to aid the New Republic against the assaults of Grand Admiral Thrawn. After playing a major role in the defeat of Thrawn's forces at the Battle of Bilbringi, the collaboration coalesced into a formal alliance, which allied with the New Republic with the help of Sian Tevv, who convinced the New Republic Provisional Council of the value presented by third-party spacers.
During the height of the Imperial Civil War, Palpatine arranged for the capture of the former Imperial assassin Mara Jade, who had left the service of the Empire and cut herself off from the Emperor's telepathic commands after killing a clone of Luke Skywalker in 9 ABY. After Jade was intercepted on a Smuggler's Alliance mission to Senex sector, Lord Cronal had her imprisoned, but she was eventually rescued by New Republic forces under the command of Kyle Katarn, whom she later trained under.
For over fifteen years, the Smugglers' Alliance and the New Republic worked together in a mutually beneficial relationship, with Mara Jade acting as a liaison until she wed Luke Skywalker and resettled on Yavin 4. The smugglers provided the New Republic with intelligence and vital supplies in conflict zones, while the New Republic provided aid to the smugglers' legal activities within New Republic space and allowed them free reign to smuggle inside hostile space.
The Yuuzhan Yong invasion
The Yuuzhan Vong War in 25 ABY drove a spike through an alliance already weakened by the Pellaeon–Gavrisom Treaty's reduction in areas smugglers could operate in without concern. In the early stages of the invasion, smugglers ran supplies, weapons and refugees to and from worlds. As beings began to lose faith in victory against the extragalactic invaders, some smugglers began to join the Peace Brigade and offer their services to the Yuuzhan Vong in hopes of earning good grace.
Many, however, saw the Yuuzhan Vong for what they were and sided with the New Republic. A small fleet of smugglers and other scoundrels, including Lando Calrissian with his Lady Luck and Booster Terrik and his Star Destroyer Errant Venture, banded together to aid the New Republic forces at the Battle of Ebaq 9. Han Solo led the smuggler fleet from the Millennium Falcon, and attacked the massive Yuuzhan Vong fleets with inventive, unorthodox strategies. Although they suffered heavy losses, the smugglers were successful in antagonizing the Yuuzhan Vong, and when the aliens turned towards Ebaq 9 to attack the Jedi and Republic forces hiding within the moon, the smugglers threw themselves in their path, delaying their approach and buying crucial time for those hiding to get to fortified positions.
29 ABY saw the Battle of Yuuzhan'tar and a major change for the Smugglers' Alliance. The demand for illegal goods hit rock bottom as the short supply of spice forced users to confront their addictions and economies were rattled. In this situation, the leaders of the group claimed that they were turning respectable, and putting their cargo fleets to legitimate use in the rebuilding of Galactic civilization. Karrde joked that the organization was becoming the "Ex-Smuggler's Alliance".
This did not mean that the Alliance ceased to exist, merely that its members seemed about to become ex-smugglers.
Behind the scenes
In the MMORPG Star Wars Galaxies, the Smugglers' Alliance is one of three squadrons that freelance pilots may choose to join. This suggests that an early version of the Smugglers' Alliance existed as early as 1 ABY.
- Star Wars Galaxies: Jump to Lightspeed
- Dark Force Rising (First appearance)
- Dark Force Rising audiobook
- The Last Command
- The Last Command audiobook
- Champions of the Force
- Specter of the Past (Mentioned only)
- Specter of the Past unabridged audiobook (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Destiny's Way
- The New Jedi Order: The Final Prophecy (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force
- The Jedi Academy Sourcebook
- The Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook
- "ComicScan: 'Til Death Do They Part"—Star Wars Galaxy Collector 8
- The Smuggler's Alliance"—Star Wars Gamer 3 "
- Ships of the Smuggler's Alliance"—Star Wars Gamer 4 "
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 5 (THR4, Grand Admiral Thrawn)
- Hero's Guide
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 6
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia