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"They like you, ma'am, but if you want to give a speech they'll have trouble respecting you. You're not military. You're not even Alliance."
"Not really my problem, is it?"
"Hardly the right attitude, ma'am."
―Taidu Sefla speaks to Jyn Erso before the Battle of Scarif[src]

Taidu Sefla was a human male soldier who served as a lieutenant in the Alliance to Restore the Republic during the early days of conflict against the Galactic Empire. In 0 BBY, Sefla was involved in Operation Fracture, the Rebel Alliance's effort to obtain intelligence on the Empire's newest superweapon, the Death Star. When a mission to obtain the Death Star's schematics was not officially sanctioned by the Alliance High Command, Sefla joined a volunteer team known as Rogue One, who disobeyed orders and departed to the planet Scarif in order to secure the plans from the Imperial security complex located there.

During the mission, Sefla field-promoted Jyn Erso, a civilian who was effectively in charge of the squad, to the rank of sergeant, so as to increase her credibility in the eyes of other rebels. Sefla was later a member of a distraction team that drew away Imperial forces from Erso and Captain Cassian Andor, while they were occupied with extracting the plans from the security complex's data vault. Sefla survived the grueling battle to the very late stages, but he was ultimately killed by Imperial death troopers while attempting to establish a communications link to the Rebel fleet in orbit of Scarif.

BiographyEdit

Alliance lieutenantEdit

"Commander, please find below my assessment of the availability and relative strengths of the Alliance's ground vehicles, including assault tanks and armed hovercrafts. Additional insights have been provided by Lt. Sefla."
―General Onoran's message to Mon Mothma[src]

Taidu Sefla was a human male member of the Alliance to Restore the Republic's Special Forces during the early rebellion against the Galactic Empire.[3] At one point during his service, Sefla made additions to a document titled "Readiness Report: Surface Vehicles," which had been compiled by SpecForce General Pitt Onoran and focused on assessing relative strengths of ground vehicles currently in use by the Alliance. Specifically, Sefla noted some of the benefits and shortcomings of such vehicles as the Kelliak Freerunner and Aratech Repulsor Company's Arrow-23 landspeeder. The report, along with Sefla's notes, was later presented to the leader of the Alliance, Mon Mothma.[4]

By the year 0 BBY[1] Sefla had become a member of the Massassi Group, the most prominent rebel cell that was headquartered inside the Great Temple on the fourth moon of the planet Yavin.[2] Having attained the rank of lieutenant by that point, Sefla commanded a platoon of SpecForce soldiers.[5]

Operation FractureEdit

"Lieutenant Sefla has been briefed on Operation Fracture and several potential follow-up missions. His squads will include Pathfinders, urban combat specialists, techs, infiltrators, and heavy weapons specialists, as well as regular SpecForce troopers. Lt. Sefla will brief squad leaders on their way to whatever destination we give them. We'll be ready, ma'am."
―General Draven's report to Mon Mothma[src]
Taidu Sefla

Lieutenant Sefla

In 0 BBY,[1] through the efforts of Alliance Intelligence Captain Cassian Andor, the Rebellion learned about the existence of a planet-destroying superweapon that was being constructed by the Galactic Empire.[2] Alliance High Command then launched Operation Fracture,[6] an effort to extract Imperial engineer Galen Erso, who had designed the weapon, in order to learn more about his creation. Rebel forces successfully liberated Erso's daughter, Jyn, from a labor camp on the planet Wobani and brought her to Yavin.[2]

Andor and the reprogrammed KX-series security droid K-2SO were dispatched alongside Jyn to the moon Jedha as a next part of the operation. On Jedha, a defected Imperial pilot—who claimed to be aware of Galen's whereabouts—had been captured by Saw Gerrera, Jyn's onetime mentor and the leader of the local guerilla group known as the Partisans. The Alliance hoped that Jyn would make contact with both Gererra and the pilot in order to learn the location of her father.[2]

Meanwhile, Sefla was briefed on the course of Operation Fracture and was being prepared to participate in next phases of the plan. Sefla's platoon was on stand-by mode, ready to embark to any point of the galaxy in order to follow any leads to Erso that Andor would discover. Constant duty shifts ensured that two squads within the platoon were combat-ready at any given time, while two others could be prepared within an hour.[6]

Jedha mission reportEdit

"General, our team on Jedha will find itself in an ancient city with narrow streets and crowded plazas and marketplaces. This will prevent Imperial troops from using their heavier vehicles in combat. Jedha's dense buildings will also make it difficult for TIE fighters to find targets and zero in on them. On the other hand, the crowded conditions will also hamper our own forces' movements, and the locals are likely to panic if fighting breaks out, leading to chaos."
―Lieutenant Sefla, to General Draven[src]
Streets of Jedha

Sefla presented a detailed report regarding Imperial presence on Jedha to the Alliance command.

Sefla researched the potential Imperial forces that Andor's team was likely to encounter on Jedha, presenting a detailed report to General Davits Draven. Realizing that the Empire would be unable to field heavy vehicles in the crowded streets of Jedha City, Sefla concluded that Andor and Erso would likely encounter smaller vehicles such as TX-225 GAVw "Occupier" combat assault tanks, All Terrain Scout Transports, TIE strikers, as well as a large number of stormtroopers. The lieutenant noted the presence of civilians in the area and was also wary of a potential presence of elite death troopers, who were known to accompany the head of the superweapon project, Director Orson Krennic.[6]

Sefla also took into account the possibility of Andor's mission going beyond the boundaries of the city, where the rebel team might be faced against heavier Imperial walkers, such as All Terrain Armored Transports or All Terrain Armored Cargo Transports. In that case, Sefla advised that Andor's group joined forces with Gerrera's Partisans to combat the Imperials, even though the Alliance preferred to distance themselves from dealing with Gererra's group, on whose terrorist tactics they disagreed.[6]

Joining Rogue OneEdit

"How did you find them?"
"It's been a busy day. I didn't need to see the whole briefing to know where it was going."
―Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor, discussing Ruescott Melshi and the other rebel soldiers volunteering to capture the Death Star plans[src]

Andor and Jyn retrieved the pilot Bodhi Rook, and—accompanied by the Guardians of the Whills Baze Malbus and Chirrut Îmwe—all escaped from Jedha before the Holy City was destroyed by the superweapon. Now aware of the name of the superweapon, the "Death Star," the group proceeded to the planet Eadu to contact Galen. However, as General Draven's actual goal was to kill Galen in order to prevent him from finishing work on the Death Star, Sefla's participation in the mission was rendered unnecessary. Instead, a squadron of starfighters were dispatched to Eadu, destroying the Eadu Energy Conversion Laboratory and killing Galen.[2]

Rogue One in shuttle

Sefla, ready to embark for Scarif

Having received intelligence from Galen before his death that he had sabotaged the project, Andor's group returned to Yavin 4. There, Jyn pleaded before the leaders of the Alliance to assemble a group that could go the Imperial security complex on the planet Scarif, in order to retrieve the plans to the Death Star from the data vault there. The plans would help the Alliance pinpoit the location of the exhaust port that Galen had installed; damaging the exhaust port could lead to a chain reaction that would destroy the Death Star. Jyn's proposed mission was not sanctioned,[2] but Andor had already begun assembling a group of rebels that would follow Erso to Scarif.[7]

Sefla was approached by Sergeant Ruescott Melshi, a friend of Andor, who was recruiting volunteers for Andor's team. Sefla agreed to join the group,[8] which included Andor, Erso, K-2SO, Rook, Malbus and Îmwe, as well as approximately two dozen SpecForce troops and regular Alliance soldiers alike.[7] The team appropriated as much rebel equipment as possible and boarded a stolen Imperial cargo ship, SW-0608. Taking on the callsign Rogue One, the group departed for Scarif.[2]

Arrival on ScarifEdit

"They have no idea we're coming. They have no reason to expect us. If we can make it to the ground, we'll take the next chance. And the next. On and on until we win or the chances are spent."
―Jyn Erso gives a speech to Rogue One, on Sefla's advice — Gnome-speakernotesListen (file info)[src]
Taidu Sefla on Scarif

Sefla on Scarif

Arriving at Scarif, Sefla and his companions saw that the planet was protected by a planetary shield, with the Shield Gate space station providing the only means of entry for spacecraft to reach the surface. Since Rogue One were in possession of the stolen shuttle's Imperial access codes, the rebels were able to pass through the shield.[2] As the shuttle was descending toward the planet, Sefla noticed that the rest of Rogue One were feeling uneasy about the upcoming mission and especially about the fact that they were being commanded by Erso, a civilian. Sefla approached the young woman, advising her to give an inspiring speech to the troops, and bestowing upon her the brevet rank of sergeant. Although initially reluctant, Erso followed Sefla's advice, giving a speech that successfully increased the morale of Rogue One.[7]

The plan of the operation, devised by Andor, consisted of him, Erso and K-2SO sneaking inside the data vault, while Sefla and the rest of Rogue One would provide distraction for them by engaging Imperial forces outside.[2] Due to him being friends with Sergeant Melshi, Andor assigned him as the overall commander of the distraction team, even though Sefla was a higher-ranked officer and should have been given command according to protocol. Trusting Andor's judgement, Sefla accepted that decision and agreed to follow Melshi's lead.[3]

Rogue One landed at landing pad nine, where an Imperial inspection team boarded their shuttle. Overpowering the team, Rogue One stole their uniforms. Disguised as the inspection team, Erso and Andor entered the Scarif complex. Meanwhile, Sefla and the rest of Rogue One—with the exception of Rook and several soldiers guarding him—left through the shuttle's bottom hatch,[2] using blasts of coolant periodically spewed from the shuttle's purge vents as cover.[3]

Battle at the barracksEdit

Sefla and the rebels trekked eastward through the jungles of Scarif,[2] until they reached an Imperial complex of barracks near a hillock. Melshi distributed explosives among the team, instructing them to set demolition charges at various landing pads surrounding the Imperial security complex. Once that task was complete, Sefla and the rest of the team reassembled near the barracks[7] and prepared to ambush any Imperial forces who attempted to come out. Having received the go-ahead from Andor, Melshi detonated the explosives. Responding to the attack, Imperial forces quickly emerged from the barracks and fell under fire from Rogue One.[2]

Surprised by the attack and dazed from the detonation of explosives, Imperial forces were falling victim to Rogue One's methodical blaster fire. However, after about five minutes, the course of the battle took a complete turnaround and Rogue One started taking casualties. When a final attempt to break the Imperial formation had failed and Imperial AT-ACTs started to arrive on site, Melshi commanded all surviving rebel forces, including Sefla, to retreat into the jungle.[7]

Sefla escaped from the hillock into the jungle, where he[2] and a dozen survivors of the battle[7] witnessed the arrival of Rebel reinforcements. The Alliance had intercepted Imperial signals regarding rebel activity on Scarif and had dispatched a battle group to assist Rogue One. The rebels were able to reinforce Sefla's team with a number of U-wings with rebel soldiers as well as X-wings that provided air support. However, the Empire then closed the Shield Gate, preventing the Alliance from sending further reinforcements and trapping Sefla and the other rebel forces on the planet.[2]

The final chargeEdit

"I'm going!"
―Taidu Sefla, bolting toward the master switch[src]

Rogue One and other rebel troopers were then led by Melshi to a bunker complex within the outer perimeter of the facility's Citadel Tower. Acting on instructions from Rook, Melshi hoped to find a master switch there, which could be used to link up the tower with the rebel shuttle. Doing so would allow Rook to contact the rebel fleet in orbit of Scarif and instruct them to create an opening in the planetary shield so that Andor and Erso could transmit the Death Star's plans that they had just obtained from the data vault.[7] As the rebels approached the complex, Krennic's death troopers joined the battle, inflicting heavy casualties to the team.[2]

Sefla in cover

Sefla takes cover at the bunker doors.

Sefla managed to survive enemy fire, taking cover beside the door to the bunker complex. The lieutenant was joined there by Malbus, Îmwe and a gravely injured Melshi, the only survivors of the rebel team. As Sefla and Malbus were taking potshots at the surrounding death troopers, Melshi received a communication from Rook, who urged him to activate the master switch.[7]

Dying from his wound, Melshi notified Sefla, Malbus and Îmwe that the master switch was located on top of a console ten meters away from their hiding spot. Hoping to accomplish the task, Sefla volunteered to make a run for it and try to flip the switch. Emerging from his cover, the lieutenant tried to run toward the console while firing back at the Imperials, but he was shot by the death troopers and was killed almost immediately.[7]

Melshi, Malbus and Îmwe were all killed soon thereafter, although the latter was able to accomplish the task that Sefla had failed to do. With the master switch activated, Rook was able to contact the Rebel fleet and to relay his plan to them, before the remaining members of Rogue One at the shuttle were slaughtered by stormtroopers. The Rebel fleet broke through the planetary shield, allowing Erso and Andor to transmit the Death Star plans. The Rebellion escaped with the plans, just as the Death Star arrived in orbit of Scarif and destroyed the research complex.[2] The plans for which Sefla had paid with his life ultimately allowed the Rebellion to destroy the Death Star during the Battle of Yavin.[9]

Personality and traitsEdit

"Morale is everyone's problem. So if Captain Andor won't do it, it falls to me as an Alliance SpecForce lieutenant to brevet you the rank of sergeant. Congratulations."
"You're a cretin."
"Yes, Sergeant."
―Taidu Sefla and Jyn Erso[src]

Taidu Sefla was a broad[7] dark-skinned man with black hair and brown eyes.[2] Confident and steady, Sefla strove to make every action count.[5] A strong and capable soldier, Sefla also displayed a lot of heart in the fight against the Empire.[3] His gentleness and humility even impressed the grizzled warrior Malbus.[10] Sefla held troops' morale in great value, opting to promote Erso to the rank of sergeant in order to raise her status in the eyes of other Rogue One soldiers. Sefla followed Melshi's command on Scarif out of respect, even though he outranked the Sergeant.[3] While running to the master switch, he moved with brisk, brave certainty.[7]

Skills and abilitiesEdit

Sefla was a respected Alliance officer,[6] who commanded a platoon of SpecForce soldiers.[3] Knowledgeable of the Alliance's and the Empire's military assets, Sefla displayed an affinity for combat analysis, presenting detailed mission reports to his commanders. Those reports sometimes contained opinions and ideas that went against the Rebellion's general policies.[6] In combat, Sefla tended to perform the role of sniper.[7]

EquipmentEdit

On Scarif, Sefla wore rebel camouflage fatigues and a combat helmet, which allowed him to sneak unnoticed across the jungle and beach terrain. He was armed with a standard issue BlasTech Industries A280 blaster rifle,[5] with a Neuro-Saav NT 43.3 electroscope,[3] a weapon known for its high accuracy and range. Spare ammunition for the rifle was held in Sefla's utility pocket on his belt,[5] which also contained field rations and a survival kit. He also carried Merr-Sonn C-35 fragmentation grenades.[3]

Behind the scenesEdit

Lieutenant Sefla first appeared in the 2016 film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story[2] as well as the film's adult and junior novelizations, all released simultaneously with the film on December 16 of 2016.[11] Prior to his appearance, the character—portrayed by actor Babou Ceesay in Rogue One—could be fleetingly seen in the second trailer for the film, released on August 11, 2016.[12] Upon his appearance in the trailer, Ceesay reacted with excitement on his social media, ecstatic at being given an opportunity to be featured in a Star Wars film.[13]

Having only a single line in the film, the character was not addressed by name in the film itself, but he was credited as "Lieutenant Sefla,"[2] with the adult[7] and junior novelizations also only using the last name.[10] The first name "Taidu" was only established in the reference book Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide.[3] In the Star Wars: Rogue One Graphic Novel Adaptation, Sefla's only film line is erroneously attributed to Îmwe.[14] An action figure of Lieutenant Sefla was released in the Rogue One toyline.

AppearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

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