For other uses, see Trigger.

"Aphra's life alternated between finding interesting ancient artifacts and reactivating interesting ancient artifacts, with brief interstitial periods of selling the interesting ancient artifacts."
―Excerpt from "The Trigger"[2]

"The Trigger" is a short story in the anthology From a Certain Point of View. The story, written by Kieron Gillen, focuses on the point of view of Chelli Lona Aphra.


"If you're feeling philosophical, you'll add something like, 'All innocence died that day', and people will nod, and know that just because you did this really bad thing, it doesn't make you a bad person."
―Aphra, to a stormtrooper[2]

Aphra was staying in Dantoo Town while trying to reactivate and upgrade some war-surplus droidekas. In need of a 3.23 colicoidic pulse modulator, she attempted to loot the abandoned Rebel base on Dantooine, believing it to be salvage-rich. While working her way through a stripped central comm, Aphra was alerted by the Ark Angel to the presence of TIE fighters. While retreating to the Ark Angel, Aphra encountered three stormtroopers doing a perimeter sweep in an area that she had covered in a layer of micromines. Knowing that escaping the nearby Star Destroyer would be difficult, coupled with not wanting to let people die and reluctant to abandon the droidekas she'd been working on, Aphra decided peacefully surrender herself to the stormtroopers.

The stormtroopers questioned and searched Aphra, before bringing her into the new Imperial base on Dantooine. The stormtroopers presented Aphra to General Tagge, and informed him they were looking for Aphra's hidden speeder, which she had lied to them about to keep them from discovering the Ark Angel. Tagge questioned Aphra about why she had been at the Rebel base, not believing that Aphra was simply scavenging for supplies. Aphra attempted to persuade Tagge of her innocence. Aphra stated that she was unaware of a Rebel base on Dantooine, because, due to the planet's primitiveness, no one there would think to resist the Galactic Empire. Amused, Tagge then revealed to Aphra that the Death Star had recently destroyed Alderaan. Curious as to how the Death Star's weapon worked, Aphra enthusiastically questioned Tagge about it, though he did not reveal any details. Tagge then declared that he did not think Aphra was a Rebel, but that she was "trouble," and sentenced her to execution.

Tagge assigned a stormtrooper to take Aphra out into the woods and execute her, while they continued to search for her alleged hidden speeder. To buy herself time to plan an escape, Aphra conversed with the stormtrooper. After asking him if it was his first execution, Aphra spoke with him about how firing squads on some worlds and the Death Star were the same; as they involved a variety of people, no one person would have to shoulder the responsibility for taking people's lives—there was no one person to pull "the trigger." Aphra then attempted to guilt-trip the stormtrooper, by illustrating the true horror and historical impact of the destruction of Alderaan, saying the stormtrooper would always remember it as the day he executed Aphra.

While distracting the stormtrooper with her talk, Aphra was able to secretly able to jam the frequency on his Imperial-model blaster for a few seconds; because of this, Aphra was able to disarm him and steal his blaster. She informed the stormtrooper that while he had never shot anyone in cold blood, she had. Threatening to kill him, Aphra ordered the stormtrooper to remove his helmet. Aphra stated that it was easy to kill a stormtrooper, but harder to kill another human. Aphra then philosophized that the Death Star did indeed have "a trigger," as it was easy to kill a planet because it was more abstract than personal. Although Aphra had always defended the Empire—believing it brought peace and order to the galaxy—she realized that what had happened to Alderaan changed her opinion.

Aphra decided to release the young stormtrooper, asking him to tell his superiors that he followed through on his orders. Abandoning the blaster, Aphra was able to successfully board the Ark Angel and get into orbit. She then managed to avoid the Star Destroyer before jumping into hyperspace.


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Organizations and titles

Sentient species

Vehicles and vessels

Weapons and technology


Notes and references[]