- "This is Captain Tycho Celchu, as loyal a son of Alderaan and the New Republic as ever lived. He willingly chose to subject himself to a surrendering of his basic freedoms in order to bring the Empire down. Because of suspicions about what the Empire might have done to him, it was felt he could not be trusted, yet this man refused to let those suspicions prevent him from doing all he could to destroy the Empire. […] Let there be no citizen of the New Republic who harbors suspicions about Tycho Celchu. His devotion to the New Republic is unquestioned."
- ―Mon Mothma, in a public ceremony
Tycho Celchu (pronounced /'taɪko 'sɛltʃu/) was a renowned starfighter pilot for the Rebel Alliance and New Republic, serving as Rogue Leader for approximately a decade, before becoming a general in the Galactic Alliance Defense Force. A native of Alderaan, he joined the Imperial Navy as a TIE Fighter pilot. He was speaking with his family by HoloNet when Alderaan was destroyed by the first Death Star, an event which pushed him into defecting to the Rebel Alliance. Celchu quickly became an ace pilot with the elite Rogue Squadron. There he fought alongside Wedge Antilles, who became his lifelong best friend.
Celchu flew in the Battles of Hoth and Endor, as well as in several campaigns for the New Republic during which he became the second-in-command of Rogue Squadron and began a romantic relationship with the intelligence agent Winter. In 5 ABY, during a spy mission to Coruscant, he was captured by Ysanne Isard and imprisoned in the dreaded Lusankya prison. She attempted to brainwash him, but he resisted and was eventually able to escape. He fell under a cloud of suspicion due to his time there, with many fearing he had been turned into a double agent. He later helped Antilles rebuild Rogue Squadron and aided in the Liberation of Coruscant. Events came to a head when he was accused of murdering fellow Rogue Corran Horn and was put on trial for treason. Celchu's name was completely cleared when Horn, having been only captured and not killed, escaped from Lusankya with evidence that proved Celchu had never succumbed to Isard.
Celchu helped bring down Isard in the Bacta War, then led Rogue Squadron while Antilles formed Wraith Squadron. He fought in the Thrawn campaign and helped defeat Prince-Admiral Delak Krennel before he was handed permanent command of Rogue Squadron when Antilles moved on. He married Winter in 17 ABY, and retired in 19 ABY when peace was reached with the Empire. Celchu returned to service during the Yuuzhan Vong War, during which he was promoted to general. Following the victory, Celchu became a training officer, teaching Antilles's daughter Syal. When the Second Galactic Civil War broke out in 40 ABY, Celchu was serving as an analyst for Supreme Commander Cha Niathal and he found himself on opposite sides from Antilles. He was able to transfer Syal to a position liaising with the Jedi, who had begun opposing the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances, but put himself in danger opposing a Jedi attempt against Chief of State Jacen Solo out of his sense of duty, though he did not support Solo himself. When Niathal split with Solo, Celchu supported her, and after Solo was defeated he retired for the second time.
Galactic Civil War
In the Empire's service
- "Just remember this, Celchu: you no longer belong to Alderaan. You're the Emperor's man now."
- ―Soontir Fel, to Tycho Celchu
Celchu was born into an Alderaanian family in 21 BBY; growing up, he had two sisters, one of them named Mia, and a brother, Skoloc. His father was the head of Novacom, the largest HoloNet provider on Alderaan, and Celchu grew to enjoy matching wits with his father. Throughout his childhood, Celchu was friends with a girl named Nyiestra, a relationship that blossomed into love as they reached adolescence. In 2 BBY, hoping he could change the Imperial military from within to be less aggressive, Celchu sought out and gained admission to the Imperial Naval Academy on Prefsbelt IV; he spent the week before his departure with his family at a Novacom cabin near the Wuitho Trifalls on Alderaan. He had proposed marriage to Nyiestra, who agreed both to marry him and to wait until he had graduated, survived his first year of TIE duty, and been moved into fleet operations where his life would be more stable and he could devote attention to beginning a family.
He then shipped out to Prefsbelt IV, where he attended as a cadet alongside Derek Klivian and Biggs Darklighter, with whom he developed some camaraderie. He was taught by the famous and skilled pilot Captain Soontir Fel, whom he was never able to defeat in simulation. Fel built a rapport with his students and insisted on their loyalty to the Empire. Celchu took some mocking from his classmates for being from the peaceful world of Alderaan, which engendered resentment. When Cadet Laine insulted Celchu's heritage, Celchu punched him in front of Fel; Fel, however, felt that Laine was at fault for provoking the attack and insulting a fellow cadet, covering for Celchu with the security forces. Fel did remind Celchu, however, that his loyalty was now to the Empire, not his homeworld. Celchu excelled, frequently beating Darklighter in exercises, and graduated as a lieutenant in 0 BBY as part of a class of prodigies such as Klivian and Darklighter that gained considerable attention, though when Klivian and Darklighter defected to the Alliance to Restore the Republic upon graduating, it cast a pall over the class's success. Celchu, however, remained a loyal Imperial.
Celchu was assigned to the Imperial II-class Star Destroyer Accuser as a TIE pilot, a role in which he excelled. On his twenty-first birthday, Celchu contacted his entire family, fiancée, and grandparents via the HoloNet. He was speaking with them in a jubilant celebration when the signal suddenly cut out; he thought little of this as it had happened before, and planned to rib his father about the dropped connection later as he had in the past. He later learned that Alderaan had been destroyed. The Empire blamed this on the Alliance to Restore the Republic, but Celchu could not believe this as he knew that the Rebels drew support from Alderaan. He could only come to the conclusion that the Empire had destroyed Alderaan; he eventually learned that it had been destroyed by the Imperial Death Star superweapon. His faith in the Empire broken, he decided to defect to the Rebel Alliance and bring down the government that had destroyed his family, home, and friends. When the Accuser stopped at Commenor, Celchu went on leave and did not come back.
- "All of us recall where we were when we heard the news and the tragedy's impact hit us full at that moment. Sel had thought nothing was amiss, then he learned the significance of what he had experienced. The hours in which he considered it nothing mock him and haunt him."
- ―Winter, to Corran Horn, speaking of Tycho Celchu's reaction to the destruction of Alderaan
He made his way to the Rebellion just after they had evacuated their base on Yavin 4, arranging a rendezvous with Red Squadron, the unit of his former classmate Klivian, on Dantooine. As they arrived, however, he was captured by storm commandos and attempted to warn off the Rebels. Luke Skywalker, commanding the group, decided to attempt a rescue rather than calling off the mission. Alone, he was able to eliminate the forces capturing Celchu and free him from the personnel carrier he had been placed aboard. Celchu and Skywalker set out on speeder bikes for Red Squadron's landing site, evading TIE Bomber attacks along the way and escaping into space. Celchu immediately volunteered his knowledge about an upcoming attempt by the storm commandos to kidnap a group of scientists from Ralltiir who had developed an especially powerful planetary shield. Based on his information, Skywalker was able to defend the scientists from a ground assault and evacuate them.
Skywalker recruited Celchu as Rogue Nine when he reformed Red Squadron into the elite Rogue Squadron, where the former Imperial became a veteran pilot, considered among the best of a legendary lot. Though he was initially distant to the new man, squadron pilot Wedge Antilles eventually warmed up to Celchu, and they became extremely close friends. Celchu was eager to put his knowledge of Imperial tactics, codes, practices and procedures to use against the Empire.
While scouting for a new Rebel base on Kwenn Space Station, Celchu, Antilles, and Wes Janson observed the starship Stellar Manx being commandeered by Imperial agents. They investigated but were detected by stormtroopers, who they managed to evade. They were able to free the crew and reclaim the ship, which was put back in the hands of its captain, Kar Lamoran, and put to use for the Rebellion. The squadron went on to campaign against Moff Kohl Seerdon, defeating him in the Second Battle of Thyferra. Celchu also commanded a cell of Rebels in capturing a VT-49 Decimator transport for the Rebellion's use.
When the squadron moved to Hoth, Celchu moved with it. He had excelled as a member of the squadron and attained the rank of captain, making him one of the most senior officers in the unit behind Skywalker and Antilles. In his downtime, he sometimes played sabacc with Han Solo and frequently lost. When Echo Base was discovered by the Empire and evacuated, Celchu fought with the Rogues to cover the Rebellion's retreat, flying as Rogue Five, with Las Lagon native Tarn Mison serving as his gunner. Solo was captured by the Empire, frozen in carbonite, and turned over to bounty hunter Boba Fett shortly thereafter, and Skywalker departed the squadron to track him down and free him. When he had traced Fett to Gall, he called in the Rogues to help him in the extraction. They set up a temporary base on nearby Kile and reconnoitered the area before Skywalker and his allies arrived and decided that Skywalker and the Rogues would draw off the 144-TIE complement on Gall, allowing Dash Rendar to lead Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca in the Millennium Falcon to Fett's docked Slave I. The battle went well considering the odds against them, and the unit escaped when the pressure by Imperial TIEs became too great, but Fett evaded the Millennium Falcon, leaving the mission a failure. When Prince Xizor of Black Sun captured Princess Leia Organa not long thereafter, Skywalker went to Coruscant to rescue her with Rendar and Calrissian. During their escape, Rendar sent a distress signal to the Rogues that summoned them to a dogfight with Xizor's private navy over the Empire's capital. With the cover of the Rogues and the opportune intervention of Darth Vader's forces against his longtime rival Xizor, the Rebels were able to flee.
Victory at Endor
- "What I know, General, is this: Tycho Celchu is a hero—much more of a hero than I am. On Hoth he fought as fiercely as anyone and at Endor he piloted an A-wing that led a bunch of TIE fighters on a merry chase through the Death Star. He took them off our backs while Lando and I went in and blew the installation's reactor."
- ―Wedge Antilles, to Horton Salm
When news came that the Empire was building a second Death Star at Endor, Rogue Squadron was assigned to the major Rebel fleet assaulting it. Celchu was present at the briefing for the mission, in which it was explained that their fighter force would attempt to fly into the superstructure of the uncompleted Death Star and destroy its main reactor, with Emperor Palpatine aboard. For the attack, Celchu, his X-wing temporarily out of commission, volunteered to pilot an A-wing—though he would have preferred the more solid X-wing, he was a skilled A-wing pilot and felt obliged to do whatever would help the Alliance most—and was assigned the callsign Green Three instead of his usual Rogue Nine designation, providing top cover for General Lando Calrissian in the Millennium Falcon.
When the fleet arrived, they found a large Imperial fleet waiting in ambush and the shields protecting the Death Star functional, not down as they were supposed to be. They engaged in a grueling dogfight until General Han Solo was able to destroy the shield generator on Endor. Calrissian, leading the fighter force, and Antilles both headed for the Death Star, racing down a constricting access shaft. Celchu flew as Antilles's wing, guiding his fighter through the maze of half-finished girders and access shafts of the massive superweapon. He split off from the attack force in order to lead several TIEs away through the Death Star and reduce the pursuit on Antilles and Calrissian, who successfully destroyed the Death Star; both Palpatine and Darth Vader died aboard it due to the actions of Luke Skywalker. Celchu survived his decoy run and was awarded the Endor battle patch signifying participation in the Death Star run.
Celchu had hoped that the victory would force the Empire to surrender, but it was not to be so. Shortly after the battle, the Rebel forces received a message intended for Palpatine informing him that the planet Bakura was under attack by invading aliens. Rogue Squadron was sent to Bakura to aid the Imperial world and possibly recruit it as part of a task force under Skywalker and Solo. When they arrived, they found the aliens engaged in a fierce battle with the Bakuran Imperial forces. Celchu and the Rogues pressed the attack, driving the invaders off. Skywalker, Solo, and Leia Organa were able to negotiate a truce with the Imperials and learned that the attackers were Ssi-ruuk from the Unknown Regions. Eventually, the Ssi-ruuk attacked once more and Celchu flew against them, but during the battle the Imperial forces turned on the Rebels, destroying their flagship carrier Flurry. An uprising on Bakura removed Imperial governor Wilek Nereus from power, however, allowing Commander Pter Thanas to surrender the Imperial forces to the Rebels once the Ssi-ruuk were defeated. During his time on Bakura, Celchu spent time with Princess Leia Organa, the last remaining member of the royal house of his homeworld and a leading member of the Rebellion, a woman he had earlier befriended during his time in the Rogues.
When the task force returned to Endor one week after their victory there, Celchu, like the rest of the Rogues, took on duties cleaning up the post-battle debris. He and veteran Rogue Wes Janson were sent to investigate Ewok reports of a surviving Imperial patrol far out in the forest, where they were attacked by a Gorax that had killed the patrol. Celchu distracted the massive beast while Janson sniped it, killing the creature. With the question of the patrol answered, the pair were sent to rendezvous with Antilles and Skywalker. The four, along with pilot Ten Numb, were assigned to scout the Corellian system in order to gather information about the system's state in the wake of the victory at Endor.
They infiltrated the system and searched it for evidence of Imperial activity, but found none. They returned to Coronet, the capital of Corellia, one week after they were first assigned. While relaxing in a cantina, they fell afoul of a raid by Imperial General Weir's storm commandos. Weir had set himself up as the master of the system and launched a surprise assault on Coronet. Celchu and the other Rogues fought back, but Weir withdrew quickly; he had only wanted to make a show of Imperial power. Numb trailed Weir's forces, followed by Skywalker, Antilles, and Janson. Celchu made his way back to the hangar and readied their fighters. He could not bring Numb's B-wing, which had no astromech to pilot it, but he set off in his A-wing with the others' X-wings following. He met up with the others just after Numb had been captured by Weir. They followed Numb's homing beacon away from Corellia, but were attacked by TIEs in orbit, which turned out to be suicide drones. Celchu and Antilles eliminated several before they could attack civilian traffic, but during the battle they lost Numb's signal.
R2-D2 extrapolated Weir's likely destination as being Tralus, where the Rogues found locals who pointed out a tunnel network used by stormtroopers. The four men infiltrated the base but were detected; however, Weir had sufficient fear of Skywalker's Jedi abilities to order an evacuation. While Skywalker and Janson searched for Numb, Antilles and Celchu stole a pair of TIE Fighters and set off after Weir in his TIE Interceptor. Pursued by more fighters in the narrow launch tunnel, both Rebels managed to avoid taking fire. As they emerged, Antilles shot down Weir and put down to capture him while Celchu, now in the open, shot down the remaining enemy fighters. Weir was imprisoned, but Numb had died in captivity.
- "Wait, slow down. A week ago, Wedge vaporized the Emperor and half the Imperial High Command—I know that Imperials tried to stab us in the back after the truce at Bakura, but isn't the war basically over? Why won't the Imperials just surrender?"
"Would you stop fighting if Wedge was killed? Or me? Or Senator Organa? The Battle of Endor will always be a turning point in this war, but there are millions of Imperials scattered across the galaxy, and we can only assume that they will fight to the end. And they probably have orders to do just that."
- ―Tycho Celchu and Luke Skywalker
The Rogues kept busy, battling Grand Moff Nivers at Tandankin. Approximately one month after the Battle of Endor, the Alliance of Free Planets—itself created as a successor to the Rebel Alliance—was reformed into the New Republic. Celchu was inducted into New Republic Starfighter Command with the serial number 68970024 and a lieutenant's commission; Antilles had engineered his own demotion back to captain after an attempt to move him out of Rogue Squadron and into Fleet Command, and Celchu took a corresponding demotion as well. Skywalker left the unit to Antilles's command, and Celchu became the squadron's second-in-command.
The Rogues had already been assigned to escort a food convoy from Cilpar to Mrlsst. On Cilpar, they could not find their contact and set up a base to wait. After two weeks of waiting, they were attacked by Imperial fighters; Janson was shot down. Celchu landed to see to him while the other Rogues headed back to base. He pulled Janson, injured, from his burning starfighter before it exploded and the pair made their way to a cave for shelter. Once they were settled and he had given Janson medical attention, Celchu contacted Antilles at their hidden base on Cilpar and arranged to be extracted in the morning. Overnight, he and Janson were surprised by a woman who appeared to be Leia Organa wielding a pistol; she identified herself as Winter, their contact. The New Republic had expected the local Moff, Boren Tascl, to defect, but after Endor he turned on them. Winter wanted to know why, and sent Celchu undercover to the Imperial base in a captain's uniform.
Posing as a newly assigned officer who had been forced to set down outside the city, Celchu gained admittance to the base, where he claimed he had been sent after his convoy was ambushed. He got into a minor scuffle with a pilot named Petro, who insulted his Alderaanian heritage, but an alert came almost immediately for the base's TIE squadron to attack the local resistance fighters. Celchu was assigned to a TIE Fighter and ordered to accompany the attack. He contacted his X-wing's astromech, ordering it to buzz Antilles, who was with Elscol Loro and the Cilpari resistance at a weapons depot. It then tailed him; he intended to use its pursuit as an excuse to drop out of combat, but squadron leader Major Grode insisted on engaging the X-wing himself. To Celchu's great surprise, the fighter destroyed two TIEs, including Grode's, before engaging Celchu and shooting him down; Celchu ejected. He cut his way through the jungle, eventually meeting an Imperial convoy. He was taken aboard one personnel carrier, where Winter, thought to be Organa, was held prisoner. She was ordered to give him medical attention and they spoke furtively; Winter informed him that she had been in his fighter when it took off and had been piloting it throughout the battle. He made it back to base, where he was the senior flight officer due to Grode's death. When the Rogues and Loro's resistance attacked, Celchu was ordered to strafe their ground column. Once in the sky, he turned on the Imperials, aiding the Rogues in destroying the Imperial air cover while Loro captured the local Imperial leadership and freed Winter. Celchu was assigned to pilot the Moff's shuttle to headquarters; Winter volunteered to be his copilot. Celchu found himself interested in the woman and eagerly accepted her offer. Loro was recruited into the squadron and piloted Celchu's fighter back.
Eventually, the Rogues finally escorted a convoy to Mrlsst. They came under attack over the world by an Interdictor-class Star Destroyer and its TIE complement. The Rogues forced the Interdictor to withdraw before guiding the convoy down. While Antilles spoke with the leaders of the Mrlsst Trade and Science Academy about the New Republic's efforts to acquire the Phantom Project cloaking device, Celchu oversaw the unloading of the cargo. Once their duties were over, Antilles ran into his old friend Mirax Terrik and visited while Celchu set off to The Soundmound for entertainment with Klivian, Plourr Ilo, and Dllr Nep. On the way, they came across a speech being given by the Ante-Endor Association, a group which denied that the Battle of Endor had occurred. Celchu was aghast at their propaganda, and while the others did not want to bother with the group and continued on, Celchu insisted on confronting the AEA speakers. They shrugged off his arguments, leaving him in a foul mood. As he headed to the Soundmound that evening, the AEA members waylaid him. When he continued to insist that the Battle of Endor had occurred, they began beating him. Celchu was able to turn the tables on them, defeating all members of the group but one, who struck him from behind. He was saved by the arrival of a Jedi who struck the final attacker and then disappeared, leaving Celchu astounded. He met up with the Rogues and shared his story, learning of the legend of the Ghost Jedi from a university student.
The next day, Antilles went to negotiate for the Phantom Ship against Captain Loka Hask, representing the Empire. During the meeting, AEA members, acting as auxiliaries for Hask, broke in and stole the datacards containing details of the project, but a doctored holocam transmission showed Celchu as one of the intruders. Celchu was actually visiting Janson, who was healing his broken leg, in the hospital with the rest of the Rogues. They were warned that stormtroopers were coming to arrest them on behalf of the Mrlssi just before the Imperial troops arrived. They took Janson and fought their way out of the hospital, escaping into the outcast community atop the local vegetation. A computer expert there was able to slice into the records and determine that the datacards had been taken from the AEA members by droids used by Professor Rorax Falken's students. Celchu ordered the others to retrieve the datacards while he, Klivian, and Ilo freed the arrested Antilles. As the arrived, they found Antilles leaving, broken out by the same Ghost Jedi that had saved Celchu. Antilles revealed that the Phantom Ship project had been a fake all along, designed to draw Imperial spending; the New Republic had simply been playing along. When Falken faked the destruction of his asteroid laboratory, Hask launched TIE Bombers against Mrlsst, which Celchu and the Rogues shot down. Hask was killed and his Interdictor destroyed by the activation of an actual superweapon, a Gravitic polarization beam.
A budding romance
- Celchu: "Maybe you'd feel better if one of us stayed here…as a bodyguard…"
- Winter: "No need. I can take care of myself."
- Celchu: "Yeah. I guess you can."
- Antilles: "I think you've got her interested, Tycho. She just doesn't know it yet."
- ―Tycho Celchu, Winter, and Wedge Antilles
Six months after the Battle of Endor, Rogue Squadron was sent to Tatooine to investigate the gang wars resulting from crimelord Jabba Desilijic Tiure's death and the death of a con man with Imperial ties at the hands of stormtroopers. They were to meet with a female contact; Celchu was convinced that it would be Winter, with whom he was smitten. The meeting was at Huff Darklighter's estate during a reception honoring Biggs Darklighter; Celchu, Antilles, and Loro would attend. Celchu waited to meet the contact in the lobby and, after an initial mishap involving the Whiphid Betsi, Celchu discovered that his date for the evening was in fact Winter, much to his delight. They spoke briefly, with Celchu flirting with her but eliciting little response. Raiders attacked the party shortly thereafter, but Winter explained that they were a diversion for her. She and Celchu used the distraction to go after a datadisk of Darklighter's, but found that another group of thieves had already beaten them there; the diversion had not in fact been Winter's. A pair of Rodians escaped with the disks, pursued by Antilles and Loro in a speeder; Celchu and Winter borrowed a speeder and blasters from Darklighter and set out in pursuit as well. A group of thugs ambushed Antilles and Loro, destroying their speeder, but Celchu and Winter engaged them. Their speeder was also shot down, with the pair barely escaping the wreck.
Celchu, Antilles, and Winter returned to the estate and confronted Darklighter, who admitted that the disk contained information about a weapons cache including the experimental cruiser Eidolon and gave them a copy he had made of the disk. The next day, they requested the use of Darklighter's weather satellite, using it to track the movements of Firith Olan, the crime boss who had stolen the disc. They found Olan at another cache he had discovered. Several TIEs were launched from it, which the Rogues engaged. Meanwhile, Olan escaped to orbit, where the Rogues pursued him. An Imperial capital ship appeared in orbit and released a squadron of TIE fighters. When the fighters engaged Olan's defenses, Antilles decided to leave the field of battle while the Rogues were ahead and the group returned to base.
Olan escaped the destroyer, Harrow, and Antilles, Celchu, Winter, and Loro followed him to Ryloth, where they knew the Twi'lek crimelord would seek shelter. Olan was in fact denied shelter, and a contest was held between the Rogues and the Imperial contingent from the Harrow for Olan, which the Imperials won. The troopers selected for the competition were left behind by their captain, who had spirited Olan away on his own. The troopers, led by Sixtus Quin, felt betrayed and joined forces with the Rogues. They returned to Tatooine, where they joined with the rest of the Rogues to track down Olan and Marl Semtin, the Harrow's captain. The Rogues found the Eidolon base, holographically camouflaged into a hillside. Celchu's investigative pass caused the base to launch multiple TIE Interceptors, which were able to cripple Celchu's X-wing. Celchu chose to pilot his X-wing into a formation of TIEs, ejecting shortly before his fighter destroyed the enemy ships. He announced this using the code phrase "going out with a bang." Winter, listening, was not familiar with the term and so believed he had died in the crash, driving her to grief and forcing her to acknowledge her feelings for him. After Semtin was killed, Olan presumed killed, and the base secured, the New Republic forces retrieved Celchu, whom Winter greeted with a passionate kiss.
- "Ah, but have you considered…directing the outcome to your own advantage? With you in command of Rogue Squadron, combined with my personal honor guard of Headhunter fighters, we could secure the political future of the planet."
"What!!?? Team up with you against Plourr??!! Don't bet on it, you—"
- ―Arian Laabann and Tycho Celchu
Over the next month, several new members were added to Rogue Squadron, bringing it to full strength. They frequently ran combat simulations against each other to improve unit cohesion. After one session seven months after Endor, Celchu and Antilles were called in to meet with Grand Duke Gror Pernon of Eiattu, who informed them that Eiattu was torn by civil war, with Prince Harrandatha Estillo leading a rebellion against the Priamsta nobles after being thought dead. He further informed them that Rogue pilot Plourr Ilo was actually Isplourrdacartha Estillo, princess of Eiattu. The Rogues were ordered to escort her back to her world, where it was hoped she could bring about peace. They proceeded to Eiattu, where they were hosted at a diplomatic reception for Estillo. Antilles and Celchu were later taken out to tour sites of attacks by the People's Liberation Battalion, Harrandatha Estillo's rebel group. During the tour, they were contacted by the other Rogues, who had gone on a thuvasaur-hunting expedition and stumbled across an Imperial patrol. They returned to their fighters and, with Estillo and her fiancée Count Rial Pernon, destroyed the Imperial air support while an attack on the Imperials from the People's Liberation Battalion saved the Rogues on the ground.
Celchu and Antilles later met with Count Arian Laabann, the leader of the Priamsta, who suggested that the New Republic ally with him to overthrow Estillo and place the Priamsta in power; Estillo had made it clear that she would not support a return of the nobility to absolute power. Celchu was outraged, and Antilles refused. They went to inform Estillo, and found her and Pernon after having just barely survived a kidnap attempt by Priamsta forces. Pernon suggested Estillo ally herself with the PLB, but she revealed that their leader was not her brother—she had killed him, a brainwashed Imperial agent, during her escape from the massacre of the royal family. The leader of the PLB was an impostor. As they spoke, however, the PLB began an attack on the Imperial fortress on Eiattu. Celchu, Antilles, and Estillo flew against the Imperial forces, having realized that the false Harrandatha Estillo was in league with Moff Leonia Tavira to loot the world and flee. Once the Imperials were defeated, Estillo confronted the impostor and exposed him, restoring peace, though Tavira escaped.
The Rogues left Eiattu to track down the Starfaring, a ship which had gone missing. They tracked it to the Malrev system, where they were attacked by TIE Fighters while investigating the fourth planet of the system. Antilles was shot down before the TIEs were eliminated, distressing Celchu. They could not land in the dense forest to recover him, and so put down in a clearing with the Starfaring two kilometers away, where they enjoyed the hospitality of the ship's Bothan crew. That night, Celchu was awoken by a nightmare to discover the camp under attack by the native Irrukiine. He joined the defense, and only Nrin Vakil's use of his starfighter against the Irrukiine prevented them from overrunning the camp. Celchu organized a tighter defense in the wake of the attack, taking first watch.
The next morning, Celchu led the Rogues and several of the Bothans on an expedition to find Antilles, hoping the Irrukiine had not killed him. During their march, Rogue Herian I'ngre informed Celchu that the Starfaring's hyperdrive had not failed, but had instead been sabotaged; the Bothans were up to more than they admitted. Celchu warned the pilots to be alert for possible betrayal. They made their way to the temple where the Irrukiine were based and fell victim to an Irrukiine ambush. During the battle, Antilles escaped from the temple, where he had been held captive by Cartariun, the Devaronian former Imperial technician who was harnessing the temple's Sith energies to control the Irrukiine. They retreated from the ambush, but I'ngre was wounded and Dllr Nep left behind. Antilles, Celchu, and Janson went for a supposed scouting mission in their fighters, using the opportunity to get away from the Bothans. Celchu shared his belief that Girov Dza'tey, the Bothan leader, was an undercover agent and had deliberately landed and killed the ship's captain in order to seek out the temple's power. Cartariun launched a TIE assault at that time, forcing the three to hold off a massive wave of TIEs piloted by the unskilled Irrukiine until the other Rogues arrived. Nep, captive in the temple, was able to overpower Cartariun, breaking his concentration and causing the Irrukiine attack to fall apart.
When they returned to the camp, they realized that Dza'tey had left the camp, and through the mental link Nep established with I'ngre through the Sith magic, learned that Dza'tey had killed Cartariun, taken control of the temple's power, and was preparing an attack against the Rogues. Antilles, backed by Celchu, tested the Bothan second-in-command's loyalty and found that he would accompany them in an attack against Dza'tey. The battle itself was fierce, with the Irrukiine using Dza'tey's knowledge of tactics; the arrival of Estillo with a squadron of her own fighters provided crucial aid. Nep, however, guided I'ngre from her sickbed, into a fighter, and in an attack against the temple. When her proton torpedoes did not damage it sufficiently, they decided to give their lives eliminating it, with I'ngre guiding her fighter into the temple and destroying it.
The battle for Brentaal IV
- "He is one of their best. I will kill him."
- ―Turr Phennir, to Soontir Fel, speaking of Tycho Celchu
One month later, the Rogues were assigned to scout Brentaal IV as the New Republic continued pressing toward the Core Worlds. They were attacked by TIEs from the world's defensive moonbase, but Celchu shot several of them down and the Rogues escaped with enough data on the world. They returned to their base, where Celchu and Antilles looked over the replacement pilots transferring into the squadron. Admiral Ackbar personally assigned the squadron to work with Colonel Horton Salm's Aggressor Wing to take Brentaal IV, for which they trained for two weeks. When the time came for the assault, the Rogues attacked Brentaal's moonbase, eliminating its fighter screen and allowing New Republic troops to take control of the base. Post-battle analysis showed that the TIE Interceptors they had faced were part of the 181st Imperial Fighter Group, an elite group led by his former instructor Fel, currently known as the Empire's best ace. When the rest of the 181st showed up to defend Brentaal, Celchu and Klivian helped explain his history and reputation to some of the newer or cockier pilots.
When the time came to attack Brentaal IV itself, the Rogues attacked the capital, Vuultin, while Aggressor Wing led the capture of Oradin, the more strategically valuable spaceport. Celchu led Three Flight against the elements of the 181st stationed in Vuultin, but the Rogues were called away once they succeeded in drawing Fel from Oradin to protect Lon Isoto, the admiral commanding Brentaal IV's defense. The Rogues moved their base to Oradin, and when a convoy arrived to evacuate the Imperial loyalist citizens, the Rogues were scrambled to ground the evacuation yachts and keep the citizens from escaping with Brentaal IV's wealth. As the battle moved to space, Celchu engaged Major Turr Phennir, Fel's executive officer. Celchu was able to get the drop on Phennir, but the other pilot broke off. Meanwhile, Antilles engaged Fel, driving him into the field of fire of Salm's ion cannon. Fel was captured and, following his interrogation by the New Republic, decided to defect, disillusioned with the Empire.
He joined Rogue Squadron as a pilot, and Celchu was present when Antilles introduced Fel to the squadron, provoking some dissent among its members; Celchu, a former Imperial himself, was not bothered by his former mentor's presence within the squadron. Celchu was also present when Antilles announced to Celchu, Klivian, Janson, and Estillo that Fel's wife, Imperial actress Wynssa Starflare, was actually Syal Antilles Fel, Antilles's sister. Antilles assigned Klivian, Janson, and Estillo to go to Corellia and try to rescue her from Imperial retribution, but she had already fled; they were able to bring back some of Fel's family, however.
- "You Rogues have a rep for doing the impossible, but getting us out of here has to tax even your skills."
"It's not the difficulty of the task, m'lady, but the degree of motivation. You once rewarded me with a kiss, and for the chance at another, I'll tear this ship apart. Believe it."
- ―Winter and Tycho Celchu
The Rogues spent the next month training, with Fel becoming acclimated to the X-wing. On one training run at the end of that month, the Rogues came across a cruiser being attacked by pirates and moved to engage them. Celchu led Three Flight, which was short a pilot, in providing fighter cover, as the Rogues drove the pirates away. After returning to base, Celchu and Fel were assigned to escort Leia Organa and attend a diplomatic meeting on Eiattu. They were to be flown there aboard the Millennium Falcon. While Fel and Solo, former classmates at the Academy of Carida, caught up in the cockpit, Organa requested Celchu stay behind and speak with her. Celchu brought up Winter and his admiration for her, and Organa mentioned that her aide had perhaps taken an interest in Celchu as well.
When they arrived, a reception was held, but during it Solo sent Celchu up to speak with Organa, who had requested his presence in her room. Celchu entered and was surprised to find Organa in a small, form-fitting dress. When she kissed him, the shocked pilot realized that the woman seducing him was Winter, serving as Organa's double as she sometimes did. As they kissed, however, they were ambushed by masked attackers. Celchu threw himself in front of the stun blast meant for Winter, but the attackers stunned her as well, thinking she was Organa, and carried both away. The captors were pirates working for Tavira, Eiattu's former Moff, who had allied herself with the pirate chief Kavil. They beat Celchu in retaliation for his role in deposing Tavira before bringing both the captives before her, where the former Moff informed them that she intended to barter with the New Republic, offering their freedom in exchange for New Republic support of her warlordism.
They were returned to their cells, where Winter apologized for getting Celchu into the situation by requesting him as her escort, but Celchu refused to allow her to blame herself. While Winter fell asleep, Celchu recognized that the latches on the cells were scavenged from TIE fighters; as an old TIE pilot, he knew the tricks of opening them and was able to use his belt buckle to force the lock open, freeing Winter and overcoming the guard. They were able to sneak to the hangar, where they overpowered another pair of guards and commandeered a Y-wing. Pursued by TYE-wing Uglies, Celchu piloted the ship through Axxila, where Tavira had brought them, while Winter manned the gunner's position. Celchu's emergency distress call attracted the attention of the Rogues, who were on Axxila protecting Organa as she secretly negotiated with Sate Pestage for Coruscant's surrender. Celchu was pleasantly surprised when they arrived to eliminate the squadrons of fighters dogfighting with him. The Millennium Falcon, with Solo, Fel, and Chewbacca aboard, were also present, having tracked the pirates to Axxila.
They returned to the Rogue base on Axxila, but found that Admiral Delak Krennel had arrived in orbit in the Star Destroyer Reckoning. Fel, whose defection was not yet fully known, devised a plan to capture a TIE fighter and use its comm unit to issue a high-level AT3 Directive ordering Krennel to retreat. Celchu piloted his Y-wing against a patrol of TIEs with Fel manning the ion cannon; Fel disabled one and the Millennium Falcon towed it away with its tractor beam. Fel used its comlink to issue the directive, and Krennel complied. Celchu and Winter shared a ride back aboard the Falcon.
A vital defection
- "What now, Rogue Lead?"
"We head for the night side and go to ground."
"I've heard better plans before, Lead."
"And I've had better in the past, Tycho. For now, given what we're facing, this is the best of a bad lot."
- ―Wedge Antilles and Tycho Celchu
Over the next month, Celchu's relationship with Winter deepened, with both spending their nights together. One year after the Battle of Endor, Celchu worked out with Antilles, who mentioned that he had been approached to run for president of the New Republic with Celchu as his running mate; both laughed it off. Celchu insisted that Antilles take more time off and set him up with Reina Faleur, a supply clerk who was interested in Antilles. That afternoon, Celchu and Winter went for a walk in the garden, where they met Fel, who was missing his wife and feeling apart from the squadron; Celchu and Winter were able to convince him to join them in their walk. That evening, Celchu and Winter double-dated with Antilles and Faleur, but were called away in the middle of their dinner to ready themselves for a mission.
Pestage had fled Coruscant, and the Rogues, along with Aggressor Wing and Kapp Dendo's Commando Team One, were tasked to raid Ciutric IV, where he was being held, and rescue him. They were not entirely comfortable with the plan, which could easily be compromised by the presence of Imperial reinforcements, but were prepared to go ahead with it. They were minimally opposed in their assault on the world, but were trapped by the arrival of Krennel's Reckoning and the Interdictor Star Destroyer Binder. Aggressor Wing escaped, but the Rogues and commandos had to return to the surface and take cover. Knowing that Krennel would send out patrols, they decided to thin his complement of TIEs by engaging the first patrol they came across. They eliminated it, but Rogue pilot Ibtisam was killed in the battle.
The Rogues then engaged Krennel's TIEs in space, destroying several and covering the arrival of Mirax Terrik, whom Antilles had contacted. With her came Aggressor Wing, which had lain in wait on the edge of the system. After landing once more and gathering their strength, the Rogues returned to the skies a third time, attacking Reckoning and Binder with their proton torpedoes while eliminating the last of the TIEs. The capital ships fled, allowing Rogue Squadron to leave; Pestage, however, defected back to the Empire and Dendo had to leave without him.
Struggle against Shadowspawn
- "Luke's in danger."
"What kind of danger?"
"The fatal kind. Where's he going?"
"To round up the rest of the Rogues. Fifteen minutes."
- ―Leia Organa and Wedge Antilles, speaking of Tycho Celchu
As the depredations of the warlord Shadowspawn spread, making pirate attacks on New Republic and civilian vessels, the New Republic found itself frustrated with its inability to find Shadowspawn's base or capture any of his pilots alive. The Rogues became part of a trap masterminded by their superior in New Republic Special Operations, General Calrissian. The Rogues, along with several other units, were secreted inside a mockup of the legendarily extravagant luxury liner Corellian Queen and its itinerary leaked. When Shadowspawn's TIE Defenders struck, the Rogues sprang their ambush. Celchu battled against Shadowspawn's fighters, and the New Republic forces eventually drove them off with the use of flechette torpedoes, designed to shred TIE Defenders with shrapnel and to adhere tracking devices to those which survived. The trackers revealed that Shadowspawn's base was on Mindor, and the assault against his stronghold was passed on to the newly-promoted General Skywalker's Rapid Response Task Force.
Celchu, at this point briefly piloting a B-wing, continued to serve with Calrissian. The Rogues assisted him in bringing Mandalore Fenn Shysa to negotiations with a band of Mandalorian Supercommandos who, having been in Imperial employ, were holding a system hostage. Almost immediately after arriving, Celchu was approached by Organa, who demanded that he prepare to take her out in his B-wing. She professed an emergency, but Celchu could not violate his orders. When Antilles arrived, Organa admitted that she sensed through the Force that Skywalker was in mortal danger at Mindor. With Antilles's agreement, Celchu immediately rounded up the rest of the Rogues to depart on an unsanctioned rescue mission.
When the Rogues arrived in the Taspan system, cluttered with asteroids and debris from the destruction of Taspan II, they swept to the rescue of Solo and Chewbacca in the Millennium Falcon, who had taken off on a rescue mission of their own. Skywalker's fleet had been devastated, with several of its ships left isolated in orbit, interdicted by a series of hundreds of gravity mines. Skywalker himself had crash-landed the remnants of his flagship Justice on Mindor. Organa transferred from Celchu's starfighter to the Millennium Falcon, for which the Rogues provided cover during a series of microjumps to Mindor, fighting through stiff resistance from swarms of TIE Interceptors along the way. After it landed, the Rogues fought their way back, attempting to clear an escape lane free of gravity mines with the assistance of the Rapid Response Task Force's remaining ships. Meanwhile, the destabilized space debris began moving toward Taspan. Large amounts of debris plunging into the system's sun would release massive flares of radiation, sterilizing the system in a matter of hours. Celchu and Antilles worked with Captain Tirossk, the senior remaining naval officer, to devise a plan that would allow the gravitic generators of Skywalker's five CC-7700/E interdiction cruisers to clear safe lanes through the debris and put it into action. The Rogues were forced to guard the ships against the seemingly endless swarms of TIEs, but were aided by the arrival of Calrissian's flagship, the cruiser Remember Alderaan, having followed on a rescue mission of his own after resolving the standoff by hiring the Mandalorians himself.
Celchu and Antilles were summoned to meet with Calrissian, and explained the situation in the system to him—including the gravity bombs being launched from Shadowspawn's surface installation on Mindor. As the escape lanes would not form before Taspan began emitting sufficient radiation to destroy the task force, Calrissian decided to take the task force into the shelter of Mindor's umbra. The Rogues flew cover for the move, and then for the efforts of the New Republic marines and Mandalorian Supercommandos who attempted to take control of Shadowspawn's anti-orbital emplacements before the planet rotated sufficiently to allow them to target the fleet. Before the facilities could be secured, however, the entire dormant volcano in which the base was housed launched into space, driven by intense gravitic explosions designed by Shadowspawn to do exactly that. Suddenly, Skywalker issued orders to the Imperial forces in the system to surrender, and ordered the New Republic forces to begin evacuating the slaves from Shadowspawn's base. The Imperial forces, conditioned to obey Skywalker as part of the plan Cronal—the mastermind behind the Shadowspawn persona—had devised to transfer his mind to Skywalker's body, immediately complied. Before evacuation operations were complete, Cronal was able to reassert control over his forces, driving them into a murderous frenzy. Celchu was forced to fight off suicidal TIE pilots to protect themselves and the fleet. Skywalker was able to withdraw Cronal's power from the soldiers, leading to the deaths of the entire Imperial complement but opening the opportunity for the New Republic forces to escape Cronal's deathtrap in the Taspan system.
- "So, you don't even know, really, if you are an Imperial agent waiting to happen or not?"
"I know I'm not. Being able to prove it is something else again."
"But being constantly under suspicion, that's got to wear on you. Why put up with it? How can you put up with it?"
"I put up with it because I must. Enduring it is the only way I can be allowed to fight back against the Empire. If I were to walk away from the Rebellion, if I were to sit the war out, I would have surrendered to the fear of what Ysanne Isard might, might, have done to me. Without firing a shot she would have made me as dead as Alderaan, and I won't allow that. There's nothing in what I have to live with on a daily basis that isn't a thousand times easier than what I survived at the hands of the Empire. Until the Empire is dead, I can never truly be free because I'll always be under suspicion. Living with minor restrictions now means someday no one has to fear me."
- ―Corran Horn and Tycho Celchu
Celchu was eventually promoted back to captain as Antilles was promoted to commander. Winter's assignments kept them from seeing each other much, though Celchu still desired a relationship with her. In early to mid 5 ABY, Celchu volunteered to fly a captured TIE fighter into Coruscant on a covert intelligence-gathering mission. The fighter had been modified to hold extra sensor equipment, and with the proper codes and Celchu's Imperial experience, it was felt he would be successful. Celchu orbited Coruscant multiple times to pick up data on its orbital defenses before landing. He spent two weeks on Coruscant as the information was shipped out, and was then asked to take the risky move of flying the TIE back out and to a freighter in order to pick up more information. He agreed, but was captured due to ion cannon fire that shorted his fighter's self-destruct.
Celchu was taken to the legendary Lusankya prison, where Director of Imperial Intelligence and current Imperial ruler Ysanne Isard broke her captives and brainwashed them into becoming secret agents who would not even remember being in Lusankya before they were activated by Imperial Intelligence and turned against the New Republic. Celchu was kept in the facility for three months during which he was interrogated continually. He was placed in simulators in which he was presented with Imperial craft. Much of his memory suppressed, he initially responded positively, but quickly remembered his hatred of the Empire and attacked them relentlessly. When Isard overlaid the Imperial craft with Alliance data, the contradiction confounded the drugged and disoriented Celchu, and drove him into a catatonic state. Isard realized she could not break him and sent him to live among the general population, where he was one of the catatonic "sleepers" who remembered little and were barely functional.
Eventually, he was transferred to a prison on Akrit'tar, where he spent three more months before escaping. Few in the New Republic trusted him, however; due to his time in Lusankya, he was feared to be a double agent, despite the fact that, unlike any other Lusankya victim, he remembered his time there. He spent two months in debriefing but no issues were found with him; though he faced no official sanctions, nearly everyone distrusted him. Antilles was among the few who stood staunchly by Celchu.
Rebuilding the Rogues
- Ackbar: "Captain Celchu has agreed to these conditions?"
- Antilles: "He's no different from you, Admiral—he's a warrior. What he knows, what he can teach, will keep pilots alive. Of course, there's no way General Salm will ever let him fly in combat again."
- Salm: "That can be etched in transparisteel."
- Antilles: "So serving as an instructor is the only way he can fight back. You have to give him this chance."
- ―Ackbar, Wedge Antilles, and Horton Salm
In 6 ABY, Antilles was commissioned to re-form Rogue Squadron. He brought in Celchu to fly against pilot candidates Corran Horn, Ooryl Qrygg, Nawara Ven, and Rhysati Ynr in a simulation of the Redemption scenario, as he was one of the few pilots Antilles thought could bring Horn down and keep him from overconfidence. In the simulation, he eliminated the others before engaging Horn, among the top two pilot prospects, in a head-to-head dogfight that saw him disable Horn before one of Horn's torpedoes caught up with him and destroyed his fighter. Speaking to them after the simulation, he proclaimed himself somewhat rusty but congratulated Horn on eliminating him, leaving the trainees impressed by his skill and wondering about his identity.
With the squadron roster nearly finalized, Antilles wished to install Celchu as his executive officer in order to better train his pilots, but his appointment was strenuously resisted by Salm, now promoted to general and Antilles's superior officer, who strongly distrusted Celchu after his time in Lusankya. Celchu knew he would never be allowed to fly in combat as long as he was suspected of being a double agent, but was desperate to serve the cause as an instructor. He agreed with Antilles to fly only a Z-95 Headhunter with training-strength weapons and a remote destruct installed on training exercises, remain under house arrest at all times when not accompanied by his fellow pilots or security personnel, have all his correspondence examined, and undergo interrogation at any time. When Antilles presented the proposal to Ackbar, the admiral called Celchu in, examined him, and was sufficiently impressed by Celchu's willingness to agree to these conditions that he approved the request.
As executive officer, Celchu was forced to work closely with "Emtrey," the unit's M-3PO military protocol droid, who served as quartermaster and administrative aide. He was accompanied by one of two enlisted personnel at all times as well as a female lieutenant with Alliance Security who had lived on Alderaan and with whom he shared conversation; he was interested in her but remained committed to Winter. Celchu's status was kept hidden from the rest of the squadron, however, as Antilles judged that it would only be a distraction and create the wrong impression. Once the Rogue roster was finalized, they were issued X-wings and began non-simulated exercises. During one exercise, Celchu and Antilles decided to teach Horn a lesson about teamwork, feeding the telemetry from Horn, the first to tackle a training course, to the other squadron members. The data gave them an advantage over Horn, reflected in their scores. Horn, infuriated, spoke with Antilles after the exercise and was rebuked for putting himself ahead of the squadron; after that conversation, Celchu approached the trainee and suggested he be less of a loner and integrate better with the squadron.
Halfway through the year, the Rogues were made operational and transferred from Folor, where they had been training, to Talasea. The move was presented to the pilots as an astronavigation exercise for security reasons. During the trip, Celchu flew the squadron's Lambda-class support shuttle, the Forbidden, under the callsign Rogue Null; the shuttle had been disarmed in order for Celchu to be allowed to pilot it. On the last leg of the journey, the Rogues were unexpectedly pulled out of hyperspace by an Interdictor that had been set up to trap smuggler activity; coincidentally, Mirax Terrik was in the process of being captured. During the battle, Emtrey, also aboard the shuttle, distracted Celchu with constant chatter; after shouting three times for the droid to shut up, it deactivated and went into a state in which Celchu found he could access all its memories. The Rogues were able to drive off the ship, but as it fled part of its TIE escort passed Horn, who had been disabled by an ion cannon strike. Despite flying a far less maneuverable craft, Celchu maintained a targeting lock on one of the TIE Interceptors nearing Horn's position, feeding Horn his targeting data and allowing the pilot to destroy the TIE with a proton torpedo launch, then doing the same for that TIE's wingmate, bringing a conclusion to the battle.
The Rogues based themselves out of Talasea, settling in to the facilities there. Two weeks later, they were assigned to cover the extraction of the frigate Battle of Yavin from the Hensara system. Celchu served aboard the CR90 corvette Eridain, relaying orders and providing starfighter control. During the extraction, the Rogues successfully beat back an attack by the Strike Cruiser Havoc, once more showing the freshly rebuilt unit's ability in battle. During the post-battle celebration on Talasea, Antilles, Celchu, and Captain Afyon of the Eridain were turned to by the pilots to officiate in the matter of declaring a joking punishment for the worst pilot in the unit, a designation given to Gavin Darklighter due to his lack of kills in the battle. Celchu suggested apprenticing him to the best pilot. Horn had the most kills, however Bror Jace, Horn's rival in the unit, claimed to be the best due to shooting down a higher percentage of the targets he faced. Horn settled the matter by averaging his kills with Darklighter's, showing support for the young man, and thereby elevating Darklighter out of the worst-pilot position and placing Ven, a former lawyer who had been selected to present the case to the senior officers, in the worst pilot position, a situation that caused some amusement.
The Imperial forces in the sector were able to detect that their base was on Talasea, and a platoon of stormtroopers raided it in the night, killing pilot Lujayne Forge and injuring Horn, Darklighter, and Andoorni Hui before the squadron was awakened and defeated the attackers. The base had to be evacuated. Antilles, Celchu, and Emtrey traveled to Home One to meet with Ackbar and Salm and organize a retaliatory strike. The stormtroopers had been traced to Vladet, the site of the sector's Imperial military base. The plan for the hit-and-run attack was decided on, with Celchu serving once more as starfighter coordinator for Rogue Squadron and Salm's Defender Wing, though Salm insisted on having one of his own flight controllers present on the Eridain as well. The attack itself went well until a Lancer-class frigate and Carrack-class light cruiser arrived unexpectedly, outgunning the New Republic force. Only a dangerous run against the Lancer by Horn destroyed it and allowed the fighters to safely withdraw.
The Battles of Borleias
- "Lieutenant, I want you to understand two things: First, I have the utmost trust and confidence in Captain Celchu. I have no reservations—none—about him, his service, his skills, or his commitment to the Alliance."
- ―Wedge Antilles, to Corran Horn
Rogue Squadron was then transferred to Noquivzor, where they prepared for the attack on a world code-named Blackmoon which would provide a conduit to Coruscant for the New Republic. During the assault, Celchu once more provided flight control from aboard Eridain. The operation suddenly went sour when, having faked shield loss, the base launched a counterattack during the New Republic landing with fighters and power-generation levels the New Republic had not known it to have. Several Rogues were killed or injured, but the controllers deemed the zone too dangerous for rescue operations. Undeterred, Celchu took the unarmed Forbidden into the combat zone and recovered Ven, Qrygg, and Erisi Dlarit, who had all gone extravehicular, before the New Republic force evacuated.
Due to the presence of an evidence-gathering program in his astromech, Horn was able to discover Blackmoon's true name, Borleias, and find that an Alderaan Biotics facility on the planet was being used to provide black-market supplies as well as the power and additional fighters. He went to Antilles and they devised a plan to strike, severing the power conduit between the two facilities so that the military base would not have additional power for its shields. This information was withheld from Celchu, who was deemed a liability; like the rest of the squadron, the attack was presented to him as taking place on a different world. He provided opposition in the simulators while the squadron trained for the mission.
When the time for the mission came, Celchu remained behind. In examining Emtrey's supply list, Mirax Terrik, who was on the base at the time, found that he had listed several Alderaanian goods for sale in the near future, a revelation which could be linked to the Alderaan Biotics facility on Borleias and so compromise operational security. Terrik came to Celchu, who summoned Emtrey and demanded that the droid explain. When Emtrey would not divulge the location, Celchu used the voice override to gain access to the unit's memories and discover that the target was Borleias. He locked his security escort in his quarters and set off there with Terrik in her ship, the Pulsar Skate. Due to the Pulsar Skate's speed, they arrived at Borleias before the squadron, but observed nothing unusual and so lurked on the dark side of the moon. The mission itself went off well, but Horn ran low on fuel while dogfighting and had to stay behind on the moon while the others fled. When he engaged the TIE Interceptors searching for him, Celchu manned the freighter's guns and eliminated three of the pursuing fighters, rescuing Horn and giving him a ride back to Noquivzor.
Celchu was able to avoid serious consequences for evading his security detail, but pilot Bror Jace received the news that his great uncle was dying. Celchu arranged to send him on a "recruiting mission" to his homeworld of Thyferra in order to let him spend time with his family. On his way home, however, he disappeared and X-wing debris was found along his route; he was presumed killed. With Borleias conquered, the Rogues moved their headquarters there. To replace their losses, Captains Aril Nunb—herself the initial candidate for the executive officer position—and Pash Cracken joined the unit, though the A-wing veteran Cracken had to accept a demotion to lieutenant to do so. Due to Celchu's status as a security risk, command would fall to Nunb if Antilles were absent or incapacitated.
Over a month of time at Noquivzor, Celchu had Horn, a former investigator for the Corellian Security Force, look into Emtrey's odd behavior. After that month, Horn was able to trace the droid's history and determine that he had been equipped with black-market trading programs by a supply officer in the past for the purpose of swifter requisitions. During that conversation, Horn, who had become suspicious of Celchu's continual and unexplained guards, requested the truth from Celchu about why he was considered a security risk, and the captain explained but made Horn promise not to spread the story.
- "Tycho has been here as long as the rest of us have and has been working for me. I wanted one sabacc card that wouldn't change value on me and he was it. He'd been to Coruscant inside two years ago, knew how to get around, and, as we saw just now, has turned out to be very useful."
- ―Wedge Antilles, to the rest of Rogue Squadron
In 7 ABY, it was decided that the New Republic should strike at Coruscant. Rogue Squadron was assigned to infiltrate the planet and provide reconnaissance, but before doing that they were tasked with removing several prisoners from Kessel. They were able to free one hundred fifty political prisoners in exchange for taking sixteen of the most hardened inmates with them, though the Black Sun-related criminals were in fact the goal, freed to help create chaos on Coruscant and occupy the Empire.
The Rogues were inserted onto Coruscant in small, covert groups, but Celchu was left entirely out of the operation due to security concerns. Antilles, however, was wary of the mission and wanted someone he could trust present on Coruscant without anyone else's knowledge, a backup who could not be compromised. To that end, he had Celchu and Emtrey make their way onto Coruscant while Whistler, Horn's astromech, logged false reports on Noquivzor to suggest they were still present. Celchu helped provide resources for Antilles, arranging hideout, as well as purchasing six Z-95 Headhunter fighters, for which he met with Duros smuggler Lai Nootka in The Headquarters cantina in order to purchase spare parts. While Celchu was on Coruscant, Warlord Zsinj attacked Noquivzor with the Iron Fist, devastating the facility; Celchu was assumed killed, as no one but Antilles knew he was not present.
When an attempt to insert sabotaged programming into Coruscant's main computer was ambushed by Imperial forces, Antilles contacted Celchu, who flew a Headhunter in to destroy the pursuit and cover the Rogues' escape. While Antilles had been gone, a message had come through for him ordering Rogue Squadron to bring down Coruscant's shields within two days in preparation for a New Republic assault, which Celchu relayed. Having been reunited with the squadron, Celchu immediately became a target of suspicion by Horn, who had witnessed the very end of Celchu's meeting with Nootka and was convinced, having seen only Nootka's physical mannerisms and not his face, that Celchu had been meeting with Imperial Intelligence agent Kirtan Loor. Antilles was confident that Celchu had not betrayed them, as the hideout Celchu had arranged was the only one not raided by Imperials.
With Celchu reintegrated with the squadron and the Intelligence agents aiding them—Horn's former Corellian Security partner, Iella Wessiri, and Winter—they began devising ideas to bring down the shields and settled on a scheme in which they would take control of an Orbital Solar Energy Transfer Satellite and use it to boil off a reservoir, creating a massive storm that would collapse the power grid. Celchu was assigned to the team that would take over the ground control facility for the satellite. Before the mission, he checked over Horn's Headhunter, the one he had used previously, and spoke with Horn, who told him that he thought Celchu was a spy and planned to do his best to unmask the spy in the unit after taking Coruscant. Celchu calmly told Horn that he was innocent and any investigation would bear him out.
Celchu commanded the infiltration of the command center, which had been evacuated due to Antilles redirecting a construction droid toward it. The presence of Fex-M3d gas in the control room threatened to keep them from being able to carry out their mission, but Qrygg, who as a Gand did not respire, was present on the team and was able to access the room. Winter was able to slice in and take control of the satellite, successfully creating a colossal storm. Backup power routes were able to carry power to the shields, however, resulting in Horn having to make a run against one of the alternate power substations. He was successful, but an override was used to take control of his fighter, plunging it into the ground.
Vilification and vindication
- "Since my capture by the Empire right here on Coruscant I've been their prisoner. I've never really escaped the Empire because they managed to make others suspicious of me. I was outraged then and have been since, but protesting wouldn't do me any good. The only way I can be free, truly free, is for the Empire to be destroyed. I know, as it falls apart, someone somewhere will have the information that will set me free."
- ―Tycho Celchu, to Wedge Antilles
Investigation showed that the override codes used by the Empire to crash the fighter were ones Celchu had access to, and Horn had threatened to expose Celchu just before the mission. Celchu was placed under arrest for treason and the murder of Horn. He was also charged with the murder of Bror Jace, who had disappeared on a route Celchu had plotted for him; the defection of the Interdictor Black Asp provided evidence from the captain that the ship had been provided with Jace's route and ordered to ambush and destroy him. The intelligence service investigated Celchu heavily, finding fifteen million credits, likely deposited by the Empire, in accounts under his name. Antilles insisted that his friend was innocent, however, and even addressed the New Republic Provisional Council, asking them to prevent the trial, to no avail. Celchu was much calmer about the situation; he saw no point in displaying outrage and simply waited for evidence to be uncovered to exonerate him.
Rogue pilot Nawara Ven, a former defense attorney, served as Celchu's counsel, and Horn's astromech, Whistler, also joined the defense due to its conviction that Celchu was innocent, bringing its law-enforcement experience to the team. As the trial was a military one run by a tribunal consisting of Admiral Ackbar and Generals Horton Salm and Crix Madine, Emtrey also served on the defense team in order to advise Ven on points of military law. Celchu was faced by prosecutor Halla Ettyk, a former star prosecutor from Alderaan, and Horn's former partner Iella Wessiri as her aide. Celchu was vilified among the public, though his colleagues in Rogue Squadron staunchly defended him.
Three weeks after the capture of Coruscant, the Celchu trial began, heavily covered by the media and presented to the public as an example that the New Republic could be as harsh on Humans as on aliens. Ettyk began by calling the Rogues to the stand and establishing their confrontation before Horn's last mission as well as Horn's belief that Celchu had met with Loor. When Wessiri was called as a witness, however, Ven was able to cast doubt on Horn's identification of Loor and present the trial as unusually quick, a rush to judgment. Ven was also able to show that the fifteen million credits found in his name were highly unusual in that they were spread across more accounts than New Republic Intelligence had found for any other Imperial agent, were far more than had been paid to any other agent protected by the middling level of encryption on Celchu's supposed accounts, and had not been accessed by Celchu at any point—suggesting that Celchu was being framed, as had happened to Madine, one of the judges, in the past. While he was imprisoned between court sessions, Celchu was visited numerous times by Diric Wessiri, Iella's husband and a former Imperial captive who was highly interested by Celchu's case and believed him to be innocent. Aside from Winter and his squadron mates and defense team, Wessiri was his only visitor. The trial was not going very well, however, and Celchu was convinced that if he took the stand, he could persuade the court of his innocence. Ven, however, refused to allow it, convinced that Ettyk would destroy Celchu on cross-examination.
Three weeks into the trial, Celchu's case was suddenly saved, however, when Ven was approached by Kirtan Loor, who offered to defect and share all he knew in order to gain protection from Isard. He could prove that Celchu had not met with him in the Headquarters cantina and so prove Celchu had nothing to fear from Horn and no motive to kill him. Loor, however, was killed on his way into court by Diric Wessiri, a Lusankya agent, and was in turn killed by his wife, who was escorting Loor; Ven was wounded in the incident. While Loor had provided a datacard with the information he had intended to reveal on it, it was encrypted and could not currently be used. Ackbar prepared to recess the court, but Celchu attempted to take the opportunity to represent himself and serve as a witness. At that moment, however, Horn entered the room. He had not been killed, but kept captive in Lusankya, where he had resisted the brainwashing and escaped. In doing so, he had accessed Lusankya's computer files and found that Celchu had not been brainwashed. Horn was sworn in and began to testify, but the proceedings were interrupted by Lusankya's escape from Coruscant. Isard had taken refuge in the Lusankya—which was in fact a Super Star Destroyer buried in the Coruscant cityscape—after Coruscant's conquest and chose that time to depart, blasting through the shields and escaping. She took with her Erisi Dlarit, the true spy within Rogue Squadron.
In the aftermath, intelligence chief Airen Cracken revealed that he had been testing Celchu's loyalty by providing Emtrey, whose modifications made him a useful tool for a spy. When Celchu did not use them to betray the Rogues, Cracken knew he was not an active agent, though he could not dismiss the possibility that he had been brainwashed in Lusankya. Emtrey was able to monitor Celchu and confirmed he had met with Nootka; Cracken knew the case against Celchu was false and had only allowed the trial to go forward to lull the true spy into a sense of security. When Isard manufactured evidence to help convict him, Cracken knew she would not sacrifice a brainwashed agent and became fully confident of Celchu's innocence. With the trial now prematurely ended and all confidence in Celchu restored, Cracken went ahead with his original plan to end the trial and held a press conference in which it was stated that Celchu had willingly consented to the trial in order to draw out the spy, fully rehabilitating his public image without tarnishing that of the New Republic.
Celchu was now cleared to return to full flight operations, and aided the squadron in putting down the remaining cells of the Palpatine Counter-Insurgency Front, a terrorist group led by Loor and badly undermined by his defection. A public ceremony in which Rogue Squadron was awarded the Coruscant Star of Valor provided the venue for Chief of State Mon Mothma herself to deliver Celchu's exoneration to the public. He was reunited with Winter in the wake of the ceremony, and his former commander Luke Skywalker was present to congratulate him on his freedom. At that ceremony, Horn expressed his desire to pursue Isard, who had fled to the bacta-producing world of Thyferra and been made its ruler in an internal coup. When Councilor Borsk Fey'lya told him that Rogue Squadron would not be allowed to interfere, as the matter had been internal and the New Republic feared isolating other worlds by meddling in the politics of a neutral world, Horn angrily resigned. Antilles agreed and resigned as well, followed quickly by Celchu and then the rest of the squadron with the exception of Pash Cracken. Determined to carry the fight to Isard on their own, Celchu volunteered the fifteen million credits supplied to him by Isard for use against her.
The Bacta War
- "It was a great shot, Tycho. If I couldn't get her, well, your claim predated mine."
"Corran, we got her. That's all that counts."
- ―Corran Horn and Tycho Celchu
Celchu and Antilles immediately began planning their resistance, with Celchu selling the five surviving Headhunters from the capture of Coruscant, still his property, to museums and collectors as valuable historical items. Pash Cracken offered the use of a space station over Yag'Dhul, which his squadron was tasked to deny to Zsinj, as the squadron's new headquarters and they accepted. Winter, Terrik, and Iella Wessiri were all integrated into the group as well. They moved to the station, and while Antilles was away acquiring parts Celchu was left in command. During that time, Winter discovered that all Rogue Squadron's fighters, equipment, and support droids had been listed as surplus by sympathetic officials and were being sold off. Celchu bought up the entire lot on the cheap, and their mechanical staff resigned as well and came to join them, putting the squadron in a far better position to take on Isard. Celchu had them begin customizing the X-wings' paint schemes and identification codes, as they were no longer in official service. Celchu had his fighter painted in the colors of the Alderaan Guard and used the identification code of the Alderaanian armory ship Another Chance. The group was further joined by Mirax Terrik's father, legendary smuggler Booster Terrik, and a team of professional anti-Imperial revolutionaries led by former Rogue Elscol Loro. Booster Terrik was placed in command of the space station, managing its operations.
They began their attack on Isard by harassing her bacta convoys. Celchu flew as Rogue Seven, leading Ven, Horn, and Qrygg in Two flight. In their first ambush, Celchu led a run on the freighters when they would not comply with the Rogues' hijacking and dealt with the fighters defending them. With their fighter escort removed, the freighters agreed to be diverted to New Republic or independent areas needing bacta. Celchu escorted a freighter to Coruscant, where he met some Alderaanian friends who persuaded him to make a Return, a ritualized ceremony of visiting the Graveyard, the debris field where his homeworld had been, and expressing grief for Alderaan's destruction. Celchu decided to take the opportunity immediately. Though he resisted the efforts to make the Return a strict, impersonally regulated affair, he did give in to the custom of buying individualized gifts for the loved deceased. He struggled to find an appropriate way to memorialize Nyiestra, however, eventually settling on Winter's suggestion as perfect: a crystal replica of Alderaan with his first love's hologram embedded within. Celchu traveled to the Graveyard, launched his gifts, and made a speech to the victims promising he would fight to make sure no one else would suffer their fate. When he returned, the Rogues gained more pilots with a Twi'lek squadron led by the warrior Tal'dira joining and Bror Jace being discovered as alive on Thyferra, having avoided the ambush and leading the Ashern and remnants of the Zaltin cartel against Isard and her Xucphra cartel allies.
On their next hijacking, they were ambushed by the Victory-class Star Destroyer Corrupter and Rogue Riv Shiel was killed, with Gavin Darklighter thought killed and only barely escaping to hyperspace. When Isard destroyed the colony of Halanit in response to its accepting stolen bacta from Rogue Squadron, Antilles, Celchu, and Jace planned a retaliatory strike against one of Thyferra's bacta-producing colonies. In it, they were joined by three Gand ruetsavii sent to monitor Qrygg and decide if he was worthy of the Gand janwuine status. The facility on Qretu 5 which they selected was destroyed, with Celchu receiving complaints from the plant manager over the comm; he ordered them to evacuate the town surrounding the facility and offer no resistance. The Rogues then moved up the pace of their harassment, striking convoys in varying strength and performing hit-and-fade attacks against the fighters escorting them. They also purchased missiles from smuggler Talon Karrde, who had his freighters rendezvous with the Rogues' and perform transfers in order to keep the location of their base hidden.
On one transfer in the Alderaan system, Celchu noted odd contacts on his identify friend/foe system from within the Graveyard, but was unable to make anything of them. His attention was diverted when an Interdictor and the Corrupter entered the system in an ambush. Antilles made a run against the Corrupter with four Twi'lek Chir'daki fighters as cover and the rest of the Rogues firing torpedoes based on his targeting data. Celchu, with an identical escort, made a second follow-up run, hoping to be able to catch the Corrupter with its shields down. When he began to broadcast his targeting data, a Thranta-class War Cruiser moved out of the Graveyard and began attacking. The Corrupter was destroyed and Celchu made another torpedo run against the Interdictor, driving it off. Celchu was then able to determine that the cruiser was the Valiant, a droid-crewed escort for the Another Chance that thought Celchu's X-wing was its charge. He led it back to the Yag'Dhul station, where it was placed under the command of Nunb and Emtrey.
Celchu, Antilles, and Terrik went to work on plans to defend their station if Isard were to attack it, placing a gravity well generator and tractor beams on the station to pin any attackers in place and a great many missile targeting packages on the station to bluff enemy ships into thinking they were hopelessly outmatched and surrendering. The actual missile launchers intended to have the targeting packages equipped were installed on the fleet of freighters working for Terrik to deliver supplies. When the Rogues received word that Isard was rounding up the native Vratix on Thyferra to slaughter them, their hand was forced. They allowed Karrde's convoy to come directly to their base, having it betrayed to Isard by her spy in Karrde's organization. When the Lusankya and its escort the Virulence arrived in the system, the fighters and freighters made as if fleeing to Thyferra to inflict what damage they could before the slower Lusankya caught up with them. In fact, the fighters rendezvoused with the Freedom, formerly one of Isard's Star Destroyers but whose commander, Sair Yonka, had defected. They were thus rested and refueled when they struck Thyferra, though the Lusankya had already returned and was waiting for them.
With the Freedom supporting them, the fighters attacked the Lusankya, attempting to disarm the Super Star Destroyer. The freighters, meanwhile, stood off and fired missiles based on targeting data from the X-wings, providing significant firepower. With Ven on his wing, Celchu alternated between making runs against the Lusankya and picking off the Thyferran Home Defense Corps TIEs defending the ship. When a Lambda-class shuttle was detected leaving, Antilles sent Celchu's flight to intercept it, suspecting it was Isard fleeing. They engaged the squadron, commanded by the former spy Dlarit, which was escorting the shuttle, and Ven's fighter was destroyed, leaving him extravehicular. Horn hunted down and killed Dlarit while Celchu and Qrygg dealt with the rest of the fighter cover. With Dlarit destroyed, Horn tried to stop the shuttle. It had been modified, however, and its shields were too strong for the X-wing's lasers to overcome; he had spent all his proton torpedoes. Celchu desperately tried to catch up before the shuttle escaped to hyperspace, with Horn establishing missile locks in order to cause Isard to juke, break them, and so slow her progress. Finally, she determined he was bluffing and leveled out, enabling Celchu to fire his last proton torpedoes using Horn's telemetry. The shuttle was destroyed, and with the captured Virulence returned with Pash Cracken's fighter wing aboard, the Lusankya surrendered. The battle was over.
The other prisoners aboard the Lusankya, including General Jan Dodonna, had been shipped out and scattered, however, leaving a painful loose end. A moment of happiness occurred when Celchu and Wessiri served as witnesses to the marriage of Corran Horn and Mirax Terrik, performed by Antilles as the captain of the Lusankya. The Rogues were invited to help train the new, New Republic-allied Thyferran Aerospace Defense Force and agreed. As Ven had lost his leg while extravehicular and could not utilize a prosthetic well enough to remain flight-qualified, he took on the duties of executive officer from Celchu. With their mission successful, the New Republic was willing to restore their commissions to the Rogues, an offer all of them accepted. In fact, the paperwork for their resignations was said to be lost, leading to their having retroactively been part of the military the entire time. Celchu and all the other Rogues attended Qrygg's janwuine-jika on Gand, in which Qrygg was granted the privilege to speak of himself in the first person. The Rogues were summoned back from Thyferra early and were welcomed back to Coruscant by a squadron doubling for the Rogues, led by Klivian, as part of a public relations move. They engaged in a display of precision flying for the cameras before landing and being welcomed in a ceremony headed by Leia Organa.
The hunt for Zsinj
- "I'd be happy to remain in charge officially, but for all squadron activities, Captain Celchu is more than qualified to lead…and now that he's been cleared of the formal charge of Corran Horn's murder and the informal charge of being a brainwashed double agent, there shouldn't be any responsible objection to his full return to duties."
- ―Wedge Antilles, to Ackbar
During the capture of Thyferra, Antilles had conceived of an idea for a new squadron, one which would have both pilot and commando skills. He departed from Rogue Squadron in order to form this new unit, dubbed Wraith Squadron; Celchu leveraged his ownership of the Rogues' X-wings to pressure Ackbar into assigning new fighters for the Wraiths, claiming he would otherwise not allow their use to the New Republic. While Antilles retained command of Rogue Squadron and intended to return to the unit when the second squadron was ready to operate on its own, Celchu was made the operational leader of the unit, with Klivian transferred back in to serve as second-in-command; Nunb had left for fleet service aboard the Valiant.
While Antilles and Janson trained the new unit, Celchu and the Rogues were assigned to join the Solo Fleet in its campaign against Warlord Zsinj. The Rogues were present and ready for the Battle of Talasea, a trap for the forces of Zsinj's subordinate Admiral Apwar Trigit, but the Wraiths eliminated Trigit's forces on their own before the other forces were needed. The Rogues were also deployed with Wraith Squadron at the Battle of Ession, decimating Trigit's fighter complement before his Star Destroyer, Implacable, was destroyed. When the Wraiths transferred aboard the Mon Remonda, General Han Solo's flagship and the Rogues' base of operations, they began working with the Rogues in striking at Zsinj's facilities, such as the feint at Lavisar.
When the Solo Fleet determined that Zsinj would attempt to hijack the Super Star Destroyer Razor's Kiss, being completed at Kuat, the Rogues were part of the force that intercepted his flight. A Wraith pilot had been able to sabotage the shields on the Razor's Kiss, causing Antilles to order all squadrons to focus their attack on it; the ship was destroyed. Celchu then engaged Iron Fist's fighter screen, coming up against the dangerous fighters of Zsinj's impostor 181st, believed to be led by Fel himself, who had disappeared while Celchu was imprisoned. The battle was hard-fought, but eventually the Imperial fighters fled as Iron Fist blasted its way through Solo's blockade.
With the Rogues and Wraiths now operating together closely, Antilles took back the mantle of Rogue Leader, with Celchu moving to Rogue Two as his wingman. The Mon Remonda returned to Coruscant for repairs before setting back out. At Levian, investigating a Zsinj raid, the Solo Fleet fell into an ambush by a much-superior Zsinj force. The Rogues made an attack on Iron Fist's stern, reducing its maneuverability, before eliminating one of the Carracks in Zsinj's flotilla, allowing the Solo Fleet enough room to escape.
When Wraith Squadron infiltrated Saffalore in order to find out more about a scientific endeavor with links to Zsinj, Rogue Squadron infiltrated as well to provide backup. When the Wraiths struck the Binring Biomedical facility, they were trapped by Zsinj's forces, having been expected. The Rogues received their signal requesting air support and immediately departed their base camp. TIE fighters had been called out to suppress the Wraiths, which the Rogues engaged and eliminated. They then attacked the local military base in order to divert attention from the Wraiths' escape.
At Jussafet Four, the Mon Remonda deployed against a Zsinj attack on the world. While the starfighters departed the cruiser, Tal'dira, who had joined the squadron after the Bacta War, fired on Antilles, damaging his fighter. Celchu immediately interposed his ship between Tal'dira and Antilles and ordered the Twi'lek to stand down. He refused, and Antilles and Celchu set themselves up to run a head-to-head pass with Horn, who brought Tal'dira under his guns. When Tal'dira opened fire on Celchu after Celchu refused to get out of his way, Horn fired and killed him. Antilles took his damaged fighter in and let Celchu lead the squadron into battle. The entire unit was sickened by the death of their comrade and his unexpected betrayal, but engaged Zsinj's TIEs and a corvette; Antilles returned to the battle after swapping out to a different fighter.
In the aftermath, Antilles called one of the Wraiths' infamously free-wheeling brainstorming sessions which Celchu and some other Rogues attended. They were able to determine that assassination attempts and terrorist attacks being carried out by nonhumans across the New Republic were linked to Zsinj, and suspected them to be an attempt to drive a wedge of species-based dissension into the New Republic. It was theorized that the agents were being forcibly brainwashed, and the group attempted to predict where Zsinj's brainwashed agents would strike next. They were successful in predicting that the next attacks would be a Sullustan-created ship accident and a Bothan-created slicing accident, and by passing their theories on to New Republic Intelligence, were able to avert the attacks and restore faith that there was not an alien conspiracy ongoing. In order to relieve the stress being felt by the highly-active pilots and crew, Antilles organized a day of recreation in which the officers' mess was turned into a zone in which the use of rank was forbidden and everyone was able to join in card games, astromech races, and other relaxation.
The next day, Celchu undertook the first part of Antilles's plan to lure Zsinj into battle. A mockup of the Millennium Falcon, dubbed the Millennium Falsehood, would be flown into the Zsinj-controlled world of Kidriff 5 by Antilles and Chewbacca with Celchu's X-wing attached to provide cover, dropping off intelligence agents to organize resistance before departing. Antilles hoped to build a pattern of such movement, bring Zsinj to believe Solo was operating behind his lines in the Falcon, and eventually use it to pull Zsinj into a trap. They were able to infiltrate the planet and put down in a forest, where they released the intelligence agents and spent the night. In the morning, a police craft spotted them, establishing their presence and prodding Celchu and Antilles to take off. Backed up by four Wraith pilots in TIE Interceptors who had infiltrated earlier, they held off two squadrons of TIEs launched by the local authorities until the other Rogues and Wraiths arrived and began dogfighting. On their way out, Captain Garik Loran of the Wraiths accidentally revealed on an open channel that he knew Lara Notsil, a Wraith pilot, to be Gara Petothel, an Imperial Intelligence agent who had worked for Zsinj. She had been responsible for an ambush that destroyed Talon Squadron, Wraith Myn Donos's first command. The traumatized Donos immediately made to attack Notsil, but Loran imposed himself between them. Donos launched a proton torpedo regardless, which would have struck Loran if Donos had not detonated it prematurely, snapping out of his anguish. Celchu meanwhile had established himself behind Donos and ordered him to maintain his course; Notsil fled. Celchu escorted Donos back to the Mon Remonda, where Antilles ordered him to sort out his emotional issues.
The Rogues continued flying a relentless mission load, frequently escorting the Millennium Falsehood. When Solo was able to arrange an ambush of Zsinj at Vahaba by using an Interdictor cruiser to pin Zsinj in place, Celchu and the Rogues—in fact, the Solo Fleet's entire starfighter complement—were deployed against Zsinj's small flotilla. With Zsinj not having deployed his fighters due to his hope to run, the entire complement was able to line up and bombard Iron Fist before splitting up by squadron for further attack runs. The Star Destroyer Serpent's Smile was able to force the Interdictor off-course, however, allowing Iron Fist to escape. Just as they had accepted the failure of the ambush, the Solo Fleet received a message from Notsil, who had gained a position in Zsinj's fleet; she had orchestrated a sabotage of the Iron Fist's hyperdrive and stranded it in the Selaggis system.
The task force followed, with the Rogues and other squadrons searching for the Iron Fist in the system's asteroid belt. When it was spotted, they attacked. Celchu and Antilles observed the 181st departing Iron Fist and heading towards the location of a colony Zsinj had previously bombarded. Suspicious, they took the Rogues and Wraiths in pursuit. When Fel began strafing the ruins, Antilles led the squadrons against the TIEs. Fel and his wingman immediately engaged Antilles and Celchu, but when Fel's wingman suddenly decelerated and then exploded in a massive fireball, Celchu flew into the explosion, badly damaging his fighter. He turned to attempt to make it back over land, but came under attack from Fel and was forced to eject over the sea. Antilles shot down Fel and was able to expose that he was, in fact, an impostor serving to attempt to lure Antilles into a trap; half the fighters were droid-piloted bombs designed to detonate in combat. While Celchu was making his way towards shore, one of Zsinj's TIE Raptor reinforcements attempted to strafe him, but was downed by Notsil in her X-wing, having escaped the Iron Fist. He was recovered and taken back to Mon Remonda; Iron Fist was believed destroyed in the battle. The campaign against Zsinj was over, and Rogue Squadron was rotated into a less stressful assignment to let them recover.
- "You know, Rogue Leader, it occurs to me that those Imperials wouldn't have so many ships available to pound us with if they had to protect their shipyard at the same time."
- ―Tycho Celchu, to Wedge Antilles
In 9 ABY, the Empire began escalating its strikes against the New Republic. When Bpfassh was struck, Han and Leia Organa Solo were sent there to view the damage and reassure the population. Rogue Squadron was assigned to their guard detail. When the Solos were threatened by an Imperial kidnap attempt, Solo was able to signal the Rogues with a plume of korfaise gas from the mockup Millennium Falcon used by the would-be kidnappers and the attempt was foiled.
The Rogues were later assigned to protect the Escort Frigate Larkhess, converted to cargo-hauling duty due to a sharp lack of transport in the New Republic, from Coruscant to Sluis Van and then from Sluis Van to Bpfassh. While waiting to depart at Sluis Van, Antilles noticed a suspicious freighter, one which claimed to be empty but handled as if loaded. Antilles scrambled the squadron and set out to investigate it, but as soon as Celchu and the others launched, it exploded, spewing TIE Fighters and mole miners from its cloaked cargo bay. Immediately thereafter, a fleet of five Star Destroyers under the resurgent Empire's new leader, Grand Admiral Thrawn, arrived at the edge of the shipyards and began attacking. With the assistance of Solo and Skywalker, present at the shipyard in the Millennium Falcon, Antilles was able to determine that the mole miners were being used to burn through the hulls of the understaffed cargo-transporting capital ships and hijack them. The mole miners had been stolen from Calrissian, also aboard the Falcon, and he used his command signals to have the mole miners burn entirely through the bridges of the craft they had attached to, foiling Thrawn's scheme. The Rogues continued harassing the TIEs as Thrawn withdrew.
When the New Republic received information on the location of the legendary lost Katana fleet, Borsk Fey'lya blocked it from taking action swiftly. Leia Organa Solo and Talon Karrde, the source of the information, were convinced that any delay could put the fleet in the hands of the Empire, which had also found the location. Organa Solo dispatched a task force in the middle of the night under the command of Solo, Calrissian, and Skywalker to investigate the Katana fleet; Rogue Squadron was part of it. Fey'lya's task force, having set off the next morning, arrived with orders to arrest the prior group. Solo, aboard the Katana, refused to give in but ordered the Rogues to comply with Fey'lya rather than risk a court-martial. As they did so, however, an Imperial Star Destroyer arrived. The Rogues immediately turned to fly cover for Solo's team as they attempted to leave the vulnerable Katana. Fey'lya made to withdraw, but Organa Solo and Karrde were present aboard his ship and were able to expose his views on the military as being pawns to be disposed of for his purposes. The task force deserted him and moved to support the Rogues, who tried to hold off the drop ships attempting to board the Katana fleet Dreadnaughts. One got through, however, boarding the Katana and trapping Solo's group aboard. A group of ships from Karrde's smuggler organization also arrived, helping even the odds, as did a task force under Garm Bel Iblis. Though another Star Destroyer arrived, Solo was able to ram it with one of the Katana Dreadnaughts under slave rig, leading the other Star Destroyer to withdraw. In the aftermath, however, it was found that the Empire had already taken off all but fifteen of the Dreadnaughts.
Celchu continued battling Thrawn's encroaching campaign with the Rogues, fighting at the Battle of Filve and covering the retreat there, as well as serving as the front-runner in Bel Iblis's invention of the A-wing Slash at the Battle of Qat Chrystac, a battle which was also lost. When Thrawn deployed several cloaked asteroids in orbit over Coruscant, the planet was closed to traffic due to fears of collisions and asteroid strikes on the planet itself if the shields were opened. The New Republic leadership decided it was vital to acquire a crystal gravfield trap array to detect the asteroids by their gravitic signature and decided to strike at the shipyards of Bilbringi to do so. However, they attempted to mislead the Imperials into thinking they would strike at Tangrene, resulting in the Rogues being deployed nearby to draw Imperial attention. When the time came for the attack, however, the Rogues were pulled out to participate in the Battle of Bilbringi. Upon arriving, however, they found that Thrawn had anticipated their strike at Bilbringi and was waiting with a large fleet. Celchu suggested the Rogues strike at the shipyards to force the Empire to split its forces, and Antilles was contacted by employees of Karrde who were hoping to stage a simultaneous attempt at the crystal gravfield trap, having thought the New Republic would be at Tangrene. Antilles arranged to cover their insertion into the shipyards while he and the Rogues attacked on the of the Golan II defense stations ringing the shipyards. The Rogues attacked the station, softening it up for two Assault Frigates to destroy. As they penetrated the shipyards, however, Celchu noticed that Thrawn's fleet was breaking up and retreating. It was only after the battle that he learned that Thrawn was dead, assassinated by his bodyguard Rukh.
- "It's called the gray fallacy. One person says white, another says black, and outside observers assume gray is the truth. The assumption of gray is sloppy, lazy thinking. The fact that one person takes a position that is diametrically opposed to the truth does not then skew reality so the truth is no longer the truth. The truth is still the truth. The truth in this case is simple: Krennel is an unreconstructed Imperial who has been shown in the past to have a penchant for cruelty and murder."
- ―Tycho Celchu, to Myn Donos and Gavin Darklighter
In the aftermath, Ackbar was able to persuade Antilles to accept a promotion to general by pointing out to him that his subordinates had been refusing promotions in order to stay in his command. With Antilles finally above the rank of commander, Celchu was immediately promoted to colonel. When the Rogues made it back to Coruscant, a party was thrown to welcome them back. At the party, Urlor Sette, a man who had been imprisoned with Horn on the Lusankya, arrived and died from an implanted capsule of poison once Horn said his name. The Rogues immediately turned their efforts to finding the Lusankya prisoners, a duty from which they had been distracted over the past years by Zsinj and Thrawn. They were able to track the components in the capsule to Commenor, where the Rogues planned to raid the Xenovet facility, an abandoned veterinary facility. After infiltrating the planet, the Rogues launched a strike at the Xenovet facility. They were only lightly opposed, and the New Republic commandos on the ground were able to take the facility, where they found several Lusankya prisoners left for dead—prisoners who attested to the fact that Ysanne Isard, alive, had been there within the last few weeks.
While the New Republic worked on analyzing that information, the Rogues were tasked with helping bring down Delak Krennel, who had set himself up as ruler of the Ciutric Hegemony, and make an example to the other warlords. They struck at Liinade III, one of Krennel's minor worlds. They engaged the fighter cover for the Star Destroyer defending the world, then escorted the assault shuttles carrying the ground forces onto Liinade III. They cleared the spaceport at Valleyport, encountering four AT-AT walkers; Celchu softened two up for Antilles to kill while Klivian and his wingmate Lyyr Zatoq finished the other two. The New Republic took the world, requiring the Rogues to spend three weeks on pacification missions, and in doing so discovered a research facility dedicated to revising plans for Krennel to build his own version of the Death Star, a development which highly alarmed the Provisional Council.
In order to search out the weapon's location of construction, the Rogues were assigned to escort a reconnaissance X-wing flown by former Rogue Nrin Vakil through the Corvis Minor system, investigating a moon named Distna which could house the shipyards to build the superweapon. While making their investigative pass, they were ambushed by six squadrons of TIEs. They fought fiercely, but there were far too many fighters to defeat. Janson, Asyr Sei'lar, and the two newest pilots were all shot down. They were only saved when two squadrons of TIE Defenders arrived, eliminating the opposition and offering to tow the Rogues to safety. With no other choice, they complied with their Imperial rescuers.
They were taken back to a hidden base, where they learned that Ysanne Isard had, in fact, survived Thyferra, having faked her presence in the shuttle Celchu destroyed, and was running the facility. She had turned over the prisoners to a clone of herself during the Bacta War, and the clone had scattered them and survived. The clone was currently working with Krennel and had gathered the prisoners on Ciutric. Isard intended to infiltrate the Rogues onto Ciutric as a squadron of mercenaries in TIE Defenders and have them work with the New Republic to destroy Krennel and her clone; in exchange, she would be given amnesty and be provided for by the New Republic. With the squadron reduced, Celchu moved to the position of Red Five, leading the second of two flights. They worked heavily in simulators to master the Defender; as a former TIE pilot, Celchu adjusted quickly.
The Rogues presented themselves to Krennel as Requiem Squadron, a group of Imperials defecting to Krennel's regime. Celchu dyed his hair red, as did Inyri Forge, and took on the alias of Major Teekon Pass with Forge posing as his sister. They were accepted onto Ciutric, where they spent a week training with Krennel's pilots and being integrated into his armed forces. A few hours before a fleet under Ackbar, summoned by a message from Antilles, was to arrive, the unit was scrambled by Krennel for a strike against Coruscant. They ignored the summons and instead began their mission, with Antilles leading One Flight to destroy the planet's shield generator and Celchu leading Two Flight against the defenses of the prison holding the Lusankya inmates. While Antilles was successful, Celchu was heavily opposed. When it became clear Isard's personnel were not coming to liberate the prison as promised, Celchu and Forge stayed in the air to provide cover while Horn, Qrygg, and Vakil raided the prison. Reinforced by One Flight, he was able to hold off the TIEs over the prison. Krennel was killed in orbit, Antilles killed Isard's clone, and Horn freed the prisoners, including Jan Dodonna. Isard herself was killed trying to seize the Lusankya from the Bilbringi shipyards. Returning to the New Republic, they learned that Janson had in fact survived, a joyful revelation.
- "I present Colonel Tycho Celchu, leader of Rogue Squadron."
- ―Wedge Antilles, to Geng Salaban
When the reborn Palpatine launched his massive counterattack against the New Republic days later, Celchu and the Rogues battled relentlessly as the New Republic was driven back, participating in the defense of Mon Calamari against Palpatine's World Devastators. When Rogue Squadron was reorganized as a multi-starfighter unit above squadron strength in 11 ABY, Antilles transferred to fleet operations as captain of the Lusankya, which served as the base of the new Rogue Squadron. Celchu then became Rogue Leader. Celchu piloted a B-wing into the Battle of Phaeda, where the new Rogue unit saw its first combat, successfully conquering Phaeda.
That arrangement did not last long, with Rogue Squadron returning to its traditional twelve-X-wing format by 11 ABY. In that year, the Rogues were tasked with countering Leonia Tavira's Invid pirates. They ambushed an Invid piracy attempt near Alakatha. With Klivian now his wingmate, Celchu led his One Flight against the pirate cruiser, disarming and disabling it while the other flights eliminated its fighter cover. The mission was somewhat disappointing in that the ever-elusive Star Destroyer Invidious did not come to the aid of the pirate group present, rendering the larger ambushing force useless. When they returned to Coruscant, Celchu had a meeting arranged that night with General Airen Cracken of New Republic Intelligence to discuss the Invids, but Horn called, having been convinced that his wife Mirax was missing. Celchu had Cracken and Horn meet in his office; Cracken told Horn that Mirax had been working for him, investigating the Invids, but he could not release information on her situation to Horn. Horn objected and took a leave of absence from the squadron to train as a Jedi—having known he was Force-sensitive since his escape from Lusankya—and attempt to find Mirax.
Some time later, Horn contacted Celchu from Skywalker's Jedi Academy on Yavin 4 with the shocking news that Luke Skywalker had been incapacitated. Celchu immediately arranged a medical team and planned to fly the team to Yavin himself. Horn also requested massive amounts of nergon-14 explosive and made it clear to Celchu that he was not sure any of the other trainees could be trusted, and had Celchu put him through to Cracken. Celchu brought the team out, but they could not help the comatose Skywalker. Celchu's shuttle was armed with proton torpedoes and he offered to make a strafing run against the temple Horn said was the locus for the Sith spirit of Exar Kun, who had attacked Skywalker, but Horn judged it too dangerous. He did give Celchu the coordinates, however, and insisted that if he could not destroy it with the nergon-14, Celchu have it bombarded from orbit.
When the New Republic raided Xa Fel, the Rogues were part of the task force. During that battle, the Invidious attacked, unaware that there was a battle ongoing. The Rogues were sent against the pirate fighters, eliminating many of the Invidious's elite pilots. During the battle Celchu flew, without knowing it, against Horn, who had infiltrated the pirates in his attempt to find his wife. Horn desperately attempted to avoid being killed, finally winding up behind Celchu and landing two ion blasts, giving Horn enough time to retreat with the rest of the Invids. Celchu, however, turned and targeted Horn's fighter with a pair of proton torpedoes, which Horn narrowly avoiding using a maneuver he had learned from Celchu himself. With the battle dissolving, Celchu was impressed enough to congratulate Horn on his evasion using an open channel.
Horn was ultimately able to rescue Mirax and drive the Invidious into flight, at which point the Rogues were able to remove the Survivor pirate gang, which Horn had infiltrated, from their base on Courkrus and take them to Horn on Susevfi, where Celchu was able to make arrangements for them to become the defense force of Susevfi and find a peaceful resolution. Without the Jensaarai Force-users on Susevfi, whom Horn had converted to the New Republic's side with the aid of a revived Skywalker, no longer aiding Tavira, the Invidious was no longer able to anticipate threats and became a much smaller menace; the Rogues intended to hunt Tavira down and eliminate her threat entirely.
The next year, while returning from a patrol to Phaeda, Celchu encountered a mysterious Sentinel-class landing craft near the Lenico Belt, but lost the ship in the asteroid field. Suspicious, Celchu filed a report requesting the New Republic investigate the situation. He could not do so himself, as the Rogues were transferred to the Deep Core due to rumors of consolidation of the warlord assets in that region and intended to investigate possible links between this activity and warlord Admiral Blitzer Harrsk. The Rogues did not spend too much time in the Core, as they were summoned by Skywalker to drive the Dark Jedi Desann from the Valley of the Jedi, a powerful Force nexus. Shortly thereafter, when New Republic agent Kyle Katarn, an acquaintance of Celchu's, found the Empire Reborn base in the Lenico Belt and slipped aboard the assault ship Doomgiver as it left, he was able to contact Celchu, who led the Rogues to Yavin 4. There, the Doomgiver launched an assault on the Jedi Praxeum, but Rogue Squadron successfully destroyed the ship while Katarn helped the Jedi students fend off the ground assault.
Ambassadors to Adumar
- "I was years older than you when I became an ambassador for the first time. Remember that, Tycho? How did we get through that assignment, anyway?"
"Pretty much, we opened fire on everyone who disagreed with us."
- ―Wedge Antilles and Tycho Celchu, to Syal Antilles
In 13 ABY, the world of Adumar was rediscovered by the New Republic, having been home to an obscure colony forgotten in the days of the Old Republic. Valuable for its missile-manufacturing capacity, its populace revered fighter pilots and would only negotiate with one. Desiring to make Adumar part of the New Republic, the leadership sent Antilles as its representative; he was authorized to select three other elite pilot-ambassadors to accompany him. He selected Celchu, Janson, and Klivian. They were taken to Adumar aboard the Star Destroyer Allegiance, on which they were introduced to Hallis Saper, the documentarian for the mission.
While descending to Adumar in their fighters, they were challenged by four Adumari in their native Blade series fighters. The New Republic pilots easily shot down the attackers, but were confused by the apparently unexpected event, which nevertheless was not alarming to the other Adumari. They landed in a major plaza in the central city of Cartann to a heroic welcome. There they connected with their New Republic diplomatic liaison on the world, Tomer Darpen. From there, they were escorted to their temporary quarters by Darpen and presented with local clothing to wear to the ball being held that night at the residence of the perator of Cartann. At the ball, the perator presented the group with Cheriss ke Hanadi, the local blastsword dueling champion, as a native guide. There, they also encountered General Turr Phennir, now the leader of the 181st, and realized that Adumar was negotiating with both the New Republic and Empire; Antilles also noticed that Iella Wessiri was present, presumably as an agent of New Republic Intelligence. While investigating at the party, Janson and Klivian discovered that Cartann was, in fact, only a nation on Adumar and the planet had no world government, as they had been led to believe. Antilles decided to play dumb about these revelations, but sent Celchu and Janson to Allegiance to let them know that an Imperial Star Destroyer was likely in orbit on the other side of the world. From the ship, he brought back four comm headsets so that the pilots could talk privately during flights.
The next morning, Red Flight, as they had designated themselves, began training on the local Blade-32 superiority fighters. Multiple times, they had to deny challenges to aerial duels, a deeply-ingrained Adumari custom. That evening, they dined at the home of the Adumari Minister of Trade and, on their way back to their quarters, were attacked by six Adumari men. Celchu tackled one ambusher, beating him into submission as the other pilots and ke Hanadi dealt with the others. Celchu picked up a blastsword and searched the attackers for money, finding they were paid assassins.
The next day, their Blades were loaded with paint missiles and training lasers, per their specifications, for nonlethal duels, something held to be dishonorable in Cartann. They practiced first against each other. Used to far more maneuverable fighters, Celchu was defeated by Klivian. Only one Adumari flightknife—their term for squadron—was willing to engage in a simulated duel that day, and were easily defeated due to their insistence on going after Antilles for the greater honor defeating him would afford. Over the next days, they continued accepting challenges, alternating between Blades and X-wings, and found more and more pilots, including many from nations outside Cartann, willing to engage in simulated duels. When Darpen learned of this, he was enraged and ordered Antilles to play by the Adumari rules, claiming they were orders from the local NRI chief; he did not mention that he, in fact, was the local NRI chief. After Darpen left, the pilots shared their concerns over whether Adumar, with its death-centered culture, was worth bringing into the New Republic. While others were pessimistic, Celchu expressed his hope that the culture could be turned around; he felt their simulated duels were already beginning to bear fruit.
The morning after Darpen's ultimatum, Darpen arrived and informed the pilots that the perator had called a conference regarding his progress in unifying Adumar under one world government. Celchu and the others attended in their New Republic dress uniforms, Antilles having decided to make a stand against Adumari culture. At the ceremony, the perator of Cartann declared the formation of a world government with himself at its head—but did so without consultation with any other nation. To them, he issued an ultimatum to join or face war. Meanwhile, ke Hanadi, suicidal after realizing Antilles was in love with Wessiri, accepted a series of blastsword challenges. She finally lost one duel and was badly injured. While Janson dueled the victor to avoid his killing her, Celchu and Klivian rushed ke Hanadi to the plaza where they had arrived, with Klivian arranging for a medical team to arrive and evacuate her to the Allegiance; Celchu went up with the medical team.
He returned, and the next day they spent flying and accepting more challenges, though there were distinctly fewer would-be duelers. That evening, they attended yet another ball, at which Antilles confronted Darpen, forcing him to admit that he was the local NRI chief and had instigated the war for unification in order to try to gain Adumar before the Empire's delegation could gain more traction. The perator announced that there would be war, several nations having refused to acknowledge his overlordship, and requested that the Imperial and New Republic pilots join Cartann in war. Antilles declined, resulting in the perator declaring them enemies of the state. Their X-wings were impounded and four Blades were held ready for them at the local air base. If they could make it to the air base and from there to the Allegiance without being killed by the mobs and pilots that would be out for their blood, they would be allowed to leave. Allegiance would not respond to comm contact, leaving them on their own.
Armed with blasters and blastswords, they were able to hold off the crowd outside the palace and steal an open transport in the courtyard. Under heavy fire, however, its engine failed and the four pilots had to jump into a building, where they donned local cloaks so as to be less conspicuous. Knowing that there would be large crowds outside the air base, they recorded a video of themselves, supposedly filmed by an Adumari. They broadcast the video, which was rebroadcast on the omnipresent flatscreens across Adumar, drawing the crowd away to the location of the film. Wearing women's clothes, they were able to make it inside the base, where they had a temporary reprieve until they launched. Instead of flying out of the hangar and into an ambush, they shot out the back wall and flew through that opening. They were beset by a much greater number of fighters, which they were able to hold off, but every one of their fighters took damage in the battle, leaving none of them spaceworthy. Janson was shot down outright, causing Antilles to dispatch Klivian to land and escort Janson to Wessiri's apartment. Celchu and Antilles descended to street level, where they were able to eliminate the last of their attackers. In the process, Celchu's cockpit canopy was destroyed, leaving him extremely vulnerable and limiting his speed. Yet another squadron made to attack, but one of the units the New Republic pilots had simulated with most closely intervened, deciding that it was dishonorable to continue attacking such damaged foes who had already proven themselves.
Celchu and Antilles landed and took hours making their way to Wessiri's apartment, where they found ke Hanadi and Saper had arrived with many of the pilots' personal possessions from their own quarters. Saper revealed a recording of Darpen requesting that the perator sentence Antilles and the others to death, claiming they had been shamed and could not bear to live any longer; in fact, he simply wanted Antilles dead to cover the tracks of his political maneuvering, much of which might be considered unethical by his superiors. They were contacted by agents of the Yedagon Confederacy, one of the leading nations opposing Cartann, and smuggled to safety in Yedagon. There, Antilles was offered command of the resisting forces and accepted. He would have begun planning their war, but Celchu forced him to finally get some sleep and took over the planning himself, poring over reports. After analyzing the strength and battle tactics of Cartann and its satellite nations, and of the alliance opposing that group, Celchu decided that Cartann's superior forces would likely attack at noon the next day. He felt that their best hope would be a preemptive dawn attack on Cartann itself, before the enemy was prepared. Celchu also drew up an attack plan that would have the center of their force stall while the outer arms, containing their bombers as well as fighters, swept around the defending force to create an enveloping crossfire and have the opportunity to escort the bombers onward. Antilles added to the plans a transponder-switching system that let the highest-profile pilots identify as novices and random pilots identify as the most famous ones, using the Cartann focus on honor and duels against them, and a line of fighters on the ground where the engagements were expected, ready to ambush the oncoming forces.
Celchu flew a Blade-32 into battle as Antilles's wingman, downing several fighters in the massive central dogfight. Once the Imperial pilots, who had agreed to fly for Cartann, arrived in their Interceptors, the Yedagon Blades were significantly outmatched. Red Flight made one pass against the Interceptors, killing one of the four 181st pilots, but found the rest of the Interceptors pursuing. Celchu was badly damaged by one of the Interceptors and then struck by a Blade's missile, downing his craft. A rescue craft recovered him, and then set off with the other Red Flight pilots to Cartann City, where ke Hanadi had found their X-wings. They flew near street level through the city to a hangar near the perator's palace where the X-wings had been stored as booty. Landing, they transferred to their X-wings and burst from the hangar under fire. They sought out the Imperials, engaging them in a head-to-head attack that killed one 181st pilot and damaged Klivian's fighter. Klivian and Janson veered off to safety, with Antilles and Celchu playing damaged to lure the Interceptors to them. Celchu was able to bring his pursuer into Antilles's field of fire, destroying him, and Phennir fled in the last Interceptor. The X-wings were then able to do what the Interceptors had, tearing through the Cartann forces.
Eventually, the Cartann authorities ordered the Cartann fliers to surrender and Antilles was summoned to the palace, taking Celchu with him. There they found the allied forces in control of the palace, with the senior Cartann administrators and generals under their control. Only the perator refused to surrender. Antilles was able to persuade him to abdicate in favor of his son, a pilot who had flown simulated duels with Red Flight. The son, Balass ke Teldan, entered into the united Adumari union, forming a world government that was able to petition for membership in the New Republic. Darpen was present, and Celchu and Antilles drew on him and forced him to rescind the comm blackout he had imposed. Celchu arranged for their prisoner to be taken to Allegiance and spoke with the Allegiance's captain to explain the situation before filing a report with NRI and Fleet Command.
With peace arranged, a New Republic task force was sent to guard the planet against the inevitable Imperial counterattack. When it came, Celchu flew against the Imperial TIE attack. During the battle, he and Antilles engaged a TIE Defender. The Defender's pilot chose to go head-to-head with Celchu and was able to disable his fighter with ion cannon fire. Antilles killed that pilot and drove Phennir off. The attack was foiled and Celchu was recovered, leaving the mission to Adumar a success.
- Celchu: "Normally, we just shoot things."
- Antilles: "We keep trying to retire. Give up this life of shooting things."
- Celchu: "We're really men of peace at heart."
- ―Wedge Antilles and Tycho Celchu, to Zekk
Celchu continued commanding the Rogues, many of whom began settling down. Darklighter was married in 11 ABY and Antilles wed Wessiri months after the Adumar mission, a ceremony to which Celchu was certainly invited. Celchu himself followed the trend, and in 17 ABY, shortly after the conclusion of the Almanian Uprising, Celchu's long courtship of Winter culminated in marriage. Rogue Squadron participated in the evacuation of Thanta Zilbra ahead of Centerpoint Station's use of the starbuster superweapon against that system's sun, a crisis that was resolved without further destruction of worlds. In that same year, 18 ABY, Celchu and the others from the Adumar mission were interviewed by Saper for the holodocumentary Adumar: Five Years of Union.
By 19 ABY, Antilles was back in command of Rogue Squadron, which was assigned to General Bel Iblis's task force. Celchu moved to the position of Rogue Seven. While they were stopped at Morishim, Celchu found an individual in the market who had news that information had come out implicating the Bothans in the destruction of the peaceful world Caamas under Palpatine's reign. He sought out Antilles and Janson, who had met Lando Calrissian in the market, and brought them to hear. When he questioned the Morish about the source of his information, he claimed it came from the Old Recluse in the mountains. Curious about the Old Recluse's source of information, they took their X-wings and Calrissian's Lady Luck up to the Old Recluse's cave. When they questioned him, Calrissian found an old Imperial listening post behind a curtain, the true source of the old man's information. While examining it, they noticed a Corellian Corvette entering Morishim space, and a Star Destroyer just behind it. The pilots scrambled, and were able to make it through the Star Destroyer's jamming to contact the other New Republic forces. Celchu was surprised to note that the Star Destroyer was firing on the Imperial Corvette. They could do no more than watch as the Corvette was disabled and pulled in, though they were able to dilute the jamming just enough to record a fragmentary portion of the Corvette's transmission, which they turned over to Bel Iblis.
As knowledge of the Bothan involvement in Caamas's destruction spread, the New Republic was riven with dissent. Factions lined up in defense of the Bothans and against them, a crisis which could seemingly only be resolved with acquisition of the Caamas Document, which would list the specific Bothan conspirators. The members of these factions took the opportunity of the controversy to fan the flames of old local conflicts, resulting in a badly unsettled situation. Bel Iblis's task force was called in to Sif'kric when the Sif'kries' Frezhlix foes arrived over the world during the highly time-sensitive export of the pommwomm crop. Though the New Republic had to official ability to interfere with the Frezhlix force, which was not attacking, Bel Iblis was determined not to let Sif'kric's economy take such a massive blow. Acting under the justification of investigating a freighter suspected of smuggling, Rogue Squadron flew through the decrepit Frezhlix armada towards the freighter. Before they made it to the force, the Frezhlix panicked and opened fire, allowing Bel Iblis to decimate the blockading force. Shortly afterward, the task force was scrambled to retake the Mengjini comm relay station from dissident forces who had taken control of it.
One week later, while stationed on Di'tai'ni, Bel Iblis suspected trouble might be brewing and had the Rogues sleep in their cockpits. His hunch paid off, with an emergency request coming through from nearby Bothawui in the middle of the night. The Rogues traveled to Bothawui to counter the Leresai attack force the Bothans claimed was coming. There, the Leresen fleet insisted that they be allowed to exact justice for the two Leresai killed in a riot on Bothawui—and Leresen justice demanded the lives of the killers or those of ten innocent of their tribe. Upon noticing a twenty-man space station outside the Bothan planetary shield, Antilles ordered Rogue Squadron, which had arrived ahead of the rest of the force, to interpose itself between the fleet and the station. However, Antilles and Horn noticed that their X-wings had been sabotaged, keeping them from firing. They were reduced to helplessness as they watched the Leresai force destroy the station.
It was decided that the Caamas Document would have to be recovered, and so the New Republic High Command plotted a strike at the Imperial Ubiqtorate base at Yaga Minor, one of the few facilities where a copy might be stored. Bel Iblis's task force was moved to Ord Trasi to begin staging for the assault. Celchu led Rogue Squadron there, as Bel Iblis, worried about leaving Bothawui in such a tumultuous situation, left Antilles and Horn behind to attempt to safeguard the Bothan shield generators, which Bel Iblis saw as a likely target for sabotage. When they were ready to attack, Antilles and Horn were recalled. The New Republic force would pursue Booster Terrik's Errant Venture into the system, with the Star Destroyer posing as an Imperial ship. The forces would attack the base's perimeter and serve as a distraction while the Errant Venture docked with the station and pulled an information raid.
The battle went well, with the diversionary force staying just outside of the defense perimeter's effective range, but the Errant Venture was trapped inside enemy lines by Thrawn, who had reappeared on the Empire's side. The New Republic force surged in to save Bel Iblis, and at that moment Antilles was contacted by Talon Karrde, who claimed to have an Imperial code to enter the base and the ability to end the war if he could get an escort in. The Rogues guided him through the perimeter, where Karrde, with Imperial Supreme Commander Gilad Pellaeon, was able to expose "Thrawn" as an impostor in Moff Vilim Disra's grasp for power. Pellaeon negotiated a truce with the New Republic—the Corvette at Morishim had carried his envoy and was captured by forces loyal to Disra, keeping the New Republic from knowing of his overtures—and Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade, now engaged, brought back a copy of the Caamas Document from the Unknown Regions.
News of the impending wedding between Skywalker and Jade reached Celchu in Rogue Squadron headquarters on Coruscant. He was invited to Skywalker's bachelor party at the Red Rancor cantina. The party had only barely begun, however, before they were attacked by a swoop gang looking for trouble. With multiple pilots, Jedi, and smugglers present, as well as Chewbacca, they were easily beaten. The party left the cantina for less hostile parts. Winter was upset to find that Celchu had been fighting and urged him to take care of his hands, but he refused, resulting in their being swollen the next morning. On that day, he and the other men in the wedding went for their fittings. At the wedding, just before it was to begin, Karrde came to Antilles and the others with Banner Sumptor, a man who had been part of a rogue Imperial Moff's scheme to disrupt the wedding and assassinate Skywalker and Jade, but who had had a change of heart. Antilles insisted that the ceremony go on and took command of the defense, assigning several of the old hands present to security duties. Antilles, Celchu, and Darklighter guarded the main door against an attacking swoop gang intent on causing a distraction; Celchu recognized the gang as being the same group from the Red Rancor. The three armed Rogues were able to shoot down several of the swoopers, driving them off. Inside, Skywalker was able to talk down the Moff, resulting in an eventful but ultimately peaceful ceremony.
Later that year, given the peace with the Imperial Remnant, Celchu retired. Antilles had already retired, and many of the veteran Rogues did the same. Gavin Darklighter was selected as the next Rogue Leader and promoted to colonel. Antilles and Celchu were proud to welcome the young pilot to the position they had held, and had a silver ring made for him with the squadron crest and the four dots of a colonel's rank badge. They presented it to him after treating him to dinner at an expensive restaurant and discussing the issues related to command. While they were ready to offer advice for Darklighter, they made it clear they had every confidence in his ability to lead the squadron.
Yuuzhan Vong War
Return to war
- Darklighter: "What are you two doing here?"
- Antilles: "We heard from various sources that you're going to be going to war. We're too old to fly, but not to help out. You need us, you've got us."
- Darklighter: "You may want to reconsider that offer. This isn't going to be pretty at all."
- Celchu: "War never is, Gavin. Let's just hope, together, we can make it very short."
- ―Gavin Darklighter, Wedge Antilles, and Tycho Celchu
In 25 ABY, Antilles and Celchu heard through back channels that the New Republic was facing a new threat and war was on the horizon. They approached Darklighter and offered their assistance in any way possible. With their commissions reactivated, they helped Darklighter vet new candidates for Rogue Squadron, which had taken heavy casualties against the extragalactic Yuuzhan Vong invaders, as well as examining reports on the strange, biotechnology-using attackers. They served as advisers to Darklighter and his superior, fleet commander Admiral Traest Kre'fey, as well as simming against the new Rogues, among whom was Jaina Solo. Despite their protestations of age, they remained skilled enough to regularly beat the new fliers. In combat, Celchu served as flight control. He fulfilled that role over Garqi, where a commando team under Corran Horn's command was inserted to the enemy-held world. When the Ralroost returned there to pick up the team, they found a much larger Yuuzhan Vong force than they had anticipated. They were saved by the arrival of an Imperial Remnant force under Pellaeon, which was able to drive off the Yuuzhan Vong long enough to recover Horn's group.
On Garqi, Horn had learned that the Yuuzhan Vong's vonduun crab armor was allergic to the pollen of the bafforr tree. The combined task force hurried to Ithor, home of the bafforr, to defend this valuable asset against the Yuuzhan Vong. While there, Celchu flew in simulators against both the New Republic and Imperial pilots. With the Imperials were three Chiss squadrons from the Empire of the Hand under Colonel Jagged Fel, the young son of Soontir Fel. Fel defeated everyone else in the simulators; Celchu was only able to kill him once in simulation. Antilles was the only other pilot who did so, also only once. When the Yuuzhan Vong came, they were able to hold them off, and Horn negotiated a truce with Shedao Shai, the enemy commander. Horn had, on a previous mission, recovered the remains of one of Shai's ancestors and used them as leverage. He and Shai would duel after the expiration of the week's truce. If Shai won, Horn would return the bones of Mongei Shai. If Horn won, Shai would lead his fleet away from Ithor and leave it in peace. Horn won, but Shai's lieutenant betrayed the deal, launching a biologically engineered plague that destroyed all life on Ithor's surface, a shocking setback for the New Republic.
Kre'fey and the Rogues continued prosecuting the war against the Yuuzhan Vong. When the Jedi Kyp Durron came to Solo with information about a Yuuzhan Vong superweapon at Sernpidal, he persuaded Antilles and Kre'fey to strike against it. Kre'fey's fleet was able to destroy it, though it was ultimately revealed that Durron had deceived them, and the supposed superweapon was actually a worldship, the destruction of which would put significant pressure on Yuuzhan Vong resources. Rogue Squadron rotated to Coruscant and Celchu with them, remaining as Darklighter's immediate superior and flight controller; Antilles rotated with the unit as well. While there, Han Solo informed them that a ship inbound to Coruscant, Sweet Surprise, was likely affiliated with the Peace Brigade, a group of Yuuzhan Vong collaborators. Rogue Squadron arranged to intercept it, and Darklighter ordered it to stop for inspection. When it would not, General Carlist Rieekan, commander of the Coruscant Planetary Defense Force, ordered Darklighter to prevent it from entering Coruscant's defensive mine shell. Instead of stopping, the Surprise attempted to pull a flip-over and run, but—as Celchu, the flight controller, had warned its crew—it was too long for the safe lane. Several mines disabled the ship, and Darklighter and the Solos were able to take control of it. Soon after, Coruscant was lost to the Yuuzhan Vong in a massive battle. Rogue Squadron, Kre'fey, and Antilles—now in command of Fleet Group Three—were unable to stop them.
Stand at Borleias
- "We're going to face them with an enemy they've never had the displeasure of fighting. We're going to hit them with the Empire."
"They're not going to like the Empire."
- ―Wedge Antilles and Tycho Celchu, to Iella Wessiri Antilles
With Coruscant conquered by the enemy and Chief of State Borsk Fey'lya killed, the New Republic was thrown into chaos. Antilles gathered as many of the New Republic forces as he could and retreated to Borleias, which had been conquered by the Yuuzhan Vong. Antilles deployed the Mon Mothma's starfighters and ground forces against it, reconquering the world. Antilles established his base in the old Alderaan Biotics facility and put Celchu in command of the starfighter complement as his right-hand man. In the middle of the night three days after taking the planet, Celchu was roused to attend a meeting with the New Republic Advisory Council, as were Antilles and his other senior officers and advisers. There, they learned that Councilor Pwoe had declared himself chief of state. Pwoe ordered Antilles to hold Borleias, but Antilles could tell that Pwoe intended him to simply stay and die, buying Pwoe time to bolster his defenses and negotiate a truce with the Yuuzhan Vong. Antilles refused, at which point Pwoe offered Celchu a promotion to the rank of general and Antilles's command, which Celchu easily refused. Antilles offered a deal: he would accept the command if Pwoe would grant him the forces he currently had at Borleias, all those currently underway to Borleias, the Lusankya, supplies, and the right to transfer any willing soldier to Borleias. Celchu immediately began surreptitiously cutting orders to various other Fleet Group Three assets recalling them to Borleias. Pwoe reluctantly agreed, confirming Antilles's assessment that he had given up on the New Republic. After the others had cleared out, Skywalker proposed that they create a new Rebel Alliance, a group which had not given up and could be prepared to continue the war against the Yuuzhan Vong. Only those all the members would trust with their lives would be a part of it. In that way, Celchu, Antilles, Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker, Calrissian, Darklighter, Horn, Booster Terrik, and Danni Quee formed the Insiders.
Antilles was determined to hold out, safeguard the passage of refugees from Coruscant, and make a stand at Borleias significant enough to improve New Republic morale and damage that of the Yuuzhan Vong before retreating. Celchu and Antilles began planning strategies to lure whatever Yuuzhan Vong commander would be sent against them into underestimating them, focusing on innovative methods of guerrilla warfare and misdirection. In order to keep themselves thinking creatively, Celchu would brainstorm as Antilles and Antilles would play the role of the Yuuzhan Vong commander in their planning sessions. Celchu spent much time discussing anti-Yuuzhan Vong starfighter tactics. Meanwhile, the Insiders plotted to start up resistance cells across several worlds likely to be targeted by the Yuuzhan Vong.
When the enemy fleet arrived, Antilles commanded from the ground and had the elite squadrons stationed there, helping create the impression that something important was on the ground. Celchu coordinated the starfighters in the defense, forcing them to appear unprepared and allowing the sensor station on Pyria VI's moon to fall. They wanted to manipulate the commander sent against them, whom they assumed to be merely average, and draw out a stalemate over Borleias as long as possible. However, they were unable to stage the defeat they wished, as the Lusankya arrived in the system during the battle, decanting from hyperspace into the heart of the Yuuzhan Vong fleet, which it savaged. Celchu coordinated the arrival of Mon Mothma and several other ships and starfighters to support the Lusankya and guide it clear of the enemy fleet.
As Yuuzhan Vong ships preying on refugee convoys became a greater problem, Antilles and Celchu worked with Calrissian to root out the source of information on the convoys. They were able to eliminate the possibility of tracking devices, deciding that refugees had to be selling each other out for rewards or under duress. In relatively short order, a new Yuuzhan Vong fleet showed up under one of the Yuuzhan Vong's most celebrated tacticians, Czulkang Lah. Celchu and Antilles began the public exposure of a plan they had put together to decoy Lah. Operation Starlancer featured four pipefighters, cobbled-together craft which could focus several laser beams into a larger laser beam, which they intended to pass off as a mysterious superweapon they could use to manipulate Lah. They sent them up multiple times to run tests, making Lah curious.
Eventually, they performed a test-fire in which the pipefighters fired their concentrated beam. Along the same trajectory, a ship at the edge of the Coruscant system fired on the Yuuzhan Vong command worldship, fooling Lah into thinking that the beam had been launched through hyperspace as part of a superweapon system. During the test-firing, Jaina Solo's Twin Suns Squadron was ambushed. The Yuuzhan Vong desired her for a twin sacrifice with her brother Jacen. Chagrined at not having anticipated this tactic, Celchu watched with Antilles as Twin Suns tried to escape. He ordered a task force to depart, but knew it would be highly unlikely to get there in time to save them. Jagged Fel, flying with the squadron, was able to devise a strategy that got the rest of the squadron out of the ambush, but was knocked off course back into the massive swarm of Yuuzhan Vong coralskippers. While the other Twin Suns fled, Solo and Durron plunged back into the fight to rescue Fel. Antilles knew it was hopeless, and Celchu relayed his direct order to break off and give up on Fel, his own nephew. Solo ignored him, and Durron used a desperation Force technique, pulling one of the Yuuzhan Vong interdictor's gravitic-singularity shields around and onto the ship, destroying it. At that point, the task force arrived, saving all three pilots against the odds. Celchu greeted them when they returned to the grounds, ordering the exhausted Durron to get rest and taking Solo and Fel to see Antilles. Celchu and Antilles let the pair wait as they finished debriefing Darklighter, then invited Solo in for a dressing-down. She, however, had left and Fel was in her place. He explained that he believed her refusal of orders was a one-time incident. Unhappily, Antilles let her go without punishment.
When Antilles and Celchu allowed information to fall into the hands of a Yuuzhan Vong agent suggesting that a massive lambent crystal was being grown in the base to focus the Starlancer beam into a superlaser, it forced Lah to act. Lah began landing forces on Borleias's surface, which Celchu and Antilles did not stop. Instead, they planned Operation Emperor's Hammer, using the Lusankya to deliver an orbital bombardment which would wipe out Lah's ground forces. Forty-nine days into the occupation of Borleias, Celchu detected what seemed to be Lah making his move. He called Antilles back to headquarters and began preparing the defense. As starfighters and ground forces fought back against the invaders, Celchu and the other controllers continually ordered them back until they were all safely next to the base. At that point, the Lusankya opened up, razing everything outside the safe zone for four minutes of bombardment. Lah's attack failed.
Their defense of Borleias attracted Wes Janson, who had commissioned the Taanab Yellow Aces. Janson brought his squadron and a shipment of supplies to the defense, where Celchu was overjoyed to see his old friend. Lah continued launching harassing attacks against the New Republic forces, drawing down their resources. As the Lusankya took more and more damage, some of its weapons were stripped for use on the Errant Venture and a durasteel-and-explosives spear was built through its core, turning the slowly-dying ship into a massive ram.
When the constant attacks became overwhelming and Antilles decided they had accomplished as much as they could, they put their final plan into effect: Operation Emperor's Spear. They sent up the pipefighters, equipped with a false giant lambent, up to force Lah into making an all-out attack, and under cover of the battle began the full evacuation of Borleias, having already transferred many people into orbit. Antilles stayed behind to coordinate the attack until the last minute while Celchu made sure a shuttle was ready was for Antilles and transited up to Mon Mothma while the Lusankya began moving towards the Yuuzhan Vong fleet, preparing to ram it. If he were to lose contact with Antilles, Celchu would take command of the operation. Antilles did indeed lose contact while transiting to orbit, forcing Celchu to take over. He jumped Mon Mothma in near the Lusankya to use its gravity-well projectors to keep Lah's command worldship's dovin basals from being able to pull the Lusankya off course. The massive Star Destroyer successfully rammed the worldship, killing Lah and turning the retreat into a costly affair the Yuuzhan Vong could hardly call a victory. The defense, including Celchu, was presented in the documentary Battle of Borleias by noted historian Wolam Tser, which proved immensely popular and helped restore morale throughout the New Republic.
Victory and peace
- "The Alliance will just have to make do with guys like Darklighter, Page, and Cracken."
"Pity the Alliance."
- ―Wedge Antilles and Tycho Celchu
Celchu moved on to Kuat with Antilles, where they organized its defense and prepared resistance cells in the event that it fell to the enemy. Winter was safe as well, taking care of the elderly retired Admiral Ackbar, her old friend, on Dac. Ackbar in fact came back from retirement to mastermind a strategy which saw the death of Yuuzhan Vong Warmaster Tsavong Lah at the Battle of Ebaq 9. Combined with the restoration of stability under the newly-elected Chief of State Cal Omas and the reformation of the New Republic into the more centralized Galactic Federation of Free Alliances, the situation began to look more hopeful for the residents of the galaxy.
By 29 ABY, Celchu was promoted to the rank of general. He was present at the major high command conference over Contruum Six, in which the attack to retake Coruscant was planned. Celchu interrupted the meeting to share news from Winter that Ackbar had passed away. Commanding the Star Destroyer Elegos A'Kla, Celchu was one of many senior fleet officers present at the battle to retake Corulag as a stepping-stone to Coruscant. He worked with General Keyan Farlander to keep the Yuuzhan Vong contained, and when Peace Brigade starfighters launched from Corulag, Celchu dealt with them.
With victory, Celchu, Antilles, and Farlander rendezvoused with the Second Fleet and jumped to Muscave, one orbit out from Coruscant in the Coruscant system. Their fleet stood between Coruscant and the living planet Zonama Sekot, which had jumped through hyperspace into the system. Warmaster Nas Choka, determined to destroy Zonama Sekot, led his fleet against the Second, opening Coruscant for a strike by the Fourth Fleet under Pellaeon, which began landing troops. The Second was under significant strain, but was eventually reinforced by Kre'fey's First Fleet. Meanwhile, on Coruscant, Luke Skywalker and Jacen Solo killed the Yuuzhan Vong Supreme Overlord as well as the power behind the throne, pushing Choka to cease fighting and consolidate his forces in-system without attacking.
When Choka came to the decision to surrender, Celchu was among the more than five hundred officers and officials present at the massive ceremony, seated prominently among the highest-ranked commanders and politicians at the head of the assembly. Afterwards, he and Antilles met up with Han Solo, Calrissian, Karrde, Booster Terrik, and Crev Bombaasa on Zonama Sekot, where they shared a bottle of brandy in the cold, discussing the course of the war, their fates after it, and the political and economic fallout. Celchu mentioned that he intended to retire the next day, in compliance with Winter's wishes.
Officer of the Galactic Alliance
Celchu, however, was either convinced not to retire or did not stay retired. He returned to Starfighter Command, where he served as a training officer, a duty which allowed him regular hours and safety while still contributing to the defense of the galaxy, likely an acceptable compromise for Winter. During the course of the next decade, he trained Syal Antilles, who enrolled under the pseudonym Lysa Dunter in order to avoid being burdened by her father's reputation, in interceptor piloting. He continued to keep a very close eye on her after her commissioning as an officer, tracking her career and keeping her father informed of how she was faring.
Second Galactic Civil War
- "I can't believe that we're sitting here wearing different uniforms."
- ―Tycho Celchu and Wedge Antilles
By 40 ABY, Celchu was serving on Supreme Commander Gilad Pellaeon's general staff. As tensions mounted between Corellia and the Galactic Alliance, the Galactic Alliance took action to force Corellia into compliance, which backfired and resulted in a military occupation of Tralus in the Corellian system. A conference at Toryaz Station between Pellaeon and Five World Prime Minister Aidel Saxan was set up in order to talk out the issue and keep Corellia from seceding—and possibly using Centerpoint Station or the war fleet it had built in secret. Celchu attended the conference, where he served as head of security for Pellaeon and the Galactic Alliance party; the Jedi provided a neutral force for security as well. On the station, he met Antilles, who had taken a position with the Corellian forces after an ill-advised attempt by the Galactic Alliance to keep him incarcerated and unable to come out of retirement on Corellia's side—something he had no intent to do before being so treated. They regretfully discussed being on different sides of the conflict; Celchu was upset to be in such a position. The negotiations began with a ball in the evening, at which Celchu and Antilles helped warm relations between both parties by walking together and speaking with members of both groups, who were otherwise clustered by affiliation. Genuinely not caring about which side was which, their friendly sharing of stories helped break the ice. Celchu was the first to take to the dance floor, dancing with Saxan; Antilles followed with Leia Organa Solo.
The negotiations went on for hours after the party before the diplomats retired to bed. Celchu and Antilles came to the conclusion that both leaders should sleep in rooms other than those they were assigned to. Pellaeon was moved to a supposedly unoccupied room, while a decoy was installed in Pellaeon's room. The precaution was fortuitous; that night, a large body of assassins attacked the negotiators. The decoy was killed, but Celchu and the security officers present were able to kill the assassins before Organa Solo arrived to offer her assistance. Pellaeon was safe, but Saxan's security chief had not taken the advice to alter her room assignment and as a result Saxan had been killed. Celchu and Antilles immediately took charge of the situation, ordering that section of the station locked down, ordering evidence preserved, and beginning an investigation, which they turned over to Luke Skywalker to coordinate.
Celchu and Antilles were assigned to investigate along with the Jedi contingent. They requested the hologram recordings at the time of the incident, but found there were none. They then turned to the engineering department to look for logs of door openings, and found that one far airlock had been opened. They then went to the airlock, where they met with Jaina Solo and the Jedi Zekk. Using the investigative skills they had learned from their wives, the two old pilots searched for evidence, where they discovered a strange tassel. They traded it to the Jedi to examine in exchange for a lead they had picked up suggesting the Toryaz Station security chief for their section, who had gone missing, was floating in space. Celchu, Antilles, and Skywalker took a shuttle out and homed in on Captain Siron Tawaler's comlink, finding his body in the vacuum, having seemingly willingly stepped out the airlock. Meanwhile, they also learned that the assassins had been a group of Corellians suffering from terminal diseases and that a single shuttle, presumably containing the mastermind of the plot, had escaped just as the attack began. However, when the regular request for an update on the situation came in from Coruscant, Celchu and Pellaeon were obliged to reveal the events of that night, ending their investigation as the Galactic Alliance dispatched a forensics team.
The debacle at Toryaz sabotaged the best hope of reaching a settlement. The Corellians attacked Tralus, driving the Galactic Alliance forces off it. Corellia was blockaded, and in response to terrorist attacks by Corellians on Coruscant, the Galactic Alliance created the Galactic Alliance Guard, a secret police unit under Jacen Solo dedicated to combating terrorism. In protest, Pellaeon resigned, resulting in Admiral Cha Niathal's appointment as Supreme Commander. Celchu continued to serve as one of Niathal's staff officers and senior analysts.
When Commenor, joining Corellia's resistance in the new Confederation, exposed the Chasin Document, a plan for the invasion of Commenor by the Galactic Alliance which had been leaked to it, Celchu investigated. He recognized Garm Bel Iblis's tactical hand in the details, found its ship allocation suspiciously lacking in modern classes, and so found that the Chasin Document was in fact genuine—a thirty-year-old plan for invasion drawn up by Bel Iblis during the Galactic Civil War. It had been only lightly retouched. Celchu looked at the original files and found they had not been accessed by anything other than an automated program to back up data. He had Winter look into the program, and she found the code had been corrupted to send duplicates outside the system by someone using a Galactic Alliance Guard security code. The code had not had opportunity to access much of relevance, and it was quickly removed. Celchu presented his findings to Niathal and her other senior officers.
When Colonel Jacen Solo found evidence that Chief of State Cal Omas had conspired with the Confederation's leadership, he used a new law to arrest Omas. Solo and Niathal became co-chiefs-of-state in the interim. Full-scale war had meanwhile erupted with the Confederation, and Solo gained more and more power as he became more and more ruthless in dealing with his enemies. Finally, he had the Jedi declared enemies of the state when Luke Skywalker refused to support him any longer and backed out of a military strike. Niathal became concerned about Solo, and ordered Celchu to quietly make contact, behind Solo's back, with Skywalker's Jedi resistance, which was made up mostly of Celchu's old friends. Celchu, growingly worried for Syal Antilles, went to see her on the Anakin Solo, Jacen Solo's flagship, to see if she could contact her father, who had resigned from the Corellian side and joined with Skywalker. He took his personal shuttle, Reveille, to the Anakin Solo himself, where she happily greeted him. She told him that she had been promoted to captain, and on a sadder note told him that her fiancée had died in the war. He shared his sympathies, and asked her for an honest evaluation of morale and of Solo. Her opinions were negative, and he offered her a way out, telling her to watch for orders that would seem distasteful and accept them anyway. He also ordered her to attempt to make contact with Wedge.
Celchu eventually found that Skywalker's Jedi faction was headquartered on Endor and had Syal Antilles, now assigned as his personal shuttle pilot, take him there. He also picked up Doctor Toval Seyah, a Galactic Alliance spy whom Solo had ordered arrested for treason, a charge Celchu knew to be fraudulent. He placed Seyah with Skywalker's group and met with his leadership. As Niathal wished, he asked the Jedi to return to the Galactic Alliance fold. Skywalker refused, but stated that he had faith in Niathal and the Galactic Alliance as a whole, but could not support it so long as Solo was in power. Skywalker did outline his plans, stating that he would lead the Jedi in a strike to destroy Centerpoint Station and deny it to the Confederation as well as rescuing Allana, the daughter of Hapan Queen Mother Tenel Ka, whom Solo was holding to pressure Tenel Ka into sending her fleet back into Galactic Alliance service. Skywalker wanted to use Celchu's shuttle to gain access to the Anakin Solo, but Celchu, as much as he disliked Solo and wished Skywalker well, was bound to refuse, as Skywalker was taking action against the Galactic Alliance. Antilles unconvincingly threatened Celchu, giving him enough justification to allow them to use the shuttle, supposedly under duress. Celchu assigned Syal Antilles to serve as Niathal's official envoy to the Jedi faction, to open communications with him whenever she was allowed and create a possible avenue of cooperation.
Celchu was able to persuade Skywalker to let him fly in Antilles's Rakehell Squadron, which would chase the shuttle aboard the Anakin Solo and provide support, stating he could accomplish something for Skywalker before he "escaped" back to the Galactic Alliance. In fact, he felt duty-bound to attempt to warn the Galactic Alliance. Celchu flew as Rakehell Three, with Syal as his wingmate; his comm unit was restricted to squadron frequency only. When they entered the Corellian system, timed to coincide with Solo's attack on Centerpoint, Celchu helped chase the Reveille to the Anakin Solo, but used his personal comlink to order Syal not to follow him, as he would break off early. He did so, following extremely close to Reveille to as to avoid most of the fire directed at him, and making a daredevil landing aboard the Anakin Solo, immediately using his personal comlink to alert the bridge to the fact that there were intruders aboard. While he did what he felt to be his duty, one of the security crew approaching him in his enemy X-wing, started by the attack coming from the Reveille, fired at Celchu, stunning him. He was taken to the Anakin Solo's medical bay, where he recovered.
Not long afterward, Niathal made her split with Solo, revealed as the Sith Lord Darth Caedus, after a long period of escalating tensions and established a splinter Alliance-in-exile. Celchu remained loyal to Niathal, and the war was soon concluded with a peace that established Niathal's ally Natasi Daala, ex-Imperial warlord and current commander of an irregular force opposing Solo, as Galactic Alliance Chief of State after no other candidate could be agreed upon.
Retiring from Active service
Niathal withdrew from politics and the military, retiring to Mon Calamari. Celchu did likewise, retiring once more. His reputation remained intact, and he was still widely popular within the military due to his lack of association with Caedus. In 43 ABY, about to be charged with dereliction of duty for her role in Jacen Solo's rise to power and reign of terror, Cha Niathal took her own life. The Galactic Alliance held a large state funeral service on Coruscant, and Celchu delivered the eulogy for the commander with whom he had worked closely.
The following year, the Jedi Order overthrew Chief of State Daala, believing that her policies and actions were not in the best interests of the Galactic Alliance. In her place, they established a Triumvirate consisting of Jedi Master Saba Sebatyne, Senator Haydnat Treen and Daala's former Chief of Staff, Wynn Dorvan. Celchu, along with Carlist Rieekan, attended a meeting of senior government and military figures dealing with former slave worlds petitioning for membership of the Galactic Alliance. Serving in an advisory capacity, Celchu commented on the petitions of both Klatooine and Qaras, and their respective choices as to the individuals to represent them in the Senate.
Personality and traits
- "Even without using the Force, there are some people who have minds so slow that you can almost hear synapses firing at a torpid pace. Others are so quick-witted you end up marveling at connections they make, but only after the five or ten minutes it takes you to unravel their thought processes. And then there are people whose minds move in multiple dimensions, all at lightspeed, leaving you unable to even begin to guess how their minds work. Tycho Celchu had such a mind, but what impressed me about him was not the speed with which he thought, but the cool deliberation that defined the way he thought."
- ―Corran Horn
Celchu was initially loyal to the Empire, though he hoped to be able to moderate and reform it from his position within the Navy. The destruction of Alderaan, however, drove him to defect to the Rebellion and take up its ideals. He became exceptionally dedicated to the Rebel Alliance and New Republic, fiercely determined to protect the citizens of the galaxy as those of Alderaan had not been protected. He was willing to subject himself to extreme restrictions after his time in Lusankya because it was the only way he could serve the cause; his very strong sense of duty also led him to alert the Galactic Alliance to the Jedi infiltration attempt even when he personally wished it success. He was calm and accepting of the situation when he was believed to be a spy, as he was when he was charged with treason. He was internally angry about being arrested, but knew that displays of rage would only be counterproductive and so waited for evidence that would exonerate him. Overall, he was levelheaded, calm, and highly skilled in analyzing a situation dispassionately and acting for the greatest good, skills that may have helped him become a valued military analyst for Pellaeon and Niathal.
Celchu enjoyed the philosophical discussion common on his homeworld, though he did not get much chance to engage in it within the military. Despite his affection for Alderaan, he had little to do with the Alderaanian refugee organizations which served as advocacy groups. He also disdained the Alderaanian philosophy of pacifism, regarding it as isolated from reality and foolishly unwilling to confront those evils which Celchu felt had no other solution but to be fought. This life of fighting led him to express a feeling that he was more at home flying in combat than living a peaceful life. He admitted that he did enjoy the military life as a young man, but after many years of combat service, a successful relationship with Winter, and the loss of many lives in war, he was eager to be able to live a peaceful life, even if his sense of duty never let him stay off the battlefield when the New Republic was in need.
Celchu was typically reserved, not betraying his emotions during official business. He was also reserved about his past and did not speak much about his time before joining the Rebellion; even his longtime squadronmate Janson did not know his full background for years after joining the squadron. Celchu endured many hardships in his life, giving him, in Antilles's opinion, a look of perpetual pain in his eyes. That life of stress may also have contributed to Celchu's premature graying; his hair was beginning to turn white at the temples by the age of thirty-two, though it only turned completely white at the age of sixty-one.
When dogfighting with Corran Horn over Xa Fel, Horn used the Force to get a sense of Celchu's mental processes. He was astounded by the speed at which Celchu's mind worked, making seemingly arbitrary snap decisions while adhering to a master plan. Horn characterized Celchu's mental process while piloting as boxing in the target, analyzing every possible move the target could make, and having a counter-maneuver ready to keep the target within his sights. Even while being targeted himself, he was always mindful of how he could herd his opponent into his "box" and remaining unfailingly calm under fire.
Celchu was extremely good friends with Wedge Antilles, having bonded tightly with him over years in the squadron, and he came to be a faithful second-in-command for much of Antilles's career. In time, Antilles came to consider him family, and Antilles's daughters referred to him as Uncle Tycho.
- "I am Tycho Celchu, son of Alderaan, now orphan of the galaxy. I have come to this place of my birth to pay homage to who I was and those I knew. And those I loved and love still. It is my wish that when life abandons me, I am returned here to be among you, so that for eternity we may be together as we should have been in life. These gifts are but insufficient tokens of the love for you all that still burns within me. This fighter is another. It bears the colors of the Alderaanian Guard and transmits their code. It is my pledge to you—not of vengeance but of vigilance. I hope you rest well knowing you will rest alone, because it is my life's work to see to it that no one else suffers as you have. I won't rest until this quest is complete. Rest easy. I miss you all."
- ―Tycho Celchu, making his Return
Celchu knew Nyiestra through his entire childhood, a longtime close friend. By the time he reached adolescence, he was certain he wanted to marry her, and she reciprocated that love. They spent as much time as possible together, eager to enjoy each other's company. He proposed as soon as he was of age, and Nyiestra agreed to wait for him to graduate the Academy, make it through his first year as a TIE pilot, and move into fleet operations. He would then be secure enough professionally to begin a family. Celchu was tremendously certain in his relationship with Nyiestra, sure that she provided an unshakable future for him.
The Death Star's destruction of Alderaan killed Nyiestra and, in so doing, eliminated that certain future. Celchu was traumatized, throwing himself into battle against the Empire that had taken his family and fiancée from him, dedicating himself to making sure no one else suffered their fate. However, in so doing, Celchu became a hardened warrior, someone the pacifistic Nyiestra would not have understood. He realized that, by taking the action he felt was necessary and opposing the Empire, he had become someone fundamentally unsuitable for Nyiestra, a loss which cut him deeply, though he accepted it as inevitable.
- Celchu: "And she's very beautiful."
- Winter: "I could almost swear you're smitten by her."
- Celchu: "You could say that. It's more than a 'we're survivors of Alderaan thing,' for me, anyway."
- ―Tycho Celchu and Winter, masquerading as Leia Organa
Celchu first met Winter on Cilpar, where he was struck by her beauty, bravery and confidence. Celchu thought much about her after that mission's resolution, hoping to meet her again. When he did on Tatooine, he was overjoyed, and made every effort to flirt with her. She rebuffed him continually—though she was becoming fond of him inside, she did not want to become attached to the pilot, fearing having to suffer his loss. When she thought him dead, she was struck by just how much she cared for him, and gave in to her feelings upon seeing him alive, kissing him.
Celchu saw nothing of her after that, however, leaving him worried as to whether they had a relationship or not. Speaking with Winter disguised as Leia Organa during the diplomatic trip to Eiattu helped reassure him that she was fond of him, and her seduction of him on Eiattu confirmed their romantic relationship, which was only strengthened by their escape from Tavira. From that point on, they began a solid romantic relationship, one which quickly developed to the point that Antilles ribbed Celchu about spending his nights with Winter.
Though Celchu and Winter found it hard to spend time together romantically due to their mission load, the two experienced warriors made a point to get as much as they could out of their time together, even if they were in battle. They understood that each had his or her own duties to attend to, and simply sought to enjoy what they could of each other. Simply knowing that the other cared for them provided enough support to get them through from meeting to meeting.
Celchu's imprisonment in Lusankya placed his relationship with Winter on an especially long hiatus, and even after he escaped she was busy on missions too frequently for him to see her; his status as a security risk also kept him from being allowed information on her whereabouts. Celchu was left unsure for the next several months whether Winter still wanted to date him or if she had moved on. Winter did still love him and believed in his innocence, and they met once more during the mission to capture Coruscant. Their romance rekindled, it was not dulled even by Celchu's treason trial, during which Winter visited him and continued to believe in his innocence.
They worked beside each other in the Bacta War, but the Zsinj campaign took them apart, and Winter's appointment as Leia Organa's aide ended the possibility of their working together again. From 9 to 11 ABY, Winter was kept in complete seclusion on Anoth, guarding and raising the Solo children; Celchu could not see her and had no idea where she actually was. Their love, however, remained strong, and when she returned they picked up where they had left off. In 17 ABY, they finally married, making their commitment to each other formal and permanent. With Celchu's retirement, they got to spend much more time together, though the Yuuzhan Vong War separated them once more. By the end of that war, Winter was determined that she and Celchu would return to domestic life. The pair may have had children, as Celchu implied in 41 ABY that his family consisted of more than two persons, though his wording was ambiguous.
Behind the scenes
The character of Tycho Celchu was created by author Michael A. Stackpole for the X-Wing series of novels, in which he served as Wedge Antilles's second-in-command. Stackpole found the fact that pilots who were shot down during World War II were not allowed to return to combat after escaping to be interesting, and designed Celchu's character around the fact that he was an escapee who could no longer be trusted by his own military but longed to contribute. When Stackpole was contacted by Dark Horse Comics about creating an X-Wing comic series, Stackpole helped form the series and offered his backstory material for the characters in his novels, leading to Celchu's appearance in the series; he in fact debuted in Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron: The Rebel Opposition. Celchu was used throughout the comics, and appeared in every Star Wars novel Stackpole has written. Stackpole has identified Celchu as among his favorite characters, though he did not expect Celchu to be as popular as he is. Author Aaron Allston also wrote several X-wing novels focusing on Wraith Squadron but also including Rogue Squadron, resulting in his including Celchu in his works and eventually writing the character heavily. As a result, Celchu has also appeared in every Star Wars novel written by Allston, except Fate of the Jedi: Outcast, in which he is only mentioned, and Fate of the Jedi: Backlash, where he appears in a hologram.
Celchu has been retconned into Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi by Stackpole, who has identified him as the pilot of the second A-wing seen veering off in the attack on the Death Star, and by Decipher, Inc., which identified him as one of the background pilots seen in the briefing scene, portrayed by Terence Mustoo. Celchu also appeared in Star Wars: Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike, in which he was voiced by Timothy Omundson. Celchu was voiced by Jess Harnell in Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, in which he appeared simply as Rogue Leader.
Celchu's background given in his first appearance, Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron: The Rebel Opposition does not match up with the backstory later established; he is mentioned as being in the Alderaanian Navy, being engaged to a woman named Mia, and speaking to her when the Death Star destroyed Alderaan. Later sources established that Celchu was in the Imperial Navy, was engaged to a woman named Nyiestra, and was speaking with his family. The conflict was retconned in Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron: Battleground: Tatooine as false information contained in his Imperial files and believed by Winter.
Celchu's hair color is a matter of some confusion. Though Stackpole consistently identifies his hair as light brown in his novels, the early X-wing Rogue Squadron comics showed Celchu with bright blond hair. This was likely the result of poor communication with the creative team behind the comics, as Celchu's hair was shaded a darker blond in later issues and, in those issues Stackpole scripted himself, was colored a distinct light brown. Allston, apparently working off the comic description, has described Celchu's hair as blond and simply as fair, but never as light brown. His hair has also been shown blond in other sources, but has only appeared as brown in Rebel Strike, in which it was a very dark brown. While no canonical reconciliation has been made, it is possible that Celchu's hair was simply of an intermediate shade capable of being described and depicted both as light brown and blond, or that he dyed his hair.