BoLS logo Tabletop, RPGs & Pop Culture

Star Wars: A Rebellion Built on Hope – The Rebel Alliance Explainer

3 Minute Read
Jul 11 2022

Taking on the entire Galactic Empire with almost nothing, The Rebel Alliance are some of Star Wars‘ first heroes.

The First Years

The Rebel Alliance truly began as the Republic fell and the Empire came into power. After all, the parts were forming throughout the Clone Wars years. Bubbles of resistance showed up within the Seperatist worlds. But central leadership, cohesion, or a name wouldn’t happen for a few years.

When Sheeve Palpatine began to take on emergency powers and set himself up to be the future Emperor, Mon Mothma, Bail Organa, and Padme Amidala were the first to oppose him. Despite their pull though, he soon claimed Imperial leadership for himself. He issued Order 66, beginning the Galactic Empire. This brought the Clone Wars to an end.

Mon Mothma and Bail Organa began working nearly immediately to make plans to overthrow the newly-formed Empire. But with virtually no opposition and a great deal of military prowess, very little was to stand a chance against Emperor Palpatine for some time.

In the earliest years, much of the resistance was made up of smaller groups or even individuals. For example Cham Syndulla’s Free Ryloth Movement was prevalent on amongst the Twi’lek on Ryloth, but little known in other systems.

An Organized Rebellion

By about 5 BBY a few organized cells of rebellion had formed. Slowly this began to form together, some of the first groups joining with Mon Mothma in what she had begun calling, “The Alliance.” Other major players in these first building years were Bail Organa and Ahsoka Tano who oversaw the Pheonix Cell of the Rebellion. These cells worked towards the same end. Though many members of them didn’t yet know that there was a larger Alliance forming.

Eventually the Empire was alerted to the existence of the budding rebellions while capturing Kanan Jarrus. And after a bit of eluding, fighting, and running, it was time for the Rebellion to be formerly introduced to the Galaxy. Then Senator Mon Mothma made a formal declaration of the Rebel Alliance. She resigned from the Senate and officially denounced Emperor Palpatine. The scattered groups and splinter cells answered her call, forming into one cohesive group, and the Rebel Alliance was finally born.


Successes and Loss

Despite having some of the most dedicated members in the galaxy, the Rebel Alliance was often outnumbered and outgunned. A lack of funding and equipment forced them to be smarter and more resourceful in their missions. Small groups of skilled people would take on specific jobs to win back support, supplies, or territory, inch by inch.

One of Rebellions first biggest altercations was the battle of Scarif. Though the ground-team working to find the Death Star‘s plans was small, the resulting space battle above took as much of the Rebellion fleet as could make it. This was quickly followed by a the assault on the Death Star, which was one of the Alliance’s most significant wins.

After the destruction of the First Death Star the Alliance went back to fighting the empire in small, thoughtful chess moves. That is, until it was once again time to destroy the second Death Star. Then an all-out attack was planned from multiple positions at once.

This marked the destruction of the Empire and the end of the need for the Rebel Alliance. But they would stick around in one form or another. We all know bits of Imperial power tried to continue fighting the new Republic.

What is your favorite mission or battle of the Rebel Alliance? Who is your favorite member of the Rebellion? When do you consider the Alliance to have officially formed? Let us know in the comments!

May The Force Be With You, Adventurers!


  • Star Wars: Recognize that Foul Stench? It's the Grand Moff Tarkin Breakdown