With Rogue One approaching and the movie’s focus on the personal stories of soldiers in the rebel alliance, I had to wonder to myself: where did the Rebellion come from? I understand Mon Mothma, Senator Organa and the characters from Star Wars Rebels all made contributions in creating the force that would be the Empire’s demise, but how were they able to rally so many behind their cause?
Long before the initial creation of the Empire, during the final years of the Clone Wars, Anakin Skywalker helped establish resistance movements on Separatist ruled worlds to oppose the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Many of these cells would later come together to form a large portion the Rebellion. To coalesce these cells in the future Rebel Alliance, they required leaders. Before the rise of the Empire, the Chancellor’s hand picked Loyalist Committee, meant to preserve the Republic during wartime and oversee Palpatine, determined he had abused his powers. Padme Amidala, Bail Organa and Mon Mothma came together with the support of the Loyalist Committee and other senators to create the Delegation of 2000; this group hoped to strip the Chancellor of his emergency powers and restore the Senate as the leaders of the Old Republic.
As the Clone Wars were completed, Chancellor Palpatine unilaterally appointed himself as Galactic Emperor of the newly formed Empire. With the destruction of the Jedi Order, the dismantling of the Republic the Loyalist Committee had fought so hard to protect and the death of Senator Amidala, Bail Organa and Mon Mothma continued their defiance of the Emperor.
The reorganized Senate was more ineffective than the last allowing Palpatine to expand military reach at a rapid rate. In deepest secrecy, the Empire also constructed their heinous Death Star; the Emperor’s regime truly thrived under these conditions. Some beings did rebel against the Empire, but they normally acted independently and for their self interests making it harder to organize a proper defying force.
In some cases independent organized resistances did arise. For example, the Free Ryloth movement which evolved from the Twi’lek Resistance during the Clone Wars did stand their ground against the Empire and established numerous bases in the Ryloth System.
By the fourteenth year of Palpatine’s rule, numerous cells were established against the Empire and all they required was organization from the Senators to create a formidable force. To keep the cells unified and in the dark on Organa’s overarching plans, the cells were given information through the mysterious being known as Fulcrum who was revealed to be Ahsoka Tano. This early Rebellion network laid the groundwork for future victories against the Empire.
Five years after the beginning of Star Wars Rebels, the Rebel Alliance was able to acquire enough military equipment and beings to launch full scale assaults against the Empire; inevitably these attacks led to the destruction of multiple Death Stars and the eradication of the Emperor.
Together the Rebellion defies the odds. Through their passion, resolve and intelligence the Rebels were able to destroy one of the strongest military forces the Star Wars galaxy had ever seen. Many were lost along the way, but in the end their losses reestablished the Jedi Order and democracy for the galaxy.