Star Wars ABCs is a fun 26-part series that partners Star Wars with your ABCs to introduce you to characters, droids, places, and creatures from every era of the franchise, including the newest venture into a galaxy far, far away — The High Republic.
H is for Hera Syndulla
Hera Syndulla was a Twi’lek female fighter pilot, revolutionary and key figure during the early stages of the rebellion and the Galactic Civil War during the era of the Galactic Empire and the New Republic. Syndulla was a legendary figure within the Rebel Alliance, known for her prodigious skill as a fighter pilot, bravery, ingenuity, and leadership ability.
Born in 29 BBY on the Twi’lek homeworld of Ryloth, Syndulla grew up during the Clone Wars and was witness to massive devastation brought to her homeworld and her family by the galaxy-wide conflict. Her father, Cham Syndulla, was an important figure in the Twi’lek resistance who fought against the Confederacy of Independent Systems during the Clone Wars, and again against the Galactic Empire following the fall of the Republic. Hera lost her mother and brother during the Clone Wars, which contributed to an extremely strained relationship with father. Hera felt that her father cared more about defeating the Empire than he did his own family, while Cham felt his daughter cared more about the galaxy at-large than Ryloth.
Due to the strained relationship with her father and a desire to do more good for a galaxy that was suffering under the Empire, Syndulla left Ryloth with her trusty astromech droid Chopper aboard her ship, the Ghost. It wasn’t long before the young Twi’lek created her own rebel cell that was comprised of the Jedi Padawan Kanan Jarrus — one of the few Jedi to survive Order 66 — Mandalorian warrior Sabine Wren, Lasat warrior Garazeb “Zeb” Orrelios, and Padawan Ezra Bridger. The crew of the Ghost became infamous throughout Imperial ranks for their constant harassment and sabotage of the Empire’s factories, outposts, and operations. Sydulla and her crew created such a troublesome insurgency on Lothal that Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, Lord Vader, and Grand Admiral Thrawn all became involved.
Eventually, Syndulla’s exploits caught the attention of Senator Bail Organa, who was actively trying to coordinate and organize various rebel cells around the galaxy into a more cohesive fighting force. The crew of the Ghost became Phoenix Cell and Syndulla became Phoenix Leader. During this time, the lifelong rebel led a number of starfighter missions for the group until it formally joined the Rebel Alliance in 2 BBY. Her exploits on Lothal, mission record as Phoenix leader, and leadership qualities led to being promoted to the rank of General in the Rebel Alliance, were she would faithfully serve through the end of the Galactic Civil War. Following the fall of the Empire, Syndulla remained in the military and was one of the New Republics top generals.
In addition to being a skilled leader who organized and led various rebel cells, the Rebel General was also one of the most skilled pilots in the galaxy. During her time as a pilot she flew the Ghost, Phantom, a prototype B-wing starfighter, A-wing, and T-65B X-Wing. Syndulla was so good that even Grand Admiral Thrawn respected and feared her abilities, planning several of his strategies around them.
You can join Hera Syndulla on her adventures in the Star Wars: Rebels animated TV series on Disney+.
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