Welcome to another deep-drive thread boosted by quarantine boredom. This time we are going to look into my favorite not-IU Star Wars reference book from the Disney era: @pablohidalgo and Kemp Remillard's "Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide"
The usual rules apply:
-A page-by-page analysis
-Everything contained to one single easily-muted (cough) thread
-One picture per thread but never scans or pictures from the book (buy it, it's been a while and it's cheap now)
What's this guide? It's a combination visual dictionary/cross-section book about Rogue one, the first and best Star Wars spinoff movie

Why now? Why this late? Well, I had to get it out of storage. What? I live in a little house.
Also my copy is signed by both author and artist. I bet you feel jealous now!




Cough. Okay, let's get it started.

Who else but John Knoll could write the foreword? He started the ball rolling on "The Planet Killer", remember. He talks about nostalgia for nostalgia's sake not being worth anyone's time, and I couldn't agree more. This movie straddled that line very well.

We start with my catnip: a galactic map. We hear how the defeat of the Separatists gave the Empire a territory far larger than the Republic's ever was, and how this caused a massive military buildup to happen. And this war machine is usually housed in the Outer Rim.
The map includes most significative planets to that date, most significantly perhaps Lothal from Star Wars Rebels.

We get small sidebars about Lah'Mu, Jedha, Eadu and Scarif. No Kafrene (perhaps due to it being a late addition) although it appears in the map

Pic source: EW
There's also a small timeline called "Countdown to War" using a BR1 (Before Rogue One) format.

I can't want to see the headlines reading "Lucasfilm Just Changed The Star Wars Timeline - Again!" If you see any in the near future, please leave them here.
The timeline covers the space between The Phantom Menace and Rogue One, showing most expected events. I *think* this was the first place to show Mon Mothma's defection happening 2 years before Yavin, as Rebels would eventually show us.

We move now to the time period shown in the Rogue One prologue.

The text tells us that it's been six years since the Clone Wars and that the Empire is strong. Many wary about the new government have tried to escape it.

Lah'mu (Neimodian word meaning "prosperity") is a small unremarkable planet in the Outer Rim. Its silica rings are formed from the remains of a natural satellite long gone.

Curiosity: the local biosphere transforms iron into chlorophyll. Science!

The next page tells us four facts about the Ersos life on Lah'mu: it's sparsely populated (500 settlers on its western hemisphere!), they grew crops to subsist, own a homestead and 65 hectares, and had to carefully purify all their crops from volcanic residue.
They acquired the land through several fronts thanks to Saw Gerrera. We saw their arrival here in the closing chapters of Catalyst, one of the best movie direct-tie-ins... maybe ever. We'll be seeing many more connections between that book and this one.

The vaporators seen in Lah'mu are Pretormin GX-8, the same seen on Tatooine. Here they distill and purify water from air, as the underground water in the volcanic world is not potable.

We briefly move even further back in time now, to the time shown in Jyn's dream. We read a very short summary of the events in Catalyst: the Ersos' captivity in Vallt, Krennic's rescue of them, Lyra's mistrust of their apparent savior.

Really good novel!
Taking a short break, but we return with an in-depth look at Lyra Erso.

And yeeeeees, we'll start seeing all the deep references you crave.

Section opens with a sidebar again referencing events from Catalyst: her meeting Galen in Espinar, her moving to Coruscant with Galen as he worked on the energy field, and her being the first to recognize the truth behind their benefactors.
We read that Lyra studied the Jedi philosophy. It's left as a possibility that she ever contacted the Church of the Force.

The Church of the Force is a concept from the Underworld TV series. Lor San Tekka from TFA was a member of said movement.
This spirituality is seen not only in the kyber pendant she passed on to Jyn, but in the Jedha scarlet vestments she now dons.

Yup. she wears the Red Sash of the Enlightened, like Chirrut. I wonder if this is a nod to her early conception as a fugitive Jedi.
Lyra's data file tells us more about her. She was born in Aria Prime, as mentioned in Catalyst. She studied in the University of Rudrig, like Viurre and Kiili from Han Solo and the Lost Legacy (first Daley nod!)
Curiosity: she wears a sativa plant-fiber robe. You know: hemp. Fold up the 420 flags, kids.
She owns a comlink with a coded channel to Galen and Jyn. I know we see it on-screen, but it made me think of the very traumatizing opening scene of Ewoks: The Battle of Endor. Not okay.
That's it for Lyra. We'll return next with a look at the Erso homestead, including mmmmmmaybe my favorite two-page spread in the whole book!

Yay alliteration!

Some more Lah'mu backstory: the Republic's Ministry of Economic Development incentivized settlers to move to the Outer Rim.

This office was mentioned in KOTOR supplemental materials, and was mentioned in Propaganda.
This campaign was an absolute failure, but it left the Ersos with a few sparsely populated but surveyed worlds to hide in.

Yay to silver linings

Most of the homestead is underground, heated by geothermal convertors built by Galen Erso.
We get a few nice shots of the interiors, making you love even more all the production designers. These movies are made with care, people.

Several props adorn the page, including Galen's "Blissex-head" screwdriver (well, "bit turner") I've told this before, but I will again.
WEG introduced us to two spaceship engineers: Walek Blissex (made ships for the Republic, defected to the Alliance) and his daughter Lira Wessex (designed the Imperial Star Destroyer, staunch Imperial.) Their feud and lives were featured in a couple of fondly-remembered modules.
So Blissex-head and Wessex-head turners were introduced in some TFA materials as the spacey equivalent to Phillips-head and flat-head screwdrivers. Some good fun.
We take a brief look at Essie (SE-2), the Ersos' labor droid, and we are reminded that he's very loyal. He warned them of Krennic's approach.
Finally, we see the family's battered speeder, kept for scrap bits. It's labeled as a Gian V-44, and you might remember the Gian V-19 from The Phantom Menace. There's another Gian in TFA, so the line appears to be pretty successful!

Do you remember Jyn gathering her toys in Rogue One? Well... they get a full two-page spread, and it's delightful. Most of them, if not all, appear to be homemade.

Are we going to look at them one by one? Oh hell yeah we are.
First we have "Abommy the Gig." People always say that it looks like a Wampa, but I suspect it's supposed to be a Gigoran (WEG species, also in this movie.)

And "Abommy"... well, it does look like a certain abominable snowman.
Next, "Stormie", a stormtrooper doll that was prominently featured in the EW photoshoot.

She also has homemade toys representing an astromech, a TIE Fighter, an Eta-2 starfighter, an ARC-170, a Corellian corvette, a Venator, and a Separatist Dreadnaught. Jyn the fleet junkie!
More dolls: "Opee Opee", probably a toy Opee sea killer of TPM fame. "Sniksnak" a pet shaak, from AOTC. "Longee", a giraffe-like creature that I'm not sure what it could be... but probably prequel-related, if I had to bet on it.
Or not, because "Tinta the Snow Lizard" is clearly a Tauntaun (and sounds like a mispronounced one, as well.)
She has two tooka dolls: one, a pretty realistic one, is called "Koodie"; the other one is called "Starrie" and yes, it's pretty much like Numa's doll from The Clone Wars. Attention to detail!
"Mr. Iggy" is, amusingly, an IG-series droid.

"Bad Mister Goob" is a pretty scary villain: I don't know if it references anything, so let me know if you do! It reminds me of Apocalypse!
And I left my favorite one for the end: "Lucky Hazz Obloobit." It would appear that Jyn named a doll after Catalyst hero Has Obitt, who she probably remembered as one of the people who helped her family when she was very little. An adorable touch.
And that's all for tonight. Not even half-done with the first chapter!

Join me next with a look at Krennic's shuttle and the very, very, very scary death troopers. See ya!

Look at this thing! Can technology look malignant? Yes it can. "But technology is neutral!" Of course it is, kid! That's why we use atomic warheads as paperweights!

We read that it was never a popular model, but Krennic liked its looks.
The shuttle is, like all other shuttles named after Greek letters, a product of Sienar Fleet Systems and Cygnus Spaceworks.

Did you know that Cygnus originated as fanon? They were first named in some old very-well-made blueprints for the Lambda shuttle.
Unlike the Lambda, the Delta offers little in the way of comfort. It's a brutalist nightmare often used by Krennic and his six death troopers. They don't even hail landing ports: they expect them to check their transponders. Krennic is such a damn brat.
Captain Pterro, Krennic's aide, commands this shuttle. He privately calls it Pteradon (nerd) because Krennic refuses to do something as sentimental as naming his shuttle. It's Imperial shuttle ST-149, and that's enough.
The cross-sectional view is, of course, a work of art. Did you expect any less from Remillard? We get to see the manufacturers of some of their components, including usual suspects like SFS or Taim & Bak. I appreciate that the WEG nomenclature is followed, but that's probably me.
Oh, and in case you didn't love-to-hate Krennic already, we are told that despite his being afforded personal docking bays in the Death Star, Eadu and Scarif, he's incensed that they are secondary to the ones allocated to Tarkin.

This guy.
Oh, nearly forgot: we find out that the SFS/Cygnus shuttle line is called Abecedarian. The Sienar marketing department probably thought that Alphabetical was too simple and harder to trademark.

My favorite of the new stormtroopers, for sure. An elite unit created to protect key personnel and facilities, recruited by Imperial Intelligence and subjected to classified medical procedures to enhance their abilities. Creepy.
Another window into Palpatine's craftiness: we read about his ability to recast old symbols into New Order icons. Think of Hitler and the Roman Empire. WEG mentioned this often, with his using Mandalorian lines for the Red Guard or his use of Atrisian rhetorics.
The Death Troopers were another example: they got their name from a legend, a rumored ultrasecret Imperial project designed to animate dead people. The use of that name and their striking black armor helped their scary reputation grow.
This is, of course, a reference to Legends-era zombie novel Deathtroopers, by Joe Schreiber. An oddity at the time, but one I've come to appreciate with time.

These zombie deathtroopers joined modern lore thanks to Star Wars: Commander, as a special Halloween campaign.
Anyway, the real non-zombie death troopers protected officers within the Tarkin Initiative, a secret think tank within the Advanced Weapons Research division.

The Tarkin Initiative was first mentioned in the Darth Vader comic. A hint of things to come? Retroactive continuity? 🤷‍♂️
We'll be seeing more about the Initiative later on. What matters is, Krennic appears to love his death trooper guard and goes with them everywhere.

Did you know that death troopers were intended to look good next to Krennic, like a reverse of Vader and his stormies in ANH?
We learn that death trooper armor is coated in a new polymer known as reflec.

Reflec was first seen in The Kathol Outback, part of the DarkStryder Campaign. It was also said to be what covered Blackhole's stormtrooper's armors, from the Manning comic strip.
The nameless death trooper featured in the data file has most of his information classified, but he belong to Unit TI-23 "The Undying." He's an expert in demolitions, improvised weaponry, and guerrilla warfare. It feels like Larry Hama wrote his filecard, so thumbs up.

A gorgeous two-page spread tells us the sad story of Krennic finding the Ersos. Jyn hiding in the hatch, a drill she has practiced countless times. And the cost that Krennic made Galen pay for his initial refusal to go back.

Join me next when we start with chapter 2, looking into the Alliance: goals, organization, equipment, and personalities. "It's going to be a long one", he threatened.

"A tempestuous union of star systems" is a pretty good description. The introduction page tells us that they are outnumbered and divided, and that they need to come together if they are to carry the torch of hope.

There she is. A grown-up Jyn. A survivor who hasn't heard her own real name in years, escaping her past grief with recklessness and defiance, but fighting just to live another day.
The text gives us three of her aliases. "Liana Hallik" we already know from the movie. "Tanith Ponta" appears in the other great tie-in novel, Beth Revis' Rebel Rising; the Pontas briefly become Jyn's adoptive family.

Seriously, how good were this movie's books?
The last one, "Kestrel Dawn", is likely a reference to Raleigh "Kestrel" Dawn, from Pablo's old Rookies comic strip, that adapted a couple of WEG adventures. She's based on the character once played by a friend of his, I believe! Very cool nod!
Alliance Intelligence knows of Jyn's connection to Galen and decide to spring her out of prison. She's unimpressed with the Rebel brass and doesn't appreciate being briefed while still in binders. I hadn't thought of that, lol.
Her remarkable martial skills come, of course, from her time with Saw Gerrera, who rescued her from Lah'mu. Saw abandoned her five years before, not doing anything good for her already existing feelings of abandonment.
The data file gives us her planet of birth as Vallt, as seen in Catalyst. And yes, she's supposed to be 21. Ah well, Star Wars and ages.

Her comlink, a 2-MAL, is probably a previous version of the 3-MAL used by Rebels in Hoth. What? Too nerdy?
Her crimes against the Empire are listed again, this time classified as Class One and Class Two infractions.

This references the Imperial Reference Code (ImPeRe) from WEG, that I've lauded before. Crimes can go from Class Five (minor fine) to Class One (death penalty.)

The next spread shows as Jyn and Cassian getting ready to leave Yavin 4.

The Wobani prison vehicle is explicitly identified as a HCVw A9. The one in ROTS was a HCWv A6, and the earlier WEG iteration was an A5. A proud line of big tanks!
We see a brief appearance by General Draven, but we'll see him again later. We are told their mission is dubbed Operation Fracture, the same name used in the novelization and in Jason Fry's excellent Rebel Dossier.
Another short break, but we'll return later with a look at Yavin 4 and to Ms. Mon Mothma herself.

We open with a planetary profile of Yavin and its system. Information like the Yavin gas giant having 26 moons is straight from Legends; several sources like one of WEG's Galaxy Guides or Wizards' Geonosis and TORW looked at it in-depth, so why not use them?
The planet picture has two of its continents labeled as Wetyin and Starloft, info straight out of Galaxy Guide 2.

he Massassi temples are simply said to belong to an extinct civilization, so sorry if you really wanted the EU's Sith connection back (you monster)
Also, although often forgotten, the Base One monicker is straight from ANH.

That's it for Yavin 4, other than some really pretty pictures, so let's move on to the entry I feared the most...

Mon's entry begins by mentioning that her father was an arbiter-general for the Republic and her mom was Chandrila's governor. Check your privilege, girl. Anyway, this is all EU info; mom was called Tanis Mothma according to the HNN website.
We get a brief mention of her cut ROTS scenes, as well as a couple of pictures. Her reunions with Bail and Padmé in said scenes are said to happen at Cantham House, neatly recovering some old WEG lore from the Rebel Alliance Sourcebook.
We learn that Mon Mothma spoke publicly against the Emperor after "escalating outrages", calling him a lying executioner. Star Wars Rebels depicted this, clarifying that the Ghorman Massacre (another WEG event) was the final straw. She fled Coruscant and resigned her seat.
This public declaration of rebellion eventually gave rise ton the formal Declaration of Rebellion, in case you wondered if Mon Mothma read this whole thing to the Senate: no, she probably didn't.
As the Rebellion is both paramilitary force and political movement, Mon Mothma fills two roles: Chief of State of the civil government, and Commander-in-Chief of the Alliance Forces.

Again: lore from WEG's Rebel Alliance Sourcebook. Get used to it, because you'll see more.
(As some additional trivia, the EU had the head of the New Republic also adopt this title, Chief of State, presumable as a continuation of the Alliance's office. So yeah, blame WEG for the pages and pages of aliens blaring "Chief of State Organa-Solo!")
We get two final nods in her portrait's labels. First, her pendant is called a "Medal of Freedom", recovering the original Visual Dictionary term over the more recent "Hanna pendant" from the Character Encyclopedia.

Don't go! Space jewelry is important!
And second, her haircut is described as "Naylian-style."

Nayli was the city in Chandrila seen in the Nintendo 64 classic Star Wars: Rogue Squadron.
And that's it for Mon. Next, we'll continue with the main Alliance military leaders seen in the movie: Raddus, Draven and Merrick.

Time for a look into our favorite Mon Calamari based on Winston Churchill. Physically, I mean, because as far as I know Raddus is not necessarily pro-genocide.

At the time of Rogue One, he's in command of the Rebel Fleet.
Mon Mothma considers this fleet the most important component of the Alliance Forces. The Council is of the opinion that, if there's ever a victory against the Empire, it will be won in a naval battle.
At this time, the fleet is a hodgepodge of donated and stolen ships, of course. The text mentions Hammerhead corvettes, Dornean gunships, Alderaanian cruiser and Gallofree transports.

The last two are known properties from the OT, but the first two merit a separate mention.
The Hammerhead first appeared in Rebels and then was added to Rogue One, making it an animation-to-live-action transplant. It was based on the Hammerhead from the KOTOR videogames.
The Dornean ship was rescued from obscurity, originally a background model briefly seen in ROTJ. It was named by a fan named Ello137 in the old What's The Story? contest, making it a product of an allied species seen in the very underrated Black Fleet Crisis trilogy of EU novels.
But the fleet is in the process of acquiring "a new and mighty spine." I would say "a mighty fishbone" but that's probably the reason I don't write these books.

Yeah, we are talking about the Mon Calamari fleet!
After the Empire occupied Mon Cala, many Mon Calamari vessels escaped into hyperspace.

And we are talking, as the text calls them, "city-ships." You saw them in The Clone Wars. WEG always called them converted civilian ships, so it's not much of a deviation.
We saw this exodus in the second volume of the Darth Vader comic, published months after this guide. Who knows who had the idea first, but that's the beauty (and frustration) of shared storytelling!

That comic showed Raddus leading this exodus, so of course, he leads the fleet.
The city-ships are being rebuilt into warships in deep-space facilities in the remote Telaris system.

Telaris is briefly mentioned in WEG's Rebel Alliance Sourcebook as the place where Ackbar assumed control of the fleet. So, again, fitting.
Raddus is always with this Fleet, rarely setting foot on Yavin 4. His aides, Caitken and Shollan, are always by his side.

I don't know if it's been established that their race comes from abyssal Mon Cala depth, but it should. Or maybe not: too obvious.
The plan is that, as soon as the Rebel Fleet is ready, it will carry the Alliance's starfighters, reducing the risk of a ground base being discovered.

I've talked about the "large Alliance/small Alliance" tension in Star Wars storytelling before. Here we have it again!
Let's look at Raddus' data file now.

He's 65 standard years. His skin is "chromatosphoric" and aids camouflage, presumably in his native environment. In the real world, chromophoric chemical groups absorb light at a specific frequency and so impart color.
Raddus comes from the polar regions of Mon Cala, and his people's blood is said to be thicker than that of their salmon-colored neighbors. A reputation that Raddus loves to live to: he's not into social pleasantries or waxing poetically about hope and whatnot.
A pause and then we'll return with General Draven, our favorite spook.

Let's open this section by talking about someone else than General Draven!

Because as we find out here Draven is "merely" the Intelligence liaison to Yavin 4: the Intelligence director is General Airen Cracken.
Alliance Intelligence was first described in WEG's Rebel Alliance Sourcebook (1990), although its boss wouldn't get a name until the following year's Cracken's Field Guide.

Yeah, he's one of those guys who gets books named after them. Important people!
Cracken appeared all through the EU. In the RPG he "authored" more books and even had his section in the Adventure Journal magazine, "Wanted By Cracken."

He and his son Pash showed their faces from time to time in EU novels, particularly of the Zahnstackpole inclination.
Funnily enough, one of the Falcon's gunners during the Battle of Endor was retconned into being Airen. Why? Who knows.

He's appeared in more recent materials, like Moving Target, Alphabet Squadron, or the Doctor Aphra comic.
But enough about Cracken! Who is Draven?

Draven is a Clone Wars veteran personally trained by Cracken. He served in the Republic's military intelligence, so he personally knows many of the current Imperial military leaders... and what they are capable of.
He worked side by side with the strategists and commander who would form the core of the Imperial war machine, so he knows they go to great extents to ensure Imperial dominance. It's an interesting portrayal: Draven is driven to stop the Empire at any cost.
We see a screenshot of a cut scene where General Merrick confronts Draven after the Eadu fiasco: Merrick considers Draven too coldly pragmatic, too removed from the comradeship that fighter pilots encourage and enjoy.

I think they don't like each other.
Draven doesn't appear to care about Merrick's point of view. Alliance and Empire still haven't started open hostilities, so he knows that victories are not going to be glamorous: his tools are sabotage and assassination, and he doesn't care about recognition or praise.
Now we take a look at his data file. His full name is Davits Draven, he's 45 years old, and he comes from Pendarr III.

Pendar III was first seen in... you guessed it, Wanted By Cracken! It was the homeworld of the Pendarran Warriors.
The Pendarrian Warriors were a military group that fought alongside the Jedi during the Clone Wars. The EU had a few of these, perhaps too many: Freedom's Sons or the Antarian Rangers are other examples.

Can we infer that Draven was part of the Warriors? No, not really.
He was part of Republic Intelligence, not any paramilitary. But the EU was the Warriors be exterminated to almost the last man and woman during the Purge, so I bet this would tint his perception of the extremes the Empire was willing to go. Just my personal take on it.
Since this guide came out, good old Draven finally met his end in the pages of the Star Wars comic. He sacrificed himself, feeling the weight of the guilt over nearly having ruined Operation Fracture. He was personally Vadered, so not a bad end. [In The Arms Of The Angel plays]
Next, the best mustache in the Rebel Alliance, with all my respects to Biggs Darklighter: General Merrick!

General Anton Merrick leads the X-Wing, Y-Wing and U-Wing squadrons assembled at Base One but he's also Blue-1, leader of Blue Squadron. He's a veteran at the controls of U-Wings, but he prefers a good ol' X-Wing.

We love his smile.
Like Draven, Merrick is a Clone Wars veteran. He led the Rarified Air Cavalry a Virujansi, his homeworld's defense force.

Virujansi is a world with a long story in Star Wars, and it's cool to see Draven hail from it.
I first knew of Virujansi through an adventure included in the Star Wars Rules Companion, one of the last 1st ed books I ever bought (sadly, the publishers in Spain released a mishmash of 1E and 2E.) The player characters pretend to be the Rajahs of Virujansi, shenanigans ensue!
I always double-check this kind of info with Wookieepedia, and the wiki insists it was actually first mentioned in the ANH novelization. Huh. So I got it off storage (hush) and... so far I haven't been able to find said reference.

Take it as you will.
I wonder if whoever edited that entry was being a bit... overzealous, as Virujansi was indeed given as Gaven Dreis' homeworld. You know, Red Leader from ANH.

Oh yeah, I should add: Blue and Red Leaders come from the same world!
Virujansi and its Rarified Air Cavalry were later featured in Insider #72, in a Holonet News feature that had Anakin leading them against the Separatists and earning his "Hero With No Fear" monicker from the local resistance movement.

I miss Holonet News a lot.
Anyway, after the rise of the Empire, the Virujansi Council was replaced by an Imperial governor and the Rarified Air Cavalry was forces to disband.

Merrick and Dreis politely refused an offer to join the Imperial Navy, retired with honors, and jumped into Alliance's arms ASAP.
More than following any political ideals, apparently our buddies just thought the Alliance's pilots were better and more coordinated than "the unimaginative TIE Fighter forces of the Empire."

A small sidebar tells us that Merrick is particularly protective of U-Wing pilots, who despite being more modest than X-Wing hotshots carry the extra responsibility of ferrying infantry to and from battlefields. They are all work and no glory.

We'll talk about them soon!
Some chain of command info: Merrick leads the Base One starfighter wing, having both Dreis (Red Leader) and Vander (Gold Leader) under his command. In his absence, Jan Dodonna himself is in charge of the fighters (as seen in that little "Star Wars" film.)
Merrick knows that the Alliance will never have a fleet to rival the Imperial Fleet, and he's aware that his starfighters will make the difference.

Rebel fighters are hyperspace-capable: they can strike fast and retreat. The Rebel doctrine since WEG days!
We jump to Merrick's datafile. He's 46 years old and (as seen) hails from Virujansi.

You know, I'm wondering now if his homeworld is a nod towards the fact that the character in the ANH novel that tells Luke that he knew his father is called "Blue Leader"!
His helmet is a Koensayr K-22995. I believe it's the first time we get a manufacturer and model for Rebel flight helmets? Is that possible?!

His flight suit's Diagnostech and Guidenhauser gizmos are all taken from existing lore.

It's the small details you remember as a GM!
And that's it for tonight! Next, we'll be taking a look at Alliance High Command, ie the Rebel Council. Some old faces, some new faces, all Rebel to heart!

The different cells in Yavin 4 have combined to form High Command and, despite what Imperial propaganda says, the Alliance is quite structured, formed by both a civilian government and a military hierarchy.
Of course, not all cells are that organized (insert here your Star Wars RPG adventuring group that keeps hollowing out R2 units to sneak into Imperial facilities) but Base One is a model of order and efficiency.

Art by @hishgraphics
The upper command is commonly known as the Rebel Council and even though it is a military entity they include several senators in it.

We hear that their meeting can get heated. Yeah, you could say that.
The Alliance feels emboldened by recent successful strikes in Lothal, Garel, and Ord Biniir.

Lothal and Garel are from Rebels, of course. And I guess that getting rid of a Grand Admiral and sectorial Governor and freeing a world counts as a successful strike. Yeah, I'd say so.
Ord Biniir is a world from the old Rogue Squadron comic. In Legends, a battle took place there: a minor victory that was nonetheless very popular because it happened at the same time as the Battle of Yavin. We can assume this time it happened somewhat differently.
Still, all these victories haven't proved the power of the Alliance.

What about the liberation of Lothal? That was major! Well, first, it was not an official Alliance operation. Second, it happened long after this guide came out, dummy. Shit happens.
So the Alliance is kind of split: some believe their future is in negotiating a peace with the Empire, others believe they are past that point, and I guess a few *know* that it's never been an option.
Next, we see a list of Rebel ranks. You know, the small domino pieces thingies.

We read that the Alliance adapted them from the Alderaanian standard. That explains why the guards in the oh-so-diplomatic Tantive IV wore them openly.
So that was the introductory section. In a bit, we'll take a look at the assembled military leaders of the Alliance.

This jolly-looking fellow is nothing less than the leader of the Yavin 4 Special Forces division.

Rebel SpecForces was a WEG creation, and we'll be seeing them a lot in future sections!
He was a logistics officer during the Clone Wars, so he has military experience.

Oh, and he actually appeared in the Star Wars comic! Before... well, let's say I'm not 100% sure he's still alive. We'll see why (and lol @ Larroca's "photo-referencing" in this panel)

He's the overseer of a team that basically scour over Imperial and civilian communications looking for usable intelligence. You know, like in Three Days of the Condor.

The Rebels Files called this team Communications, part of Alliance Intelligence.
WEG (of course) had a similar team, the Intentions branch, but never expanded much into communications analysis. Imperial Intelligence did, though. It still makes sense that the Alliance would operate the same (plus, you know, we see them in Rogue One...)

This stern man in an Alderaanian jacket is pretty much General Merrick's aide, and he's in charge of day-to-day Starfighter Command decisions. He's the necessary rational counterpart to Merrick, treating fighter resources as that: resources.
Cor works side to side with General Dodonna deciding how to use their fighters in the Gordian Reach.

The Gordian Reach is the area of space where Yavin is, first mentioned in Marvel's Star Wars #25 in 1979.
Bandwin Cor would meet his end met his end in Star Wars #51 a couple of years ago.

Him too? Yup. Author Kieron Gillen got rid of most of High Command there to explain how the heroes rose through the ranks so quickly in ESB.

Did you know that Dodonna was not the only ANH character recast for Rogue One? Yeah, Anj Zavor was too. You know, Anj. Everyone's favorite character, right?

Anyway, it's believable. Dunno if this was the intent from the start or just a happy retcon.
He's the Base One liaison to the Fleet, to Admiral Raddus himself, and he's part of Fleet Command, keeping communications between Yavin 4 and the always-mobile fleet.

Fleet Command? More WEG? More WEG.

No, it's not Rex, stop it.

Baccam Grafis is the Rebellion's procurement specialist, leading the Ordnance and Supply division, looking for fuel and weaponry whenever it's available.

Forell was in charge of Support Services, taking care of the Alliance's transportation network. At the time of Rogue One, that transport fleet only encompassed a few medium transports and "one military-converted light freighter."

Yeah, probably the Ghost.

One of Draven's men, he's a materials analyst, carefully examining Imperial technology to assess the Empire's capabilities and plan countermeasures. I bet he resigned once the Death Star was confirmed!

You know him, of course, as he had a speaking role in ANH. He's the Sector Command officer for Base One. The base commander, basically. His opinion carries a lot of weight in the Council, obviously.
We read that he was a bridge officer aboard a Jedi cruiser during the Clone Wars and that he served the early Imperial Starfleet until he defected.

The EU had a very thorough backstory for Dodonna, mostly through comics. I thought it was very good.
So that's Alliance High Command.

And guess what?

Yup, it's pretty much the same structure seen in the Rebel Alliance Sourcebook. Boom!

Not the first time this book pulls this trick, as you'll see next.
Break time. Join me next for a look at the Alliance's civil government!

(The term "rebel senator" gives me shivers)

Let's take a look at the Cabinet, the six ministers beneath Mon Mothma (who, as mentioned, is the Chief of State of the Alliance Civil Government.)

Let's post this WEG bit in advance, okay?
Remember that WEG bit about Mon Mothma being an "elected dictator"? Well, that's no longer true: she's wary about wielding too much power.

Why the change? Well, we see her her outvoted in Rogue One, don't we?
The text tells us that Mon Mothma, despite no longer being a member of the Senate, is in contact with her allies there and that support for the Rebellion there is growing.

It's a very delicate time that the appearance of the Death Star could easily ruin.

Meet Senator Nower Jebel of Uyter, Minister of Finance. You know him from the movie: he's the necessary coward that wants to sue for peace. Okay, he's not that bad, but I bet that's the perception most people had of him after the movie.
He's the third senator from Uyter we've met, believe it or not!

Lexi Dio was a Loyalist senator seen in AOTC. The EU had her be assassinated during the war.

She was succeeded by Male-Dee, seen in the Delegation of 2000 scenes in ROTS.
So we could easily say that Uyter was one of the founding worlds of the Rebel Alliance.

Their prominence would continue after the Galactic Civil War. We briefly see Nahani Gillen, the New Republic senator from Uyter in TFA, before she goes boom with Hosnian Prime.
Back to Jebel, the text tells us that he's a believer in democracy and still believes that a negotiated peace is possible. He's seen Space Hamilton more than 20 times [citation needed]

He vividly remembers Saw Gerrera's crimes and doesn't want the Alliance to spill more blood.
Of course, as the text tells us, he has no proof that the Empire would accept a peace offering and he's becoming dangerously close-minded.

The Aftermath trilogy would show us that his career survived until the New Republic. A true political creature!
(As extra trivia, WEG told us that the Minister of Finance was responsible from raising money, including raising taxes from Allied worlds (yes, guerrillas and terrorist groups do this IRL) and releasing Alliance War Bonds redeemable 5 to 25 years after the war.)

Meet now Vasp Vaspar, Minister of Industry and Senator of the Taldot Sector. He's wearing a cloak with marks that point at him as a veteran of the Battle of Balamak.

This Clone Wars battle was first mentioned in Tatooine Manhunt (see my thread on it!)
His role is to oversee the Rebellion's meager resources. This makes him risk-averse, although he's not opposed to conflict: he just thinks it's unsustainable for the Alliance in their current state. When the Death Star is revealed, he recommends scattering the fleet and hiding.

Next is Senator Tynnra Pamlo of Taris, Minister of Education.

Taris, the "Coruscant of the Outer Rim", was the focus of the first act of Knights of the Old Republic, one of the best Star Wars videogames ever made, and has made multiple appearances since.
Just like with Jebel, she's not the first Tarisian senator we meet. We met her Clone Wars era senator in TCW, Kin Robb, and the representative in the New Republic, Andrithal Robb-Voti, in TFA.
Pamlo's amulet is labeled as a "Tarisian amulet of the Robb", perhaps related to the two senators mentioned before.

Are they part of an influential family? Was the Taris level designer someone called Robert? Who knows, but the connection in there.
What does the Minister of Education of a revolutionary group do? According to WEG, both intelligence and propaganda.

Pamlo works closely with Alliance Intelligence and she's seen what the Empire is capable of doing, so she doesn't doubt the Death Star is real.
The next mentions three Imperial atrocities as an example of the truths Pamlo is privy to: Ghorman, Geonosis, and Lasan.

All three have been seen or mentioned in Rebels, where we hear stories of how the Empire "sterilized" Geonosis and massacred Lasan.
As I mentioned before, Rebels mentions that "the events at Ghorman" were the final straw that made Mon Mothma defect.

The Rebel Alliance Sourcebook gives us a description of the Ghorman Massacre, and I wouldn't be surprised it the lore was unchanged.
Pamlo wishes to go back to Taris to consult with her people, as she has no doubt that the Death Star is indeed a planet killer and that her homeworld would become a target: it's not a call she can make by herself.

Not the best timing but hey: understandable.

And finally meet Bail Organa, former Senator of Alderaan. He's, of course, Leia's adoptive father, first alluded to in the original trilogy and finally seen in AOTC and ROTS. He's one of the founders of the Alliance and will be a martyr of Alderaan.
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