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The Ahsoka series has been described by creator Dave Filoni and its main actors as essentially a live-action sequel to Star Wars Rebels. Among the fans’ favorite characters from that show, there’s the legendary Rebel hero Hera Syndulla. Here’s a quick rundown of her story so far.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead, of Ramona Flowers-fame (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World), will be bringing the live-action Hera Syndulla to life. Up until now, we’ve only ever seen the beloved character in animated form in Star Wars T.V. shows and some of the Star Wars video games.
So, strap in and prepare to fall in love with famed pilot Hera Syndulla, her story, and the wider impact of her actions within the Star Wars universe.
Who is Hera Syndulla?
Hera Syndulla was a Twi’lek leader who became a major figure in the early rebellion against the Galactic Empire. She, along with the rest of the famous Spectres cell, played a key role in the formation of the ultimate Rebel Alliance and fought throughout the Galactic Civil War on worlds like Scarif and the forest moon of Endor.
On top of being an able and effective captain (and later general), Hera was renowned for her skills as a daring pilot and ingenious planner, which made her an especially annoying thorn in the Empire’s side.
Hera Syndulla: Early history
Hera was born in 29 BBY on the planet Ryloth, home world of the Twi’lek species. She was a young girl during the Clone Wars, when her father, Cham Syndulla, revolted against the Confederacy of Independent Systems and their droid army.
When the Republic’s Clone Army came to help their people, Hera was inspired to become a legendary pilot one day. During the Battle of Ryloth, she recovered the astromech droid C1-10P “Chopper” from the wreckage of a crashed BTL Y-wing starfighter.
Hera Syndulla during the Age of the Empire
In the early days of the Imperial era, the people of Ryloth were asked to disarm themselves and leave their protection to the Imperial troops. While Cham Syndulla agreed, many other Twi’leks didn’t trust the Empire and received weapons from a group of clone commandos on the run nicknamed “the Bad Batch.”
After tension between the Twi’leks and the Imperials grew, the small armed insurgence became the “Free Ryloth Movement,” led by Cham. During this resistance struggle, his wife, Eleni, was killed. The death of Hera’s mother created a rift between Cham and his daughter, who eventually left Ryloth’s freedom fighters and joined the wider rebellion against the Empire.
During the Gorse Conflict, Jedi fugitive Kanan Jarrus joined Hera and Chopper aboard her starship, the Ghost. He would become her lover and, later, father of her son. They were joined by Mandalorian warrior Sabine Wren, Lasat survivor “Zeb” Orrelios, and the orphan Ezra Bridger, who soon became Kanan’s Padawan after showing signs of having a connection to the Force.
The Spectres eventually joined and led the Phoenix Cell, one of the main pre-Alliance rebel groups spread across the galaxy. After a battle on Atollon against the mighty forces of Grand Admiral Thrawn, they joined the Massassi Group on Yavin 4.
During a mission to help liberate Lothal, Ezra’s planet, Hera was captured by Thrawn’s fleet. The Spectres quickly launched a stealthy mission to free her, but the price they paid was the death of Kanan in a fiery explosion. Shortly afterwards, the planet was liberated thanks to Hera’s leadership, the group’s many allies, and Ezra’s apparent sacrifice – the Jedi, with the help of purrgils, vanished into hyperspace alongside Thrawn’s star destroyer.
Sometime after the liberation of Lothal, Hera gave birth to Kanan’s son, Jacen Syndulla. She then continued to be a crucial leader in the Rebel Alliance until the end, also taking part in the Battle of Endor, which saw the death of Emperor Palpatine.
Hera Syndulla after the fall of the Empire
As seen in the two Ahsoka trailers and other promotional materials, Syndulla remained a top military leader in the early days of the New Republic, overseeing the Barma Battle Group, which included the famous Alphabet Squadron. She also fought the Empire in the decisive Battle of Jakku.
Even though the Empire was defeated on Jakku, Hera still suspected Imperial remnants could become a problem if left unchecked by the New Republic, which was now putting most of its resources towards restoring the government and rebuilding across countless worlds. Sometime later, she was contacted by Ahsoka Tano, a former Jedi ally of the Spectres now searching for Ezra Bridger and Grand Admiral Thrawn, wherever they may be.