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Up to date as of February 04, 2010

From Wookieepedia, the Star Wars wiki.

Cham Syndulla
Biographical information
Homeworld

Ryloth[1]

Physical description
Species

Twi'lek[2]

Gender

Male[2]

Eye color

Orange[2]

Skin color

Orange[2]

Chronological and political information
Era(s)

Rise of the Empire era[2]

Affiliation
"You sing a song of a legend. I'm just a soldier, Gobi."
―Cham Syndulla

Cham Syndulla was a revolutionary male Twi'lek from the planet of Ryloth and the leader of the Twi'lek freedom fighters during the Clone Wars. Before the war, Syndulla held a grudge against Ryloth's Senator, Orn Free Taa, believing Taa to be uncaring of the fate of the Twi'lek people. After the Clone Wars had begun, the Confederacy of Independent Systems invaded Ryloth. Reluctant to take power but wanting the best for his people, Syndulla formed the rebel freedom fighters to combat the oppression and engaged the Separatist Droid Army on the plains of Cazne. Even with the death of many Separatists, Syndulla was forced to retreat, and his fighters set up camp in the remains of several fallen droid vehicles.

Syndulla's leadership qualities led his friend and minstrel, Gobi Glie, to compose a song about him, though Syndulla was opposed to the ballad's exaggeration of his traits. After Jedi Master Mace Windu arrived with Republic forces to liberate Ryloth, Syndulla resolved his issues with Senator Taa and entered into an alliance with the Republic. During the ensuing assault on Ryloth's capital of Lessu to free the city from Separatist control, Syndulla led the combined forces of his freedom fighters and the Republic unit Lightning Squadron, and Syndulla's homeworld was liberated from the Confederacy.

Contents

Biography

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Tensions with the Republic

"Cham Syndulla was a radical before the War. He is very unpredictable."
"He can't be trusted! I know Syndulla seeks to gain power! We were political rivals."
Supreme Chancellor Palpatine and Senator Orn Free Taa, on Syndulla — (audio)Listen (file info)
Cham Syndulla during the Clone Wars

Cham Syndulla was a male Twi'lek from the planet of Ryloth.[1] Before the Clone Wars, Syndulla held political rivalries with the Republic. He mistrusted his planet's Twi'lek Senator, Orn Free Taa, believing him to be indifferent to his people's fate while he remained on "comfortable Coruscant," the galactic capital and headquarters of the Galactic Senate. Because of Syndulla's favoritism and reputation among the Twi'lek people, Taa himself believed that Syndulla sought to gain power on Ryloth and was seeking to disband the democracy that Taa represented in the Senate.[2] In addition to his tensions with Senator Taa, Syndulla also opposed his planet's leadership.[3]

The Invasion of Ryloth

Leader of the resistance

"With our forces stretched so thinly, I'm going to enlist the help of the freedom fighters, led by Cham Syndulla. His fight against the droids has made him a symbol of freedom for the people."
―Mace Windu

After the Clone Wars began, Corporate Alliance Magistrate and Separatist Council member Passel Argente visited Lessu, Ryloth's capital city,[4] around 22 BBY.[5] Argente met with Artruk, a Twi'lek broker that he had hired to conceal treasures from conquered worlds. While the two conferred, Syndulla and fellow Twi'lek Voyla spied on the pair, believing that they were simply watching another offworlder coming to steal from their planet. However, Syndulla noted that Argente was bringing treasures to Ryloth, not stealing from it. With the additional presence of Confederate battle droids, Syndulla suspected that the war was coming to Ryloth. His suspicions proved to be true when the Techno Union Foreman Wat Tambor sought to steal Argente's treasures[4] and invaded Ryloth with the Separatist Droid Army.[2]

Although reluctant to take power[6] and untrained as a soldier,[7] Syndulla wanted his people to be free of the Separatist oppression and formed the Twi'lek freedom fighters, a group of his admirers, to combat the Confederacy. With Syndulla acting as their general, the freedom fighters were the first to engage the Confederate forces, and a battle erupted on the plains of Cazne. The plains became littered with scars and craters, but although many Separatists were defeated, the droid forces continued to overwhelm Syndulla and his fighters. Without the Republic's involvement or assistance, the Twi'lek rebellion was forced to go into hiding, although they continued to fight and ambush droid patrols.[2] When Syndulla's friend and minstrel, Gobi Glie, wrote a song about him, Syndulla was uncomfortable with being considered a legend, viewing himself as a mere soldier. Glie informed him that having legends was important and a strength that the Twi'lek people had over the Confederate battle droids.[8]

Alliance with the Republic

Syndulla: "I was wondering when you'd find me, Master Jedi."
Windu: "General Syndulla, I've come for your help."
Syndulla: "What makes you think you'll get it?"
—Mace Windu meets Cham Syndulla — (audio)Listen (file info)

The Republic mounted an offensive to liberate Ryloth, and High Jedi General Mace Windu landed on Ryloth with clone trooper forces and sought to retake Lessu from Tambor's command. After Windu and his unit suffered losses in an engagement with the Confederacy, the Jedi Master needed the aid of Syndulla and his freedom fighters if Ryloth was to be liberated. Windu arrived at Cazne with the Advanced Recon Force troopers Stak and Razor, and after the freedom fighters ambushed a battle droid patrol, Syndulla revealed himself to the Jedi. Leading Windu and the two troopers into the freedom fighters' hideout under a downed Confederate C-9979 landing craft, Syndulla conferred with the Jedi and informed him of the rebellion's defeat at Cazne. Entering the base's main room, Syndulla picked up a young Twi'lek girl and met with Glie, discovering that the minstrel had injured himself. The freedom fighters' leader told his friend to get better and that he needed him. Even though supplies were short, and despite his misgivings about the Republic, Syndulla offered Windu food and beverage, expressing the Twi'lek tradition of hospitality.[2]

Syndulla rallies his fighters.

When Windu at first requested that Syndulla ally himself with the Republic, the Twi'lek was reluctant because of his mistrust of Taa and the Senator's plans to station the Grand Army of the Republic on Ryloth after the Separatists were defeated. However, after Clone Commander CC-6454, nicknamed "Ponds," reported to Windu that the Confederacy had begun a bombing campaign and targeted several Twi'lek villages, Syndulla agreed to enter into negotiations with Taa. In the proceeding holoconference, Syndulla exchanged verbal blows with the Senator before Windu restrained the pair from bickering. Jedi General Anakin Skywalker reported to Windu that his forces had engaged the Confederate bombers, and both Taa and Syndulla realized that Tambor was destroying what he himself could not possess. The Senator promised that the Republic's clone army would not occupy Ryloth after the Confederacy was defeated, and Syndulla stated that he believed in democracy and would not seek political power. Now allied with the Republic, Syndulla rallied his fighters and joined forces with Windu.[2]

To enter the capital of Lessu, Windu and Syndulla were faced with a problem—the only access to the city was via a retractable bridge of plasma energy, and its controls were inside the city itself. Furthermore, Tambor had moved the Twi'lek populace out of the city to sit in front of the capital as "living shields," preventing a direct offensive without civilian casualties. While observing the city's defenses, Syndulla noticed several Confederate Multi Troop Transports traveling along a nearby cliff and reported to Windu that his spies had informed him that they were carrying treasures for Tambor. Windu took Stak and Razor to infiltrate one of the transports to get across the bridge; once they were detected by the bridge's B1 battle droid guards, it was believed that they would only have a few seconds before the pass would be deactivated. General Syndulla, Commander Ponds,[2] and Tae Boon, Syndulla's second-in-command,[9] led the combined forces of Lightning Squadron and freedom fighters to give the Jedi and the two troopers as much time as possible.[2]

Windu and the clones were able to get across to the city, and riding a blurrg mount, Syndulla immediately led the charge toward the bridge. The pass was activated just in time, and entering the city, Syndulla held off the Confederate battle droids while Windu left to find and capture Tambor. After the Techno Union Foreman was cornered, several Separatist Hyena-class bombers dived to destroy Lessu on orders from the Confederate Head of State, Count Dooku, but the timely intervention of General Skywalker and his Padawan, Commander Ahsoka Tano, in their Delta-7B starfighters prevented the capital's destruction. Tambor surrendered to Syndulla, and the freedom fighters' leader thanked Windu for his assistance in freeing his homeworld. Later, with his rivalries with Senator Taa resolved, Syndulla joined Windu, Ponds, and Taa in watching a parade celebrating Ryloth's liberation.[2]

Personality and traits

"Another armed occupation is not a free Ryloth. How long before I am fighting you, Master Jedi?"
―Cham Syndulla, to Mace Windu — (audio)Listen (file info)
Syndulla leads the charge toward the Lessu bridge.

Although initially untrained as a soldier[7] and not a warrior until the Clone Wars,[6] the revolutionary[3] Cham Syndulla was a brilliant tactician[6] and an exemplary leader.[2] He was a role model to the people he led and possessed the leadership skills of compassion, determination, and inspiration that he expressed to his peers.[2] One of the nobility,[6] he was also humble, and disagreed with Glie's song that illustrated his reputation, believing himself to be a soldier, not a legend.[8] Even with low supplies, Syndulla offered Windu food and beverage at the resistance's hideout to express the Twi'lek codes and tradition of hospitality.[2]

The Twi'lek respected the Jedi as warriors, but felt that they were tools of a rotten Republic if the Grand Army were to occupy the liberated Ryloth.[10] Syndulla did not trust Senator Taa, believing the Senator to be uncaring of the Twi'lek people's fate, and also believed that any sort of armed occupation was not what Ryloth needed; he did not even trust the Grand Army of the Republic. Despite his rivalries with Taa[2] and his opposition to Ryloth's leadership,[3] Syndulla was hesitant to become the leader of the freedom fighters,[6] but truly cared for his people[2] and believed that he had to act with the best interests of the Twi'leks in mind.[6] He swore that the children taking refuge in the rebel camps would inherit a Ryloth free of the Separatist occupation and was ultimately successful in fulfilling his promise.[10] Syndulla did not hold onto his personal disputes with Taa if doing so meant the loss of his people's lives or freedom.[2]

Syndulla was able to speak Galactic Standard Basic and understood Twi'leki, his native tongue.[2] He had Twi'lek clan tattoos on his head and wore an armor breastplate. Despite his non-warrior origins, he was trained in riding blurrg mounts and became an expert at controlling the creatures' powerful bite for use against his adversaries. He was also versed in blaster combat and used the DL-44 and LL-30 models of blaster pistols.[10]

Behind the scenes

Taa, Syndulla, Windu, and Ponds watch the parade on Ryloth.
"It really poses an interesting question about how Cham sees the occupation by the Separatists and by the Republic. To him, it's just another army. Who is on the right side here? And characters like Cham Syndulla question that."
―Series Director Dave Filoni, on Syndulla's questioning of the Republic's intent to occupy Ryloth following its liberation

Cham Syndulla first appeared in the 2009 The Clone Wars web comic Covetous, but was not identified by name until the later-released web comic The Ballad of Cham Syndulla. Syndulla was voiced by Robin Atkin Downes in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series and was featured in the first season episode "Liberty on Ryloth,"[9] as well as The Ballad of Cham Syndulla, which led into the episode.[8] He later received an entry in the Visual Guide Ultimate Battles sourcebook as well as a brief mention in The Essential Atlas, both published in August 2009.

With the television series' prominent French influence on Twi'leks,[11] Downes voiced Syndulla with a French accent.[2] Consequently, the Twi'leks' symbolism and parallels to the French also caused Syndulla to emerge as the leader of the "French Resistance" on Ryloth opposing the Separatists. Syndulla was originally a conniving religious figure affiliated with the Separatists, but because of later changes to the episode's plot, he was changed to a freedom fighter leading the Twi'lek resistance.[11]

Appearances

Wookieepedia has a collection of images related to Cham Syndulla.
  • The Clone Wars: Covetous (First appearance)
  • The Clone Wars: The Ballad of Cham Syndulla (First identified as Cham Syndulla)
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Battle for Ryloth
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Liberty on Ryloth"

Sources

Wookieepedia has a collection of audio files related to Cham Syndulla.
  • StarWars.com The Clone Wars Episode Guide: Liberty on Ryloth on StarWars.com (backup link on Archive.org)
  • StarWars.com Episode Commentary #21: Liberty on Ryloth on StarWars.com (backup link on Archive.org)
  • The Art of Star Wars: The Clone Wars
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Visual Guide Ultimate Battles
  • The Essential Atlas
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Official Episode Guide: Season 1
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Complete Season One

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Complete Season One
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Liberty on Ryloth"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Official Episode Guide: Season 1
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Clone Wars: Covetous
  5. Star Wars: The Clone Wars novelization
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 The Art of Star Wars: The Clone Wars
  7. 7.0 7.1 Dataclip - Ep 21: Liberty on Ryloth on CartoonNetwork.com. Retrieved on October 18, 2009.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 The Clone Wars: The Ballad of Cham Syndulla
  9. 9.0 9.1 StarWars.com The Clone Wars Episode Guide: Liberty on Ryloth on StarWars.com (backup link on Archive.org)
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Visual Guide Ultimate Battles
  11. 11.0 11.1 StarWars.com Episode Commentary #21: Liberty on Ryloth on StarWars.com (backup link on Archive.org)

This article uses material from the "Cham Syndulla" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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