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Battle of the Rebel stronghold

Occupation of Bespin
Conflict

Galactic Civil War[1]

Date

3 ABY[1]-4 ABY[2]

Place

Bespin[1]

Outcome

Initial Imperial victory[1], harassment by Rebel forces[3] until the Battle of Bespin[2]

Combatants
Commanders
Strength
Casualties
  • An unknown amount of security force
  • A number of squads of stormtroopers[1]
"Attention! This is Lando Calrissian. Attention! The Empire is taking control of the city. I advise everyone to leave before more Imperial troops arrive."
Lando Calrissian

The Occupation of Bespin was a minor skirmish in the Galactic Civil War between the Cloud City police under Lando Calrissian (who turned to the side of the Rebel Alliance) and the Imperial stormtroopers under Darth Vader, that led into the Empire gaining control of the gas planet Bespin.[1]

Contents

Prelude

"They arrived here just before you did. I'm sorry."
Lando Calrissian
The stormtroopers involved in the trap

It started out as an initial agreement between the Baron Administrator Lando Calrissian and Lord Vader: Calrissian would aid Vader in capturing several Rebel commanders, in exchange for the continued freedom of his colony.[1]

As the elusive Rebel ship, the Millennium Falcon, landed in Cloud City, its crew was greeted as welcomed guests by the Baron Administrator. After being given apartments in which to dwell while their ship was being repaired, Calrissian invited them to a dinner arrangement, which turned out to be a trap.[1]

Lord Vader wanted to use Leia Organa, Han Solo, and Chewbacca's capture as a lure to capture his primary objective, the Force-sensitive Rebel commander Luke Skywalker. Indeed, Han Solo was tortured but not asked questions in order to trigger a response from Luke through the Force, sending him to rescue his friends.[1]

Change in plans

"I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further."
Darth Vader
Lando Calrissian turns the tables on the Imperial troops.

Vader had Solo frozen in carbonite, to test to see if the freezing methods would effectively work on Luke Skywalker. This was an important part of his plan; he would either take his frozen son to the Emperor for training as a Sith Apprentice, or change plans and cooperate with him against his master. He had Solo shipped to the gangster Jabba the Hutt by way of the Bounty hunter, Boba Fett.[1]

This was a violation of his agreement with Calrissian, something Vader casually dismissed as a change of plans. Shortly afterward, Vader's hopes were realized as Skywalker's ship was detected heading towards the city. As Vader left to prepare for his confrontation with the young Rebel, he gave clear instructions to Calrissian to keep Leia and Chewbacca on the planet, violating the agreement again.[1]

Meanwhile, Luke Skywalker had landed in the city and caught a glimpse of his friends being taken away by Imperial troops. He was caught in a brief firefight with Boba Fett, who was protecting his cargo. Though Princess Leia managed to shout a warning to him, Skywalker continued further into the city, ending up in a carbonite processing chamber where he faced the Dark Lord of the Sith in lightsaber combat.[1]

Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader duel.

Realizing that the situation was deteriorating, Lando Calrissian arranged for his Wing Guard to free Leia Organa and Chewbacca from their Imperial escorts, and while escaping, alerted the populace to the Empire's takeover of the city, thus causing a mass-panic that aided the group in slipping past most Imperial patrols.[1]

The duel between Vader and Skywalker continued out onto an enormous wind tunnel, where Luke would lose his right hand to Vader's lightsaber and have his true parentage revealed. Even as Vader beckoned him to join his side and thus help end the Galactic Civil War, Luke stood defiant and chose to take his own life by falling from the platform they were on. As he plummeted towards the ground, he was sucked into one of the side-openings and emerged below the city, grabbing onto a weather-vane.[1]

Conclusion

Boba Fett flees in Slave I.

In a final attempt at survival, Skywalker contacted Princess Leia through the Force, who having escaped in the Falcon, now ordered the ship around to look for him. As they were rescuing Skywalker and taking off again, a patrol of TIE Fighters appeared off the tarmac and gave chase.[1] The fighters had already been deployed for patrol duty even before the formal takeover of the planet.[4]

Having escaped the planet, the Falcon now headed out into space, where it encountered the Executor in orbit. Attempting to flee into hyperspace, the crew found that Imperial technicians repaired their hyperdrive, but disabled it in the event of their escaping the city.[1]

As the Executor prepared to take the ship by tractor beam, the astromech droid R2-D2 managed to activate the hyperdrive and the Millennium Falcon escaped once again.[1]

Aftermath

Even though his prey had escaped, Darth Vader let his forces descend on Bespin and seize all gas mining facilities, effectively ending the autonomous position of the system.

Bespin and its remaining population had to endure the occupation of an Imperial garrison under the command of Hugo Treece for many months, until the Battle of Bespin,[5] which would see the Empire driven out of the colony.[2]

Appearances

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Non-canon appearances

  • Tag & Bink Are Dead
  • LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga

Sources

Notes and references

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
  3. Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader
  4. Star Wars Customizable Card GameCloud City Limited (Card: TIE Sentry Ships)
  5. The Truce at Bakura

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

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