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The Outer Rim planet of Ryloth was home to the Twi’leks and a valuable source of spice and other treasures. During the Clone Wars, the Separatists invaded the planet and subjected it to a brutal occupation, with battleships keeping out both Republic warships and humanitarian relief.
The freedom fighter Cham Syndulla led a resistance movement to fight the Separatists, while Ryloth’s corrupt Senator, Orn Free Taa, remained on Coruscant. When the Republic battered down the Separatist blockade, the Jedi Mace Windu brokered a truce between the mutually suspicious Syndulla and Taa. Syndulla’s forces then joined the Republic troops to free the capital city of Lessu.
Ryloth was free, but Syndulla remained wary of both Taa and the Republic. The Separatists were gone, but Syndulla feared he’d soon have to take up arms against the Republic as his planet’s new occupiers.
When the Republic became the Empire, Syndulla’s fears were realized: Ryloth became an Imperial protectorate to be exploited, with Taa enriching himself as its Imperial Senator. Syndulla began a new resistance movement to free his planet once again.