As a child on Ryloth, the daughter of Cham and Eleni Syndulla grew up during the Clone Wars conflict and dreamed of traveling the galaxy on her own terms. After the Battle of Ryloth, Hera saved an astromech droid, C1-10P, from the wreckage of a downed Y-wing that crashed near her home; the droid, nicknamed Chopper, would become a lifelong companion.
Hera's love of starships started young. While her parents were cautious about their daughter's interest in flight, her “Uncle” Gobi Glie helped her sate her curiosity by giving Hera some of her earliest training lessons on his own ship. However, some of Gobi's ideas — and her parents’ affiliation with the Free Ryloth Movement — got the Syndullas in trouble with the Empire as the new regime came to prominence, threatening all for which Cham and his family had fought and suffered.
After her mother’s death, the relationship between Cham and his daughter became strained; but despite their differences, as an adult Hera followed in her father’s footsteps. In her ship, the Ghost, Hera and Chopper traveled the galaxy to help those in need. In the Gorse system, she met Kanan Jarrus, and the trio formed the basis of what would become the Ghost crew. Partners in battle and life, Kanan trusted Hera enough to tell her his real name and reveal his past as a survivor of Order 66. The small team continued to grow, adding Lasat warrior Garazeb “Zeb” Orrelios and Mandalorian fighter Sabine Wren. During a mission to Lothal to bring food and other supplies to the poorest residents of the world, they befriended the orphan Ezra Bridger, who quickly became the sixth member of their crew.
An extraordinary pilot and capable fighter, as the captain Hera, or Spectre-2, led the Ghost crew and worked with the Fulcrum agent Ahsoka Tano to run secret missions to salvage supplies and disrupt the Imperial machine as part of the growing rebellion. Syndulla partnered with freedom fighters like Senator Bail Organa and Commander Jun Sato and was quickly promoted to lead Phoenix Squadron. Among Hera’s contributions to the expanding rebellion, the gifted pilot flew the first successful test run of a new B-wing bomber, brokered an alliance with her father and the people of Ryloth, and helped to establish Chopper Base on the world of Atollon, providing a secure hub for further rebel operations.
When the Empire occupied the Tann province on Ryloth — including the Syndulla home — she risked it all to infiltrate her childhood home and recover a sacred heirloom, a Kalikori, an artistic record of her heritage. The mission did not go as planned, however, and when Grand Admiral Thrawn captured Hera, she sacrificed the treasured possession so that her found family could live to fight another day.
As the rebellion grew and more star systems and their people rose up to fight against the Empire’s cruelty, Hera and her crew were instrumental in ferrying Senator Mon Mothma to the space over Dantooine. There, Mon resigned from politics and announced the official formation of the Alliance to Restore the Republic. But despite the rebels’ gains, the Empire continued to flourish, finalizing the Death Star to ensure the regime’s continued dominance. When the rebels got word that the Empire, led by Thrawn, was manufacturing a new TIE defender, complete with a hyperdrive, on Lothal, Hera took the helm of an X-wing and commanded the mission to attack the depot before production could begin in earnest.
During the attempted infiltration, Hera crashed her ship and was captured and tortured by Governor Arihnda Pryce and Thrawn seeking intel on the rebel fleet. Kanan rescued Hera from captivity, but was killed when the Empire destroyed its own fuel pod in an attempt to foil their escape. Despite her grief over Kanan’s loss, and Ezra’s disappearance with Thrawn during the Battle of Lothal soon after, Hera’s resolve to fight the Empire did not waver. She and Kanan had a son, Jacen Syndulla, and after the Battle of Yavin touched off the Galactic Civil War, Hera continued to fight for the Rebel Alliance, ascending the ranks to become a General and eventually joining the New Republic to restore democratic freedom.
In that time of relative peace, Hera continued to serve the New Republic from aboard her ship, the Ghost. As he grew, Jacen Syndulla exhibited an aptitude for the Force, and Hera protected her son and the Republic with ferocity. Syndulla feared that Thrawn could return, ushering in a new era of darkness with help from those who remained loyal to the Empire. Even when her actions defied direct orders, Syndulla risked her career and her life to do what she felt was right. Luckily, she had many well-placed allies, including Senator Leia Organa, who helped her to avoid punishment.