If you think that being part of the Rebel Alliance must have been exciting, C-3PO surely would have argued with you about that. After the Battle of Yavin, the Rebel Alliance immediately evacuated their fortress on Yavin 4 and they were driven across the galaxy by the Galactic Empire. The search for a new headquarters ended when the sixth planet of the Hoth System was chosen as the location for Echo Base. The Rebel Alliance Corps of Engineers worked hard to build Echo Base, a large complex of arctic hangars, hallways, military rooms, medical stations and private quarters. Living and working in icy conditions was far from pleasant and the possibility that the Empire would discover them weighed heavily on the shoulders of the Rebel commanders. And exactly as they feared, not that long after Echo Base had been declared operational, an Imperial Viper Probot landed on Hoth and alerted Darth Vader’s command of the whereabouts of the Rebels and Luke Skywalker. Let’s meet those brave Rebels who served the Alliance on Hoth, many of which didn’t survive the battle with Vader’s forces. NOTE: Most of this information comes from Legends stories and is not canon. (The pilots of Rogue Group were previously discussed here.)
General Carlist Rieekan was chosen to lead Echo Base. A Clone Wars veteran and one of the driving forces behind the foundation of the Rebel Alliance, Rieekan was overly cautious on Hoth. He was off-planet when the Death Star destroyed his homeplanet of Alderaan and he never wanted to experience that nightmare again. Rieekan immediately ordered a general evacuation as soon as the probot was discovered. Rieekan was assisted by staff members such as his second-in-command General Pharl McQuarrie from Ralltiir. Just like Rieekan, McQuarrie was a veteran from the Clone Wars. He had previously led the local resistance on Ralltiir in the early years of the Galactic Civil War. Major Bren Derlin from Alliance Intelligence was the security chief of Echo Base. This native from Tiisheraan gave the order to close the shield doors of Echo Base when Luke and Han were missing, even though the lives of both men — who Derlin respected — were at stake. Major Toryn Farr from Chandrila was the chief communications officer on Echo Base. While her sister served in Rogue Group, Toryn was among the last Rebels to evacuate Echo Base and escaped aboard the Bright Hope. Major Palo Torshan was another security coordinator of Echo Base who had previously served under General Dodonna on Yavin 4. One of his counterintelligence techniques was using R-3PO to spy on Imperial Espionage Droids.
Heroes of Yavin
Princess Leia Organa assisted High Command and fellow Alderaanian General Rieekan while on a personal level she struggled with her feelings for Luke and Han. She narrowly escaped Hoth aboard the Millennium Falcon. Commander Luke Skywalker became Rogue Leader after the death of Arhul Narra at Derra IV. After having survived a wampa attack, Luke led Rogue Group during the Battle of Hoth. Captain Han Solo decided to go after Luke when he was missing prior to the invasion. Still, Solo had decided to leave the Rebel Alliance to pay off Jabba the Hutt after a run in with a bounty hunter on Ord Mantell. Despite warnings that he would never make it, Han found Luke and they were rescued the following morning by pilot Zev Senesca. Chewbacca was constantly struggling to repair the Millennium Falcon and was present when the Imperial Probot self destructed. R2-D2 and C-3PO were bickering as usually about Princess Leia’s wet clothes to the odds of Master Luke surviving the horrible temperature on Hoth that could go as low as – 60°.
Officers and Personnel
Tech Communications Officer Romas “Lock” Navander from Corellia worked in the command center and alerted Rieekan of the arrival of Darth Vader’s fleet. While escaping from Hoth, Lieutenant Navander was captured by a Star Destroyer. Captain Wyron Serper served in the command center as a sensor specialist. Serper and Rieekan discovered the signal that came from the Imperial Probot. Serper was one of the last Rebels to stay on duty, but was shot down by snowtroopers. Commander Tamizander Rey from the Core World of Esseles was the Senior Deck Officer who supervised the traffic in the large hangars on Echo Base. (Solo asked Rey if he had seen Commander Skywalker return from his patrol mission.) Captain Tigran Jamiro from Onderon served on Dantooine and Yavin 4. He was the Senior Logistics Officer and warned Solo that he’d never be able to rescue Commander Skywalker. Jeroen Webb previously worked with General McQuarrie on his homeplanet Ralltiir. He was a former spy who witnessed the discussion between Jamiro and Solo. Lieutenant Cal Alder was a scout from Kal’Shebbol. Alder had often served with Major Derlin and informed him that all patrols where in when Solo and Skywalker were still missing. Captain Shawn Valdez was a Special Forces and evacuation officer of Echo Base. He stated that groups seven and 10 would stay behind to fly the snowspeeders. Corporal Corman Quien was a tauntaun handler who had helped to build Echo Base with the Engineering Corps. Ironically Quien was killed by trampling tauntauns during the Battle of Hoth.
Echo Base Troopers
Colonel Ledick Firest was Echo Base’s Rebel Alliance Army field commander. Although his special forces were outnumbered, Firest’s Echo Base troopers defended the perimeters of Echo Base as long as they could. Firest escaped from Hoth aboard the Bright Hope. Sergeant Major Trey Callum was the trooper who warned Echo Base that Imperial walkers had been spotted. He became one of the first victims of the battle. Sergeant Reyé Hollis from Naboo was the only Sergeant from all companies to survive Hoth. His father once fought against the Trade Federation on Naboo. Corporal Vildar Blin was a scout who had joined the Alliance after his brother had betrayed his family. Blin died when he ran toward a fallen AT-AT that exploded. Jess Allashane was one of many heroic Echo Base troopers who had been trained to fight the Empire on any possible terrain.
K-3PO belonged to Arhul Narra and after his master’s death the white protocol droid was put in charge of the Echo Base droidpool. K-3PO received military recognition because of his tactical expertise but was destroyed during the Battle of Hoth. R-3PO was left behind on Echo Base by a smuggler, but he was reprogrammed to spy on Imperial Espionage Droids, which he successfully did. R3-A2 was an orange and white Astromech Droid who served in the main hangar. He calculated pilot coordinates and approach angles. R3-Y2 was a yellow and white Astromech Droid who worked in the command center. R5-M2 was Captain Valdez’ Astromech Droid who helped him to coordinate the evacuation of Echo Base by plotting sublight tactical courses. WED-1016 ‘Techie’ was a Treadwell unit who helped Han and Chewbacca to repair the Millennium Falcon.
2-1B was a former Imperial surgical droid who became chief of surgery on Echo Base. 2-1B successfully monitored Commander Skywalker’s condition in a Bacta tank after his nightly adventure and his encounter with a wampa that had resulted in a Dormo-shock. 2-1B would later treat Luke again after his confrontation with Darth Vader on Bespin. FX-7, also known as Fixit, was 2-1B’s assistant on Echo Base and on the medical frigate Redemption.
Selected Reading: Ultimate Star Wars (2015), CCG, Galaxy Guide 3 (1986 & 1996), Star Wars Insider #74 (2004), The Official Star Wars Fact Files (2013)
Tim Veekhoven (Sompeetalay) from Belgium is president and co founder of TeeKay-421, the Belgian Star Wars fanclub. He has contributed to Star Wars Insider (Rogues Gallery), to the Build the Millennium Falcon magazine and has written four character back stories for What’s the Story?.