Check out our episode here! Rebel Rising by Beth Revis
Imperial Detention Center and Labor Camp LEG-817
Prisoner: Liana Hallie, #6295A
A handcuffed Jyn Erso is being forced down a long corridor to her cell. Her crimes, though not the worst the Empire has ever seen, have landed her on Wobani, a prison planet whose reputation she is well aware of. The Warden takes great joy in mocking Jyn and reminding her of the hard labor ahead. These will be the worst days of your life, he tells her. Jyn begins to laugh in his face.
Jyn Erso, age 8
Jyn hid in the darkness after her mama was killed at point blank range by a man in white. Jyn didn’t know how long she had been waiting in the dark for her papa to fetch her, but she still held out hope her mama would come too. When the hatch door opened it was neither of her parents but Saw Gerrera, a family friend who helped them relocate to Lah’mu from Coruscant. Helping her out, Saw takes Jyn home, only to find it had been ransacked by the troopers looking for papa’s work, but they deleted everything, and all that was left was in her papa’s head. With nothing left of her home, Jyn leaves with Saw, her home burning as she walks away.
Saw takes Jyn aboard his ship and carefully maneuvers around the Star Destroyer in orbit before going into hyperspace. Galen will be on that Star Destroyer, he was working on something but there are no records and Jyn doesn’t know anything, only that it was to do with kyber crystals. When they emerge from hyperspace it is to Smuggler’s Run and a small, watery planet nestled inside an asteroid belt called Wrea. Saw lands on a small island that hasn’t seen inhabitants for a while going by the condition of the comms tower, not since the Clone Wars Saw tells Jyn before guiding her inside the blast doors of the base.
The base is much bigger than its outside appearance, as it’s built down into the rock. It’s empty other than old junk. Saw places a mattress, blanket and pillow on the ground for Jyn, feeds her nutritive milk and leaves her. The next day, Jyn wakes hungry and goes in search of food. Finding a can of nutritive milk, she drinks it as the weight of her situation deepens and she panics that Saw has left her. Searching the base, Jyn finds him outside practicing his shooting at some inactive droids. Jyn realizes why her mama contacted Saw, it wasn’t solely because he was a family friend, it was because he can fight. Jyn makes her presence known and asks Saw to teach her. He does, but he can only teach her so much. When Jyn asks for other lessons like her mother gave, math, history, and science, Saw hands her an old datapad and tells Jyn she needs to teach herself. Later, alone in her room, Jyn takes out the crystal necklace her mother gave her and tries to trust the Force and reach for it. Nothing happens.
One day Jyn comes out to practice and instead of droids, Saw has hung stormtrooper armor from the broken comms tower. He instructs her to keep her blaster on kill and also to use melee weapons. Jyn practices until her hands go numb. Jyn also finds out that the bunks in the base do get used as people pour in bringing groceries, which makes a wonderful change to nutritive milk. Amongst the group is Xosad, a Twi’lek from “the good old days” with two more Twi’leks and Togruta, Reece Tallent, a human with a similar accent to Saw, and Idryssa, the most beautiful woman Jyn has ever seen. Idryssa brings her clothes that fit and talks to her of women’s health and hygiene.
One day they are speculating about the crystals Galen was so interested in, how they were so valued by the Jedi. They also question how much Galen is working under duress, Jyn insists he was taken, her papa didn’t want to leave her. As Jyn is playing with a code replicator, and doing a sound job at forgery, news comes in about Galen. Saw takes Jyn to her room with the promise to tell her all later, no one should know she is Galen Erso’s daughter and she would give herself away. Later Saw tells her the reports all confirm Galen has declared he has chosen a side, and though Galen doesn’t explicitly say it is the Empire, his current situation working on Coruscant, his friendship with Orson Krennic, the man who killed his wife, would reliably suggest it is the Empire.
Years pass and Jyn, now fourteen, has not shed another tear for her father who left her. Saw keeps training her and begins to use Jyn to listen and judge the people who come and go from the base. Jyn has also excelled at forgery, and Saw is very proud. After a long absence, Idryssa returns to the base and Saw includes Jyn in their discussion. It turns out, Saw and Idryssa have fundamental ideological differences. Idryssa wants to form an alliance with those in the Senate who oppose the Empire, and she doesn’t want innocents to be hurt in the fight. Saw believes the war has never ended, for fear controls the masses. The Empire controls fear. They need to tap into that.
Jyn has hand-to-hand combat training the next day using her favorite weapons: a pair of truncheons that are strong and empowering. As she fights Saw using his bo staff, Jyn asks what it would take for an organized rebellion to take down the Empire. Saw tells her it needs a martyr, like his sister Steela, who was killed during the Clone Wars and inspired him to fight. To rally the resistance, a leader needs to be standing on some graves.
Spending time with Idryssa spurs Saw into reconnecting with other past compatriots. Xosad and his crew then Reece arrive at the base. Jyn finds Reece’s company insufferable to the point they end up throwing it down outside. Reece, all cocky thinking he’s a big strong man who can take a little girl, doesn't bargain on Jyn being fast and wiley. Eventually though Reece does knock Jyn down and spots her kyber crystal necklace her mother gave her. This makes Reece mad, Saw has him chasing across the galaxy for crystals and there is one literally under Jyn’s nose. After his rant, Jyn hits Reece over the head with a rock. Later that evening Reece leaves. Saw suggests she cover her neckline in the future because no one can know who her father is, then he invites Jyn to a planning meeting with Xosad and his crew.
Before the meeting starts, the group shares a meal. As they sit, Xosad pointedly asks if Jyn is who he thinks she is, but Saw tells him to drop it. The mission is to intercept, board, and take the information the Empire has accumulated from scouting missions in the Western Reaches. Jyn, who will be coming along for the first time, will create the forged documents to gain access. They’re also leaving right now.
The mission goes mostly as planned, the documents Jyn fabricates work perfectly, and they intercept and board the ship and take out anyone in their way. Jyn is left behind to make sure no one gets aboard Xosad’s ship but one slimy, cocky scientist tries to sweet talk Jyn into letting him escape. Jyn hesitates to shoot him though it’s obvious he’s going for a hidden blaster in his pocket and won’t have the same reluctance to get her out of his way. Jair, one of Xosad’s crew, actually shoots the scientist but Saw thinks it’s Jyn. In hyperspace on the way back to base, Saw tells her he is proud of her, and this is pretty much a first ((awkward yikes sound)).
Imperial Detention Center and Labor Camp LEG-817
Jyn has no sense of time on Wobani, a hellish place: searing heat, freezing cold, dark, dank and cramped. In her time Jyn also gains a cellmate, a statuesque Lennox called Zorahda. They are given very little food to survive on and are forced to do hard or monotonous work. The prime work detail is the farm, though it is hard work still, they also get fresh air. Today Jyn is assigned to work in the factories, specifically cutting panels. As she uses the accelerated particle cutter, a panel shatters, which is definitely not right. Production is halted, and while engineers talk about the problem, Jyn kneels on the shards, arms raised like the other prisoners. When Jyn stands, she finds a sliver almost purposefully designed to be a knife and Saw’s words go through her mind, One fighter with a sharp stick… Tempted to palm it, Jyn drops it to the floor when a stormtrooper confronts her and accuses her of having an unsanctioned weapon. After three hours in the warden's office, Jyn is dumped bloody and beaten back in her cell.
Wrea becomes more crowded as different groups come and go, all of them seemingly trying to impress Saw, believing in him rather than the cause. On the plus side the newcomers like Codo, Maia and Staven add to Jyn’s education. Saw would also go on more missions, on one occasion coming back with a limp. When Jyn challenged Saw about going on missions of her own, he proved that she wasn’t ready by showing her that her mistakes could cost the lives of others. Shortly after, Saw does send her on a mission as a sort of way of honoring her fifteenth birthday. The target is Dorin Bell, he’s been working with kyber crystals and is currently on a dark planet. Jyn will act as the insurance policy. Saw hands her a sniper blaster.
Jyn sits and waits for hours, repeating I can do this. Eventually Dorin Bell walks into her scope’s view, but she doesn’t pull the trigger. By the time she has persuaded herself to do it, the traps laid for the imperials go off and Jyn spots Dorin’s broken body. From this point, Jyn never knows if Saw will send her to train or go on a mission within the Outer Rim, an area the Empire was showing increasing interest in. Surprisingly, Saw tells her she will be joining a mission to a wealthy planet in the Mid Rim. They are being contracted to carry this out by Arane Oreida, who notoriously hates humans until they are useful. Good thing she pays well. Jyn will forge the invitations to the annual blossom festival which will also be celebrating the installation of an Imperial Governor. Additionally Jyn will accompany them to Inusagi and distribute the invites to other members who approach her and use the codeword cloud. She is not to enter the festival building.
Jyn is disguised in traditional robes with floral designs and wanders the festival grounds. Inusagi is a beautiful, lush planet and Jyn is enjoying people watching. She doesn’t enjoy the blatant racism directed toward the Rayeths, native non-humans of Inusagi. Jyn passes out all the forged invitations with spares and despite Saw’s instruction not to go into the festival grounds, she does. What Jyn sees is a show of power and prestige as Inusagi is forced under Imperial rule in a hollow celebration. Jyn also sees in the shadows ten figures carrying FC-1 flechette launchers with razor-sharp blades designed for crowd penetration. Jyn retreats back to the ship, blood and bodies behind her, but not before Saw sees her. When Saw returns, he reminds Jyn what war is.
A few days after the Inusagi mission, Saw announces that there is a traitor amongst the partisans and promises to find out who it is. Saw also takes a more active role in the training of new recruits, including Reece who has returned after most of his crew left to join up with Saw. Though he’s lost some of his cockiness and is one of Saw’s most staunch supporters, he’s still a jerk. One day Saw gathers Jyn, Reece and Jari for a small mission where they journey to Smuggler's Run. When they land Saw fires a blast into Jari’s shoulder and instructs Reece to tie, gag and blindfold him. Saw whispers to Jyn, he knows while Reece loads Jari onto an airspeeder which Saw takes to a nearby Imperial barrack, kicking Jari to the ground.
Saw changes after this, becoming more mission focused, turning the lounge at the base into a command center and telling Jyn they know. When Idryssa visits she is surprised how busy the base has become and tries to convince Saw to accept her methods of resistance, she’s disappointed in his part on Inusagi. Idryssa also has a mission for them, its information retrieval on Tamsye Prime, an Imperial controlled mining planet whose production for Star Destroyers has seen a marked increase. The plan is, thanks to Reece’s contacts on Coruscant, for Saw, Jyn, Codo, and Reece to pose as a crew from the propaganda department filming on Tamsye Prime with the feed being sent straight to Idryssa.
At first everything seems to go well, Lieutenant Colonel Senjax takes the time to introduce himself to Saw and Jyn and takes them on a tour of Tamsye Prime. After walking through the facility, Senjax turns to Reece and checks that Saw is the anarchist he alerted him of. Reece is a traitor! His reasoning is that Saw took his men, so Reece will take his. Reece also tells Senjax there is something important about Jyn, but he’s not sure what. Saw won’t be arrested without a fight and knocks Reece down and all hell breaks loose as TIE fighters zoom in and start blowing up the facility. Senjax mocks them, telling Saw that the factory is being decommissioned and that he's willing to destroy it if it will destroy Saw. Jyn contacts Codo on the ship to come and get them while plasma cannon blasts rain down. Saw is hurt during the chaos as he shields Jyn. Codo manages to land the ship and Saw tells Jyn to go and hide, as he drags Reece aboard. No matter how much she begs, Saw doesn’t promise that he’ll come back for her. Once again Jyn is left hiding in a dark bunker.
Imperial Detention Center and Labor Camp LEG-817
Life is repetitive on Wobani. Eat, work, sleep, eat, work, sleep, eat, work, sleep… Zorahda, Jyn’s cellmate, becomes increasingly depressed. A visit from an admiral causes a stir when he shoots an inmate at point blank range to demonstrate that fear is a greater motivator for hard work than any reward could be.
Jyn is alone, Saw is gone, she has a knife and a blaster and is safe for the moment. Jyn was sure Saw would come back for her but then the attack starts and the factory is decimated around her. Jyn realizes that Saw is not coming for her. Leaving the relative safety of the bunker, Jyn heads to the spaceport and finds Reece’s ship, thankfully her belongings are still in her locker, and she now has fresh clothes, truncheons and her code replicator, but she doesn’t know how to fly. Spotting someone who looks equally as desperate to leave, Jyn calls him over and he flies them off planet and away.
They emerge from hyperspace on a small planet. Jyn and the pilot don’t talk, he is too shrouded in guilt. Selling the ship to junkers, they go their separate ways. Jyn lies about her mechanical experience to get a job on a freighter Ponta One. The pilot, Akshaya, is willing to give her a chance if Jyn can fix her droid and leave her weapons behind. Jyn can not fix the droid, and is convinced no one can. However, an Imperial Checkpoint saves Jyn as she is able to save Akshaya from an inspection and heavy fines by forging proper codes. This is more valuable to Akshaya than the droid ever was or could be.
Akshaya invites Jyn to stay with her and her son Hadder on the planet Skuhl and, to celebrate their new house guest, instead of eating bunn, a local “delicacy,” they go to the diner in town. Jyn is impressed with the diversity of the people there, less so with the food, but she can’t be picky. On an old viewscreen reports of the attack on Tamsye Prime are playing, of course the lie being perpetrated by Imperial puppet Senjax is that the terrorists are to blame. When Jyn tries to set the record straight to Akshaya, she gathers Jyn and Hadder as they head home, reassuring them the Empire doesn’t reach this far, they are safe.
Jyn understands the threat of the Empire is ever present though they may not be occupying Skuhl at present. She also wonders if Saw is looking for her, but, like Galen, he left her behind and she isn’t interested in reconnecting. Jyn is given Akshaya’s daughter’s old room. Hadder explains his sister, Tanith, died a long time ago after a drug addiction exacted a terrible toll. She was taking an addictive medication to counter the bloodburn she experienced from space travel. It’s caused Akshaya to be extra wary of Hadder flying though it’s his dream to be a pilot. No matter how much Hadder asks, Jyn doesn’t tell him her whole story, just the salient parts: dead parents and abandoned by her surrogate. Hadder thinks she’s weird. When Akshaya is off-planet making deliveries or at the refinery, Jyn and Hadder start taking the planet hopper out for joy rides. Hadder clearly loves being behind the controls and it’s only at Jyn’s urging that he takes them off-planet. Don’t tell his mother!
That evening Jyn and Hadder celebrate their jaunt into space with a meal at the diner. Unfortunately, Jyn spots Berk who works with Saw and was on the Inusagi mission. Berk catches up with Jyn as they head back home and Jyn beats him up a little. Berk shouldn’t have been caught, but he does deliver a message: Saw isn’t coming, he only wanted to make sure Jyn was still alive. Hadder, who witnessed the exchange, now understands Jyn has skills and learns of her time with the resistance in her old life. As time goes on Jyn starts to let herself forget, but Akshaya can also sense her tenseness and reminds Jyn they are ants and the Empire is far away.
One day Hadder takes Jyn for a picnic across the planet. He tells her he’s thinking of joining the resistance to finally become a pilot, and he wants her to come with him. Jyn admits that she won’t, she can’t go back to that life. Hadder tells her, in that case, he won’t go either. They start to kiss and eventually do more.
When they return home they find Akshaya has returned early, she tells them the Empire owns more than half the mines she contracts with. She still doesn’t believe the Empire will bother them on Skuhl, stating the refinery owner is refusing to sell. Jyn knows better. Hadder, watching the exchange, leaves to have dinner at the diner, and Jyn follows him a little while later. She finds Hadder talking to Xosad, the recruiter Hadder mentioned on their picnic, however Xosad isn’t working for Saw anymore but Idryssa. Jyn politely asks Xosad to leave, squeezing the soft flesh of his lekku.
Eventually the stormtroopers come. Akshaya and the other workers are planning a meeting to discuss what they can do. Jyn tries to tell Akshaya it’s hopeless but she won’t listen because they are ants. Hadder takes Jyn out in the planet hopper to avoid the useless discussion. While they are in the air, Hadder tells Jyn that Xosad hasn’t left and he has friends who can help them. When they return, the troopers are waiting to ground the hopper. Hadder doesn’t understand why Jyn doesn’t fight back when she has the power to do so.
The refinery owner is gone as are other key workers, and now the refinery is under Imperial control. Akshaya’s words are hollow as she protests that they aren’t gone, just not here. Jyn starts to make plans for them to leave tomorrow, Akshaya and Hadder will take the freighter and Jyn will fly the hopper, unfortunately the stormtroopers come that night. They have received word Akshaya may be harboring a person of interest to the Empire. Jyn hears the ruckus and manages to slip out the small window in her room and make it to the hopper. Under blaster fire and the threat of a walker, Jyn is able to take off and sees Akshaya and Hadder heading to the freighter to take off, too. Just as they open communication between ships, the TIE fighters arrive. Jyn tries to run interference for the freighter to break the atmosphere and enter hyperspace but the hopper isn’t very maneuverable. Suddenly Y-wings enter the fray! Xosad must have sent them! The dog fight between TIE fighters and Y-wings provides Jyn with the opening she needs. Screaming into the mic to Ponta One, Jyn confirms they’re still with her. Before escaping, a plasma blast passes too close for comfort, exploding something behind her. The force of the explosion pushes her into hyperspace.
Imperial Detention Center and Labor Camp LEG-817
Zorahda has fallen deeper into her depression, she asks Jyn how to know when to give up. Jyn has no answer. They are both assigned to the same work detail in the craggy canyons west of the prison. Without safety rigging, they are both sent down the canyon wall. Jyn finishes her task whereas Zorahda lingers. Jyn is back at the top of the canyon when a stormtrooper starts shouting at Zorahda to get back to work and aims their blaster at her. Zorahda looks up to the sky before raising the laser pick to her eye and depressing the trigger. Zorahda lies lifeless and bloody between the stones. The trooper sends Jyn down to collect the equipment and finish the work.
When the planet hopper emerges from hyperspace the comm link to Ponta One picks up only static. Jyn docks at the agreed-upon rendezvous point, the space station at the center of the Five Points system, but they have no record of the freighter. Jyn gives her name as Tanith Ponta to the docking agent and sells the hopper to them for scrap. She also asks to be notified when Ponta One lands. As she inspects the outside Jyn finds a twisted steel panel curled into the hopper, on it is printed O-N-E. The explosion that pushed her into hyperspace and to safety was Ponta One blowing up. She walks away feeling empty inside.
The Five Points space station is a hive of activity. With limited funds from the sale of the hopper, Jyn needs to get food, somewhere to stay and work. Some guys try to beat her up but she shows them the error of their ways and though she loses her knife in the scuffle, she gains a blaster. Picking up some basic nutrient straws and milk, Jyn’s next purchase is a pair of extendable truncheons, weapons she can really use effectively, then a bed in a cheap inn. The next morning there is a message for Tanith Ponta to report to main processing flashing across the HoloNet. Could Akshaya and Hadder be alive?
No. Imperial Commander Solange actually wants to speak to Tanith/Jyn about the forged permissions and identification codes for Ponta Two. Solange wants the person responsible for such excellent work to forge credits for Pso’s Palace, one of the gambling halls on the station. It seems the Commander has gotten herself in a spot of debt that would be embarrassing for one’s career prospects. For one thousand Imperial credits and her name cleared, Tanith/Jyn will do it. Jyn completes the work on time and is paid but told not to leave the station. Jyn rents a room and starts to build a routine, hanging out in the park and at a cantina listening for the right opportunity to help her leave Five Points for good. During this time she hears whispers of the rebels. This pisses Jyn off, she blames the Empire and the Rebels for Akshaya and Hadder’s deaths. That night Jyn is distracted on her way back to her room and doesn’t see the blow coming that knocks her out.
Jyn wakes to see the feathered visage of Allehander Pso, owner of Pso’s Palace gambling hall. He is impressed with Tanith/Jyn’s work on the forged credits but can’t let Commander Solange and Tanith/Jyn go unpunished. Pso offers Jyn an exchange, she will escort some product to Rumitaka in exchange for her life. Jyn agrees if he’ll throw in one thousand Imperial credits as well. Within an hour Jyn boards the freighter. The captain and crew of the freighter are jerks. One hands Jyn a manifest list with twenty names on it. They are indentured servitude records and Jyn’s job is to extend the service years and assign them to the Empire. Pso has sold their contracts rather than freeing them. Jyn memorizes every single one of their names.
During the week-long journey, Jyn finds out that the crew are starving the people down in the hold. When she goes to see them the smell hits her first, the floor is covered with their waste. There are seven tiny cells each with two or three people in and a water bucket. The slaves are women and their children. One of the crew takes great joy at showing Jyn his stun prod to give them a buzz. ((YUCK!!)). That night Jyn starts cooking dinner for the crew so it doesn’t appear strange when she prepares a big celebratory feast on their last night. While the captain and crew tuck in, Jyn pulls the stun prod and knocks them all out before dragging them into the airlock. Going down to the hold, Jyn frees the slaves, hands them the unaltered servitude record which will free them and leaves the ship with the escape shuttle. As she flies off, the bodies of the captain and crew drift out into space.
Jyn lands on Rumitaka and sells the shuttle to a junker before heading straight to the spaceport and off planet to the first interplanetary transport. Jyn adopts the identity of Liana Hallik as she planet hops and takes whatever job pays, and time and distance begin to blend together. Years later Jyn finds herself back in the Outer Rim and looking for work. The junker she sold the escape shuttle to sets her up with a job. One night in the boarding house Jyn has rented a room in, stormtroopers come looking for Tanith Ponta. They take her back to Five Points station and Commander Solange who has been joined by Admiral Rocwyn. The Empire has another job for her in exchange for not torturing her and her freedom. Jyn is to upload a tracking code to a known partisan vessel which the Imperials will be able to use to trace back to the partisan base.
There is nothing suspicious about the routes or cargo the partisans are delivering, they’re acting as a relief effort providing food and medicine to settlements the Empire is oppressing. Jyn’s relationship with the captain, Blue, and her non-human crew is good, mostly, but Burta doesn’t trust humans. Blue likes Jyn and is very happy with her forgery work. Jyn tries to warn Blue that she has planted an Imperial code but she is way too subtle. The day before they are finally set to return to the partisan base the Imperial checkpoint they pass through traps them in a tractor beam. Admiral Rocwyn boards the freighter and has everyone, including Jyn, arrested and sent to the Empire’s glorious labor camps.
Imperial Detention Center and Labor Camp LEG-817
After Zorahda’s death, Jyn is assigned a new cellmate. Yalla is decidedly unfriendly and reminds Jyn of Saw. She is disgusted that Jyn shows no sign of wanting to escape. Jyn watches her though and can see plans being made as others of Yalla’s resistance group are also on Wobani. One night, an hour after work detail starts, Yalla’s group makes their move. Yalla throws an impact hammer to Jyn and faces the cell door as it opens, but she barely makes it past the threshold before blaster fire takes her out. Stormtroopers enter the cell and Jyn is charged with attempted escape.
Imperial Detention Center and Labor Camp LEG-817
Jyn thinks about her mother a lot. The woman who tried to protect her and gave her the kyber crystal around her neck. Her mother expected Jyn to live, to never give up hope. Jyn starts to look around her, waiting for an opportunity. For once Jyn is assigned farm work. It’s back breaking, but it’s outside. As the prison transport bumps along, there is suddenly a different type of lurch and then the big doors at the end blow off. A group of humans rush in, clearly looking for someone specific, looking for her.
Jyn is taken to the Rebellion. Looking around the base she’s amazed at the hangar filled with X- and Y-wings, the number of people and the level of organization. Mon Mothma, exiled senator and presumed leader of the Rebellion, is waiting to speak to her. Others are standing beside Mon Mothma, some faces she recognizes from the HoloNet like Bail Organa and others she does not. They know she is Jyn Erso, daughter of Galen Erso, Imperial collaborator in weapons development, raised to be a soldier by Saw Gerrera. They need her help. Jyn sees hope in the faces of the people around her. This is Jyn’s opportunity.