• Marie E. Wilson

Patriots of the Star Wars Galaxy to celebrate Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is a day on which the United States celebrates its sovereignty as a free nation and its independence from Britain. It’s a day of patriotism and honoring those who have brought us our freedom. With that in mind, we’d like to commemorate some of the patriots of the Star Wars galaxy--from all different regimes!

1. Admiral Raddus

First up, Admiral Raddus, a Mon Calamari who fought to his death protecting the Death Star plans and making sure that they got into the right hands. We see him of course in Rogue One but his name re-appears in The Last Jedi as the name of the Resistance’s flagship. His sacrifice and bravery was so lauded, that his name was deemed worthy enough to carry on thirty years after his demise. When no one else would heed Jyn’s call to action to capture the Death Star plans on Scarif, Raddus, against orders, stepped up to the plate and ventured off to the tropical planet to aid in the Rogue One mission from space. One of my favorite small moments in the movie is when the Rebel soldier exclaims about the Admiral, “He’s gone to fight!” and Mon Mothma allows a sneaky grin to make its way across her features. She may have told her people that they couldn’t go into battle, but that certainly didn’t mean that she believed in that plan of action. Admiral Raddus is most definitely a Rebellion patriot of patriots. Without him, the Death Star plans would have never made it into the hands of Leia and the Rogue One mission would not have succeeded. His sacrifice allowed for the Rebellion to get a leg up on the Empire and led to the most important emotion in all of Star Wars--hope.

2. Grand Admiral Rae Sloane

Secondly, we have Grand Admiral Rae Sloane of the waning Empire and the Star Destroyer Vigilance. You can find her story in A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller and the Aftermath trilogy by Chuck Wendig as well as in parts of the “Kanan” comic book series by Greg Weisman and in the short stories “Orientation” and “Bottleneck” also by John Jackson Miller and “Levers of Power” by Jason Fry. Sloane boldly believed in her Empire and stood with it to the very end. In “Orientation,” Vader meets a cadet Rae Sloane and is impressed with her discovering a plot by the captain of the ship to kill everyone on board. Even from the time she was just starting out her Imperial career, her intelligence and tenacity shown through. After the death of Palpatine, she was made the figurehead of the Empire, with a man by the name of Gallius Rax pulling the strings behind the scenes. But every step of the way, she wanted to do what was best and what was right for her Empire. Unfortunately, she got caught in Rax’s crosshairs and was villainized by the puppet master. With her pluck and fortitude though, she was able to overcome this outcasting and travel to the Unknown Regions with Brendol Hux to rebuild the Empire...what we now know as the First Order. Without Sloane, there’s no telling what would’ve happened to the remnants of the Empire and the fledgling First Order. Her solid belief in the order brought about by the Empire and the rightness of its cause were deep-set. She was a true believer.

3. Padme Amidala

Third, there is Padme Amidala, a patriot of the Republic and of democracy. She did everything in her power to ensure that people were heard and actually listened to on the Senate floor. All throughout the “Clone Wars” TV series, we see her fight for the little guy and carry out good deeds to make the galaxy a better place. It took some doing for her to make the transition from Queen to Senator as a different set of skills were necessary for her to be successful. But she learned and tried time and again to make a difference using the tools she had at her disposal. Besides being a patriot of the galaxy as a whole, she was also most certainly a patriot of Naboo, donning a battle uniform to fight off the Trade Federation when her planet was under dire distress. One would think that a Queen with as much pomp and circumstance as one of Naboo would frown at getting her hands dirty, but not Padme. She knew what her planet needed and she acted in accordance with that need. One of the most famous lines of the prequel trilogy comes from the Senator--”So this is how liberty dies...with thunderous applause.” This quote makes it clear where her loyalties stood and how passionately she championed the idea of democracy.

4. Clone 99

Fourth is one of my absolute favorite clones, a hero and patriot of the Republic in the bravest and most underrated way possible, Clone 99 from the “Clone Wars” TV series. This man came out the other side of the cloning process with a number of physical and genetic abnormalities. Because of these conditions, he was deemed unworthy of service in the military with his brothers and was instead relegated to janitorial and maintenance duty at his birthplace on Kamino. Upon his first appearance, we see him provide much needed advice and morale boosting to Domino Squad--a group of cadets that are struggling greatly to complete any training exercise to the expectations of their instructors. He speaks to Hevy in particular, emphasizing the importance of brotherhood and teamwork and telling him that he could be the leader his squad needs. It is with the help of 99 that Domino Squad becomes one of the best Squads to come out of Kamino, even producing Echo and Fives, two well-known and passionate ARC troopers. 99 loses his life in defending his home from a Separatist invasion. Although his brothers wanted him to stay back and not engage, he knew it was his duty as a soldier of the Republic to come to the aid of Kamino and his brothers in battle. His sacrifice showed a deep bravery and a model ability to overcome the bad odds to prove oneself as worthy and necessary. Just like Raddus, his name carried on and became the title of the “Bad Batch” crew of clones who had genetic modifications--Clone Force 99. An unsung hero, Clone 99 was absolutely a patriot to be honored.

5. Jar Jar Binks

And lastly we have Jar Jar Binks, another unsung patriot of the Republic and of Naboo. Every step of the way he did what he thought was right despite some of these actions leading to disastrous consequences. He starts off as a bumbling outcast from Gungan City who is rescued by two Jedi Knights from a droid invasion. But he quickly gets swept up into the action, helping out his saviors by leading them through the core of the planet despite his greatest fears being realized. He may be easily frightened and super clumsy, but when the chips are down, he always finds a way to come through. He was made a general on the plains of Naboo during the great battle with the droid army and through his clumsiness he was able to succeed where other Gungans failed. Then in the “Clone Wars” TV series we get a Jar Jar who goes on many adventures, saving the day time and time again. In “Bombad Jedi” he pretends to be a Jedi and saves Padme from dire circumstances on Rodia. In “Shadow Warrior” he stands in for Boss Lyonie to convince his people not to join forces with the Separatists and rise up against the Naboo. He is loyal not only to his people but his planet as a whole. There are so many wonderful stories about his heroics in “The Clone Wars” and I highly recommend all of his episodes.

The one unfortunate aspect of Jar Jar’s patriotism takes place before the Clone Wars began when it was he that as a Naboo Representative, proposed giving emergency powers to Chancellor Palpatine to address the Separatist threat. It was Jar Jar who put the last straw into place, paving the way for Palpatine to become Emperor. But he made the proposal in good faith and with the belief that it’s what Padme would have wanted. Sadly, he was manipulated into this avenue of thought and the seeds of disaster were sown. Regardless, his heart and passion for his people, Naboo, and the Republic make him a true patriot.

Who else do you think should be on this list? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments below! And Happy Happy 4th of July!!

About Marie:

I am so excited to have joined the Beyond the Blast Doors Star Wars conversation! As a person who is deeply passionate about every aspect of the galaxy far, far away, I'm always looking for ways to spread my Star Wars joy and love.

I've spoken at cons and written articles on a variety of topics but one of my biggest passions is the canon literature. I hope to help you find your way through the Maelstrom because what is out there is truly amazing!

Email: melisabethwilson@gmail.com

Twitter: @aliamorgaine

Blog: www.thestarwarsreview.blogspot.com