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Starting at the Battle of Endor... (Non-Canon Version)


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#1 HappyDaze

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 08:06 PM

So I'm looking forward to starting a new SWRPG campaign, and I want to use the Battle of Endor as my starting point and my point of divergence from canon. My intent is to clear the board of the canon heroes - they have made a very strong contribution to the success of the Alliance, but now other heroes are needed.

 

Here's what I have so far, the Battle of Endor goes much as seen in Return of the Jedi except:

1) Luke Skywalker does not evacuate the Death Star before it is destroyed. He dies moments after Anakin looks upon him with his own eyes.

2) Following the destruction of the Death Star, the Imperial Navy forces the Alliance Fleet to make a fighting retreat from Endor. Alliance starfighters focus their attacks upon the Imperial Navy's Interdictor cruisers to create openings. They succeed, but less than half of the Alliance Fleet escapes from Endor. The Imperial Navy does not attempt immediate pursuit.

3) During the fighting retreat, General Calrissian moves to evacuate General Solo's team from the Sanctuary Moon, but the Millennium Falcon is shot down while making the attempt. A badly injured Lando joins up with Han's team on the surface. The Millenium Falcon was lost when the explosion of the Death Star's reactor spread faster than predicted.

4) General Solo's team on the Sanctuary Moon is unable to escape as the Imperial Navy lands a massive force of stormtroopers. The Imperials do not take prisoners, and General Solo's team (and a whole bunch of Ewoks) are slaughtered.

5) In the wake of the Battle of Endor, the Imperial Navy controls the system, but many of their vessels are heavily damaged. They draw back the most heavily damaged vessels for repairs and make futile attempts to hunt down the fleeing Rebels with what remains of their forces.

 

This is the beginning. I'm looking for a post-Endor setting that is still much like the time of the Rebellion and less like the New Republic era. I will have the Empire frayed at the edges, but I do not plan on having it implode with every Imperial in power being an impulsive idiot trying to grab power for themselves like the EU did.


Edited by HappyDaze, 08 February 2014 - 10:16 PM.

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#2 RogueCorona

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 10:05 PM

Interesting idea but you need to do a better job of explaining what caused these changes rather than just saying this is what happened IMO.

 

Why did Luke not leave in time? Why would a fleet that had just lost its Commander in Chief and its flagship plus was to be blunt getting torn to pieces stand its ground? The Rebellion lost 20 percent of its fleet at Endor in the main timeline, the Empire lost its command ship for the battle, one of its two Battlecruisers, and 16 of its 36 Imperial and Tector class Star Destroyers. You need a good explanation for what happened to alter the course of the battle and why an Empire which was designed to go to pieces in the event of its founder's death managed to tun a disaster of epic proportions into a strategic draw.


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#3 HappyDaze

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 10:14 PM

Interesting idea but you need to do a better job of explaining what caused these changes rather than just saying this is what happened IMO.

 

Why did Luke not leave in time? Why would a fleet that had just lost its Commander in Chief and its flagship plus was to be blunt getting torn to pieces stand its ground? The Rebellion lost 20 percent of its fleet at Endor in the main timeline, the Empire lost its command ship for the battle, one of its two Battlecruisers, and 16 of its 36 Imperial and Tector class Star Destroyers. You need a good explanation for what happened to alter the course of the battle and why an Empire which was designed to go to pieces in the event of its founder's death managed to tun a disaster of epic proportions into a strategic draw.

I don't really need to do what you suggest. I'm instead saying that the facts are simply changed. Luke didn't make it off the station because it blew up a little more quickly in my altered timeline (which reminds me to revise Lando's exit). I also am simply changing the facts of the battle's outcome. No one asks 'why' the battle resolved as it did on screen, it's just accepted.


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#4 HappyDaze

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 12:23 AM

I've also considered going with another alternative that, when the shield projector on the Sanctuary Moon was destroyed , the Death Star II followed the Emperor's decree and turned it's superlaser on the Sanctuary Moon. The Sanctuary Moon (along with Solo's team) was destroyed mere seconds before the Death Star II was itself destroyed. In this version, Calrissian would certainly die within the Death Star II rather than in an attempt to rescue Solo's team.


Edited by HappyDaze, 09 February 2014 - 12:24 AM.

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#5 DrNate

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 12:31 AM

The Death Star blew up a little faster than it did in the film? I like it. I like little changes to the original trilogy (and a massive rewrite of the prequels from the ground up, using only the info in the OT as source material)

 

I often wondered what happened to all those extra Star Destroyers after the Battle of Endor. They are still in the battle, right? Especially in the "special" edition of RotJ, I thought the Empire crumbled a little too quickly.  

 

The only unrealistic part is the Ewoks getting killed. Those guys are killing machines! Literally, they killed two machines (scout walkers). On the other hand, the RotJ novelization depicted the battle on Endor as a losing battle until Chewie jacked that walker. Using that, the battle could easily have gone the other way. 

 

My personal dream campaign alters RotJ as well. Thanks to numerous life support systems built into his armor, Vader survives Force Lightning better than Luke does, Now, insure about the fate of anything at all, Vader limps to his shuttle and flies home, intending to crash land on Tattooine and let the sands bury him forever.  Of course, nothing is ever that easy.


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#6 RogueCorona

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 01:18 AM

 

Interesting idea but you need to do a better job of explaining what caused these changes rather than just saying this is what happened IMO.

 

Why did Luke not leave in time? Why would a fleet that had just lost its Commander in Chief and its flagship plus was to be blunt getting torn to pieces stand its ground? The Rebellion lost 20 percent of its fleet at Endor in the main timeline, the Empire lost its command ship for the battle, one of its two Battlecruisers, and 16 of its 36 Imperial and Tector class Star Destroyers. You need a good explanation for what happened to alter the course of the battle and why an Empire which was designed to go to pieces in the event of its founder's death managed to tun a disaster of epic proportions into a strategic draw.

I don't really need to do what you suggest. I'm instead saying that the facts are simply changed. Luke didn't make it off the station because it blew up a little more quickly in my altered timeline (which reminds me to revise Lando's exit). I also am simply changing the facts of the battle's outcome. No one asks 'why' the battle resolved as it did on screen, it's just accepted.

 

 

c

Sorry but just saying the outcome of one of the most crucial battles of the saga changed but having no ideas why sounds like very bad campaign planning to me. I enjoy alternate campaigns as much as anyone but IMO its vital that the cause of the changes be well thought out before the campaign starts. The idea of having the Death Star II hit Endor does a good job of explaining how the main characters of the movie died but doesn't explain why the Imperial fleet suddenly found the will to hold the line with the Emperor dead, the Death Star and a large portion of the fleet in the system destroyed, and their chain of command and communications shot to hell..



#7 HappyDaze

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 02:35 AM

 

 

Interesting idea but you need to do a better job of explaining what caused these changes rather than just saying this is what happened IMO.

 

Why did Luke not leave in time? Why would a fleet that had just lost its Commander in Chief and its flagship plus was to be blunt getting torn to pieces stand its ground? The Rebellion lost 20 percent of its fleet at Endor in the main timeline, the Empire lost its command ship for the battle, one of its two Battlecruisers, and 16 of its 36 Imperial and Tector class Star Destroyers. You need a good explanation for what happened to alter the course of the battle and why an Empire which was designed to go to pieces in the event of its founder's death managed to tun a disaster of epic proportions into a strategic draw.

I don't really need to do what you suggest. I'm instead saying that the facts are simply changed. Luke didn't make it off the station because it blew up a little more quickly in my altered timeline (which reminds me to revise Lando's exit). I also am simply changing the facts of the battle's outcome. No one asks 'why' the battle resolved as it did on screen, it's just accepted.

 

 

c

Sorry but just saying the outcome of one of the most crucial battles of the saga changed but having no ideas why sounds like very bad campaign planning to me. I enjoy alternate campaigns as much as anyone but IMO its vital that the cause of the changes be well thought out before the campaign starts. The idea of having the Death Star II hit Endor does a good job of explaining how the main characters of the movie died but doesn't explain why the Imperial fleet suddenly found the will to hold the line with the Emperor dead, the Death Star and a large portion of the fleet in the system destroyed, and their chain of command and communications shot to hell..

 

In my version, the battle would have been far more favorable to the Imperial Navy. First of all, Home One (Ackbar's ship) would have been the priority target for the opening shot by the Death Star II. This means that both sides would have suffered from headhunter attacks and significant hits to morale (the destruction of the Sanctuary Moon with Solo's team on it is a morale hit for the Rebellion). In my universe, the Imperial Navy is competent and reasonably capable of absorbing hits to their chain of command. The Rebels are very competent individually, but most of them are not so well-versed in coordinating large fleet actions, so I feel that the net result of both sides losing senior officers would not be an Imperial rout considering that the Imperial force was superior in numbers and firepower.

 

I also ignore a lot of the EU stuff, like the "battle meditation" hooey and the whole IG-88 in the Death Star computer crap.

 

EDIT: I don't know if Mon Mothma was on the Home One during the battle. If she was, then she's dead too, and Garm Bel Iblis can return to the Rebellion post-Endor and take her place.


Edited by HappyDaze, 09 February 2014 - 02:42 AM.

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#8 Shakespearian_Soldier

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 06:37 AM

 

 

Interesting idea but you need to do a better job of explaining what caused these changes rather than just saying this is what happened IMO.

 

Why did Luke not leave in time? Why would a fleet that had just lost its Commander in Chief and its flagship plus was to be blunt getting torn to pieces stand its ground? The Rebellion lost 20 percent of its fleet at Endor in the main timeline, the Empire lost its command ship for the battle, one of its two Battlecruisers, and 16 of its 36 Imperial and Tector class Star Destroyers. You need a good explanation for what happened to alter the course of the battle and why an Empire which was designed to go to pieces in the event of its founder's death managed to tun a disaster of epic proportions into a strategic draw.

I don't really need to do what you suggest. I'm instead saying that the facts are simply changed. Luke didn't make it off the station because it blew up a little more quickly in my altered timeline (which reminds me to revise Lando's exit). I also am simply changing the facts of the battle's outcome. No one asks 'why' the battle resolved as it did on screen, it's just accepted.

 

 

c

Sorry but just saying the outcome of one of the most crucial battles of the saga changed but having no ideas why sounds like very bad campaign planning to me. I enjoy alternate campaigns as much as anyone but IMO its vital that the cause of the changes be well thought out before the campaign starts. The idea of having the Death Star II hit Endor does a good job of explaining how the main characters of the movie died but doesn't explain why the Imperial fleet suddenly found the will to hold the line with the Emperor dead, the Death Star and a large portion of the fleet in the system destroyed, and their chain of command and communications shot to hell..

 

 

You'd be surprised just how adaptive some units can be at adapting to command changes. Case in point: Battle of Trafalgar: Nelson was shot dead, but British morale was maintained. Yes, the battle was close to being decided then, but that doesn't mean that the loss of their commander couldn't have thrown things into chaos for the British side.

 

If the troops are disciplined enough, and well-trained enough, then they will adapt. And for the Imperials, who might have realised that the fate of their Empire hinged on them destroying the Rebel core, would have fought even harder.


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#9 Spjork

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 09:04 AM

I like that this ascends the canon characters to "legendary" status and clears the decks for the players to be the biggest heroes in the galaxy.

 

I'd be curious how that Imperial central power will maintain structural integrity following the emperor's death. Do you have a Grand Moff or an heir in mind to step up and assume control?

 

I'm not up on Imperial politics, especially where the EU is concerned, but just thinking of historical precedents:

 

When Alexander the Great died without an obvious heir, it pretty much kicked off a real-life Game of Thrones. To emulate something similar in the Star Wars Universe, you could have shifting alliances form among the Grand Moffs while the most powerful among them consolidates power as Emperor II. The Core Oversectors might stay together and maintain some semblance of Imperialism, but a few of the fringe Grand Moffs might vie for their own fiefdoms or end up falling to rebel uprisings.

 

Caesar's assassination might be a more apt analogy. In that, the rebels were surprised to encounter public backlash against what they'd done; but even at that, there was still some significant infighting within the empire. First you had Octavian/Antony leading the army against the rebels, and then once they were out of the picture, it was Octavian vs. Antony/Cleopatra.

 

Without a clear line of succession, I'd expect at least a little infighting among the highest tiers of power; though probably not to the extent of "Every Moff for Himself."



#10 Chortles

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 10:01 AM

@ Spjork: If you incorporate EU canon at all, then Grand Vizier Sate Pestage was the effective third-in-line (after Vader) since he'd already been running the Empire on a day-to-day basis anyway due to the Emperor's seclusion*, so he assumed the throne with even would-be coup plotters and infighters acquiescing, due to the lack of a publicly known biological heir.

 

* Ironically enough, although we know of the Emperor's dark side studies and the search for Luke Skywalker around the time of Episodes V and VI, this actually meshes up with an in-universe public view -- and the suggestion of Episode IV -- that the Emperor was a withdrawn recluse who'd ceded the actual running of the Empire to the "bureaucrats".


 

Well, according to George Lucas, the Empire is intended to be bad guys and the Sith to be objectively evil.

Fans proceeded to immediately disregard his bull and have fun with the Empire and make believable characters left and right, and come up with sensible rationalizations east, west, north and south.

 


#11 DrNate

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 10:39 AM

I also ignore a lot of the EU stuff, like the "battle meditation" hooey and the whole IG-88 in the Death Star computer crap.

 

IG-88 in the DSII. Such a facepalm moment. 

 

I ignore EU, movies, whatever I want. It's good times. I don't ignore the Christmas Special, that would be blasphemy (someone stat up Bea Arthur, quick!) 

 

I liked Battle Meditation in SWSE. In the Force Unleashed book, BM Unleashed allowed you to give +1 to hit to every friendly character in the same star system. Can you imagine how many people that would help in the Battle of Endor?



#12 HappyDaze

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 03:44 PM

I like that this ascends the canon characters to "legendary" status and clears the decks for the players to be the biggest heroes in the galaxy.

 

That is my intent. As to the politics of what come after, I have a few ideas - the Imperial Ruling Council presided over by Grand Vizier Sate Pestage is fairly solid and the Rebellion reforming under Garm Bel Iblis sounds good to me too. I agree that there will be some fragmentation of the Empire, particularly in the Mid and Out Rim Regions, but the guys in power at the top (Imperial Ruling Council) are going to act swiftly and effectively enough to stop it before it goes down as badly as it does in the EU. I simply don't accept that every Imperial official is totally selfish and foolishly short-sighted.

 

I see an Empire that is reduced to roughly 2/3 of it's pre-Endor size over the course of a few years. The remaining 1/3 are worlds/systems/sectors that have begun to break away and declared independence. Of those independents, some are formerly Imperial warlords, some are Rebel sympathizers, and many just want to be left alone. In many cases, the Imperial Ruling Council grants sanction and recognition to some independents, much as with the Corporate Sector years before. This latter act actually hurts the Rebellion as some of the worlds that might have otherwise joined the Alliance are happy to just have their own freedom and don't care enough about other parts of the Galaxy to risk armed conflict with the Empire.


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#13 Kshatriya

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 08:20 PM

Interesting idea but you need to do a better job of explaining what caused these changes rather than just saying this is what happened IMO.

 

Why did Luke not leave in time? Why would a fleet that had just lost its Commander in Chief and its flagship plus was to be blunt getting torn to pieces stand its ground? The Rebellion lost 20 percent of its fleet at Endor in the main timeline, the Empire lost its command ship for the battle, one of its two Battlecruisers, and 16 of its 36 Imperial and Tector class Star Destroyers. You need a good explanation for what happened to alter the course of the battle and why an Empire which was designed to go to pieces in the event of its founder's death managed to tun a disaster of epic proportions into a strategic draw.

I disagree with a need to explain. I mean, the movie played out as it did for cinematic necessity: the good guys winning, no major protagonist dying, the Empire beheaded, capping off what was (at the time anyway) the end of the franchise on the silver screen. It needed to end on the note it did for customer and thematic satisfaction, a factor that doesn't play in to changing the timeline in a tabletop RPG.

 

That being said, if Home One was the first capital ship casualty, I could see a crisis in the military chain of command. The Rebel fleet was Ackbar's brainchild. I'm sure there was a succession hierarchy in place, doesn't mean there wouldn't be shock and confusion in those moments, with the Death Star operational and Lando needing to argue with whoever was then in command about the need to press the attack and give the ground team more time. Even if that was unsuccessful, the Rebel fleet would still have to fight its way past a fleet of Star Destroyers to jump to hyperspace, taking shots from Death Star II in the process as it happened. Without Ackbar's guidance, Executor might not have become the priority target.

 

And like it or not, Palpatine and/or Nial Declann's battle meditation helping the Imperial Navy (and its cessation when DSII blew up) did provide a good reason for why the surviving ships of the Imperial fleet broke and scattered rather than kept on fighting and pounding on the Rebels. 

 

Really, this sounds like a very exciting environment to be in and a great backdrop for some Rogue Squadron-type shenanigans. 


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#14 copperbell

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 06:07 AM

Why the Imperial Fleet held?

 

Grand Admiral Thrawn was present...

 

Why didn't the DS2 take out Home One with its first shot?

 

Because they didn't listen to Thrawn, it also helped they mistook an almost identical ship for Home One mind you they really should have taken Thrawn's advice and bought the latest Guide to Spotting Mon Calamari Ships and signed up to Ackbar's facebook account! ;) .


Edited by copperbell, 10 February 2014 - 06:10 AM.


#15 HappyDaze

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 06:26 AM

I'm not terribly taken with Thrawn, and I find the Empire of the Hand to be silly. I don't like the Vong either, and Thrawn is tied into that story more than I like.


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#16 segara82

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 07:07 AM

Yes, i am also someone who is simply bewildered as how incompetent the Empire is usually portrayed. They conquered about a third of the known universe and ruled that for about 3 decades.
But as soon as the heroes of the books/movies show up they become stupid bullies.
Just like in most action-movies.
I don't mind that in a 1-1/2 to 2 hour movie, but it strikes me at bad writing in a fantasy/sf-setting of such a magnitude. Which why i rather like Thrawn, he finally showed competence and fpr not resorting to doomsday weapons or WMDs.

A few questions:
Did the Executor receive proper fighter-cover and did not get taken out (by a crashing A-Wing)?
Are there any Hands of the Emperor (not just Mara Jade) running around?
.. i'll post more when i had more time think some up.

Edited by segara82, 10 February 2014 - 07:17 AM.

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#17 RogueCorona

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 09:31 AM

Thrawn was too powerful IMO. Give him some artwork to study and he suddenly knows their battle tactics and strategies. I would have loved to see him go against a commander who acts completely outside the artistic style of their culture just to see what would happen. And honestly was there really a need to retrocon the Battle of Darra IV so that Thrawn was the one who figured out where the Rebel convoy would be?

 

I believe that the Empire's main issue on the military command front was that promotion was often more about politics than ability. That and in at least some cases officers were killed for bad luck, or failing minor objectives. And a number of their better officers and soldiers did defect, usually with IMO legitimate cause.


Edited by RogueCorona, 10 February 2014 - 09:37 AM.


#18 HappyDaze

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 04:49 PM

I'm considering using the Prophets of the Dark Side as a secret advisory body to Sate Pestage (or perhaps they control him). They are attempting to shepherd the Empire until the time of the "Emperor Reborn" (not necessarily a clone), and they have found a way to direct the remaining Emperor's Hands from afar as Palatine once did. Again, these guys are a power behind the throne rather than obvious evil wizards ruling the Empire.


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#19 Shakespearian_Soldier

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 08:15 PM

I loved Thrawn, but wasn't a fan of the Vong. Then again, my knowledge of both is somewhat limited.


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#20 HappyDaze

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 11:13 PM

I loved Thrawn, but wasn't a fan of the Vong. Then again, my knowledge of both is somewhat limited.

I didn't mind the character when he first appeared, but the stuff they later tied to him - namely the Empire of the Hand and all his work to prepare the galaxy for the coming of the Vong - ruined him for me.


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