Ahsoka on Disney+ won’t just mark the return of arguably Star Wars‘ greatest character. It will also mark the return of a great Rebellion hero, as Star Wars Rebels‘ Hera Syndulla will make her live-action debut on the series. But who is Hera Syndulla, the captain of the Ghost, and why is she such an important and beloved figure in the galaxy far, far away? And how did her childhood shape who she became? Here’s everything you need to know about Captain Hera Syndulla before Ahsoka.
What Planet Is Hera Syndulla From?
Hera Syndulla comes from the planet Ryloth located in the Outer Rim Territories. It’s the homeworld of Twi’leks, one of the galaxy’s most common species. In the Star Wars world, Twi’leks are best known for their long head tails called lekku. Other famous Star Wars Twi’leks include Bib Fortuna and Oola. Bib kidnapped Oola to work for Jabba the Hutt, just as the Hutt crime family had once exploited both the planet and its people. During the High Republic, the Jedi freed Ryloth from the Zygerrian Slave Empire and helped broker piece between warring Twi’lek clans.
(Note: Despite also having long head appendages, Ahsoka Tano is not a Twi’lek. She is a Togruta, a much less common species in the galaxy.)
What Happened to Hera Syndulla’s Family During the Clone Wars?
Hera Syndulla’s Star Wars story began in earnest during the Clone Wars. (Young Hera has since appeared on The Bad Batch, showing more of her own history.) Hera’s father, General Cham Syndulla, helped lead Ryloth’s fight against the Separatists during the Clone Wars.
During the Battle of Ryloth, Hera Syndulla rescued a droid called C1-10P. He’s better known to Star Wars fans as her loyal, sassy, trouble-making sidekick, Chopper. The arrival of Separatist ships on Ryloth also led Hera to dream of growing up to become a pilot who traveled the galaxy. While her parents had worries about her aspirations, her uncle Gobi Glie provided her with flying lessons at a young age. He also brought her on missions to fight the Empire on their home planet.
Cham eventually resumed his revolutionary ways as part of the Free Ryloth Movement against Imperial control. The family’s involvement in the group resulted in Hera’s mother Eleni’s death, and Hera did not have a great relationship with her dad afterward. But his lifelong quest to defeat tyranny still had a profound effect on his daughter.
When Did Hera Syndulla Join the Rebellion?
When Hera Syndulla left Ryloth in 12 BBY, she was already a talented pilot. Her desire to join the burgeoning Rebellion soon led her to work for Senator Bail Organa. That also brought her into contact with Ahsoka Tano, who was working under the Rebel network moniker Fulcrum. It was the beginning of a long friendship and working relationship.
The skilled pilot proved a valuable member of the cause and ultimately became captain of a modified VCX-100 light freighter. Hera Syndulla used her Star Wars ship on missions against the Galactic Empire and to help those in need. She named the freighter Ghost because it could evade Imperial sensors. As a result future crew members in her Rebel cell became known as Spectres.
Hera Syndulla’s quick-thinking, tactical mind, sixth sense for recognizing traps, bravery, fighting skills, and no-nonsense attitude also helped make her a great leader.
When Did Hera Syndulla Meet Kanan Jarrus?
Hera Syndulla first met the love of her life and the Ghost’s second-in-command, Kanan Jarrus, during a mission in the Gorse System. The two grew so close that he confided the truth about his past to her. Kanan’s real name was Caleb Dume. He survived Order 66 as a young Jedi Padawan and went into hiding.
What Was Hera Syndulla’s Role on the Ghost Rebel Ship?
Hera Syndulla was more than just the captain of the Ghost and leader of the Rebel cell known as the Spectres. She was a mother figure to its crew of Garazeb “Zeb” Orrelios, Sabine Wren, and Ezra Bridger. Despite her stern, practical approach to their work, Hera was kind, caring, and compassionate.
Over the course of Star Wars Rebels, the Spectres undertook countless vital missions throughout the galaxy and on the planet Lothal. They were among the cause’s best and most reliable cells. They helped Mon Mothma go into hiding when she publicly denounced the Empire and formed a more formal, organized Rebellion. Hera Syndulla also reconciled with her dad and helped ally with Ryloth. And she founded an important secret Rebel stronghold (called Chopper Base) on Atollon. But no matter what hardships, disappointments, or setbacks the Ghost faced, Hera always helped keep the group together. She did so even after the death of Kanan, who sacrificed himself to save the others.
What Did Hera Syndulla Do After the Fall of the Empire?
The Spectres continued serving the Rebellion after they helped save Lothal from Imperial control, the last major event of Star Wars Rebels. Hera—who by then had earned the rank of General Syndulla—flew the Ghost in the Battle of Scarif. In addition to running missions during the Galactic Civil War, she also trained new Rebel pilots following the Battle of Yavin. She even fought during the Battle of Endor and met Han Solo and Chewbacca after Palpatine’s death.
When the Empire fell for good, Hera joined the New Republic as a General and commanded a group of squadrons.
Who Is Hera Syndulla’s Son, Jacen?
The final moments of Star Wars Rebels revealed the Ghost had acquired a surprise new crew member, Hera and Kanan’s son Jacen. Sabine Wren said the green-haired Jacen was “born to fly just like his mother.” It seems like we will see Jacen again in the Ahsoka series.
Who Voiced Hera Syndulla on Star Wars Rebels?
Vanessa Marshall voiced Hera on Star Wars Rebels. She also played the character in various Star Wars video games and The Bad Batch.
Did Hera Syndulla Appear in Rogue One or the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy?
Hera fought in Rogue One‘s Battle of Scarif but did not appear in person in the film. (Fans did get to see Chopper and Ghost.) However, “General Syndulla” was called to the briefing room on Yavin 4, showing just how important she was in the plans to destroy the first Death Star.
The Ghost also answered the call during the Battle of Exegol in The Rise of Skywalker, indicating the legendary General might have participated in the final defeat of Palpatine and the Empire. (At minimum, it would appear Hera Syndulla’s son Jacen did.)
Who Is Playing Live-Action Hera Syndulla on Ahsoka?
Hera Syndulla will finally appear in the flesh on Ahsoka, as Mary Elizabeth Winstead will play the beloved character in her first live-action Star Wars appearance. The show’s trailers reveal Hera was still a pilot on the lookout for Imperial activity during the era of the New Republic.
The galaxy will need one of its greatest Rebels just as it always has.