I’ve been thinking a long time about the Star Wars galaxy and the interconnectedness that comes from telling so many stories tied into a single narrative. One of the the things I love is watching those characters cross over into other media as their story continues to grow.
One of my favorite examples of this is Hera Syndulla. From her introduction in Star Wars Rebels, she has since appeared in books, video games, comics, and even a mention in a feature film! I wanted to shine a light on her character journey and where you can learn all about my favorite pilot!
Here is where you can follow Hera Syndulla’s story! (Click for links)
- Mercy Mission (short story from The Rise of the Empire)
- A New Dawn
- Tales From Vader’s Castle
- Star Wars Rebels
- Kanan – The Last Padawan
- Forces of Destiny: Hera
- Forces of Destiny
- Star Wars Adventures (2015) 7-8
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
- Star Wars (2015) 45, 50, 55
- Doctor Aphra (2017) 17-22
- Forces of Destiny: Leia
- Alphabet Squadron trilogy
- Star Wars: Squadrons
The Lone Pilot
- Mercy Mission (short story from The Rise of the Empire)
- A New Dawn (novel)
- Tales From Vader’s Castle (IDW comic series)
The earliest story we have of Hera, Mercy Mission, begins around 14 BBY, which in puts Hera at around 15. Hera comes up as a pilot helping her fathers’ Free Ryloth Movement. Eventually she would head away from home to help other rebel cells, and form her own.
We know from Star Wars Rebels Chopper is her oldest friend. As a young girl she rescued Chopper from a crashed Y-Wing during the Clone Wars and they’ve been inseparable ever since.
Years later, on a mission to the mining world of Gorse, Hera meets Kanan Jarrus who would become her partner from then on. This is also where their mission brought them across a then Captain Sloane who would spend a few years hunting Jarrus after her failure here.
It seems that for a while, Hera and the Ghost would roam the galaxy with Kanan and chopper aboard, thwarting the Empire and helping where they could.
- Star Wars Rebels (animated series)
- Kanan (Marvel Comic series)
- Forces of Destiny-Hera (IDW Comic series)
- Forces of Destiny – Newest Recruit, Crash Course, Hasty Departure, Accidental Allies (animated shorts)
- Star Wars Adventures 7-8 (2017-2019 IDW Comic series)
Five years before the Battle of Yavin, Hera and her collected crew (with 2 new additions Zeb and Sabine) would cross paths with a young boy. Kanan recognized the boy, Ezra Bridger, was Force sensitive. On Hera’s suggestion, Kanan agreed to pick up his lightsaber and reconnect with his Jedi ways to train the boy. They would fight the Empire together for years, defeating Inquisitors, and Ezra would become the voice that began to unite the disparate rebel cells into one Alliance. Kanan would give his life to save Hera, their crew, and Hera’s soon to be born son. However, shortly before the Battle of Scarif, Hera and Phoenix Squadron would succeed in liberating Lothal, but Grand Admiral Thrawn and Ezra Bridger would be lost.
The Rebel Alliance
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (film)
- Doctor Aphra 17-22 (2016-2019 Marvel comic series)
- Star Wars 45, 50, 55 (2015-2019 Marvel comic series)
- Forces of Destiny – An Imperial Feast, Chopper and Friends (animated shorts)
After giving birth to her son, Jacen Syndulla, Hera would continue her military career as a general in the Rebel Alliance. Hera took the Ghost into the Battle of Scarif. She would also help train Alliance pilots at Lucrehulk Prime, fight the treachery at Mako-Ta, and help high command at Echo Base. She and Rex also fought at Endor helping to turn the tide in the final year of the galactic civil war.
The New Republic
- Alphabet Squadron, Shadow Fall, Victory’s Price (novel trilogy)
- Star Wars: Squadrons (video game)
Before the war ended, Hera would command many squadrons against Imperial holdouts across the galaxy. She was instrumental in Project Starhawk and helping Alphabet Squadron hunt down Shadow Wing, an Imperial elite fighter squadron that was a major threat to the fledgling New Republic. Hera hoped that with the war ended, she would be able to spend more time with her family and watch her son grow up. Hera would command the Rebel Alliance Star Destroyer Deliverance at the Battle of Jakku.
- Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker (Film)
After Jakku we don’t have any information of what became of Hera or her family.
The only clue so far is the Ghost seems to be at The Battle of Exegol but we have no idea who is at the controls. Could it be Jacen Syndulla? Hopefully time will tell.
Pilot. Leader. Mother.
Hera Syndulla is one of the most dimensional and wonderful characters Star Wars has given us. Vanessa Marshall, who has voiced Hera Syndulla in Star Wars Rebels, Forces of Destiny, and Star Wars: Squadrons, brings so much to Hera’s character. Her warmth, straightforwardness, and conviction are all emphasized in Vanessa’s pitch perfect performance. She is loving, passionate, talented, and willing to give her all for the cause. Hera is not only an inspiration for us, but even in universe she is a mentor to so many characters. She helps a young Ezra Bridger realize how to use his strength and voice to inspire a galaxy to unite. She inspires Sabine Wren to reunite with her clan. She might be the best pilot in the galaxy who even once out flew Darth Vader! She mentored Yrica Quell and Wyl Lark who would go on to become great leaders and pilots themselves.
Hera loved her family and although the war would often take her far away from them, she would fight to make the galaxy a place she could raise her son in. I hope Hera’s story continues to be told and would love to see more of her story and hopefully, reunite her with her son Jacen. I would love to see stories about her recruiting Zeb and Sabine, more early stories of her romance with Kanan, and of course to see her reunite with Ezra who was an instrumental part of her first found family. here’s to Hera’s story and hoping it continues to grow!