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To follow up my own question Are Stormtroopers paid or rewarded in any way for their service?, to see how things are done with the opposite faction in the galaxy far, far away.

My first assumption is that all Rebels are volunteers. While I am sure the Rebel Alliance is using back channels and the underground to recruit members, I don't recall any mention of them having a standing army prior to the events of Episode IV. (Full disclosure again; I have only seen the seven films, but am aware of the EU/Legends).

The only example I can see of a Rebel being paid is Han Solo at the end of Episode IV. Although, at that point he really wasn't a member of the Alliance; he was just smuggler looking for a reward.

In real life, rebellious armies have a variety of structures depending on their location, source of funding, and structure. I would say that it is not beyond reasonable doubt to think the Rebel soldiers are paid, but do we have any evidence?

  • Are you using the tag correctly? star-wars-rebels should only be used for questions related to the Rebels TV series. – thegreatjedi Mar 5 '16 at 14:53
  • @thegreatjedi I used the tag because the show is considered T canon and may have be a good place for answers since it is about the rebels prior to the events of Episode IV. I see where you are coming from as the question is not directly about the show. If the consensus is that tag is not needed feel free to edit. – Skooba Mar 5 '16 at 15:05
  • Well, afaik you should only use that tag if your question is specific to its contents, but I could be wrong. Anyway, at the point of the timeline in that TV show, the Rebellion has not formally come into being - what you'll see in that show are just the cells that exist before that. It's an origin story, sort of. – thegreatjedi Mar 5 '16 at 15:21
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Canon: Not initially.

The Rebellion is made up of fugitives and disillusioned citizens of the Empire. These are people who either have no hope for a future (or survival) in an Imperial galaxy, or simply oppose the Empire's oppression. They are a wholly volunteer force: Any payment, if at all, is likely nominal and not the determinant of their allegiance. Whatever the case, the Alliance generally doesn't "hire" recruits.

However, we do know that payment is rendered for soldiers who complete their service to the Rebellion, at least after the war is over during the reign of the New Republic. When Poe Dameron's mother mustered out (discharged) after the end of the rebellion, she was given an A-Wing as part of her compensation package. This suggests that a payment scheme exists for Rebel soldiers, or that they are simply promised payment and reward if they survive long enough to get it (ie. the Empire is dead and the Rebellion is victorious).

Legends: Possibly, at least for some

At the Rebellion's inception, during the signing of the Corellian Treaty, the initial members are the planets of Alderaan, Corellia and Chandrila. Alderaan provides the funds, Corellia the fleet and Chandrila the troops. In this case, these are likely professional forces owned or raised by these systems, and therefore salaried. As far as I am aware, the Rebellion of Legends is a largely volunteer ragtag force, like in canon, but does maintain a small professional core as the elite, an element I'm not certain exists in canon.

Both canonicities

Of course, beyond the basic fulltime forces, volunteer or otherwise, the Rebellion does employ mercenaries, informants, smugglers (like Han Solo) etc. who do jobs normal soldiers can't or because they are better positioned to do it. The Rebel leadership does pay up, so you could consider this as an example of the Rebellion paying for some of their labour.

We know that Han Solo was paid for rescuing Leia and the Death Star plans, but only because he's not yet a Rebel and he asked for payment, because he was expecting to be paid. Once he decided to hang around in the Rebellion, however, we all know he was eventually shipped off to Jabba for not paying back his loan. It could be a case of Jabba being fed up and not accepting repayment anymore, or it could be a case of Han returning his payment once he joined the Rebellion and then not being paid while serving.

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