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This question was spurred by this question which discusses Luke’s relative plot significance during the events of Return of the Jedi.

So, given that Luke, Leia, Lando and Chewbacca—all at this point well respected, and presumably high ranking, members of the Rebellion in the Star Wars universe—participated in the rescue of Han Solo from Jabba’s Palace… Does anyone or anything mention the overall risk of this mission to the overall efforts of the Rebellion against the Empire?

The risks to rescue Han seemed fairly high and—if things went differently—one could imagine that all involved would be dead, captured or left to hang on a wall as a trophy (literally) frozen in limbo.

I can’t imagine such a mission would have been easily approved others in the Rebellion? I mean, Luke and Leia could probably have done whatever they wanted since the Rebellion seems like an ad hoc socialist group, right? But I can imagine—for example—Mon Mothma, Admiral Ackbar and General Madine expressing at least some basic concern about this rescue mission, right?

So do any expanded universe works exist that make reference to—or acknowledge—the thoughts of Rebel leadership as they get news that the guy who destroyed the Death Star, a Princess, an ex-Baron Administrator of a city in the clouds and a furry walking carpet (who can pilot spaceships) suddenly took off to go and rescue their friend?

Or was it all as simple as when Han himself announced he was leaving the Rebellion in The Empire Strikes Back and General Rieekan simply said, “A death mark's not an easy thing to live with. You’re a good fighter, Solo. I hate to lose you.”

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This is directly addressed at the start of the new Return of the Jedi junior novelisation. In short, this is Leia and Luke's dumb plan and if they're willing to risk their lives trying to save one man, the Alliance High Command won't stop them, but nor will they risk Rebel lives to help them.

It goes without saying that had Leia asked, she could would undoubtedly have found some willing volunteers among her troops, but she fully recognises that this is a personal mission, not something that directly advances the Alliance's cause.

TWO DROIDS against a castle full of evil thugs and a giant, even more evil space slug? You might ask: What foolishness is going on here?

Well, it is rather foolish, but it’s not quite as bad as all that. It’s actually the two droids, three people, and one Wookiee against the castle full of evil thugs and a giant, even more evil space slug. (To be truthful, there’s also a monster in the basement, but more on that later.)

But why do it this way? Why not swoop in with spaceships blasting, laser guns zapping, Wookiees bowcasting, proton torpedoes laying waste to everything in sight?

No, no, no! Remember this is a rescue mission.

The problem for Solo’s friends was how to get him out of Jabba’s lair alive. With the aid of the rebel fleet, they could have blown the place to bits…but that would have destroyed Han Solo as well. Carbonite is tough, but not that tough.

The Rebellion’s ground troops could have attacked—but against Jabba’s defenses and weapons stockpiles, it would have been a bloody battle, if not a small war. Besides, the Rebellion’s army and fleet are desperately needed for the endless battle against the evil Empire, which even now is plotting anew to crush the Rebellion and bring a terrible new order to the galaxy.

No…though Han Solo had risked his life for the Rebellion, the Rebellion could not risk its life for him.

So it was up to his closest friends: the loyal and hairy Chewbacca, the not-always-so-loyal Lando Calrissian, the farm boy turned star pilot Luke Skywalker, and the rebel princess Leia Organa to come up with a better plan.

Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side!

  • Excellent! Thank you. – JakeGould Jan 13 '17 at 23:25
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    "It’s actually the two droids, three people, and one Wookiee against the castle full of evil thugs and a giant, even more evil space slug. (To be truthful, there’s also a monster in the basement, but more on that later.)" - the way the source phrased it makes it seem like it doesn't count Wookies as people. I hate it when stories or characters in multi species space opera settings seem to think that only Humans are people. – M. A. Golding Jan 14 '17 at 3:21
  • @M.A.Golding - Not just that, the droids don't seem to be counted! Of course, the characters think Wookiees are people regardless of the narration. It's more of a mixed bag with sentient droids, alas. – Adamant Jan 14 '17 at 3:31
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    For some odd reason, the translation convention for Star Wars uses "sentients" where we would use "people," and "people" where we would use "humans" (except when it doesn't; it very much depends on the author). – Adamant Jan 14 '17 at 3:35

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