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This statement on this question doesn't seem right to me with what we know from A New Hope.

There is no evidence to say the canon Imperials knew that the shuttle was stolen.

The Galactic Empire placed a tracking device on the Millennium Falcon in A New Hope so they could use it to find the rebel base.

They could place tracking devices on all their spacecraft.

If they put one on the shuttle Tyridium, they would have known it was stolen by the rebels the moment it was missing.

Did they have hyperspace tracking devices on their small craft?

There might several explanations for this.


The Imperial Navy Knew

If they did know, then Admiral Piett would surely have known there were rebels aboard the Tyridium when it appeared out of hyperspace above the forest moon of Endor.


The Empire Did Not Track All Their Spacecraft

Maybe tracking every craft is too prohibitive.


The Rebels Disabled the Tracker

Given the near destruction of their base at Yavin, perhaps rebels realized the importance of checking every spacecraft for hidden hyperspace trackers.


Is there anything from Star Wars canon sources on this?

  • The Tydirium was stolen during Operation Yellow Moon. Its home Star Destroyer was destroyed in the process, providing a window when the Tydirium would be unaccounted for, but not necessarily missed. – Valorum Feb 18 at 23:43
  • If that's canon, that would be a good answer, Valorum. For my part, I'd like to know why the Imperials let just any old shuttle, whether theirs or not, show up unexpectedly without being treated as a hostile threat. – EvilSnack Feb 19 at 2:28
  • @EvilSnack "it's an older code, sir, but it checks out" – HorusKol Feb 19 at 3:37
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    @Valorum isn't it a little odd that they would accept a lone shuttle from a doomed star destroyer, claiming to be delivering supplies for a secret base? Where did the supplies come from? How did the shuttle make the trip across space without its destroyer? Goes to show how gullible the empire could be. – Remy Lebeau Feb 19 at 3:47
  • @RemyLebeau Lambda-class shuttles like Tydirium have a hyperdrive. Unlike TIE fighters, they don't need a Star Destroyer to make a long distance trip. – Null Feb 19 at 4:17
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There's no specific canon source, but hyperspace tracking wasn't seen as a thing after the Millennium Falcon was tracked until the First Order demonstrated they could do it without planting a homing device, so it was clearly unusual.

And, from a military standpoint, if you can actively track your assets, you run the risk of the enemy being able to do so as well. So it doesn't make sense for all their ships to have active homing signals; it would be a flashing "Attack me!" sign to everyone.

As to sneaking into the Endor system, there's two things: first, and easiest, the Emperor was setting up an ambush and so probably, behind the scenes, had made sure that security was porous. He knew the Rebels would likely try some sort of infiltration (since they used that tactic before, such as in Rogue One), so he had to leave a door unlocked but not make it obvious so that they wouldn't suspect that IT'S A TRAP! This would mean not sharing the information with personnel so they wouldn't act any differently (or let sympathizers or spies alert the Rebels). So, security becomes a bit lax overall. You don't follow up missing spacecraft. You don't make a point of ensuring all codes are up to date and strictly enforcing them.

Second issue: the infiltration happened after Vader had informed Jerjerrod the Emperor was showing up and work on the Death Star was behind schedule and people were getting annoyed. At that point, in love with his own life, Jerjerrod would have begged, borrowed, and stole whatever resources he could get his hands on to accelerate construction, which meant having unscheduled ships show up because he or his subordinates had called in favours or improvised a shipment outside normal channels could have been a routine thing; not having up to date codes wouldn't be unusual for a ship that wouldn't normally have been expecting to go to Endor but made an unscheduled run as part of the surge in demand for supplies and personnel.

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