In the final scene of Star Wars IV, Luke and Han are awarded the Medal of Bravery. Some officials of the rebel Alliance (Leia and perhaps others) apparently decided who would receive a medal, and for what reason. Exactly which act of bravery are these officials publicly acknowledging?
- There is no official reason. Those who need to know, already know why.
- Rescuing Leia from the Death Star. This answer would explain who was included (Chewbacca, C3-PO, R2-D2) and wasn't included (Wedge Antilles, Evaan Verlaine) on the dais.
- Destroying the Death Star. This is what I usually assume is the answer, and the reason claimed by Wookieepedia. However, Wedge and Evaan contributed as much to the battle as Han. Wedge's ship suffered damage (demonstrating bravery), yet Han's didn't.
- Both the rescue and destruction.
The movie script does not provide a reason, only describing Leia giving them a "gold medallion". The only reason I have found on StarWars.com is that Luke and Han are "the new poster boys of the Rebel Alliance".
Remember, this should be the reason cited by rebel officials. Let me be clear:
- I'm not asking what we (the audience) assume is the act of bravery.
- I'm not asking what characters (other than rebel officials) assume was the act of bravery. Sure, they may know Luke and Han, but I don't want to know their opinion.
- A source is only acceptable if it is clear that the information is from the perspective of rebel officials. Because Wookieepedia does not do this, I do not accept it as an answer.
- Anything written or said directly by George Lucas is acceptable. This includes his earlier drafts of the movie. Lucas is god; he knows everything.
- If there are multiple answers, I will be accepting the one that cites the earliest source material.