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Surely after Tarkin & Vader tracked the Millennium Falcon & discovered the Rebels were on Yavin 4 they would've shared that information with the rest of the Empire. You'd think a fleet of ships would've been en route to Yavin to meet the Death Star there & find & destroy any other Rebel ships in the vicinity. If not then, at the very least there should've been Imperial ships sent immediately when the Death Star was destroyed.

My question: how did the Rebels have the time to remain at their base, chill out for a while & have a ceremony? They'd even had enough time to repair R2 to new condition. At the ceremony they were all smiles & laughs! Instead of celebrating why weren't they concerned about a fleet of Star Destroyers appearing in orbit at any second?

  • Blatant speculation/handwaving: R2-D2 got to rummage around in the Death Star's computers. Maybe he came across the positions of the Imperial starfleet, and was able to inform the rebels (before the Battle of Yavin) that they had a few days before any capital ships arrived. – Royal Canadian Bandit Dec 18 '14 at 11:39
  • Adding my speculation: The Yavin system is quite out of the way, and i think i read a short story once (could have been one of the earliest roleplaying supplements) where Vader and his damaged TIEx1 limp back to the next Imperial Outpost. Keep in mind that there was a great deal of anymosity between the Fleet Admiral and that guy that got choked by Vader in the conference room. So Tarkin probably didn't tell anyone where they were going (after all he believed the Rebels could send nothing to endanger the Death Star until it exploded right under him). So maybe they just had time. As far as ... – BMWurm Dec 18 '14 at 11:49
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    Star Wars does not have almost instantaneous travel: they can travel faster than light, but it still takes a lot of time travelling between planets: the galaxy is huge. The movies do skip a lot of the travel time, for pacing I suspect. – Gunnar Södergren Dec 18 '14 at 13:21
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    I don't necessarily think the Empire sent any other ships to rendezvous with the Death Star: why would they? The Death Star didn't need any help, or so they thought. As for contacting backup when their defeat was imminent, I don't think they even realized how imminent their destruction was. As touched at by @BMWurm, Tarkin thought they were winning up until he got blown up, I don't think he would have bothered with calling for backup. For that reason, the rebels may have had some time before the news of the Dath Star blowing up reached the rest of the Empire. – Gunnar Södergren Dec 18 '14 at 13:26
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    Traveling through hyperspace ain't like dusting crops, boy. A task force would take a while. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 18 '14 at 15:09
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The Empire did send an armada (including Interdictor-class heavy cruisers) to Yavin 4 following the Battle of Yavin and established a six month blockade of the system, during which there were several small engagements.

According to the Wookiepedia article on the Yavin blockade, Darth Vader wanted to capture Rebel leaders alive and therefore held off on a full-scale planetary assault. In addition, with the Rebel Alliance fleet still at large in the galaxy, the Empire was unable to concentrate enough ships for an assault on Yavin without stripping defenses elsewhere and exposing the Empire to attack. (Although in truth, I imagine it wouldn't have been difficult to pound the Rebel base to rubble from orbit with a few Star Destroyers - I don't think Yavin 4 was protected by a planetary shield.)

Meanwhile the Rebel leaders did make immediate plans to evacuate Yavin 4, however the Imperial fleet arrived before the base staff could be evacuated.

Eventually the Rebels were able to escape the planet after six months - see the Evacuation of Yavin.

  • Yep, pretty much what I came here to type. All of the important people started heading to the backup location within hours of the Death Star's destruction. The little guys, not so much. In fact, according to the Legends EU, the surface of Yavin IV is home to numerous crashed TIEs & other equipment left over from the siege. – Omegacron Dec 18 '14 at 19:20
  • I'm assuming these events are included in some kind of Legends source. It seems very unlikely that the Rebels were able to hold out on Yavin for 6 months! They were supposed to be a ragtag group. The might of the Empire would have trapped them on that moon & destroyed them. – Palp Fiction Dec 18 '14 at 22:33
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    The X-Wing PC game also covers this, with several missions post BOY covering the escape of Rebel transports from Yavin after the battle and Imperial forces attacking the fleeing ships. – BBlake Dec 19 '14 at 17:35
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    @PalpFiction - I don't remember reading any novels or comics that directly covered the event, but there were several "past-tense" references to it happening in the novels and comics. In one of the young adult novels, the Praxeum students even found a TIE pilot who had been surviving in the jungles of Yavin IV since crashing during the siege. – Omegacron Dec 22 '14 at 19:05
  • The danger posed by the Rebel fleet elsewhere in the galaxy cannot be overstated. The high mobility of space vessels is a guerrilla warrior's wet dream; pick a spot where the enemy's forces are a small fraction of your own, blow them out of the ether, and be gone before the Empire at large knows you've attacked. The only real mystery is why the Rebel Alliance had any dependency on planetary assets; that's just asking to get pwned by the other guy's main fleet. – EvilSnack Feb 19 at 2:36

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