A Star Wars Question

You wouldn’t believe the things that keep me up at night. Anxieties about whether I got the right thing signed for work (of course I did!). Random pains in my back. Trivial thoughts about pop culture issues dealing with fictional worlds that have no bearing on what happens in real life.

Last night I was struck by one of those trivial things that kept me up for nearly an hour as I thought about it. Most of the thoughts I had during that hour vanished in the sleep that eventually came. But I still remember the question at the core of those trivial thoughts…

How long after the destruction of the first Death Star did the Rebel Alliance remain on Yavin IV before evacuating and relocating their base?

Those of you who are unfamiliar with the original Star Wars trilogy may be lost by some of the language used in that question. Allow me to explain…

The Death Star was the ultimate weapon to be used by the Empire to rule the galaxy through fear and intimidation. That weapon had been used against the peaceful planet, Alderaan, which was also Princess Leia’s home world. When Leia was rescued by Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, the Empire was able to track the Millennium Falcon to Yavin IV, where the Rebel Alliance was located. The Death Star arrived to destroy the planet, but was thwarted when Luke was able to take advantage of a flaw in the Death Star’s design, allowing for the super weapon to be destroyed with one precise shot.

Following the destruction of the Death Star, which resulted in the deaths of (I assume) thousands of imperial military and civilian personnel, Darth Vader was stuck alone in his personal TIE Fighter to somehow make his way to a civilized system away from the Rebel Alliance. In the meantime, the Rebels held a medal ceremony on Yavin IV where they bestowed special commendations to Luke and Han, who had arrived in the nick of time to get Vader off Luke’s six, giving him the chance to make that one-in-a-million shot. Chewbacca, Han Solo’s wookiee co-pilot, received no medal. #JusticeForChewie

But how long after this ceremony did the Rebels hang out on Yavin IV before they decided to pack things up and get out of there? I mean, I assume the ceremony didn’t just happen as soon as the survivors landed following the Death Star assault. There was probably some time to get things ready. R2-D2 had to undergo some repairs. C-3PO was obviously cleaned up for the event. And what about a memorial for all the lives lost during the battle? They lost a number of valuable starfighters when they took on the Death Star.

I can’t imagine that the Rebels would want to stick around on Yavin IV for very long, though. I mean… the Empire knows exactly where they are. Just because the Death Star is gone and thousands of Imperial employees were vaporized doesn’t mean the Empire isn’t gonna strike back. And they wouldn’t wait three years to randomly find the next Rebel base on Hoth, right? There’s an entire Imperial fleet at the emperor’s disposal. Why not send a few dozen star destroyers to the Yavin system as soon as you hear the Death Star was blown up? I mean, if I was the evil, all-powerful ruler of the galaxy and I had intel on where to find the Rebel Alliance’s home base before they had a chance to evacuate and find a new planet to inhabit, I’d pull the trigger ASAP.

So has that story been told? Have we seen the immediate aftermath of Star Wars – Episode IV: A New Hope in comic book or novel form? Help me out, internet. Should I just go ask the folks at the Star Wars Explained YouTube channel? I’m sure they know…

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