With the debut of the first two episodes of the Star Wars show Ahsoka, fans of Rebels got to see live-action versions of fan-favorite character Hera Syndulla. While Rebels fans went crazy to see these characters, those who didn’t watch that underrated CGI show were busy asking who these characters were and why they were so important. If that sounds like you, then it’s time to give your protocol droid a rest in the oil bath because we’re here to explain everything you need to know about Hera Syndulla.
Hera In Star Wars: Rebels
Star Wars: Rebels first introduced Hera to us in its series premiere in 2014. Initially, she is best characterized as a kind of den mother to a motley crew of titular heroes, including Sabine Wren and Ezra Bridger (two other characters crucial to the plot of Ahsoka). You could say that Hera’s early function is built right into her name: Rebels writers named her after the Greek goddess Hera whose very name means “protector.”
Thanks to various flashbacks and references in Star Wars: Rebels, we know that rebellion runs in Hera’s blood: her father, Cham Syndulla, led a resistance on their home planet of Ryloth during the Clone Wars, and her father’s goals and general idealism had a profound effect on her. She was equally fascinated with starships, eventually becoming one of the best mechanics and pilots that the galaxy far, far away had ever seen.
Somewhat tragically, Star Wars: Rebels makes it clear that Hera had very little to live for except her war against the Empire and raising her child.
In Star Wars: Rebels, Hera has a close relationship with her Jedi friend and fellow crewmate, Kanan Jarrus. Thanks to supplementary material, we later discover that Kanan is more than another warrior: he is also Hera’s lover, and the two of them have a son together.
His Jedi powers and insights helped them take the fight to the Empire in more ambitious ways, but it was actually Hera’s personal background that helped their own rebel cell become so important in the fight against the Galactic Empire.
Before his death, Senator Bail Organa was working to join different resistance cells together, and Hera’s leadership of rebellion on the planet Lothal (the planet where Sabine now lives in the Ahsoka pilot) landed her an invitation to join the Phoenix Cell of rebels.
In short order, Hera became the leader of this cell, eventually getting that cell to join the organized rebellion against the Empire (listen closely in Star Wars: Rogue One and you will hear that a “General Syndulla” is a major player in the burgeoning rebellion).
Somewhat tragically, Star Wars: Rebels makes it clear that Hera had very little to live for except her war against the Empire and raising her child (one who would eventually become part of the war effort). Kanan ended up sacrificing his life to save her and the rest of their crew, and by the end of Rebels, the Jedi Ezra had seemingly sacrificed himself to stop Grand Admiral Thrawn.
Hera ended up participating in the Battle of Hoth and the Battle of Endor, and after the Rebellion became a full-blown New Republic, she remained one of its key military leaders.
Hera In Ahsoka
Still, she never lost hope: the first two episodes of Star Wars: Ahsoka revealed that Hera always wanted to find Ezra, and it soon became clear that finding Grand Admiral Thrawn might also help them find their wayward Jedi companion.
The Star Wars: Rebels dynamics are still in place, as we see that the only thing fiercer than Hera’s skills as a pilot is her determination to patch things up between Ahsoka and Sabine (who have a fractious relationship due to Sabine’s abortive Jedi mentorship under Ahsoka). The franchise’s biggest den mother obviously hasn’t changed one bit.
We have watched Ahsoka sacrifice so much in the name of liberating the galaxy in one epic conflict after another. Now, our biggest hope for the character is that this series gives her the happiness and closure she so richly deserves, and we’re confident that killer actor Mary Elizabeth Winstead is ready to act out those inevitably emotional scenes.