Battle of Endor
In 4 ABY, after learning of the Death Star II's existence and its state of construction, the Rebel Alliance formed plans for the assault of the Death Star and its destruction above the forest moon of Endor.
The Battle Plan
The Rebellion planned to destroy the second Death Star in a manner reminiscent of the first Death Star's destruction. However, a major obstacle to this plan was the existence of the planetary shield around the Death Star II that was being projected from a base on the sanctuary moon of Endor. As such, a plan was made to deal with this:
- A group of commandos would be inserted onto the moon and destroy the shield projector.
- After the removal of the shield, the Rebel Alliance fleet would be free to engage the Death Star and destroy it, again with snubfighters being the main method of destruction.
- Rebel starfighters would fly through the superstructure of the Death Star II and use concussion missiles and proton torpedoes to detonate the core, causing a reaction that would destroy the Death Star II.
How it actually occurred
The Rebels did not know that the Emperor had deliberately leaked the plans and existence of the second Death Star as part of a trap for the Rebel Alliance.
The commandos sent to the moon's surface, led by Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia, were allowed to land by the Imperial forces in orbit around Endor's moon. On the ground, however, they met fierce opposition, as the Emperor had deployed a legion of Stormtroopers to protect the shield generator.
In orbit, the situation was not what the Alliance expected. Because of the unexpected opposition on the surface of the moon, the shield was still operating when the Alliance fleet arrived in the system. Also, the Emperor had gathered a fleet of ships from the surrounding sectors, which was waiting for the Rebel fleet. Worst of all, the information the Bothans obtained about the superlaser was false; it's primary weaponry was fully operational. The Death Star began to target the Alliance capital ships with its superlaser, easily destroying one with every shot.
As Imperial forces ground away at the Rebel fleet and captured the commando team on the surface, the Emperor and Darth Vader attempted to turn Luke Skywalker -- who had surrendered himself earlier -- to the Dark Side. Events began to come apart for the Empire at this point, however. Even as Luke resisted efforts to turn him, the Ewoks indigenous to Endor launched a counter-offensive on the Imperial garrison, and the Rebel Fleet moved into point-blank-range combat with the Imperial Fleet, shielding them from attack by the Death Star.
In a matter of minutes, the battle turned against the Empire. Unwilling to see his son killed, Darth Vader turned against the Emperor and killed him. Concentrated fire from the Rebel fleet caused a shield failure on the Executor, allowing a Rebel starfighter to ram the flagship's bridge and causing it to careen out of control into the Death Star. Aided by the Ewoks, the Rebel commando team managed to destroy the shield generator, and with the shield down, Lando Calrissian, Wedge Antilles, Tycho Celchu, and other Alliance pilots were able to enter the Death Star's superstructure and destroy its main reactor.
With the Emperor dead and the Death Star and Executor destroyed, the Imperial fleet was leaderless and disorganized, and many captains ordered their ships into a retreat. The Battle of Endor had been won by the Rebel Alliance, and a crushing blow had been delivered to the Empire.