Fans of Star Wars: Rebels should be familiar with Fulcrum, where the pseudonym first appeared. To me, the whole secrecy aspect makes me think of the French Resistance in outer space.
In this article, we’re going to explore the role of Fulcrum in all of his or her incarnations. This is geared towards SWR fans (Star Wars: Rebels) or anyone who wants to find out more about this great show. The Star Wars universe has a history all its own and there were plenty of rebels standing up to the Empire long before Luke Skywalker picked up a lightsaber.
As a Star Wars fan, I was initially more intrigued by Star Wars: Clone Wars than I was by rebel oriented dramas like SWR and Star Wars: Rogue One. I felt that Clone Wars filled a gap in the saga that greatly needed filling. I felt like the rebel story has been sufficiently covered in classic Star Wars films like A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.
The quality of a story, however, is not about the gap it fills but in the telling. In my opinion, SWR and Star Wars: Rogue One did the telling well and the use of Fulcrum for both added flavor to the telling.
Bottom Line Up Front
Fulcrum was not a single person but an alias used by several rebel agents during the Galactic Civil War. It was first proposed and used by Ahsoka Tano but was eventually used by Agent Alexander Kallus and Captain Cassian Andor.
Fulcrum agents concealed their identity voice modulator coupled with some type of avatar delivered via hologram projection. For example, Ashoka Tano took the form of a cloaked figure.
During the Clone Wars, Jedi Annakin Skywalker used a secret subspace communication frequency, “Fulcrum.” At that time, it was known by only a select group of people:
- Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi
- Admiral Wullf Yularen
- Onderonian freedom fighter Saw Gerrera
- Padawan Ahsoka Tano
Skywalker’s Padawan Ahsoka Tano and Mandalorian Bo-Katan Kryze used the frequency to contact Skywalker and Kenobi during the Battle of Yerbana. With the rise of the Galactic Empire, Senator Bail Organa created one of the first rebel intelligence networks. Eventually, Tano, having survived Order 66 due to no longer being a Jedi, took over Bail’s network.
Skywalker, having turned to the dark side of the Force and become Darth Vader, no longer needed the Fulcrum frequency. Perhaps to honor what her mentor once had been, she chose to adopt the codename Fulcrum. Soon other operatives were using the same alias, possibly to confuse any Imperials that would be tracking them. They were also employing a Fulcrum symbol derived from the markings on Tano’s forehead.
The Spectres were a rebel cell formed by the Twi’lek pilot Hera Syndulla. Syndulla contacted the larger rebel network through an agent known only as Fulcrum. After some dangerous moments, the Mandalorian weapons expert Sabine Wren developed some trust issues and demanded to know the true identity of Fulcrum.
Although Syndulla suspected that she knew who Fulcrum actually was, she chose not to reveal that information to her teammates, including Wren. It was only after the Spectres destroyed Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin’s Star Destroyer Sovereign that Fulcrum finally chose to reveal herself as Ashoka Tano.
The Spectres and Ashoka Tano visited planet Malachor to learn how to defeat the Sith. They had a brief alliance with Maul, but that turned deadly when Maul attacked and permanently blinded Kanan Jarrus. This got even worse when Darth Vader arrived to recover the Sith’s knowledge for Darth Sidious.
When Vader attacked, Tano held off her former master long enough for the Spectres to escape with a Sith Holocron. The absence of the Holocron caused the Sith temple to start collapsing. As Spectre’s cell departed, they saw the dueling former Jedi get engulfed in the imploding Sith temple and erroneously believed that the rebel agent known as Fulcrum was no more.
Star Wars: Rogue One
During the events of Star Wars: Rogue One, Partisan Xosad Hozem referred to Fulcrum agents when communicating with Jyn Erso. Captain Cassian Andor used the Fulcrum symbol to transmit and receive information during the Mission to Mustafar, which acquired data on a powerful artifact known as the Proto-saber.
Imperial Security Bureau Agent Alexsandr Kallus
During the early clashes between the Spectres and the Imperials, Imperial Security Bureau Agent Alexsandr Kallus had actually been quite loyal to the Empire. Eventually, however, he saw the Empire for what it was and decided to help the rebellion.
Since he was working from inside the Imperial Navy, he had to protect his identity. Therefore, he was assigned the alias Fulcrum.
Kallus first used Fulcrum to help Phoenix Squadron recruit defecting Imperial cadets from the Skystrike Academy. The result was that Sabine Wren could abscond from the academy with starfighter pilots Wedge Antilles and Derek Klivian.
Kallus later used his position to warn Phoenix Squadron of the Empire’s plan to place Mykapo under martial law. As a result, the Spectres were able to evacuate all rebels and rebel sympathizers from the planet.
Kallus also helped the Spectres steal plans for Grand Admiral Thrawn’s TIE Defender initiative, a plan to implement a superior class of starfighters. By using the phrase “by the light of Lothal’s moons,” Kallus proved that he was a Fulcrum agent to the suspicious Spectres. By this point, Thrawn knew that there was a rebel spy within his ranks, but he did not yet know who.
As Fulcrum, Kallus also helped the rebels conceal the location of Chopper Base so they could destroy an Imperial Star Destroyer. However, Thrawn started monitoring these transmissions and got closer to discovering the actual location of Chopper Base.
When Kallus helped the Spectres infiltrate Thrawn’s command ship, Chimaera, Fulcrum’s cover was finally blown. Rather than arrest Kallus, he decided to let Fulcrum think he was undetected so that the Grand Admiral could learn more about the rebels’ secret network. The Spectres used their opportunity aboard the Chimaera to delete planet Atollon from Thrawn’s star chart.
Not knowing that his cover had been blown, Kallus used a mouse droid to spy on a meeting between Thrawn, Tarkin, Admiral Krassius Konstantine, and Governor Pryce. Thrawn made it clear that he knew of and had a counter for the Rebel Alliance’s impending attack on Lothal’s Imperial factories to destroy the TIE Defender initiative.
Kallus barely managed to send a warning message from an old communications tower before being arrested by death troopers. As Fulcrum was taken into custody, Thrawn explained that his Kallus’s final transmission helped the Grand Admiral discover the secret location of Chopper Base.
Luckily for the rebels, Kallus’s final warning gave them time to prepare for Thrawn’s assault, and a great battle ensued over Chopper Base on planet Atollon. Kallus managed to use the chaos of the battle to escape the Chimaera and rejoin the Spectres and other rebels before their jump into hyperspace.
- Ashoka Tano adopts Fulcrum as an alias
- Tano reveals her true identity to the Spectres
- Ashoka Tano duels with Darth Vader on Malachor and is presumed dead
- Fulcrum is used by Xosad Hozem and Captain Cassian Andor
- Imperial Security Bureau Agent Alexsandr Kallus first uses Fulcrum
- Grand Admiral Thrall uncovers Fulcrum’s true identity
By the light of Lothal’s moons.
―The secret code phrase used by Fulcrum
What am I going to call you if I can’t call you Ahsoka? You’ll need a code name at the least, so you can deal with other operatives.”
“Fulcrum. You can call me Fulcrum.”
“Then welcome to the Rebellion.”
―Bail Organa and Ahsoka Tano
You want to recruit people?”
“Not exactly. Though if I found good people, I would certainly try to bring them in. I want to take your recruits and find missions for them. I want to be the one who listens to what people need, who finds out what people can do and then helps them do it.”
―Bail Organa and Ahsoka Tano
“Ahsoka. My name is Ahsoka Tano.”
―Ahsoka Tano introduces herself to the Spectres
Question: Were any of the Fulcrums killed?
Answer: Yes. If you consider Captain Cassian Andor to be a Fulcrum, he was killed on Scarif at the end of Star Wars: Rogue One when the rebel strike force acquired the blueprint of the Death Star (the schematics).
Question: Were there any Fulcrums after Kallus?
Answer: No. Once Kallus’s cover had been blown by Thrall, there was no more point in using the alias Fulcrum anymore.
Question: What was Fulcrum’s password?
Answer: To prove his or her identity to rebel counterparts, Fulcrum always used the following phrase:
“By the light of Lothal’s moons.”
Question: What happened to the original Fulcrum’s mentor?
Answer: In the ways of the Jedi, Ashoka Tano had mentors like Plo Koon and Anakin Skywalker. In the ways of being a rebel spy, however, Tano’s mentor was Senator Bail Organa, founder of the first rebel spy networks. Unfortunately, Senator Organa perished along with everyone else residing on planet Aldoran at the time Darth Vader tested his horrific new weapon, the Death Star, in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.
Fulcrum was more of an idea than an actual person. Just like with revolutions in real life, Fulcrum proved that ideals are a lot harder to kill than the actual people that inspire them. Just as Fulcrum lived on after Tano’s supposed death, the revolutionary ideals of our history survived the deaths of freedom fighters like William Wallace, Toussaint L’Ouverture, and Emmanuel Zapata.
Revolution has always been a theme in the Star Wars series. This is because humankind has had a struggle between their individual freedom and the necessity to have some type of government. Despite all of the pitfalls of that struggle, her wrongful accusation by the Jedi council, and the fall of her mentor Annakin Skywalker, Ashoka Tano stayed true to her principles and never fell to the dark side of the force. That is why she will always be Fulcrum, the foundation of the rebel movement.
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