Why the Rebel Transports were Essential to the Rebel Alliance – Star Wars Analysis

Why the Rebel Transports were Essential to the Rebel Alliance – Star Wars Analysis


A week ago Eckharts Ladder posted a video
that brought up a really interesting question, which is why did the Rebels use the GR-75
Transports in battle? Transport ships that are neither armed nor
equipped with anything that’d make them useful during an active battle. Their purpose was never made clear in either
Canon or even Legends material, with the sources giving us very vague reasons at best about
their use. . Eckharts Ladder in his video came to the conclusion
that they were likely used for target saturation or as anti starfighter ships. However we think their real purpose is drastically
different and that they may actually be one of the most important ships within the Rebel
Alliance. We won’t be viewing these transports as
an asset to the rebel fleet during battle, but rather that they are an essential component
to the Rebel Alliance’s overall strategy on survivability, and them being in the fleet
during battle is just a byproduct of that strategy. The Rebel Alliance was always on the move,
every base that they set up could not be permanent and it had to be hidden. If the Empire were to ever discover their
base, the only thing the Rebels could do was evacuate as the overwhelming Imperial forces
came down upon them. We’ve seen this happen multiple times, from
Chopper Base on Atollon to Echo Base on Hoth. These Transport ships ensured that the Rebels
could swiftly ditch their current headquarters and quickly set up another one with relative
ease, as these transports stored all the essential equipment and materials needed to set up another
temporary base and to have it operational in no time. The way the Rebel bases are set up, it looks
like everything they use can be quickly unhooked, taken apart and stored into a storage crate
which is then attached to a transport ship. So if they were ever forced to abandon a compromised
base, the Rebels could set up another one by landing on another planet or moon, unload
the base equipment from the transports and then have a new base up and running in a day
or so. This shortens the amount of time the rebels
have to go without having an active, central base of command. So the question then is why are these transport
ships present in offensive battles orchestrated by the Alliance? Well it could be because that’s the safest
and most strategic place for them at that specific time. The Rebel fleet was the most powerful military
arm the Alliance had at its disposal. With that being said, the Rebel fleet could
only at best compete with the Imperial fleet in most cases. Whenever the Alliance committed to a massive
attack, it had to send pretty much every ship it had if it wanted to even have a chance
of winning. As a result, during a naval assault on an
Imperial installation, the main rebel base is almost entirely undefended, as the fleet
that once defended it is gone. What if the Empire was to attack the Rebel
base while the Rebel fleet was away making its own separate attack, then that’s when
the transports flying in the fleet would come it handy. The rebel fleet could quickly disperse and
retreat from its attack and scatter across the galaxy. Even though they lost their entire planetary
base from an Imperial counter attack, the Rebel Alliance could set up another base quickly
due to the transports that were within the fleet. The Rebel Alliance was not centralized and
did not have a permanent set of territory. In its early years it could not confront the
Empire in a wide, open battle. As a result every planetary base the Rebels
built up was in constant danger of being wiped out had the Empire discovered them. These transport ships reduced the damage of
losing a planetary base as it allowed the Rebels to set another one up in no time. Them being in the fleet was only added security
just in case if the central rebel base was destroyed while the fleet was away or scattered
across the galaxy. These transports were essential to the Rebel
Alliance’s survivability as they were a vital asset to their ability to always be
on the move. So what do you guys think? Does this sound like a reasonable theory as
for why the Rebels used these transport ships in space battles or do you think they serve
a completely different purpose? Also be sure to check out Eckharts Ladder’s
video on the same subject, where he goes more in depth behind his reasonings for his theories.

100 thoughts on “Why the Rebel Transports were Essential to the Rebel Alliance – Star Wars Analysis

  1. maybe the rebel fleet needed to re-fuel and re-arm on the move and didn't have enough ships to guard the GR-75s so they took them into battle with them.

  2. But wouldn't it make more sense to send the transports to a remote location away from the battle AND the base? Protection by being hidden?

  3. nice theory fits well with cannon lore and the rebellions impending attacks with them risking destruction in the fleet:)

  4. If it was just a matter of keeping the transports safe, then in an risky do or die fleet battle makes even less sense, it would have made more sense to scatter them with orders to hide in out of the way places until the fleet either won or lost and could then call them.
    Also recall at Scarif the rebel base is still on Yavin 4, but transports still travel with the fleet to Scarif. If their job is to preserve the rebel command infrastructure there is absolutely no reason for them to be there for the battle of Scarif. The logical place for the transports to be would be standing by at Yavin 4 ready to evacuate the base there in case the fleet was lost and/or the Imperials learned the location of the base.
    I still feel the more likely explanation is that some transports were either used to pickup life pods from knocked out rebel ships. Or they could be fitted with ECM and sensor packages. They could then do things like mass jamming of tie fighter squadron communications channels and spoofing targeting systems to hamper imperial fleet organization in battle.

  5. I said it on eckhart's video and I'll say it here. I feel they're "rescue" ships. Due to their lack of constant troop supply, every troop was valuable. If a ship is crippled but the crew survives, the gr-75 dives in, hooks up, and saves the crew then jumps to lightspeed away from the battle

  6. what about after ROTJ when the rebels started to really gain ground against the empire and they COULD start capturing permanent bases? did they still use them?

  7. I have an idea, what if the transports could be used for suicide bombers, because if you look at it, it's big enough to carry mass explosives, with very little crew and escape pods everywhere, it could be very useful since it might incapacite or destroy a star cruiser

  8. But what is the point of that if they get shot down in battle? Then the rebels would just be loosing tons of supplies.

  9. actually i have a separate theory about the role of the transport ships in combat.. This comes from a source that's a little old and definitely Legends now and while the GR75s where not shown as the craft that fulfilled this role that may simply be due to the fact that the side you see doing this particular action is Imperial.

    Now this all dates back to a game called Tie Fighter. (at least i believe it was tie fighter, could of been Tie fighter vs X-wing or balance of power.. but those mostly follow the storylines of those two games) Anyway In combat there is often a need to repair and rearm without having to dock at a mothership. Now Should the GR75 be equipped properly it could most certainly fulfill the role of mobile Magazine for star fighter and corvette class ships. I think the fact that these transport ships always or at least mostly, stay close to larger more capable ships seems to actually make it somewhat viable for this role of Rapid rearmament and repair. The ships themselves have a large cargo capacity allowing them to contain nearly any imaginable parts, their topsides make excellent cover against small fighters, and their proximity to the capital and anti fighter ships means that for the most part they could execute these roles unimpeded. as for why they always "seem" to be on the fringes of the fleet it may just be that the particular ships that wander out that far from protection are doing so either to project fighter power and support further afield or simply have been pushed away from their escorts

    . IT could also be a desperation move as an attempt to fill a gap in the line where hopefully the GR75s don't get attacked due to the empires low opinion on fighter effectiveness and thereby fighter support effectiveness but they could also be trying to do some kind of ECM or ECCM trickery to impede imperial targeting

  10. I thought the GR-75 transport craft could be outfitted as ramming ships loaded with nuclear explosives and would crash into Imperial star destroyers as a last ditch effort…

  11. Personally I like this theory more. I feel like it fits the Alliances strategy of having a contingency plan in case the worst happens, as it so often seems to do for them, and keeping them around for target saturation feels uncharacteristically ruthless for the alliance, since it endangers countless non combatants.

  12. the transports can be used boarding parties so they would be very critical to have at a battle just in case, because the rebels use gorilla warfare

  13. I love the community feeling between channels like lore master, smuggler's cantina, geetsleys, and eckhartsladder. It's awesome seeing so many scifi youtubers bounce ideas off on another yet still retain their unique style.

  14. you are correct cause most of the pics of the GR-75s are filled with crates and they can carry troops but the U-wing does that better

  15. It might be that it's their only option to keep them with the fleet, rather than them serving any purpose in battle. Since the Empire has a vastly larger armada, there could've been situations where they left the transports to loiter somewhere with a light escort and had them captured or destroyed by an outside Imperial attack while the main fleet was conducting their offensive or even cases where the escort that had to stay behind would've prevented a Rebel loss. Especially if they're acting as refueling ships for attacks far from friendly bases, losing them might leave the Rebel ships scattered and stranded as they run out of fuel.

  16. i think the gr75 can also be modified as a light corvette because in our history cargo ships have been modified into aircraft carrier like the independent class aircraft carrier

  17. it makes sense but the problem is that if the whole purpose of them being in a battle was to be defended, all the empire would have to do is go after them instead of any other ship, also tactically they would just be a bother other than cutting off coms, the rebel attack would be even risker with them, but overall it's a good explanation

  18. I think the same, no wonder as soon as both was attacked, everybody near a GR-75 was crammed on board and the transport punched it out of the atmosphere under protection from the ion gun, but could there be a more important reason to why they have to leave the current base so suddenly?

  19. Why not just hide the transports somewhere in space at unknown coordinates during battle? These transport ships have hyperdrives, so can easily regroup with the fleet once the battle is over.

  20. Now i how why AT-AT like to destroy this transport ship in Star Wars Battlefront, the Rebellion will die with out them – aka: everything left of there base !!!

  21. Why not use these transport ships as giant missiles? Just load them with tons of explosives and launch them at important enemy targets? That's the starship equivalent of fire ships that the English used against the Spanish Armada.

  22. Two other possibilities: perhaps they are hospital/prisoner transport ships, whose task is to pick up survivors from wrecked ships.

    Or, what if their cargo carries shield generators, and they are actually boosting the defenses of other, military ships nearby? This also makes sense and explains why in the Battle of Scarif they are near the big ships – bumping up shield strength. Note that it always seemed odd to me that the relatively small Rebel cruisers stood up so well to the mighty star destroyer attacks – if the former has unnaturally powerful shields due to the transports, this may make more sense.

  23. If this is true, I have to ask why the New Republic took GR-75s to the battle of Jakku if they already had a permanent base of operations.

  24. I believe they do both.
    Main reason why I like target saturation more though, is because it gives the satisfaction of knowing that the Empire thinks they are racking up kills when in reality the Rebellion is tricking them into firing at basically nothing, drawing fire away from the important ships, even if it is for only a short while.

    For The New Republic!

  25. I like the idea the X wing/Armada miniature series has taken with them – using them as support ships that can provide several support actions for the main battleships in addition to being transports.

    For starters, the miniature series has equipped them with jamming, hacking and other electronic countermeasure tools that can be used to disrupt enemy ships/fleets. Although the larger ships most certainly have such capabilities as well, having a few transports around dedicated to such operations could significantly increase the range and/or overall effects of any ECM activity.

    In addition to, or instead of the above, the transports could also contain additional sensor systems and/or possess targeting systems that could collect and pass on targeting information to other battleships (or potentially squadrons as well). This would greatly aid the command crews on the main battleships in making tactical decisions.
    More eyes on the field never hurts and when a battlefield becomes particularly chaotic, the transports could potentially catch things the main battleship crews might have missed on their own.

    There is also some potential for fighter co-ordination as well, with transports coordinating the individual squadrons of fighters that were not being carried as part of one of the larger battleships standard fighter complements with their own dedicated flight coordinators. This would free up the main battleships from having to devote extra crew and resources to monitor any additional fighters on top of their standard complements.

    Having transports being able to aid in coordinating fighter squadrons would also help serve as a backup and keep the chain of command operational in the event of one or more of the main battleships being destroyed.

    Any of these roles would provide a good reason for these mostly unarmed ships to be on the battlefield.

  26. I think the transport has hi level jaming technology added to it . makings it harder for ship to lock on fleet and that why they fight with the fleet

  27. When it comes down to it this ship has shields. Think of it like this You surround your capital ships with cargo ships and let the cargo ships shields take or weaken the blows before they reach the main capital ship, its similar to how the US Navy surrounded their carriers with cruisers and destroyers, more or less it's Cannon fodder!

  28. Makes the transport that got rammed by the deviatior in Rouge One a far greater loss since it had so much equipment on board

  29. Just modify the ship to have a single tudolaser battery on the top of the ship and a few laser cannons on the sides.

    the ship is still not able to take on an ISD, but it can give it a black eye at least.

  30. But why does the Empire not to shoot down the ships if they're so essential to the fleet, what did they go for the Easy Pickins then take out the big ones? There Imperials probably just overlooked it because they saw the ships as a nuisance since the high Commanders we're usually on the rebel capital ship.

  31. I get the mobile base idea, but why keep them in the fight where they could be easily destroyed? Leave them behind in some rv-point with instructions what to do/coordinates for secondary rv if shit hits the fan.

  32. Good theory but I have my own. When the battle was about to be lost they could kamikaze if necessary.

  33. The reasoning is sound but the tactic isnt. Sending them away from the base in case they are attacked is sound. Sending them into battle is not. What would make more sense is to send them to a third location to wait for a signal either from the fleet or the base. If they dont receive it by X time they would rendezvous and another base or potential base.

  34. I still would have added a few parts more component's so that this ship has strong shield's, many weapons, and increased battle use

    fuse it with a Quasar class and a Nebulon B to make it WWWWWAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY more effective being bigger, faster, stronger, and packing more weapon's to screan off starfighter's and even isd's long enougth to jump to hiperspace

  35. This only makes sense if the battle is occurring within an area that actually has a rebel base nearby that needs evacuating. It doesn't explain why the rebels would bring these ships with them in assaults against imperial fleets (deep in imperial territories) that aren't even near a rebel base. It just purposefully puts them in danger that they wouldn't have been in if they just stayed back and hid in the deep emptiness of space.

  36. Well remenber the rebels after Hoth, they were living on space , so maybe they are use to resupply the other shipps if they dont find any planet to live, or if something fails on a space battle they could go in to light speed and on the run they could use them to help them to survive on space , why they are on front lines all the time on battles?, well, they dont have so many ships , so they rather lose those transport ship instead of a capital ship

  37. Basically my theory on the ship is that its a multi purpose ship/Armed Merchantman ship (search that up if you dont know what it means) But yea. They would disrupt inperial communications,chase off other fighters with their weaponry and provide shielding for larger ships.

  38. Your…..your asking….why transports are crucial…….why?its were simple…..they transport shit obviously,quite crucial,but yeah I think your therory is probably correct

  39. They are the most Important ships becuase they carry a lot of cargo and it’s the only ship that can carry cargo with shields on.

  40. This is similar to my idea. My main thoughts where:
    >Rebels can't afford to protect their assets within the fleet away at battle, so they just travel as one unit.
    >Target saturation/intimidation. The more ships the larger/more intimidating the fleet appears.
    >Obsticals for fighters to hide behind.
    >Hacking Suites. The ships interfere with enemy ships.
    >Provide important battlefield information to fighters and command ships, possibly helping with triangulation and such.

  41. Your theory is quite sound, given the Alliance's decentralized organization. There is some information on these transports in the old West End Games Star Wars rpg books, but this was not made entirely clear.

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