The following contains SPOILERS for Star Wars Rebels and Ahsoka
The very first season of Star Wars Rebels featured the Ghost crew, a team of people traveling the Lothal sector conducting small missions to disrupt the Empire. While they considered themselves Rebels, they weren’t a part of the Rebel Alliance Star Wars fans are familiar with from the movies just yet. They were mostly finding their own way, and sometimes coordinating with other Rebel cells through a mysterious informant known as "Fulcrum."
As we found out at the end of that first season, Fulcrum was none other than Ahsoka Tano, the former padawan of Anakin Skywalker, and the title of Fulcrum is one that would be worn by several significant figures during the effort to fight back against the Empire. The position of Fulcrum is only loosely alluded to in the movies, with most of the story about it appearing in Star Wars Rebels, but the true origin of the Rebel intelligence puppet-master is cataloged in the pages of the Ahsoka novel by E.K. Johnston.
Drawing from everything we know so far, here’s the history of the Fulcrum codename.
An Uncoordinated Rebellion
Ahsoka had already left the Jedi Order prior to Order 66, but that didn’t mean she was safe from the newly formed Empire. Taking the alias “Ashla,” the former Padawan of Anakin Skywalker wandered the galaxy, finding a place on the planet Thabeska, where she worked as a mechanic for a local merchant family, the Fardis.
She was able to lay low on Thabeska until the very first “Empire Day”, when all Imperial occupied worlds threw celebrations to commemorate the founding of the Galactic Empire. Due to the festivities, the Imperial presence on Thabeska increased drastically, forcing the Force-wielding fugitive to flee her new home in search of a new place to hide.
Finding a small farming moon, Raada, Ahsoka began to settle down once again, quickly finding her value in fixing farm equipment and befriending several Raadians. It wouldn’t be long before the Empire showed to Raada as well, forcing the farmers to contribute a significant portion of their crops to the Empire, essentially enslaving the small farming moon. Ahsoka considered fleeing again, but she realized the Empire would only continue to expand and there eventually wouldn't be anywhere left to hide. Some of the Raadians planned to fight back, so she joined them.
The farmers had next to no combat training, but with her experience teaching Saw Gerrera and the other Onderonian rebels during the Clone Wars, Ahsoka coordinated some effective guerrilla attacks on the new Imperial forces until one mission goes wrong and she’s forced to reveal her Force abilities to save her friends.
The local Imperial officer in charge became determined to track her down and news of her exploits rose up the ranks, causing the Empire to dispatch an Inquisitor, the Sixth Brother, to deal with this new Force-sensitive threat. In order to protect herself and her friends, Ahsoka fled once again, promising to return to liberate them.
The First Fulcrum
The Sixth Brother wasn’t the only one that got the Empire’s transmissions about a Force user on Raada. Bail Organa, who was basically running the fledgling Rebellion all on his own, also intercepted these communications and knew he had to find the fugitive first.
Returning to Thabeska, Ahsoka got her old job back, only to discover that the Fardis had been running small mercy missions and relief operations to nearby planets in the Outer Rim. She had participated in some similar missions without their knowledge, but when the Empire started to sniff around again due to the activity, she was forced to flee once more.
That’s when Bail Organa finally tracked her down. He hadn’t been able to get any leads after she fled Raada, but news of her mercy missions made its way through his channels and he was able to locate her and tell her and tell her about the Rebellion he was building. After convincing her to consider working with him, he updated her on the situation on Raada, asking if she’d help him try to liberate the farmers.
When she arrived back on Raada, she finds the situation has become far more serious. The Empire is forcing them to strip the planet bare, with plans to abandon the Raada after the next harvest, leaving the inhabitants with an infertile world. In opposition, the Raadians were prepared to poison the ground just to prevent the Empire from benefiting from it anymore.
Ahsoka leads an attack, killing the Inquisitor and giving the people the chance to evacuate aboard several Alderaanian cruisers provided by Bail. Organa offers to find new homes for the refugees, but they all want to devote themselves to the rebel cause.
Ahsoka tells Bail she thinks the situation Raada could have been handled better. Bail wasn’t able to locate Ahsoka, Ahsoka couldn’t communicate with the Raadians, and the Raadians had nowhere to turn for help, so the last resort was to ruin their planet and flee. Ahsoka says:
“During the Clone Wars, I worked with a lot of people. I fought alongside clones, who took orders from me even though I lacked their experience. I watched politics on a dozen different worlds. I helped train people who’d never held a blaster in their lives. When I did all that, I had the Jedi to back me up, but I think I could do almost as good a job with you.”
If Bail’s Rebellion was better able to communicate pockets of resistance, like the Fardis, the Raadians, or individuals like Ahsoka, then it would be easier to coordinate efforts against the Empire across the galaxy. Ahsoka says she can fill this role, telling Bail to call her “Fulcrum.”
The Rebellion Grows
Ahsoka was instrumental in establishing much of the early Rebel intelligence network, helping to establish multiple independent cells in the years before they would unite as the Rebel Alliance. She would communicate with individuals such as Hera Syndulla and the Ghost crew, coordinating Imperial heists, prisoner rescues, weapons deliveries to other Rebel cells, and a host of other missions.
She seemingly sacrificed herself against Darth Vader on Malachor, but her legacy would live on through the next Fulcrum, the Imperial Security Bureau Agent, Kallus. Initially, Kallus was tasked with hunting down and destroying Rebel cells, specifically the Ghost crew, but after a run-in with Garazeb Orrelios, he saw honor in the Lasat and realized there was a principle and camaraderie amongst the Rebels that the Empire didn’t match.
Kallus would be a key inside man, leaking information to when possible and helping defecting Imperials, such as Wedge Antilles and Derek "Hobbie" Klivian find a new home with the Rebels. Unfortunately, Grand Admiral Thrawn is aware of a spy in the Imperial ranks and he begins an investigation, eventually learning that Kallus is the informant, declaring to ISB Colonel Wullf Yularen, “I believe Agent Fulcrum will prove far more useful to the Empire than Kallus ever was.”
We don’t know the true fate of Kallus yet, and may not until the end of season 3, but we do know the legacy of Fulcrum lived on beyond him. At least one other notable Rebel Intelligence agent, Cassian Andor, would go on to bear the title.
While it might seem a little grandiose for Ahsoka to have given the position a title using the word for the major support point of a lever, indicating that the Fulcrum role is the most essential role in the whole Rebellion, it’s undeniable that all the Fulcrum agents we know of have made some of the most significant contributions to the Rebel Alliance.
Star Wars Rebels season 3 continues next Saturday with ‘Secret Cargo’ @8:30pm on Disney XD.