Instigator / Pro

Star Wars: On balance, the battle of Endor is more winnable than the battle of Scarif for the Rebels


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1. We only consider the Prequels, the OT, and Rogue One as canon here. Only these 7 movies and anything appearing in them.
2. The Battle of Endor takes place in 4 ABY. The Battle of Scarif takes place in 0 BBY. Both are conflicts between the rebels and the Empire. Any other battle with the same name would be disregarded.
3. For the Battle of Scarif, we assume that the freight ship used by Rogue 1 is sure to arrive on Scarif, in which Rogue 1 has already formed.
4. For the Battle of Endor, we assume that Luke is sure to arrive in the Endor System.
5. We disregard any plot armor. Sure, the movies only consider the possibilities of the rebel alliance winning, although the chance is small for either of the two.
6. Wookiepedia is a valid source, unless any cited page is currently under construction or controversy.

Round 1
I never thought this debate will be accepted within 1 day. A suprise to be sure, but a welcome one. 

1. What counts as Rebel Victory?
I will rule out several criteria for rebel victory for both battles here. I believe all bulletpoints listed are common knowledge but criticism can be put upon if valid evidence can be its aid.

  • Rebels successfully acquiring a copy of the blueprints of DS1 & out of the control of Imperial forces
    • The Rebels have to actually transmit the data to outside Scarif so the information is available to all rebels, not just Rogue 1
    • Unless the DS plans are successfully brought back to the rebel base OR having it evacuated to a location discoverable by others BUT outside the responsibility of the team that originally received the information, the battle is NOT considered a Rebel victory as it would otherwise do nothing
  • Darth Sidious is Killed
    • Without him, a major chunk of the inner workings of the empire would be reduced to stone so I would call it a win
  • The DS2 is destroyed
    • Preferrably with Palpatine stuck in the DS2
2. Difficulty I: Infiltration

One major factor in the rebel victory in Scarif that didn't play as much of a role in Endor is that the main team had to infiltrate. In fact, on Endor itself, they have got a free translator with them: C-3PO. The most difficult part for the alliance army forces is to convince the Ewoks to destroy the protective mechanism of DS2 on the forest moon.

At 55 minutes into Ep6, all Han needed for landing on Endor was an older clearance code that still checks out. Yeah, and that is pretty much all "infiltration" the battle of Endor requires. The stormtrooper forces on Endor are so garbage that Ewoks can vanquish them using tree logs and manual wings, so the hiding from these guys can be considered negligible in difficulty, at least compared to what the guys on Scarif did. Although the main team having plot armor is something existing for all these main movies, it is to be pointed out that although 1 great blaster shot to save the day is not representative of the overall stormtrooper forces, the force deployed on Endor was running into trees and being taken out by single shots possibly every single minute. That is how inexcusable they are at their jobs.

On the other hand, we have all these ways the Rogue 1 team could lose before even getting the message out of Scarif:
  • The freight shuttle failing the initial inspection(meaning they can't even enter the stronghold to begin with)
  • K-2SO saying "I have a bad feeling about this" a bit too loud, revealing themselves
  • Bodhi throwing out the mine a little too late
  • Chirrut's force senses not working resulting in the switch not correctly activated(resulting in lack of communcation between the ground and space)
  • Jyn, Andor and K-2SO not passing that one(or any) Imperial post
  • Jyn failing to correctly identify "stardust" resulting in the wrong thing being sent
  • Andor failing to climb back to the observatory deck, resulting in Jyn being executed by Krennic
  • Generally, the Imperial forces just destroys the Rogue 1 team, period
  • The Hammerhead corvette failing to push the 2 Star Destroyers, so the shield is never down, and the rebels lose eventually in a war of attrition
And these are the ways to fail even if the blueprints of DS1 has gotten into the hands of the rebel navy.
  • Admiral Raddus not being there
  • Tantive IV not being there
  • Either or Both of the two ships being destroyed too quickly
  • Darth Vader grabs the card with the compressed file for the blueprints before the rebel soldiers can transport them to the Tantive IV
  • The gunners on the Star Destroyer shooting down the pod containing R2-D2 before it lands on Tatooine
I label the ones that are the most likely in bold. Con can refute any or even all of them as they wish.

For Chirrut's role, he is a blind force-sensitive who wasn't even considered by the Jedi Council, and he is walking along an active battlefield with nothing but the sheer guidance of the force. We have no reason to trust him in the first place except for the fact that he is possibly the only one present with the force.

For Andor appearing at the last moment to punish Krennic, we have no idea in fact how the heck he climbed up there so quickly having took a fall that great. In fact, it is not impossible that Krennic's bodyguards just shot him or Jyn dead on the spot.

For general destruction, just look at how much rebel losses incur at the closure of a single gate: About 10 X-wings. This is used for a later comparison: That is about 10 times the losses required to destroy a super star destroyer! Having that many crafts inside the shield by the time it closes is already a miracle, and even inside, the squadrons would still be faced with the ground artillery, the AT-ATs, the TIEs, etc. Given how unlikely it already is for Jyn and Andor to climb up to the emission dish in the first place, the most likely outcome out of this would be that the rebel troopers are wound-in battle and the message is never even being emitted.

And let's not even get into why the gunners onboard the Devastator didn't shoot the pod. It was even suggested by one of the personnel, at the start of Ep4.

3. Lack of Difficulty: Endor

For Endor, taking down the DS2 shield wasn't that hard of a job(compared to how tight the crew was at Scarif, at least) due to the incompetence of the forest stormtroopers. Taking down the executor wasn't very hard either, as Admiral Piett has already lowered the guard due to the promising signs ordered from the Emperor as Luke was taken inside the DS2 along with his father. Having the guard on the Executor down means that the deflecter shields are able to be taken down, which is EXACTLY what happened, at the cost of perhaps one or two fighters. Then, 1 A-wing was all that it takes to dismantle the main bridge, making it lose power and collapse into the surface of DS2. Although this was a miracle, the fact that the Executor has no deflector shields left means that having the main bridge destroyed was only a matter of time.

Since the DS2 is nevertheless still under construction, the paths would be even less filled than the DS1. At Yavin, it takes several flights of X and Y wings to fire 1 torpedo into a small hole leading to the destruction of DS1, however, at DS2, the main reactor and the path leading to it at the moment of the battle was big enough that the Millenium Falcon can fly through it, meaning that as long as the rebels have enough pilots, destroying the main reactor would be something that is even easier than what they did in the Yavin system.

This leads to perhaps only 1 factor that is not certain: Luke's mental state. If Luke was even slightly angry, he would flinch towards the darkness of the force and walk the same path down which his father has traveled through. However, let's not forget:
  • At the time, Luke is not as strong as Vader, who is not as strong as Palpatine
  • When Palpatine is torturing Luke, Vader is capable of throwing Palpatine down the shaft
Or, in other words, it is almost impossible for Luke to first defeat Vader's red saber and kill the purposefully unguarded emperor and fall to the dark side. These three individuals can sense each other, with Vader knowing Luke is his son. So:
  • It is almost sure that Luke will lose the lightsaber duel eventually and get electrocuted by Palpatine sooner or later
  • So, it is almost sure that Palpatine will be thrown down the shaft of DS2 by Vader.
And, the destruction of DS2 is probably a MUCH EASIER task than retrieving the DS1 plans, meaning that the battle of Endor is almost surely more winnable for the rebels than the battle of Scarif.

One may question, but what if the reactor was destroyed faster than Luke could get out? I mean, Luke was almost too late as the fire exited just moments before his shuttle did. The question thus becomes: Can the rebellion live on, without Luke?

  • Leia, knowing she is force-sensitive too, can be a substitute to Luke in, probably a year, knowing how talented the gene lineage is.
  • The rebellion still has Han, Lando, and numerous other ace pilots.
  • Ackbar and several other commanders are still alive.
The rebellion will probably turn into a line setup similar to that of the resistance in Disney Canon episodes 7-9, but that is another topic for another debate. Bottom Line: The rebellion will still exist without Luke.

What else? Without Palpatine, how would the empire still function? It won't. Given the entirely selfish system created centered around Palpatine the dark Sith lord himself, there is no direct successor, as Vader would not rule like it was even if he survived long enough. In the end, the rebellion is on average still in average shape, but the empire is in pieces.

4. Conclusions
  • The success on Scarif was depended on several chained events that depended on luck.
  • The succes at Endor wasn't as depended on luck. Although the speed at which the rebellion acted was pretty lucky, these tasks ought to be done eventually due to how little direct blockage are present to prevent the rebels from fulfilling them.
  • The Emperor dying at Endor is a possibly guaranteed moment.
  • Due to these, I thus conclude that the battle of Endor is more winnable for the rebels than the battle of Scarif.
5. Sources
I expect my opponent to at least have watched the movies in order to even be here. Most of my references to the movies are common knowledge to anyone who has watched said movies in detail.

  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
  • Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

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