Ryder Azadi was the former governor of the planet Lothal and later rebel leader of the Lothal Rebels. He was good friends with young Jedi, Ezra Bridger's parents and helped them escape the Galactic Empire, thus he was placed in prison and replaced as governor of Lothal by Arihnda Pryce. He would later escape from prison with the aid of the Bridgers during a prison riot, and would make his way back to Lothal and, after a brief encounter with the Ghost Crew and the Rebellion, would join the Lothal Resistance.
Age of the Empire
Prisoner of the Empire
Ryder hailed from Lothal, where he served as its governor during the early days of the Galactic Empire's rule there. Despite being a member of the Imperial government, Ryder supported underground revolutionary broadcasts that were made by Ephraim and Mira Bridger. As a result of his actions, Ryder was charged with treason and incarcerated in an Imperial prison, along with the Bridgers. Azadi was given the label "Prisoner X10" while he was imprisoned, with his governor's position being taken over by Arihnda Pryce.
Eight years later, the Bridgers' son, Ezra Bridger, had become part of a rebel cell that fought the Empire on Lothal. He sent out a message of Rebellion to the people of Lothal, one that also reached the ears of prisoners like Ryder and the Bridgers. This inspired the Bridgers to rally Ryder and fellow inmates to escape. Ryder was able to escape from the prison, but the Bridgers lost their lives during the attempt. Ryder returned to Lothal in the hopes of finding Ezra, so he could tell the boy what happened to his parents, and Ezra likewise traveled to Lothal from Garel after seeing his parents and Ryder in a vision. Ezra found the former governor in a stone circle on Lothal, though Ryder did not know who it was at first and fired a blaster rifle at Ezra and his Jedi master, Kanan Jarrus.
Ezra managed to calm Ryder down by telling him that he was the son of Ephraim and Mira Bridger. Satisfied, Ryder led Ezra, Kanan, and the astromech droid C1-10P into the stone circle which served as his adobe. There, the former Governor told Ezra about his connection to his parents. He also informed Ezra that his broadcast had inspired his parents to stage an escape but that they had perished during the attempt. Ryder then stayed inside the stone circle while Ezra went out into the open to grief his parents' deaths. While Ezra was devastated by the loss of his parents, he was able to come to terms with his grief after he encountered them during a Force vision.
Helping the Rebellion
Ryder stayed behind with Chopper while Ezra and Kanan traveled to the town of Jalath to greet Princess Leia Organa, the daughter of Senator Bail Organa, who was delivering three Hammerhead Corvettes to the Rebellion. Kanan and Ezra had invited him to come along with them but Ryder did not want to expose himself to the Empire. While Ezra and Kanan were away, Ryder and Chopper were captured by a group of Stormtroopers, who had orders to execute Ryder. Before the Imperials could take their prisoners into the custody, they were ambushed by Ezra, Kanan, Leia, and the other members of the Ghost Crew. Following a brief skirmish, Ryder and his rescuers fled aboard the Ghost; with Ezra and Kanan disguised as a kidnapped Imperial cadet and Stormtrooper respectively. To hide Leia's dealings with the rebels, Ryder pretended to "kidnap" the princess.
Once aboard, Ryder was present when the rebels discussed their plans to "steal" Leia's corvettes from the Imperials. To hide Alderaan's support for the Rebellion, Bail had arranged for the cruisers to be sent to Imperial worlds where they would be "stolen" by the Rebellion's agents. In response to these "thefts", the Imperials had installed Gravity Locks on them. Since Ryder had worked on building gravity locks during his captivity, he was able to advise the rebels that explosives would not be able to disable them. He then offered the rebels his help in escaping offworld with the corvettes.
With the help of Ryder, the rebels concocted a plan which involved using the Phantom, to enter Commander Yogar Lyste's base. Still wearing their Imperial disguises, Kanan and Ezra escorted Leia back to the base and claimed to have rescued the princess from the rebels. While the Imperials were distracted, Ryder worked with Chopper and another rebel named Sabine Wren to disable the gravity locks on one of the cruisers. While Sabine departed on the first corvette, Ryder and Chopper moved to the next ship and proceeded to disable its locks. However, they were discovered by Lyste and several of his Stormtroopers. Before any harm could befall Ryder and Chopper, Kanan and Ezra knocked the Imperials out with the Force.
During the ensuing battle, Ryder watched Kanan using his lightsaber and quickly realized that the man was a Jedi. Kanan's intervention allowed Ryder and Chopper to disable the second gravity lock; allowing Kanan to pilot the ship. Realizing that the crew needed help, he boarded the third ship while Chopper proceeded to disable its gravity lock. Two Stormtroopers pursued Ryder but Ezra used the Force to snatch their blasters while Leia stunned them with her blaster. At the helm of the third Hammerhead Corvette, Ryder forced the ship to fly despite the gravity lock by engaging the thrusters, toppling an All Terrain Armored Transport in the process. Ryder then escaped with the other rebels into hyperspace with the three stolen corvettes. After realizing that Ezra's parents had inspired a rebel movement, he agreed to join the Rebellion and free Lothal to honor them and their son Ezra.
Sabotaging the Imperial War Effort
Ryder later became the leader of a rebel cell on Lothal that specialized in sabotaging vehicles being produced at the Imperial Armory Complex. His fellow operatives included the former farmer Morad Sumar and his wife Marida Sumar, and the Ithorian bartender Jho. When the Phoenix Squadron received intelligence that the Empire was developing a new weapon, Ezra, Kanan, and Chopper arranged to rendezvous with Ryder in Capital City. The Phoenix Squadron wanted to take out the factory but needed the help of a local rebel cell.
Ryder drove his landspeeder into Capital City but was quickly pursued by two Scout Troopers on 614-AvA Speeder Bikes and an All Terrain Defense Pod. Ezra, Kanan, and Chopper managed to jump into Ryder's speeder and the rebels fled for the highway. On the way, they narrowly ran into an Imperial road block and Ryder was forced to do a U-turn. Ezra and Kanan managed to use their lightsabers to cut down the AT-DP walker's legs. Ryder then led the speeder bikes on a chase through the highway. After telling his friends about his cell's work as saboteurs, Ryder reassured his comrades that the speeder bikes could not go beyond 190 km/h. True to his word, the speeder bikes exploded and crashed.
Ryder then drove the rebels to his hideout at a stone circle in Lothal's wilderness. There, they were joined by the Sumars and Jho. Ryder discussed the details of the Phoenix Squadron's plan with Ezra and Kanan. Morad agreed to help Ezra and his team infiltrate the factory disguised as workers and an Imperial communication droid respectively. The mission was complicated by a surprise inspection by the Chiss Grand Admiral Thrawn, who had been sent by Imperial High Command to investigate the high rate of defective vehicles at the Lothal Imperial factory. Thrawn staged a dangerous test demonstration on a 614-AvA Speeder Bike that claimed Morad's life.
Kanan tried to contact Ryder but found that the Imperials were jamming all comlinks. Meanwhile, Ryder contacted Hera Syndulla and Commander Jun Sato via hologram to warn them that the Imperials had locked down the factory. Ryder described the new Imperial officer as pretty thorough and having red eyes. Hera quickly recognized the officer as Thrawn, whom she had encountered on Ryloth. Ryder then told Hera that he and his team would attack the factory's east gate to facilitate Ezra and his team's escape.
With the help of the disillusioned Imperial Security Bureau Agent Kallus, Kanan managed to use a communication port to upload his comlink signals to Ryder. Ryder then told Kanan that he and his team were at the east gate and were ready to evacuate their team. Ryder remained in his landspeeder while Marida used a rocket launcher to damage an Imperial Troop Transport. The rebels then came under attack from two AT-AT walkers. Ryder and Marida watched as Ezra's team exited the factory in AT-DP Walker 216. When one of the AT-AT walkers proceeded to crush the rebel walker, Marida fired a rocket that hit the walker's foreleg.
Ryder expressed a humored surprise when he saw Ezra, Kanan, and Chopper exit the walker that Marida had shot down. When Ryder asked about Morad, Ezra informed him and Marida that he didn't survived the mission. Back at Ryder's base, Chopper uploaded the plans to the rebel base on Atollon. After Sabine decrypted the plan, Ryder and the Spectres learnt that these contained the blue prints for Thrawn's new starfighter initiative. The rebels feared that the Empire would use these new deflector shield-equipped starfighters to destroy the Rebellion.
Mon Mothma's Speech
Later, Ryder along with his fellow rebel operatives Jho and Marida were frequenting Old Jho's Pit Stop when the rebel leader Mon Mothma delivered a speech on HoloNet urging the galaxy to rise up in Rebellion against the Empire.
Battle of Atollon
Prior to the Phoenix Squadron and General Jan Dodonna's Massassi Group's planned assault on the TIE Defender factories on Lothal, Ryder corresponded with his rebel comrades via hologram when they received an incoming transmission from Kallus, when it was cut off. Ryder then informed them that most of the Imperial fleet had left Lothal. As a result, Hera realized that Thrawn had discovered the location of Chopper Base and Atollon. Shortly later, Ryder's transmission was cut off as the Imperial fleet began jamming long-range transmissions. This preceded the Battle of Atollon, which saw the rebels sustain heavy casualties at the hands of Thrawn's Seventh Fleet.
Ryder later managed to transmit a message to the rebel base on Yavin 4, warning them of the development of the TIE Defender Elite. Upon returning to the planet, the Ghost crew eventually met up with the remnants of Ryder's rebels, whose resources amounted to little more than an old U-Wing Starfighter. Ryder took part in a mission to investigate the improved Defender, though he was skeptical when the group proposed stealing the prototype's flight data recorder. When Thrawn arrived, Ezra instructed Ryder and Zeb to return to base while he and Sabine completed the mission.
Personality and Traits
Even though Ryder served as an Imperial governor, he supported the revolutionary broadcasts made by Ephraim and Mira, a decision that led to him being charged with treason and incarcerated in an Imperial prison. Time spent in Imperial prison had wearied Ryder. Following his escape, he initially wanted no part in rebellious activities, fearing that any such involvement might land him back in prison, a fate he could not bare. He agreed reluctantly only to assist for one mission, feeling that he owed the rebels for his rescue. Participating in this rekindled his spark for resistance against the Empire's activities and he joined up to continue fighting.
- "In the Name of the Rebellion" (Mentioned only)
- "The Occupation"
- "Flight of the Defender"
- "Crawler Commanders"
- "Rebel Assault"
- "Jedi Night"
- "A Fool's Hope"
- "Family Reunion – and Farewell"
- He is both modeled and voiced by Clancy Brown, who previously voiced Savage Opress in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and the Mandalorian bounty hunter Montross in Star Wars: Bounty Hunter.
- His name in development was Vol Freilus.
- Season 1 was the only season in which Ryder did not appear.