General Cham Syndulla is a character who appears in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and in Star Wars Rebels. He is a male Twi'Lek from the planet Ryloth who formed and led both the Twi'Lek Resistance and the Free Ryloth movement. He is also the father of Hera Syndulla.
As a member of Ryloth's nobility, Cham opposed the policies of the Galactic Republic and Ryloth's senator Orn Free Taa. When the Clone Wars began and the Separatists invaded his world, Cham formed a group of freedom fighters to combat the invading droid army. When the Republic came to Ryloth to free the world from the Separatists, he formed an alliance with Jedi Master Mace Windu and his Clone Troopers to liberate the capital city of Lessu. The liberation of Lessu ended the battle for Ryloth and saw the capture of Separatist leader Wat Tambor.
After the Clone Wars ended, the Republic was replaced by the Galactic Empire and Ryloth was occupied by the new government who planned to use its resources for its own military production. Cham opposed the Imperial presence on Ryloth and formed a new group of freedom fighters to disrupt Imperial military targets in the system. When his wife was killed during the resistance, Ryloth's freedom became more important to him than his own family. His relationship with his daughter became difficult when she left to join the Rebellion against the Empire. Despite having ignored her, he preferred to have Hera by his side in Ryloth's fight for liberation rather than fighting offworld.
Cham's relationship with his daughter become a difficult one, especially when she chose to leave and fight in the Rebellion against the Empire. For several years they hardly stayed in touch, but were reluctantly brought together again for a mission to steal an Imperial carrier and use it to house the Rebellion's starfighter. However, Cham had other plans for the carrier. He wanted to destroy it to symbolize the strength of Ryloth and his people. Accompanied by two of his best warriors, Numa and Gobi Glie, They were successful in boarding the carrier with help from the Rebels. But then he turned against them and proceeded with his plans to destroy the ship, only to be stopped by Hera. Listening to his daughter's wise words of how he became an inspiration to both her and their people, Cham abandoned his plan and assisted the Rebels in getting the carrier to the Rebellion. Following their victory, Cham showed new loyalty and respect for the Rebellion and for his daughter.
Cham, Numa, and Gobi later flee from scout troopers on Ryloth before being rescued by Hera. They learn that imperial officer Captain Slavin has taken over the Syndullas’ home as a base, causing Cham to realize that someone from higher up has been brought in to help the incompetent Imperials on Ryloth. Hera decides to sneak into the home to steal back her kalikori, a family heirloom. Ezra disguises himself as a scout trooper and takes her into the house pretending she is a slave he caught while he was on patrol. Slavin’s superior, Grand Admiral Thrawn, already knows everything about Hera and has her and Ezra captured.
Slavin contacts the rest of the group and tells them that he will return Hera and Ezra in exchange for Cham, and if Cham does not arrive by sundown, Slavin will have Ezra and Hera executed. Despite everyone knowing Slavin has no intention to honor the deal, they agree to let Cham turn himself in to give the others the opportunity to break Ezra and Hera out. Hera ultimately decides to blow up the house, saving Cham from capture. They then all escape offworld but are unable to recover the family kalikori, which Thrawn steals.
Not long after the Clone Wars ended and the new Galactic Empire began to quietly take control of the universe, "Devil's Deal" reveals that Cham was tired of fighting and didn't want what his people have fought for to have been for nothing. The Empire use the influence and respect the people have for Cham to gain control over Ryloth. With support from his wife, Cham gets his people to hand over their weapons, while the clones who fought for them during the war will be tasked to protect them, despite the many Twi'Leks who weren't happy with the way the Empire took control for the planet and freedom they have fought so hard. Cham knew this, but chose to have faith that they'll come to terms the changes with time. Cham's good friend, Gobi and daughter, however, disagreed and began to make plans to take back Ryloth and regain their independents. Cham was grateful that the clone he befriend agreed to cover for Hera after she was found for being close to the new foundry. He tells Hera that their time of fighting is over and that he wants a better life for her, but that didn't stop Hera from following in Cham's freedom fighting footsteps as she accompanies her uncle to collect the weapons they bought from Cid, behind Cham's back.
Once Cham and his wife are informed by one of his brother's allies that Hera has been tried with treason moments after Hera and the Twi'Leks she was with were caught bringing the weapons back to Ryloth, Cham knew that he has to go back into battle again in order to save his daughter. This gets Cham to realize that Orn Free Taa is not fit to lead their people and that the Empire is not to be trusted. Moments before Cham states this fact to their captives, his wife orders Copper to get Hera to safety, while Cham makes the decide to spare Orn Free Taa's life. Only to be caught off guard the moment Crosshair shoots Orn Free Taa, giving him a head injury so Cham and his allies can be framed and charged for their actions towards members of the Empire and Orn Free Taa's attempted murder. Cham is brought onto a ship with his wife and the allies his brother gathered, while Hera could only watch as her family gets taken away.
Star Wars Rebels
Star Wars: The Bad Batch
- Cham Syndulla has a supporting role as the opposition to Palpatine and Darth Vader in the canon novel Lords of the Sith by Claudia Gray, which takes place after the events of The Clone Wars and Revenge of the Sith. In the novel, Vader and Palpatine personally head to Ryloth to quell his rebellion against the Empire, eventually leading to Syndulla's defeat, going into hiding and eventual participation in the events of Season 2 of Star Wars Rebels.