May the Fourth Be With You, Rogue Squadron And Wraith Squadron
Posted on Sunday, May 4 @ 14:00:00 PST by Daniel Bischoff
So the latest Star Wars movie, Episode VII, has a cast. It seems a lot like the old cast, but with a few new faces. Now the Disney corporation has seen fit to do away with the expanded universe that the most diehard Star Wars fans have wrapped around themselves in order to protect from the Jar Jar Binks of this world. We’ll never forget some of the incredible stories and characters that were born in the expanded universe and today, the day of the Jedi, we remember the fallen.
Who are Rogue Squadron and Wraith Squadron?
The Star Wars: X-wing series of novels gave bit-part flyboy Wedge Antilles a starring role and the opportunity to form his own fighter squadrons within the rebel alliance including a new Rogue Squadron and the entirely original Wraith Squadron. Michael A. Stackpole and Aaron Allston wrote ten books in the series with a focus on intrigue, space fights, and the wild Star Wars settings that never made it into the films, all while providing Antilles his own shot at becoming a dog-fighting James Bond of the Star Wars universe
Stackpole started the series back in 1996 following the theatrical re-releases of the original three films, but there are several complete story arcs if you can’t commit to reading ten books. In fact, the latest titled Mercy Kill was released just two years ago in 2012. Still the real strength of the X-wing series is in how thoroughly a small character got fleshed out in the expanded universe. That process has happened countless times with fan-favorites and total unknowns, but much of that work has been scrubbed to allow the filmmakers at Disney a clean slate.
What did Rogue Squadron and Wraith Squadron do?
Rogue Squadron reformed under Wedge Antilles to run missions for the Rebel Alliance, but as time progresses through each novel the group proves determined and daring in ways not seen throughout the galaxy. Their skills both in X-wing ships and on the ground as a commando squadron prove effective in saving smugglers, defeating Imperial capital ships, and turning several neutral planets to the Alliance side. While each book features a few deaths, it opened the following novels to introduce even more original characters.
Wraith Squadron was formed about half-way through the series and tasked with impossible missions. The hook here came as Allston took over writing: Wedge plans on using the bottom of the Rogue Squadron barrel to fill a second team with “screw-ups, wash-outs, and pilots who are a hair’s breadth of being kicked out of Starfighter Command.” It’s almost as if Harry Potter got suspended and gathered a team of Ford Anglia pilots to do battle against the dark wizard empire.
Can the Rogue Squadron and Wraith Squadron live on?
All of the books are still available for curious readers today, but I don’t expect any of the characters or events to be mentioned in the Star Wars canon ever again. The Tie Fighter vs. X-Wing brand was a much bigger deal thanks to the strength of interactive software and so many pilots died in the books that the entire crew will likely be buried and given a 21 laser salute before filming stars on Episode VII.
May the force be with you, Wedge Antilles and the Rogue Squadron.
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