|Wedge Antilles - By: Darren Tan|
|Position||Republic Starfighter Pilot|
A talented young pilot from Corellia, Wedge Antilles became a respected veteran of the Rebel Alliance Starfighter Corps by taking part in major military campaigns such as the Battle of Yavin, the Battle of Hoth, and the Battle of Endor. Recruited into the Galactic Empire as a TIE fighter pilot, Wedge defected to join the early rebellion that would become the Rebel Alliance during their fight against the Empire. During the Battle of Yavin he flew in Red Squadron alongside Luke Skywalker, and after Luke destroyed the Death Star he and Wedge would be the only survivors of Red Squadron. Years after Yavin, Antilles became a respected member of Rogue Squadron, piloting an X-Wing in many battle against the Empire. He was assigned to Echo Base and flew a snow snowspeeder during the Battle of Hoth. Months after the Battle of Hoth, Antilles commanded Red Squadron during the Battle of Endor, and he took part in the destruction of the second Death Star.
In the aftermath of their victory on Endor, the Rebel Alliance soon reorganized into the New Republic, and Antilles continued to serve in their war against the Empire. Wedge went on a lone reconnaissance mission to the world of Akiva, where he was captured and tortured while observing a gathering of Imperial forces that were planning a means of counterattack against the Republic. Following the rebellion on Akiva, Antilles formed a starfighter unit designated Phantom Squadron that took part in the liberation of Kashyyyk. While Phantom Squadron was shut down by the Republic authorities for launching an unauthorized strike on Kashyyyk, Wedge was able to put the squadron back together in time for the Battle of Jakku. Following the signing of the Galactic Concordance, Antilles retired to Hosnian Prime to work as an instructor at the new flight academy.
Service to the Alliance
Wedge Antilles hailed from the planet Corellia, where he grew up getting his hands dirty at a fuel depot and working local farms in his spare time, and where he became a pilot and a mechanic. At a time when Antilles was flying cargo ships, the Galactic Empire recruited him and he accepted as it seemed more exciting than hauling spare parts around the galaxy. Antilles enrolled in Skystrike Academy, located on the planet Montross, to train as an elite TIE fighter pilot. During his attendance, he met fellow cadet Derek "Hobbie" Klivian. Like many young people across the galaxy, Wedge saw entry at an Imperial Academy as a path to a more rewarding life. But he slowly became disenchanted with the Empire’s methods, and secretly contacted the rebellion about a possible defection. Finally, Sabine Wren was sent undercover to his training school, Skystrike Academy, where she extracted Antilles and his friend Hobbie Klivian. Wedge piloted a stolen TIE bomber in their escape before being welcomed into the rebellion by Commander Jun Sato.
Battle of Yavin
Wedge was assigned to the rebel base on Yavin IV, and flew an X-Wing in the attack on the Death Star under the call sign Red Two. With the Death Star approaching, its readouts were analyzed, and Antilles attended a briefing by General Jan Dodonna in which Dodonna over-viewed the plan of attack. It involved starfighters assaulting the Death Star and firing a proton torpedo into a two-meter-wide thermal exhaust port. Antilles expressed skepticism that they could hit a target that small, but Skywalker told him that he often was able to shoot similarly-sized womp rats on his homeworld of Tatooine, to encourage the other pilots. As a member of Red Squadron, Antilles flew a T-65B X-Wing starfighter when the Alliance launched the Battle of Yavin. With only fifteen minutes to spare, Antilles destroyed a number of enemy targets but, in the process, lost his friend Porkins to enemy fire. When Skywalker was unable to shake a TIE fighter that pursued him, Antilles destroyed the TIE fighter and saved the rookie pilot. As Red Leader Garven Dreis failed in his attempt to fire a torpedo into the reactor shaft and was killed by Darth Vader on his TIE Advanced, Antilles joined Skywalker and Darklighter in a trench run, covering Skywalker on the lead.
Darklighter was killed and Antilles was forced to pull out after his fighter was damaged, apologizing before leaving Skywalker to fire the shot that destroyed the Death Star but thankfully with help from the timely arrival of the Millennium Falcon, piloted by Skywalker's friends Han Solo and Chewbacca. With only four remaning ships returning victorious to Yavin, Antilles and Skywalker were the only two of twelve Red Squadron members to survive the assault. After the battle ended, the Alliance began evacuating the planet, as the Empire knew of their location and were sure to retaliate as a result of the Death Star's destruction. During the evacuation, Princess Organa joined with Rebel pilot Evaan Verlaine and Skywalker's astromech droid, R2-D2, to undertake a mission to rescue and unite the Alderaanians who survived the destruction of Alderaan. The trio stole a shuttle from the Rebel base, leaving on their mission in defiance of General Dodonna's orders. Antilles and Skywalker were sent to intercept the shuttle and return the escaping Rebels to the Great Temple, but Verlaine, who piloted the shuttle, outmaneuvered the two X-Wing pilots and the shuttle jumped into hyperspace.
Battle of Hoth
Antilles was assigned to Echo Base on the ice planet Hoth, where he served alongside Skywalker as a veteran member of Rogue Squadron, which he fought with in a number of battles during the war. The base, however, was soon discovered by an Imperial probe droid and assaulted by Imperial forces, prompting the entire Rogue Squadron to engage the All Terrain Armored Transports, which approached the base in order to destroy its energy shield and allow Imperial forces to land. Led by Skywalker, the squadron flew snowfighters and Antilles, as Rogue Three, and his gunner, Wes Janson, attempted to destroy the walkers using conventional laser weaponry, but the AT-AT armor proved too strong for blasters. Skywalker ordered his squadron to begin using tow cables to bring them crashing down, and Antilles and Janson were assigned to the first attempt. Janson shot the tow cable onto one of the AT-ATs while Antilles piloted the snowfighter around the walker, tangling its legs in the cables until the giant vehicle fell onto the snowy battlefield.
The crash left its neck exposed, and Antilles fired the shot that hit the weak point and destroyed the AT-AT, becoming the first pilot in the battle to destroy one of the walkers. The efforts of the Rogue Squadron were ultimately unsuccessful the AT-ATs destroyed the shield generator, and Imperial forces led by Darth Vader overran Echo Base. As they did so, Antilles and the remaining Rebels escaped the ice world with Wedge leaving aboard an X-Wing fighter, Antilles, along with Janson and Klivian, helped the last Rebel transport, the Bright Hope, escape Hoth and regroup with the Alliance Fleet at a rendezvous point onboard the MC80 star cruiser Liberty. After becoming the wing commander of Red Squadron, Antilles went to Zastiga, where he met with Skywalker while the Alliance High Command held a top-clearance meeting. He reunited with Nien Nunb and Skywalker for a discussion of "reconnaissance tactics" about Antilles' refusal to pay the Sullustan a drink after saving him at Hagar Secundus, which he had eluded several times. In addition to the command of the Red Squadron, Antilles achieved the rank of Commander.
Battle of Endor
After the Battle of Hoth, Antilles was present at a briefing aboard the Rebel command ship, Home One, in which High Command introduced the plan to destroy the shield generator protecting the Empire's second Death Star and revealed that Emperor Palpatine himself was aboard the Death Star to oversee the final stages of the station's construction. His squadron was assigned to be part of General Lando Calrissian's strike force to enter the Death Star and destroy it from the inside. For the assault, Antilles appointed Norra Wexley. Along with the rest of the Alliance Fleet, Antilles and his squadron arrived to the Endor system, only to discover that the deflector shield was still operational. Lured into the Emperor's trap, the Rebel fleet found itself under attack by the Imperial fleet's TIE fighters. Calrissian ordered all fighter squadrons to accelerate to attack speed and follow him to the encounter of the Super Star Destroyer Executor, in order to draw Imperial fire off their cruisers. Antilles, along with the remainder of the Alliance Starfighter Corps, engaged then a horde of TIE fighters that rushed to meet their attack.
However, General Solo and his strike team managed to destroy the shield generator on the moon below, allowing Antilles, Calrissian and Nunb on the Millennium Falcon, and the remainder of Red and Gold Squadron to enter the superstructure, making their way through a maze in order to reach the reactor core. As Antilles destroyed the power regulators on the north tower, the Falcondestroyed the core itself, setting off a chain reaction that left the two pilots in a race against time. Antilles escaped first, followed closely thereafter by the Millennium Falcon, before the Death Star was consumed by a massive explosion. After the battle, the Alliance forces headed for the surface of Endor, where they joined Solo, Organa, and their team in Bright Tree Village, the home of the Ewoks who had helped them destroy the shield generator. Rebels and Ewoks alike held a celebration honoring their decisive victory over the Empire, and Antilles was in attendance. He shook hands with Chewbacca and shared a hug with his friend Skywalker, as all of the Rebel forces rejoiced in their victory before setting out on the difficult task to restore the Galactic Republic. For his part, Antilles looked forward to further service with Rogue Squadron.
Service to the New Republic
Rebellion on Akiva
Months after Endor, now a Captain of the New Republic, Antilles believed the Imperial forces had moved to the Outer Rim and told Ackbar and Mothma he had devised a run to find the supply lines that were bolstering the Imperials. On the HH-87 Starhopper Rover, under the alias "Gev Hessan", Antilles set out on a reconnaissance mission that took him to Florrum, Ryloth, Hinari, Abafar, Raydonia and Akiva, where he finally found signs of the Imperial remnant. His false identity was discovered by the Star Destroyer Vigilance, which captured the Rover with a tractor beam. Antilles, however, destroyed his ship once inside the Vigilance, avoiding capture by clambering through ventilation ducts and making his way to the communications room to send a message through the local channel traffic, hoping to find a sympathizer in the world below. Admiral Rae Sloane found Antilles and had him arrested but she also provided medical attention for him while they descended to the planet below, keeping him sedated during the Imperial Future Council's first meeting. After intermittent torture by Yupe Tashu, Sloane appeared in his cell and asked why Antilles had joined the Empire before leaving him alone.
After another confrontation with Tashu, Antilles escaped after Sloane had destroyed part of the palace with one of the turbolaser cannons set up across Myrra, to stop Norra Wexley's assault. Though Antilles discovered a secret passage to escape, he decided to stay and fought Adea Rite over her holoscreen and sent a summons to war to the Republic channels, before passing out and falling in Sloane's hands again. Strapped down to a hovering table ushered forward by a pair of stormtroopers and a 2-1B medical droid, the badly-injured Antilles was later transported to the Golden Harp, when he saluted Norra Wexley who had been trying to rescue him. Kept in a separate room from everyone else, he was rescued by her son, Temmin, once the ship crash-landed on the Vigilance and brought onto a Lambda-class shuttle to be piloted by Jas Emari. Thanks to them, was brought to Hanna City in Chandrila, where he received medical treatment. After a week, he met with Ackbar, and together they awarded Norra Wexley a medal, but also informed her of the battle's outcome, and assigned her and her team from Akiva a new mission of hunting down Imperial war criminals.
Friend of the Wexleys
Due to Tashu's torture, he was forced to remain on Chandrila until he was fully recovered. Meanwhile, he worked as a liaison for Wexley's team, and trained Temmin as an X-Wing pilot. Antilles let the boy run training exercises out in his personal X-wing over the Silver Sea. He also developed feelings for Norra, but did not act on them openly. At the same time, he decided to create Phantom Squadron. After a few months, Leia Organa asked Antilles to help her find her missing husband, Han Solo. Antilles accepted and, as per her request, summoned Norra Wexley to her as soon as she and her team arrived from their missionto capture Perwin Gedde. Once she accepted the mission to find Solo, Antilles told Kyrsta Agate about the mission before accompanying Wexley on her MK-4 freighter Moth to Solo's last known location, near Warrin Station, and invited her to a drink before arriving at the coordinates. Though they found no trace of the Millennium Falcon, they found wreckage and a still-functioning Prowler probe droid, which alerted their presence to the Star Destroyer Scythe.
The Concord, under Agate's command, and the Sunspire soon came to their rescue, destroying the Imperial ships. Hailed by the Concord, Wexley kissed Antilles. Upon their return to Chandrila, Antilles and Agate met with Ackbar and Organa, and was later present when Ackbar ordered Wexley and her team to stop the manhunt for Solo. Wexley, however, refused and resigned her commission to go look for Solo with her team. Their search eventually meant the liberation of prisoners from Ashmead's Lock on Kashyyyk, who traveled to Chandrila on the Falcon. Alongside Organa, Antilles went to greet Wexley upon her arrival, however Wedge was disappointed when Wexley had found her missing husband, Brentin. In the following month, as his leg was almost fully healed, he was assigned to the special security detail for the upcoming Liberation Day celebrations and the Imperial-Republic peace talks. In the following month, as his leg was almost fully healed, he was assigned to the special security detail for the upcoming Liberation Day celebrations and the Imperial-Republic peace talks.
Leading Phantom Squadron
On Liberation Day, Antilles was overlooking the day's events from a balcony when he received a recorded message from Organa, telling him she had gone to the Kashyyyk system alone with Evaan Verlaine on the Falcon, and invited him to intervene. At once, Antilles notified Mon Mothma of this but promptly left Chandrila alongside Phantom Squadron. Captain Antilles' Phantom Squadron and Princess Leia battled the three Imperial Star Destroyers Dominion, Vitiator and Neutralizer above Kashyyyk. Their meager forces were soon reinforced by Admiral Ackbar's flagship Home One. Han Solo managed to hijack the Dominion and turned the ship's guns on the Vitiator and Neutralizer; destroying the former and forcing the latter to surrender. Though they were successful, and Organa was reunited with Solo, the Republic had received a blow during the concurrent attack on Chandrila and the scattered Imperial Fleet gathered on Jakku. Following the liberation of Kashyyyk, Wedge watched his friend Temmin crash an X-Wing during a computer simulator exercise.
When Temmin demanded to fly a real X-Wing, Wedge responded that the New Republic military authorities had tightened access to X-wings. He also promised the boy that if he improved his simulator scores, he could arrange for Temmin to have a ship before the next moon alignment. When Temmin remarked that his own father Brentin Lore Wexley, who had been implanted with an inorganic biochip, had tried to assassinate Chancellor Mothma, Wedge asked if things with Norra were better. Temmin then complimented Wedge for his flying during the liberation of Kashyyyk. Wedge responded that the full credit should go to Leia. Wedge also added that he had done what Leia had needed him to do and also warned Snap to watch his language. Temmin addressed Wedge as "Dad" and promised to do as he said. Temmin then asked if he could go for another round on the simulator but changed his mind after receiving a message from his mother Norra. Before Snap left, Wedge told the boy that he was welcome to try the simulator again.
Despite being given a medal and publicly praised for his actions during the liberation of Kashyyyk, disciplinary action was taken against Wedge and his fellow Phantom Squadron pilots for embarking on an unsanctioned mission outside the New Republic command structure. Phantom Squadron was dissolved and Wedge was reassigned to managing the New Republic military base on Chandrila. Wedge's fellow Phantom pilots Koko, Jethpur, and Yarra were also reassigned to support duties. Following the discovery of Imperial remnants forces on the Inner Rim planet Jakku, Temmin visited Wedge and sought his help in rescuing his mother Norra, who had infiltrated Jakku in order to hunt down Grand AdmiralSloane, the purported architect behind the attack on Chandrila. Lacking the necessary flight clearances, Wedge told Temmin he was unable to help and counselled the boy to wait until the New Republic sent its military forces to Jakku. Angered, Temmin stormed out of the hangar bay. After the Galactic Senate sanctioned the deployment of military forces to Jakku, Temmin visited Wedge again in order to enlist for the battle.
Wedge responded to Temmin that Phantom Squadron had been shut down. Temmin managed to convince Wedge to change his mind by pointing out that his mom Norra and droid Mister Bones were on Jakku. He also reminded Antilles of his heroic actions against the Empire and the Death Stars. Wedge realized that the boy was right and told Temmin to meet him at Hangar Forty-Seven in two hours' time. He added that Phantom Squadron was housed in that hangar. Wedge and his fellow Phantom Squadron pilots including Temmin entered the Battle of Jakku after the main New Republic fleet had arrived. Since the space above Jakku was crowded, Wedge heeded Temmin's advice that the squadron attack the Imperial air-to-space defenses so that New Republic ground forces could land on the planet. Under Wedge's orders, Phantom Squadron attacked any TIE fighters, troop carriers, and Imperial walkers they encountered. The battle turned in the New Republic's favor when Commodore Kyrsta Agate succeeded in downing the Imperial Super Star Destroyer Ravager, which served as the enemy command ship.
While pursuing TIE fighters, Wedge and his fellow pilots received word from Admiral Ackbar that the Ravager had been brought down and to beware of falling debris. Wedge managed to avoid the falling debris but Temmin's X-Wing was hit. Wedge and his fellow Phantom pilots survived the Battle of Jakku. Following the signing of the Galactic Concordance, Wedge was made the head instructor of a new flight academy on the planet Hosnian Prime. He was accompanied by Temmin, who had become a student, and Norra, who had also found work as an instructor there. In the wake of Temmin's father Brentin Lore Wexley's death, Temmin believed that Wedge and Norra had developed romantic feelings for each other. Wedge Antilles would later serve as the inspiration for the Antilles Intercept, a training basic for pilots within the Resistance's Starfighter Corps thirty years following the Battle of Endor.
Expert Pilot: Antilles was a renowned pilot in the Rebel Alliance, considered among the best combat pilots and squadron leaders in the galaxy. He fought in numerous battles during the Galactic Civil War, earning him recognition from his fellow rebels for his bravery and ace piloting abilities, being famed as legendary by some. In recognition of his efforts, Antilles was made the head flight instructor of a New Republic flight academy on Hosnian Prime following the Galactic Civil War. Similarly accomplished pilots such as Luke Skywalker and Han Solo evaluated Antilles as one of the most skilled fliers of his time. Despite his accomplishments in the realm of starfighter tactics, Antilles believed that he lacked a grasp of capital ship combat, and did not think himself well-suited to higher command. Admiral Ackbar disagreed, believing that Antilles would make an exemplary high-ranking officer. By the end of the Galactic Civil War, Antilles was considered a pilot, tactician, and strategist of towering stature. By the time of his retirement, Antilles's reputation was that of a legend in the cockpit, a nearly mythological figure to fellow pilots.