Fan-favorite Authentic Trilogy hero Wedge Antilles (performed by Denis Lawson) has been within the battle since 1977. The quintessential Star Wars pilot, Wedge confronted two Demise Stars and has an extended profession as a Insurgent chief and a New Republic defender in each Disney canon and the outdated Legends continuity.
Now, a long time after his authentic adventures within the Authentic Trilogy, Wedge is leaping again into the cockpit for Motive Studios and Digital Arts’ Star Wars: Squadrons. Within the upcoming online game, Wedge will as soon as once more battle for the New Republic, alongside Rebels character Hera Syndulla, presumably as a part of the sport’s single-player story marketing campaign.
So who’s Wedge and the place does he match into the story of Star Wars: Squadrons?
Wedge Antilles, Insurgent Hero
Though he was technically a facet character, Wedge appeared in each film of the Authentic Trilogy. Whereas the primary trio of heroes was the main target of the story, Wedge was all the time within the battle, main starfighters in opposition to the Empire in house. First launched because the pilot skeptical of Luke Skywalker’s capacity to hit the Demise Star’s small weak level from a fast-moving starfighter, Wedge served as Luke’s wingman within the Battle of Yavin. He obtained an up-close and private have a look at the destruction of the Demise Star within the finale of A New Hope.
His position in The Empire Strikes Again is extra earth-bound, with Wedge flying a snowspeeder whereas making an attempt to defend the Insurgent base on Hoth. Whereas Wedge’s position within the film was over after the Rise up escapes the ice planet, we all know he was one of many Insurgent leaders who helped transports filled with freedom fighters evade Imperial Star Destroyers and attain the rendezvous level.
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Within the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi, whereas Luke was embracing his Jedi future and confronting the Emperor, Wedge led Crimson Squadron, overlaying Lando Calrissian’s again as he flew the Millennium Falcon into the core of the second Demise Star. Each fired on the reactor that brought on a series response and destroyed the battle station, delivering a crippling defeat to the Empire that it will by no means get well from.
Whereas it’s clear that Wedge performed a significant position in all three of those battles, his standing as a facet character meant the films may by no means discover the pilot’s backstory or life outdoors of the cockpit. For instance, you won’t know that Wedge hails from Corellia, the identical planet as Han Solo. Fortuitously for followers of the outdated and new Expanded Universes, Wedge’s story was completely expanded upon within the books and video games. Exterior of the films, Wedge gained a lifetime of his personal.
The ’90s and early ’00s had been a golden age for the Insurgent pilot, as Wedge’s story grew to become one of many focal factors of the no-longer-canon Legends timeline. The truth is, Wedge loved starring roles in each the Rogue Squadron video video games and the X-Wing ebook collection by Aaron Allston and Michael A. Stackpole.
The arcade-style starfighter video games from LucasArts for the Nintendo 64 and GameCube adopted Rogue Squadron, an elite wing of Insurgent pilots led first by Luke and later Wedge, as they fought in opposition to the Empire in numerous battles from the films in addition to ones impressed by the Expanded Universe and authentic phases created by developer Issue 5.
Within the X-Wing books, which had been recognized for his or her humor and action-packed Star Wars tales, he led a unusual group of pilots after the defeat of the Empire. Made up of 10 books in complete, the collection was mainly “Star Wars meets Prime Gun” and featured starfighter fight, Imperial warlords making an attempt to carry on to their energy, and pilot camaraderie. On the middle of all these battles with the Imperial remnant was Wedge, who led his fellow pilots in out of the cockpit throughout a number of New Republic campaigns to revive peace within the galaxy.
Wedge’s recognition got here partly from his position because the quintessential Insurgent soldier. He had a powerful ethical code, a willingness to face up for himself but additionally a eager eye for when confidence became conceitedness, and the motivation to guard others as a substitute of treating violence as its personal finish.
Return to Canon
When Disney purchased the rights to Star Wars in 2012, Wedge got here together with the deal. As such, he.was given a brand new backstory in Star Wars Rebels that wasn’t so totally different from his Legends counterpart. Nonetheless from Corellia, Wedge joined an Imperial academy and skilled to battle within the TIE Fighter Corps till he defected to the Rise up two years earlier than the occasions of A New Hope. Within the episode “The Antilles Extraction,” he and Derek “Hobbie” Klivian (one other Rogue Squadron and X-Wing common) helped Insurgent agent Sabine Wren infiltrate the TIE fighter academy and escaped the Empire’s clutches along with her.
Wedge’s time on Rebels really offers the clearest connection to Hera and the story of Star Wars: Squadrons. Like Hera Syndulla, Wedge was a part of the Rise up in its earliest type, earlier than it had solidified into a real alliance of freedom fighters. Since Wedge and Hera already know easy methods to work collectively and belief one another, it makes excellent sense that he can be referred to as in to assist with Vanguard Squadron’s missions in Star Wars: Squadrons.
Within the announcement trailer, we see as Wedge nods at one of many recreation’s characters from his cockpit. The nod type of appears like reassurance or approval. Absolutely, Vanguard Squadron will probably be glad to be flying outdoors one of many Rise up’s best heroes. Simply how a lot time he spends serving to the opposite characters within the story stays a thriller. However its attainable that his different huge look within the new canon may inform his position in Squadrons.
Wedge had a considerable position within the Aftermath collection by Chuck Wendig, one of many first tales to discover the period between Return of the Jedi and The Drive Awakens within the Disney canon. Wedge joins New Republic pilot Norra Wexley on numerous missions, forming Phantom Squadron to assist liberate the Wookiee planet Kashyyyk in addition to battle within the Battle of Jakku, the place the Empire was defeated as soon as and for all.
Will Wedge lead Phantom Squadron into battle alongside Vanguard Squadron within the recreation? That depends upon when precisely the sport is about. It was established within the Aftermath collection that Wedge’s Phantom Squadron was really an unsanctioned navy pressure that wasn’t part of the official New Republic Defence Fleet. After the liberation of Kashyyyk, the squadron was disbanded by the galactic authorities earlier than being reformed for the ultimate battle on Jakku.
Squadrons may choose up earlier than the occasions of Aftermath or someplace within the center, earlier than the autumn of the Empire, which signifies that we may meet Wedge simply earlier than the formation of Phantom Squadron or maybe after its dissolution, however it will certainly be a pleasant nod to the books if this fighter group made an look.
Both approach, this received’t be the primary time Wedge has appeared on display screen within the Disney period. Not solely did he make a cameo in Rogue One — his voice may be heard on the Yavin base at one level within the film — but additionally appeared within the climactic battle of The Rise of Skywalker, with Lawson reprising the position as one of many Millennium Falcon’s gunners in a second of pure fan service.
His presence on Exegol reveals that Wedge has seen extra historical past than maybe every other film character outdoors of the droids. He fulfills the fantasy of a Star Wars hero as a lot as any of the saga’s fundamental characters do. Wedge’s return in Squadrons will proceed that nice legacy.
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