"Countering fast-attack starfighters is critical for victory."
Captain Firmus Piett[src]

The Battle of Turkana was a conflict in 1 BBY between the Galactic Empire and the Rebel Alliance that occurred above Turkana during the Galactic Civil War. It marked the first engagements of both the T-65 X-wing and TIE/In interceptor.


The Rebels were secretly massing their forces in orbit of the planet Turkana. The task force, under the command of Admiral Gial Ackbar, consisted of several donated Mon Calamari Star Cruisers. The cruisers were equipped with the new Rebel starfighter, the T-65 X-wing, the prototypes of which had been previously stolen during the Battle of Fresia. With the help of defected staff from Incom, the Rebels had been able to produce X-wings in sufficient numbers and they were now ready to start service with the Rebel Alliance fleet.

A fleet of ten Imperial-class Star Destroyers under the interim command of Captain Xamuel Lennox was conducting a search for the Rebel forces, who specifically held command of the flagship, the Tyrant, while Piett provided primary support for the Tyrant via the Accuser. The Alliance forces had been alerted by Alliance Intelligence to a possible attack and were preparing a defense against the incoming Imperial fleet. However, when a patrol of experimental TIE/IN interceptors prepared for combat tests, located the Rebels at Turkana, Lennox gave the order to attack and the Imperials arrived sooner than Alliance Intelligence expected, allowing them to surprise the Rebels, and also used Formation Besh, Attack Pattern Tartarus to ensure the Rebels could not escape via hyperspace. Having caught the Rebel forces unprepared, the Empire underestimated the ease of their objective.

The battleEdit

The Imperial fleet first launched their fighters while the main group moved into position, with the TIE bombers being dispatched to target the engines of the enemy ships, while the TIE interceptors and TIE fighters being dispatched to provide cover for the bombers by targeting any fighters that came their way. However, the Imperials were surprised when the Alliance Fleet, at the command of Admiral Ackbar, suddenly launched their fighters, which included three squadrons of Y-wings and, to their surprise, two squadrons of the new X-wing fighters (which presumably included Red Squadron). Although Firmus Piett warned Lennox about the X-Wing's capabilities, Lennox arrogantly dismissed Piett's warning, thinking that the TIEs superior numbers would win out in the end and thus did not modify his tactics. Ultimately, however, the X-Wings proceeded to match speeds with the TIEs and absorb the attacks via their onboard shields, while the Y-Wings picked apart the TIE bombers. Piett, already realizing that Lennox's arrogance already cost them the battle, then proceeded to direct the Accuser towards the bombers attack path and fired upon them, destroying the Y-Wings and allowing for a lone TIE bomber squadron to make it toward an MC80 cruiser and deliver its payload, disabling the cruiser's engines. Nonetheless, the X-Wings, having already wiped out the TIEs, proceeded to join the Y-wings to target the remaining bombers. Despite having the Star Destroyers enter Formation Aleph, Attack Pattern Formation, the X-Wings ultimately managed to succeed in severely damaging the Formidable and Ajax by firing proton torpedoes at their bridge shields, due to a lack of a Starfighter screen.

The Imperial forces were unprepared for a counterattack from the combined firepower of the rough Calamari militarized ships and the new Rebel starfighters and, after the loss of several starfighters including TIE/LN starfighters, TIE/sa bombers, and even a handful of the limited produced TIE Interceptors for combat tests, were forced to withdraw in order to avoid a major conflict at Lennox's order, jumping to hyperspace and regrouping at Pakuuni. Wedge Antilles of Red Squadron managed to land three kills before he was forced to eject from his X-wing.


After the battle, the Rebel Alliance, pleased with the performance of the X-wing, proceeded to manufacture the fighters in greater numbers and to enter them into service throughout the fleet. The discovery of the new TIE Interceptor prototype side project for the TIE Advanced x1 alerted the Alliance High Command for the need to acquire limited numbers of the new updated version of the R-22 Spearhead as an experimental testbed for their new interceptor needs. The small starfighter was nicknamed "A-Wing" by the Rebels who piloted what became the basis for the famous RZ-1 A-wing interceptor. Angered and embarrassed by the loss at Turkana, the Emperor responded with Operation Strike Fear, having been planned by then-Captain Firmus Piett in a post-mission report, which would torment the Rebellion for some time. In addition, because of Lennox's failure with the situation, at Piett's recommendation, he was removed from command of Pakuuni sector naval operations. In addition, in large part because of the difficulty of attacking Starfighters in combat, Piett also recommended that they develop a strategy where they use tractor beams to slow down enemy Starfighters enough to assist their gunners in locking on to small targets.

Behind the scenesEdit

The intro cutscene uses a shot taken from The Empire Strikes Back, in which Lennox talks to an officer. It is not known if the cutscene has just 'borrowed' the screenshot from the movie, or actually intended to portray that particular character as present in that event. The reference book Star Wars: Imperial Handbook: A Commander's Guide confirms his involvement.[5]



Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Star Wars: Empire at War
  2. The Battle of Turkana is the first use of the X-wing starfighter, and the next mission in the Imperial campaign of Star Wars: Empire at War following the Fondor mission is Geonosis, which features X-wings. Thus, the Geonosis mission must occur after Turkana.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Star Wars: X-Wing
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 Star Wars: Imperial Handbook: A Commander's Guide

In other languages