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- "Catch, push sensors. We know there were snubfighters out here, but I need to find their base."
- ―Darklighter and Catch search for pirates during the Yuuzhan Vong War
Catch, originally known as Jawaswag, was an R2 astromech droid produced by Industrial Automaton and used by Rogue Squadron pilot Gavin Darklighter to aid in the use of his X-wing starfighter. During the Bacta War in 7 ABY, Jawaswag and Darklighter escaped from an assault by the Imperial Victory II-class Star Destroyer Corrupter, before briefly going up against Imperial forces on the planet of Halanit when the colony they were refueling at was attacked. Darklighter later renamed Jawaswag to Toughcatch after the droid held off a group of Jawas trying to steal him, though the name was later shortened to Catch for ease of use.
In 25 ABY during the Yuuzhan Vong War, Catch was still serving as Darklighter's astromech, and the droid participated in Rogue Squadron action in the Outer Rim Territories of the galaxy, facing off against pirates and later the forces of the invading Yuuzhan Vong species as Rogue Squadron searched for intelligence on the Yuuzhan Vong. Catch also flew alongside Darklighter during a battle at the planet of Dantooine, where they engaged enemy fighters who were covering a ground troop advance, and later at the world Ithor, with Catch and Darklighter downing Yuuzhan Vong landing craft in Ithor's atmosphere.
Incident at HalanitEdit
- "Jawaswag, give me a system start, now!"
- ―Darklighter orders his droid to prepare the fighter on Halanit
By the year 7 ABY, a R2 droid produced by Industrial Automaton acted as the astromech droid for Rogue Squadron pilot Gavin Darklighter, at a time where the former–New Republic Rogue Squadron was engaged in assaulting the forces of Imperial leader Ysanne Isard during the Bacta War; Darklighter called the droid Jawaswag as he figured that any member of the Jawa species would love to own the droid. That year, Jawaswag accompanied Darklighter in his T-65 X-wing starfighter on an ambush of Imperial affiliated tankers containing the valuable medical substance bacta after a trio of tankers were diverted to a star system away from their escort when their navicomputers were sliced. There, Rogue Squadron convinced the three tankers to accompany them as they left the system, but the delay it took for Darklighter and his wingmate Riv Shiel to intimidate the Xucphra Alazhi into joining them got the group caught by the tankers' escort: the Victory II-class Star Destroyer Corrupter.
Although momentarily shielded from the capital ship's barrage of fire by the bulk of the Alazhi as it was destroyed by the Corrupter, Jawaswag and Darklighter only survived after the pilot took them on a blind hyperspace jump away from the battle; Shiel was caught in the Corrupter's fire and perished. After fifteen seconds, they exited hyperspace, and Jawaswag plotted the first of seven short jumps that led them away from the battle site. With Darklighter hoping to return to the Rogue Squadron base in the Yag'Dhul system, the pair stopped at the planet Halanit to refuel at a Rogue Squadron-friendly colony. As the colonists needed to synthesize the fuel, the refueling process was to take two days, and Jawaswag was left in the starfighter. However, the Corrupter soon arrived at Halanit to make an example of the colonists for siding with Rogue Squadron, and the Imperials assaulted the colony.
With Darklighter away from the fighter, the pilot ordered Jawaswag to start the X-wing's systems, even if the R2 unit had to suck the fuel synthesizer dry to do so. As stormtroopers killed colonists in the corridors and TIE Series fighters committed runs on the colony, Jawaswag and Darklighter departed the hangar the X-wing had been refueling in to combat the attackers; due to the fuel levels, the pair could only stay and fight for ten minutes before leaving the system. In the air over the colony, Jawaswag alerted Darklighter to the presence of a trio of TIE/IN interceptors, and the R2 droid acquired target locks upon the fighters before it started to record everything that happened at Darklighter's request. Jawaswag's pilot dispatched two of the enemy with proton torpedos, but the third TIE, which was out of control, managed to survive by flying into the chasm that housed the breached colony. After Darklighter followed the fighter into the colony and shot it down, Jawaswag and his pilot departed Halanit, as there was nothing more they could do for the colonists.
Service after the Bacta WarEdit
- "Catch, we lasted twenty-five seconds. What was that thing?"
- ―Darklighter, after having been shot down by a simulate coralskipper
After the Bacta War, Jawaswag continued to serve with Darklighter, and sometime following the Thrawn campaign in 9 ABY, Jawaswag was accosted by a group of Jawas who tried to steal the droid. However, the R2 unit fended them off, hurting one in the process, and this act made Darklighter rename the droid to Toughcatch, though that was later shortened to just Catch for ease of use in combat. Over the years, the droid underwent many memory wipes and upgrades, including the R2-Delta upgrade in 24 ABY that allowed Catch to process navigational computations faster. Despite this, Catch still greeted Darklighter every time with a short summary of the weather on the worlds of Coruscant and Tatooine, and this was the reason why Darklighter never traded Catch in for a newer model. In 25 ABY, at the time that the extra-galactic Yuuzhan Vong species were beginning their invasion of the galaxy, Catch and Darklighter—now Rogue Leader—took part in a holosimulator that pitted the pair against a Yuuzhan Vong coralskipper fighter in their T-65A3 X-wing starfighter.
Although Catch and his pilot only survived 25 seconds in combat against the coralskipper before being virtually destroyed, they beat the time of Bothan Admiral Traest Kre'fey. While in the Outer Rim Territories searching for intelligence on the new attackers, Catch and the rest of Rogue Squadron deployed from Kre'fey's Bothan Assault Cruiser Ralroost after pirates were reported in an Outer Rim system. At Darklighter's orders, Catch scanned for the base of the pirates, but Rogue Squadron was quickly engaged in an asteroid belt by damaged ugly fighters, and while Rogue Leader disabled one them, Catch worked on getting the tactical frequency of the attackers. Disabling the ugly led Darklighter and Catch to discover the mangled pirate EF76 Nebulon-B escort frigate Free Lance, and although the frigate briefly fired upon them, Catch was able to get the frequency of the pirate capital ship and Darklighter convinced the crippled forces of the pirate leader Urias Xhaxin to stand down.
From Xhaxin it was learned that the pirate had been attacked by coralskippers before fleeing to the system the Ralroost had found him in, and Catch and Rogue Squadron were dispatched to the location of the attack to guard a reconnaissance X-wing starfighter as it gathered intelligence. However, when the squadron arrived there after a hyperspace jump, they were set upon by coralskippers, and Darklighter engaged one of the enemy fighters. After firing a proton torpedo resulted in the shields of the coralskipper swallowing it as predicted, Darklighter had his Rogues use their new combat programming designed to help fight coralskippers, and Catch's allocation of power allowed his pilot to switch to quad laser fire. Low-powered frequent laser fire permitted Darklighter to overwhelm the shields of the coralskipper, allowing Catch's pilot to finish off the enemy with a full-powered quad burst.
During the dogfight, Darklighter and Catch learned how to prevent coralskippers from depriving the X-wings of shields by expanding the area of effect of the inertial compensators over those of the shields. In chasing one of the coralskippers that had latched onto Lieutenant Ligg Panat's fighter, Catch and Darklighter found themselves going for a head-to-head pass with the enemy fighter, before the coralskipper's shields spawned a miniature black hole that threatened to destroy Catch and his pilot as it sucked them in. However, after Darklighter emptied his torpedo magazine into the black hole and managed to gain a little extra velocity, the pair escaped the edge of the black hole, while the coralskipper who created it was destroyed by other Rogues. With the reconnaissance starfighter having finished its mission, Catch and the rest of the squadron departed the area.
Shortly after the skirmish in the Outer Rim, Catch, as well as Darklighter and the rest of Rogue Squadron, were at the world of Dantooine guarding a refugee encampment against Yuuzhan Vong ground forces. When the ground troops began their attack during the night, Catch and Darklighter launched with the the squadron from the camp, and Catch's pilot tasked it with monitoring the base tactical frequency for emergencies. Despite the threat of the ground troops, Rogue Squadron was not able to attack them as enemy fighters occupied their attention. Later in the battle, Catch alerted Darklighter to the presence of the New Republic shuttle Impervious, whose occupant, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, requested that a missile spread be fired at the largest enemy ground vehicle along a telemetry supplied by Skywalker's droid R2-D2. With their wingmates covering them, Darklighter and Catch—along with Rogue Eleven Jaina Solo—fired a quartet of proton torpedoes at the vehicle.
Though R2-D2 changed the trajectory of the missiles to aim at the vehicle's spine instead of side, the vehicle spawned a gravity anomaly that Catch reported, and the vehicle tried to re-position it between the missiles and the spine. However, Master Skywalker, through the use of the Force, managed to push the black hole into the vehicle creature's spine, destroying it while the missiles hit the ground and killed a multitude of ground troops. Though the Yuuzhan Vong were successful in taking Dantooine, the New Republic forces managed to withdraw their forces from the world.
Later in 25 ABY, Catch and Rogue Squadron aided in the defense of the jungle world of Ithor. During the battle, the Rogues targeted four Yuuzhan Vong landing craft—dubbed crates—in the atmosphere of Ithor that were headed for the Ithorian Herdship Tafanda Bay, and upon his pilot's command, Catch programmed two proton torpedoes for detonation at two klicks, or for when they detected a Yuuzhan Vong shield void. Darklighter fired the pair at the two of the rearmost crates, and the resulting detonation when the proton torpedoes detected the shields of the crates tossed the two ships about due to the atmosphere pushed by the shock wave. The crates lost control, and crashed into the jungles below, though the other two crates escaped the Rogues. The New Republic ultimately emerged victorious, though the Yuuzhan Vong destroyed much of the life on Ithor with a bioweapon.
Colored gold and white, Catch was an R2-series astromech from the R-series droid line who spoke the droid language of binary. Standing 0.96 meters high, the droid played the role of Darklighter's astromech, and over the years, fulfilled the variety of jobs that came with it. Catch programmed hyperspace jumps, with the R2-Delta upgrade aiding it in its calculation time after it was installed, and performed many of the computer related tasks on the X-wing, such as running simulators and managing sensors. When in combat, Catch would paint new targets for Darklighter on his secondary monitor, and would whistle and shriek when the droid's starfighter was in danger. Despite having multiple memory wipes over the years, Catch always greeted Darklighter with a short summary of the weather on Tatooine and Coruscant.
Behind the scenesEdit
Catch first appeared as Jawaswag in X-Wing: The Bacta War, released in 1997 and written by Michael A. Stackpole. As Catch, the droid later appeared in two more of Stackpole's books, Dark Tide I: Onslaught and Dark Tide II: Ruin, both 2000 installments of The New Jedi Order series. In 2008, Catch received an entry in The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia.
- X-Wing: The Bacta War (First appearance)
- The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide I: Onslaught (First identified as Catch)
- The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide II: Ruin
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 79 (JAW10, Jawas)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia (As Jawaswag)
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 The New Essential Guide to Droids
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 X-Wing: The Bacta War
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 The New Essential Guide to Characters
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide I: Onslaught
- ↑ The Essential Reader's Companion
- ↑ The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 143 ("Jawaswag")
- ↑ The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide II: Ruin