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DS-61-4

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"I can't shake him!"
―Luke Skywalker, flying against DS-61-4[src]

DS-61-4, nicknamed "Dark Curse," was a Human male who served the Galactic Empire as a starfighter pilot during the time before, and during, the Battle of Yavin. An eventual member of Black Squadron, he participated in various Imperial campaigns before being killed by Wedge Antilles during the Rebel attack on the first Death Star.

BiographyEdit

Throughout his career as an Imperial naval pilot, the Human male DS-61-4 distinguished himself thoroughly, having survived numerous assaults against Rebel-held worlds, such as the planets Ralltiir and Mon Calamari.[2] Sometime prior to the Imperial attack on Yavin 4 in 0 BBY, DS-61-4 was assigned to the first Death Star[1] as a member of Darth Vader's elite TIE Fighter unit, Black Squadron.[3] Following his reassignment to Black Squadron, DS-61-4 had planned on retiring from military service, with the conclusion of his next combat mission.[2]

Flying under the call sign of Black 4, DS-61-4 flew with his fellow Black Squadron pilots against the Rebel assault on the Death Star during the Battle of Yavin. During the initial confusion of the battle, DS-61-4 had managed to maneuver his TIE Fighter behind the Rebel X-wing Red Five, flown by the rookie pilot Luke Skywalker, and was able to score a direct hit on the enemy fighter.[3] DS-61-4's damage to the X-wing caused Skywalker to call for assistance from his fellow Red Squadron pilots. Discovering that he was unable to outmaneuver the pursuing DS-61-4, Skywalker received help from a fellow Rebel pilot, Wedge Antilles, who was able to destroy DS-61-4's TIE Fighter in a Corellian Slip maneuver, ensuring Skywalker's survival.[1]

Behind the scenesEdit

DS-61-4's first appearance was in the 1977 novelization of A New Hope in which he flew against Luke Skywalker during the Rebel attack on the Death Star. Both his designation of DS-61-4 and his nickname of Dark Curse were first mentioned in the Star Wars Customizable Card Game cards entitled "DS-61-4" and "Black 4", respectively.[2][3]

According to the Star Wars Customizable Card Game card entitled "Major Turr Phennir", Phennir had an older brother who was killed in aerial combat by Wedge Antilles during the Battle of Yavin.[4] It is possible that DS-61-4 was the older brother of Phennir mentioned on this card, due to him being killed by Antilles during the Battle of Yavin,[1] but to date no canonical statement has been given to prove this theory correct. Phennir's older brother was later on named as "Chaser" Cartha in the 2014 StarWars.com article Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Warfare Author's Cut which featured cut content from 2012's The Essential Guide to Warfare. Notably Paul R. Urquhart, an author for The Essential Guide to Warfare, stated his original intent to make Cartha and DS-61-4 the same character, although that material did not make it into the final book or the Author's Cut article.[5]

In the Star Wars Encyclopedia, it is erroneously stated that DS-61-4 "[…]was an Imperial TIE pilot who survived the Battle of Yavin." This was later on repeated in The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia. However, his death was clearly portrayed in A New Hope when Wedge Antilles destroyed his TIE Fighter, after it had scored a hit on Red Five.

AppearancesEdit

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