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- "There hasn't been a mission Shadow Squadron couldn't complete."
"That's right. Minimal casualties, maximum effectiveness. That's us."
- ―Matchstick and Broadside
"Matchstick" was the nickname of a clone trooper pilot who served in the Republic Navy during the Clone Wars. Matchstick was the commander of the Republic's Shadow Squadron, flying under the call sign "Shadow Two." In 22 BBY, while Matchstick and Shadow Squadron were serving under the command of Jedi General Anakin Skywalker, the Confederate Subjugator-class heavy cruiser Malevolence began attacking a number of Republic fleets across the galaxy. Following the Battle of Abregado, Matchstick and Shadow Squadron accompanied Skywalker and his Padawan, Jedi Commander Ahsoka Tano, to the Bormus Testing Facility to retrieve several BTL-B Y-wing starfighters for an upcoming assault on the Malevolence.
After acquiring the starfighters, Skywalker developed a plan to destroy the Malevolence with the newly acquired bombers by ambushing the Confederate warship near the Kaliida Nebula. After being briefed about their mission aboard Skywalker's flagship, the Resolute, Matchstick and Shadow Squadron—with Skywalker in the lead—departed the Resolute and took a dangerous shortcut through the nebula to intercept the Malevolence. During the journey, Matchstick's bomber was damaged after a large neebray manta—a winged vacuumbreather nesting in the nebula—grazed his fighter's port engine, although the pilot was able to continue on with his squadron. Upon emerging from the nebula, Shadow Squadron engaged the Malevolence and the Vulture droid starfighters that it deployed. When the massive warship fired its ion pulse cannon on the squadron, Matchsticks' engines failed while attempting evasive maneuvers due to the damage inflicted by the neebray manta. Losing control of his ship, Matchstick collided with squadmate Tag's Y-wing, which killed both pilots.
Acquiring the Y-wingsEdit
- "We've got a Jedi, you don't. I think that qualifies as authorization."
- ―Matchstick, to the guards of Hangar 8122
Cloned on the water-world Kamino, the clone trooper pilot nicknamed "Matchstick" served in the Republic Navy during the Clone Wars fought against the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Like all clone troopers, Matchstick was created from the Mandalorian bounty hunter Jango Fett. The clone trooper pilot was in command of the Republic starfighter unit Shadow Squadron, flying under the call sign "Shadow Two." During his tenure in Shadow Squadron, Matchstick formed a close friendship with squadmate and fellow pilot Broadside, with whom Matchstick often bet on outgoing missions as a sort of ritual and good luck charm.
In the year 22 BBY, Matchstick and Shadow Squadron were under Jedi General Anakin Skywalker's command, stationed on the Venator-class Star Destroyer Resolute. During this time, the Confederate warship Malevolence, a Subjugator-class heavy cruiser, began ambushing Republic fleets across the galaxy. Under the command of the Confederate General Grievous, the Malevolence was equipped with dual ion pulse cannons, which were capable of disabling any ship's deflector shields and engines.
Skywalker, wanting to hunt down the Malevolence and destroy it, decided to retrieve several units of the Republic's newly designed BTL-B Y-wing starfighter to use against the Confederate warship. Matchstick and the rest of Shadow Squadron accompanied Skywalker and his Padawan, Jedi Commander Ahsoka Tano, in the Twilight—Skywalker's personal freighter—to the Bormus Testing Facility, a space station tasked with manufacturing and testing the Y-wing bombers. After encountering protest from a Gran worker at the facility, Skywalker ordered Matchstick and Broadside to enter the facility's Hangar 8122, where the Y-wings were being stored. While Skywalker and Tano manipulated the Gran into authorizing the release of the bombers, Matchstick and Broadside informed the clone troopers guarding the hangar that orders from a Jedi officer qualified as the clearance needed to enter the hangar. Matchstick and the rest of Shadow Squadron departed the facility with twelve of the Y-wings, while Skywalker and Tano departed in the Twilight.
Attack on the MalevolenceEdit
- "We lost Matchstick and Tag."
- ―Ahsoka Tano
Shadow Squadron flew the Y-wing bombers back to the Resolute, and there they were briefed by Skywalker and Admiral Wullf Yularen, the commander of the Resolute. Skywalker explained his plan for destroying the Malevolence to Matchstick and the rest of the squadron: by using the newly acquired Y-wings, Shadow Squadron—with Skywalker in the lead—would slip through the warship's defenses and attack the bridge tower. Following the briefing, Jedi Master Plo Koon, who had survived an earlier encounter with the Malevolence, asked if the squadron was skilled enough to accomplish the very difficult task. Matchstick and Broadside both assured Koon that their squadron was capable of completing the mission.
Shortly thereafter, Yularen reported that the Malevolence had obliterated a Republic medical convoy in the Ryndellia system. Since Ryndellia was close to the Mid Rim planet Naboo, and since Grievous had attacked a medical convoy, Skywalker concluded that Grievous's next target was the Kaliida Shoals Medical Center, located near Naboo. The Haven-class medical station contained over 60,000 injured clone troopers, and, without the medcenter, the Republic would have nowhere else to send its wounded soldiers. With this new piece of information, Skywalker devised a plan to ambush the Malevolence near the Kaliida Nebula before the warship could reach the medical center. In order to do so, Shadow Squadron would need to go through the Balmorra Run, a dangerous shortcut through the nebula. Shadow Squadron would be accompanied by Koon and another Jedi Knight piloting Delta-7B light interceptors. Each Y-wing would also have a gunner aboard to operate the bombers' ion cannon turrets, with Tano serving as Skywalker's gunner. Before leaving, Matchstick made a bet with Broadside, saying that if they survived the upcoming battle, drinks were on Matchstick.
Shadow Squadron and their escorts left the Resolute and soon entered the Kaliida Nebula, beginning the Balmorra Run. However, as they were flying through the nebula, the group encountered several giant neebray mantas, winged vacuumbreathers that were nesting along the route. Skywalker ordered the squadron to follow him in the single-file Bantha formation to avoid colliding with the neebrays, but Matchstick was unable to prevent a manta from grazing his bomber's port-side engine, destroying his astromech droid in the process. When asked by Koon if his ship was in stable condition, Matchstick, trying to downplay the incident, claimed that the damage was insignificant and continued on with his squadron. Shadow Squadron eventually emerged from the nebula, arriving at the medcenter shortly before the Malevolence emerged from hyperspace nearby in the system.
Launching its assault, Shadow Squadron and its escorts engaged the Vulture droid starfighters deployed by Grievous's flagship, attempting to push past the droid starfighters and attack the Malevolence directly. Upon Grievous's orders, the battle droids stationed aboard the Malevolence fired the warship's starboard ion pulse cannon at the Republic starfighters, hoping to disable them. As the ion cannon's ray approached the Republic squadron, Skywalker immediately ordered his fighters to head for the top edge of the ray to avoid its effects. However, three members of Shadow Squadron were unable to avoid the ray, which deactivated their Y-wing bombers as well as most of the Vulture droids. Also during the squadron's evasive maneuver, Matchstick's right engine failed due to the damage he had sustained from the neebray manta, causing his fighter to collide with his squadmate Tag's Y-wing. The ships exploded, killing both pilots and their gunners.
Even though he was not the only casualty of the battle, Matchstick's death deeply affected the squadron, especially Commander Tano. However, his squadron, as a tribute to their fallen comrade, were able to disable both of the Malevolence's ion pulse cannons, which allowed an incoming Republic fleet under the command of Jedi General Obi-Wan Kenobi to engage the damaged Malevolence, saving the medcenter from destruction. Skywalker and Kenobi later infiltrated the warship during the battle and sabotaged its hyperdrive, causing the Malevolence to crash into a moon.
Personality and traitsEdit
- "Broadside, we make it through this one, drinks are on me."
"I can already taste it."
- ―Matchstick and Broadside
A veteran clone pilot, Matchstick was trained at an early age to fly a variety of different starships, including shuttles, bombers, and starfighters. During his training, Matchstick developed exceptional eyesight and quick reflexes—which he used to great effect in battle—and used a DC-15 blaster pistol in combat. A tough and confident pilot, he welcomed a chance to use the newly developed BTL-B Y-wing starfighters. When his bomber collided with a neebray manta, Matchstick downplayed the damage to his bomber. However, this overconfidence would cause his death, as his bomber was greatly affected by the encounter with the neebray, later being destroyed during the Battle of the Kaliida Nebula.
Matchstick and his squadmate Broadside developed a close friendship during the Clone Wars, often betting on the outcome of their missions. During the mission to the Bormus Testing facility, Matchstick followed the orders of General Anakin Skywalker to retrieve the Y-wing bombers, even when they conflicted with the orders of higher-ranking officials, including Supreme Chancellor Palpatine. Matchstick kept his head of black hair shaved and had brown eyes and tan skin. Like all other clone troopers, he stood 1.83 meters tall.
Behind the scenesEdit
In 2008, Matchstick first appeared in The Clone Wars: Procedure, an online comic that led directly into "Shadow of Malevolence," the third episode of Season One of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series. Matchstick later appeared in "Shadow of Malevolence," being voiced by Dee Bradley Baker, who voices all of the clone troopers in the series. In 2009, Hasbro released a Matchstick action figure in the tenth wave of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars toy line.
Matchstick's entry in The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia incorrectly states that the pilot's call sign was "Shadow Three," when multiple sources—including "Shadow of Malevolence" and Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Official Episode Guide: Season 1—have made it clear that Matchstick's true call sign was Shadow Two. The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia also says that Matchstick died after his Y-wing bomber was hit by an ion blast from the Malevolence, when in fact "Shadow of Malevolence" shows that Matchstick lost control of his damaged starfighter during evasive maneuvers and crashed into Tag's Y-wing, killing both pilots.
The "Daily Trivia" quiz game of the video game Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures states that Matchstick was the commander of Shadow Squadron. However, it has not yet been made clear if this was subject to or conflicting with General Skywalker's role during the events of "Shadow of Malevolence."
- The Clone Wars: Procedure (First appearance)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Shadow of Malevolence"
- Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures – "Starfighter"
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II ("Matchstick")
- "Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season One Episode Guide, Part One"—Star Wars Insider 106
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Official Episode Guide: Season 1
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Visual Guide (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars Official Episode Guide Series 1 & 2
- "Blaster"—Star Wars Insider 115
- Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures – "Daily Trivia"
- Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures – "Card Commander" (Card: Matchstick)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Incredible Vehicles
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Action Figure Collection
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Star Wars: The Clone Wars Character Encyclopedia
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 The Essential Reader's Companion
- ↑ 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 4.19 4.20 4.21 4.22 Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Shadow of Malevolence"
- ↑ Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures – "Daily Trivia"
- ↑ 6.0 6.1
- ↑ The Clone Wars Campaign Guide
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 The Clone Wars: Procedure
- ↑ The Essential Atlas
- ↑ Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures – "Starfighter"
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I, p. 293 ("Matchstick")
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Visual Guide
- ↑ Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Destroy Malevolence"