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RZ-1 A-wing interceptor

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The RZ-1 A-wing interceptor was a wedge-shaped starfighter manufactured by Kuat Systems Engineering which took design inspiration from the Republic starfighters of the Clone Wars. They were used by the early rebellion against the Empire and the subsequent Rebel Alliance, seeing action during the Age of the Empire and the Galactic Civil War. It was still in use 30 years later during the conflict between the Resistance and the First Order.

CharacteristicsEdit

A wing

A modified A-wing starfighter

The RZ-1 A-wing starfighter[1] was a quick, powerful strike fighter[2] manufactured by Kuat Systems Engineering[1]. Influenced by the designs of the Republic starfighters flown during the Clone Wars, the A-wing was wedge-shaped with dual sublight engines mounted on the stern[2] and came equipped with a hyperdrive. The fighters were armed with two laser cannons[4] and twelve concussion missiles.[1] A-wings measured 9.6 meters long.[2]

During the early rebellion against the Galactic Empire, a variant A-wing, called the RZ-1T trainer, was developed and used to train aspiring rebel pilots. In addition to the pilot seat, the model also featured a seat for an instructor.[6]

A-wings were modified for use by the Alliance to favor raw speed over power or protection. The Alliance's modified A-wings consisted of a stock model stripped of its shields, armor, and heavy weapons. As a result, the ship was faster than the Empire's variant, the TIE/IN interceptor.[2]

HistoryEdit

Pre-Galactic Civil WarEdit

NonModified Awing-SW Card Trader

A non-modified A-wing used during the early part of the rebellion

The RZ-1 A-wing starfighter was manufactured by Kuat Systems Engineering, of Kuat.[1] They were used by forces secretly allied with Bail Organa one year after Order 66.[10] Later, a group of A-wing fighters codenamed "Phoenix Squadron" was part of a rebel cell led by Commander Jun Sato, which was part of a larger rebellion.[7]

During the time of early rebellion approximately two years before the Battle of Yavin[11] an RZ-1T trainer was used by Jedi Padawan Ezra Bridger and Jedi Knight Kanan Jarrus to save their friends from former Sith Lord Maul, delivering him a Sith holocron at Vizsla Keep 09.[12]

Galactic Civil WarEdit

During the Galactic Civil War, A-wings were used by the Alliance in early battles against Imperial forces and soon proved themselves to be capable fighters. Thanks to this track record, the Alliance obtained a number of A-wings and modified them, removing their heavy weapons and shields, in order to make them fast enough to combat the newer generations of Imperial TIE fighters. The resulting modified A-wings used by the rebels were faster than even the TIE/IN interceptor.[2] These modified A-wings were deployed by the Alliance Fleet at the Battle of Endor.[2] There, under Lando Calrissian's command, Green Squadron flew against the Second Death Star. Once Han Solo's strike team brought down the Death Star's shield generator, Jake Farrell and another A-wing pilot flew into the Death Star, but broke off to draw TIE fighters away from Calrissian. Green Leader Arvel Crynyd was hit by fire and crashed into the bridge of the Super Star Destroyer Executor, resulting in its destruction.[4] A-wings were also employed in the Battle of Jakku.[13]

First Order-Resistance conflictEdit

During the conflict between the First Order and the Resistance, Lieutenant L'ulo, as a member of Black Squadron, piloted an A-Wing.[9]

Known A-wing pilotsEdit

Behind the scenesEdit

MCQ-awing

A-wing concept art by Ralph McQuarrie.

The A-wing appears in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi. Designed by Ralph McQuarrie, they were originally colored blue but had to be changed due to the limited bluescreen technology at the time. However, the original coloration of the A-wings makes its first appearance on the A-wings of Phoenix Squadron in the second season of Star Wars Rebels.

The original Star Wars Legends backstory for the craft has them being designed and fielded after the Battle of Yavin,[20] but their appearance in Ahsoka places them in service eighteen years before the Battle of Yavin.[10] The Legends backstory served partly as an in-universe explanation as to why the A-wing fighters created for Return of the Jedi did not participate in the attack on the first Death Star. However, in the new Star Wars canon, A-wings are featured in material taking place well before the Battle of Yavin and have been given earlier origins. The production team for the Star Wars Rebels television series explained that the intention is to depict different rebel cells using different fighters in different parts of the galaxy. The A-wings appear as the primary star fighters of the Phoenix rebel cell in Rebels, while the rebel cell led by Jan Dodonna and portrayed in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope used primarily X-wings and Y-wings. The Battle of Endor, intended to show the first time the entire Rebel Alliance comes together, therefore includes both sets of ships. This allowed the Rebels producers to do more with the A-wings, which were not shown in action very much in Return of the Jedi.[21]

AppearancesEdit

Non-Canon appearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

External linksEdit

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