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- "Wedge, handpick a starfighter squadron. We'll use it to chase the shuttle to safety aboard the Anakin Solo, then to support any operation against Centerpoint Station."
- ―Luke Skywalker
Rakehell Squadron was a Jedi-aligned starfighter squadron created in 40 ABY to aid in the uprising against Galactic Alliance co-Chief of State Jacen Solo, whom the Jedi Order under Luke Skywalker believed was promulgating further hostilities between the separatist Confederation and the Galactic Alliance. The Jedi, having previously broken with the Galactic Alliance due to Solo's status as a Sith, planned to launch a mission to weaken Solo's position in order to eventually overthrow him, and Rakehell Squadron was the key to their plans. Led by Wedge Antilles, Rakehell Squadron consisted of both Jedi and non-Jedi members, most of whom were veteran fighter pilots, even though one of its members, General Tycho Celchu, was still obligated by duty to the Galactic Alliance, as he had originally been sent to the Jedi as a diplomatic Galactic Alliance envoy without the permission of Solo.
Rakehell Squadron flew in the Jedi attack on the Centerpoint Station superweapon and the Imperial-class Star Destroyer Anakin Solo, chasing the shuttle Reveille to the Anakin Solo, which contained a Jedi infiltration team attempting to rescue the Hapan Chume'da Allana, whom Solo was using as political leverage over the Hapes Consortium. After the infiltration team successfully penetrated the Anakin Solo's defenses, Rakehell Squadron was assigned to draw off Galactic Alliance fighters and provide cover for the infiltration of another Jedi strike team onto Centerpoint Station aboard a second shuttle, Broadside. This second team's objective was to destroy the station. Rakehell Squadron proved very effective in battle, managing to shoot down two members of the elite Galactic Alliance unit Rogue Squadron and successfully completed all of its objectives, albeit at significant attrition rates. After covering the exfiltration of the intrusion team and Allana on the Millennium Falcon, Rakehell Squadron withdrew to a space station near Gyndine.
- "The general came here to make an official request by the GA government that the Jedi Order return to the Galactic Alliance fold, as is our sworn duty."
- ―Luke Skywalker
Rakehell Squadron was an impromptu unit formed by Wedge Antilles in response to a planned Jedi strike on Centerpoint Station. After the Jedi Order had split from the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances over Jacen Solo's fall to the dark side of the Force and Sith status, Galactic Alliance co-Chief of State Cha Niathal had seen the Confederation achieve near-parity with the Galactic Alliance militarily. While the balance of power in the war had been against the separatist Confederation early in the war, several losses and the departure of the Jedi Order had weakened the Galactic Alliance. Niathal had grown less and less confident in the abilities and judgment of Solo and wanted to hasten the end of the Second Galactic Civil War. Knowing that returning the Jedi Order to the fold would greatly enhance her ability to end the war and also knowing that co-Chief of State Jacen Solo had broken the ties with and set the Galactic Alliance against the Jedi in the first place, Niathal discreetly dispatched General Tycho Celchu to make contact with the Jedi Order in exile.
Celchu, accompanied by his aides, scientist Toval Seyah and starfighter pilot Syal Antilles, made contact with the Jedi Order and their affiliates, including Han Solo and Celchu's old squadron leader and Syal's father, Wedge Antilles, on their refuge on the Forest Moon of Endor. Celchu discussed Niathal's request with the head of the Jedi Order, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, after being granted an audience, phrasing his statements in such a way that Niathal's involvement could not be traced back to her should Celchu's mission be compromised, as per Niathal's instructions. Skywalker refused Celchu's request, on the grounds that he refused to place the Jedi subject to Jacen Solo.
Instead, Skywalker stated that the immediate goals of the Jedi were to find a new location for their refuge—Celchu's presence and eventual report would compromise their presence on Endor's moon—recover the kidnapped Allana, the heir of the Hapes Cluster, who was being held prisoner as political and personal leverage over Hapan Queen Mother Tenel Ka, and to destroy Centerpoint Station with the aid of Toval Seyah, an expert on the station, to prevent its use by either the Confederation or Galactic Alliance. The station had been used decades earlier to destroy several stars, and Skywalker wanted it disabled, to prevent it being used as a weapon of war. To gain a team of Jedi entrance to Solo's personal ship, the Imperial II-class Star Destroyer Anakin Solo, Skywalker planned on commandeering Celchu's shuttle for use as an infiltration vehicle—it contained the necessary codes to grant clearance to land in the hangar of the Anakin Solo.
To say the least, Celchu was displeased by this idea, as his duty was first to the Galactic Alliance and he saw little that the Galactic Alliance would gain from the Jedi plan, despite his own personal feelings in favor of the Jedi. However, Wedge Antilles was able to secure his cooperation by pointing an imaginary blaster at Celchu. As Celchu could now justifiably say he was coerced if questioned by his superiors, he agreed to Skywalker's plan. His long ties with many members of the Jedi Order and friendship with Jedi supporters, including Antilles, Solo, and the family of old Rogue Squadron pilot and Jedi Master Corran Horn influenced his decision as well. Celchu furthermore managed to persuade Antilles to let him accompany the Jedi strike team in a starfighter as a means of returning him to the Galactic Alliance. Also, Celchu appointed Syal Antilles as the official diplomatic liaison from the Galactic Alliance to the Jedi Order, allowing her freedom from the same oaths of duty that constrained him from fully working with Antilles and the Jedi. With that matter settled, Skywalker planned to have Antilles raise a squadron of starfighters to chase Celchu's shuttle and the infiltration team it would contain into the Anakin Solo and then provide assistance in the mission to destroy Centerpoint Station.
Antilles carried out his orders, forming Rakehell Squadron out of a combination of personal friends, members of the Jedi Order, and his own daughter Syal Antilles. The squadron, supplied with T-65 X-Wing starfighters by the Jedi Order, was initially stationed on the pleasure ship and converted Imperial-class Star Destroyer Errant Venture until word came that Jacen Solo was leading an assault fleet to the Corellian system. The time had come for Skywalker and Antilles to make their play.
Launching from a point two light years outside of the Corellian system, Rakehell Squadron made a short jump through hyperspace, escorting a pair of shuttles. The first, Reveille, was to be chased into the Galactic Alliance fleet by the Rakehells to allow its passengers, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Leia Organa Solo, Jedi Master Saba Sebatyne, Ben Skywalker, Iella Wessiri Antilles, and R2-D2 to infiltrate Jacen Solo's flagship and rescue Allana. The second shuttle, Broadside, would carry another force of Jedi including Kyp Durron, Jaden Korr, Valin Horn, and Doctor Seyah, all disguised as Galactic Alliance Guard troopers, to Centerpoint Station for their attempt to destroy the superweapon.
Battle of Centerpoint StationEdit
- "Rakehell Leader to squadron. Break by wing pairs whenever you feel like it—or when I say break."
- ―Wedge Antilles
As they approached the scene of the battle, where Confederation forces were already engaging the Galactic Alliance, the members of Rakehell Squadron, or "Rakes," began pursuing Reveille, but were firing to barely miss the craft, creating an illusion of pursuit to reinforce the idea that Reveille was friendly to Galactic Alliance forces. Flying as Rakehell Three, Tycho Celchu agreed to fly on the run towards the Anakin Solo as part of the squadron, but refrained from firing. Also, his communications board was slaved to Antilles', preventing him from providing the Galactic Alliance with information on the squadron's plans. Furthermore, Reveille was broadcasting its proper registration as a Galactic Alliance vessel, as Iella Wessiri Antilles had already sliced the password out of its computer.
As the shuttle and the starfighters harrowing it approached the Anakin Solo, the Galactic Alliance Star Destroyer opened fire on them. The members of Rakehell Squadron went defensive, evading the fire, but Tycho Celchu took advantage of the confusion to discreetly inform Syal Antilles that he was going to make a break for the Star Destroyer's hangar bay. He also ordered her not to follow him. Following Reveille in as the other Rakehells broke off, Celchu was able to evade the Galactic Alliance fire and land safely inside its hangar, intent on alerting the security forces gathered there of the danger posed by the Jedi inside Reveille. However, as he was exiting his cockpit, he was shot by a trigger-happy security guard, allowing the Jedi to exit their vessel with the element of surprise intact. Celchu would later recover and continue in Galactic Alliance service, despite his own personal misgivings.
Following their successful mock pursuit of Reveille, Wedge Antilles directed Rakehell Squadron to commence a similar routine, this time on Broadside. However, while they were chasing Broadside, Rakehell Squadron found itself opposed by Galactic Alliance starfighters, and not just any unit. As they approached Centerpoint Station, the Rakehells found themselves entangled with Rogue Squadron, the elite starfighter squadron dating back to the Galactic Civil War that had also been founded and commanded by Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles. The two squadrons clashed in a duel prolonged by the high levels of skill present in the members of both squadrons. Initially, the Rakehells, particularly Wedge and Syal Antilles, tried to avoid destroying the starfighters of their opponents, but as the engagement continued, they had no choice. Even glancing shots intended to damage the Rogues were insufficient to stop the famous squadron and Rakehell casualties were mounting. In the midst of battle, the senior Antilles noted that while at least two Rogues, including Rogue Leader, a Duros named Lensi, had been killed, the Rakehells had suffered losses of their own. Rakehell Six, Twool, had been killed and Rakehell Eight, Cheriss ke Hanadi, was either dead or extravehicular. Additionally, Sanola Ti, flying as Rakehell Two, had also sustained damage to her starfighter and Antilles ordered her to withdraw from the engagement zone. With Celchu having returned to the Galactic Alliance, the Rakehells had only eight pilots remaining in the engagement zone. However, Broadside had safely docked with Centerpoint Station and disembarked its group of saboteurs, who were successful in initiating the destruction of the station.
The arrival of a Commenori task force to the battle in support of the Corellians had diverted the attention of the Galactic Alliance and drew the Rogues and other starfighter units away from the Rakehells, whose intentions the Galactic Alliance forces had been unable to ascertain. Seyah, Durron, and the other Centerpoint saboteurs withdrew on Broadside from the doomed station. Meanwhile, the Jedi aboard the Anakin Solo had successfully retrieved Allana. Knowing that they could not retreat back on Reveille, Luke Skywalker had arranged for Jagged Fel, Kyle Katarn, and C-3PO aboard the Millennium Falcon to provide extraction for the intrusion team aboard the Anakin Solo. As the Millennium Falcon approached the Anakin Solo, the Rakehells were tasked with providing cover for the freighter.
Opening fire with laser cannons and proton torpedoes, the Rakehells were successful in diverting the Anakin Solo's fire from the Millennium Falcon and the intrusion team was successfully evacuated, one step ahead of an enraged Jacen Solo, who ordered his gunners to use tractor beams to capture the freighter. However, they were unable to do so in time and the Millennium Falcon, Broadside, and the Rakehells escaped to hyperspace. Just before they left, the Rakehells observed the detonation of Centerpoint Station, which obliterated both the Corellian/Commenori fleets and the Galactic Alliance flotilla, except the Anakin Solo, and brought the battle to an abrupt halt.
Leaving the Corellian system, the Rakehells and the ships they were escorting next stopped at an orbital station near Gyndine owned by Tendrando Arms. As the owners of Tendrando, Lando Calrissian and Tendra Risant Calrissian were sympathetic to the Jedi, there was no issue with the use of the facility. At that point, the squadron was dissolved, with the Jedi returning to their base on Endor.
As were most standard starfighter squadrons of that era, Rakehell Squadron was composed of twelve members, which were divided into three flights of four starfighters each, labeled One Flight, Two Flight, and Three Flight. This was the same organization employed by Antilles in previous commands such as Rogue Squadron and Wraith Squadron. In combat against the Galactic Alliance, the squadron members broke by wing pairs, with each pair of Rakehells sticking together to provide cover for his or her wingmate, another standard practice among starfighter units.
The equipment employed by Rakehell Squadron was supplied by the considerable resources of the Jedi Order, which was the equivalent to a sizable paramilitary force. The X-Wing starfighter, variants of which were in use as early as forty years earlier, a stable workhorse of the Rebel Alliance, New Republic, and Galactic Alliance starfighter corps, as well as being the preferred spacecraft of the elite Rogue Squadron for years, was the vehicle of choice for Rakehell Squadron.
Two of the Rakehell Squadron X-Wings, flown respectively by Tycho Celchu and Syal Antilles, received special modifications to their communications equipment. As they were both officers of the Galactic Alliance military, their first duty would have been to report the efforts of the Jedi Order to the Galactic Alliance. By slaving their communications equipment to his until any warning Celchu or the younger Antilles provided would be belated, Wedge Antilles removed this obstacle to their participation in the squadron's actions. Also, both Celchu and Syal Antilles willingly joined in the Rakehells and Syal even destroyed a member of Rogue Squadron after Celchu released her from her Galactic Alliance obligations.
The members of Rakehell Squadron came from many different backgrounds. Most of them were former or current members of the New Republic or Galactic Alliance military. Five of them were Jedi. All of them were already veteran starfighter pilots. Their combined experience and talent made them a group comprising some the best starfighter pilots of their era, even if they had never flown together as a group prior to their first engagement.
A famed Corellian starfighter pilot, Wedge Antilles was Rakehell Leader, the leader of One Flight, and a veteran of Starfighter Command since the early days of the Rebellion. In addition to being a survivor of the first Death Star run, one of two men to have a claim on destroying the second Death Star, a founding member and later commander of the famed Rogue Squadron, Antilles had also flown in starfighters during the Yuuzhan Vong War with considerable success, despite having been promoted to a command-level rank. With kills numbering in the dozens, Antilles was described as the best starfighter pilot alive and was also a formidable trainer, having trained at least three of the pilots in Rakehell Squadron personally. By the end of his service with the Galactic Alliance, Antilles had attained the rank of general. Although retired at the start of the Confederation-Galactic Alliance War, Antilles soon found himself embroiled in the hostilities after escaping Galactic Alliance custody. He served as the head of the Corellian military for awhile, but an effort to remove him, followed by an assassination attempt, caused him to side with the Jedi Order, which also later withdrew from the Galactic Alliance. During the Battle of Centerpoint Station, Antilles directed the Rakehells in their missions, but also flew in combat, shooting down Rogue Leader Lensi. He survived the Battle of Centerpoint Station.
Sanola Ti, a Dathomiri Jedi Knight, flew in Rakehell Squadron as Rakehell Two. Part of Luke Skywalker's New Jedi Order, Ti was the niece of famed Jedi Knight Kirana Ti and inherited her relative's skill in a starfighter, despite her youth compared to the other members of Rakehell Squadron. Sanola Ti survived Rakehell Squadron's participation in the Battle of Centerpoint Station, though her starfighter sustained damage and she was ordered out of the battle zone early by Wedge Antilles.
Tycho Celchu carried the designation Rakehell Three during his tenure in Rakehell Squadron. A native of Alderaan, Celchu originally flew for the Empire before the destruction of Alderaan convinced him to defect to the Rebel Alliance. Celchu went on to become an accomplished Rebel pilot in his own right, flying with Rogue Squadron along luminaries such as Wedge Antilles. He even survived the attack run on the second Death Star during the Battle of Endor. Later, Celchu became the commander of Rogue Squadron for many years, serving the Rebel Alliance and New Republic throughout the Galactic Civil War. Shortly before the war's conclusion, Celchu retired from military service after years in the starfighter cockpit, marrying his love and fellow Alderaanian, Winter Celchu. Celchu would later return to service during the Yuuzhan Vong War as a colonel. Though his wife wished him to retire again after the Yuuzhan Vong War, Celchu was again in active Galactic Alliance service during the Confederation-Galactic Alliance War, then ranked as a general. When Chief of State Cha Niathal wished to discreetly discuss the potential return of the Jedi Order to the Galactic Alliance, she dispatched Celchu to meet with his old friend and commander Wedge Antilles, who had been aiding the Jedi, as well as Luke Skywalker. Through a series of events that included Skywalker promising to return the Jedi to the Galactic Alliance after Jacen Solo had been dealt with, Celchu volunteered to fly in Rakehell Squadron, although his duty as a Galactic Alliance officer required Antilles to disable his communications to prevent Celchu from notifying his superiors about the Jedi plan for the Battle of Centerpoint Station. Celchu's participation in the battle saw him land his X-Wing in the Anakin Solo's hangar safely, though an over-reacting security guard shot him in the chest, injuring him.
Syal Antilles, who flew as Rakehell Four, was the daughter of Wedge Antilles and Iella Wessiri Antilles. Antilles was part of the Galactic Alliance military when the Confederation-Galactic Alliance War broke out, even flying against her father briefly in the Blockade of Corellia and Battle of Tralus. Trained by Tycho Celchu and Wedge Antilles, Syal was already an accomplished pilot in her own right, though it had been some time since she had flown an X-Wing as of the Battle of Centerpoint Station. Released from her duties to the Galactic Alliance by her superior, Tycho Celchu, Antilles was free to participate in completing Rakehell's objectives, though the course of the battle saw her destroy a member of Rogue Squadron, an act that she rued. Syal Antilles survived the Battle of Centerpoint Station.
Corran Horn was a Corellian starfighter pilot and Jedi Master who flew as Rakehell Five. Due to his experience, Wedge Antilles placed him in charge of Two Flight. During the Galactic Civil War, Horn was already a skilled starfighter pilot when he joined the Rebellion and he was soon accepted into Rogue Squadron, where he trained and flew under the likes of Wedge Antilles and Tycho Celchu. He soon became one of the most famed members of the squadron, though he temporarily left to pursue Jedi training, the cause of his later complete resignation from the military. The Yuuzhan Vong War saw Horn again on the front lines of battle, participating in actions such as the Battle of Ithor and the Second Battle of Borleias; the latter battle saw him once again fly as a member of Rogue Squadron. Horn returned to the Jedi Order full-time after the Yuuzhan Vong were defeated, and became one of the leading Masters of the Order. Corran Horn survived the Battle of Centerpoint Station.
Twool was a male Rodian Jedi Knight who was assigned the position of Rakehell Six. Twool's X-Wing had been refitted with enhanced sensors for an earlier mission and these modifications were carried over to the Battle of Centerpoint Station. However, Twool perished in combat against Rogue Squadron during Rakehell's approach on Centerpoint Station.
Tyria Sarkin TainerEdit
Tyria Sarkin Tainer, Rakehell Seven, was a native of Toprawa and a founding member of Wraith Squadron, serving under Wedge Antilles as both a commando and an X-Wing pilot. During her time with the Wraiths, Tyria Sarkin Tainer fell in love with and married fellow Wraith Kell Tainer. While she had been aware of her mild Force-sensitivity prior to her service in the New Republic military, Tainer later resigned from service to pursue Jedi training, like Corran Horn. Unlike Horn, though, she followed the path of the Jedi on her own, until Luke Skywalker eventually confirmed her as a full-fledged Knight prior to the Yuuzhan Vong War. Tainer survived the Battle of Centerpoint Station.
Cheriss ke HanadiEdit
Cheriss ke Hanadi was a female Adumari whom Wedge Antilles met during the New Republic's inaugural diplomatic mission to Adumar in 13 ABY. She later joined the New Republic and became a member of Starfighter Command. Her skills with a blastsword and vibroblade eventually earned her a position as head vibroblade instructor for all of Starfighter Command at one point, though she later retired from the service. In 40 ABY, Cheriss ke Hanadi joined Wedge Antilles as part of Rakehell Squadron, flying as Rakehell Eight. As of the Battle of Centerpoint Station, ke Hanadi was forced to go extravehicular during a dogfight with Rogue Squadron, though she is known to have survived the battle.
Jaina Solo, flying as Rakehell Nine and the leader of Three Flight, was a Jedi Knight and starfighter pilot. The daughter of Han and Leia Organa Solo, Jaina Solo was already trained in the Jedi arts and flying in combat against the Yuuzhan Vong at the young age of sixteen. The war saw her rack up an impressive amount of kills, and she earned the label of Sword of the Jedi for her role on the front lines. Solo had prior command experience, both of Twin Suns Squadron during the Yuuzhan Vong War and her last position in the Galactic Alliance military as Rogue Leader. Leaving the military in 40 ABY over a conflict with her twin brother, Jacen Solo, Jaina returned to the Jedi Order full-time and aided in the pursuit of renegade Dark Jedi Alema Rar. Jaina Solo survived the Battle of Centerpoint Station.
Zekk was a Human male Jedi Knight who flew as Rakehell Ten. A childhood friend of Jaina Solo, Zekk was once a Dark Jedi before Solo helped redeem him. Since then, he served in the Jedi Order, including during the Yuuzhan Vong War, which saw him in frequent battle against the extragalactic invaders. After the end of the war, he was one of the Jedi who participated in the Swarm War after he, Jaina Solo, and several others became joined with the Killik hives, but later recovered and became unjoined. After Jaina Solo's return to the Jedi Order following her departure from the Galactic Alliance military, Zekk, Solo, and Jagged Fel were sent on a prolonged mission to hunt down Alema Rar, whom Fel eventually slew. Shortly after their return, Zekk became part of Rakehell Squadron, participating in and surviving the Battle of Centerpoint Station.
Volu Nyth was a female Human from Kuat and Rakehell Eleven who flew with Rogue Squadron during the Yuuzhan Vong War. Her involvement included flying in the Battle of Borleias, though she retired after the war. However, Nyth joined Rakehell Squadron after its formation by Wedge Antilles and flew in the Battle of Centerpoint Station, surviving her role in that clash.
Wes Janson, a Human male from Taanab, answered to the callsign of Rakehell Twelve. A veteran of Starfighter Command and a peer of Wedge Antilles and Tycho Celchu, Janson also served a brief stint as the executive officer of Wraith Squadron. However, much of his military career was spent in Rogue Squadron. Janson flew as part of the Rogues until the end of the Galactic Civil War, after which he retired, only to re-emerge during the Yuuzhan Vong War, like several of his contemporaries. Once again retired until Wedge Antilles put out the call for Rakehell Squadron, Janson enrolled in the unit, bringing his famous wit with him, and flew in the Battle of Centerpoint Station, which he survived.
Behind the scenesEdit
Rakehell Squadron was created by Aaron Allston for his third book in the Legacy of the Force series, Legacy of the Force: Fury. The exact fate of the squadron is not given following the Battle of Centerpoint Station.
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 1.40 1.41 1.42 1.43 1.44 1.45 1.46 1.47 1.48 1.49 1.50 1.51 1.52 1.53 1.54 1.55 1.56 1.57 1.58 1.59 1.60 1.61 Legacy of the Force: Fury
- ↑ The New Essential Chronology
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 X-Wing: Rogue Squadron
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 X-Wing: Wraith Squadron
- ↑ I, Jedi
- ↑ Star Wars: Empire at War
- ↑ The New Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Legacy of the Force: Betrayal
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 The New Essential Guide to Characters
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 The New Jedi Order: Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand
- ↑ Legacy of the Force: Exile
- ↑ Legacy of the Force: Inferno
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 The New Jedi Order: Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 X-Wing: Starfighters of Adumar
- ↑ Fate of the Jedi: Outcast
- ↑ Legacy of the Force: Bloodlines
- ↑ Dark Nest III: The Swarm War
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 Vision of the Future