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Razor Squadron was one of the Elite Galactic Republic squadrons that was active during the Clone Wars, and typically flew Low Altitude Assault Transport/infantry gunships and customized Aggressive ReConnaissance-170 starfighters on special ops missions from Coruscant to Nelvaan, Geonosis, and Cato Neimoidia.
Razor Squadron flew both ARC-170 starfighters and LAAT/i gunships for elite roles in campaigns during the Clone Wars. Using the ARC-170 in its dual role as both heavy starfighter and bomber, Razor Squadron pilots tended to fly their vessels more aggressively than their standard clone counterparts in Red Squadron, Blue Squadron, and even Captain Davijaan's Squad Seven. Each vessel carried a three-man crew—a pilot, a co-pilot, and gunner—and an R-series astromech droid. As an elite surgical strike and recon force using advanced hit-and-run tactics against large enemy targets and facilities, Razor Squadron's focus was more on delivering greater and more intense fire-power and less on strengthening defensive systems. Similarly, their ships were configured to provide more power to their weapons. Additionally, ARC-170s were fitted with heavy armor plating and sensor jammers. Another ARC Elite Squad, Bull's Eye Squadron, bore the same style squadron art (with the exception of it being red instead of blue) and used vessels equally suited for both long-range patrols and aggressive assault missions. Razor Squadron's craft were further modified to provide more power to shields and also boasted a class 1.5 hyperdrive due to the fact that their infiltration/recon missions often lead them deeper into enemy territory. Armaments on ARC-170s included two forward-mounted medium laser cannons, two rear-mounted laser cannons, and a proton torpedo launcher.
A small number of the Republic Starfleet's vessels were crewed by squads of elite clone troopers, select clones that were chosen to serve as elite troopers and put through an intense training program that included advanced survival and gunnery skills. These clones were then commissioned to go deep into enemy territory on the most dangerous scouting missions and raids. Based on Coruscant, Razor Squadron itself was an Aggressive ReConnaissance Elite Squadron organized to fit such dangerous mission profiles. The squadron included specially trained attack and recon vessel clone trooper pilots, equally skilled clone commandos, and on-board specialized astromech droids to handle in-flight operations.
These squads underwent advanced "aggressive reconnaissance" training, as taught by Advanced Recon Commandos, to equip them with the skills necessary to survive the varied and treacherous mission profiles to which they were assigned. The elite squads of Razor Squadron served with distinction during the Outer Rim Sieges, providing crucial intelligence and support during campaigns to such major Separatist homeworlds as Nelvaan, Cato Neimoidia, and Geonosis.
These specialized troopers were normally equipped with DC-15 blasters whether operating as pilots or commandos. Each squad usually carried an astromech droid specially programmed for navigational support and starfighter repair. These multi-use droids were equipped with a variety of tools to meet almost any need or situation.
When Phase I armor was in use, pilots of Razor Squadron wore specialized enclosed helmets while operating as LAAT/i gunship pilots. These helmets bore the same blue "tiger stripe" markings found on their ships to designate their elite squad affiliation.
With the introduction of Phase II pilot armor in 19 BBY, Razor Squadron pilots used helmets that were open-faced and specialized to remove combat glare. Their chest plates were fitted with forced-ox rebreathers in case of severe damage to their vessel. While the helmets continued to be marked with the squadron's color scheme, the body suit was a medium blue with dark blue chest armor.
Troopers were also fitted with Phase II clone trooper armor bearing the same blue striping, as well as enclosed helmets bearing Jaig eyes in the same stylization as their squadron's vessels. This indicates that Razor troopers were chosen from clones who were capable of distinguishing themselves in battle and receiving awards for particular acts of bravery.
Razor Squadron pilots typically operated a variety of vehicles and vessels, including Low Altitude Assault Transport/infantry gunships. During the later stages of the conflict, Razor Squadron was outfitted with ARC-170 starfighters, which they repainted with blue "tiger-stripe" wing designs and nose art of the rancor. Mirroring the jaig eye motifs the squad used on their helmets, these markings were most likely derived from the Mandalorian shriek-hawk, thereby further displaying their distinction as having acquired elite status. This decorative style was similar in appearance and color to the design on LAAT/i Gunship used by The Muunilinst 10 during a mission led by Commander Fordo to extract Jedi from Hypori early on during the Clone Wars.
Razor Squadron roster Edit
Behind the scenes Edit
In 2008, Hasbro produced a Target exclusive Clone Wars edition of the ARC-170 Starfighter action vehicle and the ARC-170 Elite Squad Battle Pack 3-1/4" action figure set—two pilots, two troopers, and astromech droid R4-C7—for its 30th Anniversary Collection of Star Wars toys. Additionally, Hasbro produced a Clone Trooper/ARC-170 robot for its Star Wars Transformers series in the same paint scheme.
In 2008, with the release of Hasbro's Star Wars: The Legacy Collection series of action figure sets, a Republic gunship pilot in Razor Squadron markings was featured as one of the figures in the Evolutions - Imperial Pilot Legacy pack.
The Clone Wars version of the ARC-170 Starfighter and the ARC-170 Elite Squad are similar in appearance to the blue-painted gunship used by The Muunilinst 10 from episode 21 of the Clone Wars animated series that aired on Cartoon Network on March 21, 2003 after Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones was released in theaters on May 16, 2002.
The WizKids' Imperial PowerUp Pack—a starter set for the Star Wars PocketModels TCG game sold at WalMart and Meijer—featured a coupon offering a Razor Squadron miniature. This is the first mention of the squadrons name, and is coincidental to the commercial use by WalMart of a masked smiley mascot who slashed prices with a razor-sharp sword. This is in line with the red- and white-colored ARC-170 miniature mail-away promotional unit—identified as Bull's Eye Squadron—featured in the version of the game supplement distributed through Target, a store whose logo is a red and white bullseye.
- (First appearance)
- Star Wars PocketModel TCG – Base Set (Card: Razor Squadron ARC-170) (First identified as Razor Squadron)
Notes and ReferencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 - The Latest News and Pictures from the World of Toys - February 2010 Hasbro Star Wars Q&A (Part 2)
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Photo Archive: Evolutions - Imperial Pilot Legacy
- ↑ Star Wars PocketModel TCG – Base Set (Card: Razor Squadron ARC-170)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4
- ↑ 7.0 7.1
- ↑ Contents of Star Wars PocketModels TCG supplemental releases