Shadow Squadron was an Imperial starfighter squadron that was formed after the fall of the Galactic Republic. Its ranks consisted of former valorous clone trooper pilots that had devolved into ruthless Imperial enforcers as the evil Galactic Empire was born. Shadow Squadron modified their V-wing and ARC-170 starfighters to serve the Emperor's new and more sinister cause, being specially tasked to hunt down pro-Republic remnants after the Clone Wars.
Shadow Squadron pilots flew Alpha-3 Nimbus-class V-wing starfighters and ARC-170 starfighter/bombers that were colored light-gray with dark-gray markings and stripes. The squadron pilots wore armor that matched the dark color scheme of their vessels.
Shadow Squadron pilots were normally equipped with DC-15Ss, and usually carried astromech droids specially programmed for navigational support and starfighter repair. ARC-170 pilots used R4-series astromech droids while V-wing pilots were accompanied with spherical Q7-series astromechs for navigation and in-flight maintenance.
With the introduction of Phase II pilot armor in 19 BBY, Shadow Squadron pilots used helmets that were open-faced. Their flight suit was mainly black and the helmet was black marked with a silver stripe as well as the new Imperial insignia in place of the symbol of the Republic. Their chest plates were fitted with forced-ox rebreathers in case of severe damage to their vessel.
After the emergence of the Galactic Empire, war planners determined that a new start was needed for naval fighter craft. Slow, heavy starfighters were de-emphasized in favor of faster and more numerous single-seat strike craft. Since the V-wing was already in limited production, it was given priority. Vast numbers of this dangerous craft were subsequently produced in a short period of time. Shadow Squadron's V-wings had the speed, blasters, and maneuverability to make them formidable weapons. Additionally, they were painted light-gray with dark-gray markings and stripes, and the cockpit canopies were specially tinted to remove combat glare, thereby allowing for open-faced helmets that were clear for ease of instrument viewing.
ARC-170s were originally designed and developed by the Republic for assault and recon operations against Separatist forces. Built for endurance rather than speed and maneuverability, the heavy combat fighter/bombers were being phased out for more nimble starfighters with the rise of the new Galactic Empire. Shadow Squadron continued to use the heavy craft for their role in the Empire, modifying and customizing them further than the standard laser cannons and proton torpedoes in order to aid in the hunt for Imperial dissidents and pro-Republic sympathizers. Shadow Squadron's ARC-170s were likewise redecorated and redesigned with light-gray paint and dark-gray markings and tinted canopies as the squadron's V-wings were.
Behind the scenesEdit
In 2009, Hasbro released their Shadow Squadron 3-3/4" ARC-170 and V-wing starfighter vehicles and action figure based on the Star Wars: Dark Times comic story arc Star Wars: Dark Times: The Path to Nowhere, particularly issues 1 and 2.
A V-wing fighter resembling those of Shadow Squadron was released as a LEGO set in 2011 under the name "Imperial V-wing Starfighter". The set features an Imperial pilot, with special black and grey printing, and R2-Q2 as included figures. The fighter itself features Imperial roundels and black-and-gray colors.
- Dark Times 1: The Path to Nowhere, Part 1 (First pictured)
- Dark Times 2: The Path to Nowhere, Part 2
- (First identified as Shadow Squadron (Galactic Empire))
- V-Wing Starfighter: Imperial (Toys "R" Us exclusive)