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- "People love the X-wing pilots because they think of them as the great fighters of the Rebellion. See? People haven't forgotten the war. It's just that it was all so very long ago."
- ―Senator Varish Vicly
T-65B X-wing starfighter was a single-seat craft manufactured by Incom Corporation and used by the Alliance to Restore the Republic during the Galactic Civil War. Renowned for its speed and maneuverability in battle, it became the backbone of the Rebel Alliance Starfighter Corps and was more powerful than its main adversary—the mass produced TIE/LN starfighter.
T-65B X-wing starfighters were manufactured by Incom Corporation. They had two pairs of wing-like strike foils, or S-foils, mounted at the rear of the craft on opposite sides. Normally, the foils on each side locked in place flush against each other; during combat, however, the foils were folded out. This gave the craft its distinctive "X"-like appearance when viewed from the front or rear. The S-foils were controlled by an S-foil servo actuator located in the back of the starfighter.
The craft was armed with four Taim & Bak KX9 laser cannons ( ), placed at the tip of each wing. Two Krupx MG7 proton torpedo launchers were located in grooves near the middle of the underside of the fuselage on either side of the T-65B. Four 4L4 fusial thrust engines were attached to the wings of the the T-65B, next to the fuselage. The X-wing itself was powered by a Novaldex 04-Z cryogenic power generator located in the center of the ship.
The single pilot sat in the cockpit, in the center of the fuselage, protected by a transparisteel canopy. The astromech droid had a socket near the engines and assisted with both repairs and calculations. In the cockpit, the pilot had access to the flight controls and a targeting computer. The T-65's sensor systems were located inside the X-wing's nose cone. The sensor system, a Carbanti transceiver package, was made up of a Fabritech ANs-5d "lock track" full-spectrum transceiver, a Melihat "Multi Imager" dedicated energy receptor, and a Tana Ire Electro-photo receptor.
Those highly maneuverable fighters measured 12.5 meters in length, with a mass of 10 metric tons Under the X-wing was a cargo compartment. They were equipped with a long-range hyperdrive system and shields which could be adjusted around the craft with the help of a Chepat "Defender" deflector shield projector and a Deflector shield generator. Painted stripes on the rear of the S-foils identified each craft.
The T-65B X-wing starfighter was envisioned by its designers as a fighter with both the speed and power to take on Imperial Star Destroyers, ultimately delivering on both promises. It managed not only to become the backbone of the Rebel Alliance Starfighter Corps, but incorporated lessons learned in assessing the performance of Clone Wars–era winged starfighters, such as the popular Z-95 Headhunter and the powerful ARC-170 starfighter.
The Rebel Alliance used the X-wing extensively during the Galactic Civil War against the Galactic Empire. While X-wing starfighters remained in public use, they eventually became solely affiliated with the Rebellion. Constantly hiding from Imperial detection, the Rebellion was forced to build its T-65B's in hidden drydocks and hangars, far from the prying eyes of Imperial spies.
A squadron was kept at their hidden fortress on Yavin 4. During the Battle of Yavin, Luke Skywalker was assigned to an X-wing for the battle, the goal of which was to destroy the Empire's approaching Death Star. Although many of the X-wing pilots were killed, Skywalker was able to launch his proton torpedoes into the battlestation's exhaust port, causing a chain reaction and destroying it. Wedge Antilles was the only other X-wing pilot who survived.
Shortly after the Battle of Yavin, the mercenary Saponza and his partner were involved in training X-wing pilots. They used a specially-modified astromech droid in order to draw out womp rats, and a team of 20 X-wings were deployed to test their skills.
The Rebels also brought X-wings to their new headquarters, Echo Base on Hoth. They were launched during the Empire's invasion of the base to protect the escaping transports. Then-rookie pilot Adon Fox was the sole X-wing pilot assigned to protect his wife's transport, but it did not make it past the Imperial blockade. After escaping, Skywalker avoided the rendezvous point to visit with Jedi Master Yoda. He then took his X-wing to Cloud City to rescue his comrades.
For the climactic Battle of Endor, the Rebel Alliance assembled their entire fleet for the assault on the Death Star II. X-wings were assigned to Red Squadron for the battle under the command of Wedge Antilles. Although several X-wings were destroyed, Antilles used his fighter to destroy the battlestation's power regulator, contributing to its destruction.
In the years following the destruction of the Galactic Empire, newer X-wing models such as the T-70 X-wing fighter would eventually fall into the hands of the Resistance, such as the T-85 X-wing, would see use in the New Republic Defense Fleet.
Known T-65B X-wing crewmembersEdit
- Wedge Antilles
- John D. Branon
- The Contessa
- Biggs Darklighter
- Garven Dreis
- Grizz Frix
- Kendy Idele
- Thane Kyrell
- Theron Nett
- Jek Tono Porkins
- Keir Santage
- Luke Skywalker
Behind the scenesEdit
The X-wing appears in the original trilogy. The sound for it was generated by a passing artillery shell. The concept art designed by Ralph McQuarrie for the X-Wing shows the two engines split into four smaller engines on each wing when S-foils are open. This design was later used for the Z-95 Headhunter.
Originally, Red Squadron was going to be named Blue Squadron. However, the limits of blue-screen technology in the late 1970s caused problems for the blue markings, so the squadron name and color was changed. The original designation was retained for the A New Hope novelization. The first X-wing model was built in 1975 by Lorne Peterson, Grant McCune, and Steve Gawley as Blue One before the squadron name was changed. This model was later repainted as Red Two.
Several models, including both "hero" and "pyro" models (simpler casts taken from the "hero" X-wings and rigged to be blown up for effects shots) were built by ILM for the original film. Between the two types, at least eight of Red Squadron's X-wings were represented: Red One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, and Twelve have all been confirmed, with the eighth unidentified. Red Four and Six were pyro models destroyed during filming, while only the wings of Red Five have survived. The only model known to remain intact today is the hero model for Red Three, and the fates of the others are unknown.
Despite the number of models built, they were ultimately used in effects shots with little regards to continuity (such as Red One appearing in the trench with Red Five). When the effects teams on the Special Editions later created new footage for the Battle of Yavin using CGI, only two different sets of markings were recreated—those of Red Two and Five—and applied to all X-wings in the revised battle scenes.
For the Star Wars Anthology Series film Rogue One , the X-wings at the Rebel base were realized by a combination of full-size props and cutouts, similar to the fighters in the original Star Wars film.
A new version of the X-wing, known as the T-70 X-wing fighter, appears in Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens. With its wings closed, the craft looks much closer to Ralph McQuarrie's original concept sketches than the effects models from the final films. However, the wings on this version scissor open along the span rather than split across the chord as in the original design, resulting in distinct forward and aft wings, with the forward lower wings being somewhat narrower in chord than the aft upper wings.
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