- "It's like you said: the Death Star had to be stopped. Just as the Empire must be destroyed. If that's going to happen, some of us have to get blood on our hands. We have to be willing to kill, and willing to die. It's not easy and it never will be. But I can tell you this much, Kyrell. It's easier than standing by and doing nothing."
- ―Wedge Antilles, to Thane Kyrell
Wedge Antilles was a renowned human male starfighter pilot from Corellia who served in the Alliance to Restore the Republic and the New Republic during their fight against the Galactic Empire. He became a member of the Rebel Alliance during the Galactic Civil War and fought in several battles of the war. He fought in the Battle of Yavin, where he flew in Red Squadron alongside Luke Skywalker. After Skywalker destroyed the Death Star, he and Antilles were left as the only survivors of Red Squadron.
In the years that followed, Antilles became a respected member of Rogue Squadron, flying as Rogue Three during the Battle of Hoth. Antilles and his gunner aboard an T-47 airspeeder, Wes Janson, became the first duo to successfully destroy one of the All Terrain Armored Transports that were attempting to destroy Echo Base, the Rebel outpost on the planet Hoth. Six months after the evacuation from Hoth, Antilles commanded Red Squadron during the Battle of Endor, and he and General Lando Calrissian destroyed the second Death Star during the battle. The decisive battle led to the death of the Emperor, Darth Sidious, and left the Empire shattered in their defeat.
The Rebel Alliance soon reorganized into the New Republic, and Antilles continued to serve in their war against the Empire. Antilles undertook a lone reconnaissance mission to the planet Akiva, where he was captured while observing a gathering of Imperial forces that were preparing for a counterattack against the Republic.
- "The Empire hurt people close to me. Family. Friends. A girl I loved, once."
- ―Antilles, to Admiral Rae Sloane on why he became a Rebel.
Wedge Antilles hailed from the planet Corellia, where he grew up getting his hands dirty at a fuel depot and working local farms in his spare time, and where he became a pilot and a mechanic. Antilles joined the Alliance to Restore the Republic, not only because the Galactic Empire hurt people close to him—his family, friends, a girl he once loved—but also because he was recruited by a friend, Commander Ahsoka Tano, who operated under the codename of "Fulcrum."
On one of his first missions as a pilot for the Alliance, he crashed an A-wing at the lip of a volcano, a crash that left him limping for months, as his leg had broken in three places. He says that it was at the urging of Fulcrum that he crashed. It almost cut short his career as a Rebel pilot, but he convinced the Alliance leadership to let him work aboard a freighter, where he manned the laser cannons and occasionally worked as a navigator. While in the service of the Rebellion, he became friends with fellow pilots Biggs Darklighter, Jek Porkins, and Derek Klivian.
Galactic Civil WarEdit
- "Look at the size of that thing!"
- ―Wedge Antilles, upon seeing the Death Star for the first time
During the Galactic Civil War, while Antilles was stationed at the Rebel base on Yavin 4, the Rebel Alliance stole the plans of the Death Star, an Imperial battle station capable of destroying entire planets. With the plans brought to the base by Princess Leia Organa and her companions on the Millennium Falcon, Antilles was tasked to oversee a simulation test for their new recruit, Luke Skywalker. He explained the test to the newcomer, and noting that Skywalker had lasted over 30 seconds on his first try, Antilles advised him to listen, and encouraged not to give up. In his second try, Skywalker surpassed Antilles' highest score, and Antilles joked that should Skywalker write an autobiography, he should write 'I owe everything to Wedge Antilles', when Skywalker told it was only because Antilles had helped him.
With the Death Star approaching, its readouts were analyzed, and Antilles attended a briefing by General Jan Dodonna in which Dodonna overviewed the plan of attack. It involved starfighters assaulting the Death Star and firing a proton torpedo into a two-meter-wide thermal exhaust port. Antilles expressed skepticism that they could hit a target that small, but Skywalker told him that he often was able to shoot similarly-sized womp rats on his homeworld of Tatooine, to encourage the other pilots.
A member of Red Squadron, Antilles flew a T-65B X-wing starfighter under the callsign Red Two when the Alliance launched the Battle of Yavin. With only fifteen minutes to spare, Antilles destroyed a number of enemy targets but, in the process, lost his friend Porkins to enemy fire. When Skywalker was unable to shake a TIE/LN starfighter that pursued him, Antilles destroyed the TIE fighter and saved the rookie pilot.
As Red Leader Garven Dreis failed in his attempt to fire a torpedo into the reactor shaft and was killed by Darth Vader on his TIE Advanced x1, Antilles joined Skywalker and Darklighter in a trench run, covering Skywalker on the lead. Darklighter was killed and Antilles was forced to pull out after his fighter was damaged, apologizing before leaving Skywalker to fire the shot that destroyed the Death Star—with help from the timely arrival of the Millennium Falcon, piloted by Skywalker's friends Han Solo and Chewbacca. With only four remaning ships returning victorious to Yavin, Antilles and Skywalker were the only two of twelve Red Squadron members to survive the assault.
After the battle ended, the Alliance began evacuating the planet, as the Empire knew of their location and were sure to retaliate as a result of the Death Star's destruction. During the evacuation, Princess Organa joined with Rebel pilot Evaan Verlaine and Skywalker's astromech droid, R2-D2, to undertake a mission to rescue and unite the Alderaanians who survived the destruction of Alderaan. The trio stole a shuttle from the Rebel base, leaving on their mission in defiance of General Dodonna's orders. Antilles and Skywalker were sent to intercept the shuttle and return the escaping Rebels to the Great Temple, but Verlaine, who piloted the shuttle, outmaneuvered the two X-wing pilots and the shuttle jumped into hyperspace. Organa went on to successfully complete her mission.
- "You know, for just an hour I'd like to know what it's like to fly with the Force watching my back."
"It's almost as good as having you watching my back."
- ―Wedge Antilles and Luke Skywalker
Newly-appointed Red Leader Commander Narra asked Antilles and Skywalker to continue to fly with Red Squadron, while making it clear that neither of them should expect special treatment for surviving an encounter with the Death Star, even if they did destroy it, and the two accepted. After numerous missions alongside Skywalker and earning each other's complete trust, Antilles assisted on a mission for Red Squadron above Giju, under the designation Red Three. Antilles, Skywalker and Narra escorted a transport carrying underground rebel leaders being evacuated from the planet.
Once the package was clear and calculating its jump into hyperspace, the three followed the scatter protocol to meet at the rendezvous point, Devaron, at 2300 hours. As he arrived, he attached his X-wing to a freighter at a refueling station. Antilles soon met with Skywalker, who was then sent with his two faithful droids, C-3PO and R2-D2, and the Y 4 on a mission for Chancellor Mon Mothma; Antilles wished him good luck before parting ways.
Eighteen months after the Battle of Yavin, Antilles as a Lieutenant Commander led a mercy mission to Oulanne. Alongside other Rebel pilots, they delivered a substantial haul of medical supplies and emergency rations after a massive earthquake had devastated part of its megacontinent a month before. Upon learning that the Mighty Oak Apocalypse on behalf of off-world Oulannists had come to their aid as well, Antilles and his fellow pilots helped them distribute the supplies after a megahurricane. Impressed by the Moa’s pilot Thane Kyrell, Antilles asked Kyrell if he had done other mercy runs (which he had) and asked him to speak with him in private after they had finished unloading the crates.
During their conversation, although Kyrell revealed he was an ex-Imperial pilot, Antilles asked him to join the Rebellion. Kyrell initially refused, but after a few hours, some Corellian ale and a talk with his employer Lohgarra, he accepted Antilles' invitation.
- "Whoa! That got him!"
- ―Antilles, after destroying a downed All Terrain Armored Transport
Three years after the Battle of Yavin, Antilles was assigned to Echo Base on the ice planet Hoth, where he served alongside Skywalker as a veteran member of Rogue Squadron, which he fought with in a number of battles during the war. The base, however, was soon discovered by an Imperial probe droid and assaulted by Imperial forces, prompting the entire Rogue Squadron to engage the All Terrain Armored Transports, which approached the base in order to destroy its energy shield and allow Imperial forces to land.
Led by Skywalker, the squadron flew T-47 airspeeders and Antilles, as Rogue Three, and his gunner, Wes Janson, attempted to destroy the walkers using conventional laser weaponry, but the AT-AT armor proved too strong for blasters. Skywalker ordered his squadron to begin using tow cables to bring them crashing down, and Antilles and Janson were assigned to the first attempt. Janson shot the tow cable onto one of the AT-ATs while Antilles piloted the snowfighter around the walker, tangling its legs in the cables until the giant vehicle fell onto the snowy battlefield. The crash left its neck exposed, and Antilles fired the shot that hit the weak point and destroyed the AT-AT, becoming the first pilot in the battle to destroy one of the walkers.
The efforts of the Rogue Squadron were ultimately unsuccessful—the AT-ATs destroyed the shield generator, and Imperial forces led by Darth Vader overran Echo Base. As they did so, Antilles and the remaining Rebels escaped the ice world; aboard an X-wing fighter, Antilles, along with Janson and Klivian, helped the last Rebel transport, the Bright Hope, escape Hoth and regroup with the Alliance Fleet at a rendezvous point onboard the MC80 star cruiser Liberty. There, Antilles informed Thane Kyrell of Dak Ralter's death during the Battle of Hoth, after congratulating each other on the walkers they each had taken down. Afterwards, as several vital personnel were missing, General Carlist Rieekan called an emergency conference of the senior officers attached to their portion of the fleet, which Antilles got pulled into.
After becoming the wing commander of Red Squadron, Antilles went to Zastiga, where he met with Skywalker while the Alliance High Command held a top-clearance meeting. He would reunite with Nien Nunb and Skywalker for a discussion of "reconnaissance tactics" about Antilles' refusal to pay the Sullustan a drink after saving him at Hagar Secundus, which he had eluded several times.
In addition to the command of the Red Squadron, Antilles achieved the rank of Commander.
- "Alright, Wedge. Go for the power regulator on the north tower."
"Copy, Gold Leader. I'm already on my way out."
- ―Lando Calrissian and Antilles, as they fired the shots that destroyed the second Death Star
Six months after the Battle of Hoth, Antilles was present at a briefing aboard the Rebel command ship, Home One, in which High Command introduced the plan to destroy the shield generator protecting the Empire's second Death Star and revealed that Emperor Palpatine himself was aboard the Death Star to oversee the final stages of the station's construction. His squadron (as well as Gold and Green Squadrons) was assigned to be part of General Lando Calrissian's strike force to enter the Death Star and destroy it from the inside. For the assault, Antilles appointed Norra Wexley.
Along with the rest of the Alliance Fleet, Antilles and his squadron arrived to the Endor system, only to discover that the deflector shield was still operational. Lured into the Emperor's trap, the Rebel fleet found itself under attack by the Imperial fleet's TIE fighters. After a heads-up from Calrissian, Antilles ordered Red Two Sila Kott and Red Three to pull in, when another two TIEs came in; Antilles then ordered his accompanying fighters to cut to the left, while he took out the TIE leader. At the same time that the Millennium Falcon destroyed two other TIEs, Antilles noticed the remaining three of the group headed for EF76 Nebulon-B escort frigate Redemption. Antilles then knocked out the leader, but not before two X-wings were shot down and the Falcon took a brutal hit to its forward deflectors, and still more TIE fighters bombarded the frigate until the hull started to crack.
It was then that Calrissian ordered all fighter squadrons to accelerate to attack speed and follow him to the encounter of the Super Star Destroyer Executor, in order to draw Imperial fire off their cruisers. Antilles, along with the remainder of the Alliance Starfighter Corps, engaged then a horde of TIE fighters that rushed to meet their attack.
However, General Solo and his strike team managed to destroy the shield generator on the moon below, allowing Antilles, Calrissian and Nunb on the Millennium Falcon, and the remainder of Red and Gold Squadron to enter the superstructure, making their way through a maze in order to reach the reactor core. As Antilles destroyed the power regulators on the north tower, the Falcon destroyed the core itself, setting off a chain reaction that left the two pilots in a race against time. Antilles escaped first, followed closely thereafter by the Millennium Falcon, before the Death Star was consumed by a massive explosion.
After the battle, the Alliance forces headed for the surface of Endor, where they joined Solo, Organa, and their team in Bright Tree Village, the home of the Ewoks who had helped them destroy the shield generator. Rebels and Ewoks alike held a celebration honoring their decisive victory over the Empire, and Antilles was in attendance. He shook hands with Chewbacca and shared a hug with his friend Skywalker, as all of the Rebel forces rejoiced in their victory before setting out on the difficult task to restore the Galactic Republic. For his part, Antilles looked forward to further service with Rogue Squadron.
- "The galaxy is home to good people. There's more of us than there are of you."
"It's not about numbers or percentages. It's about faith. The few of us have infinitely more faith than the many of you."
"I have faith in the New Republic."
"And that faith will be tested."
"Your face will be tested when I kick in your teeth."
- ―Wedge Antilles and Yupe Tashu
Months later, now an agent (and having obtained the rank of Captain) of the New Republic, Antilles believed the Imperial forces had moved to the Outer Rim and told Ackbar and Mothma he had devised a run to find the supply lines that were bolstering the Imperials. On the HH-87 Starhopper Rover, under the alias "Gev Hessan", Antilles set out on a reconnaissance mission that took him to Florrum, Ryloth, Hinari, Abafar, Raydonia and Akiva, where he finally found signs of the Imperial remnant. His false identity was discovered by the Star Destroyer Vigilance, which captured the Rover with a tractor beam. Antilles, however, destroyed his ship once inside the Vigilance, avoiding capture by clambering through ventilation ducts and making his way to the communications room to send a message through the local channel traffic, hoping to find a sympathizer in the world below.
Admiral Rae Sloane found Antilles and had him arrested; she also provided medical attention for him while they descended to the planet below, keeping him sedated during the Imperial Future Council's first meeting. After intermittent torture by Yupe Tashu, Sloane appeared in his cell and asked why Antilles had joined the Empire before leaving him alone. After another confrontation with Tashu, Antilles escaped after Sloane had destroyed part of the palace with one of the turbolaser cannons set up across Myrra, to stop Norra Wexley's assault. Though Antilles discovered a secret passage to escape, he decided to stay; he fought Adea Rite over her holoscreen and sent a summons to war to the Republic channels, before passing out and falling in Sloane's hands again.
Strapped down to a hovering table ushered forward by a pair of stormtroopers and a 2-1B medical droid, the badly-injured Antilles was later transported to the Golden Harp, when he saluted Norra Wexley. Kept in a separate room from everyone else, he was rescued by her son, Temmin, once the ship crash-landed on the Vigilance and brought onto a Lambda-class shuttle to be piloted by Jas Emari. Thanks to them, was brought to Hanna City in Chandrila, where he recovered from his wounds. He met back with Ackbar and Norra Wexley, to whom they awarded a medal and informed of the battle's outcome, only to assign her a new mission—to hunt Imperial war criminals alongside her team from Akiva.
Personality and traitsEdit
- "You have a way with words for just a pilot."
- ―Rae Sloane
Wedge Antilles was a human male with brown hair, brown eyes, and light skin. Through his service to the Rebel Alliance, he garnered the respect of his fellow Rebel fighters. Focused and calm during his flights, he firmly believed that the only way to improve as a pilot was to constantly come up against the impossible and push oneself to the limit; during battles, he would concentrate on keeping his cool and trusting his instincts. Despite his talent and standing among his fellow pilots, Antilles remained approachable and friendly to those around him.
Bitter at the Empire for what it had done to the people he loved, Antilles had an unwavering strength of belief in the Alliance, and although courageous and full of resolve, he once resorted to bravado at the prospect of being tortured to death. He was also unaccustomed to not being taken at his word—if he believed someone was good and told them so, he really meant it as he was not one to flatter others in his own interest.
Skills and abilitiesEdit
Antilles was a renowned pilot in the Rebel Alliance. He fought in numerous battles during the Galactic Civil War, earning him recognition from his fellow Rebels for his bravery and ace piloting abilities, being famed as legendary by some. However, during the first time he tried a flight simulator, he lasted less than ten seconds, prompting him to practice and listen to advice from more experienced pilots. He would eventually obtain the highest scores, only surpassed by Luke Skywalker.
Behind the scenesEdit
Wedge Antilles first appeared as a supporting character in the 1977 film Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, where he was credited as "Red Two (Wedge)." His surname is never mentioned in any of the films, but appears in the script for A New Hope. The character's origins can be traced to early drafts of Star Wars, which depicted a young pilot named Chewie. That nickname was later given to Chewbacca, so the character that had been known as Chewie took on the name of Wedge.
Antilles was portrayed by two actors in A New Hope. During the Rebel briefing, he was played by actor Colin Higgins, but he was replaced with Denis Lawson for the scenes depicting the Battle of Yavin—both actors were overdubbed by David Ankrum for the film. Higgins was used to the rehearsal periods in television acting and had not memorized his lines for the film, leading to him becoming nervous and dispirited while shooting the scenes in the Rebel briefing. After only one day in which he struggled to film the character's scenes, he was fired from the production. Lawson was brought in to film the remaining scenes for the character, despite having been initially passed over in favor of Higgins. Higgins' brief appearance as Antilles led some fans to dub him as the "Fake Wedge."
Lawson continued to play the character in Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi. He was surprised to return for The Empire Strikes Back, having assumed that Antilles died in A New Hope. The initial drafts of Return of the Jedi depicted Antilles in an earlier scene in the film, where he would have infiltrated an Imperial fleet. During the sequence, he would have flown and ultimately crashed a TIE fighter, necessitating his rescue at the hands of Princess Leia. In 2014, Lawson revealed that Lucasfilm had asked him if he would be interested in reprising his role for the 2015 film Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens. Lawson declined the offer, as he felt that the role would have "bored" him.
- Star Wars: Galactic Defense
- Lost Stars
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope (First appearance)
- A New Hope: The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy
- Star Wars: Princess Leia, Part I
- The Weapon of a Jedi: A Luke Skywalker Adventure
- Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
- The Empire Strikes Back: So You Want to Be a Jedi?
- Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
- Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side!
- "Blade Squadron"—Star Wars Insider 149–150 (Mentioned only)
- "Blade Squadron: Zero Hour"—Star Wars Insider 160 (Mentioned only)
Notes and referencesEdit
- Wedge Antilles on Wikipedia