- "Just saying the last ship I saw you on exploded…"
- ―Shado Vao, to Cade Skywalker, about the X-83
The X-83 TwinTail starfighter was a model of X-wing series starfighter used in the time of Darth Krayt's rise to power in 130 ABY. Manufactured by Incom Corporation, the X-83 was a cutting-edge vessel and the primary starfighter of the New Jedi Order until that organization's destruction following the Sith-Imperial War. Krayt's Empire banned the manufacture of the X-83, claiming it was too powerful for civilian use, but Incom continued producing the fighters in secret, selling them to opponents of the Empire.
Drawing from the strengths of its lineage, the X-83 was balanced in durability and firepower, with top of the line weapons systems and strong deflector shields and hull. It was a particularly maneuverable fighter as well, in atmosphere or vacuum. The X-83 incorporated its astromech droid, an Incom standard feature, into its frame, giving the ship its own "personality" if not given routine memory wipes. The fighter was primarily used in front-line combat, where it was a match for most fighters, including the Predator-class fighter, on a one-to-one basis.
The X-83 was the successor to Incom's X-wing line of starfighters, and as of 137 ABY, the latest model of that series. It was built with many of the original X-wing's design principles in mind, including that model's versatility of role and its armament of four laser cannons, one at the tip of each wing, as well as the former models' iconic split-wing architecture that formed the craft's distinctive X-shaped profile. Following up on the previous iteration of the X-wing, the R-28 starfighter, the X-83 shared many of the parts used in its more commonplace predecessor.
The X-83 was one of the most cutting-edge starfighters of its time, made with superior components. It was a balanced fighter, capable of assuming a number of roles due to its combination of firepower and durability. The fighter's shields were comparable to those of a transport or light frigate, and were able to absorb a good deal of fire before they failed. Its hull, too, was stronger than those of most shuttles. It was vulnerable to intense weather, however, such as the electrical storms of Kiffex.
The fighter's strengths also lay in its weaponry, which were at the top of their field. With four laser cannons whose fire could be linked or fired in sequence, the X-83 could produce a high-energy blast that would destroy any target. The fighter was also equipped with proton torpedoes. In one-on-one combat, the X-83 was easily superior to most contemporary fighters, and even when outnumbered was capable of inflicting heavy damage on the enemy. In deep space or atmosphere, the X-83 was also unmatched in maneuverability, due in part to a set of maneuvering vanes installed on each exhaust nacelle. It was this aspect that made it the favored fighter of the New Jedi Order.
The astromech droid of the X-83, a hallmark of Incom designs, was hardwired into the ship, turning it into more of an extension of the fighter's main computer. Without frequent memory wipes the craft could develop a personality of its own, with the droid exerting its own control over the ship's electronic systems. Incom recommended wiping its memory for this reason, as some of the personality flaws the droid could pick up—for example, an obstinate streak—could prove hazardous to the pilot if the droid refused to obey his or her commands. This gained the ship a reputation for quirkiness. Some X-83 pilots, however, intentionally allowed the droids to develop personalities, believing that the performance and response of their ship improved when the astromech could anticipate their actions.
X-83 pilots wore a flight suit that could be sealed against vacuum, and in an emergency they could jettison themselves from the cockpit. The X-83's cockpit, which had windows that extended to the sides and somewhat behind the pilot, was mounted further forward than the original T-65 starfighter. The cockpit was similarly lined with panels on all sides, and the pilot used two control yokes to operate the fighter. Unlike the typical four-engine configuration of its predecessors, the X-83 boasted two long engines trailing further behind the fighter.
The X-83 earned a reputation for durability, and it was well suited to front-line service. X-83 squadrons were often used to take the initial brunt of an attack, absorbing damage from enemy forces so the weaker fighters they were supporting could pass through unharmed. J-1 shuttles also carried a single X-83 in their holds, which could be used as an escort. The X-83 could also be carried in medium-sized transports like the Helot-class.
Before the fall of the Jedi Order, the X-83 was used by that organization. With the rise of Darth Krayt's Galactic Empire, TwinTails found their way into the arsenals of those groups and individuals who opposed him. Jedi TwinTail squads, like Squad Three-Zero-One, continued to fly in missions against the Empire.
The X-83 was developed by Incom as one of the long line of X-wing models, succeeding the R-28 starfighter. It attained common usage among the Jedi, but when Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Krayt seized control of the Galactic Empire in 130 ABY and exterminated the Jedi, the Empire deemed the X-83 too powerful for civilian use; in an effort to limit the firepower available to individual citizens and non-Imperial organizations, the Empire ordered that Incom halt production of it. Incom, however, resisted in secret. A number of the X-83's manufacturing plants were only closed in appearance, and after being reopened clandestinely they continued producing the starfighters. Other factories kept open to produce the commonly used R-28 took advantage of the fact that the two fighters shared many of the same parts, turning out the occasional X-83 when Imperial inspectors were looking elsewhere. The Empire was unable to find any evidence of this secret manufacturing, though rumors about it circulated, and many of the X-83s produced after the rise of Krayt were sold through the black market and ended up in the hands of those who opposed the Empire.
Even during and after Krayt's takeover, the Jedi retained usage of a number of X-83s. When a J-1 shuttle carrying a number of Padawans escaped the massacre at Ossus on the day of Krayt's coup, one of its passengers, Cade Skywalker, took the shuttle's X-83 to fight off pursuing Imperial Predator-class starfighters. Skywalker was able to hold off the enemy craft as the shuttle prepared to leap to hyperspace, and in the end sacrificed his X-83, jettisoning himself from the fighter at the last moment. Years later, Skywalker participated in an attack on an Imperial base on Had Abbadon, in which fellow Jedi Shado Vao piloted an X-83 of his own alongside the Predators of his Imperial Knight allies.
Shortly after the Had Abaddon mission, a task force of Jedi in X-83s—Squad Three-Zero-One—rendezvoused with the fleet of rogue Galactic Alliance admiral Gar Stazi to discuss an alliance. When the fleet's location was betrayed to the Empire by one of Stazi's crew, the X-83s joined the battle against incoming Imperial forces until the rest of the fleet could make its escape.
Behind the scenes
- Star Wars: Legacy 1: Broken, Part 1 (First appearance)
- Star Wars: Legacy 6: Broken, Part 5 (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: Legacy 7: Broken, Part 6 (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: Legacy 12: Ghosts, Part 2 (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: Legacy 29: Vector, Part 10
- Star Wars: Legacy 34: Storms, Part 1
- Star Wars: Legacy 42: Divided Loyalties
- Star Wars: Legacy 47: The Fate of Dac (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Legacy—War 5
- Star Wars: Legacy 0 (First mentioned)
- Starships of the Galaxy, Saga Edition
- Star Wars: Legacy 0½
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Legacy Era Campaign Guide
Notes and references
- ↑ 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 Starships of the Galaxy (Saga Edition)
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Legacy Era Campaign Guide
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Star Wars: Legacy 0
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Star Wars: Legacy 34: Storms, Part 1
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Star Wars: Legacy 0½
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. III, p. 339
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Star Wars: Legacy 5: Broken, Part 4
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Star Wars: Legacy 1: Broken, Part 1
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Star Wars: Legacy 42: Divided Loyalties
- ↑ Star Wars: Legacy 29: Vector, Part 10
- ↑ Galactic Alliance Remnant discussion thread (Possible Legacy Spoilers) on the Jedi Council Forums (Literature board; posted by Madine on 6/28/07 4:17pm)