X-wing: Starfighters of Adumar is the ninth installment in the X-wing series of novels, published in 1999 by Bantam Spectra, written by Aaron Allston. Narration for the audio version was performed by Anthony Heald.
- ISBN 0553574183 and ISBN 0553581252; August 3, 1999, Bantam Spectra, 291-page paperback
- ISBN 0553525697; August 3, 1999, Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, Abridged cassette
- ISBN 0553812718; August 3, 1999, Transworld Publishers, 320-page UK paperback
- ISBN 8324122508; Amber, 240-page Polish paperback
The X-wing fighter pilots have earned their reputation as the Rebel Alliance's ultimate strike force by overwhelming enemies with their rapid-fire assaults. But now they are about to embark on a diplomatic mission that will prove to be even more hazardous than all-out combat...
The neutral world of Adumar has decided to pick a side in the war to control the galaxy. Delegates from both the New Republic and the Empire have been invited to Adumar, and each camp will be given a chance to plead its government's case. But there is one small catch: since the Adumari prize military skill above all else, they insist that both delegations be composed exclusively of fighter pilots. For pilot Wedge Antilles and his company, it's an unfamiliar exercise in diplomacy - and one that's filled with unexpected peril. For once they arrive, the X-wing pilots are challenged by Adumar's fierce warriors and attacked by Imperial assassins bent on eliminating all competition. But these challenges pale in comparison to the threat posed by a rogue Republic agent...one who is determined to win Adumar's allegiance once and for all - even if it costs the X-wing pilots their lives.
The Planet of Adumar is an anomaly, settled by anonymous colonists during the early years of the Old Republic and isolated ever since. But now it has been discovered. The Adumari love pilots, so the New Republic's best snubfighter jock, General Wedge Antilles, is dispatched as a diplomat, along with three of Rogue Squadron's finest: taciturn Colonel Tycho Celchu, pessimist Major Derek "Hobbie" Klivian and child-at-heart extraordinaire Major Wes Janson. They are also aided by native guide and blastsword fighting champion Cheriss ke Hanadi, New Republic diplomat and former Y-wing pilot Tomer Darpen, and New Republic Documentarian Hallis Saper, who wears the head of a 3PO as a camera.
Wedge assumes that he will somehow hammer out a treaty and bring the planet of Adumar into the New Republic, but it becomes quickly apparent that all is not as it seems. Firstly, the Empire's best pilot, General Turr Phennir, and three of his best are here too. Secondly, Adumar is not a united planet, and right now Wedge is only talking to its largest nation, Cartann. Thirdly, the Cartannese seem to like nothing better than killing each other for bragging rights, and Wedge is expected to join in;especially since they try to kill him for bragging rights too. (Phennir seems to have no problem with it.) Fourthly, a certain woman whom Wedge is acquainted with, Iella Wessiri, is on-planet as a New Republic Intelligence operative and has been so for the past six months; despite the fact that, supposedly, Adumar was only discovered a few weeks before. (It also doesn't help that Wedge would like to be a little more than friends with her.) Wedge must somehow make his way through Adumar's bizarre culture while not offending his or their sensibilities, bring Adumar into the New Republic, and maybe try to get the girl as well.
Red Squadron spends its time learning to fly the native Blade-32 fighters, absorbing Adumari (or at least Cartannese) culture, and contemplating their largest diplomatic problem: the fact that Adumar is not united under a world government, and cannot enter the New Republic. The Empire, on the other hand, would have absolutely no problem simply conquering it and imposing a government. Thus, Wedge is delighted when Cartann's leader, Perator Pekaelic ke Teldan, announces the formation of a world government. Unfortunately, Pekaelic intends to create it via conquest. He also wants the Empire's and New Republic's diplomats to assist in the war effort. Phennir agrees, but Wedge, unwilling to compromise the New Republic's ideals, refuses. Between this and Tomer Darpen's willingness to sacrifice Wedge to preserve relations with Cartann, Wedge and his wingmen are forced to run "the gauntlet", braving mobs of citizens and pilots eager to kill them for honor, in order to escape with their lives.
Wedge and his wingmen, as well as Iella, Cheriss and Hallis Saper, flee to the capital of the Yedagon Confederacy, one of the few nations that continues to resist Cartannese domination. There, Wedge is presented with a proposal: to lead the combined might of the "rebellious" nations in a military effort to overthrow Cartannese imperialism. Several nations that had previously bowed to Cartann defect to the newly-formed "Adumari Union" on the strength of Wedge's reputation, and Wedge ultimately leads an air force only half as strong as Cartann's, but far better led and disciplined. After an indecisive air battle, Red Squadron (with Cheriss's help) are able to reclaim their X-wings and neutralize Phennir and his TIE Interceptors; the tide thus turned, Cartann is defeated and joins the Adumari Union. Negotiations with the New Republic begin immediately. The Imperials, bitter over their loss, send a fleet to take Adumar by force, but a combined New Republic and Adumari fleet manages to repel them. With the conflict on Adumar over, Wedge and Iella spend a romantic moment with each other, putting a positive note on their future relationship.
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Behind the scenesEdit
In one scene Hobbie says: "Everyone calls me Hobbie. And I'll get back to you on my last name. Lots of people misspell it." This may be an allusion made by Allston to the fact that throughout the X-Wing comic, Hobbie's name was incorrectly spelled "Klivan".
In the Hand of Thrawn duology, Wedge was implied to be married to Iella Wessiri, whereas in other novels (most often the ones penned by Kevin J. Anderson) he was paired with Qwi Xux. This novel neatly resolves that apparent contradiction, beginning with Wedge and Qwi's breakup and ending with Wedge and Iella's engagement.
The novel is celebrated in the Star Wars fandom for author Aaron Allston's use of humor, which is frequent and often genuinely funny. Allston often characterizes the four pilots through their joking styles: Tycho with occasional and devastating one-liners, Hobbie with pessimistic backtalk, Janson with constant irreverences, and Wedge as the smirking straight man [source?].
Adumarian society may also be a reference to George Lucas' film THX 1138, as it is a highly rigid society with droves of poor and oppressed living underground, often never seeing daylight. Also, like the title character's job as a nuclear munitions worker in THX 1138, Adumar's primary industry is munitions, manufactured in underground factories.
This is a gallery of the different cover variations of X-wing: Starfighters of Adumar.