- "Y-wings inbound."
- ―A Rebel tactician
The BTL Y-wing starfighter, also referred to as the Y-wing light bomber or often simply called the Y-wing starfighter, was a one- or two-seat assault starfighter and bomber used during the Clone Wars and the Galactic Civil War. It was manufactured by Koensayr Manufacturing and was mainly used by the Starfighter Corps of the Alliance to Restore the Republic.
BTL Y-wing starfighters used during the Clone Wars were crewed by a single pilot, protected by a transparisteel canopy,  and a gunner inside a domed turret positioned behind the cockpit. Located behind the turret was an astromech droid slot. The long attack starfighter measured in at 23.4-meters. The wedge-shaped cockpit was placed on the front of the craft, with the central spar extending behind it. Two Koensayr R200 ion jet engines were attached to either side of the spar. The engines had exhaust nacelles and support pylons, and had sensor array domes that contained Fabritech ANx-y sensor arrays on the front of the nacelles. The R300-H hyperdrive was at the rear of the spar. Squadron markings were placed on the cockpit and the forward tips of the engine nacelles.
For power, the ship had a Novaldex power generator behind the astromech droid slot, and Thiodyne 03-R cryogenic power cells inside the engine pylons. A Chempat deflector shield generator was located behind the power generator. The Y-wing's main sensor array contained a ANs-5d "lock track" full-spectrum transceiver, a Long range PTSA #PA-9r unit, and a Short range PTAG #PG-7u unit.
The starfighter was armed with two forward-mounted Taim & Bak IX4 laser cannons, along with two Arakyd Flex Tube proton torpedo launchers, and a gunner-controlled ArMek SW-4 ion cannon on a rotating turret. The Y-wing's targeting system was made from combining a Fabritech ANc 2.7 tracking computer and a SI 5g7 "Quickscan" imaging system.
By the Galactic Civil War, many Y-wings were stripped of their hull plating and engine nacelles for ease of maintenance as older parts often broke down, and models that eliminated the gunner's turret had been introduced.
Several models of the Y-wing starfighter were used throughout the Clone Wars and Galactic Civil War. An early Y-wing model was used by the Grand Army of the Republic during the Clone Wars. Unlike its successor designs, this model had a bubble-turret, which swivelled 360 degrees, provided a clear view of surrounding space for a gunner. The ship was designed to operate mainly as a bomber and the Republic used them well in this capacity. The later BTL-A4 Y-wing was a variant, single-seat tactical strike spacecraft, which lacked the gunner's position of earlier models. This variant was utilized by both the Alliance to Restore the Republic and New Republic during the Galactic Civil War. The Alliance modified their Y-wings, with the hull and nacelle plating removed to increase ease of maintenance on the aging craft. These modified BTL-A4 variants saw action in the Battle of Yavin, the Battle of Hoth, Battle of Endor, and the Battle of Jakku.
Produced by Koensayr Manufacturing, these fighters were a mainstay in the Republic Navy during the Clone Wars. Y-wings were used by Shadow Squadron during the attack on the Separatist heavy cruiser Malevolence. During the Battle of Ryloth, a squadron of Y-wings were used to break the blockade over Ryloth. As noted by AP-5, a Republic analyst droid who helped coordinate the campaign, Y-wings tended to be a bit "buggy" during atmospheric operations. Clone Captain CT-7567, however, knew the Y-wings to be "solid" in combat operations. A fighter was used to drop an experimental electro-proton bomb on Separatist forces near the end of the Battle of Malastare, completely annihilating the droid army. During the Second Battle of Geonosis, Y-wings were used to bombard Confederate gunners entrenched in the surface of Geonosis.
In the second year before the Battle of Yavin, five Y-wings were stolen from Reklam Station by members of the Phoenix rebel cell during the mission to Reklam Station and were intended to be delivered to General Jan Dodonna's unit.
Soon after Y-Wings became very common within other Rebel Cells and were used in simulated engagements at the Skystrike Academy.
The Rebel Alliance used the Y-wing during the Galactic Civil War against Sheev Palpatine's Empire. Originally designed for close-quarter combat and bombing runs, the Y-wing served as the Alliance's original attack starfighter prior to the introduction of the superior X-wing. Despite its inability to maneuver as well as later Rebel starfighters, its durability ensured its presence in all major battles against the Empire. Slayn & Korpil's A/SF-01 B-wing starfighter was designed as a potential replacement for the aging bomber.
The craft notably participated in the Battle of Yavin, where the Alliance deployed the starfighter to their hidden fortress on Yavin 4, and launched Gold Squadron against the approaching Death Star.
Flying with two wingmen, Gold Leader attempted the trench run to destroy the battlestation, but they were all shot down by Darth Vader in a TIE Advanced x1 starfighter. During the battle, all but one of the eight Y-wings were destroyed. Luke Skywalker, a farmboy from Tatooine and the son of Darth Vader, fired the shot that destroyed the Death Star.
Y-wings also joined the Rebel Fleet to attack the Death Star II at Endor. During the battle, Y-wings were deployed as Gray Squadron. Under General Lando Calrissian's orders, they joined in attacking Imperial Star Destroyers at point-blank range, and then followed him into the Death Star after its defenses were knocked out by Han Solo's ground team. Inside the Death Star, one Y-wing broke off and led TIE fighters away from Calrissian's strike group, which succeeded in destroying the battlestation. Y-wings were also used in the Battle of Jakku with X-wings and A-wings.
Behind the scenesEdit
The Y-wing is based on concept art made by Ralph McQuarrie. The starfighters seen in the first Star Wars film, A New Hope, were models produced by Industrial Light & Magic and filmed against blue screens. When Joe Johnston refined the Colin Cantwell and Ralph McQuarrie Y-wing designs for construction into a visual effects model for A New Hope, he posited that the starship was once a sleek vessel that was chopped and stripped like a hot rod by Rebel Alliance technicians.
Designer Russell Chong spearheaded the development of the earlier Y-wing models first seen in the Clone Wars television series, based on that original concept. "The Y-wing was a really fun project, bringing it back fully faired," he said.
According to Chong, "We back-engineered the Y-wing and turned it back into a bomber. I took images of the actual Y-wing model from the files at Lucasfilm and I designed our new version over it. We revitalized the bubble turret that Colin Cantwell and Ralph McQuarrie had developed. All the body panels are very much the same as the original Y-wing. I did my best to give it the same styling and the same look as the original Y-wing."
- (First identified as Y-wing starfighter)
- Journey Through Space
- Star Wars in 100 Scenes
- Ultimate Star Wars
- Star Wars: Ships of the Galaxy
- Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary
- Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded
- Star Wars: Complete Locations
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: The Official Visual Story Guide
- ; image #1
Notes and referencesEdit
- Y-wing on Wikipedia