Friday, November 11, 2011

STAR WARS: Rogue Squadron

Presenting Rogue Squadron, the Star Wars Universe's most famous (infamous) fighter squadron and one of the collections that I've struggled to complete. Unfortunately I still do not have the new Battle of Endor 1 & 2 Pilot Packs.

This particular collection covers the Rogue pilots from Star Wars Episodes IV, V, VI; everything prior to Episode IV,  everything in between those three; everything after VI, the novels and most of the expanded universe.

As you can see from the photo, Rogue Squadron has had some pretty surprising members over the years. This particular collection includes 5 Jedi, 1 future Sith, a Princess, the leader of the Imperial 181st Squadron, and a Princess - though the full roster of Rogue Squadron members is actually much more interesting. If you want the full roster and history of Rogue Squadron, visit the Rogue Squadron wiki HERE.

Rogue Squadron was the brainchild of Luke Skywalker, Wedge Antilles and the leader of Renegade Squadron who was assigned the survivors of Red Squadron which he reformed as Rogue Flight: Arhul "The Boss" Narra - a veteran of the clone wars (Not to be confused with Garven Dreis, the original leader of Red Squadron who was killed in his trench run against the original Death Star by Darth Vader himself as seen in Episode IV) .

But we really can't talk about Rogue Squadon without talking about Red Squadron so lets combine the two.

Red/Rogue Squadron:

Most people only think of Red Squadron in the context of the destruction of the first Death Star and coinciding with Luke Skywalker joining the squadron. The truth is, Red Squadron existed longer than that. The members of Red, and later Rogue, Squadron include:
(L-R) Luke Skywalker, Biggs Darklighter (Luke Skywalker's childhood friend, Red 3, killed by Darth Vader in the trenches of the Death Star), Zev Senesca (Rogue 2, killed in the battle of Hoth), Dorovio Bold (Funny that Hasbro bothered to create an action figure for a character that NEVER appeared anywhere in Star Wars. Dorovio was a female pilot of Red Squadron that never made the final cut of Return of the Jedi), Kesin Ommis (technically not a Rogue Squadron pilot. Kesin was a Capital Ship gunner who was asked to double up with Derek "Hobbie" Klivian in the battle of Hoth), Wedge Antilles (Best pilot in the Star Wars universe), Dack Ralter (Luke Skywalker's ill-fated gunner who felt like he could take on the whole Empire), Lt. Jek Tono "Piggy" Porkins (Killed by flying debris on the first Death Star), Wes "Babyface" Jansen, Derek "Hobbie" Klivian, Cesi "Doc" Eirriss (A Red Squadron member who had a doctorate in Social Sciences, and was killed when she crashed her X-Wing into pursuing Tie Fighters. Her death allowed Red Squadron and badly needed stolen supplies to escape from Commenor). 

Other Rogue Squadron members included: Lumiya, also known as Shira Elan Colla Brie, Rogue Squadron member, Hero of the Rebel Alliance, Imperial Double Agent, former Hand of the Emperor, Mistress of the "LightWhip", Corrupter of  Jacen Solo, and the woman who nearly destroyed Luke Skywalker with guilt when he killed her in revenge for allegedly killing Mara Jade-Skywalker  (Which she didn't, Jacen Solo killed her.) The Sullustan in white is an argued member of Rogue Squadron, as Ten Numb did work with the Rogues. 

After the death of the Emperor and the destruction of the 2nd Death Star, the following pilots joined on the march to Coruscant Nrin Vakil, a Quarren who actually fell in love with a race that his species has been in conflict with forever, fellow Rogue Squadron member Ibtisam, Rogue 2 a Mon Calamari (The blue one next to Nrin who was Killed-in-Action forcing Nrin to retire from Rogue Squadron due to grief). Also joining the Rogues were Soontir Fel, leader of the Empire's version of Rogue Squadron, the 181st Squadron (A squadron for losers and miscreants that he turned into an elite squadron. The squadron's TIEs bear red bloodstripes to distinguish their status. Soontir Fel is married to Syal Antilles, sister of Wedge Antilles and the father of Jagged Fel who will eventually marry Jaina Solo which leads to a really long story. Fel eventually was recaptured by the Empire and reentered the service of Admiral Thrawn), Tycho Celchu who is seen in Episode VI piloting an A-Wing through the Death Star, Princess Isplourrdacatha Estillo of the Royal family of Eiattu VI, an exile who eventually left the Rogues to take her rightful place amongst her people; and Dllr Nep - a force sensitive who never trained to be a Jedi Knight who died preventing a corrupt Bothan from wielding the power of a Sith temple. 

Rogue Squadron was dismantled shortly by attrition and politics and shortly before the campaign to retake Coruscant, Wedge Antilles was asked to reform the Squadron as a spearhead symbol of the Rebel Alliance.

This new, reformed Rogue squadron included: 
Hmmmm Luke Skywalker shouldn't be in this picture. Oh well. The only new pilot to join that is in my collection is Corran Horn, the second full fledged Jedi Knight (Later Jedi Master) to be a member of the Squadron following Luke Skywalker. But he would not be the last. 

In the following Yuuzhan Vong War and beyond, both Jacen Solo and Jaina "Sticks" Solo (Named because of her having a lightsaber in her cockpit aside from her joystick, so "Sticks") would both join and eventually lead Rogue Squadron. It was during the Yuuzhan Vong War that, despite his advanced age, Wedge Antilles managed to single-handedly destroy a squadron of Coral Skippers while piloting a damaged X-Wing. 

Rogue Squadron is one of my oldest and best collections. One that I intend to keep adding to as the years go by. I would have shot this with an X-Wing, but it's really, really big. 

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