Antoc Merrick was a human male ace pilot who served as a General in the Alliance to Restore the Republic. Around 0 BBY, General Merrick participated in the Alliance's acquisition of the Galactic Empire's plans to their ultimate weapon, the Death Star, in the Battle of Scarif. During the battle, Merrick flew as Blue Squadron leader in a T-65B X-wing starfighter until he was shot down and killed by a TIE Striker.
Life on Virujansi
Antoc Merrick was born in 46 BBY on Virujansi. Prior to the outbreak of the Galactic Civil War, Merrick served as the flight leader of his homeworld's planetary defense forces, which was known as the Virujansi Rarified Air Cavalry.
After the formation of the Galactic Empire, Virujansi underwent political transformation when an Imperial governor displaced the ruling Virujansi council. Local military forces loyal to the old regime were effectively disbanded, and the pilots of the Air Cavalry were extended invitations to join the Imperial Navy. Merrick rejected. He viewed the offer as hollow and the Empire's TIE forces as unimaginative compared to the Rebel Alliance's starfighter squadrons, which demonstrated greater unit coherence and piloting ability. Alongside friend and fellow pilot Garven Dreis, Merrick instead opted for early retirement, left Virujansi, and sought out membership with the Rebel Alliance.
Serving in the Rebel Alliance
The early Rebellion
- "We'll soon have enough U-Wings to fill out a squadron or two at Base One. I think now is good time to evaluate the craft's role within Starfighter Command."
- ―General Antoc Merrick to Mon Mothma in The Rebel Files
Sometime after joining the Rebel Alliance, Merrick earned the rank of General, and was made Commander of Rebel Alliance Starfighter Command. Merrick was in command of all starfighter squadrons at the Rebel's base on Dantooine, and then later on at Base One on Yavin 4. Under the callsign Blue Leader, Merrick personally led Blue Squadron, with Barion Raner as the squadron's second-in-command. When the entirety of the Massassi starfighter squadrons were scrambled, Merrick had authority over all other squadron leaders. In Merrick's absence, or when operational authority was better served from a ground-based dispatch, General Jan Dodonna commanded the fleet.
Serving on the Alliance High Command allowed Merrick to play an essential and influential role in the early rebellion. He contributed in the decisions to cycle the U-wing out of escort duty, and use X-wings as the backbone of Starfighter Command. Their hardware and handling was much like a bush hopper from Virujansi, Merrick's homeworld. Neither Merrick nor Garven Dreis would fly anything but the X-wings in combat.
Merrick sent multiple reports to Mon Mothma discussing the uses and details of ships both within the rebellion and those they fought against. In one, Merrick reported the use of UT-60D U-wing starfighter/support craft as a troop transport on Mantooine in the Atrivis sector. In another, Merrick compiled all information from Rebel Intelligence on the differing models of the TIE line the rebellion faced, including Grand Admiral Thrawn's TIE Defender.
Strained teamwork on Yavin 4
General Antoc Merrick worried that General Davits Draven was too pragmatic and thus likely to forget the human variables when making his cold calculations. As an intelligence chief, Draven commanded a staff, but those who reported to him were normally lone operators, in contrast to Merrick's squadrons of pilots who committed themselves to cooperation and unit cohesion.
- "This information is not from High Command. It comes straight from me. Straight from my heart. I want you to know that I not only support you, but I admire you."
- ―General Antoc Merrick addressing the U-Wing pilots
During his time as Commander of Rebel Alliance Starfighter Command and Blue Squadron, Merrick gave a speech at the Great Temple in which he addressed the U-wing pilots. Understanding they were often overlooked yet vital assets to the rebellion, Merrick pledged his support and expressed his admiration for them, stating that he assigned them specifically to U-wings as he knew they were all above the boasting of "hot shot" X-wing pilots. He also stated that this praise did not come from High Command, but from his heart. Merrick humbly considered himself a pilot more than a commanding officer.
Merrick refused to risk lives needlessly, as he cared deeply for those under his command. Having logged hundreds of hours at the controls of a U-wing, he knew from experience the pilots bore extra responsibility and felt particularly protective of them.
Scramble at Scarif
- "The Empire has the means of mass destruction, the Rebellion does not."
- ―General Antoc Merrick on the Death Star
Around 0 BBY, Merrick listened to Jyn Erso's testimony to the rebel council about The Death Star's full power. When the alliance received word of Rogue One's infiltration of Scarif, Merrick and Blue Squadron, along with the entire starfighter wing at Base One, scrambled to provide assistance. Blue Squadron entered combat above Scarif in conjunction with the Rebel Fleet led by Admiral Raddus. Merrick then led Blue Squadron's X-wings and U-wings through the Shield Gate to provide air support to the pathfinders on Scarif's surface. Blue Squadron proceeded to destroy several AT-ACTs that had been harassing rebel forces. However, in the ensuing battle, Merrick was shot down by a TIE striker, resulting in his death.
Quadruple ace Merrick logged 22,542 flight hours, with twenty-four confirmed kills.
Personality and traits
Despite having logged hundreds of hours at the controls of a U-wing, Merrick's preferred craft when leading a squadron was Blue One, his T-65B X-wing starfighter. Merrick was experienced, and had a talent for leadership, though he believed himself not one for speeches.
Merrick felt particularly protective of the U-wing pilots, and cared deeply for all under his command. He deferred to Colonel Cor for day-to-day decisions, but Cor treated the fighter resources as mere assets, whilst Merrick refused to risk lives needlessly.
As a pilot of the Rebel Alliance, Antoc Merrick wore a blue flight suit with a white, blue and yellow helmet. He operated a T-65B X-wing starfighter known as Blue One, manufactured by the Incom Corporation.
Behind the scenes
Antoc Merrick, portrayed by Ben Daniels, is a character created for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the first installment in the Star Wars Anthology Series, which was released on December 16, 2016. The first footage of Merrick was revealed in the Celebration Europe reel on July 15, 2016. His name was revealed on October 15, 2016 by Entertainment Weekly in an exclusive trading card from Star Wars: Card Trader.
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (First appearance)
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story novelization
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story audiobook
- Star Wars: Rogue One: A Junior Novel
- Star Wars: Rogue One: A Junior Novel audiobook
- Star Wars: Rogue One: Secret Mission
- Rogue One Adaptation 6
- "Duty Roster"—From a Certain Point of View (Mentioned only)
- "Grounded"—From a Certain Point of View (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Squadrons (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 71 (Helmets: General Merrick)
- Star Wars: Build Your Own X-Wing 10 (Starfighter Aces: Antoc Merrick – Leading from the Front)
- Star Wars: The Rebel Files
- Rebel Starfighters Owners' Workshop Manual
- "Grounded"—From a Certain Point of View
- Ultimate Star Wars
- New 'Rogue One' Images Revealed by Topps' 'Star Wars: Card Trader' (Slide 3 of 7) (First identified as Merrick) (backup link not available)