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For other uses, see Black Squadron.

Black Squadron, also known as the 61st squadron[1] and the Death Star Assault Squadron[2] was an elite unit of TIE Fighter pilots serving under Darth Vader's direct command.


Black Squadron guarding the Death Star I

Prior to the Battle of Yavin, members of the squadron, in particular Black Leader, Black 2, and Black 3, had been notoriously involved in various assaults on Ralltiir and Mon Calamari, making them among the most feared squadrons used by the Empire.[2]

Stationed aboard the first Death Star during the Battle of Yavin, Black Squadron was the TIE unit which Vader led into battle against the attacking Rebel snubfighters—the only TIE unit to deploy against the Rebels during the battle. As Grand Moff Tarkin and most of the rest of the Death Star's chain of command refused to take the threat the Rebellion posed seriously, only the squadron that Vader personally commanded launched—fortunately for the Alliance, as the giant station carried several thousand TIEs that would have easily overwhelmed the few dozen snubfighters the Rebels managed to throw against it. An element of six TIEs attacked the X-wings providing top cover, while Vader himself and two wing guards engaged the ships making the trench run. It is not often appreciated these TIE pilots were significantly outnumbered during the battle, but the members of Black Squadron were among the finest the Empire had to offer: they fought hard, and were responsible for many of the Alliance casualties.

The unit itself survived, and was later present for the Battle of Endor.

Notable members[]

Vader leads Black 2 and Black 3 at the Battle of Yavin


All members of Black Squadron piloted the TIE/LN Starfighters, with the exception of Black Leader, aka Darth Vader, who instead piloted a prototype TIE Advanced x1 that had been personally designed by Vader.

Behind the scenes[]

The Star Wars PocketModel TCG includes both Black Squadron and Black Eight Squadron in the game.


Non-canon appearances[]


Notes and references[]

  1. StarWars.com Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Warfare Author's Cut, Part 10: The Rise of the Empire on StarWars.com (article) (backup link) Cartha is identified as a pilot from the 61st squadron who served at the Battle of Yavin. Since there is no such squadron anywhere else, and Cartha has already been identified as a Black Squadron pilot, the two groups must be one and the same.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Swccglogolg.png Star Wars Customizable Card GameSpecial Edition Limited (Card: Death Star Assault Squadron) (backup link)
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