"Blade Squadron: Jakku" is a short story written by David J. Williams and Mark S. Williams, and it features art by Chris Trevas. The story is a tie-in to the novel Aftermath: Empire's End, and was published on April 12, 2017 in Star Wars Insider 172.
During the Battle of Jakku, New Republic Lieutenant Gina Moonsong's Blade Squadron attacks the rear engines of the Super Star Destroyer Ravager, the flagship of the Imperial fleet above the desert world of Jakku. While taking part in the assault, Gina's B-wing starfighter is hit by falling debris, which damages her ship's shields and maneuver drive. Descending into Jakku's atmosphere, Moonsong manages to position her B-wing behind the descending Ravager, using the crippled Super Star Destroyer as a heat shield for reentry.
Fighting the g-force, Gina manages to engage the auto-landing sequence before she drifts into unconsciousness. After landing, Moonsong manages to climb out of her wrecked B-wing shortly before a flight of TIE fighters destroy the craft. After traveling for about ten kilometers, Gina stumbles upon a stormtrooper camp where she retrieves a canteen of water and an E-11 blaster rifle. There, she encounters a fellow New Republic starfighter pilot, the teenage Temmin Wexley, a member of Phantom Squadron. Temmin shares some nutritional supplements with the older pilot.
While guarding the encampment, Gina chats with Temmin, who reveals that he is the son of Norra Wexley, who flew a Y-wing starfighter through the second Death Star during the Battle of Endor. Temmin is anxious but Moonsong reassures the younger pilot that his mother is a survivor and that he will see her again. Shortly later, the two are joined by several New Republic soldiers from the Third Recon Group led by Sergeant Agarne. Agarne brings Gina and Temmin to his commanding officer Major Ranz, who enlists Moonsong and Temmin in an attack on an Imperial supply convoy traveling through the pass to reinforce the Imperial outpost at Golga Station. Major Ranz's forces have sustained serious casualties but are determined to stop the Imperial convoy from reaching Golga Station and Base Alpha.
Before the assault, Gina suggests a plan to Major Ranz. When the convoy passes through the pass, Ranz's scouts use jury-rigged power packs to blow up the second Imperial Troop Transport in the convoy, obstructing their path. The remaining ITTs form a triangle formation. Major Ranz and his troops then emerge from their foxholes and fire rockets on the rear transports, destroying the vehicles and killing the stormtroopers inside. However, the surviving Imperials quickly regroup and former a skirmish line. The Imperials also set up a tripod-mounted blaster cannon. Imperial troops then rush from the front of the column to reinforce the rear.
Gina, Wexley, Agarne, and three squad members then emerge from their foxholes and attack the frontal column with grenades and blasters. Gina and Temmin then storm the first ITT only to discover that the long-range comm dish has been damage. Temmin tries to fix the comm-dish only to be stunned. Moonsong sends a voice message to the New Republic fighter command. With the New Republic squad under attack, Gina helps up the stunned Wexley.
The stormtroopers manage to set up their tripod cannon and proceed to blast the New Republic positions behind them while other stormtroopers attempt a flanking maneuver. Major Ranz uses the remaining explosives to blow himself up in an attempt to stop the stormtroopers form overrunning his position. The surviving New Republic soldiers including Sergeant Agarne regroup with Gina and Temmin near a dune.
A flight of TIE fighters them strafes Major Ranz's former position, killing the Republic soldiers with him and several stormtroopers. Gina and the other soldiers are about to make their final stand when several B-wings from Blade Squadron attack and destroy the TIE fighters. As the New Republic soldiers celebrate their triumph, Gina attends to Temmin and reassures him that they are going home and that his mother will be proud. Gina is shortly later joined by her former boyfriend and starfighter pilot Braylen Stramm, who is pleased that she has survived.
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- Star Wars Insider 172
- Aftermath: Empire's End (Paperback edition)
- Star Wars Insider: The Fiction Collection Volume 1