- "Catch, push sensors. We know there were snubfighters out here, but I need to find their base."
- ―Gavin Darklighter and Catch search for pirates during the Yuuzhan Vong War
Catch, originally known as Jawaswag, was an R2-series astromech droid produced by Industrial Automaton and used by Rogue Squadron pilot Gavin Darklighter to aid in the use of his X-wing starfighter. During the Bacta War in 7 ABY, Jawaswag and Darklighter escaped from an assault by the Imperial Victory II-class Star Destroyer Corrupter, before briefly going up against Imperial forces on the planet Halanit when the colony they were refueling at was attacked. Darklighter later renamed Jawaswag to Toughcatch after the droid held off a group of Jawas trying to steal him, although the name was later shortened to Catch for ease of use.
In 25 ABY, during the Yuuzhan Vong War, Catch was still serving as Darklighter's astromech, and the droid participated in Rogue Squadron action in the Outer Rim Territories, facing off against pirates and later the forces of the invading Yuuzhan Vong species as Rogue Squadron searched for intelligence on the invaders. Catch also flew alongside Darklighter during a battle at the planet Dantooine, where they engaged enemy fighters that were covering a ground troop advance, and later saw action at the planet Ithor, with Catch and Darklighter downing Yuuzhan Vong landing craft in Ithor's atmosphere.
Incident at Halanit
- "Jawaswag, give me a system start, now!"
- ―Gavin Darklighter orders his droid to prepare his fighter on Halanit
By 7 ABY, an R2-series astromech droid produced by Industrial Automaton served Rogue Squadron pilot Gavin Darklighter during the squadron's independent campaign against the forces of de facto Imperial leader Ysanne Isard in the Bacta War. Darklighter called the droid Jawaswag, as he figured that any member of the Jawa species would love to own the droid. That year, Jawaswag accompanied Darklighter in his T-65 X-wing starfighter on an ambush of Imperial-affiliated tankers containing the valuable medical substance bacta after a trio of tankers were diverted to a star system away from their escort once their navicomputers were sliced. There, Rogue Squadron convinced the three tankers to accompany them as they left the system, but the delay it took for Darklighter and his wingmate, Riv Shiel, to intimidate the tanker Xucphra Alazhi into joining them allowed the tankers' escort, the Victory II-class Star Destroyer Corrupter, to arrive on the scene.
Although momentarily shielded from the capital ship's barrage of fire by the bulk of the Xucphra Alazhi as the Corrupter destroyed the tanker, Jawaswag and Darklighter survived only after the latter took them on a blind hyperspace jump away from the battle, yet Shiel was caught in the Corrupter's fire and perished. After fifteen seconds, they exited hyperspace, and Jawaswag plotted the first of seven short jumps that led them away from the battle zone. With Darklighter hoping to return to the Rogue Squadron base in the Yag'Dhul system, the pair stopped at the planet Halanit to refuel at a Rogue Squadron-friendly colony. As the colonists needed to synthesize the fuel, the refueling process was to take two days, so Darklighter left Jawaswag in the starfighter. However, the Corrupter soon arrived at Halanit to make an example of the colonists for siding with Rogue Squadron, and the Imperials assaulted the colony.
Away from his fighter, Darklighter ordered Jawaswag to start the X-wing's systems while he returned, even if the R2 unit had to suck the fuel synthesizer dry to do so. As stormtroopers killed colonists in the settlement's corridors and TIE Series fighters executed runs on the colony, Jawaswag and Darklighter departed the hangar in which the X-wing had been refueling to combat the attackers, but due to the fighter's fuel levels, the pair could only stay and fight for ten minutes before leaving the system. In the air over the colony, Jawaswag alerted Darklighter to the presence of a trio of TIE/IN interceptors, and the R2 droid acquired target locks upon the fighters before it started to record everything that happened at Darklighter's request. Jawaswag's pilot dispatched two of the enemy with proton torpedos, but the third TIE, which was out of control, managed to survive by flying into the chasm that housed the breached colony. After Darklighter followed the fighter into the colony and shot it down, Jawaswag and his pilot departed Halanit, as there was nothing more they could do for the colonists.
Service after the Bacta War
Skirmishes in the Outer Rim
- "Catch, we lasted twenty-five seconds. What was that thing?"
- ―Gavin Darklighter, after having been shot down by a simulated coralskipper
Jawaswag continued to serve with Darklighter following the conclusion of the Bacta War, in which Rogue Squadron defeated Isard. Sometime after the Thrawn campaign in 9 ABY, Jawaswag was accosted by a group of Jawas who tried to steal the droid. However, the R2 unit fended them off, hurting one in the process, thereby convincing Darklighter to rename the droid to Toughcatch, although that was later shortened to just Catch for ease of use in combat. Over the years, the droid underwent many memory wipes and upgrades, including the R2-Delta upgrade in 24 ABY, which allowed Catch to process navigational computations faster. Nevertheless, Catch still greeted Darklighter each time with a short summary of the weather on Coruscant and Tatooine, both planets that Darklighter considered home, which was the reason why he never traded in Catch for a newer model. In 25 ABY, as the extra-galactic Yuuzhan Vong species was beginning its invasion of the galaxy, Catch and Darklighter—now Rogue Leader—took part in a holosimulator that pitted the pair against a Yuuzhan Vong coralskipper fighter in their T-65A3 X-wing starfighter.
Although Catch and his pilot survived only twenty-five seconds in combat against the coralskipper before being virtually destroyed, they beat the time of Bothan Admiral Traest Kre'fey. While in the Outer Rim Territories searching for intelligence on the new attackers, Catch and the rest of Rogue Squadron deployed from Kre'fey's Bothan Assault Cruiser Ralroost after pirates were reported in an Outer Rim system. At Darklighter's orders, Catch scanned for the pirates' base, but Rogue Squadron was quickly engaged in an asteroid belt by damaged ugly fighters. While Rogue Leader disabled one of the enemy fighters, Catch worked on getting the tactical frequency of the attackers. Disabling the ugly led Darklighter and Catch to discover the mangled pirate EF76 Nebulon-B escort frigate Free Lance. Although the frigate briefly fired upon them, Catch was able to get the frequency of the pirate capital ship, and Darklighter convinced the crippled forces of the pirate leader Urias Xhaxin to stand down.
Rogue Squadron learned from Xhaxin that the pirate had been attacked by coralskippers before fleeing to the system in which the Ralroost had found him, and Catch and the Rogues were dispatched to the location of the attack to guard a reconnaissance X-wing starfighter as it gathered intelligence. However, when the squadron emerged from hyperspace, it was set upon by coralskippers, and Darklighter engaged one of the enemy fighters. After firing a proton torpedo resulted in the coralskipper's shields swallowing the projectile as expected, Darklighter ordered the Rogues to use their new combat programming designed to help fight coralskippers, and Catch's allocation of power allowed his pilot to switch their fighter to quad-linked cannon fire. With a barrage of frequent low-powered laser fire, Darklighter overwhelmed the coralskipper's shields and finished off the enemy with a full-powered quad burst.
During the dogfight, Catch and Darklighter learned how to prevent coralskippers from depriving the X-wings of shields by expanding the area of effect of their inertial compensators over those of the shields. In chasing one of the coralskippers that had latched onto Lieutenant Ligg Panat's fighter, Catch and Darklighter found themselves going for a head-to-head pass with the enemy fighter before the coralskipper's shields spawned a miniature black hole that threatened to destroy Catch and his pilot as it sucked them in. However, after Darklighter emptied his torpedo magazine into the black hole and managed to gain a little extra velocity, the pair escaped the edge of the black hole, while the coralskipper that created it was destroyed by other Rogues. With the reconnaissance starfighter having finished its mission, Catch and the rest of the squadron departed the area.
Dantooine and Ithor
- "Catch, program the torps for detonation at two klicks or proximity void detection."
- ―Gavin Darklighter, going after crates over Ithor
Shortly after the skirmish in the Outer Rim, Catch, Darklighter, and the rest of Rogue Squadron guarded a refugee encampment against Yuuzhan Vong ground forces on the planet Dantooine. When the ground troops began their attack during the night, Catch and Darklighter launched with the squadron from the camp, and Catch's pilot tasked it with monitoring the base tactical frequency for emergencies. Despite the threat of the ground troops, Rogue Squadron was unable to attack them, as enemy fighters occupied their attention. Later in the battle, Catch alerted Darklighter to the presence of the New Republic shuttle Impervious, whose occupant, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, requested that a missile spread be fired at the largest enemy ground vehicle using telemetry supplied by Skywalker's droid, R2-D2. With their wingmates covering them, Darklighter and Catch—along with Rogue Eleven Jaina Solo—fired a quartet of proton torpedoes at the vehicle.
R2-D2 changed the trajectory of the missiles to aim at the vehicle's spine instead of side, but the vehicle spawned a gravity anomaly that Catch reported and tried to reposition itself between the missiles and the spine. However, Skywalker, through the use of the Force, pushed the black hole into the vehicle's spine, destroying it while the missiles hit the ground and killed a multitude of ground troops. Although the Yuuzhan Vong completed their conquest of Dantooine, the New Republic forces successfully withdrew from the planet.
Later in 25 ABY, Catch and Rogue Squadron aided in the defense of the jungle planet Ithor. During the battle, the Rogues targeted four Yuuzhan Vong landing craft—dubbed crates—in Ithor's atmosphere that were headed for the Ithorian Herdship Tafanda Bay. Upon his pilot's command, Catch programmed two proton torpedoes for detonation at two kilometers or for when they detected a Yuuzhan Vong shield void. Darklighter fired the pair at the two rearmost crates, and the resulting detonation when the proton torpedoes detected the crates' shields tossed the two ships about due to the atmospheric shock wave. The crates lost control and crashed into the jungles below, although the other two crates escaped the Rogues. The New Republic ultimately emerged victorious, but the Yuuzhan Vong destroyed much of the life on Ithor with a bioweapon.
Colored gold and white, Catch was an R2-series astromech from the R-series droid line who spoke the droid language of binary. In its service to Rogue Squadron pilot Gavin Darklighter over the years, the droid fulfilled a variety of jobs. Catch programmed hyperspace jumps, with the R2-Delta upgrade aiding in the droid's calculation time after its installation, and performed many of the computer-related tasks on Darklighter's X-wing, such as running simulators and managing sensors. When in combat, Catch painted new targets for Darklighter on his secondary monitor and would whistle and shriek when the starfighter was in danger. Despite having multiple memory wipes over the years, Catch always greeted Darklighter with a short summary of the weather on Coruscant and Tatooine, the planets Darklighter thought of as home.
Behind the scenes
Catch first appeared as Jawaswag in the novel X-Wing: The Bacta War, released in 1997 and written by Michael A. Stackpole, before being identified as "Catch" in 2000's Dark Tide I: Onslaught, the first installment of the The New Jedi Order novel series by Stackpole. The droid was also given the name Toughcatch in the 2008 reference title The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia.
- X-Wing: The Bacta War (First appearance)
- X-Wing: The Bacta War unabridged audiobook
- X-Wing: The Bacta War abridged audiobook
- The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide I: Onslaught (First identified as Catch)
- The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide I: Onslaught audiobook
- The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide II: Ruin
- The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide II: Ruin audiobook
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 79 (JAW10, Jawas)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia (First identified as Toughcatch)
Notes and references
- The New Essential Guide to Droids — Based on corresponding data for all R2-series astromech droids
- X-Wing: The Bacta War
- The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide I: Onslaught
- X-Wing: The Bacta War takes place in 7 ABY according to The Essential Reader's Companion.
- The New Essential Chronology
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 143 ("Jawaswag")
- The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide I: Onslaught, which takes place in 25 ABY according to The Essential Reader's Companion, states that Catch received the R2-Delta upgrade one year prior.
- X-Wing: Rogue Squadron
- X-Wing: The Krytos Trap
- Both The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide I: Onslaught and The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide II: Ruin take place in 25 ABY according to The Essential Reader's Companion.
- The New Jedi Order: Dark Tide II: Ruin