- "Join formation, "Doc"—that's an order!"
"Remember what Porkins said? Sometimes you have to sacrifice to win the hand…!"
- ―Wedge Antilles and Cesi Eirriss
Cesi "Doc" Eirriss was a female Twi'lek pilot who served in the Alliance to Restore the Republic's Red Squadron prior to the Battle of Yavin. Around 0 BBY she accompanied Wedge Antilles, Biggs Darklighter and Jek Tono Porkins to Commenor to escort Nera Dantels and her badly-needed cargo of astromech droids to Yavin 4. Pursued by TIE Fighters shortly after leaving Commenor, Eirriss's ship was hit by debris from an exploding TIE solar panel, damaging her deflector shield generator and hyperdrive. Antilles ordered her to abandon ship, but Eirriss knew that a recovery would take away precious time from their escape and directed her X-wing into a collision course with the pursuing TIEs. Eirriss was killed when her ship was destroyed in the resulting collision, though the explosion eliminated a number of the Imperial starfighters and gave the other Rebels a chance to escape to hyperspace.
At some point prior to 0 BBY, Cesi Eirris attained a doctorate in political science. However, her career took a different path when she joined the Alliance to Restore the Republic as a starfighter pilot. By the time of the Destruction of Alderaan, she was based at the Rebel base on the fourth moon of Yavin Prime, where she was assigned to Red Squadron. Her doctorate earned her the nickname "Doc" among the other pilots.
The Alliance was in need of additional starfighters for use in their war against the Galactic Empire. After they learned of a number of T-65 X-wing starfighters at an Incom Corporation assembly facility, Eirriss was one several pilots called to a briefing in which General Jan Dodonna outlined a plan to capture the fighters by using four TIE/LN starfighters, recently brought to the Alliance by the defecting crew of the Imperial II-class frigate Rand Ecliptic, to draw the defending TIE Fighters away from the nearby Imperial Security Bureau base. With the facility temporarily undefended, the Rand Ecliptic would arrive with a GR-75 medium transport to retrieve the X-wings. The mission was a success and the Rebels retrieved several X-wings, although Peate Kurin was killed and Derek Klivian lost a leg during the diversionary raid. Soon after the mission, Eirriss was able to practice in the captured X-wings along with Wedge Antilles, Biggs Darklighter and Jek Tono Porkins, before the four went to visit Klivian as he recovered in the infirmary.
Mission to Commenor
Although the X-wings had relieved the Alliance's immediate shortage of starfighters, they were still critically short of the astromech droids required to help the pilots operate the ships. The Empire, anticipating their need, had begun impounding the droids to keep them out of Rebel hands, but the Alliance had located a source when Captain Nera Dantels of the civilian freighter Starduster arranged to rendezvous with Alliance forces on the Imperial stronghold of Commenor, to deliver a shipment of R2 and R5 units. Dodonna decided to keep personnel and ships to a minimum by launching an undercover operation to retrieve the droids. Eirriss was selected for the mission, along with Antilles, Darklighter and Porkins, and was briefed by the general before departing for Commenor.
The four Rebels headed for Commenor with Eirriss flying under the call sign "Red Four." After landing their X-wings at the spaceport on Commenor, the Rebels rented a landspeeder and proceeded to a local cantina, where they had been told to play a game of sabacc while waiting for Dantels. While they played, the Rebels heard the latest news of the dissolution of the Imperial Senate on the HoloNet, learning of the apparent disappearance of Senator Leia Organa of Alderaan. Eirriss dropped out of the game when the bet got too high, leaving Porkins to go on and win. Eirriss suggested a game of null-gravity caroms next, but before they could start a new game, Antilles received a signal from Dantels directing them to a nearby hangar, and the group departed. Outside the cantina, the Rebels were met by a local gang who attempted to elicit a protection fee by claiming to have chased thieves away from their landspeeder. When one of them insulted Porkins, the Rebel responded with a knee to the youth's midsection and a brawl broke out between the two groups. The fight came to an abrupt end when the Rebels drew their blasters and made a quick exit before Imperial authorities arrived.
Eirriss and the group proceeded to Hangar Bay 31 where they were due to rendezvous with Dantels. After confirming their identity, Dantels took the Rebels to the Starduster, where Eirriss quickly checked to see if the droids appeared to be in working order. Satisfied, the Rebels arranged to meet up with Dantels in orbit, after retrieving their X-wings, and lead the Starduster back to Yavin 4. However, they were unaware that one of the street gang had followed them to the rendezvous and alerted a stormtrooper to the meeting. The stormtrooper called the Imperial base on the nearby moon of Folor to warn them of the fleeing Rebels and, by the time the Rebels reached orbit, the Imperials had already dispatched TIE/LN starfighters to intercept them.
- "Doc's gone, and there's nothing we can do about that…but we can send the Death Star to hell in her name!"
- ―Wedge Antilles
Seeing the incoming fighters, Antilles instructed Eirris and Porkins to provide cover for the Starduster, while he and Darklighter moved to engage the Imperials. Eirriss and Porkins were soon engaged with TIEs that had broken past Antilles and Darklighter but were able to eliminate the TIEs, with each destroying their wingmate's pursuers. However, while the Rebels were occupied, more TIEs attacked the Starduster. Dantels used her ship's laser cannons to destroy the TIEs, but Eirriss's X-wing was struck by the solar panel from one of the Imperial fighters, damaging her shield generator and hyperdrive. Since Eirriss was unable to handle the necessary repairs on her own, Antilles ordered her to pressurize her flight suit and eject to be picked up by the Starduster. With a new wave of TIEs incoming, Eirriss instead told the others to make the jump to hyperspace and set a collision course for the approaching fighters.
Eirriss was killed in a head-on collision that destroyed her X-wing and a number of TIEs, but her actions provided the time needed for her comrades to escape. When the Empire's Death Star battlestation later moved against the Rebel base on Yavin 4, the survivors of the Commenor mission vowed to destroy it in Eirriss's name. Her place in the squadron for the Battle of Yavin was filled by John D. Branon. Though Eirriss died before Antilles and Luke Skywalker formed Rogue Squadron following the Battle of Yavin, she was included in a holographic memorial to the squadron's dead as late as 5 ABY.
Personality and traits
- "That lady had guts to spare."
- ―Biggs Darklighter on Cesi Eirriss
Despite having a doctorate in political science, Cesi Eirriss chose to join the Rebel Alliance in their struggle against the Galactic Empire. She was a capable pilot, who developed a good relationship with the other members of Red Squadron, and was also capable of handling herself in a fight, helping her wingmates to defeat the street thugs on Commenor. Eirriss believed that making a sacrifice for the greater good was worthwhile. After Dodonna outlined his plan to capture X-wings from the Incom facility, Darklighter expressed his concerns over the need to sacrifice the Rand Ecliptic's TIE Fighters, but Eirriss stated that it was a small price to pay and spoke of her respect for Dodonna's tactical ability. When her starfighter suffered damage during the Commenor mission, Eirriss was ultimately willing to sacrifice her life in order to give her comrades time to escape.
Behind the scenes
Cesi Eirriss was created by Michael A. Stackpole for the one-shot comic X-Wing Rogue Squadron ½, published on February 1, 1997. She later made a brief appearance as a hologram in X-Wing Rogue Squadron 35 and appeared in the third issue of the Star Wars: Empire: Darklighter story arc by Paul Chadwick, which was set around the events of X-wing Rogue Squadron ½ and included a brief recap of that story. She also received entries in Jason Fry's Star Wars Insider 59 article Who's Who in Rogue Squadron and The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia. In 2008, an Eirriss action figure was included in an "Evolutions" three-pack of Rebel pilots as part of Hasbro's Star Wars: The Legacy Collection.
Eirriss's skin color has varied between different sources in which she appears. X-Wing Rogue Squadron ½ depicted her with pale pink skin, while Empire 12: Darklighter, Part 3 gave her a yellowish complexion. Both her X-wing Rogue Squadron 35 appearance and Hasbro action figure have green skin while the illustration of her that appears on the figure's box has a yellow-green appearance.
- Empire 12
- X-Wing Rogue Squadron ½ (First appearance)
- Empire 15 (In flashback(s))
- X-Wing Rogue Squadron 35 (Appears in hologram)
- "Who's Who in Rogue Squadron" – Star Wars Insider 59
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 24 (DAR3, Biggs Darklighter)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Action Figure Collection
- "Authors of the Expanded Universe: The Legend of Dark Horse" – Star Wars Insider 154 (Picture only)
Notes and references
- Star Wars Omnibus: The Other Sons of Tatooine places the events of X-Wing Rogue Squadron ½ concurrently those of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, which takes place in 0 BBY per The New Essential Chronology.
- X-Wing Rogue Squadron ½
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- Empire 12
- X-Wing Rogue Squadron 35
- Star Wars Omnibus: X-Wing Rogue Squadron Volume 3 places the events of Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron: Mandatory Retirement approximately one year after the Battle of Endor, which The New Essential Chronology places in 4 ABY.
- "Who's Who in Rogue Squadron" – Star Wars Insider 59
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I, p. 227 ("Eirriss, Cesi "Doc"")