Gold Squadron, also referred to as Gold Group, was a starfighter squadron in the Massassi Group rebel cell, the Alliance to Restore the Republic, and eventually the New Republic. The squadron, headquartered on Yavin 4, was commanded by Captain Jon "Dutch" Vander and flew BTL-A4 Y-wing light bombers. The group fought in some of the earliest consequential battles of the Galactic Civil War.
In 2 BBY, during the early days of the rebellion against the Empire, Gold Squadron participated in Operation Handoff to ensure the safety of Senator Mon Mothma of Chandrila, who spoke out against and defected from the Empire. The operation resulted in the formation of the Rebel Alliance. Later, in 0 BBY, Gold Squadron flew in the Battle of Scarif that marked the start of the war and allowed the Alliance to capture the plans to the Death Star superweapon. Not long after, as a result of the events of Scarif, Gold Squadron fought in and was completely decimated during the Battle of Yavin, which resulted in the destruction of the Death Star.
Later in the war, a reformed Gold Squadron fought in the climactic Battle of Endor under the command of General Lando Calrissian, where they were part of the destruction of the second Death Star. Following the Alliance's victory and the reformation of the Republic, Gold Squadron became part of the New Republic Defense Fleet.
- "You fly your run and hit what you can."
- ―Credo of Gold Squadron
Gold Squadron was a starfighter squadron that served the Rebel Alliance during the Galactic Civil War, and then later the New Republic. In the early days, the squadron were headquartered at their base on Dantooine, then later transfered to the Great Temple on Yavin 4, following the Declaration of the Rebel Alliance by Mon Mothma in 2 BBY. They also were based on Home One.
The squadron's compliment consisted of a mix of starfighters, shuttle and light freighters, that included the Aggressive ReConnaissance-170 starfighter, flown by Norra Wexley at least on one occassion, BTL-A4 Y-wing assault starfighter/bombers, RZ-1 A-wing interceptors, a Taylander shuttle, the Chandrila Mistress, and a modified YT-1300 light freighter, the Millennium Falcon. The squadron's starfighters were painted with yellow stripes or markings.
Gold Squadron began as a rebel cell fighting against the Galactic Empire, part of the unit led by General Jan Dodonna, which itself was part of Senator Bail Organa's larger rebellion. It was commanded by an Onderonian, Captain Jon "Dutch" Vander, flying as Gold Leader. Members of this unit flew BTL Y-wing starfighters, five of which were former Republic Navy bombers, stolen from the Imperial Reklam Station by the Phoenix Cell and delivered to Dodonna's unit in 2 BBY.
- "Phoenix Leader, this is Gold Squadron. We catch you at a bad time?"
- ―Captain Jon Vander, to Captain Hera Syndulla
Shortly after the delivery of the Y-wing starfighters, Senator Mon Mothma was forced to flee her homeworld of Chandrila as a branded traitor after publicly denouncing the Empire. Gold Squadron took on the duty of protecting the Senator and escorting her to Dantooine, where they would rendezvous with other rebel cells. Meeting up with elements of Phoenix Group for refueling of the Senator's Taylander shuttle Chandrila Mistress, the squadron was attacked by TIE fighters and forced to jump to hyperspace. At the advice of Phoenix Leader Hera Syndulla, the rebels took the old smuggler's route through the Archeon Nebula to escape the Lothal sector undetected. However, an experimental TIE/d "Defender" Multi-Role Starfighter starfighter decimated the squadron, until it was stopped by Vander and Ezra Bridger (flying as Gold Two). The remaining squadron members, Vander and the original Gold Two, then arrived safely with the Senator at Dantooine, where the Alliance to Restore the Republic would be formed.
Alliance to Restore the Republic
Transfer to Yavin
Following the Declaration of the Rebel Alliance, Jon Vander and Gold Squadron transferred from their base on Dantooine to the Great Temple on Yavin 4, where they continued to operate for the next two years.
Battle of Scarif
- "Red and Gold Squadrons, attack formation. Defend the fleet."
- ―Admiral Raddus giving Red and Gold Squadrons their orders
In 0 BBY, following the official formation of the Rebellion as a unified entity, Gold Squadron participated in the Battle of Scarif, again behind Jon Vander as Gold Leader. During the battle, elements of Gold Squadron conducted bombing runs on the Shield Gate that was preventing reinforcements from reaching beleaguered forces on the planet below. Three Y-wings were destroyed by the station's defenses on the initial bombing run alone. Gold Squadron also attacked the Imperial Star Destroyer Intimidator, disabling it with ion torpedoes. The destroyer was forced into the space station, disabling the planetary shield and allowing reinforcements to land.
Battle of Yavin
- "Fighters incoming. Gold Two and Five on me for the trench. The rest of the squad, engage the TIEs. Hold them off."
- ―Jon Vander to Gold Squadron
In 0 BBY, under the command of Jon "Dutch" Vander, Gold Squadron's eight spaceworthy Y-wing bombers participated in the Battle of Yavin. A flight of three Gold Squadron Y-wings, flown by Vander, Dex Tiree, and Davish Krail, were the first to make an attack run down the Death Star's meridian trench; with their targeting computers recalibrated for fast approach and precision release, this flight would attempt to destroy the station's main reactor by exploiting the weakness presented by the thermal exhaust port. All three were shot down by Darth Vader in his TIE Advanced x1 before flight lead Jon Vander had the opportunity to launch proton torpedoes.
While this skirmish was ongoing, all other Imperial fighters were ordered to engage the rebel ships at the magnetic perimeter. Imperial Senior Lieutenant Iden Versio shot down two Y-wings, and by the time Red Leader Garven Dreis started a second trench run, a total of seven Gold Squadron pilots, including Lepira, Hol Okland, and Ryle Torsyn, had perished. This left only one Y-wing, piloted by Evaan Verlaine. Versio was in the process of locking onto Verlaine's Y-wing when the Death Star abruptly exploded. Verlaine was the only Y-wing pilot of Gold Squadron to survive the assault, and returned to the Rebellion's headquarters on Yavin 4 with the other survivors. Luke Skywalker, R2-D2, Wedge Antilles, Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Verlaine were the only rebel survivors of the starfighter assault.
Battle of Endor
- "Red Group. Gold Group. All fighters, follow me."
- ―General Lando Calrissian, to Red and Gold Squadrons
In 4 ABY, Gold Squadron participated in the Battle of Endor under the command of General Lando Calrissian. Composed of a mix of different starfighters and the Millennium Falcon, members of Gold Squadron, including Jake Farrell (Gold Four) and Norra Wexley (Gold Nine), participated in the attack on the Death Star's main reactor. When TIE fighters and Interceptors pursued them and picked off an X-wing, Calrissian ordered some of the pilots to lure some TIEs away. Wexley, Farrell, and another A-wing pilot moved down one shaft, leaving Calrissian and Wedge Antilles (Red Leader) to get to the reactor with less TIEs on their tail. The two ships made it to their target and quickly crippled it before racing back out of the Death Star before the explosion could incinerate them.
Several months after the events of Endor, Gold Squadron became part of the New Republic Defense Force and took part in the war against the remnants of the Empire. The Gold Squadron pilot Wexley returned to her homeworld of Akiva to reunite with her estranged teenage son Temmin Wexley. Mother and son became involved in the rebellion on Akiva, which coincided with a secret Imperial summit on Akiva. Later, Captain Saff Melor recommended sending Gold Squadron and two light cruisers as a show of military force on Akiva. However, he was overruled by Chancellor Mon Mothma and Admiral Gial Ackbar. Wexley later won an award for her role in the uprising on Akiva and for trying to pursue Admiral Rae Sloane.
- LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures – "Trouble on Tibalt" (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures – "A Perilous Rescue"
Notes and references
- Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope
- Star Wars: On the Front Lines
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
- Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide
- Star Wars: X-Wing Second Edition – Rebel Alliance Conversion Kit (Card: )
- Star Wars: A-wing Deluxe Book and 3D Wood Model
- Star Wars Rebels – "Secret Cargo"
- Shattered Empire 1
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
- "Sparks"—From a Certain Point of View
- Star Wars: Build Your Own X-Wing 40 (Starfighter Aces: Jon 'Dutch' Vander – Gold Leader)
- Star Wars: On the Front Lines states that the Declaration of the Rebel Alliance took place two years before the Battle of Yavin. Since the battle of Yavin occurred in 0 BBY according to Star Wars: Galactic Atlas, it can be deduced that the Declaration of the Rebel Alliance took place in 2 BBY.
- Star Wars: Squadrons
- Star Wars Rebels: Steps Into Shadow
- Dawn of Rebellion dates the events of Star Wars Rebels: Steps Into Shadow seventeen years after the end of the Clone Wars, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 19 BBY; therefore, the events of Steps Into Shadow must take place in 2 BBY.
- Star Wars: Build Your Own X-Wing 42 (Starfighter Aces: Jon 'Dutch' Vander – Two Years on Yavin)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 79 (Highlights of the Saga: The Battle of Scarif)
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
- Ultimate Star Wars
- Star Wars: The Rebel Files
- Battlefront II: Inferno Squad
- A New Hope - The Film Novel
- The Odyssey of Star Wars: An Epic Poem
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope depicts the pilots identified as Ryle Torsyn and Hol Okland in Star Wars: Build the Millennium Falcon 37 (Guide to the Galaxy: Visiting Dantooine) and Battle of Yavin Scenario Pack, respectively, as BTL-A4 Y-wing assault starfighter/bomber pilots during the Battle of Yavin. "Grounded" states that the Alliance fielded only eight Y-wings during the battle, all of them in Gold Squadron and all of them destroyed bar that of Lieutenant Evaan Verlaine. Torsyn and Okland must therefore have died during the Battle of Yavin.
- Princess Leia 1
- Battlefront II: Inferno Squad states that Iden Versio was locking on to a BTL-A4 Y-wing assault starfighter/bomber when the Death Star exloded. A New Hope - The Film Novel establishes that only one Y-wing starfighter remained by the time the Death Star was destroyed, and Princess Leia 1 states that the surviving Y-wing was piloted by Evaan Verlaine. Therefore, it must have been Verlaine's Y-wing that Versio targeted.