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"Before we begin, let's get something straight. I don't like hotshots. If you want to impress me, show me control and discipline. Without them you won't stand a chance against the Empire."
―Jake Farrell — (audio) Listen (file info)[4]

Jake Farrell was a Human male starfighter pilot who served in the Galactic Republic prior to the Declaration of a New Order. Following the rise of the Galactic Empire at the end of the Clone Wars, Farrell became an instructor for the Empire, but retired from Imperial service after a series of increasingly ruthless missions. He eventually came out of retirement and joined the Alliance to Restore the Republic, teaching Rebel pilots the skills needed to fight against the Empire. Known as a top X-wing pilot, Farrell flew a modified R-22 Spearhead during the Battle of Yavin. His experience with the R-22 led to him being selected to help design the new RZ-1 A-wing interceptor, which was based on the R-22. When the first A-wings entered service, Farrell transferred to an A-wing squadron.

By the time of the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY, he was considered to be among the best A-wing pilots, and so was chosen to fly with Green Squadron in the assault on the Imperial battlestation, the second Death Star. Participating in the starfighter attack on the Death Star's main reactor, Farrell followed the order of Gold Leader Lando Calrissian to break off his run and head for the surface of the station, drawing off some of the Imperial TIE fighters in pursuit.


Early career[]

In the years prior to the declaration of a New Order, Jake Farrell, a Human male, served the Galactic Republic as a starfighter pilot.[3] When the Clone Wars ended in 19 BBY, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine transformed the Republic into the Galactic Empire with himself as Emperor[5] and Farrell went on to serve the new Imperial Navy, helping to train some of the best pilots in the Empire. However, as the Empire grew more ruthless, Farrell found himself sent on ever more destructive missions.[3] Watching the pilots he had trained help to further Palpatine's subjugation of the galaxy,[6] Farrell decided to retire, leaving the Imperial Navy and fleeing to a secret location to pass the rest of his life in peace.[3]

Alliance instructor[]

"Well done, Rookie One. It looks like you've earned yourself an A-wing. But don't try any stunts with Commander Farrell. He won't appreciate it."
―Merrick Simms to Rookie One — (audio) Listen (file info)[4]

Jake Farrell, shortly before the Battle of Yavin

Years later,[6] after the rise of the Alliance to Restore the Republic in 2 BBY,[5] Farrell came out of retirement and joined the fledgling Rebellion as an instructor in the Alliance Starfighter Corps, in the hopes of providing young pilots with the skills they would need to fight the Empire.[3] Farrell originally flew T-65 X-wing starfighters and was considered one of the Rebellion's top X-wing pilots.[7] Despite this, Farrell preferred the extra speed and maneuverability of the R-22 Spearhead and spent much time upgrading the fighter to further improve its performance.[8]

By 0 BBY,[9] Farrell held the rank of commander and was using his experience to train rookie pilots. One of his trainees was "Rookie One", who was sent to Farrell after passing his piloting trials through Beggar's Canyon on Tatooine. Flying a pair of R-22 Spearheads, Farrell led Rookie One through the Tatoo system's asteroid field, instructing him to dodge the rock asteroids and shoot any ice ones in his path. Impressed by Rookie One's performance, Farrell passed him and ordered the young pilot to report to Kolaador for the final phase of his training.[4]

Shortly after Rookie One's training, the Empire dispatched the Death Star, a battlestation which was capable of destroying a planet, to destroy the Rebel base on Yavin 4.[4] Having managed to acquire the plans to the superweapon, General Jan Dodonna devised a plan to destroy it—a direct proton torpedo hit on a small thermal exhaust port would trigger a chain reaction in the battlestation's main reactor.[10] Farrell took a pair of modified R-22 Spearheads to Yavin 4[8] and flew one of the fighters in the subsequent Battle of Yavin. Working alongside his former pupil, Rookie One, along with numerous other Alliance starfighter pilots, Farrell helped to fight the Imperial forces[11] until Red Squadron pilot Luke Skywalker scored the decisive blow.[10]

Following the Battle of Yavin, General Dodonna, Adar Tallon and Walex Blissex realized that the Alliance needed a faster starfighter than the X-wing to counter the latest Imperial TIE models. The resulting starfighter, the RZ-1 A-wing interceptor, was based on the R-22 Spearhead, and Farrell's experience modifying the fighters saw him recruited to help draw up the designs.[8] When the new starfighters entered service, Farrell transferred to an A-wing unit.[7]

The Battle of Endor[]

"Split up and head back to the surface. And see if you can get a few of those TIE fighters to follow you."
"Copy, Gold Leader."
―Jake Farrell acknowledges Lando Calrissian's order to draw off Imperial pursuit[1]

Farrell and Wedge Antilles fly ahead of the Millennium Falcon into the second Death Star.

Four years later,[5] the Alliance learned that the Empire had constructed a second Death Star, more powerful than the first.[1] When the time came for the Rebel Alliance to attack the new battlestation, Farrell, as one of the best A-wing operators, was chosen to fly with Green Squadron[7] with the call sign Green Four.[8] In the initial stages of the battle, Green Squadron and other A-wing units used their jamming units to disrupt Imperial targeting computers.[12] As the battle progressed, Green Squadron pilots scored many kills on Imperial fighters[13] and Farrell joined Green Leader Arvel Crynyd to bring down the deflector shields protecting the bridge of the Super Star Destroyer Executor, leading to the destruction of the Imperial command ship.[8]

Following the Alliance battle plan, once the deflector shield around the Death Star was deactivated by Rebel operatives, the leader of the starfighter assault, Gold Leader Lando Calrissian, called for fighters to follow him into the battlestation's superstructure for a strike on the Death Star's main reactor. Farrell, among a group of others including Red Leader Wedge Antilles,[1] Gray Leader Horton Salm,[14] Green Three Tycho Celchu,[15] and Red Seven Keir Santage,[16] complied, diving into the workings of the partially-completed station.[1] Following Antilles' X-wing, Farrell flew ahead of the Millennium Falcon, which was followed by Celchu's A-wing, Salm's Y-wing, and Santage's X-wing.[17][1]

Imperial fighters—three TIE Fighters and three TIE Interceptors—chased the Rebel fighters as they flew through the Death Star, posing a threat to the success of the mission. One of the Imperial ships was destroyed when it collided with a wall, but, after Santage's X-wing was shot down, Calrissian ordered a number of the Alliance fighters to split up and head back to the surface, in order to draw off some of the Imperial pursuit.[1] Farrell was the first to comply, followed by Celchu and Salm—he and the others who broke off managed to draw off two Imperial fighters, reducing Calrissian's remaining pursuit by half.[18] Farrell survived the battle[2] and, due in part to his success in lessening the number of pursuers, Calrissian and Antilles were able to complete their mission of torpedoing the reactor, destroying the Death Star and winning the battle for the Rebel Alliance.[1]

Personality and traits[]

Jake Farrell, around the time of the Battle of Endor

"You impressed Commander Farrell. That's not easy."
―Ru Murleen — (audio) Listen (file info)[4]

Farrell was a serious officer with a no-nonsense attitude[3] and little time for pilots who showed off during training.[4] Though he could seem grumpy, this was largely a way of teaching control and discipline to his students,[6] qualities that he believed were vital if Alliance pilots were to defeat their Imperial opponents. Only those that demonstrated these skills would impress the commander and pass his training.[4]

Farrell favored the speed and maneuverability of the R-22 Spearhead and modified his own fighter to improve its performance by upgrading its systems and removing any non-essential components. Farrells skills saw him brought into General Dodonna's team to work on the design of the RZ-1 A-wing interceptor.[8] Already considered among the top X-wing pilots in the Rebel Alliance before the introduction of the A-wing, Farrell transferred to an A-wing unit when the new craft became available. By the time of the Battle of Endor, he was already considered to be one of the best A-wing pilots as well, and so was chosen to fly in Green Squadron[7] alongside such notables as Arvel Crynyd[1] and Tycho Celchu.[15] When Calrissian asked for fighters to join him in his assault on the Death Star's reactor, Farrel was among the first to answer the call; when the general gave the order for a number of fighters to break off the assault on the Death Star's main reactor in order to draw off pursuit, he complied, allowing his fellow pilots to complete the mission,[1] for which they received accolade.[14]

Behind the scenes[]

"Hey, don't you know you shouldn't be flying up here alone?"
―Jake Farrell to Rookie One during the Battle of Yavin — (audio) Listen (file info)[4]

The character of Jake Farrell was created for the 1993 LucasArts video game Star Wars: Rebel Assault and his backstory was expanded in the game's manual.[3][4] In making Rebel Assault, the developers used characters and scenes from the The Star Wars Trilogy as a basis for those in the game.[19] Farrell's appearance was based on a pilot played by actor Michael Drew[20][21][22] who can be seen briefly in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, in which he acknowledges Lando Calrissian's order for the Rebel fighters to split up in order to draw off Imperial pursuers during the Death Star assault.[1] In the script for Return of the Jedi, he is simply credited as "Pilot."[18] Decipher, Inc. also fleshed out the character's backstory, with the release of the "Death Star II Limited" set for the Star Wars Customizable Card Game in 2000, which established him as a top A-wing and former top X-wing pilot.[7] The Essential Guide to Warfare (2012) further expanded the character's history, describing his part in the development of the RZ-1 A-wing interceptor.[8]

In December 2008, Hasbro confirmed that they would be releasing a Jake Farrell action figure as part of their Star Wars: The Legacy Collection toy line. Farrell is included in the Rebel Pilots Series III Evolutions pack, along with John D. Branon and Shira Brie, and is depicted in his role as an A-wing pilot in Green Squadron during the Battle of Endor.[23][24]

Battle of Yavin[]

Farrell rescues Rookie One during the Battle of Yavin.

In Rebel Assault's final level, set during the Battle of Yavin, Blue Squadron attempt to destroy the Death Star by undertaking a trench run which contradicts the events depicted in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. The trench run in the game is almost identical to that of the movie—only the persons involved are different. In the game, Merrick Simms enters the trench first while Ru Murleen joins Rookie One and Thurlow Harris in providing cover. As they negotiate down the long trench the group is pursued by three TIE fighters, including a TIE Advanced x1 which was presumably intended to be the one used by Darth Vader in the movie. The TIEs open fire, killing Harris and forcing Murleen to pull out, echoing the fates of Biggs Darklighter and Wedge Antilles in the movie. Simms finally reaches firing range but his torpedoes impact on the surface, leaving Rookie One next to make an attempt. With the TIEs closing fast, Rookie One appears to be in trouble when Farrell's R-22 arrives and destroys the TIEs, leaving Rookie One free to take his shot. This again parallels Han Solo's last minute rescue of Luke Skywalker from the film. Finally, it is Rookie One's shot that is depicted as destroying the battlestation, as opposed to Skywalker's.[4][10]

In December 2006 Leland Chee commented on the StarWars.com Message Boards that Rookie One's trench run was non-canon.[25] The Essential Guide to Warfare later confirmed that Blue Squadron were assigned to attack the Death Star's superlaser while Red and Gold Squadrons attacked the trench.[8] Although Sue Seserman's Star Wars Insider 27 article "Excerpts from the Journal of a Rebel Pilot" confirms that Farrell was present with Murleen and Rookie One for the Battle of Yavin, since his only appearance during the battle in the game is during the non-canon trench run, the exact nature of his involvement in the battle is unclear.[4][11] "Excerpts from the Journal of a Rebel Pilot" incorrectly refers to the character as Captain Ferrell.[11]


"Red Two, peel off and take the rest of the assault wing back to the surface. Try to get those TIE fighters and make them follow you out."
"Copy, Gold Leader."
―Lando Calrissian and Red Two, who serves in Farrell's role in the Return of the Jedi radio drama[26]

Farrell's role in the Battle of Endor has been depicted by a number of adaptations of the movie without change;[27][28][29] however, in some versions, his line is given to other characters. In the novelization of Return of the Jedi, Farrell does not appear, and his role is instead assumed by Green Leader—Arvel Crynyd—who follows Calrissian into the Death Star.[30]

The Return of the Jedi audio drama and Return of the Jedi: The National Public Radio Dramatization script combine the roles of Farrell and that of Red Two, a Y-wing pilot seen in the film. In the radio drama, Red Two follows Calrissian into the Death Star and responds to a command to head back to the surface in order to draw TIE fighters away.[26][31]

Fan misconception[]

For a time there was fan speculation as to the identity of the pilot who appears in Return of the Jedi, as author Michael A. Stackpole had established Tycho Celchu as an A-wing pilot who survived the Death Star run in the Battle of Endor in his 1996 novel X-Wing: Rogue Squadron. However, Stackpole confirmed on his website that Farrell (then-unnamed) is not Celchu, stating that Celchu does not look like Farrell, and that while Farrell flew the first A-wing into the Death Star, Celchu piloted the second.[17] Furthermore, other cards released by Decipher for the card game indicate Celchu as the pilot of the second A-wing in the chase sequence[15] and as one of the background characters during the Alliance briefing before the battle, who does not look like Farrell.[32]


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Farrell piloting an A-wing

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 HasbroInverted.png Star Wars: The Legacy Collection (Pack: Rebel Pilot Legacy III) (backup link)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Star Wars: Rebel Assault manual
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 Star Wars: Rebel Assault
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 The New Essential Chronology
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I, p. 256 ("Farrell, Jake")
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Swccglogolg.png Star Wars Customizable Card GameDeath Star II Limited (Card: Green Squadron Pilot) (backup link)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 The Essential Guide to Warfare
  9. Star Wars: Rebel Assault takes place at the same time as the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, which The New Essential Chronology places in 0 BBY.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 SWInsider.png "Excerpts from the Journal of a Rebel Pilot" – Star Wars Insider 27
  12. Galaxy Guide 5: Return of the Jedi, Second Edition
  13. The Official Star Wars Fact File 13 (AWI1-2, A-wing Starfighter)
  14. 14.0 14.1 X-Wing: Rogue Squadron
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Swccglogolg.png Star Wars Customizable Card GameDeath Star II Limited (Card: Green Squadron 3) (backup link)
  16. Swccglogolg.png Star Wars Customizable Card GameDeath Star II Limited (Card: Keir Santage) (backup link)
  17. 17.0 17.1 Michael A. Stackpole: Frequently Asked Questions (2010-03-02). Stormwolf.com. Archived from the original on June 27, 2017.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Star Wars: Behind the Magic
  19. Rebel Assault: The Official Insider's Guide
  20. Michael Drew Details. kractors.co.nz. Kathryn Rawlings and Associates Limited. Archived from the original on January 30, 2018.
  21. Jake Farrell Figure, Rebel Pilot Legacy III, Star Wars The Legacy Collection. jedibusiness.com. JediBusiness.com. Archived from the original on March 20, 2015.
  22. Imperial Signings: A-wing Pilot Michael Drew. starwarsautographcollection.com. Star Wars Autograph Collection. Archived from the original on March 31, 2017.
  23. Star Wars Q&A: December 12, 2008 (2008-12-12). Hasbro.com. Archived from the original on July 26, 2009.
  24. Star Wars Q&A: May 8, 2009 (2009-05-08). Hasbro.com. Archived from the original on July 27, 2009.
  25. StarWars.com Holocron continuity database questions on StarWars.com Message Boards. Posted by Leland Y Chee on 2006-12-07 at 06:15 PM. (content now obsolete; backup link)
  26. 26.0 26.1 Return of the Jedi radio drama, chapter six: Blood of a Jedi
  27. Star Wars Manga: Return of the Jedi 4
  28. Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi junior novelization
  29. Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi Photo Comic
  30. Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi novel
  31. Return of the Jedi: The National Public Radio Dramatization
  32. Swccglogolg.png Star Wars Customizable Card GameDeath Star II Limited (Card: Tycho Celchu) (backup link)
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