- "Red Leader, This is Gold Leader. We're starting our attack run."
- ―Jon "Dutch" Vander
Jon "Dutch" Vander was a Human male and a senior pilot who joined the Rebel Alliance during the Galactic Civil War. He fought in the Battle of Yavin, flying a BTL Y-wing starfighter as Gold Leader, but was shot down by Darth Vader.
- "Loosen up!"
- ―Vander's last words before his death
He was trained at the Imperial Academy as a fighter pilot, but during one of his missions as a TIE Bomber pilot, he discovered the true nature of the Galactic Empire's ideals. He was ordered to bomb his home planet. He simulated a failure in his bomber and aborted the mission. He managed to escape the Imperials and joined the Rebel Alliance. Jon got the nickname "Dutch" from his Rebel friends. He became Gold Leader and was assigned to a Y-wing, flying several campaigns for the Alliance with Gold Squadron.
During the Rebel Pilot Briefing by Jan Dodonna Vander interrupted him by asking "Pardon me for asking sir. But what good are snub fighters going to be against that?" and then later gave Princess Leia a look of concern when Dodonna mentioned that the exhaust port was only two meters wide.
During the Battle of Yavin, he was one of the first groups who flew into the Death Star trench. Vander was on point, followed by Tiree (Gold Two) and Davish Krail (Gold Five), who formed a buffer against enemy fighters. Vander chose an extremely close formation for his pilots; this is typical for the much faster TIE Fighters, but the veteran Krail believed this to be a mistake. As Tiree was locking his target computer, Darth Vader shot him down. Vander lost composure as Krail stubbornly refused to loosen formation, maintaining his lock on the target at the cost of Vander being able to maneuver away. Moments later Vader fired into Vander's Y-wing, killing him instantly.
Behind the scenesEdit
In Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, Angus MacInnes plays the pilot identified as Gold Leader. One of his wingmen, Gold Five, has a line mentioning squadron mates named Tiree and either Hutch or Dutch—the enunciation is unclear. Gold Five is referring to Gold Leader and Gold Two, but the film provides no way to determine which call sign is Tiree and which is Dutch/Hutch.
This pilot first appears in the A New Hope novelization. In this version of the Battle of Yavin, the Y-wing squadron is Red Squadron rather than Gold. Red Five, identified only as "Pops," speaks of a pilot named Dutch, but—as in the film—it is ambiguous whether he means Red Leader or Two.
The film's screenplay, as it appears in the original 1979 edition of The Art of Star Wars, uses the Gold Squadron designation for the Y-wings. Here, too, Gold Five mentions Dutch, who could be either Gold Leader or Two.
The 1984 A Guide to the Star Wars Universe clarified that Dutch was Gold Leader and Tiree was Gold Two.
In 1995, the Star Wars Customizable Card Game was the first source to indicate that "Dutch" was a nickname and that his full name was Jon Vander.
Most other sources over the years, such as the Star Wars Encyclopedia, The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, the Star Wars Trading Card Game, an official action figure, and the current Databank entry, give this pilot's name or nickname as Dutch. However, the version of the screenplay in the 1997 book Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays gives his name as "Hutch." This variant was also used in the subtitles of the DVD of the film a decade later.
Vander's helmet prop — or one of a matching design — was later used by "Hobbie" in The Empire Strikes Back, and by Grizz Frix in Return of the Jedi as well as a different, unidentified pilot on Home One in the film.
- Star Wars Journal: Captive to Evil (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars Journal: The Fight for Justice
- Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope novel (First appearance)
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope junior novel
- Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope PhotoComic
- Perfect Evil
- Shield of Lies (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars Word Puzzles
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe (Dutch)
- The Movie Trilogy Sourcebook (Picture only)
- "Rebel Pilot Reunion"—Star Wars Insider 32
- "So You Think You Wanna Be a Rebel Pilot?"—Star Wars Kids 4
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Premiere Limited (Card: Dutch)
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Premiere Limited (Card: Gold 1)
- Star Wars: Behind the Magic
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Rebel Leader Pack (Card: Gold Leader in Gold 1)
- "Star News"—Star Wars Insider 31
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Special Edition Limited (Card: Hol Okand)
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Official Tournament Sealed Deck (Card: Gold Squadron Y-wing)
- Star Wars Trading Card Game - A New Hope (TCG) (Card: )
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 1 (YAV6, The Battle of Yavin)
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 8
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game – Y-Wing Expansion Pack (Card: )
- The Official Star Wars Fact File (2013) Part 1 (YAV3-4, The Battle of Yavin)
- Star Wars: Armada – Rebel Fighter Squadrons Expansion Pack (Card: )