Click here for Wookieepedia's article on the Canon version of this subject.  This article covers the Legends version of this subject. 
For other uses, see A-wing.
TPMCGYoda.jpg

Master Qui-Gon, more to say, have you?

It is requested that this article, or a section of this article, be expanded.

See the request on the listing or on this article's talk page. Once the improvements have been completed, you may remove this notice and the page's listing.

The R-22 Spearhead starfighter, also known as the Tammuz-an R-22 Spearhead fighter and nicknamed the "A-wing", was a state-of-the-art starfighter prototype developed by the Tammuz-an species as an escort fighter for their space navy. Inspired by the Aurek-class tactical strikefighter, its design was copied by Alliance Underground Engineering and Incom Corporation when they were developing the RZ-1 A-wing interceptor, an evolution of the R-22 Spearhead and Delta-7 Aethersprite-class light interceptor.

Characteristics[edit | edit source]

The R-22 Spearhead starfighter[2] was an agile, state-of-the-art vessel[7] inspired by the Aurek-class tactical strikefighter,[8] a model of starfighter manufactured by Republic Fleet Systems[9] that remained the Galactic Republic's standard "hyperspace snub" for nearly four thousand years.[8] Like the Aurek, the R-22's spaceframe supposedly resembled the letter A of the High Galactic alphabet, leading it to be informally nicknamed the "A-wing".[10] It was favoured by pilots that enjoyed tinkering, who upgraded the R-22's flight systems and stripped it of any and all components that could be jettisoned to further increase the fighter's speed and maneuverability.[8]

History[edit | edit source]

The R-22 Spearhead was developed by the Tammuz-an,[1] a species of tall humanoids native to the planet of the same name,[11] and was used by their space navy to escort the Tammuz-an shipping fleet.[5]

The R-22 Spearhead became an experimental testbed for the Rebel Alliance, nicknamed the "A-wing," shortly before the Battle of Yavin.[12] During one early operational test, the Rebels sent a lone R-22 to attack an unguarded Imperial repair dock. The fighter performed admirably, destroying the facility before the Nebulon-B frigate Virulence could respond. The mission was later recreated as a simulation used in training new pilots.[13]

The Alliance Fleet started deploying a number of R-22s at that time. Captain Juno Eclipse and PROXY used a two-seater R-22 to travel to Dac to help Admiral Gial Ackbar and Senator Bail Organa liberate the Mon Calamari and recruit them to the Alliance cause.[6] The fleet used them in the Assault on Kamino against the Imperial TIE/sa bombers.[14] Keyan Farlander flew Spearheads in several missions during Operation Skyhook,[13] and at least two R-22s participated in the Battle of Yavin, one piloted by Jake Farrell.[15]

Two R-22 Spearheads in the Massassi Temple hangar, between two disassembled H-60 Tempest bombers

The Spearhead was nicknamed "A-wing" among Rebel pilots. The name "A-wing" persisted when the model was modified by General Jan Dodonna and Walex Blissex after the Battle of Yavin into the Rebel Alliance's fast RZ-1 A-wing interceptor.

Dodonna's decision to create the RZ-1 was largely driven by the Alliance's lack of a starfighter that could match the TIE/LN starfighter's raw speed. Additionally, the RZ-1 was noted for its improved maneuverability over the Spearhead, so the engine design was the most likely difference between the craft.

The weapons complement might have undergone a similar change, as early Spearheads used green laser ammunition rather than the red/orange seen with most Alliance fighters.

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

A two-seat version of the R-22 Spearhead

Though most sources established that the A-wing was introduced by the Rebel Alliance after the Battle of Yavin, some Expanded Universe sources deviate from this and show A-wings in use before Yavin, notably Star Wars: Droids, Star Wars: X-Wing, Star Wars: Rebel Assault, Star Wars: Force Commander, and Star Wars: Empire at War. This inconsistency was eventually reconciled in The New Essential Guide to Characters, which explained that the pre-Yavin appearances of A-wings were R-22 Spearheads instead.[16]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.