The Rebel Alliance Starfighter Corps was the Starfighter Corps of the Alliance to Restore the Republic. A unit made of Rebel pilots, they participated in many major battles such as the Battle of Yavin, the Battle of Hoth and the Battle of Endor during the Galactic Civil War. It was one of the Alliance's greatest assets.
Although a small, unorganized resistance against Imperial rule of the galaxy had existed since at least 19 BBY, the Starfighter Corps itself was not organized until 2 BBY. By this time, the Starfighter Corps had access to BTL-A4 Y-wing assault starfighter/bombers, T-65B X-wing starfighters, T-65C-A2 X-wings, and UT-60D U-wing starfighter/support crafts.
Shortly after the theft of the Death Star plans at Scarif, the Empire discovered the location of the Rebels' headquarters on Yavin 4, and deployed the massive battlestation to destroy the moon. The Rebels deployed a force of 22 X-wing starfighters and 8 Y-wings for a desperate assault on the space station's reactor, which was accessible through a thermal exhaust port located at the end of the meridian trench. Despite massive casualties and fierce Imperial resistance, a young pilot named Luke Skywalker used the Force to destroy the station with a pair of proton torpedoes. Out of the initial attacking force, only 2 X-wings and a single Y-wing survived the assault.
After the Battle of Yavin, the Starfighter Corps dramatically increased the size and diversity of its forces. The Alliance was able to provide Saponza's rebel cell on Tatooine with new starship classes including A/SF-01 B-wing starfighters, E-50 Landseers, Fang fighters, HWK-290 light freighters, LAAT/i gunships, RZ-1 A-wing interceptors, and Z-95 Headhunters. Within a year, the Alliance had also acquired T-47 airspeeders, which would see action at the Battle of Vrogas Vas with Cyan Squadron. After the Alliance hijacked an Imperial I-class Star Destroyer Harbinger, Luke Skywalker and Sana Starros used the TIE/ln space superiority starfighters for patrol.
In 3 ABY, the T-47s were used at the Battle of Hoth. Although mainly used for pulling cargo sleds in the area surrounding Echo Base, a number of airspeeders served as effective atmospheric assault fighters. The resourceful pilots of Rogue Squadron used their harpoons and tow cables to tangle the legs of Imperial AT-AT walkers, and then blasted them with their laser cannons in their weakened state. Wedge Antilles employed this tactic successfully. Thane Kyrell of Corona Squadron used a different approach, slicing off a walker's foot pad with the sharp wing edge of his airspeeder.
In 4 ABY, the Starfighter Corps struck a decisive blow to the Empire in the pivotal Battle of Endor. Under the command of General Lando Calrissian, the Corps led a desperate assault on the DS-2 Death Star II Mobile Battle Station. With Calrissian at the controls of the Millennium Falcon, the Rebels destroyed the new battlestation, while the redeemed Anakin Skywalker sacrificed his own life to destroy Darth Sidious. Later that year, the Alliance to Restore the Republic reorganized itself into the New Republic. As part of this wider change, the Rebel Alliance Starfighter Corps was reorganized into the New Republic Starfighter Corps, which continued to see action in the Galactic Civil War up to and including the Battle of Jakku.
Notes and references
- Star Wars: Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide
- Darth Vader (2015) 14
- Vader - Dark Visions 5
- "Blade Squadron" – Star Wars Insider 149–150
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
- Shattered Empire 2
- Lost Stars
- Darth Vader (2015) 13
- Star Wars Battlefront II
- Star Wars: The Rebel Files
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- Alphabet Squadron
- Star Wars: Complete Locations
- Darth Vader (2015) 12
- Star Wars Battlefront: Rogue One VR mission
- Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary
- Shattered Empire 1
- ARC-170 Expansion Pack
- The Weapon of a Jedi: A Luke Skywalker Adventure
- Star Wars: Commander
- Star Wars (2015) 44
- Star Wars: On the Front Lines states that the formation 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 Rebel Alliance Starfighter Corps was also formed alongside the Rebel Alliance in 2 BBY.
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary dates the formation of the New Republic as taking place thirty years before the Starkiller Incident, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 34 ABY. Therefore, it can be deduced that the New Republic Starfighter Corps was formed in 4 ABY as well.
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
- Star Wars (2015) 23
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas