During the Galactic Civil War, several X-wing starfighters used by Rebel pilots bore the name Red Five and the designation AA-589. Cadet Pedrin Gaul operated an X-wing dubbed Red Five in the Battle of Scarif, and also used the corresponding callsign, but was shot down and killed by TIE/ln space superiority starfighters.
Days later, Luke Skywalker and R2-D2 flew a T-65B X-wing starfighter dubbed Red Five in the Battle of Yavin. R2 was damaged by Darth Vader's TIE Advanced x1 (but later repaired), but Skywalker used the Force to destroy the Galactic Empire's superweapon, the Death Star. After the battle, his Red Five designation became synonymous with the actual spacecraft that Skywalker flew.
Skywalker would then operate a different X-wing of the same name with a different paintjob in the Battle of Vrogas Vas, until he deliberately collided with Vader in mid-flight to draw the focus of the battle to the planet's surface. Skywalker was rescued by Han Solo in the Millennium Falcon and was forced to abandon his craft.
Later, Luke would continue to use his previous, more well-known X-wing. It was present on Hoth while Luke led Rogue Squadron, and after the Battle of Hoth, he would take it to Dagobah where he was to be trained by Yoda. Following a water landing, Red Five sank in one of the planet's swamps. Regardless, Yoda trained Luke in the ways of the Force, and later encouraged Luke to use his developing powers to pull the X-wing out of the swamp. While Luke failed to lift the starfighter, Yoda would do it himself, demonstrating his great power in the Force at his old age.
Luke flew the X-wing to Cloud City on Bespin against the desires of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda, who wanted him to finish his training. After his duel with Vader and subsequent rescue by Lando Calrissian and Leia Organa aboard the Millennium Falcon, Red Five was seemingly abandoned on Cloud City. However, the trio would later recover Luke's ship on a subsequent mission to the mining colony.
Luke later took Red Five to Tatooine to rescue Han Solo, and then flew the starfighter back to Dagobah to finish his training. Later, Skywalker would presumably leave his starfighter with the Alliance Fleet in the prelude to the Battle of Endor.
After the destruction of his Jedi temple, Luke went into a self-imposed exile and took Red Five to Ahch-To, submerging it in the sea below the Temple Island. A year after her first visit, Rey returned to the island in her own self-imposed exile, by purposely crashing Kylo Ren's TIE whisper, but was encouraged by the spirit of Skywalker to face the reemerged Palpatine. After Luke's spirit lifted Red Five from the waters, Rey repaired the ship and flew to Exegol using a Sith wayfinder to face the deposed Emperor. Once enroute, Rey transmitted Red Five's tracking beacon to the Resistance base on Ajan Kloss that allowed them to trace her route to the planet. This enabled the Resistance to launch an attack on the Sith world. Red Five ultimately survived the battle.
Behind the scenes
The Red Five first appeared in the 1977 film Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, the first installment of the Star Wars original trilogy. It was later seen in the 1980 film Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back and in the 1983 film Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi.
For the sequel trilogy, the 2017 film, Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi shows the Red Five submerged under the ocean of Ahch-To. However, the Red Five is used again in the 2019 film, Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker. The decision to bring back the Red Five in the ninth installment was partly due the scene from The Empire Strikes Back where Luke is unable to lift his X-wing from Dagobah's swamp. When The Last Jedi showed the X-wing underwater, it was decided to have Luke lifting it with the Force in the following film to bring it to full circle.
There are numerous continuity errors within Battle of Yavin scene as depicted in A New Hope, many of them introduced by the new computer-generated shots inserted into the The Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition. In the shot of the starfighters flying towards the Death Star, the Red Five has two red stripes on the trailing edge of the S-foils. In some of the subsequent shots, there are 3 or 5 stripes in the same spot. Similar continuity errors are also present in the main line of Star Wars comic books published by Marvel Comics.
In Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary, it was originally stated that the Red Five was no longer functional after being submerged in the waters of Ahch-To. One of its S-foils is even seen as serving as the door to Luke's hut in the film itself. However, in Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker, the Red Five is lifted from the water by Luke's ghost and flown by Rey to Exegol. The film's novelization addresses this discrepancy by explaining that Rey spent additional time on Ahch-To repairing the ship, including reattaching the wing and scavenging shield paneling from the TIE whisper wreckage.
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- LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales Episodes I-III
- LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures – "A Hero Discovered" (In flashback(s)) (Appears in hologram)
- "The Dragonsnake Saves R2-D2"—From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back
- The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special
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Notes and references
- Ultimate Star Wars
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- The Empire Strikes Back: So You Want to Be a Jedi?
- Star Wars: Ships of the Galaxy
- Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
- Princess Leia 1
- The Weapon of a Jedi: A Luke Skywalker Adventure
- Vader Down 1
- Star Wars Battlefront II
- The Mandalorian – "Chapter 16: The Rescue"
- Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Blu-ray Bonus Features
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: Expanded Edition
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
- Star Wars (2020) 4
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
- The Mandalorian is set about five years after the events of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 4 ABY. Therefore, the events of The Mandalorian must have taken place around 9 ABY. establishes that
- Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi
- The Skywalker Legacy
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary