- "I was there with Ru Murleen and Captain Ferrell when we put a major crimp in the Empire's plans by blowing up a Death Star. You'd think they'd stop calling me 'Rookie' after that!"
- ―Rookie One
"Rookie One" was the handle of a Human pilot who fought for the Alliance to Restore the Republic during the Galactic Civil War; it was used to refer to him during his training prior to the Battle of Yavin, but stuck as a nickname later, typically used instead of his actual name. Originally a farm hand on Tatooine, Rookie One joined the Rebel Alliance shortly after the Battle of Toprawa. After completing his training in the Alliance's base near Beggar's Canyon, the young Rebel fought in the battle of Tatooine, during which his squadron led an assault on an Imperial-class Star Destroyer, and later helped to buy time for the safe evacuation of personnel from Gamma Base on Hoth during an Imperial attack. Rookie One was transferred to the Great Temple on Yavin 4 shortly before the arrival of the Death Star and was one of the few Rebel pilots to survive the subsequent Battle of Yavin.
Rookie One would continue to serve the Rebellion and, shortly after the Battle of Hoth, was instrumental in uncovering an Imperial project to develop a cloaking device for use on the TIE Phantom. His rescue of the freighter Corellia Star on the planet Dreighton gave the Alliance hints of a secret Imperial project in the Belt of Arah. As part of Rascal Squadron, Rookie One destroyed the Arah mining facility, but soon after witnessed the Phantom TIEs when his group was attacked and he was the sole survivor. With this information, Rookie One traveled to Imdaar where, with the cooperation of Ru Murleen, he managed to infiltrate the Super Star Destroyer Terror and steal one of the new starfighters. Furthermore, the two Rebel agents were able to destroy not only the Terror, but the TIE Phantom factory at Imdaar Alpha before returning the captured ship to the Alliance, putting an effective end to the project.
The Human male known as Rookie One was born on the arid desert world of Tatooine in the Outer Rim Territories around 18 BBY and the foundation of the Galactic Empire. Growing up on his family's moisture farm, the young Tatooinian started work as a farm hand and began to develop a disliking for the Empire, becoming supportive of the fledgling Rebel Alliance. During this time he also developed a taste for flying, soon becoming a daring civilian pilot and joining other young Tatooinians in blasting womp rats in their skyhoppers. While he was still in his teens, his family was killed in a freak farm-machinery accident.
- "Well done, Rookie One. We can use more pilots like you. Follow me to base, and we'll get you assigned to a squadron. And while we're waiting, I'll let you buy me a drink for that fancy flying."
- ―Ru Murleen to Rookie One
It was on a day trip to Mos Eisley, shortly after the death of his family, that Rookie One got a chance to become involved with the Rebellion. While in Mos Eisley he encountered Lieutenant Turland Hack, a communications officer at the Alliance's nearby base, who was training a group of pilots in the town. Hack was impressed with the young pilot's enthusiasm for the Rebellion and desire to help defeat the Empire, and helped Rookie One to join the Alliance for training as a starfighter pilot. Hack soon became like a "big brother" to the young recruit, taking him under his wing and doing what he could to help him develop into one of best pilots in the fleet. It was during this time that he acquired the call sign Rookie One, a nickname which would remain with him throughout his career, though his skill as a pilot also earned him the title "hotshot" from many of his instructors, as well as fellow recruits.
Rookie One's training on Tatooine culminated in trials through the nearby Beggar's Canyon and surrounding area, shortly after the Battle of Toprawa in 0 BBY. The first trial involved flying a T-16 skyhopper through the dangerous canyon in close formation with two members of Green Squadron. After successfully navigating the canyon, Rookie One moved onto the second part of the trial, navigating in formation through the rocky terrain while engaging in target practice against a number of target drones. Rookie One's piloting abilities saw him comfortably pass the trials and move on to R-22 Spearhead training under Commander Jake Farrell.
After launching from Tatooine, Rookie One was challenged to follow Farrell through a nearby asteroid field. Rookie One's control and discipline in navigating through the field, shooting several smaller asteroids in the process, impressed Farrell, who cleared him to proceed to Kolaador for the final phase of his training. On Kolaador Rookie One met Ru Murleen, then the youngest commander in the Alliance, who would serve as his final instructor. The difficult course required him to follow her lead in his R-22 through the planet's hazardous crystalline rock formations. Again, he proved equal to the challenge, not only qualifying as a starfighter pilot but so impressing the young commander that she offered to let him buy her a drink for his "fancy flying" while he awaited assignment to a squadron.
Battle of Tatooine
The two Rebels would not have long to celebrate, however, as their drink was cut short by the news that Tatooine Base was under Imperial attack. Knowing that Tatooine would be unable to hold out for long, the Rebels sent three X-wings to assist. Rookie One was selected to join Commander Murleen and another rookie pilot, Thurlow Harris, for the mission. The group came out of hyperspace to find an Imperial-class Star Destroyer in orbit. Murleen knew that with the Star Destroyer coordinating the attack below, the Rebels would likely be defeated, so instructed her group to eliminate its command center before proceeding to the surface. In a series of strafing runs, the group weakened the ship's defenses while holding off the Star Destroyer's TIE fighters. When the deflector shields protecting the bridge finally fell, Murleen instructed Rookie One to arm his proton torpedoes and commence an attack run on the unprotected command tower. Rookie One scored a direct hit, crippling the vessel. With the threat of the Star Destroyer eliminated, the group proceeded down to the planet.
The Rebel base was already under heavy attack by the time of their arrival. As they approached the base, the group contacted Turland Hack for a status report and Rookie One was powerless to act as he heard the destruction of the base in a TIE fighter attack. Yet the young pilot had little time to mourn his friend. Acting quickly to prevent the TIEs reporting their presence back to their commanders, Rookie One gave chase through Beggar's Canyon and destroyed all three Imperial fighters. Joined by Captain Merrick Simms, the Rebels proceeded to Mos Eisley where the Empire was deploying ground forces. While Murleen left to attempt to cut off the Imperial supply lines, Rookie One joined Simms and Harris in engaging All Terrain Scout Transports and Imperial landing craft. After causing as much damage to the Imperial forces as they could, and with TIE fighters incoming, the group was forced to withdraw. Pursued by TIE fighters and interceptors, the Rebels fled through the nearby asteroid field, losing their pursuers before rendezvousing with the fleet and proceeding to Gamma Base on the ice-world of Hoth.
- "Rookie One, is that you?"
"In the flesh. Can you use another hand?"
"Well, no…but I can sure use another pilot."
- ―Ru Murleen and Rookie One
However, the Rebel escape would be short-lived. Darth Vader, determined to locate where they had fled to, had Viper probe droids dispatched throughout the Anoat sector. While Rookie One was conducting a patrol in a T-47 airspeeder, the Rebels detected the arrival of a probe droid nearby and sent him to investigate. Rookie One soon confirmed the presence of a probe droid and was ordered to destroy it and any others he found while the Rebels prepared to evacuate. As the probe droid disappeared into a cave, Rookie One gave chase.
After destroying the probe, Rookie One brought his snowspeeder out of the cave and rendezvoused with other Rebel snowspeeders to assist in the defense of Gamma Base—Imperial walkers were approaching the base and the Rebels needed more time to evacuate. In a remarkable foreshadowing of events to come at the Battle of Hoth three years later, the Rebels fought bravely against the heavily armored All Terrain Armored Transports, and Rookie One played a vital role in slowing the Imperial advance, bringing down one of the AT-ATs with his snowspeeder's laser cannons.
As the Rebels retreated, Rookie One's snowspeeder suffered a power loss and he was unable to stay airborne. However, he told the others to carry on without him and ensure the safety of the fleeing transports while he attempted to return to base on foot. By the time he crossed the frozen landscape to reach Gamma Base, the Rebels had evacuated and the base was overrun by Imperial stormtroopers. Rookie One fought his way through the base, eventually reaching the hangar where he boarded the last remaining X-wing, making his escape in the nick of time as stormtroopers fired futilely after him.
Rookie One's departure was just in time to assist the last transport as it attempted to escape to hyperspace. Joining up with Ru Murleen's group, Rookie One fought waves of TIE fighters, keeping them away from the transport until it safely jumped out of the system. Once the Rebel pilots were clear of the Imperial fighters, they followed the transport to safety.
Battle of Yavin
The Rebels fled to the Alliance's main base on Yavin 4 to dire news. For some time the Empire had been developing the Death Star, a battlestation with enough power to destroy a planet. Though the Alliance had been able to acquire the plans to the superweapon, the Empire had learned the location of their base and the Death Star was en route to Yavin. Fortunately, analysis of the plans indicated a weakness which would make the battlestation vulnerable to a starfighter attack. With just three hours before its arrival, Rookie One participated in a hastily arranged training mission to prepare the pilots for the upcoming battle in which he was required to destroy target drones while navigating through a narrow river bed on the jungle moon. By the end of the training mission, the Death Star had arrived in the system, and Rookie One formed up with the other Rebel starfighters for the battle.
Rookie One was assigned to Blue Squadron for the Battle of Yavin, flying under the command of Merrick Simms. As the squadron approached the battlestation, a Star Destroyer in the Death Star's support fleet launched TIE fighters to intercept them. As the group battled their way through the incoming TIEs, three of the Imperial fighters pursued Simms. When Harris was unable to get a lock, Rookie One acted quickly to eliminate the threat and save his commander. Once through the perimeter, Simms instructed Rookie One and Ru Murleen to commence strafing runs on the Death Star's turbolaser batteries. The battle plan called for navigating a trench along the surface in order to reach a thermal exhaust port—a direct hit from a proton torpedo would trigger a chain reaction to destroy the station. However, before the assault on the trench could begin, a heavy cannon situated near the exhaust port needed to be eliminated. Since the cannon was too heavily armored to attack directly, Rookie One and Ru Murleen opened a gap in its shielding and flew into the superstructure. There, they destroyed several power relays, disabling the weapon.
With the threat of the heavy cannon neutralized, the way was clear for the Alliance forces to begin their trench runs. Blue Squadron, meanwhile, were charged with attacking the Death Star's superlaser directly, in an attempt to both damage it and divert attention away from Red and Gold Squadrons while they attacked the exhaust port. The initial trench runs failed to hit the target and time was running out when Luke Skywalker, another young pilot from Tatooine, finally delivered the killing blow to the Death Star.
At some point over the next few years, Rookie One was assigned to the Rebel base on his former training world of Kolaador and was present when Kolaador came under attack by a group of Imperial Star Destroyers, flying an X-wing against TIE fighters amid the planet's crystalline rock formations.
Search for the Corellia Star
- "Maybe it's true what they say…"
"Now don't start telling me any phantom fighter tales. Geez, you farm boys'll believe anything you hear."
- ―Rookie One and Kirby
Shortly after the Battle of Hoth in 3 ABY, Rookie One overheard members of another squadron discussing the Dreighton Triangle, an area of space where starships had been mysteriously disappearing since the Clone Wars. The next day, he was informed that he would be accompanying his wing leader, Commander Kirby, on a patrol near Dreighton. Deciding not to take any chances, Rookie One prepared for the mission by practicing heavily in his base's B-wing simulator. As Rookie One and Kirby conducted their patrol, they intercepted a distress call from the YT-1300 light freighter Corellia Star, which was under attack from Imperial fighters. The pilot claimed to be carrying information which was vital to the Alliance, though signal interference prevented the Rebels from hearing the whole message. Nevertheless, the two Rebels attempted to mount a rescue, but were quickly intercepted by a swarm of TIE fighters. Despite being heavily outnumbered, their B-wings were able to eliminate the enemy fighters, but not before the Imperials boarded and captured the freighter. With the area now clear of threats, Rookie One and Kirby began searching for the freighter.
The Rebels were suspicious of how quickly the TIEs had reached them from the freighter and suspected there might be more. Their suspicions were proved correct when, moments after Rookie One detected an emergency distress beacon from the Corellia Star, they suddenly came under attack from Imperial fighters. Kirby's B-wing was destroyed while Rookie One's lost a wing, sending him out of control towards the planet below. He was able to eject moments before impact and, still tracking the distress beacon, began crossing the desert in search of the freighter, eventually coming upon an Imperial base. With little other option, Rookie One decided to risk entering the base and attempt to escape in the freighter. After breaking into the base, he fought his way past stormtroopers to reach the hangar where the Corellia Star sat, almost depleting his ammunition against the numerous Imperial troops. Killing the guards, the Rebel boarded the ship and attempted to escape. However, the Imperials sealed the hangar, leaving Rookie One with no hope of escape other than to fly the ship into the mining tunnels of the planet. Successfully negotiating the treacherous tunnels while evading fire from pursuing mine cars, he made his escape through a ventilation shaft and jumped to lightspeed once clear of the planet.
Belt of Arah
- "Thanks Rece. You saved me from becoming space debris."
"Just doin' my job. Besides, I try not to litter."
- ―Rookie One and Ina Rece
Once Rookie One delivered the Corellia Star to the Alliance Fleet, he had time to reflect on the recent mission. The suddenness of the Imperial attack concerned him but events had happened so fast that his memory of the attack was unclear. Meanwhile, the Rebels were able to recover the Corellia Star's mission recorders and retrieve the full distress message. The message revealed that the Empire had a secret mining facility in the Belt of Arah where it was processing oridium ore to fuel a new weapon. Six days after the Dreighton mission, Rookie One learned that Admiral Gial Ackbar was planning to send a squadron to investigate the facility and decided to volunteer for the mission. In a briefing by the admiral, Rookie One was selected to join the strike team tasked with returning to the Dreighton Nebula and conducting a search of the Belt of Arah. Upon discovering the Imperial complex, they were to destroy its production capabilities.
The mission saw Rookie One flying as part of Rascal Squadron, along with Ace Merrick and Ina Rece. When the group arrived at the Belt of Arah they discovered that the perimeter of the asteroid field was protected by a derillium minefield and were forced to negotiate their way through the asteroids, destroying nearby mines before they could attack their X-wings. Though through the perimeter, the group were not out of trouble and soon came under attack from a swarm of TIE interceptors. Although Rookie One acquitted himself well, he eventually picked up a TIE on his tail and had to be rescued by Rece.
The group finally came upon the mining facility, built into one of the larger asteroids. After gaining access through a transport corridor designed for shuttles and cargo drones, the group followed the corridor until Rookie One was able to gain access to the reactor by destroying the shield emitters at an exchange junction. Evading fire from sentry guns, which mistook the X-wings for floating debris, the group destroyed the reactor's cooling system, causing it to go critical. The Rebels escaped through an exhaust vent moments before the facility was destroyed. However, just as Rascal Squadron prepared for hyperspace, they were attacked by Imperial fighters. Rookie One was the only survivor, managing to evade enemy fire long enough to jump to hyperspace.
Mission to Imdaar
- "Rookie One, is that you?"
- ―Ru Murleen upon seeing Rookie One again on Imdaar
Like the previous attack near Dreighton, the Imperial fighters appeared with no warning. This time, however, the survival of Rookie One's X-wing cast some light on the mysterious fighters—flight recordings showed them to be modified V38 assault fighters, fitted with cloaking devices which rendered them effectively invisible except when firing. Admiral Ackbar realized that a fleet of the TIE Phantoms could prove disastrous for the Alliance, allowing the Empire to attack with impunity. Alliance Intelligence had reported high levels of Imperial Navy activity near the planet Imdaar in recent weeks, and, with the Super Star Destroyer Terror en route to Imdaar, Ackbar suspected that this was the likely location for the mass deployment of the new starfighters. If the Alliance was to find a way to counter the fighters they would need to acquire one for study. To this end, Rookie One volunteered to rendezvous with the Rebel agent on Imdaar, infiltrate the Terror, and steal one of the TIE Phantoms.
Before starting the mission, Rookie One would need to be familiar with the controls of a TIE Series starfighter, and was sent for training in one of the few TIE fighters captured intact by the Alliance—due to the importance of the mission, Rookie One's TIE training was conducted by Admiral Krane. The training involved flying the fragile fighter through a narrow canyon; however, Rookie One's experiences in Beggar's Canyon saw him complete the trial with little difficulty, and he was soon ready to begin the mission. Rookie One was given a Y-wing for the mission and would be escorted on the journey by Krane and Darnell Reggs. The group saw action when they encountered a number of TIE interceptors, but were able to fight through the Imperial fighters and ensure that Rookie One could safely proceed to Ceti 597 on his way to Imdaar—his escort could accompany him no further since a single ship would be more likely to infiltrate Imdaar's defenses.
Rookie One finally arrived at Imdaar, emerging from hyperspace just outside the nearby asteroid field. He navigated through the heavily mined asteroid field before descending to the planet itself to rendezvous with the Rebel agent. Upon reaching the rendezvous point in a remote swamp on the planet's surface, Rookie One had a surprise reunion with the agent—his old tutor, Ru Murleen. In order to infiltrate the Terror, the two would first need to gain access to the Empire's planetary supply base, from which Murleen hoped to gain transportation to the Star Destroyer. The supply base's landing platform was on the other side of the swamp, but the two Rebels made good time racing through the swamp on speeder bikes. After arriving at the base, they incapacitated the guards and, after assuming the stormtroopers' armor, stole a Lambda-class cargo shuttle.
Infiltrating the Terror
- "Uh…which way to the hangar?"
- ―Rookie One
Using the shuttle's security code the two Rebel agents were able to gain clearance to land on the Terror and, using their stormtrooper disguises, began their search for the TIE Phantoms. However, the TIEs were stored in a restricted area of the ship and their lack of security clearance soon brought them to the attention of an Imperial officer who raised the alarm. With the Imperials alerted to their presence, the Rebels raced toward their objective but were soon stopped by a sealed door, leaving Rookie One to fight off stormtroopers while Ru attempted to force a manual override. After fighting past more stormtroopers, the two reached a chasm and were unable to activate the bridge. Rookie One quickly improvised, shooting the supports of the bridge on the level above and causing it to collapse to their level, allowing them to cross. Eventually reaching a dead end, the two had no option other than to seek an alternate route through the sewer below.
Knowing that it wouldn't take the Imperials long to track them down, the Rebels began moving through the sewer but were soon intercepted by an Imperial search party. Fighting their way through the stormtroopers, with Rookie One covering the front while Murleen fought those to the rear, they eventually came to a freight elevator which they rode to the service hangar above. Evading the hangar's guards, they boarded one of the TIE Phantoms and prepared to make their escape, with Murleen flying and Rookie One acting as gunner.
After launching, the Rebels flew through the massive service hangars, but the Imperials acted quickly to close hangar doors and prevent their escape. Murleen altered her plan and took the ship through the superstructure to look for another way out—a search which eventually led them to the ship's main reactor. Realizing that they had the opportunity to destroy the Terror and its complement of TIE Phantoms, Rookie One targeted the reactor's beam focusers, causing it to go critical. The Rebels escaped in their stolen TIE as explosions began to erupt throughout the Super Star Destroyer.
End of the TIE Phantom
- "Well, kid. I didn't think you had it in you."
"Thank you, Sir."
"Looks like the Alliance owes you a debt of gratitude. Without the advantage of their phantom fleet, the Empire will have to face us on equal ground. Once again, you've saved us all."
- ―Admiral Krane and Rookie One
Although clear of the Terror, the Rebels were not yet out of danger and, as Murleen plotted a course to the rendezvous point, they came under attack from TIE Phantoms. With their escape route cut off, the Rebels were forced to turn around and head back towards the Terror. Murleen skimmed their TIE along the surface of the doomed Star Destroyer while Rookie One fought off waves of TIE Phantoms. Despite his best efforts, the situation was beginning to look bleak when Murleen finally discovered how to engage the cloaking device, hiding them from their pursuers.
However, the delay ensured that they were present for the final destruction of the Terror and an unexpected side effect—the Terror's destruction caused the previously cloaked factory on the moon Imdaar Alpha to become visible. With potentially thousands of the fighters being produced in the facility, even acquiring the stolen one would do little to aid the Rebellion in combating them and Murleen realized that they would have to act then to end the threat. She took the stolen TIE into the factory and negotiated its hazardous tunnels while Rookie One destroyed the enemy turrets within. They eventually found their way to the main reactor which Rookie One fired upon, causing it to destabilize. As the Rebels made a quick escape, the reactor went critical, destroying the facility and putting an effective end to the TIE Phantom project.
Rookie One and Murleen finally returned to base with the stolen fighter and held high hopes that its technology could be adapted for Alliance fighters, providing them with an advantage over the Empire. However, this was not to be and the fighter self-destructed shortly after arrival. Despite this, Rookie One and Murleen were given a warm reception following their success in the mission, with Admiral Krane leading the commendations. It is also known that the two Rebels were romantically involved after the mission.
Personality and traits
- "That was the first time I had a real conversation with her and found out that she wasn't only a great pilot and shooter, but that she was smart, funny, nice, beautiful… Well, forget that. I'm just lucky to know her and to be able to fly with her."
- ―Rookie One, about Ru Murleen
As a young man, Rookie One dreamed of joining the Rebel Alliance and dogfighting against TIE fighters. When he met Turland Hack, the Rebel felt that the eighteen year old possessed qualities needed by the Rebellion—he was quick, confident and above all, willing to risk everything on the Rebellion. Rookie One's confidence in his abilities was clear and he was known to show off during training by performing stunts. Though he initially lacked discipline, Rookie One's training helped him to develop this skill to the level where he impressed Commander Farrell during his trials. Despite this, he was still known to showboat and performed a barrel roll in a T-16 during his trial in Beggar's Canyon. In addition to his skill as a pilot, Rookie One was a student of the Force.
The young pilot was dedicated to the Rebellion and willing to take risks to aid the Rebel cause, volunteering for dangerous assignments such as the mission to infiltrate the Terror. Similarly, when his snowspeeder went down on Hoth, Rookie One insisted that he would make his own way off the planet rather than risk slowing down the evacuation.
When he first joined the Alliance, Rookie One was happy to have the opportunity to fly with such talented pilots and willing to accept his nickname. Over time, particularly after his efforts at the Battle of Yavin, he wanted to lose the nickname as he no longer saw himself as a rookie.
Rookie One met Ru Murleen early in his Rebel career, when the senior pilot acted as one of his instructors during his training. He was impressed by her piloting ability but it was during a celebratory drink after he completed his training that Rookie One started to feel attracted to his instructor. However, he initially dismissed his feelings, and was satisfied simply to be her comrade and friend. It was not until over three years later, after the two worked together to defeat the TIE Phantom project, that they acted on their mutual attraction. Rookie One had brown hair and blue eyes.
As a Rebel pilot, Rookie One frequently piloted the standard Rebel Alliance starfighters, including the X-wing, Y-wing, B-wing and R-22 Spearhead. His duties also saw him utilize repulsorcraft including the T-47 airspeeder, T-16 skyhopper and speeder bikes, along with the Imperial TIE fighter and TIE Phantom starfighters. Rookie One typically wore a standard orange Rebel flight suit, helmet and flight gloves, and was equipped with both a blaster pistol and a comlink capable of tracking a distress signal.
Behind the scenes
Rookie One was created by Vincent Lee and first appeared as the player character in the LucasArts game Star Wars: Rebel Assault (1993). The character's background was elaborated upon in the manual that accompanied the game. He later returned as the player character in Lee's Star Wars: Rebel Assault II: The Hidden Empire (1995). "Excerpts from the Journal of a Rebel Pilot," a promotional article for Rebel Assault II by Sue Seserman which was published in Star Wars Insider 27, took the form of Rookie One's own journal entries, further expanding the character's background and some of the events between the two games. In 2008, the character received an entry in The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, while a brief mention of the events depicted in Rebel Assault II in 2005's The New Essential Chronology refers to Rookie One and Ru Murleen only as "Rebel saboteurs."
The box art for Rebel Assault depicted a battle against Imperial forces on Kolaador from the point of view of one of the pilots. Although the game itself featured a training mission on Kolaador, there is no indication of any Imperial presence and no opportunity for the battle to fit between missions as the pilots are called to Tatooine immediately after. However, Greg Winters's artwork reappeared in the 1995 Topps Star Wars Galaxy Series 3 trading cards with the image stated to show Rookie One fighting Imperial forces on Kolaador. It is therefore assumed that this event takes place at some point after the first game.
Rebel Assault II featured multiple versions of the scene where Rookie One and Ru Murleen are greeted by Admiral Krane upon their return to base with the stolen TIE Phantom depending on the difficulty level chosen by the player at the beginning of the game. At the lower difficulty settings, "beginner" and "novice," Admiral Krane shakes Rookie One's hand. At the "standard" difficulty level, he presents Rookie One with a medal, while at "expert" difficulty he presents a more elaborate medal.
Vincent Lee's storyboards-and-scripts document for Rebel Assault II, dated November 16, 1994, included a brief description of Rookie One, which mentioned that he "joined the Rebels after losing his family in a freak farm-machinery accident." This information was not mentioned in the game or its manual, but was repeated in a short biography of the character on the LucasArts website and later in The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia. The original document was reprinted in Rogue Leaders: The Story of LucasArts (2008).
In his storyboards-and-scripts document, Lee made notes on the actors he thought symbolized each character in the game—his original choice for Rookie One was Michael J. Fox, though he later amended this to Tom Cruise. Among those who auditioned for the role of Rookie One in the game was actor Jamison Jones. After waiting an hour, Jones informed the casting assistant that he had another appointment and had to leave, but he received a call-back the following day and was asked to meet the game's director, Hal Barwood. Barwood discussed the project with Jones and decided to award him the role.
Rebel Assault II featured live-action cutscenes filmed in front of blue screen and set to digital backdrops. During the filming, the cast used props and costumes created for the original trilogy of Star Wars movies. The flight helmet worn by Rookie One was a standard Rebel pilot helmet from Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back.
Comparison to Luke Skywalker
Rookie One's story clearly has much in common with that of Luke Skywalker. Their backstories are similar, with both characters raised on farms on Tatooine where they developed their piloting skills flying T-16s in Beggar's Canyon. Even the events of Rebel Assault echo Skywalker's actions in the original trilogy as, just like Skywalker, Rookie One joins the Alliance shortly after its first major victory at Toprawa and goes on to fight in the Battle of Yavin as well as battling AT-ATs on Hoth. These similarities are no coincidence but part of a deliberate effort to make the player feel like Luke Skywalker within the essentially new story.
One of Rookie One's actions in Star Wars: Rebel Assault does not fit in with the wider continuity as it shows him taking part in a trench run at the Battle of Yavin, which contradicts the battle as 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. The game depicts Blue Squadron attempting a trench run with Simms entering first while Rookie One joins Murleen and 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 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, mirroring Garven Dreis's failed attempt. With the TIEs closing fast, Rookie One appears to be in trouble when Commander 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, Rookie One's shot is depicted as destroying the battlestation, as opposed to Skywalker's.
In December 2006, Leland Chee commented on the StarWars.com Message Boards that Rookie One's trench run was non-continuity. The Essential Guide to Warfare (2012) later confirmed that Blue Squadron was assigned to attack the Death Star's superlaser while Red and Gold Squadrons attacked the trench. This is the only area in which the game has been officially deemed not part of Legends continuity, and the rest is assumed to be within that continuity until otherwise stated.
Name and gender
Neither game specified Rookie One's name, allowing the player to identify themselves with the character. From an in-universe perspective, "Rookie One" appears to be the character's call sign during training which, for an unexplained reason, sticks with him or her from then on. In what appears to be a reference to Rebel Assault, "Rookie One" is also the call sign assigned to Ace Azzameen during his early training missions with the Rebel Alliance in the later LucasArts game Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance.
The character's gender was customizable in Rebel Assault, and Rookie One's dialog was recorded in both male and female voices, though the credits are unclear as to who provided either voice. Rookie One's face was only visible in one cutscene, albeit obscured by a helmet. Nonetheless, both a male and female version of this cutscene were included. All other cutscenes depicted the character wearing a helmet and from behind, avoiding the need to produce gender-specific versions.
In the 1995 Topps Star Wars Galaxy Series 3 trading cards, one card features an illustration by Keith Carter depicting Rookie One as a young female during the mission to Hoth. This image was later overruled when Rebel Assault II established the character as officially male.
The manual accompanying Rebel Assault provided a brief biography of many of the game's central characters, including Rookie One. The manual that shipped with the Sega CD version of the game implies that Rookie One was Force-sensitive, stating, "Rookie One is a student of the Force." This was not mentioned in either the PC or 3DO manuals but seems to be reinforced by Prima's Rebel Assault: The Official Insider's Guide, which says, "A Jedi would be able to handle this, but you're still just a rookie." Though Rookie One's potential Force-sensitivity is never mentioned in either game, this article treats him as Force-sensitive based on the aforementioned sources.
- The Lucasfilm Fan Club Magazine 21
- "New Horizons" – Star Wars Adventure Journal 1
- Rebel Assault: The Official Insider's Guide
- Star Wars: Rebel Assault II Official Player's Guide
- "Around the Galaxy" – Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 4
- "Game Room: Playing Empire Games" – Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 4
- "Rebel Assault II: Lights, Camera, Action" – The Adventurer 10
- "Excerpts from the Journal of a Rebel Pilot" – Star Wars Insider 27
- "Game Room: Rebel Rouser" – Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 5
- "New Horizons" – Star Wars Adventure Journal 9
- "Game Room: Meet the New Boss" – Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 6 (Picture only)
- The New Essential Chronology (Indirect mention only)
- Rogue Leaders: The Story of LucasArts
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Official Star Wars Fact File (2013) Part 1 (YAV3-4, The Battle of Yavin)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File (2014) Part 1 (0BBY 47, The Battle of Yavin)
- Star Wars Year By Year: A Visual History, Updated and Expanded Edition
Notes and references
- Star Wars: Rebel Assault manual (PC)
- Rebel Assault: The Official Insider's Guide states that Rookie One is eighteen years old during the events of Star Wars: Rebel Assault, which takes place just prior to the Battle of Yavin. Since the Battle of Yavin takes place in 0 BBY per The New Essential Chronology, Rookie One's date of birth is around 18 BBY.
- Star Wars: Rebel Assault II: The Hidden Empire
- Star Wars: Rebel Assault
- "Excerpts from the Journal of a Rebel Pilot" – Star Wars Insider 27
- The Essential Atlas
- The New Essential Chronology
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. III, p. 109 ("Rookie One")
- Rebel Assault: The Official Insider's Guide
- 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.
- Star Wars: Rebel Assault manual (Sega CD)
- Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
- Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- Though the planet is not named, "Excerpts from the Journal of a Rebel Pilot" places him at the same base where he previously shared a drink with Ru Murleen after his training run on Kolaador.
- Rogue Leaders: The Story of LucasArts
- Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy
- Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance
- Star Wars: Rebel Assault manual (3DO)