- "Talos Merkin is a veteran of countless campaigns. He's one of our best pilots. We can't afford to lose him. Fire hits his wing. The ship is struggling. Its path is unsteady. It's spiraling out of control. No! Not Talos!"
- ―Princess Leia Organa, during the Battle of Yavin
Talos Merkin was a veteran starfighter pilot of the Rebel Alliance during the Galactic Civil War. He participated in numerous campaigns prior to joining the Rebellion's assault on the Galactic Empire's Death Star battlestation during the Battle of Yavin. Although Princess Leia Organa regarded him as one of the Rebels' best pilots, Merkin was killed when his fighter was shot down near the end of the battle, which nevertheless culminated in the Death Star's destruction.
Behind the scenes
- "[…] Red 12 finally gets a name, chosen after sorting through a number of candidates. They were Naeco (original X-wing game), Captain Ernek Marskan (same), Fin Danglot (Galaxy Guide 1), Travis (a blonde woman from Marvel's retelling of A New Hope back in the Droids kid's comic – how's that for obscure?), and Talos Merkin (Captive to Evil)"
- ―Jason Fry, The Essential Guide to Warfare endnotes
Talos Merkin was created for the 1998 young-readers story Star Wars Journal: Captive to Evil, written by Jude Watson. The story, which is told through Princess Leia Organa's personal journal entries, identifies Merkin as flying under the call sign Gold Five during the Battle of Yavin. However, the 1995 Premiere Limited expansion set of the Star Wars Customizable Card Game had already identified Rebel pilot Davish Krail as Gold Five during the battle, which was later reaffirmed by the 2008 The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia.
For the 2012 reference book The Essential Guide to Warfare, author Jason Fry considered Talos Merkin for the previously unnamed role of Red Twelve during the Battle of Yavin. From a group of five candidates, Fry ultimately settled on Puck Naeco, a pilot from the 1993 PC game Star Wars: X-Wing.
- Star Wars Journal: Captive to Evil (First mentioned)
Notes and references
- Star Wars Journal: Captive to Evil establishes Talos Merkin's death during the Battle of Yavin, which The New Essential Chronology dates to 0 BBY. The battle further takes place on 35:3:7, as explained here.
- Star Wars Journal: Captive to Evil
- Star Wars Customizable Card Game – Premiere Limited (Card: Pops) (backup link)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I, p. 351 ("Gold Five")
- Star Wars: X-Wing