- "Send Rogues Ten and Eleven to Station 3-8."
- ―General Carlist Rieekan
Tarrin Datch was a Human male starfighter pilot who served with the Alliance to Restore the Republic. A product of the Datch family–owned space city Pellezara station in the Duro system, Tarrin became a skilled flier while helping to manage the many cargo freighters of the space station's clients. Datch joined the Rebellion as a seventeen-year-old in 1 BBY, after helping a fugitive Alliance freighter carrying stolen Imperial cargo and the Rebel special operative Jan Ors, seeking refuge at Pellezara station, escape Imperial pursuit and reach its destination. His value to the Rebellion's cause came in the dual ability to pilot both starfighters and the Alliance's dilapidated cargo transports, and Datch's talents earned him a position with the elite Rogue Squadron, under the command of Luke Skywalker, as Rogue Ten. Datch fought most notably during the Galactic Civil War at the Battle of Hoth with Rogue Group, participating in the delaying action that bought time for the transports and personnel of Echo Base to evacuate the planet. He later piloted the GR-75 medium transport Thon's Orchard safely through the Imperial blockade of Hoth.
The Human male Tarrin Datch was a native of the planet Duro. He was born in 18 BBY on Pellezara station, a floating space city in the Duro system owned by his mother and father that serviced large freighters delivering supplies to Duro. Growing up, his siblings included at least two brothers and one sister. In addition to servicing starships, Datch's parents frequently put on stunt shows for the waiting freighter captains to alleviate boredom. Datch, already a gifted pilot by the age of twelve standard years, assisted in these flight shows along with his siblings. These performances involved daring maneuvers with modified cargo tugs and cargo-flitters in crowded areas with free-floating service bays and cargo containers, which created a visually spectacular show.
When he wasn't performing complex loops and rolls in between container rings and repair grids, Datch was typically tasked with helping to move freighters into parking slots while their captains relaxed. He was once grounded for three standard weeks by his father, literally, being assigned to handle traffic control and resupply, after he attempted a miniature Koiogran turn in a bulk freighter, taking out a dozen beacon pods in the process—though the freighter captain never found out.
Joining the Rebellion
In 1 BBY, when Datch was seventeen, he was replacing the gravity disks in the deckplates of a docked freighter that was, unknown to him and the Datch family, carrying stolen Imperial fuel slugs bound for the Rebel Alliance. While dismantling one of the ship's particularly stubborn plates, he discovered a hidden compartment holding a wounded woman, who identified herself as Jan Ors. Her right leg was stricken with a strange injury sustained in the jungles of Oulanne. Datch was both terrified and captivated. In her delirium, Ors revealed the freighter's Rebel ties to Datch.
The Empire soon arrived at Duro, in hot pursuit of the stolen cargo. The freighter's crew had disembarked for the station to find medical supplies for Ors, and Datch was the only pilot aboard. He knew he could not allow the valuable fuel slugs to fall back into Imperial hands, so he took control of the freighter and broke away from Pellezara's main docking tower, heading for open space. The Rebels still in the station could only watch in horror as their freighter left them stranded, being followed closely by an Imperial Gamma-class assault shuttle. Datch steered the Rebel transport toward the heart of the station's heavy traffic, weaving as though he was piloting a starfighter. The Imperial ship could barely keep up, inadvertently scraping its hull against stationary lighters and space tugs. Datch was able to reach open space and engage the ship's hyperdrive, leaving Pellezara behind for an outlying-system station he often used as a stunt range.
There, in the outer station's well-equipped medical center, Datch helped to stabilize Ors's condition. He knew they could not return to Pellezara, and how badly the Rebellion needed the fuel they carried. Ors gave him the coordinates of a secret Rebel base on the planet Dantooine, and the two soon left for Rebel sanctuary. At Dantooine the two separated, with Ors going off on other secret missions, while Datch began training as a Rebel fighter pilot. Although he missed his family, Datch knew he could not risk involving them in the Galactic Civil War, for their safety.
Fighting the Empire
- "This thing's headed straight for the base…We're gonna have to take a crack at it."
"…I'll have Rogue Ten and Rogue Eleven make an attack run…"
"…There's no time for that. Besides, if it sees the snowspeeders, it'll know we're here for sure…"
- ―General Carlist Rieekan and Han Solo discuss Datch possibly attacking the Viper probe droid
Datch's experience flying cargo freighters while growing up on Pellezara station was a great asset to his new allies, with the Rebellion frequently finding itself short of both ships and capable pilots. With his valuable abilities, Datch's shifting role found him alternating between flying starfighters and piloting the Rebels' dilapidated freighters and transport vessels.
Sometime following the Battle of Yavin, and his recruitment into the Rebel Alliance, Datch partook in a skirmish against at least one Imperial pilot. Datch was defeated in the fight, but managed to escape alive in his crippled T-65 X-wing starfighter. Datch also participated in battles between Rebel and Imperial forces in the Naboo, Tatoo, Corellian, Dantooine, and Karthakk systems during the Galactic Civil War. These battles involved an Imperial Lancer-class frigate being pitted against a Rebel EF76 Nebulon-B escort frigate, with numerous starfighters aiding in the defense or offense of the system.
At some point during his service with the Rebel Alliance, Datch was assigned to the nascent Rogue Group, an elite starfighter squadron formed around two of the survivors of the Battle of Yavin—Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles. He flew under the call sign Rogue Ten and soon earned the title of starfighter ace. While with the Rogues, Datch developed friendships with fellow pilots Skywalker, Antilles, and Wes Janson.
By 3 ABY, four years after joining the Rebellion, Datch was assigned to the secret Echo Base on the remote ice world of Hoth with the rest of the Rogues. His duties on Hoth included patrolling the planet's icy wastes in the base's modified T-47 airspeeders, dubbed snowspeeders. When an Imperial reconnaissance Viper probe droid discovered Echo Base in 3 ABY, Datch, along with Rogue Eleven, Tenk Lenso, was among the first pilots dispatched by base commander General Carlist Rieekan to respond to the threat. He and Lenso were instructed to fly over Echo Station 3-8 at low altitude and to expect trouble. They also transported Han Solo and the Wookiee Chewbacca to the site of the probe droid. Solo and Chewbacca tracked down the probe soon thereafter, warning Rieekan that it might have detected the base's shield generator. Rieekan intended to order Datch and Lenso on an attack run for the probe, but Solo dismissed the idea, claiming there was no time and that the sight of snowspeeders flying overhead would alert the droid to their presence. Instead, he announced that he and Chewbacca would handle the probe themselves. The probe droid's discovery of Echo Base would soon throw the twenty-one-year-old Datch headlong into the fray of one of the war's most significant battles.
Battle of Hoth
- "Yeah! Transport Away!"
- ―Derek Klivian, elated after the escape of Datch and the Thon's Orchard
When the Empire invaded Echo Base during the Battle of Hoth, Datch flew one of the base's snowspeeders with Rogue Group. Hosh Hune served as Datch's gunner during the battle. They were given the monumental task of delaying the advance of several Imperial All Terrain Armored Transport walkers long enough to buy sufficient time for the base's vulnerable transports and personnel to escape the planet. Early in the engagement, Datch made a strafing run directly over the command section of General Maximilian Veers' lead AT-AT, Blizzard 1, inflicting little damage. Realizing that Rogue Group's blasters were too weak for the AT-ATs' armor, Skywalker ordered the use of the snowspeeders' harpoon and tow cables to trip the massive machines' legs.
Datch's speeder was shot down by Imperial fire late in the battle, and Hosh Hune was killed in action. However Skywalker rescued Datch before a group of three All Terrain Scout Transports could descend on his position. Ultimately, Datch's airspeeder was salvaged. Datch safely returned to Echo Base, where he reconvened with Antilles and the final Rebel remnants on the South Slope preparing to evacuate the planet. He and Antilles waited for Skywalker, who had also been shot down, to join them before lifting off.
Datch was once again pressed into dual piloting service. He was tasked with piloting the GR-75 medium transport Thon's Orchard off Hoth, one of the final transports to evacuate the planet. However, his job did not end with simply flying the ship free of the besieged base. Waiting in Hoth's orbit to intercept the fleeing Rebel ships was a blockade line of Imperial-class Star Destroyers—Darth Vader's personal Death Squadron. To complicate matters, the base's v-150 anti-orbital ion cannon was no longer operational and unable to provide covering fire for the vulnerable Thon's Orchard.
Flying escort for Datch's transport were two T-65 X-wing starfighters piloted by Skywalker and Antilles, and a BTL-S3 Y-wing starfighter piloted by fellow Rogue Derek Klivian with Janson riding along as gunner. The Thon's Orchard's flight path was directly blocked by one of the Star Destroyers. Antilles and Klivian executed the fanciful maneuver known as the Tallon split, in conjunction with a surprise attack from Skywalker from below the transport, to help Datch and the Thon's Orchard escape into hyperspace and rejoin the Rebels at their predetermined rendezvous point beyond the edge of the galaxy.
Personality and traits
- "We're just gonna have to trust to luck!"
"Luck, right! Get to your ships, you meatballs! We're lifting off!"
- ―Tarrin Datch and Luke Skywalker, discussing the impending Hoth blockade run
One of Tarrin Datch's virtues included an empathy for family values, assisting his family in both the maintenance of Pellezara station and the flight shows his parents put on for their customers. After piloting the fugitive Rebel freighter carrying Jan Ors away from his family's station and joining the Rebellion's cause, he knew better than to return to Pellezara or to involve his family in any way with his affairs, for the danger it would cause them.
Datch also carried with him a penchant for daredevilry, risking the ships of Pellezara's clients in order to perform perilous maneuvers. He even used another remote space station as a stunt range. Although his youthful innocence initially betrayed feelings of trepidation at learning who and what the Rebel agent Jan Ors was, his risk-taking nature soon clicked in to give him the brazen confidence to defy the Empire.
As an extension of his daring nature, Datch was more than willing to place his stock in luck in the face of overwhelming danger. While conferring with Skywalker and Antilles regarding Echo Base's inoperable v-150 ion cannon—neutralized during the battle—Datch was eager to test their luck in taking on the Imperial blockade without the protection of the ion cannon's covering fire.
Aside from his starfighter and starship transport piloting abilities, Datch was appropriately skilled in the maintenance of such vehicles, as well as airspeeder repulsorlift operation and repair, and starship astrogation. He could also hold his own as a starship gunner.
Behind the scenes
The character named "Tarrin" first appeared in the 1983 radio adaptation of Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back. Datch's last name and biographical details were first established in the 1996 second edition of the West End Games sourcebook Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back, which was also the first source to connect the "Tarrin" radio adaptation character with the identity of "Rogue Ten" from the film. The character was originally created by Brian Daley for the radio drama's script after story conferences concluded in November 1981; the script was not published until the release of The Empire Strikes Back: The National Public Radio Dramatization in 1995. In 2013, an article in Star Wars Insider 146 linked Datch's name to one of the unnamed pilots seen being briefed by Princess Leia during The Empire Strikes Back.
Datch's actions at the Battle of Hoth were later expanded and first visually represented in the 1998 video game Star Wars: Rogue Squadron. Paul Amendt provided the voice of "Rogue Ten" for the game, though it should be noted that the Rogue Ten character speaks during the game's "Escape from Fest" level, which is not necessarily confirmed as corresponding to the actual Datch character.
Through the art of "retroactive continuity," the Tarrin Datch character is now canonically established to have first appeared in Star Wars media in two separate publications—the novelization of The Empire Strikes Back, written by Donald F. Glut, and the illustrated children's book The Empire Strikes Back Storybook, adapted by Shep Steneman, both of which were released simultaneously on April 12, 1980, just prior to the film's May theatrical release. The following paragraphs detail the Datch character's unique canonical development.
The "Snowspeeder Rogue Ten" card, from the November 2003 The Empire Strikes Back expansion set of the Wizards of the Coast Star Wars Trading Card Game, identifies a snowspeeder that makes an attack run on the cockpit of General Veers' AT-AT during the Battle of Hoth, as seen in the film, as Rogue Ten—Tarrin Datch—thus retconning The Empire Strikes Back novelization, which originally included a description of this scene, as one of the character's two "first" appearances. Notably, this scene is also described in the 2004 junior novelization of The Empire Strikes Back, written by Ryder Windham, which instead identifies the attacking snowspeeder pilot as Luke Skywalker.
Datch's involvement in responding to the Imperial probe droid outside of Echo Base just prior to the Battle of Hoth have been expanded on in several sources to include additional scenes not included in the original film. Specifically, The Empire Strikes Back Storybook makes mention of a group of snowspeeders that delivers Han Solo and Chewbacca to the location of the probe droid. Notably, the September 1980 Marvel Star Wars comic adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars (1977) 39, also includes a panel in which a snowspeeder patrol delivers Solo and Chewbacca to the probe. The substance of this scene, first detailed in The Empire Strikes Back Storybook, was referenced in the 2008 release of The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, under the "Rogue Eleven" entry, confirming that Datch and Tenk Lenso, specifically, transported Solo and Chewbacca to the probe, thus retconning The Empire Strikes Back Storybook as the character's other "first" appearance, albeit indirectly, in Star Wars media. The Empire Strikes Back radio adaptation and the radio drama's original script, The Empire Strikes Back: The National Public Radio Dramatization, likewise include unique dialogue for the scene, in which General Rieekan considers ordering Datch and Rogue Eleven to attack the probe themselves.
In the 2003 MMORPG Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided, Tarrin Datch was added to the game as a non-player character in Game Update 20. Imperial players who requested Tier 7 Duty Missions from certain space stations had a chance to battle an elite Rebel pilot during the mission's boss stage. One of these pilots could be Tarrin Datch. If the player defeated Tarrin Datch, the Rebel was not destroyed. Instead, a message was displayed to the player, indicating that they successfully defeated the pilot. The player then received a collection icon which added up to award a badge if they succeeded in destroying all ten of the elite Rebel pilots. However, elite Rebel pilots could also be found flying in various space battles, which took place in the Naboo, Tatoo, Corellian, Dantooine, and Karthakk systems. Because Tarrin Datch only appeared in the space portion of Star Wars Galaxies, originally added with the Jump to Lightspeed expansion pack, he could normally only be seen inside his respective T-65 X-wing starfighter. However, a comm display could appear during the battle, displaying Tarrin Datch's face. In addition, the collection icon depicted Tarrin Datch's physical appearance. Although players could choose not to participate in any of the battles or collections connected to Tarrin Datch, this article assumes 100% game completion.
- "Luke, uh, my scopes are picking up two Imperial Star Destroyers."
"I see 'em too, Tarrin, but they're too far back to give us any trouble now."
- ―Tarrin Datch and Wedge Antilles, in an excerpt from The Empire Strikes Back radio adaptation
Several sources include a description of the Hoth blockade run made by Datch, inspired from the original script of The Empire Strikes Back radio adaptation. However, the actual audio recording of the radio drama differs substantially from the script and subsequent sources. Rather than Datch's starfighter escort engaging a Star Destroyer attempting to intercept his transport, Datch and the fighters only detect two Star Destroyers too spread out from the battle to pose a threat, and simply slip through the blockade and enter hyperspace without trouble. Additionally, the transport Datch pilots away from Hoth in the radio adaptation is intended to be the final evacuation transport, though this is later contradicted by the short story Of Possible Futures: The Tale of Zuckuss and 4-LOM, which identifies the GR-75 medium transport Bright Hope as the final transport to leave, a ship that fails to escape through the Imperial blockade.
According to the novel X-Wing: Isard's Revenge, Wedge Antilles identifies the GR-75 medium transport Dutyfree as the ship Datch pilots off Hoth. The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia repeats the Dutyfree designation and omits any reference to the Thon's Orchard.
Datch appears in the 2006 PC game Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption among the Rogue Squadron starfighter unit. However, it should be noted that Datch and the Rogue Squadron unit only appear in "Galactic Conquest" and "Skirmish" modes, which are not considered part of the game's canonical storyline. Additionally, the game misspells Datch's first name as "Tarrub."
- Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided (Appeared in comm window)
- Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back radio drama (First identified as Tarrin)
- Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back novelization (First appearance, simultaneous with The Empire Strikes Back Storybook) (Indirect appearance) (as Snowspeeder) (Mentioned as Rogue Ten) (Retcon)
- Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back junior novelization (Indirect mention only) (as Rogue Ten)
- Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back (Retcon)
- Star Wars Manga: The Empire Strikes Back 1 (Snowspeeder only)
- The Empire Strikes Back Storybook (First appearance, simultaneous with The Empire Strikes Back novelization) (Indirect appearance only) (as Snowspeeder) (Retcon)
- The Empire Strikes Back: A Storybook (Picture only)
- Star Wars (1977) 39 (Indirect appearance) (as Snowspeeder) (Retcon)
- Star Wars: Rogue Squadron (as Rogue Ten)
- X-Wing: Isard's Revenge (Mentioned only) (as Tarrin)
- Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption (Galactic Conquest and Skirmish modes only)
- (Picture only)
- The Empire Strikes Back Notebook (Indirect mention only) (as Rogue Ten)
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe (as Tarrin)
- Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back (Indirect mention only)
- The Movie Trilogy Sourcebook (Indirect mention only)
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded (as Tarrin)
- The Empire Strikes Back: The National Public Radio Dramatization (as Tarrin)
- "The Hard, Cold Facts About Hoth"—Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 4 (Picture only)
- The Essential Guide to Characters (as Tarrin)
- Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back, Second Edition (First identified as Tarrin Datch and Rogue Ten)
- "Princess Leia: A Heroine's Tale"—Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 12
- Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays (Indirect mention only) (as Rogue Ten)
- Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back: The Illustrated Screenplay (Indirect mention only) (as Rogue Ten)
- Star Wars: Behind the Magic
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 3 (ATA1, All-Terrain Armoured Transport (AT-AT)) (Picture only)
- Star Wars Trading Card Game – The Empire Strikes Back (TCG) (Card: ) (Indirect mention only) (as Rogue Ten)
- "Who's Who in Echo Base"—Star Wars Insider 74 (Picture only)
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 4 (Welcome On Board - General Veers, the perfect Imperial soldier) (Picture only)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 10 (Legendary Craft - The snowspeeder) (Picture only)
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- "Rogues Gallery: Clearance for Immediate Launch"—Star Wars Insider 146
- Star Wars in 100 Scenes (Picture only)
- (Video clip only)
- (Indirect mention only)
Notes and references
- The Essential Guide to Warfare
- Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back, Second Edition
- Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
- Star Wars Galaxies
- The Essential Guide to Characters
- Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
- Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back novelization
- Star Wars: Behind the Magic
- The Empire Strikes Back: The National Public Radio Dramatization
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Star Wars Trading Card Game – The Empire Strikes Back (TCG) (Card: )
- Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back radio drama
- The Empire Strikes Back Storybook
- Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back junior novelization
- Star Wars (1977) 39
- Of Possible Futures: The Tale of Zuckuss and 4-LOM
- X-Wing: Isard's Revenge
- Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption
- X-Wing Rogue Squadron 21