Tenk Lenso was a Human male who served with the Alliance to Restore the Republic as a starfighter pilot during the Galactic Civil War. His career included service with the Deretta Destroyers, a mixed fighter squadron, where he proved his abilities as a gunner in a BTL-S3 Y-wing. After his squadron was all but destroyed during a raid on an Imperial depot, Lenso was transferred to the Rebellion's Echo Base on the ice planet Hoth and earned a place with the elite Rogue Group under the callsign Rogue Eleven. Lenso flew with the Rogues during the Battle of Hoth, participating in the delaying action that helped much of the base's personnel and equipment to escape the Imperial siege, but was among the first to be shot down during the engagement.
Service with the Deretta Destroyers
One of Lenso's earliest assignments with the Alliance to Restore the Republic during the Galactic Civil War saw him serving with the Deretta Destroyers, a mixed starfighter squadron consisting of T-65 X-wing and BTL Y-wing starfighters. The Destroyers were staged on the moon of Deretta, from which they received their moniker. There, he proved his skill as a gunner aboard a BTL-S3 Y-wing starfighter.
Shortly before the Battle of Hoth, the Destroyers were tasked with the elimination of an Imperial depot, a typical assignment for the group—they were in part named for their ordnance-heavy proton torpedo strikes on such targets. While the Destroyers entered the target zone ahead of their main attack force and softened up the opposition, they were prevented from leaving after their initial strike by the presence of an Imperial Immobilizer 418 cruiser, a capital ship equipped with four gravity well projectors capable of restricting hyperspace travel. Several excruciatingly slow minutes passed for the group while they waited for the main Rebel strike force to arrive, during which all twelve Destroyers were wiped out.
Lenso managed to eject at the last minute as his Y-wing was shot out from under him, but not before finding himself trapped in the cockpit. Heavy flak and laser fire from the battle killed his pilot after the ship's shields were overloaded, and Lenso had no control over the craft; his ejection mechanism locked up. With a TIE/ln starfighter lining up for the kill on the Y-wing, Lenso was able to climb over his dead pilot and fire the ejection system. He held onto the ejector seat as it jettisoned from the ship, the blast knocking him unconscious. Although the Rebels eventually claimed victory at the depot skirmish, the loss of the Destroyers was a substantial blow.
Transfer to Hoth
- "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…"
- ―Han Solo and Carlist Rieekan discuss Lenso possibly attacking the Viper probe droid
Eventually rescued by a Rebel medical frigate, Lenso was soon transferred to the medical lab at the secret Echo Base on the planet Hoth, where he received further treatment in the facility's bacta tank. At some point, he was assigned to the elite starfighter squadron Rogue Group as Rogue Eleven under the command of Luke Skywalker. Due to psychological trauma sustained during the depot run, Lenso found that he could no longer operate as a gunner. Instead, he flew an X-wing with the Rogues.
When an Imperial Viper probe droid discovered Echo Base in 3 ABY, Lenso, along with Rogue Ten, Tarrin Datch, was among the first pilots dispatched by General Carlist Rieekan to respond to the threat. Rieekan instructed them to fly a holding pattern at low altitude and to expect trouble. After Han Solo and the Wookiee Chewbacca located the probe soon thereafter and informed Rieekan that it might have detected the base's shield generator, Rieekan intended to order Lenso and Datch on an attack run for the droid. Solo, however, dismissed the idea, claiming that there was no time for that, and that the sight of overhead flying T-47 airspeeders would alert the probe to their presence. Instead, he told Rieekan that he and Chewbacca would destroy the droid themselves.
During the subsequent Battle of Hoth, Lenso flew with the Rogues, tasked with the duty of delaying the inexorable advance of several Imperial AT-AT walkers to buy time for the transports of the base to escape the planet. Still hampered by his mental scars, he opted to sit in the "front-row seat" of one of the base's modified snowspeeders, rather than the familiar gunnery seat. His speeder was one of the first shot down during the engagement.
Personality and traits
Tenk Lenso was a capable gunner, having proven his skills in the rear of a Y-wing while with the Deretta Destroyers. However, the heavy losses sustained during the destruction of the Destroyers on their final mission proved to be too much for the man to bear. He found he could no longer effectively serve as a gunner in combat. The stresses of battle fatigue would ultimately prove to be his undoing, as his piloting abilities, less honed by comparison, failed him during the Battle of Hoth.
Aside from his considerable starfighter gunnery and piloting abilities, Lenso was particularly skilled in mechanical airspeeder repulsorlift operation and repair, starship astrogation, and was adept at beast riding. He was also knowledgeable about planetary star systems.
Behind the scenes
The character of Tenk Lenso first appeared in the West End Games sourcebook Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back, giving an identity to the aforementioned "Rogue Eleven" from the film Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. The character first appeared as Rogue Eleven in Donald F. Glut's April 1980 novelization of The Empire Strikes Back.
Brian Daley's 1995 publication of The Empire Strikes Back: The National Public Radio Dramatization, which includes the original script for The Empire Strikes Back radio drama, expanded Lenso's involvement in responding to the Imperial probe droid threat just prior to the Battle of Hoth. However, the script, written after the conclusion of the radio drama's story conferences in November 1981, refers to the character simply as "Rogue Eleven," since the application of the Lenso name would not come until the character's creation in Galaxy Guide 3.
Lenso is mentioned in the Rogue Squadron unit in the PC game Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption, in which he is presumably alive past the Battle of Hoth. While this is inconsistent with his death in Galaxy Guide 3, the character only appears in "Galactic Conquest" and "Skirmish" modes, which is not included as part of the game's official story, thereby most likely representing a non-canonical appearance.
- Star Wars: Rogue Squadron (Possible appearance)
- Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back novelization (Indirect mention only) (as "Rogue Eleven")
- Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (Indirect mention only) (as "Rogue Eleven")
- The Empire Strikes Back: The National Public Radio Dramatization
- Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back
- Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays
- Star Wars: Behind the Magic
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back
- ↑ Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back novelization
- ↑ Star Wars: Behind the Magic
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 The Empire Strikes Back: The National Public Radio Dramatization
- ↑ Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption
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