The Starfighter Trap was a short story by Steve Miller set in 33 BBY, between Padmé Amidala becoming queen and the Invasion of Naboo.

It was published by Wizards of the Coast in the premier issue of Star Wars Gamer in 2000. The story was inspired by the Star Wars: Starfighter game. Before it was printed in Star Wars Gamer, it was available in three parts online.

Plot summary[]

Essara Till was in the middle of reviewing applications for the Naboo's Starfighter corps when her wingman and lover Lieutenant Dren Melne came in to discuss matters such as the Governor of Agamar wanting to assemble a fighter contingent, which Till had no interest in getting involved, wanting to stay on Naboo. During their argument a Class One Emergency was issued and she promised herself to discuss this more during a picnic.

At the briefing room Senator Sio Bibble reported over a holopod that Station TFP-9 was under attack by a Hornet-class carrier with Z-95 Headhunters assigning both Till and Melne to lead another squadron, Echo Flight which consisted of police cruisers, with their N-1 starfighters from Bravo Flight.

When both flights arrived at Station TFP-9 they found the station's shields depleted and the one of the two YT-1250 freighters that were originally defending the station disabled and stranded and the other missing. The Z-95s were hailed and ordered to stand down, they responded by engaging the two flight groups. Essara Till engaged one and managed to disable the fighter while the pilot was rendered unconscious, once accomplished she managed to get a glimpse of the fighter to find no recognisable symbols. Echo flight reported that the enemy was on the run with damage to Echo's three, eight and eleven. Till assigned both Echos one and two to team up with her to attack the capital ship, when more Z-95s and another Hornet-class carrier emerged from Hyperspace. She was then hailed by Captain Sorran from one of the carriers Velumina who demanded that all Naboo fighters to stand down. Till refused and continued the attack when the first one dropped Droid starfighters and Dren Melne then revealed his true colours by declaring his "term of employment starts now" and fires on Echo two, badly damaging the craft, while the rest of echo flight finds that the new Z-95s are armed with concussion missiles.

As Echo one was at Melne's mercy and Till attempted to pursue Melne, three droid fighters tailed her and damaged her fighter. Melne soon launched two Proton torpedos at Echo one which Till shot down one while the second hit Echo one. With Echo one disabled and the rest having difficulty with the other droid starfighters, Till managed to regain her composure and managed to launch two torpedoes at Melne, only for the warheads to be intercepted by the Droid fighters.

Melne then disclosed that his employee was interested in the technology of the N-1 Starfighter and wanted his and Till's fighter, along with some police cruisers for close study to help bolster his planetary defence forces, and the presence of the second carrier was to bring the numbers to convince the Naboo forces to surrender. However, Essara Till managed to destroy one of her pursuers and damage the rest to find the Dren was engaging the battered Echo flight, managing to disable echos seven and eight, while echos four, nine, eleven and twelve were destroyed.

Till soon ordered the remaining Echo flight to surrender, but then banked for one of the Hornet carriers and managed to strike it with her torpedoes while chased by droid starfighters. As its both ships shields were extremely low Rhys Dallows in Echo Five joined her, not wishing to stand down while she was attacking. Both fighters stuck the carrier together, destroying it. Both then pursued Dren's ship who was engaging Echo Six destroying the fighter and the pilot, causing Till to consider any hope for him to be lost. They were about to engage Dren when the Velumia hailed Dren Melne declaring the exercise a failure and launched multiple missiles one at Rhys and Essara while the rest at Dren, despite protests. Till was only able to shoot four missiles before one struck her fighter damaging her fighter causing a cockpit instrument shrapnel to strike her face causing cuts. While Dren Melne's fighter was destroyed and his life lost. The battle concluded with only five of Echo Flight's pilots surviving.

Within five days after the battle Sio Bibble, Ric Olié, Rhys Dallows and Essara Till discussed the outcome of the battle. The Governor of Agamar denied his involvement in the attack, although an investigation revealed that Agamar had purchased Droid Starfighters and tried at least three times to purchase N-1 fighters and was refused on all occasions by the Advisory Council. Investigations into Dren Melne's accounts showed transactions from Ord Mantell to Selton but the connections to the incident were sketchy at best. Essara Till would also rely the news to Melne's family as part of their inquiry but the family was less then cooperative, as they held him in really low regard long after he left Naboo. Ric Olié and Till had one last discussion about the mission and how Till felt about Melne before both went back to work.


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Organizations and titles

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