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"Good shot, Janson!"
―Wedge Antilles, to Wes Janson during the Battle of Hoth[src]

Wes Janson was a human male pilot from Taanab who served in the Alliance to Restore the Republic. During the Galactic Civil War, Janson was a member of Rogue Squadron and participated in the Battle of Hoth as the gunner for Wedge Antilles. After the battle, Lieutenant Janson helped Antilles, who was promoted to commander, assemble Red Squadron.

Biography[]

Wes Janson was from the planet Taanab[1] and later served as a pilot[4] and gunner in the Alliance to Restore the Republic during the Galactic Civil War.[2]

Battle of Yavin[]

In 0 BBY,[5] Janson was to have flown in the Battle of Yavin as Red Six, but was grounded prior to the battle and replaced by Jek Porkins, who died in the conflict.[3]

Battle of Hoth[]

In 3 ABY,[5] Lieutenant[6] Janson participated in the Alliance's defense of Echo Base in the Battle of Hoth, serving as a gunner for Wedge Antilles, who piloted a T-47 airspeeder in Rogue Squadron.[2] During the battle, he was the first member of Rogue Squadron to successfully take down an Imperial AT-AT walker with the harpoon and tow cable gambit devised by Commander Luke Skywalker.[2] Following the battle, Janson boarded an X-wing starfighter and, along with Antilles, went on to escort the transport the Bright Hope, the final transport to escape Echo Base, away from Hoth to the fleet's rendezvous point.[1]

After Hoth[]

Following the evacuation of Hoth, Lieutenant Janson met up with Antilles on the Home One. When The Contessa tasked Antilles with becoming the new squadron leader of Rogue Squadron, Janson became the executive officer and helped Commander Antilles in recruiting and rebuilding the squadron. Janson and Antilles agreed to rename the squadron for Red Squadron, citing the difficulties of using Rogue Squadron callsigns so soon after many of their friends had been killed on Hoth. He and Antilles successfully rostered twelve pilots, although Janson was unsure some of them were good choices. However, given the circumstances, Janson accepted the squadron and helped train them before their first mission. Under the callsign Red Eleven and flight leader, he participated in an attack with the rest of the squadron on a nearby pirate base that threatened the safety of the Alliance rendezvous point, where he led his own flight of T-65B X-wing starfighters, with Keyser Salm and Barlon Hightower as his wingmen. His flight hit targets on the landing field, with cover from Bela Elar's flight who ran interference. His wingman Hightower however, was killed. The battle ended in a success and only three lost pilots.[4]

Personality and traits[]

Wes Janson was a human male with brown hair and brown eyes and fair skin.[2] He was known for his sense of humor, and could crack a joke in a hair-raising firefight. He often played pranks on fellow pilots such as Derek "Hobbie" Klivian and Wedge Antilles. After the Battle of Hoth, where "Hobbie" was killed, he told Antilles about a prank he was going to play on the no-nonsense pilot that involved him releasing a canister of tauntaun musk into his cockpit. He later used this prank on Antilles.[4]

Janson had a close relationship with Antilles that was deepened after the pair survived the Battle of Hoth, unlike many members of Rogue Squadron. In contrast to Janson, Antilles was much more serious and at one point, Janson called Antilles the "Great Stone Face of the Spaceways" and jokingly referred to himself as "skytrash" as a way of praising Antilles' abilities as squadron leader. After having a serious conversation with Antilles about changing the name of the squadron from Rogue Squadron, he lightened the mood and suggested that the new Red Squadron be dubbed "Reject Squadron," citing the tactic of reverse psychology. Janson jokingly referred to himself as "Uncle Wes" after dealing with rookie pilot Penn Zowlie's enthusiasm.[4]

Behind the scenes[]

"I play a stormtrooper, in a walker, who's trying to shoot down my own bloody plane."
―Ian Liston, the actor who portrays Janson, on The Empire Strikes Back[src]

Wes Janson was portrayed by Ian Liston in The Empire Strikes Back, in which he was credited only as "Janson (Wedge's Gunner)." During filming of The Empire Strikes Back, a call was put out for an actor, not an extra, to play an AT-AT gunner. That was Liston's original role in the film, but he was later asked by an assistant director with whom Liston had previously worked to take the role of Janson since the original actor had fallen ill. Thus he ironically played both an Imperial and a Rebel, and in one sequence of the film is in effect trying to shoot himself down.[7] Regarding his scenes as Janson with Wedge Antilles, Liston revealed in 2005 that he and actor Denis Lawson were never actually on set together—Liston's double took his place when the scene focused on Lawson (Antilles) and vice versa.[8]

Appearances[]

Non-canon appearances[]

Sources[]

Notes and references[]

External links[]

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