X-Wing: Rogue Squadron is the first installment in the X-Wing series of novels, first published in 1996. It was written by Michael A. Stackpole. Narration for the audio version was performed by Henry Thomas. The book, occurring in 6.5 ABY, chronicles the re-creation of Rogue Squadron by Wedge Antilles, and the First and Second Battles of Borleias. The planet is then used as a launching point for the New Republic's taking of Coruscant in the second book of the series, X-Wing: Wedge's Gamble.
They are sleek, swift, and deadly. They are the X-wing fighters. And as the struggle rages across the vastness of space, the fearless men and women who pilot them risk both their lives and their machines. Their mission: to defend the Rebel Alliance against a still-powerful and battle-hardened Imperial foe in a last-ditch effort to control the stars!
Its very name strikes fear into enemy hearts. So when Rebel hero Wedge Antilles rebuilds the legendary Rogue Squadron, he seeks out only the best-the most skilled, the most daring X-wing pilots. Through arduous training and dangerous missions, he weeds out the weak from the strong, assembling a group of hard-bitten warriors to fight, ready to die. Antilles knows the grim truth: that even with the best X-wing jockeys in the galaxy, many will not survive their near-suicidal missions. But when Rogue Squadron is ordered to assist in the assault on the heavily fortified Imperial stronghold of Black Moon, even the bravest must wonder if any at all will survive…
As the novel begins, Wedge Antilles has gathered together a group of pilots to choose from to recreate the legendary Rogue Squadron, as a dual X-wing and commando squadron. Although Wedge is allowed to pick most of his squad, his superiors in the Rebel Alliance force him to choose certain pilots, in the hope of causing some neutral planets to join the Alliance. Wedge is able to convince Admiral Ackbar to allow him to choose his own executive officer, Tycho Celchu, who was a member of the original Rogue Squadron, but had been accused of being an Imperial spy after a solo-mission to Imperial Center left him as their prisoner. Although Tycho escaped, and was trusted by Wedge, his superiors weren't convinced of his loyalties, and Tycho was not allowed to fly an X-wing, wouldn't be able to command any weapons in battle, and would be under guard when not training with the Rogues.
With Rogue Squadron complete, they begin training, and soon Corran Horn stands out above the rest. Though initially mysterious to his squadron-mates and very boastful, he is rebuked by Wedge, but is made a lieutenant and put in charge of the third flight of three other X-wings when Rogue Squadron is activated months before training was finished. On the way to their new base on Talasea, the squadron is pulled out of hyperspace by an Imperial Interdictor Cruiser, a capital ship which creates a gravity well to prevent hyperspace travel. Although surprised, the squadron survives their first battle, and save the Pulsar Skate, a smuggler's ship, captained by Mirax Terrik, that had been attacked by the cruiser.
After a few more attacks by the Rogues, Kirtan Loor, an Imperial intelligence agent, realizes that they must be stopped. After being called into Imperial Center by Ysanne Isard, the Director of Imperial Intelligence, and told that Corran Horn, a man he worked with in the Corellian Security Force, was still alive, Isard gives him the mission to destroy Rogue Squadron. Although the Rogues always used multiple hyperspace jumps to hide their locations, Loor, a genius with a photographic memory, determines where they are based. Against his suggestion to send in a larger force, the admiral in charge of the sector covertly sends in only two squads of stormtroopers to kill the Rogues in their sleep. Even though six sentries are killed, the squadron has its first pilot loss, and multiple pilots are seriously injured, they survive and relocate to a new base to plan their next attack.
The Alliance command then plans a large-scale attack on Borleias. Although their intelligence suggests that it would be an easy target, and could be captured and used as a step toward Imperial Center, it is actually a trap set up by General Evir Derricote. Although the planetary shields are taken down and the rebels begin to land attack shuttles, multiple squadrons of TIE fighters attack, the shield is reinforced, and planet-side defenses attack. Multiple ships are lost, including five of Rogues' X-wings. Only two of their pilots are killed, the rest able to eject safely. Although the mission is considered a failure, Corran, with the aid of one of the commandos, is able to plan a new attack on Borleias that would prevent an ambush by capital ships. With only six Rogues being the only air support for the first four hours of the mission, and a group of commandos on the ground, the battle is a success. Although Corran doesn't have enough fuel to escape and the rest of the squadron thinking him dead, he is rescued by the Pulsar Skate, and no Rogue is lost in the mission. Borleias is taken, and the Alliance takes a step toward liberating Coruscant. As the novel ends, Ysanne Isard reveals to Loor the existence of an unnamed spy in Rogue Squadron.
The simulated battle at the beginning of the book is based on a mission from the PC game Star Wars: X-Wing.
On page 311 of the first run of the book (0553568019), Gil Bastra is incorrectly written as Gus Bastra.
Jek Porkins is incorrectly said to have crashed into the Death Star due to being unable to pull out of a dive. In actuality, he was shot down by the station's turbolaser turrets.
This book is unusual for a Star Wars tie-in in that Corran Horn uses the word "bastards" in one scene. The only real-world obscenities in most Star Wars novels are the words "damn" and "hell".
- ISBN 0553568019; January 1996, Bantam Spectra, 388-page paperback
- ISBN 0553746960; January 1996, Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, Abridged cassette
- ISBN 0606118977; January 1996, Sagebrush Corporation, Turtleback
- ISBN 0553474189; February 1996, Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, Abridged cassette
- ISBN 0553568019; February 1996, Bantam Spectra, 388-page paperback
- ISBN 3442431581; October 1996, Blanvalet, 351-page German paperback
- ISBN 0553409263; February 1996, Transworld Publishers, 409-page UK paperback
- ISBN 83-2745-870-7; 2002 Amber, 335-page Polish paperback
- ISBN 978-80-252-2171-6; 2012, EGMONT ČR, 348-page Czech paperback (X-Wing: Eskadra Rogue).
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