- "You're a freak."
"I'm also your commanding officer."
"Still a freak."
- ―Chass na Chadic and Yrica Quell
Yrica Quell was a human female X-wing starfighter pilot who, during the final months of the Galactic Civil War, served in the New Republic Starfighter Corps as leader of Alphabet Squadron. Raised aboard the Gavana Orbital space station, Quell joined the Imperial Military as a member of the 204th Imperial Fighter Wing during the reign of the Galactic Empire. She defected to the New Republic after initially participating in Operation: Cinder, and was granted command of a mixed starfighter squadron. Prior to the Battle of Jakku, General Hera Syndulla ordered Quell to hunt down and destroy the 204th.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Early life[edit | edit source]
Born around 18 BBY in the early years of the Galactic Empire, Yrica Quell was raised on a space station, the Gavana Orbital, prior to her military service under the Empire. Her father drank brandy, which Quell developed a taste for with help from her brother. Her mother was a pilot who operated a YT-2400 light freighter. When she was sixteen years old, Quell and her friend Nette saw one of Mon Mothma's transmissions speaking out against the Empire. Nette convinced Quell that she should join the Rebellion. However, without any sort of training, Quell decided to join the Empire first and then defect to the Rebellion after training at the Imperial Academy.
Imperial service and defection[edit | edit source]
Quell enlisted with the Imperial Starfighter Corps intending to defect to the Rebel Alliance after graduation until she decided that she wanted to learn more and changed her plans, telling herself she would defect after a few missions. Quell soon graduated from the Academy, became a TIE fighter pilot in the 204th Imperial Fighter Wing. However, she soon decided the Empire was not as bad as the propaganda made it out to be and didn't want to abandon her colleagues, and stopped planning to defect. She became completely loyal to the Empire, despite her earlier desires to join the Rebellion. Her mentor, Soran Keize, knew this and made her keep it a secret.
Sometime after the Battle of Hoth, Quell and the rest of the 204th were engaged in combat against Rebel forces. Zin Graw, member of Squadron Five, had broken off from her squadron was busy taking out enemy A-Wing fighters, when one of them snuck up behind her fighter and almost took her out. Quell came in and destroyed the fighter just in time, saving Graw's life. Arriving back at the hangar, Graw thanked Quell for saving her life. Quell then mentioned her observation that the A-Wing pilot she'd shot down had been trained at the Imperial Academy. Quell then started to air her doubts but then promptly cut herself off and excused it as a stupid joke. She told Graw to tell Ganem Kahi that he owed Quell one, before Quell stalked off, leaving Graw to herself.
As Operation: Cinder began two weeks after the Battle of Endor, Shadow Wing was ordered to destroy the planet of Nacronis. Quell carried out her orders and destroyed the planet, but felt tremendous guilt afterwards. Keize found her, and told her to finally defect to the Rebellion. After defecting, Quell was taken to Traitor's Remorse, along with twelve thousand other defectors who were processed at the base. While the New Republic was wary of her, she was deemed a low-value target, as she did not possess any classified or useful information; the New Republic was under the impression that she defected during Operation: Cinder, and tried to stop the attack. The reprogrammed Imperial IT-O droid used by New Republic Intelligence Agent Caern Adan was convinced that Quell was lying about something.
Adan approached Quell to discuss the 204th Imperial Fighter Wing with her, and to share with her that he was beginning a task force to neutralize the group. He stated that he would approach her again when he decided if he would like her on the team or not and that she should have an answer ready. Later, she went to Warren to try to "swap rumors" and try to get information about Caern Adan. While she was there, a bomb exploded, and she rescued a brand new defector, who she thought was "a bastard" because he arrived with a group of defectors that took too long to defect in her eyes.
Searching for Shadow Wing[edit | edit source]
Quell accepted the job with Caern Adan to join the task force. Her first task was to recruit Nath Tensent, who had defected along with his entire squadron before the destruction of Alderaan after getting caught accepting bribes from pirates, from the trading outpost known as the Entropian Hive to join the task force. The mission was ultimately successful, though Tensent didn't agree to join until Adan quietly bribed him. After Tensent's arrival, Adan tasked Quell with listening to recordings of Imperials that New Republic Intelligence had assembled to help gather information on Shadow Wing. Quell was frustrated by this task and also was traumatized by having to listen to hours of recordings regarding Operation: Cinder, which she had participated in and helped the Empire commit terrible crimes against innocent worlds. Several days later, Quell decided to steal a T-65B X-wing starfighter, and, with the help of D6-L, went on her own scouting mission to gather information about Shadow Wing. She returned and faced minor discipline from Adan, but he was more concerned about Quell's findings. She had discovered that Shadow Wing had attacked a New Republic ship, the Hellion's Dare, and killed almost all of the squadron pilots defending it except the two that escaped, Wyl Lark and Chass na Chadic. Both pilots joined Adan's working group, and after a couple weeks, the five of them were invited onto the Lodestar, where General Hera Syndulla agreed to let them search for Shadow Wing. Adan reluctantly assigned Quell to be the leader of the new squadron.
Leading a New Squadron[edit | edit source]
Quell led the newly minted Alphabet Squadron in a series of practice maneuvers to help the group learn to fly together. During a practice in the Gobreton minefield, Lark's ship was heavily damaged, and Adan demoted the squadron to only practicing in the Lodestar's Flight simulators. Quell had her squadron simulate the Battle of Endor. When the squadron was not flying together, Quell began to assemble a program to simulate combat against Shadow Wing and also creating personnel files for the pilots of her old unit.
Later, Quell led the squadron on a Mission to Abednedo. She and Chadic made contact with a Verpine smuggler, who showed her a group of Imperial prisoners. She sent the first prisoner back to Kairos and the U-wing with Chadic and followed the Verpine, finding over a dozen more prisoners. Quell made a deal for the Verpine to fly the 690 light freighter with the prisoners back to the Lodestar. However, when Quell and the freighter made it into orbit, she found Tensent, Lark, and the others being attacked by TIE/sa bombers. Quell dived at the last bomber as it attempted to destroy the freighter, but missed her shot and watched with horror as the bomber rammed into the freighter, killing everyone onboard.
When they returned to the Lodestar, Adan grew frustrated with her. Quell then lashed out at him, saying it was his fault for not giving them anything to work with and had unrealistic expectations from them. When Adan roared at her, Quell struck him in the stomach. She later vomited in the bathroom when she thought about her failure and the bodies she had witnessed floating in the vacuum of space.
Expecting retribution for their failed mission, Quell was surprised when General Syndulla assigned them a new mission. She told Quell to lead the squadron to Harkrova I to recover a Rebel Alliance supply cache. Knowing the non-combat mission was a sort of punishment, Quell knew her squadron needed to succeed on this mission, and Syndulla told her that their performance on the mission would dictate if there was another mission for them. Alphabet Squadron landed on a mountaintop near the temple where the cache was located. The squadron planned to hike down the mountain to reach the temple. When they made camp, Quell listened to Lark tell stories, but denied a request to share stories of her own. Quell later saw the mysterious Kairos share stories through drawings, but still did not open up. When they spotted pirates potentially attempting to steal supplies from the cache, Quell hiked back up to the ships alone to keep watch over them. When the squadron finished their mission, Quell was relieved to see them more friendly with each other and held some reservations about her lack of an attempt to bond with her new wingmen. Upon returning to the Lodestar, Quell asked the mechanic Ragnell for a favor, and got her to paint the Alphabet Squadron insignia on their ships as a surprise to the squadron. When she witnessed their surprised reactions, she rolled up her sleeve to show them her new tattoo of the insignia on her bicep, trying to show her commitment to her team. While Tensent was somewhat annoyed by the surprise, the squadron was happy with the result and Quell's show of support.
Personality and traits[edit | edit source]
Quell was a human female who, along with the rest of Alphabet Squadron, was attempting to find their place in the galaxy. Quell had a strong sense of duty that kept her from defecting from the Empire despite her intentions to do so after graduating from Academy. She had an extremely good memory. Not long after its formation, Quell had the Alphabet Squadron crest tattooed on her biceps. She was known to be temperamental, withdrawn, and a superlative flyer.
Skills and abilities[edit | edit source]
Quell was a skilled pilot, as she flew for the elite 204th Imperial Fighter Wing. She was highly familiar with flying a TIE/ln space superiority starfighter, thanks her training at the Imperial Academy and combat experience with the Imperial Navy. Quell was also able to pilot an X-wing starfighter but the controls and idiosyncrasies of the X-wing were less familiar to her and flying one was not as comfortable as a TIE fighter.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
- "Cover pilot: Yrica Quell, Imperial defector. She flies an X-wing. What's Alphabet Squadron doing? Tracking down a mysterious lethal force of TIE fighters. Who told them they could do that? New Republic General Hera Syndulla. She's kind of a big deal."
- ―Del Rey on Twitter
Yrica Quell was created for the 2019 novel Alphabet Squadron, written by Alexander Freed. She was first revealed by Del Rey on Twitter when they released the official cover of the novel with some story details.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- TIE Fighter 1 (First appearance)
- Alphabet Squadron
- Alphabet Squadron audiobook
- Star Wars: Squadrons (Mentioned only)
- Shadow Fall
- Shadow Fall audiobook
- Victory's Price
Sources[edit | edit source]
Notes and references[edit | edit source]
- Alphabet Squadron
- Alphabet Squadron states that when Yrica Quell was sixteen years old Mon Mothma was a fugitive of the Galactic Empire. "Secret Cargo" shows that Mothma became a fugitive directly before the Declaration of the Rebel Alliance, an event Star Wars: On the Front Lines places two years before the Battle of Yavin. As Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates the Battle of Yavin to 0 BBY, the Declaration of the Rebel Alliance and the events directly preceding it must be in 2 BBY. Therefore we can deduce that Quell was born in 18 BBY.
- TIE Fighter 1