|First appearance||Return of the Jedi|
B-wings are fictional Rebel Alliance and New Republic starfighters in the Star Wars universe. They first appear in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi and subsequently in the Star Wars Expanded Universe's books, comics, and games. A variety of B-wing merchandise has been released by toy companies.
Origin and design
Although initial plans called for B-wings to appear in several scenes, its narrow appearance from some angles made it difficult to see against the backdrop of space. The ship's rotating cockpit stems from an initial design for the Millennium Falcon.
Expanded Universe material states that when the Galactic Empire designs the Nebulon-B frigate to protect its convoys from Rebel Alliance X-wings and Y-wings, the Rebels respond by constructing the B-wing. The Verpine, supervised by Ackbar, design and arm the fighter to engage capital ships. The B-wing's gyrostabilized cockpit allows the pilot to maintain a consistent horizon while the craft's body rotates around it. The B-wing is the largest and most powerful fighter designed by the Rebel Alliance, and it is generally viewed as the successor to the older Y-wing fighter/bomber. B-wings have powerful shields which are considerably stronger than the shields featured on most Imperial or Rebel fighter designs, and they are armed with a greater variety of weapons. B-wings participate at the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi and in numerous other engagements throughout the Star Wars Expanded Universe.
Both Kenner and Hasbro released B-wing toys, the B-wing is part of two Micro Machines three-packs, and Lego has made several B-wing sets. A Micro Machines Alpha Fleet package includes models both of the B-wing's film appearance and of an initial production design. Decipher and Wizards of the Coast published B-wing cards for the Star Wars Customizable Card Game and Star Wars Trading Card Game, respectively. The second expansion pack for the X-Wing flight simulator, B-Wing, introduces the B-wing as a playable starfighter; several other Lucasarts products also depict B-wings.
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