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First appearance Return of the Jedi
Affiliation Rebel Alliance
New Republic
References Starwars.com Databank[1]
General characteristics
Armaments Laser cannons
Concussion missiles
Defenses Deflector shields
Length 9.6 meters

A-wings are fictional Rebel Alliance and New Republic starfighters in the Star Wars universe. They first appear in Return of the Jedi and subsequently in the Star Wars expanded universe's books, comics, and games.

Origin and design[edit]

The A-wing was one of two new Rebel Alliance starfighters created for Return of the Jedi.[2] Dubbed the A fighter as it was the first of the two designs created, the starfighter was intended to resemble the snowspeeders seen in The Empire Strikes Back.[2] The model was built by Wesley Seeds and Lorne Peterson of Industrial Light & Magic, and included a pilot figurine based on a World War I German airman.[2] A battle-damaged engine "wing" was also created, and could be snapped into place to represent a damaged fighter.[2]

Ralph McQuarrie's A-wing concept art showed them to be blue in colouration;[3] because of bluescreen technology limitations, this was changed to red.[3]


A-wings are described as the fastest starfighters in the war between the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire;[1] however, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron states that they are poorly shielded against attack. A-wings from Green Squadron participate in the Battle of Endor depicted in Return of the Jedi.[1] At Endor, an A-wing piloted by Arvel Crynyd (Hilton McRae) crashes into the bridge of the Super Star Destroyer Executor, resulting in the Executor crashing out of control into the second Death Star.

The A-wing's backstory shows its creation by Jan Dodonna (Alex McCrindle), based on his analysis of the role of speed in the Battle of Yavin.[4] However, the A-wing appears in several Expanded Universe works set before or during the events of A New Hope, including the X-Wing flight simulator and the Droids cartoon series. To resolve this inconsistency, Daniel Wallace created the R-22 Spearhead when writing The New Essential Guide to Characters in 2002, naming it the basis of the A-wing design.

The A-wing's speed is used in the "A-wing Slash" maneuver depicted in Timothy Zahn's novel Dark Force Rising. The A-wing is also flyable in Battlefront II and the Rogue Squadron series, and it appears in other LucasArts Star Wars titles such as Empire at War.


  1. ^ a b c "A-wing starfighter". Star Wars Databank. Lucasfilm. Retrieved 2013-02-22. 
  2. ^ a b c d Peterson, Lorne (2006). Sculpting A Galaxy - Inside the Star Wars Model Shop. San Rafael, California: Insight Editions. pp. 52–55. ISBN 1-933784-03-2. 
  3. ^ a b "Behind The Scenes - A-wing starfighter". StarWars.com Databank. Lucas Online. Archived from the original on September 5, 2005. Retrieved 2007-09-11. 
  4. ^ "Expanded Universe - Dodonna, General Jan". StarWars.com Databank. Lucas Online. Archived from the original on March 8, 2005. Retrieved 2007-09-11. 

External links[edit]