Rogue Squadron (novel)
|Author||Michael A. Stackpole|
|Cover artist||Paul Youll|
January 1, 1996
|Preceded by||Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor|
|Followed by||Wedge's Gamble|
Rogue Squadron (1996) is the first novel in the Star Wars: X-wing series. It was written by Michael A. Stackpole. It is set at the beginning of the New Republic era of the Star Wars universe and centers on the creation of a new Rogue Squadron by legendary Rebel Alliance pilot Wedge Antilles. As the first novel in the series, it introduces the primary character, Corran Horn, as well as a host of other characters, including Mirax Terrik, Erisi Dlarit, and Tycho Celchu as an alleged Imperial spy. The novel focuses on the training and early development of the squadron, as well as the characters and their relationships (primarily Erisi's romantic interest in Corran, and Mirax and Corran's mutual romantic interest). The novel culminates in a daring attack on the Imperial stronghold of Borleias, the first step in an invasion of the capital world Coruscant.
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 inducing 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 is trusted by Wedge, his superiors aren't convinced of his loyalties, and Tycho has never since been allowed to pilot any armed craft, and is kept 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. Although surprised, the squadron survives their first battle, and save the Pulsar Skate, a smuggler's ship, captained by Mirax Terrik, that had been detained by the cruiser. Mirax is an old friend of Wedge's, but bears a grudge against Corran, whose father, an officer of the Corellian Security Force, arrested her father, Booster, for smuggling.
Ysanne Isard, the Director of Imperial Intelligence and de factor ruler of Imperial Center, summons Kirtan Loor, Intelligence's former liaison officer with Corellian Security, and tasks him with the destruction of Rogue Squadron. Although the Rogues always use multiple hyperspace jumps to conceal the location of their bases, Loor's eidetic memory allows him to deduce the location of their Talasea base. 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's high command plans a large-scale attack on Borleias; although their intelligence suggests that it is poorly defended, its location would make it an ideal staging point for the planned invasion of Imperial Center. Wedge's misgivings are dismissed by the overly-confident commander, but Wedge is proven right when the attack goes disastrously wrong, and three Rogue Squadron pilots are killed, while two others are seriously injured. Although the attack is a failure, Corran is able to analyze the sensor data and determine the source of the base's additional defenses - an auxiliary power plant and hanger maintained by the base commander, General Evir Derricote. Corran conceives a fresh assault plan, based on a relatively small air-and-ground force taking the base by surprise and capturing it mostly intact, allowing them to repair the defenses before Imperial capital ship reinforcements arrive.
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 does not have enough fuel to escape and the rest of the squadron believes 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.
Crew of the Pulsar Skate