Rogue Squadron (novel)
|Author||Michael A. Stackpole|
|Cover artist||Paul Youll|
1 January 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 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.
Crew of the Pulsar Skate
- Rogue Squadron, 1st printing paperback, 1996. Michael A. Stackpole, ISBN 0-553-56801-9