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First appearance A New Hope
Affiliation Rebel Alliance
New Republic
References Starwars.com Encyclopedia[1]
General characteristics
Armaments Laser cannons
Ion cannons
Proton torpedoes
Defenses Deflector shield
Length 23.4 meters
Width 16 meters

Y-wings are fictional Rebel Alliance and New Republic starfighters in the Star Wars universe. They appear in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, and Rogue One, as well as the Clone Wars TV series and the Star Wars expanded universe's books, comics, and games.

Origin and design[edit]

Industrial Light & Magic's Colin Cantwell, who also designed the saga's TIE fighters, initially designed the Y-wing with a large bubble turret for a gunner.[2] However, the dome did not appear properly when filmed against bluescreen, and subsequent designs excised the turret.[2]


Y-wings are described in the Expanded Universe as durable but slow tactical strike spacecraft, although notes and diagrams by the special effects crew for Return of the Jedi (shown in The Art of Return of the Jedi) show the Y-wing as possessing the same speed and maneuverability as the X-wing and standard TIE fighter. The destruction of Y-wings tasked with destroying the Death Star at the Battle of Yavin in A New Hope leads to Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) firing the proton torpedoes that destroy the Empire's battle station. Only one Y-wing survives the battle.

Y-wings also participate at the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi. The expanded universe describes several Y-wing varieties, such as the single-seat BTL-A4 model, the two-seat (one pilot, one gunner) BTL-S3 model, and the "Longprobe" reconnaissance ship.[3][4]

Y-Wings were later seen in The Clone Wars TV series as a new, prototype fighter-bomber used by the Republic as a weapon against the Separatists. General Anakin Skywalker leads a squadron of Y-Wings on one of their first missions to take out a Separatist cruiser, and are noted for their powerful shields and secondary gunner.

Although described as a tactical strike spacecraft, more specifically a bomber, the Y-Wing actually never dropped any ordnance in any of the original trilogy films. This was not showcased in any Star Wars film until Rogue One during the attack on Scarif where a flight of Y-wings completely disabled an Imperial Star Destroyer on a single pass dropping ion bombs.


  1. ^ "Y-wing Fighter". Star Wars Encyclopedia. Lucasfilm. Retrieved 2012-03-19. 
  2. ^ a b "Y-wing starfighter (Behind the Scenes)". Star Wars Databank. Lucasfilm. Retrieved 2007-08-29. 
  3. ^ "Y-wing starfighter (Expanded Universe)". Star Wars Databank. Lucasfilm. Retrieved 2007-08-29. 
  4. ^ Murphy, Paul; Peter Schweighofer (April 1994). Rebel Alliance Sourcebook. West End Games. ISBN 0-87431-209-4. 

External links[edit]