Every few weeks, The Official Star Wars Costumes blog runs a piece on one of the many different characters in the Star Wars Universe (and that’s just a list of “prominent” characters!). While we usually talk about characters from the movies, or perhaps the Clone Wars television show, this week we’re looking at a character that appears mostly in the Expanded Universe: The famous X-Wing pilot and Rebel hero, Wedge Antilles!
We first meet Wedge Antilles at the end of Episode IV, during the briefing to destroy the Death Star. He voices doubts about being able to hit the battle station’s exhaust port, but is re-assured by Luke Skywalker. He and Luke are the only members of Red Squadron to make it out of the battle alive. They would go on to create the legendary Rogue Squadron, which they both led until the events of Episode V, during which Wedge took full control. He also took part in the attack on the Death Star during Episode VI, and is the only pilot to fly in and survive both attacks.
With the Rebels in power, Wedge became known as the Republic’s greatest pilot. He briefly resigned from his post and led a private war against Ysanne Isard, the then-current Imperial leader, successfully ending his rule. Wedge was accepted back into the Republic, forming Wraith Squadron as a commando unit.
Nine years after the battle of Yavin, Wedge Antilles became a General at the behest of Supreme Commander Ackbar. He commanded the Deadnought Lusankya. During this time he married and started a family. He would later become New Republic Starfighter Command Chief of Staff, and command Rogue Squadron once more. After reaching an end to the war with the Imperial Remnant, Wedge retired in 19 ABY (After Battle of Yavin).
In 25 ABY, the Yuuzhan Vong invaded, and Wedge rejoined the fight. He became commander of the New Republic Fleet Group Three, participating in the failed defense of Coruscant. He made a stand against Yuuzhan Vong ex-warmaster Czulkang Lah, defeating him. This victory led to a significant rise in moral, with the New Republic now aware the invading inter-galactic enemies could be defeated. Wedge would end up being one of the commanders that recaptured Coruscant to end the war.
Wedge would return from retirement when imprisoned by the New Republic’s successor state, the Galactic Alliance, in the lead up to the second Galactic Civil War. He sided with his home world Corellia and its revolt against the Galactic Alliance, but came to realize the Corellian leaders were corrupt. He switched sides to the Coalition led by his friend Luke Skywalker, which included the Jedi, a division of the Galactic Alliance after a schism, and other smaller groups. After the defeat of Darth Caedus, the Sith Leader of the Galactic Alliance, the war ended and Wedge retired for the third and final time.
Behind the Scenes:
Wedge Antilles was played by two different actors during the filming of Episode IV: Colin Higgins and Denis Lawson. Colin Higgins was fired after only a day of shooting, but still appears in the movie for one scene. Both actors had their voices dubbed by David Ankrum. Lawson also portrayed the character in Episodes V and VI. The character came from an early concept of a hotshot pilot with the name Chewie Antilles, but during rewrites of the Episode IV script, the characters were divided into Chewbacca and Wedge.
Lawson turned down a role for Episode VII, saying that it would have “bored” him.
We hope you’ve enjoyed Character Corner this week! Wedge is one of the dark horse characters of the Star Wars universe, and his adventures are much grander than we could portray here. We’ll see you next time!
If you are still reading this, congratulations, you are the first to know a secret! You have a leg up on the competition, be sure to check our Facebook page on Monday for a HUGE giveaway.