Reflections on a Starfighter

“Red Leader, this is Gold Leader.”

“I copy, Gold Leader.”

“We’re starting for the target shaft now.”[i]

Flown by Luke in A New Hope, the X-Wing Starfighter is easily one of, if not THE, most iconic and easily recognizable fighters in the Star Wars galaxy, perhaps only competing for the top spot with the TIE Fighter.

Given the call sign “Red Five,” Luke magnificently piloted his X-Wing through the Death Star trench, narrowly escaping death and destroying the battle station just before it could fire its deadly, planet destroying weapon at the fourth moon of Yavin. Saving the day (with a little help from the Millennium Falcon), Luke flew away in his X-Wing the hero of the Battle of Yavin.

Honestly, who wouldn’t want to be an X-Wing pilot after seeing A New Hope for the first time? I bet kids in 1977 went crazy over Luke and his X-Wing!

Plus, imagine all of the little kids on the planet Aldera…crap, that planet was destroyed. Ummmm, imagine all of the little kids on the planet Chandrila hearing about the heroics of the Rebel pilot who destroyed the Death Star! Some of those little ones would surely want to grow up and join the Alliance fleet and be just like that pilot.

And what would they want to fly? AN X-WING!

Little Chandrilan brats! What about the Y-Wing!?!?!

I am just going to come right out and say it: If I was a pilot in the Rebel Alliance, I would want to fly the Y-Wing Starfighter.

Y-Wings of Gold Squadron fly down the Death Star trench Photo Credit - Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope

Y-Wings of Gold Squadron fly down the Death Star trench
Photo Credit – Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope

Actually, I wouldn’t just say that the Y-Wing is the fighter I would choose to fly for the Alliance, but that it is one of my favorite Starfighters in the Star Wars universe, period. A few others: the TIE Interceptor, the ARC-170, and the Naboo N-1 Royal Starfighter. These are all on a rotating basis as my favorites, but more often than not, the Y-Wing holds the top spot.

Sure, the Y-Wing is slow and lacks maneuverability, making it an easy target for faster Starfighters. In fact, playing the TIE Fighter computer game when I was growing up, I probably shot down more Y-Wings than any other Rebel ship. Yet, this fighter-bomber, with its sleek and somewhat odd looking design, has always held a place in my Star Wars loving heart ever since I first saw A New Hope.

As a kid, while I loved to watch Luke Skywalker and his X-Wing destroy the Death Star, I was equally captivated by these curious, Y-shaped ships that appear for only a few moments. We get to see the X-Wings of Red Squadron dogfight, but it is the Y-Wings of Gold Squadron that initially brave the trench in an attempt to destroy the battle station. We watch as Gold Leader, Gold Two, and Gold Five try to “stay on target” as they are pursued, and destroyed, by Vader and his wing men — and just like that, it is time for the X-Wings to make their runs.

Of course, one Y-Wing did survive the Battle of Yavin, which naturally strengthened my fascination, and always left me wondering how that single Y-Wing survived. Plus, I have always felt that whoever she/he was, that pilot deserved just as much praise as Luke.[ii] Heck, Han Solo got a medal and all he did was shoot down one TIE Fighter. I can imagine our lone surviving Y-Wing pilot did a bit more in the battle than Captain Solo. But I digress…

The survivors of the Battle of Yavin, INCLUDING A LONE Y-WING, fly away from the Death Star before it explodes. Photo Credit - Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

The survivors of the Battle of Yavin, INCLUDING A LONE Y-WING, fly away from the Death Star before it explodes.
Photo Credit – Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

When it comes right down to it, I hardly need to justify why I love the Y-Wing or any other Starfighter in Star Wars. The fact that I do love it, and think it looks really cool, should be all the justification that matters…which I suppoooose means I should be nicer to those Chandrilan kids who want to fly an X-Wing. If they love it, how am I to deny them?

As for me, I will stick with the Y-shaped craft. And with that, I leave you with this original haiku by yours truly:

Staying on target,

Y-Wings of Gold Squadron fly

Towards their sad demise

Be sure to leave a comment and tell me what Starfighter(s) you like!

[i] Dialogue taken from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

[ii] And so did Wedge Antilles, the other X-Wing pilot who survived the battle.


  1. I flew a Y-Wing in Star Wars Battlefront 2 alot, took a LOT of damage. That being said, I still have a special place in my heart for the X-Wing… mainly because I have a tattoo of one on my back.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I finally get to be the first commenter! I always did like the Y-Wing starfighter better than the X-Wing. Especially when it came to playing the space missions in Battlefront 2, Would you rather have a ship with lasers or a slightly slower ship with lasers and bombs? Although they are one of my favorites, my top two favorite ships are the Millenium Falcon (obviously) and the Slave 1. The Millenium Falcon is a great ship and is usually in the top five or ten for any fan because it is made to be such a cool ship. I personally like it even more because Han and Chewbacca treat the ship as a home rather than an actual ship. I think that if I was ever to get a spaceship I would like to get a ship that I could make into a home away from home. The Slave 1, on the other hand, is cool because of its look and that Boba kept his father’s old ship. Boba, other than some new colors, kept the uniform and ship of his father to honor his life and his memory, which is very interesting for a clone to do. Also, when the Slave 1 is coming, you know something really awesome is about to happen. The creation of starships is always a cool thing to examine because we have barely made anything that really works in space like these ships can so it is always cool to see the reasons why someone created a ship to look a certain way.

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    1. Since there is going to be a stand-alone Boba Fett movie, I hope we get to see Slave I in action a bit more. I have no doubt that we will see the ship in the movie, but I really want to see it participate in a battle and get into some dogfights.

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      1. Absolutely, having a Boba Fett movie without seeing the Slave 1 in a dogfight seems useless. Especially if they can get the Slave 1 to get in a fight against the Millenium Falcon.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hmmmm seems like that could very well be in the cards. My worry is actually if they will try to have someone portray a young Han Solo. Personally, I think it would be a mistake because Harrison Ford is Han Solo, end of story.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes sir! The 2nd stand-alone film will focus on Boba Fett. It was announced like two or three weeks ago. Should be interesting to see what they do with the Fettster.


      4. I completely agree. Harrison Ford IS Han Solo. Maybe they can dye his hair a bit but if they replace him they will undoubtably lose numerous fans.

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  3. I like the Tie fighters best. I think they are fun looking and I love the windows on the front. I feel like it would be similar to driving around a small corner office, but you know, with lasers and pieces of droids hitting the window instead of pigeons. Stupid pigeons.

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    1. Agreed, I like the windows as well. Plus, it is really cool that since the first TIE was introduced in A New Hope, that so many others have been developed over time (Interceptor, Bomber, Advanced, Defender, etc…). And yet, even with these additions, the classic TIE is going to be showing up in The Force Awakens along with the X-Wing which is pretty dang sweet. I just hope we get to see a Y-Wing, too…….

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  4. Okay, when it comes to the favorite star fighter, I have to start with the X-Wing! As you said above, it’s Luke’s fighter and it’s the star (no pun intended) of the films. So it’s hard to break from that. If you love Star Wars it seems like you love the X-Wing. But, that being said, I was always fascinated with the B Wing as a kid. I loved how the body of the fighter could swivel around the cockpit! I always felt it was underused in the films. On the Imperial side, I always thought the TIE Interceptor was a pretty cool looking ship. I loved the modified wings.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Completely agree, I thought it was underused as well. Would have been great to see it do more than fly around, though the way it flies is very very cool. That said, if you aren’t watching Rebels, you need to check it out because Season 2 is going to feature a….drum roll….B-Wing in action! (as well as A-Wings).

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Trying to pick a favorite starfighter is like trying to pick a “favorite” child. Each one offers its own personality and nuance. That being said, the fan girl in me wants to go with the x-wing? Why? Why not!?!? It’s versatile, has the ability to travel into hyperspace, and it blew up TWO Death Stars ( of course acknowledging Lando and the crew of the Falcon for delivering the ultimate kill shot in Jedi). The x-wing is the F-14 of the Star Wars universe: sleek, maneuverable, classic, flown by farm kids and hot shots ( think Maverick and Goose). That being said thought, purely on a curiosity stand point I would love to have seen and heard more about the TYE Fighter that we read about in I, Jedi, which was a hybrid of the Y wing and tie fighter mostly created out of spare parts in the most Empire/ rise of the New Republic era we all became so well acquainted with in the expanded universe. If my memory serves me however, we also see an x-wing/ tie fighter hybrid sometime around the “Rogue Squadron” time line which is equally as interesting because it combines the best that the alliance and empire had to offer in terms of fighter power.

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    1. Ahhhhh the illustrious TYE-Wing!!!! YES YES YES! In fact, I say we try to get some artsy person to draw it! THAT would be some cool fan art!!! In the meantime, perhaps I could whip up a post about the TYE-Wing…though doing one sure would be better with a great drawing…

      Now, in regards to what you say about the X-Wing, I completely agree: it is the F-14 of the Star Wars universe. In fact, watching The Force Awakens trailer, seeing Poe Dameron give a “yaaaahooooo” as he flies his X-Wing gives me the same “Maverick” vibe you are talking about. Frankly, I am really excited to see the new X-Wings in action, and can’t wait to learn more about Poe and his back story as a pilot. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is a farm boy/hot shot kinda guy you are talking about.

      Of course, I hope the Y-Wings still get some love in The Force Awakens…and if they don’t, well, maybe the B-Wings? Or, do we think there might be ANOTHER new fighter coming to the arsenal of the Alliance? I wouldn’t be surprised if something new comes along at some point.


      1. What I was thinking as well, Mr. Miller. In fact, I cannot really imagine a scenario in which someone actively dislikes the X-Wing and argues they are a full-fledged Star Wars fan. It need not be someone’s favorite Starfighter, but I would hope said person(s) would appreciate it for its iconic stature within the galaxy far, far away.

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