My Star Wars fanfic in general
This site is where I'm gathering together all my Star Wars fiction. If you love pilots, or believe that there's more to the Star Wars universe than just Jedi and 'The Big Three', then this is the place for you. Han, Leia and Luke do appear in some of my stories, but as co-stars or in cameos. Luke, Leia and Corran all use their Jedi abilities, but as part of the stories where they are with pilots. I like Leia, Luke and Han, and I like the Jedi, but there are plenty of stories, both official and fanfic, where they take centre stage. I prefer to write about Star Wars from the point of view of a slightly different set of characters, who are, after all, just as important, but who tend to be under-represented.
...and in particular
So why the pilots ? I'm by far from the only pilot fan out there, and the answer will be slightly different for everybody. In my case, it started with Wedge. I was watching Star Wars again, on video, and began to wonder about this pilot who had to pull out of the trench run, and who went on to appear in the next two movies. I couldn't see much of his face behind the helmet and visor, but I liked what I could see, and looked for more information on the actor, Denis Lawson. I found a picture of him and that rather sold it to me. My first major crush was on Paul Darrow, as Avon in Blakes 7. Paul had dark eyes and hair, and I've had a thing about men with dark hair and eyes ever since. Just look at that picture of Denis in 'Dead Head' - what's not to like ?
Of course, a pretty face isn't everything - though it doesn't hurt :) Although Wedge is really just a name and a few lines in the movies, in the Expanded Universe of books and comics, he has been developed into a complex, rounded character, with a background, dreams, relationships and burdens. Han dabbles in the military, but prefers to work outside of a formal command structure. Luke is a soldier for a few years and then leads the Jedi, but the Jedi tend to act autonomously, or through a consensus rather than by direct order. Wedge, however, is a soldier through and through. He is leading missions even before the battle of Yarvin, and three years later is commanding Rogue Squadron. Just four years after that, when founding Wraith Squadron, Wedge has already turned down two offers of promotion to the rank of general. Wedge takes his role as a commander very seriously; he will stand up for his men in arguments against his superior officers and high ranking politicians. Although he takes on very dangerous missions, he won't ask his pilots to do anything downright suicidal. He regrets every death that occurs under his command, and is glad that he feels the pain, as it means he still cares about the lives entrusted to him. Wedge is highly regarded as an officer, and handles even the washouts and difficult characters of the first Wraith Squadron recruits well. He's also a brilliant tactician, at both small fighter combat and fleet combat. Time and again, Wedge pulls off victories against overwhelming odds. Yet, for all his excellence as a soldier, Wedge never originally intended or trained to be a soldier.
For all his ability and commitment as a soldier, Wedge chooses rebuilding work rather than combat after the re-appearance of the Emperor in 11 ABY. He takes up combat service again before long, but is quick to retire when the New Republic and the Imperial Remnent reach an accord. The invasion of the Yuuzhan Vong brings him back to active service but as soon as the war is over, he happily retires once again. These changes illustrate the pronounced dualities of Wedge's character. In many ways he's a true Corellian: he loves to fly, he drinks and gambles and he will freely ignore the odds and plunge into the action. At the same time, Wedge is also a rational engineer with a head for figures who calculates the odds before deciding whether to ignore them. Resigning from the New Republic in order to try and get Ysanne Isard off Thyferra was an impulsive act that certainly took no account of the odds against himself. Once the decision was made, Wedge then ran a very carefully calculated campaign to beat those odds.
The reckless/calculating contradiction goes deeper into Wedge's character. Although Wedge is naturally a warm and caring person, he has a repution for having cold-space lubricant for blood. He doesn't spare Kell Tainer's feelings at his first interview, prompting Janson to remark that it was the coldest maneuvre he'd seen in a long time. Similarly, Wedge has a strong will and levels of self-discipline; even Jedi masters like Luke, and Jacen Solo can find him hard to read. Yet underneath, Wedge is capable of plain violence. When he goes after the pirates who killed his parents, he first cripples their ship but doesn't wait around to call in law enforcement. He simply blows their ship apart himself. Years later, during the Vong war, Senator Pwoe orders Wedge to make what is effectively a suicidal defence at Borleias. When Wedge refuses and threatens to resign his commision, Pwoe accuses him of treason. Luke, who is sitting nearby, gets a sudden insight through the Force of Wedge's desire to draw his blaster and shoot Pwoe in the face, and is startled by the level of violence that Wedge is suppressing.
Wedge is also noted for his sense of honour and his trustworthiness. When Wraith Squadron is operating undercover as a pirate gang, Wedge is given official permission to fund continued operations from their pirate activities. Janson explains to the other Wraiths that this is an unusual sign of trust in Wedge, as it can often lead to a long-term mission turning into a genuine criminal organization, as the stolen money becomes more important than the activities it is supposed to be funding. This trustworthiness comes from Wedge's deep-seated sense of duty. During the retreat from Borleias, Wedge singlehandedly takes on an entire squadron of Yuuzhan Vong coralskipper fighters in a damaged and shieldless X-wing, having already defeated one squadron. He knows he doesn't stand a chance of surviving but turns to the fight instead of fleeing. Why ? Because he believes he can at least buy time for a civilian freighter to make the jump to hyperspace. For Wedge, abandoning the freighter to be destroyed by the Vong when it is so close to escape would be to abandon his responsibility, an action which would so crush him with guilt that he would find another way of dying before long. However, Wedge's sense of duty comes from his personal sense of honour, not through unthinking allegiance to a cause. Although he sincerely believes in the oaths of duty he takes, he will not obey orders blindly. On Adumar, Wedge decides that he will not follow orders to engage in live-fire duels with the Adumari pilots if told to do so. It would mean either a court martial, or resigning his commision. Either case would be the end of his career, which at this point is all he has in his life. He would lose contact with most of his friends and end up alone, but he'd rather do that than obey orders that he feels would violate his sense of honour.
One of the things that makes Wedge such a satisfying character to follow, is how he grows and develops through the books. In the earlier Rogue Squadron books, Wedge is somewhat politically naive. Leia explains to him how Borsk Fey'lya's choice of Noquivzor for a council meeting was intended to make some races feel ill-at-ease and at a disadvantage in arguing their points. A couple of years later, after the war against Thrawn, Wedge shrewdly analyses why Ackbar has pushed him into accepting the rank of general,and earns praise from the admiral for his understanding behind the politics of Rogue Squadron's next actions. Likewise, in the earlier-set books, although Wedge knows he's good as a leader and tactician, he's inclined to be modest about his abilities. Even when Ackbar is convincing him to accept a general's rank, Wedge insists that he's best at small-unit tactical planning. Of course, as Ackbar points out, the liberation of Thyferra was rather more than that. As Rogue Squadron comes under the direct command of Admiral Ackbar, Wedge is in an unusual position that means he attends meetings with much higher ranking officers and officials. He finds himself excited at attending an early meeting of the Provisional Council - being in the same room as the leaders of the New Republic. As he progresses in his career, Wedge gains in confidence. When taking on the defence of Borleias, Wedge defies and outmaneuvres Counciller Pwoe, a professional politician. When Luke asks him why he agreed to take on the task of defending Borleias, Wedge replies that if he didn't do the job, the council would have appointed someone less skilled than himself, who would have followed orders blindly, leading to the death of the garrison. By the Second Galactic Civil War, Wedge is unafraid to show his disdain for Thracken Sal-Solo, the Minister for War, while Wedge is just a general. By this time, Wedge's record as an officer and tactician gives him the status to get away with open mockery of his superiors - at least for as long as he is useful to them. Wedge is proud of his achievements, and anyone who fails to treat him with the respect he feels is due gets very short shrift. He is not awed by Jacen Solo, in spite of Jacen's position in the Galactic Alliance and his Jedi abilities. Wedge tells Jacen that he should know that he, Wedge, had nothing to do with the Corellian's coup attempt at Hapes, because the attempt had failed. Wedge has been around long enough, and seen and done enough, to consider himself the equal of any being in the galaxy. For all his outward sophistication though, he never loses his sense of humour, or thinks of himself as infallible.
For all his success in his career as a soldier, the most important thing in Wedge's life is family. It's clear he had a good relationship with his parents, perhaps made stronger after the disappearance of his sister. The loss of his parents affects Wedge deeply; when he becomes a general, over a decade later, he is moved when Mirax tells him his parents would have been proud. When Wedge meets Baron Fel, and discovers that Fel is married to his missing sister, Wedge pledges himself to the search for Syal and is saddened not to meet her. Years later, he is delighted to meet his nephew, Jagged Fel. In the early days of the New Republic, Wedge sometimes wonders how his life would have turned out had he not joined the Rebellion, or if his parents had not been killed. He imagines himself married and raising a family. As a pilot on active service, however, Wedge is reluctant to actively pursue relationships, believing it is all too likely that he will be killed. He speaks openly of his hope that one day in the future he will have children but is fatalistic about his chances. However, as he survives into his 30's, he begins to feel a gap in his life. He is becoming dissatisfied with endless fighting and remembers his childhood ambition of becoming an architect; he'd rather be building than destroying. His on-off relationship with Iella Wissiri is going nowhere. They are attracted to one another, but she still has guilt feelings over the death of her husband, Diric, and isn't quite ready to commit herself to another relationship. Wedge is too gentlemanly to press her into a more committed relationship and Iella has sensed Wedge's restlessness with his life. Wedge meets Qwi Xux, who is attractive and naive, and who looks up to him as her protector. He falls for her, and Iella, realizing too late how much Wedge means to her, withdraws from him as it is too painful for her to see him with Qwi. In time, Wedge and Qwi mutually realize that their relationship is going nowhere, and split up. Wedge meets Iella on Adumar, realizes that she is the one he truly needs in his life, and pursuades her of his love. They are married soon after their return from Adumar, and Wedge finally achieves his dream of a family, with children. Having his family gives Wedge a new meaning to his life. He is happy to retire from the military, which has been the substitute family of his adult life, in order to simply spend time with his wife and children. Later, when Wedge is held on Coruscant at the beginning of the Second Galactic Civil War, what upsets him the most is not the betrayal of the Galactic Alliance, but the fact that they have separated him from his family when there is about to be trouble on Corellia, where they are. It's this action, as much as anything, that drives Wedge to take up direct action against the GA when he escapes and returns to Corellia. All along, Wedge has fought and risked his life so that ordinary beings around the galaxy can live, and raise families free from fear and oppression. That is, ultimately, his motivating force.