Star Wars: The X-Wing Breakdown (2024)

Star Wars

Star Wars: The X-Wing Breakdown (1)


From Red 5 to Rogue Squadron, one starfighter stands head and shoulders above the rest: the T65-B X-Wing Starfighter.

In all the galaxy, no starfighter is as iconic as the T65-B X-wing Starfighter. Heavily armed, and versatile enough to compete with the overwhelming weight of the Imperial Navy, the X-Wing leaves its mark on Galactic history. This starfighter helped turn the tide for the Rebel Alliance during the Galactic Civil War. In the ensuing years, it came to represent the strength of the New Republic.

Its signature S-foils herald daring pilots and heroic battles. And yet, the X-Wing almost wasn’t. Our story begins in the early days of the Clone Wars.

The Creation of the X-Wing

As the Republic warred with the Confederacy Independent Systems, secretly manipulated by the machinations of Darth Sidious, the Republic needed starfighters. The Separatists had struck swiftly, catching the Republic on the back foot. It was one of the massive advantages the CIS had in the early days of the Clone Wars. But, the Republic turned to the engineers of the Incom Corporation. The Incom Corporation could trace its roots back to the High Republic.

And theirs was a reputation for excellence. They delivered in spades for the Clone Wars. Their first wave of starfighters proved their versatility. One can look at the design of the Z-95 Headhunters and the Aggressive ReConnaissance-170 starfighter to see it in action.

However, the engineers at Incom strove to build a well-rounded snubfighter with no exploitable weakness. To that end, they designed a new craft, one capable of being self-sufficient, including a hyperdrive.

That craft was the X-Wing. But it was almost a weapon of the Imperial Navy.


The Chosen Ship of Rebel Pilots

Originally, the X-Wing had been intended for the Imperial Navy. However, the Galactic Empire chose the cost-effective (and decidedly more fragile) TIE Fighter. They could produce more for a fraction of the cost.

But Incom still had X-Wing prototypes built and operational as early as 1 year before the Battle of Yavin. Thanks to action by Rebel operatives and Rebel sympathizers within Incom, a shipment of the fighters was stolen from the Empire.

And the Rebels put them to good use. Starting with the T-65B X-Wing, these fighters first saw action over the attack on Lothal. It was a fast and furious battle around the planet where the TIE/D Defender Elite was being developed. Though the battle had heavy casualties for the Rebel forces, the X-Wing proved its usefulness. And they quickly spread throughout the Alliance.

Saw Gerrera used them, they were used in the Battle of Scarif where Rogue One went and captured the plans for the Death Star. And of course, the X-Wing became known as the premiere starfighter in the galaxy when a lone starfighter made its way down the meridian trench and destroyed the entire station.


From that point on, X-Wings became a mainstay of the Rebel Alliance. When it became the New Republic, more sophisticated X-Wings replaced them. It paved the way for T-70 X-Wings and T-85 varieties which featured heavier shields and armor respectively.

X-Wing Capabilities

The T-65B though, was special. It was a single-seat craft that could punch well above its weight. The original X-Wing was highly maneuverable and heavily shielded, with a streamlined profile that made it harder to hit. Incom even designed the starfighter for atmospheric flight. An X-Wing could outmaneuver a TIE Fighter in atmosphere.

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The secret to all this rested in the X-Wing’s wing-like strike foils, or S-Foils for short. The S-Foils could lock in place for more maneuverable flight or could lock open in attack position, giving it a greater spread of fire.

An X-Wing typically carried four Taim & Bak KX9 laser cannons placed at the tip of each S-Foil. They could be fired singly, in alternating pairs, or in a devastating quad-burst, with a default convergence point 500 meters in front of the X-Wing.

Two Krupx MG7 proton torpedo launchers rested in grooves near the middle of the underside fuselage on either side of the T-65B.


But just as important, the X-Wing carried a heavy deflector shield generator that could be adjusted around the craft. As well the ship also had four 4L4 fusial thrust engines giving it a top speed of 1050 kph.

And thus, the X-Wing earned a place in galactic history.

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Star Wars: The X-Wing Breakdown (7)

Author: J.R. Zambrano

Bell of Lost Souls Staff Writer and DM, J.R. covers RPGs of all stripes and on occasion eats sandwiches. You can ask him about either at [emailprotected]


ExplainerLoreStar Wars

  • Star Wars: The X-Wing Breakdown (2024)


    Star Wars: The X-Wing Breakdown? ›

    The X-wing is a versatile Rebel Alliance

    Rebel Alliance
    The Rebel Alliance stood bravely against the evil of the Galactic Empire, never backing down despite overwhelming odds. Formed from resistance movements that arose during the Clone Wars, the Rebellion worked in secret for decades to overthrow the Emperor and restore democracy to the galaxy. › databank › rebel-alliance
    starfighter that balances speed with firepower. Armed with four laser cannons and two proton torpedo launchers, the X-wing can take on anything the Empire throws at it.

    Why did the Empire stop using X-wing? ›

    The new starfighter was intended to become the backbone of the Imperial Navy, but political forces led to the Galactic Empire deciding to rely on Sienar Fleet Systems' more affordable TIE fighter series. The Alliance to Restore the Republic then adopted the X-wing design as its own.

    What is the order of operations in X-wing? ›

    Planning Phase: Each player secretly chooses one maneuver for each of his ships by using its maneuvering dial. Activation Phase: Each ship moves according to its chosen maneuver. Combat Phase: Each ship may perform one attack. End Phase: The players perform any necessary cleanup.

    Why do X-wings have hyperdrives? ›

    X-wing hyperdrive capabilities allowed for this kind of harassment and escape before the Empire could react. The presence of a hyperdrive and deflector shields differentiate the X-wing from the Empire's TIE fighters, emphasizing the importance the Rebels place on pilots surviving their missions.

    What engines are in the X-Wing fighter? ›

    Four 4L4 fusial thrust engines were attached to the wings of the T-65B, next to the fuselage. Some X-wings were fitted with 4j. 4 fusial thrust engines, which were virtually identical to the 4L4 models.

    Why couldn t Luke lift the X-wing? ›

    In ESB Luke cannot lift his x-wing; not because he isn't powerful enough, but because he doesn't believe he can.

    Did Han Solo ever fly an X-wing? ›

    And thanks to a new Star Wars comic, fans finally get to see Han Solo do exactly that. The mission that sees Han not only pilot an X-wing as wingman to Luke Skywalker, but eventually take over his duties in leading Rogue Squadron into battle is undoubtedly one of the coolest untold tales of the new Star Wars canon.

    Why do X-wings have S-foils? ›

    With the advent of newer starfighters like Incom's X-wing, the workhorse of the Alliance Fleet during the Galactic Civil War, S-foils took on a new purpose. Designers realized that they could increase spread coverage of weapons if they mounted them at the tips of the foils.

    Can X-wings go into hyperspace? ›

    X-wings have hyperdrives, allowing for long-distance travel between star systems. TIE fighters are short-range craft and require carrier vessels. X-wings have astromech copilots, allowing for in-flight repairs, hyperspace navigation, and even astromechs flying the ship themselves.

    Are TIE fighters faster than X-wings? ›

    In the context of the Star Wars films and lore, TIE Fighters are generally depicted as being slightly faster than X-Wings. However, X-Wings are considered to be more versatile due to their shielding and hyperdrive capabilities.

    Why do X-wings have red lasers? ›

    The type of gas used to create the laser dictated the beams' color and qualities. The most common color was red because of its cheaper tibanna gas from Bespin. Green beams were produced from a higher-quality gas, thus costing more.

    What was the ship before the X-wing? ›

    The Z-95 is largely recognized as a respectable and versatile snub-fighter of its era, and was the forerunner of the incredibly successful X-wing starfighter.

    Did X-wings exist during the Clone Wars? ›

    The T65 X-wing (The to Skywalker version everyone thinks of ) was actually the evolution and the advancement of a previous clone wars era space ship the Aggressive ReConnaissance-170 starfighter. The first time we saw X-Wings in a movie was Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope.

    Why was Vader's TIE fighter different? ›

    The TIE Advanced x1 featured a greater speed than the TIE/LN. It was armed with heavy twin blaster cannons on fixed mounts, and was also capable of carrying secondary weapons such as cluster missiles.

    Why didn't the Empire use X-wings? ›

    The Empire claimed they had discovered flaws within the X-wing design that prompted them to rethink the contract, ultimately going with Sienar's designs instead.

    What X-wing did Luke Skywalker use? ›

    Following the Rescue of Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker and R2-D2 flew a T-65B X-wing starfighter dubbed Red Five in the Battle of Yavin.

    Why were X-wings banned in F1? ›

    These "X-wings" would be banned during 1998 after safety concerns in the pitlane, by which point other teams had begun using them.

    Did the Empire ever use X-wings? ›

    As it turns out, the Empire lost the X-wing because they reneged on a bargain to its creators. Details can be found in Rebel Starfighters Owners' Workshop Manual, a canon sourcebook that covers the history of the Rebellion's starships.

    What happened to Luke's X-wing after Empire Strikes Back? ›

    Hoth and Dagobah

    Later, Luke would continue to use his previous, more well-known X-wing. It was present on Hoth while Luke led Rogue Squadron, and after the Battle of Hoth, he would take it to Dagobah where he was to be trained by Yoda. Following a water landing, Red Five sank in one of the planet's swamps.

    Why did the Empire stop using clone troopers? ›

    But why? There have been various reasons for this very briefly touched on in expanded universe offerings. One reason being that the clones were too expensive to produce and raise. Another being that getting citizens to sign up to fight for the Empire made those same citizens and their families more loyal to the Empire.


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