Star Wars: The X-Wing Starfighter, Explained (2024)

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  • How Was The X-Wing Starfighter Created?

  • What Are X-Wing Starfighters Equipped With?

  • Was The X-Wing Starfighter Useful In Battle?

  • What Are The Different X-Wing Models?

Since the release of the original Star Wars trilogy, fans have wished they could hop on a ship and engage in massive space fights, with one of the most famous of all the ships being the X-Wing Starfighter. Just about every Star Wars fan should have a vivid image of the famed ship in their mind, specifically because of how prominently it has been featured in the films.

The X-Wing Starfighter may not have the same history as a ship like the Millennium Falcon or the Ebon Hawk and it may not have the same gravitas as a Star Destroyer, but the ship will always be remembered for its impact. Without the handy X-Wing, the Rebel Alliance may have never been able to defeat the Empire. These trusty vehicles were maneuvrable, fast, and incredibly powerful for their size, making them an excellent tool.


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How Was The X-Wing Starfighter Created?

Rather than the X-Wing being a wholly unique ship, it was actually based on a few that some Clone Wars buffs might have some familiarity with. Primarily, the X-Wing is based on three separate ships: two Z-95 Headhunter models, and the Aggressive ReConnaissance-170 starfighter. The genius here was that those working on the ships were interested in figuring out how to combine the best aspects of each of the previously listed ships in order to create the perfect starfighter. The Incom Corporation actually engineered the first X-Wings, which ended up being used by the Alliance after the Empire chose to utilize TIE Fighters over the fantastic starfighters.

From there, the X-Wings would continue to be tinkered with in order to further improve the design and stamp out any found flaws. One such example would be the ship’s inability to deal with a threat that is directly behind it, something that would be corrected in future versions of the X-Wing. Due to the longevity of the X-Wing, it’s clear that the galaxy won’t be halting production of the vehicles anytime soon.

What Are X-Wing Starfighters Equipped With?

Star Wars: The X-Wing Starfighter, Explained (2)

The T-65 X-Wing Starfighter


Incom Corporation


Vors Voorhorian


4 Incom 4L4 fusial thrust engines


4 Taim & Bak KX9 or IX4 laser cannons, and 2 Krupx MG7 proton torpedo launchers


A pilot and an astromech droid


12.5 meters

Maximum Speed:

Roughly 1,050 km/h

Notable Affiliations:

The Rebel Alliance, The New Republic

While it is true that the design of X-Wings and their equipment does change with various models, the most recognizable version of the ship is the T-65. This ship may seem rather small in scope, but it’s actually a force to be feared when piloted by the right person. It might be clear from the ship’s design, but it has four main cannons, specifically the Taim & Bak KX9 laser cannons, ready to blast foes into dust with four different firing modes. The X-Wing was also equipped with two separate torpedo launch ports allowing for powerful secondary fire to be let loose.

The ships featured four 4L4 fusial thrust engines, but the real draw was the fact that the X-Wings had their very own hyperdrives. While this may simply seem like this means the X-Wings could maneuver star fields quickly (and that was true) it actually meant that a platoon of X-Wings would be capable of going on their own missions independent of any other carriers or a nearby base. Of course, it also wasn’t uncommon for the X-Wings to have slots for repair droids, which could also function as a basic navigator as well.

Was The X-Wing Starfighter Useful In Battle?

Star Wars: The X-Wing Starfighter, Explained (3)

As with all things, the usefulness or effectiveness of the X-Wing depends on the situation. Many within the Star Wars universe speak highly of the ships thanks to how heavily they can be equipped while still having immense speed. With great use at a variety of altitudes, the X-Wing is easily one of the most trustworthy ships one could use in battle. All of this is made clear by General Carlist Rieekan in ship selection for the game Star Wars: Rogue Squadron:

"The Incom T-65 X-Wing is the fighter that killed the Death Star. An almost perfect balance of speed, maneuverability, and defensive shielding make it the fighter of choice for Rogue Squadron."

It is safe to say that the X-Wing Starfighter is incredibly useful in battle, especially thanks to the fact that the design of the ship has only improved instead of being replaced altogether. The T-65 X-Wing may have a rather glaring weak spot, but it has since been improved, making it one of the most useful ships in the galaxy. The X-Wing did manage to take out the Death Star, and it is routinely used to combat TIE Fighters. This means that the X-Wing was one of the only ways that the Rebel Alliance could go toe-to-toe with the Empire in space and full-scale battles on planets.

What Are The Different X-Wing Models?

Star Wars: The X-Wing Starfighter, Explained (4)

X-Wing Models:

  • T-65 X-Wing
  • T-65B X-Wing Starfighter
  • T-65C-A2 X-Wing Starfighter
  • B-class X-Wing
  • Patrol X-Wing
  • T-70 X-Wing Starfighter
  • T-85 X-Wing Starfighter

While there are various models of the classic X-Wing Starfighter in canon and in Legends Canon, it is perhaps best to focus on the current canon. It is also important to note that while there are a variety of named lines and models of the X-Wing, no list can ever be truly exhaustive thanks to the ability of creatives for Star Wars to canonize new models at any moment, especially if the need to sell more toys arises. To date, the main models of X-Wings are the famed T-65 line of X-Wings, the B-Class, Patrol, T-70, and T-85 lines. Each and every model comes with its own unique aspects while mostly maintaining the core “X” body design that the X-Wings are known for.

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Star Wars: The X-Wing Starfighter, Explained (5)
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Star Wars is a multimedia franchise originally created by George Lucas and Lucasfilm Ltd with the 1977 motion picture. The science fiction franchise follows the adventures of characters (both humanoid and alien) in outer space including those who can wield a mystical power known as the Force. Since the release of the original trilogy of movies, the franchise has expanded to include multiple films and branched out to other media like comics, video games, tv shows, theme park attractions, and more. The IP and Lucasfilm were sold to Disney in 2012.


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Star Wars: The X-Wing Starfighter, Explained (2024)


Is the X-wing or Y-wing better? ›

The Y-wing was best suited for heavy assault missions due to its larger warhead payload and stronger hull and shields, while the X-wing and A-wing were more focused on dealing with enemy starfighters.

What is the real name of the X-wing? ›

The T-65B X-wing starfighter, also known as the T-65B space superiority fighter, or T-65B X-wing multi-role starfighter, was a single-seat craft manufactured by Incom Corporation and used most famously by the Alliance to Restore the Republic during the Galactic Civil War.

Is the X-wing a good fighter? ›

Nimble engines give the X-wing an edge during dogfights, and it can make long-range jumps with its hyperdrive and its astromech droid co-pilot. Luke Skywalker is famous for destroying the Death Star behind the controls of an X-wing.

What does X-wing stand for? ›

X-wing starfighters were a type of starfighter marked by their distinctive S-foils that resembled the High Galactic script's character "X" in attack formation. They were heavily armed with four laser cannons on the S-foils and proton torpedo launchers in the fuselage.

What type of 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.

What replaced the X-Wing? ›

E-wings deployed with updated laser cannons were known as the Type B. As designed, the E-wing was intended to match or exceed the performance of the preceding X-wing series in every respect, and was meant to replace the older design in New Republic service.

Did Luke Skywalker fly an X-wing? ›

Luke Skywalker had been an X-wing pilot since he joined the Rebel Alliance and served at the Battle of Yavin as Red Five. He had flown no less than five such fighters over the course of his career with the Rebellion and New Republic, culminating in his use of one designated AA-589.

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.

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.

Did Anakin fly an X-wing? ›

Anakin preferred to fly with his trusty droid friend, R2-D2. Anakin redesigned his X-Wing's droid socket to vastly improve its systems interfaces.

Who is the X-Wing fighter in Mandalorian? ›

Soaring across the galaxy in season three of The Mandalorian is Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, best known for his much-loved turn as Mr. Kim in Kim's Convenience. Now he's playing X-wing pilot Carson Teva throughout the Star Wars universe.

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.

Why do X-Wings need droids? ›

Instead of a dedicated navigational system, the X-wing makes use of an astromech droid (such as R2-D2) which fits in a socket behind the co*ckpit. The droid can hold up to 10 hyperspace coordinates, make minor repairs to the craft, and assume full control of the X-wing if needed.

What ship did Luke Skywalker fly? ›

Luke learned to fly an X-Wing by having previously owned a T-16 Skyhopper. Like the X-Wing, the Skyhopper was made by Incom Corporation. The controls of the X-Wing and the Skyhopper were very similar. So much so that the Rebel Alliance even used Skyhoppers as training vehicles for their pilots!

Were there X-Wings in the Clone Wars? ›

That's because the XWing fighter did not exist during the time of 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.

What is the best wing shape for flying? ›

The elliptical wing was decided upon quite early on. Aerodynamically it was the best for our purpose because the induced drag caused in producing lift, was lowest when this shape was used: the ellipse was ... theoretically a perfection ...

Is the A-wing better than the X-Wing? ›

The value of a high speed interceptor was clear, but the A-wing had major defensive and navigational limitations. Thus, new starfighters like the E-wing or T-65AC4 X-wing were created with comparable speed, but some models were given heavier shields and armor, astromech compatibility, and more powerful weapons.

What wing gives the most lift? ›

The rectangular wing generated the most lift, followed by the elliptical, delta, swept and round, respectively.

Is the X-Wing stronger than a TIE fighter? ›

The X-Wing was objectively the better ship, excelling in firepower (4 blasters instead of 2), protection (the X-wing has shields, the TIE does not), and operational autonomy (the X-wing has a hyperdrive and an astromech droid slot, allowing it to operate for very long periods on its own.


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