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Feb 8, 2014

Wedge Antilles - the trivia, the legend and the quotes

wedge antilles snowspeeder

Wedge Antilles. He's one of those cool characters found in movies that are there for a brief few moments yet leave a lasting impression. So much so was the impression he made in A New Hope that his skills as a pilot were called upon in Empire and Jedi to help save the day. In fact I think he's the only so called minor character to attend all three major battles in the original trilogy.

So what makes Wedge tick? Who is he and is it true Wedge is Obi Wan Kenobi's Uncle?

Let's deal with that last point first. From a certain point of view, yes, Wedge is Obi Wan's Kenobi - the real deal is that the actor who plays Wedge, Dennis Lawson, is actually Ewan McGregor's real life uncle!

What's the story of Wedge? Where did he come from, where did he go?

Orphaned at age seventeen, he found refuge with the Rebellion after Imperial forces murderd his girlfriend, Mala Tinero. He was considered an exceptional starfighter pilot and this was proved when he was one of the few pilots to survive the Battle of Yavin in A New Hope,

Following that space adventure Wedge founded the famous Rogue Squadron with his Luke Skywalker. Antilles and Skywalker built Rogue Squadron into a renowned unit, and after the Battle of Hoth, Antilles took full command command. 

He  famously flew as Red Leader during the Battle of Endor, striking the blow from his X-Wing craft that destroyed the second Death Star and becoming the only pilot to survive both attacks on the Death Stars.

Behind the scenes history

Colin Higgins
Behind the production scenes Wedge's character has been a bit all over the place. In the original film, Antilles was played by two British actors: Colin Higgins and Denis Lawson however they vocal contributions were non existent as they were both dubbed with the voice of American David Ankrum! Legend has has it that Higgins had not learned his lines (the original script had more than was featured in the movie) and so he was fired and replaced by Lawson.

While Wedge had a prominent role in the finale of Jedi, an early script idea featured as early scene in which Antilles was supposed to pilot a TIE after infiltrating an Imperial formation near the Executor, lose control of his craft and require a rescue by Princess Leia, who had also infiltrated the fleet. This was ultimately dropped of course.

Quotes

Return of the Jedi
Lando Calrissian: All right, Wedge. Go for the power regulator on the north tower.
Wedge Antilles: Copy, Gold Leader. I'm already on my way out.

Lando Calrissian: Watch yourself Wedge, Three from above!
Wedge Antilles: Red Three, Red Two, pull in!

Red Two: Got it.
Red Two: Three of them coming in, twenty degrees.
Wedge Antilles: Cut to the left, I'll take the leader.

Empire Strikes Back

Wedge and Janson have just brought down an Imperial Walker that was attack the Hoth base.
Wedge Antilles: Whoa! That got him!

A New Hope

Luke: "But it's not impossible. I used to bull's-eye womp rats in my T-16 back home, and they're not much bigger than two meters!"
Wedge: "Yeah, and were the womp rats shooting at you with turbolaser cannon?"

Wedge wasn't the only pilot on the ride along with Luke in ANH - check out the story of Biggs Darklighter.

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