Rogue Squadron by Michael A Stackpole (Star Wars: X-Wing: Book 1)

8/10 Set so close to the end of Return of the Jedi, it's a great jumping on point with a great story.

Set: 6.5 ABY

They are sleek, swift, and deadly. They are the X-wing fighters. And as the struggle rages across the vastness of space, the fearless men and women who pilot them risk both their lives and their machines. Their mission: to defend the Rebel Alliance against a still-powerful and battle-hardened Imperial foe in a last-ditch effort to control the stars!

Its very name strikes fear into enemy hearts. So when Rebel hero Wedge Antilles rebuilds the legendary Rogue Squadron, he seeks out only the best-the most skilled, the most daring X-wing pilots. Through arduous training and dangerous missions, he weeds out the weak from the strong, assembling a group of hard-bitten warriors to fight, ready to die. Antilles knows the grim truth: that even with the best X-wing jockeys in the galaxy, many will not survive their near-suicidal missions. But when Rogue Squadron is ordered to assist in the assault on the heavily fortified Imperial stronghold of Black Moon, even the bravest must wonder if any at all will survive…

In reviewing Star Wars novels there are going to be a dozen or two that I’ll need to reread. In some cases, that’ll be relatively frustrating, as they aren’t necessarily worthy of a reread. However, in the case of the X-Wing series it’s pretty much a joy!

Written by Michael A. Stackpole, X-Wing: Rogue Squadron launches us into the lives of the fighter pilots of the Star Wars universe. And from one of the smallest speaking bit-parts in the Star Wars movies, Wedge Antilles gets to play centre stage for nine books, which only continues to grow his status as cult hero.

The book focuses first and foremost of the rejuvenation of Rogue Squadron, under the leadership of Wedge Antilles. They seek out the best there are within an X-Wing cockpit, and form them up to be the tip of the sword that plans to finish off the Empire. Because despite being rid of the Emperor and Darth Vader, the Empire is still alive and kicking.

The secondary character for this book is Corran Horn, a character new for this book, but one that will end up playing significant roles within Rogue Squadron, and without in the many books that follow.

This book is definitely one of those gems that you need on your shelf. Stackpole really has a good grasp of the mechanics and physics behind flying an X-Wing, maybe too much as sometimes the story bogs down in technical descriptions of what is happening. But ignoring that, this book is top notch!

Focusing on the first big push towards capturing Coruscant, Rogue Squadron has to deal with political machinations and strong and hidden enemies in an attempt to take the Imperial planet Borleias, codenamed Black Moon. Death and destruction is par for the course in this book, and all realistically done which really is a breath of fresh air. I loved this book to pieces, and love rereading all of the Rogue Squadron books.

X-Wing: Rogue Squadron is really a gem of a book, and if you’re at all interested in reading more of the Star Wars universe, this is definitely one of the best places to start. Set so close to the end of Return of the Jedi, it’s a great jumping on point with a great story and a great writer.

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Michael A Stackpole's Star Wars: X-Wing series

The Krytos Trap

Star Wars: X-Wing: Book 3

Wedge’s Gamble

Star Wars: X-Wing: Book 2

Rogue Squadron

Star Wars: X-Wing: Book 1

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