They're taking back the galaxy...one planet at a time! Thus was the promise from Dark Horse of a new series that would take a look at the working man in the Star Wars universe. X-Wing Rogue Squadron features the adventures of those high-flying, death-defying, and reader-satisfying pilots of the Rebellion, led by the fearless Wedge Antilles. Written by Michael A. Stackpole, this series had major ties to his X-Wing Rogue Squadron series of novels, with characters introduced here making appearances in the novels. With such a strong connection between the comics and the novels, this series remains a cornerstone of the Expanded Universe.
The series began with The Rebel Opposition by Stackpole, Mike Baron, Alex Nunis, and Andy Mushynsky, with covers by Dave Dorman. The team travels to rescue a downed pilot, they encounter hatred and betrayal not only from the outside, but also from within their own ranks. This series introduces Tycho Celchu, Elscol Loro, Groznik, Dllr Nep, and Plourr Ilo as the new members of the team, alongside Wedge, Wes Janson, and Derek "Hobbie" Klivian.
|THE REBEL OPPOSITION|
The next story was arguably the most popular of the entire series. Stackpole was joined by Darko Macan, Edvin Biukovic, John Nadeau, Jordi Ensign, Gary Erskine, and cover artist Mattieu Lauffray for The Phantom Affair, which not only involved a mystery with a Jedi, but also showed the past history of Wedge Antilles by introducing Mirax Terrik and Loka Hosk.
|THE PHANTOM AFFAIR|
In Battleground: Tatooine, Stackpole, Nadeau, and Ensign are joined by Jan Strnad for a trip through memory lane as team meets with Huff Darklighter, the father of former member Biggs. The team then travels to Ryloth to compete for a hidden Imperial weapons supply, and a member gets fired. Featuring appearances by Admiral Ackbar, Winter, Bib Fortuna, and the introduction of Kapp Dendo and Sixtus Quin. Mark Harrison supplies the cover artwork.
Scott Tolson joins the regular crew with The Warrior Princess, a story that centers on Plour Ilo and her return to Eiattu as its princess, something which is not welcomed by the Imperials on the planet, led by Moff Leonia Tavira. New rogues Feylis Ardele, Ibtisam, Herian I'ngre, and Nrin Vakil join the team, as Plourr Ilo leaves.
|THE WARRIOR PRINCESS|
Gary Erskine returns for the next storyline, Requiem for a Rogue, as a Bothan spaceliner disappears on a planet which also is a focal point for Sith Magic. In the ensuing battle to control the power, two members make the ultimate sacrifice. Covers by Kevin Ryan and Stuart Hyner.
|REQUIEM FOR A ROGUE|
With the next story, In the Empire's Service, Stackpole took over the full writing chores and introduced the Imperial equivalent of the Red Baron, Colonel Soontir Fel, leader of the 181st Imperial fighter group, and former instructor to many of the Rogues themselves. This storyline also begins the Rise of Ysanne Isard, as she struggles with Sate Pestage for control of the Empire. Isard will plague the Rouges for years to come. New team members include Xarrce Huwla, Avan Beruss, and Plourr is back just in time for the Battle of Brentall. Cover art by Tim Bradstreet and John Nadeau.
|IN THE EMPIRE'S SERVICE|
In the single-issue The Making of Baron Fel, Stackpole is joined by Steve Crespo, Chip Wallace, Gary Martin, and cover artist Tim Bradstreet to present the origin of the best Imperial pilot, and how he decides to turn his back on the Empire. One startling revelation is that his wife is Wedge's sister! This flashback issue is told from the Imperial point of view, and features cameos by Emperor Palpatine, Tarkin, Darth Vader, Isard, and Thrawn.
In Family Ties, Jim Hall, Gary Martin, and Drew Johnson handle the art chores, as Hobbie, Janson, and Plourr travel to Corellia to locate Fel's wife, and wind up in the middle of a kidnapping plot. This storyline also features the first appearance of Corsec officer Corran Horn, who becomes a Rogue himself in the novels. Covers by John Nadeau. These two stories were collected together under the name Blood and Honor.
|THE MAKING OF BARON FEL / FAMILY TIES|
Drew Johson and Gary Martin return, (with a short sequence by Jim Hall in part 3) for Masquerade, where Sate Pestage offers to make an offer to the Alliance that Isard is all too eager to prevent. Add in a pirate attack by Leonia Tavira, guest-stars Han Solo, Chewbacca, Princess Leia, and Winter, and this storyline is full of both character development and many underhanded deals. Covers by John Nadeau.
All things come to an end, and Mandatory Retirement delivers all-out war as the conflict between Pestage and Isard reaches its climax, and the Rogues are caught in the middle. And not everyone makes it out alive! Stackpole brings the series to a close with Steve Crespo, John Nadeau, Jordi Ensign, Chip Wallace, and the end of the "Rise of Isard" plotline.
There were a few special X-Wing Rogue Squadron comics that were created, that told part of the background of the team, set during the early days of the Rebellion. The first was released in 1995 through a special offer from Apple Jacks cereal, and featured the history of Wedge Antilles' service in the Rebellion, as told by none other than Luke Skywalker. This issue, created by Ryder Windham, John Nadeau, and Monty Sheldon, with a cover by Mark Harrison, was later included in the Battleground: Tatooine Trade Paperback.
X-Wing Rogue Squadron #1/2 was available in 1997 only through a special offer in Wizard: The Guide to Comics #67, and features a tale of the early days of the Rogues with Wedge, Biggs Darklighter, Jek Porkins, and Cesi "Doc" Eirriss as they go on a mission to acquire astromech droid for the Rebellion. Not everyone makes it back alive though, leaving a spot open for a certain farmboy from Tatooine to join the ranks. Creators for this issue include Stackpole, Mike W. Barr, and Gary Erskine, with a cover by Christopher Moeller, and a sketchbook section by Edvin Biukovic.
The first Star Wars Handbook spotlighted the Rogue Squadron series, with entries on the major heroes, villains, and vehicles. Written by Peet Janes, with an inttroduction by Stackpole, the list of artists include Arthur Adams, Edvin Biukovic, Steve Crespo, Rodolfo Damaggio, Doug Mahnke, John Nadeau, Jordi Ensign, and Stan and Vince. A biography of all the creators involved in the entire run make this the perfect companion book to the series.
In 2005, Dark Horse returns to the Rogue Squadron with X-Wing: Rogue Leader, a 3-issue limited series that shows the formation of the squad in the aftermath of the Battle of Endor.
Each chapter in the X-Wing Rogue Squadron was collected into trade paperback format, with the exception of the first arc, The Rebel Opposition. When The Making of Baron Fel and Family Ties were combined into this format, it was given the name Blood and Honor. Cover artists include Edvin Biukovic, John K Snyder III, Timothy Bradstreet, Grant Goleash, and Terese Nielsen.
The most recent entries in the collected series is the first part of the Star Wars Omnibus program. Omnibus's are slightly smaller than regular trade paperback, but two to three times as many pages. This series of books reprints all X-Wing Rogue Squadron comics (including for the first time The Rebel Opposition), all in chronological order.
|Star Wars Omnibus|