Created by Quarrie, a master engineer, the Blade Wing prototype — later nicknamed the B-wing — was unlike any starfighter previously known. It featured on-board ion cannons and proton torpedoes, advances in speed, and a gyroscopic rotating cockpit. Quarrie built the Blade Wing in secret on Shantipole, where the Empire had no presence. The craft would not take to the skies, however, until the arrival the rebels Hera, Sabine, and Zeb, who were looking for a powerful new starfighter to bust Imperial blockades. Hera became the Blade Wing’s test pilot and shortly after took it into battle, where it decimated an Imperial battleship and led to a successful mission.
With a violent atmosphere of gas and lightning, Shantipole was avoided by most pilots and practically desolate. That’s what made it the perfect workplace for Quarrie, a master engineer and starfighter designer. It was on Shantipole that he toiled on his creations, far away from the watchful eye of the Empire. After years of work, he created the Blade Wing — a.k.a. the B-wing — and the rebel pilot Hera tested the experimental craft amidst Shantipole’s mountain spires and dactillions.
Perhaps the oddest-looking starfighter in the Rebel Alliance fleet, the B-wing fighter is as powerful as it is ungainly. The ship's structure is almost entirely taken up by its primary airfoil, which houses a cylindrical cockpit on one end, an engine cluster in the center, and a heavy weapons pod at its base. Located just below the engine cluster are a pair of S-foils which can deploy to extend the firing arc of twin laser cannons. The B-wing's command pod has a unique gyroscopic control system. The pilot can orient it so that it always stays level with a horizon line. No matter which way the B-wing may maneuver laterally, its pilot remains upright.
The Mon Calamari people are a humanoid, aquatic species with high-domed heads, webbed hands and large, goggle-like eyes. They hail from the oceans of Mon Cala, a planet they share with the Quarren. During the Clone Wars, differences between the two cultures were fanned by Separatist troublemakers to erupt in civil war. During the Galactic Civil War, the Mon Calamari were said to be the soul of the Rebel Alliance. The Empire pressed these gentle, amphibious people into war by subjugating their watery world. In retaliation, the Mon Calamari became one of the key species of the Rebellion, supplying badly needed warships to the outnumbered Alliance fleet.
A veteran commander, Ackbar led the defense of his homeworld, Mon Cala, during the Clone Wars and then masterminded the rebel attack on the second Death Star at the Battle of Endor. Ackbar realized the rebels had been drawn into a trap at Endor, but adjusted, with his fleet buying valuable time for the attack to succeed. After the Battle of Endor, Ackbar became a Grand Admiral in the New Republic, winning many victories including the pivotal Battle of Jakku. He retired to Mon Cala, but was coaxed back into service with the Resistance by Leia Organa.