THE DARK TIMES
The A-wing was a wedge-shaped strike fighter that took design inspiration from Republic starfighters of the Clone Wars. The Empire passed on the earliest A-wing model, Kuat Systems Engineering’s R-22, but rebel cells modified the seemingly failed fighter into a blazingly fast but temperamental attack craft, dubbed the RZ-1.
One of the earliest rebel units to use these quick, powerful fighters was Phoenix Squadron, whose pilots would tragically meet their match in an encounter with Darth Vader. Several of the fighters entered the fray when Vader tracked the Ghost crew to the rebel fleet. The Imperial enforcer methodically wiped the craft out, showing expert piloting skills and a ruthlessness that the A-wing pilots could not equal.
GALACTIC CIVIL WAR
As the Empire ramped up production of both standard TIE fighters and experimental models, the Alliance sought to turn the A-wing into a starfighter that could outfly them all. Alliance techs stripped away shields, armor and heavy weapons to create a fighter that was tough to maintain and fly, but could outrun even a TIE interceptor. These reworked RZ-1s played an important role in the Battle of Endor, the rebels' greatest victory over the Empire.
THE NEW REPUBLIC
With the New Republic victorious over the Empire’s fragments, Kuat Systems Engineering revived the R-22 design as the basis for the RZ-2, a streamlined model that incorporated years of Alliance field modifications and customizations. After the New Republic slashed A-wing production, the RZ-2 lived on as a mainstay of the Resistance, which used A-wings for many different missions.
Phoenix Squadron was an elite group of A-wings in one of the first larger rebel collectives. They served under Commander Jun Sato and often assisted the Ghost team on missions -- until one deadly encounter with Darth Vader. The Sith Lord, piloting an TIE Advanced prototype, wiped out Phoenix Squadron in a vicious attack. Only a few ships survived the battle.
Hailing from Pippip 3, young Lieutenant Tallissan Lintra is one of the Resistance’s best pilots, impressing even Poe Dameron with her flying skills. Tallie leads a hastily assembled squadron of A-wings and X-wings above D’Qar, protecting the Resistance’s vulnerable bombers on their attack run against a First Order Siege Dreadnought. Tallie died when Kylo Ren blasted the main hangar of the Raddus with missiles.
Heirs to the legacy of the Rebel Alliance, the Resistance's starfighter corps gathered freedom fighters determined to counter the growing threat of the First Order. The Resistance’s pilot ranks were filled by Alliance veterans, disillusioned former New Republic officers, and adventure seekers from every corner of the galaxy.