While the Rebel Alliance may have been victorious at Yavin, a lot of experienced starfighter pilots lost their lives during the attack on the Death Star. In Legends literature, the Alliance starfighter corps suffered another heavy blow when Renegade Flight was decimated at an ambush near Derra IV, so it was up to Yavin survivors Commander Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles to lead the newly established Rogue Flight to new horizons. One of these adventures brought the pilots to the remote ice world of Hoth where the Alliance had established Echo Base as their new headquarters. With the help of tacticians such as Berryl Chiffonage, Luke and Wedge devised several new tactics for the T-47 snowspeeders.
Rogue Flight operated on Hoth with Green and Blue Squadron as Rogue Group. One month after Echo Base had been declared operational, an Imperial Viper Probe Droid discovered the Rebel activity. The cautious General Carlist Rieekan immediately prepared his forces for evacuation and ground assault defense. Groups seven and ten remained on the surface to fly the snowspeeders while Blue and Green Squadron piloted or escorted the GR-75 medium transports past Darth Vader’s blockade of Star Destroyers. Let’s meet the identified rebel pilots on Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back!
Rogue Leader Luke Skywalker was paired with Dak Ralter, a young pilot who had escaped from an Imperial prisoner camp on Kalist VI. Ralter felt like he could take on the whole Empire himself, but Luke and Dak’s T-47 suffered from several breakdowns during the battle. Dak was instantly killed by an AT-AT before the T-47 was shot down. Before heading towards the South Slope, Commander Skywalker managed to destroy AT-AT Blizzard 4 with a thermal detonator. Rogue Two was manned by Zev Senesca and Kit Valent. It was Zev who discovered Luke and Han after they’d spent an ice cold night on Hoth in nothing but a shelter. Valent grew up around a spaceport on Huulia. Rogue Two was shot down with fatal consequences right before Kit attempted to fire the T-47’s harpoon. Rogue Three, with Wedge Antilles and Wes Janson, was the first snowspeeder to tackle one of the AT-AT walkers with the harpoon and tow cable. Regardless of his young age, Antilles was already considered one of Rogue Group’s veterans. Lieutenant Janson from Taanab held the honorary title of True Gunner. Despite a certain urban legend, both Wedge and Wes managed to escape Hoth in one piece.
Derek “Hobbie” Klivian and Kesin Ommis were Rogue Leader’s wingmen as Rogue Four. Klivian, a former friend of Biggs Darklighter, worried about only two starfighters escorting each GR-75 Medium Transport leaving Hoth, but Princess Leia assured him that the planetary ion cannon would provide the necessary cover. Rogue Five was manned by Tycho Celchu and Tarn Mison. Born on Las Lagon, Lieutenant Mison survived the battle and flew cover for the Bright Hope. Nala Hetsime piloted Rogue Seven with Cinda Tarheel as a gunner. Born on Pa Tho, Hetsime was known as a mysterious man to his fellow pilots. Vekozev Kabir and Stax Mullawny both perished during the battle when their T-47, Rogue Eight, was shot down. Kabir was an experienced pilot who had participated in resistance groups on Ahakista before he had joined the Alliance. Rogue Ten, piloted by Tarrin Datch, lost its gunner Hosh Hune during the battle. In the aftermath Datch piloted the GR-75 transport Thon’s Orchard past the Imperial blockade. Rogue Eleven was operated by Tenk Lenso and Jek Pugilio. After suffering from flashbacks, Lenso couldn’t function anymore as a gunner. The soft-spoken Pugilio was asked to assist Lenso in saving his career as a pilot and gunner. Despite all this, Rogue Eleven was one of the first snowspeeders to be shot down during the battle. Rogues Ten and Eleven also assisted Han Solo and Chewbacca in tracing the unknown signal that turned out to be the Imperial probot.
Other Rogues during the Battle of Hoth were Samoc Farr and Vigrat Pomoner (Rogue Six), Stevan Makintay and Barlon Hightower (Rogue Nine) and a true rogue named Dash Rendar (Rogue Twelve).
Blue and Green Squadron
Blue Three was piloted by Will Scotian, a native from Brentaal IV who would later become a member of Rogue Squadron. Gemmer Sojan from Circarpous V, piloted Blue Four. Sojan piloted the Bearing Lifter away from Hoth and would fly an A-wing interceptor during the Battle of Endor. Beryann Raleg (Blue Eight) had joined the Alliance with Major Bren Derlin after the assassination of Derlin’s father. Kulbart Zamoon (Blue Twelve) hailed from Erilnar in the Centrality. A lack of Imperial concern after a terrorist attack made Zamoon join the Alliance.
Green Three was piloted by Adam Swiftgale, a former rockhopper jockey from Manda whose experience was useful when the rebels had to tame the native tauntauns on Hoth. Nichos Panib from Virujansi piloted Green Four. Panib was a noble who had painted his helmet in honor of Garven Dreis, an old friend of his mother’s family, who had died during the Battle of Yavin. Habeer Zignean (Green Five) from Ord Mirit was a rookie pilot who had joined to Alliance to avenge his father’s death.
Sources: Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back (1989), Galaxy Guide 3: The Empire Strikes Back 2nd edition (1996) , Galaxy Guide 5: Return of the Jedi (1990), Inside the Worlds of Star Wars Trilogy (2004), Star Wars Insider 146, Rogues Gallery: Clearance for Immediate Launch (2013), The Empire Strikes Back NPR Radio Drama (1983) , The Essential Guide to Warfare (2012)
Tim Veekhoven (Sompeetalay) from Belgium is president and co founder of TeeKay-421, the Belgian Star Wars fanclub. He has contributed to Star Wars Insider (Rogues Gallery) and has written four character back stories for “What’s the Story?”.