The Resistance, led by General Leia Organa, is a fairly small militia brave enough to take up arms against the mysterious First Order. While the New Republic continued to neglect the rise of the First Order’s power and influence, General Organa didn’t and formed her own organization, consisting of loyal allies from her past and of new recruits who believed in the values that the Resistance represented.
When the Resistance set up their base on D’Qar, its starfighter fleet consisted of Incom-FreiTek T-70 X-wing starfighters, divided into two main units: Blue and Red Squadron. Blue Squadron was supposed to defend D’Qar and Red Squadron supported them. When the time had come to attack Starkiller Base, the gigantic super weapon of the First Order, the brave pilots of the Resistance knew their assault would be crucial. While a strike team led by Han Solo — who had once called such an attack “more like suicide” — would try to knock out the shields of Starkiller Base, 12 X-wings were waiting to attack the thermal oscillator of the base that would give them an opportunity to blow up the weapon.
Born on Yavin 4 from parents who fought in the Galactic Civil War, Poe is the Resistance’s best pilot. As Black Leader, he commands both Blue and Red Squadron and often flies in his special Black One X-wing, accompanied by his loyal astromech BB-8. After being captured by the First Order on Jakku, Poe made it back in time to lead the Resistance’s strike on Takodana. Poe then led Blue and Red Squadron into battle against Starkiller Base and its many defenses. After Chewbacca detonated explosions, a small opening in the oscillator appeared that gave Poe the small gap he needed to destroy Starkiller Base.
Jess “Testor” Pava
This young pilot from Dandoran grew up with tales of Luke Skywalker and other legendary pilots from the Galactic Civil War. Jessica flies as Blue Three with R0-4L0 as her astromech. Because the Resistance base was understaffed, Jess also helped to catalogue the astromechs on D’Qar. Jess participated in the assault on Starkiller Base and made the final run toward the oscillator. After offering cover to Poe during his final attack, Jess returned to D’Qar.
A skilled Abednedo pilot, Ello Asty flew as Red Six during the Battle of Starkiller Base, although he was part of Blue Squadron. Asty used to fly in Cobalt Squadron during the early days of the Resistance. Despite Ello’s flying skills, he sometimes struggled to act as a team in his squadron. During his trench run, Asty got hit and his X-wing exploded.
Lieutenant Bastian flew as Red Four during the assault on Starkiller Base. Bastian covered Poe’s descent to the trench and offered help during Poe’s final approach toward the hole in the oscillator.
This experienced Sullustan pilot used to smuggle goods from SoroSuub Corporation to the Rebel Alliance. After becoming a full-time member of the Alliance, Nien became General Calrissian’s copilot during the Battle of Endor where they successfully managed to blow up the second Death Star. Nunb remained loyal to General Organa and pledged his skills to the Resistance and participated in the assault on Starkiller Base.
Furillo was a pilot who got killed in action and whose death was witnessed by Jess Pava, who immediately briefed the other pilots. This pilot might have been a member of Blue Squadron.
This bearded pilot was one of the last pilots to accompany Poe during his attack run. When Poe entered the oscillator structure, Lek covered Black Leader’s final assault that ended the battle.
Temmin “Snap” Wexley
Considered the best recon flyer of the Resistance, one of Wexley’s recon missions brought back valuable information about Starkiller Base. Temmin is a native from Akiva and his mother was a pilot for the Rebel Alliance. As a teenager, Temmin had to take care of himself and after having decided to fight for the New Republic, a young Temmin flew in the Battle of Jakku. Captain Wexley — although he’s seen wearing a rank insignia of a Major — flew in Blue Squadron during the assault on Starkiller Base.
This pilot noted the opening that had been blown into the oscillator after Chewbacca had detonated the charges he and Han had set. Poe signaled Red Four and Red Six to cover him and the remaining fighters had to hit the target as hard as possible.
Niv Lek saw R1’s X-wing exploding right before the opening was blown into the oscillator.
In the end, seven X-wings survived the battle against Starkiller Base. They returned to D’Qar to celebrate the crucial victory against the cruelty of the First Order.
Sources: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary, The Force Awakens: Incredible Cross-Sections, The Force Awakens script, The Weapon of a Jedi, The Official Visual Story Guide and Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updates and Expanded.
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, to the ‘Build the Millennium Falcon’ magazine and has created character names and back stories for ‘What’s the Story?’ and Rogues Gallery.