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49. Wedge defects from the Empire and joins the Rebel Alliance
Episode: Season 3 Episode 4: The Antilles Extraction
The Moment: Skystrike academy is home to the best Imperial flight school in the galaxy. We find among the students Wedge Antilles, who later would be a major hero for the Rebel Alliance.
Rebel agents had received word that Antilles, and a handful of other cadets, were seeking to defect from the Empire. With the help of rebel Sabine Wren, Antilles and his comrades are able to escape to the refuge of the Rebels.
It was no easy task, however, but with the skills of Antilles and Sabine, and with the aid of Kanan and Ezra, the rebels were able to slip through the clutches of high ranking Imperials Governor Pryce and Agent Kallus.
Why It’s Memorable: Wedge Antilles is the most underrated and overlooked hero in the Star Wars galaxy. Jedi Luke Skywalker is the one known for blowing up the first Death Star, while Lando Calrissian and Nien Numb are the ones who get credit for destroying the second edition of the planet killer.
Without the aid of Wedge Antilles on both victories, the Death Star would still be in one piece and fully operational.
In addition to these heroics, Antilles was crucial to the establishment of the New Republic after the events of Return of the Jedi, primarily as a reconnaissance pilot. He was also responsible for training the next generation of pilots, including hot shot flyer Snaps Wexley.
Getting an origins story on the underrated pilot was a nice gesture by the Lucasfilm Story Group, who also took notice of this neglected hero.