Wedge Antilles is a name familiar to Star Wars fans of all ages. Rebecca Roanhorse’s 2019 novel crafts an honorable conclusion to his story.
Though he was never quite as renowned in Star Wars as Luke Skywalker, Wedge Antillies played a significant role in the rebellion’s first attack against the Galactic Empire. He went on to serve the New Republic after the Empire’s fall and, eventually, married a fellow pilot and retired.
But walking away from the military, it turned out, wouldn’t be Wedge’s final battle. Featured as a prominent character in Rebecca Roanhorse’s Resistance Reborn, he once again volunteers to stand up against the forces of evil … knowing it might be his final act of rebellion.
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Both Wedge and his wife Norra Wexley (yes, the mother of THAT Resistance pilot) opt to join the fight against the First Order after the events of The Last Jedi, per Snap’s request. They lead a team on a mission to rescue prisoners of the Order — potential reinforcements for the Resistance — and find themselves pinned down by enemy forces, outnumbered, and in real danger.
Toward the end of the book, there is a point where Wedge is pages if not paragraphs away from death. Readers’ hearts were pounding at even the thought that this hero could die, especially in a book rather than onscreen.
He did not perish, however close the end of his life may have been. Both he and his wife lived, once again fulfilling their duties as soldiers and earning their status as celebrated war heroes, at least among General Organa and her forces.
In the end, though, Wedge and Norra decide it’s time for them to bow out of the fight, presumably for good. But they do leave the door open to the possibility of both returning if the Resistance ever needs them again … in an epic final battle against the Sith, perhaps?
Roanhorse could have killed off Wedge Antilles and mostly gotten away with it (though not without backlash, if we have learned anything from the reaction to the death of Chewbacca in the Legends timeline). His story arc, written as a conclusion of sorts, could have ended with one of the OG Alliance heroes giving his life to help save the Resistance the same way Luke Skywalker did.
Is it a good thing that he didn’t, though? That really depends on your attachment to the character and his story. Wedge is an extremely likable character, and has been with some fans from the very beginning. This means that a fatal sacrifice could have either wowed or flustered Wedge enthusiasts, especially since it would have happened in a book and not in a movie more likely seen by the masses.
So they chose to keep him alive, at least for now. It’s very possible that he could make at least a brief cameo appearance in The Rise of Skywalker, though it’s certainly not guaranteed. Would it be fan service? Yes. Would we mind? Not at all. But the movie will still have a major impact on the fandom whether Wedge Antilles is in it or not.
One thing’s for sure: We’re going to come face to face with many friends old and new when we see this movie for the first time. Keep your eyes and ears open. Even if Wedge doesn’t physically appear, a quick reference, even one easily missed, is always a solid possibility.
Do you think the author was right to keep Wedge alive through the end of the book? Would you have been upset if he would have been killed off in a book instead of in a movie?