Star Wars: Blade Squadron
Author: David J. Williams and Mark S. Williams
The focus in the Star Wars universe of late has been on those in between moments...the stories never told between the battles in A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Thus, it is no surprise that the latest entry into the Star Wars original fiction found in Star Wars Insider Magazine would take place during the Battle of Endor. What might be surprising is that the story takes place over two issues of the Insider.
Blade Squadron by David J. Williams and Mark S. Williams features members of a never before battle-tried group of pilots thrown together as back up fighters for the main assault on Endor. Led by Adon Fox, once a scared young pilot who flew escort for the Rebellion when they escaped Hoth who lost his family in the escape process, Blade Squadron is full of crack pilots who have never truly engaged the enemy. One, in particular, a talented former smuggler named Gina Moonsong has the guts for the battle, but her rebellious nature could get her fried before her time. Another, Fox's second in command, Lt. Braylen Stramm, has something to prove since leaving the Empire, possibly making him more a liability than an asset.
But, truth be told, this was supposed to be a cakewalk of a mission - backup support for the main front poised to take out a non-operational Death Star. Unfortunately, the situation begins to change quickly as the Rebellion realizes that they have been betrayed. Not only is the Empire ready for the ground assault that was supposed to take out the Death Star's shields, but the Rebellion is about to find out just how operational that Death Star truly is.
The battlefield is set and Blade Squadron finds themselves forced into a new role, taking out as many enemy ships as they can. Their main opponent: Vader's former flagship the Devastator, now run by Admiral Jhared Montferrat, a devious and sadistic man whose only wish is to maintain his status and to keep the legacy of the Devastator intact. At his command, an elite squadron of TIE fighters led by one of the best pilots in the fleet, Commander Gradd.
How can the pilots of the untested Blade Squadron possibly survive against such insurmountable odds?
Okay, is it just me or was this story just a tad bit predictable. And to stretch it over two issues of Insider Magazine without really giving readers much in the way of character background was simply silly. If you aren't going to get the readers interested in the characters in such a way that they care about their individual outcomes, why stretch the story out. It could have all been told in one single issue. To me, Blade Squadron does nothing to enhance the Star Wars universe in any way, shape or form and not much would be lost to Star Wars fans if they chose to skip reading it.