Other than Luke Skywalker, Wedge Antilles is the only X-Wing pilot to survive assaults on both Death Stars, but now he may face an ever greater challenge: retcon. As the new Star Wars canon marches forward on Rebels, the beloved Wedge Antilles will get a new and official origin story.
In a new clip from an upcoming episode of Rebels, we learn Wedge actually served the Empire prior to joining the Rebellion. In the clip he mentions he was “flying cargo ships” before he joined up with the Empire. In old canon, Wedge did indeed run cargo, though he went straight from doing that to joining the Rebellion. Here, it’s established that Wedge previously believed in the Empire, rather than just tolerated it. And now, Wedge defects to the Rebellion with a bunch of other TIE Fighter pilots, all with the help of the incumbent Mandalorian badass Sabine.
In the pantheon of expanded universe Star Wars characters, Wedge reigns supreme as a popular everyman cool-headed flying ace. And unlike Mara Jade or Grand Admiral Thrawn, Wedge’s big claim to fame that he’s legitimately in the original Star Wars films. But, even in his prior canon appearances — Wedge’s identity has already been retconned — and in the same movie no less! In A New Hope two different actors played Wedge: Dennis Lawson for the majority of his scenes, but also “fake Wedge”, Colin Higgins.
While “fake Wedge” (Higgins) appears only in the Yavin IV briefing room scene prior to the big Death Star attack, “real Wedge” (Lawson) exists in the the cockpit of the X-Wing, where he lives to fight another day in both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. However, though both fake and real Wedges were English actors, their lines in A New Hope were both dubbed-over by the same American voice actor, David Ankrum. This is why the Wedge who says, “That’s impossible, even for a computer!” sounds exactly the same as the Wedge who says, “Loot at the size of that thing!” It’s the same person speaking.
For most, Dennis Lawson is the canonical Wedge, memorable for being able to use his slight British accent in his The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi appearances. And in honor of his mixed-up history, the animated new in-canon version of Wedge on Rebels looks mostly like Dennis Lawson, though speaks with a decidedly American accent. No news yet if Rebels will explain why Wedge’s face changed while flying an X-Wing, or why his voice changed prior to the battle of Hoth.
Photos via starwars.com, Dark Horse Comics/Dave Dorman