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R-22 Spearhead: Misc

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Starwars

Up to date as of February 04, 2010

From Wookieepedia, the Star Wars wiki.

R-22 Spearhead
Production information
Manufacturer

Tammuz-an space navy

Model

R-22 Spearhead

Class

Starfighter

Technical specifications
Armament

Laser cannons (2)

Crew

Pilot (1 or 2)

Usage
Role(s)

Interceptor

Era(s)
Affiliation

The R-22 Spearhead was a fast starfighter design that served as the basis for the RZ-1 A-wing interceptor.

Contents

Characteristics

The prototype R-22 Spearhead was broadly similar in design and function to the earlier Republic Delta-7 Aethersprite-class starfighter and Eta-2 Actis-class interceptor. A two-seat version was also produced, following the lineage of the Delta-12 Skysprite-class two-seater; some of this variant were used by the forces of Tammuz-an.

History

The Spearhead was in use by private owners and several defense forces all around the galaxy, like the Tammuz-an defense forces, where they escorted ships in the shipping fleet,[1] and on Abridon at the Abridon Shipyard in Sayan.

The R-22 Spearhead became an experimental testbed for the Rebel Alliance, nicknamed the "A-wing," shortly before the Battle of Yavin.[2] During one early operational test, the Rebels sent a lone R-22 to attack an unguarded Imperial repair dock. The fighter performed admirably, destroying the facility before the Nebulon-B Frigate Virulence could respond. The mission was later recreated as a simulation used in training new pilots. Spearheads also participated in several missions during Operation Skyhook and Keyan Farlander flew in several such missions.

At least two R-22s participated in the Battle of Yavin, one piloted by Jake Farrell.

Two R-22 Spearheads in the Massassi Temple hangar, in between two disassembled H-60 Tempest bombers.

The Spearhead was nicknamed "A-wing" among Rebel pilots, possibly to keep it consistent with the names of other prominent -wing Rebel fighters (the T-65 X-wing starfighter, BTL Y-wing starfighter, etc). The name "A-wing" persisted when the model was modified by General Jan Dodonna and Walex Blissex into the Rebel Alliance's fast RZ-1 A-wing interceptor.

What those modifications entailed and how they differed from the Spearhead is unknown, though it is known that Dodonna's decision to create the RZ-1 was largely driven by the Alliance's lack of a starfighter that could match the TIE/ln starfighter's raw speed. Additionally, the RZ-1 was also noted for its improved maneuverability, therefore the difference lies most likely in the engine design.

In addition to better engines, the weapons complement might have undergone a similar change, as early Spearhead-models were noted as using green laser ammunition rather than the red/orange seen with most Alliance fighters.

Behind the scenes

A two seat version of the R-22.

Although the A-wing was created after the Battle of Yavin, EU sources that take place before that time, such as Star Wars: Droids, Star Wars: X-wing, Star Wars: Rebel Assault, and Star Wars: Force Commander, feature ships similar to A-wings.

Dan Wallace, who wrote The New Essential Guide to Characters, invented the Spearhead in order to explain their presence in earlier times.[3] The name is similar to that of the R-41 Starchaser, and the Spearhead may, like the Starchaser, be a design of Hoersch-Kessel Drive, Inc.

Proper A-wings later appeared in Star Wars: X-wing Alliance, which takes place after the Battle of Hoth. Although canonically the A-wings are now an improved version of the Spearhead, the A-wing's stats in both games are identical (that means, the XWA A-wing has no difference compared to the "Spearhead A-wing" appearing in the first game). The canonical difference between the two versions is therefore not resolved.

Even after the discrepancy was resolved with the retcon, sources such as Star Wars: Empire at War, still use the name "A-wing" when "Spearhead" would have been more appropriate for the era. A possible in-universe explanation could be that the name "Spearhead" was disfavored in the Rebel Alliance and that "A-wing" was used as a nickname, until the production of the RZ-1 interceptor.

Appearances

Sources

Notes and references

External links

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This article uses material from the "R-22 Spearhead" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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