Welcome to 31 Days of Star Wars! As this is a new blog I thought this would be the perfect way for you to get to know me a bit by answering a different question about my Star Wars preferences each day in March. Today’s subject is…
Favourite Space Battle
For a saga called Star Wars, there are not as many space battles as you would assume. The improved CGI that allowed the Battle of Coruscant to be the biggest and craziest battle we have seen was a fantastic way to start Revenge of the Sith. For a while I was fighting in my head between Return of the Jedi’s Battle of Endor – which is even more impressive considering the technology back then – and Rogue One’s Battle of Scarif. However, I have chosen to go for a much more small-scale – but equally important – battle: the Battle of Yavin.
The first time we got to see X-Wings in action, if this battle had not looked good on screen then we may never have got a second film. The idea of just 30 starfighters (and eventually the Millennium Falcon) trying to destroy a space station the size of a small moon seems ridiculous and you can understand Grand Moff Tarkin’s arrogance that they were safe on board the Death Star.
“This is Red Five, I’m going in”
Yet the Rebels planning to use one-man fighters rather than a full-scale assault by the fleet caught the Imperials out and they took advantage of the weaknesses built in by Galen Erso. With just Darth Vader and a handful of TIE fighters (along with numerous turbolasers on the Death Star) it is one of the smaller battles in terms of active personnel, but there are very few that come with more at stake, as we are continually reminded with cuts showing how long until the Death Star is within range to fire on the Rebels’ Yavin 4 base.
The musical score from John Williams brings so much to the battle and even though we barely know any of the characters we can’t help but react to the Rebel pilots being slowly picked off, to the point that only Luke, Wedge and Evaan Verlaine surviving out of the Rebel pilots sent into battle. We see enough to show how good a pilot Vader is and with Luke at his mercy near the end of the trench run, you can’t help but wonder how the Rebels will get victory.
Oh and let’s not forget they set up the Star Wars tradition of the overweight pilot being one of the first to die – RIP Porkins!
Which is your favourite space battle? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading and May the Force be with you…