Wedge Antilles – the trivia, the legend and the quotes

Wedge Antilles is one of those cool movie characters who are only there for a brief few moments but still manage to leave a lasting impression. Such was the huge impression he made in A New Hope that his skills as a pilot were called upon in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi to help save the day. In fact, he's the only so-called minor character to participate in all three major battles in the original trilogy.

So what makes Wedge tick? Who is he and is it true Wedge is Obi-Wan Kenobi's uncle? Let's deal with that last point first.

From a certain point of view, yes, Wedge is Obi-Wan's uncle – the actor who plays Wedge, Dennis Lawson, is actually Ewan McGregor's real-life uncle!

But what's the story of Wedge? Where did he come from, and where did he go?

Orphaned at the age of seventeen, he found refuge with the Rebellion after Imperial forces murdered his girlfriend, Mala Tinero. He was considered an exceptional starfighter pilot and this was proved when he was one of the few pilots to survive the Battle of Yavin in A New Hope.

Following that space adventure, Wedge founded the famous Rogue Squadron with Luke Skywalker. Antilles and Skywalker built Rogue Squadron into a renowned unit, and after the Battle of Hoth, Antilles took full command.

He famously flew as Red Leader during the Battle of Endor, striking the blow from his X-Wing craft that destroyed the second Death Star and becoming the only pilot to survive both attacks on the different versions of the Death Star.

Behind-the-Scenes History of the Character

Behind the production scenes, Wedge's character has been a bit all over the place.

In the original movie, Antilles was played by two British actors: Colin Higgins (pictured below) and Denis Lawson. However, their vocal contributions were non-existent as they were both dubbed with the voice of American David Ankrum.

ColinHiggins WedgeAntilles starwars
Image Courtesy of Lucasfilm

Legend has it that Higgins had not learned his lines (the original script had more than was featured in the movie) and so he was fired and replaced by Lawson.

While Wedge had a prominent role in the finale of Return of the Jedi, an early script idea featured an early scene in which Antilles was supposed to pilot a TIE after infiltrating an Imperial formation near the Executor, lose control of his craft, and require rescue by Princess Leia, who had also infiltrated the fleet. This was ultimately dropped, of course.

Wedge Antilles movie quotes

A New Hope

Luke: “But it's not impossible. I used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16 back home, and they're not much bigger than two meters!”
Wedge: “Yeah, and were the womp rats shooting at you with turbo-laser cannon?”

Wedge wasn't the only pilot on the ride along with Luke in A New Hope – check out the story of Biggs Darklighter.

The Empire Strikes Back

Wedge and Janson have just brought down an Imperial Walker that was attacking the Hoth base.
Wedge Antilles: “Whoa! That got him!”

Return of the Jedi

Lando Calrissian: “All right, Wedge. Go for the power regulator on the north tower.”
Wedge Antilles: “Copy, Gold Leader. I'm already on my way out.”

Lando Calrissian: “Watch yourself Wedge, Three from above!”
Wedge Antilles: “Red Three, Red Two, pull in!”

Red Two: “Got it.”
Red Two: “Three of them coming in, twenty degrees.”
Wedge Antilles: “Cut to the left, I'll take the leader.”

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Editor in Chief at Wealth of Geeks | + posts

Paul Rose Jr is the Editor in Chief of Wealth of Geeks & manages the Associated Press program for The Insiders network. He has worked as TV News Producer, Forensic Analyst, and Train Conductor, among many other things. He’s the former TV Editor for InfuzeMag and owns more books, DVDs, and comics than most people have seen in their lifetimes. When he’s not writing or editing on Wealth of Geeks, he exercises his creative muscle writing screenplays and acting in film and television in Los Angeles, CA.