Most Star Wars fans are eagerly awaiting the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story this December, but a great many of us are equally excited for the next season of Star Wars Rebels. The new episodes are set to debut later this year on Disney XD, and Lucasfilm dropped the first trailer for Season 3 online. It had some massive reveals. One that may have been glossed over a bit is that the famous X-Wing pilot Wedge Antilles has been harboring a pretty big secret.
The trailer for Star Wars Rebels season 3 debuted at a panel for the show during Star Wars Celebration, which is currently taking place in London. Disney and Lucasfilm didn't make us all wait to be able to see it, as they uploaded it to their YouTube channel shortly after. This was not just some tiny tease of a trailer either, and had some huge reveals in it, not the least of which is that famed Rebel X-Wing pilot Wedge Antilles appears to have started out as a Tie Fighter pilot. Yes, at one point he was with the Empire flying Tie Fighters.
"There are Imperial cadets in the Sky Strike Academy who wish to defect to the Rebels."
The quote above can be heard around the 30 second mark of the trailer by a very ominous and somewhat distorted voice. The trailer then cuts to a shot of Tie Fighters doing battle, and one particular pilot seemed to have some very exceptional abilities. We then cut to the cockpit of that fighter and the pilot, who is indeed dressed in a stormtrooper uniform and says "This is Tie SS25. You can call me Wedge." That is a massive deal.
Wedge Antilles is not exactly a main character in the Star Wars movies, but he is a very important one. He is famous for being the only Rebellion pilot to survive the assault on both Death Stars. He also went on to found the famed Rogue Squadron with Luke, and has been the subject of many expanded universe novels, as well as video games. Wedge has always been portrayed as a do-good figure in the Rebellion, so it is very shocking that, at least based on what we saw in this trailer, he appears to have been with the Empire at one point.
This is not a concept that has ever been explored in the expanded universe, but other backstories for Wedge have been explored at various points. However, when Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012, they decided to abandon all previous expanded universe canon, and started from scratch, releasing new novels, comics and TV shows that would establish the canon moving forward. Unless this turns out to not be some sort of red herring, it looks like the character of Wedge Antilles just got a whole lot more complex and interesting.
We won't have any way of knowing for sure what exactly this means, or how it is revealed until that particular episode of Star Wars Rebels airs. Fortunately, we won't have to wait that long as Star Wars Rebels Season 3 is set to air this fall on Disney XD. You can check out the trailer for Star Wars Rebels season 3 for yourself below, if you haven't already.