8

In Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, we see that Red and Gold Squadrons are present at the battle of Scarif (and thanks stock footage and digital editing, Gold Leader and another pilot or two are there).

However in A New Hope, we see Red and Gold Squadron are present to help at the Battle of Yavin, but not Blue Squadron or any of the capital ships (they are not in orbit above Yavin IV). Why didn't these return with Gold Squadron to Yavin IV?

  • Wasn't Blue Squadron the one that made it to the surface? Assuming that not all of them were shot down, wouldn't they probably have taken a laser to their collective face? (And the rebels did not have the resources to replace them by the end of Episode 4) – calccrypto Dec 18 '16 at 6:46
  • @calccrypto Blue Squadron survived and was present at Hoth and Endor. – Adamant Dec 18 '16 at 6:48
  • 4
    The Blue Squadron name may have survived... – pkamb Dec 23 '16 at 1:15
13

It seems that almost[1] all the capital vessels were destroyed in the fight above Scarif except Profundity (one or two jumped to hyperspace in the movie shot). From Chapter 22 of Freed's official novelization:

The Profundity trembled under the onslaught of TIE fighters. Its shields burst, re-formed, and burst again as emerald volleys struck. Three decks had already been forced to evacuate due to radiation leakage. But the Profundity endured where other vessels had been torn apart; in geostationary orbit above the Scarif Citadel, it was the center of a storm of molten metal and rent ships.

And Profundity was disabled by Vader's Devastator

“The rebel flagship is disabled, my lord,” the Devastator’s captain reported crisply at Vader’s side. Darth Vader did not turn to him as he spoke. “But it has received transmissions from the surface.”

[1] - The film shows that 1 or two smaller ships - including a Corellian Corvette that technically is a capital ship - did escape. But....

However, it doesn't matter if any capital ships escaped Scarif - they wouldn't have been used in the battle of Yavin anyway.

From A New Hope script, the rebels clearly understood that capital ships were fully useless against Death Star:

                     DODONNA
                     The battle station is heavily shielded 
                     and carries a firepower greater than 
                     half the star fleet. It's defenses 
                     are designed around a direct large-
                     scale assault. A small one-man fighter 
                     should be able to penetrate the outer 
                     defense.

There's no clear indication of what happened to Blue Squadron, but chances are it was largely destroyed, first trying to open the gate, then, during fighting, then in Death Star turbolaser, since it was under the shield, fighting.

“This is Admiral Raddus. Red and Gold Squadrons, engage those two Star Destroyers. Blue Squadron, get to the surface before they close that gate!”

“What about Profundity, Admiral?” the tactical officer called. “We cover Blue Squadron,” Raddus said, and jutted a finger at the viewport. “We target the shield gate.”

General Merrick, too, might have disagreed, but he had led Blue Squadron through the gate to Scarif, and now starfighter command fell to Raddus as well.

  • 3
    So every capital ship the Rebellion had on hand, along with one out of the three fighter squadrons, was destroyed or disabled in the battle? That's quite a Pyrrhic victory! – Thunderforge Dec 18 '16 at 7:15
  • the rebels were always in an underdog position at that time.....wen found by a battlegroup a victory was less than assured! – Thomas Dec 18 '16 at 12:35
  • @Thunderforge - the alternative was a comlete destruction of Mon Calamari (read: no useful Rebel capital ships again, ever) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 18 '16 at 15:22
  • 2
    This doesn't seem to match with the film, I definitely saw a lot of big ships jump away at the end of the battle, and the shield was down by the time the Death Star fired. – DaaaahWhoosh Dec 18 '16 at 15:43
  • 1
    @DaaaahWhoosh - I saw 1 or 2. Didn't really matter, now that I think about ANH - they were useless at Yavin. Updated. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 18 '16 at 23:07

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