"Lock S-foils in attack position."

As the phrase is among the most iconic ones from the original trilogy and is even used in the prequels, e.g by clone squadron leader Oddball in Revenge of the Sith, it seems rather odd to me that given the sentimental impact, no one ever used it in The Force Awakens or Rogue One.

Especially the scene where the resistance X-Wings are flying over water on Takodana is kinda aching for someone (probably Poe) to say those magical words. Is it due to copyright issues or studio politics or the screenwriters simply didn't want it?

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    "As this phrase is among the most iconic ones from the original trilogy" It is? The line never stood out to me and this is the first time I've ever seen anyone claim it was anything special. Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 12:28
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    @suchiuomizu It's certainly one of the more memorable and distinctive lines. Whether that makes it iconic or not is hard to say.
    – Jules
    Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 13:19
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    @suchiuomizu it is certainly one of the more memorable lines and it being said during the apex of the original film makes it even more significant.
    – Paghillect
    Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 13:20
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    Maybe because they never have to lock any S-Foils??
    – CHEESE
    Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 13:46
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    The Guardian totally missed it! So weird. Commented May 4, 2017 at 16:40

2 Answers 2


The major difference here is that in the Battle of Yavin you have the fighters traveling to the fight so you have time to go over this. No matter how you look at it, the command is implicit within the general orders of "fight the Death Star". You can't fight with them locked together and you're headed into a pretty explicit firefight.

In Rogue One it takes them a moment to figure out what needs to be done. They've come with military force, but you don't necessarily want them just opening fire indiscriminately either. Once they do decide to fight, the fighters simply need to report they're ready to fight. Telling them to "lock S-foils" would be like telling a military squad under fire to load their weapons and raise them before executing your order to charge into battle. If you've not already done this, you're going to die very quickly.


In the X-Wing series of videogames and some media, an X-Wing with S-foils closed was faster than an X-Wing with foils open, but could not fire lasers (and was possibly less maneuverable). It would then appear that the squadrons were trying to approach at high speed and then open S-foils to unify their attack front. We see the same tactics in Ep 6 as well.

In both FA and R1 we see foils already open, but in different circumstances. There are two encounters in-atmosphere, where the foils being open would likely provide more lift, but in both circumstances the Rebels did not necessarily know the extent of the enemy forces, so it would seem wiser to be able to fire at a moment's notice than not. At the end of R1, the Rebels had to basically leave hyperspace right on top of Scariff to be of any real use, so it's likely that they opened foils immediately after leaving hyperspace.

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