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Watching Rogue One the other day, and noticed something along the number of 15 or so ships (or so it seemed) ordered to attack the base at Eadu. I thought this was a high number, given that the Rebellion was starved for resources...when watching the original, Han Shoots First, Star Wars. Indeed, in one shot of the original only 17 ships are present in the Death Star run (planet Yavin in the background), and the number of white blips that leave the Yavin IV base in the previous shot only number 16 (4 waves of 4).

And then there is the attack on Scarif, where we see a whole bunch of Rebel fighters go into attack and probably very few escaping (notably, anyone who flew in the original Death Star run must have made it away safely). That attack was not sanctioned by the Rebellion and was instead the action of Admiral Raddus, so it can be assumed that he probably didn't take the entire fleet with him.

Given that we see a large number of Rebel fighters in Rogue One, why do we see so few in the original Star Wars? Is there any accounting for the ships that, by looking a the size and strength of the Rebel fleet in Rogue One, should have been present at the Death Star run?

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Possibly because many of that large number of fighters and ships were destroyed at Eadu, and ANH follows immediately after RO, putting the Battle of Yavin at mist about a week after Eadu - they hadn't even replaced Red 5 (who was killed at Eadu) by the time Luke signs up as a Rebel pilot.

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    The Battle of Yavin takes place about two days later. – Valorum Oct 8 '17 at 6:38

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