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Following on from this question, what is the in-universe explanation that Incom, the sole manufacturer of X-Wings, is permitted by the Empire to remain in business? From the Empire's POV the rebels are terrorists and it would be easy to locate and shut down the shipyard making their very distinctive fighters.

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    I could be wrong, but I would see the situation similar to Apple today. Terrorists use their products, but that is no Apple's fault. And for paperwork's sake it would be possible to purchase the crafts from an intermediary or type of ghost organization so that it does not appear to be the rebels purchasing them directly. If that is the case it would be difficult for the Empire to justify shutting down a massive business... like I said, I could be wrong, but outside of the galactic war there is still rule of law, commerce, and etc. all happening... – Odin1806 Mar 2 at 19:27
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    Could be something like we saw in Last Jedi... the weapons manufacturers are selling to both sides. – Skooba Mar 2 at 20:04
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    @Skooba I can see the logic, but when one side the Tyrannical Government, I'd expect them to suppress sales to the other side. It's not like their two separate nation states your selling to under WTO rules. – Jontia Mar 2 at 20:11
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    @Jontia Even so, the Empire still has to respect the rule of law (or give the appearance of it anyway). Observing due process gives the likes of Senator Organa plenty of room to halt the process or just tie it up in endless red tape. – Cadence Mar 2 at 21:47
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    @Cadence I guess you could argue that in A New Hope the Empire was finally ready to ditch rule of law now that "fear will keep the local populations in line" and that the end came too swiftly afterwards to make it worth shutting down Incom. After all you have capital ship manufacturers to go after first. – Jontia Mar 2 at 22:20
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The implication is that X-Wings were produced commercially. The Rebels were probably only a minor customer, but their successful use at the Battle of Yavin meant that they became synonymous with the Rebellion.

Ciena bit her lower lip as she studied her readings. “I read five ships, probably starfighters. So far I can’t ID ship models, but I’d guess we’re looking at X-wings or Y-wings.” While a handful of those starfighters remained in civilian hands, by now X-wings and Y-wings were used almost solely by the Rebel Alliance. Piett’s intel had been correct; the TIE patrol would move into attack mode at any moment.

Star Wars: Lost Stars


When asked how the Rebellion had managed to lay their hands on them, Matt Martin, Lucasfilm Exec (and member of the Lucasfilm Story Group) indicated that they were, at one point, available to purchase by planetary governments.

Q. I recall that the Lost Stars novel mentioned that x-wings were available to the public before being solely affiliated with the rebellion. Were they civilian craft at some point? I kinda confused on that part...

MM: I'm not sure if I'd go as far as to say there was a civilian version. They were likely available to local planetary defense fleets, militias, etc.

Q. So it basically went from an Imperial reject craft, to a local defense ship for militias, and the Rebels decide to take em in. No hijacking required. Got it, thx.

MM: Something like that. I’m sure the full history of the X-wing can’t be explained in a tweet.

Via Twitter

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This is based on Legends canon information, but as there are no canon level tags added to this question it is relavent.

The 1980s produced West End Games RPG stated that Incom was taken under control of the Galatic Empire, however many of its staff particularly the X-Wing design team were sympathetic to the Alliance and smuggled the X-Wing designs and Prototypes to the Alliance.

X-Wings were manufactured in hidden Alliance facilities in places that were not fully under Imperial control.

The Empire rounded up the Incom staff and placed them into transports to be taken to a prison planet. The Alliance intercepted these freeing the Incom personnel.

Later after the fall of the Empire as David Jonston notes in his answer they formed a new Incom producing fighters for the New Republic.

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    Basically how it went in acquiring X-Wings in the Rebel storyline for the Empire at War game except for the more dramatic heist of the X-Wing prototypes, though that is of course also legends content. – IG_42 Mar 3 at 2:40
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Star Wars Rogue One The Ultimate Visual Guide says Incom was in fact taken over by the Empire to cut them off as a source of weapons for the Rebels. However they apparently went back into the X-Wing business after they were taken away from the Empire by the Rebellion. Wookiepedia says they were producing updated X-Wings for the New Republic under the name Incom-FreiTech which presumably reflects a merger.

  • i.stack.imgur.com/anWoT.png - I'm not seeing where it says that were taken over to stem the flow of weaponry to the Rebellion. – Valorum Mar 2 at 21:42
  • I may be assuming too much, but I figured that the Empire taking control of Incom did accomplish that. – David Johnston Mar 2 at 22:43
  • That depends how much stock is in circulation. – Valorum Mar 2 at 22:44
  • Well clearly they still had what they still had. That's why they had X-Wings they used to defend their base in ANH. The difference is they wouldn't be able to get replacements from the source until and unless they took it back. – David Johnston Mar 2 at 22:53

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