We all have incredibly petty hills to die on when it comes to the series we love. Paul McGann is the best Doctor. Deep Space Nine is better than The Next Generation. Superior Spider-Man was good. Here is my pettiest hill, though it’s one I’m still prepared to die on: Star Wars’ A-Wings are for losers, and I am disproportionately mad they’re in The Last Jedi.
I’m not going to give you a rational argument here. We’re getting mad about spaceships in a sci-fantasy movie about laser swords and magic powers and little ball-robots, and everything you’re about to read is petty as hell. But goddammit, the A-Wing is the most boring Star Wars starship. It’s the ultra fast, ultra sleek sports car you tool around in because you’re overcompensating for something, but in space jet form.
Although, canonically speaking, the A-Wings in the movies have had their shields stripped to increase their speed, most Star Wars media outside of the films has gone on to depict them as having the shields of a fighter like the X-Wing, the speed of a TIE Interceptor (which, remember that the whole point of TIE fighters was that they didn’t have shields but made up for it with speed? Way to negate that, A-Wing!), with the firepower to go toe-to-toe with all the other starfighters. They’re too cool for school, the hot rods, all sizzle and no steak. They’re trying to be the better and more badass answer to the X-Wing, like the TIE Interceptor was to the TIE Fighter. The A-Wing is the author insert of starships.
But here’s the thing: you cannot beat perfection. You cannot beat the most iconic starfighter in scifi history. The X-Wing is a pilot’s starfighter, the perfect balance of speed, firepower, defenses, and a rad-as-hell design. The A-Wing is a pretender to a throne it doesn’t deserve to be in the same room with.
It’s also a ship piloted by the worst people. X-Wing pilots are heroes. A-Wing pilots are either massive assholes—the Star Wars equivalent of meathead jocks like Pash Cracken—or they’re idiots like Arvel Crynyd. X-Wing pilots? Remembered for blowing up two Death Stars. A-Wing pilots? Remembered for dying and then accidentally disabling a Super Star Destroyer because they crashed into it like a chump.
Look at that loser. They gave him a posthumous medal for this bullshit in the Expanded Universe.
I don’t care that Rebels canonically made the A-Wing the first starfighter the Rebellion had access to; the X-Wing will forever be the more iconic, superior ship. Did the A-Wing have its own board game named after it? Didn’t think so—because an X-Wing isn’t some hot rod pile of crap piloted almost exclusively by assholes. And why does the Resistance even need another dogfighter when it’s already got the X-Wing, previously established as Clearly the Best One? One thing The Force Awakens was lacking in was space battles—something The Last Jedi is seemingly correcting, judging by the trailers. It would’ve been nice if we had a bit more variety in that space combat beyond the capital ships and the dogfighters by introducing more varied ships... and not just a slightly updated A-Wing.
We could have had Y-Wings back, Rian Johnson, who I’m assuming for no real reason at all was solely responsible for this terrible decision! We could have had everything. But now we have more A-Wings, which are basically worse then nothing.