The universe revised and edited as necessary for sanity.
Rogue Sqadron for Dummies
Today's a big day for Go Rogue. I finally finished "Memories" (if you haven't read it yet, go do so immediately). I also updated the F.A.Q. and played with editing the Canons, but my compelling reason for writing this essay is to clarify my underlying assumptions about the relationships between the Core Four (Wedge, Tycho, Hobbie, and Wes for those recovering from major life events like birth, complete amnesia, or extended chocolate deprivation). These assumptions are based on way to much time spent analyzing and reading into the comics, novels, and community consensus on the guys. For those of you who have read my fanfic or just wonder what possible use this is, I use my conclusions here to build my stories... understanding why and how the Rogues interact allows me (I hope) to accurately depict their actions and emotions in my work.
Being neither a Psychology nor an English major, I've chosen to organize this in a way that makes sense to me (and likely me alone... ). Anyway, I'll do my evaluation of each man's individual personality, then I'll go through how they interact with each other. Please, if you would like to add ideas, let me know, because I certainly need all the help I can get.
Ok, here we go, Rogue Squadron 101.....
Oddly enough, I find myself struggling to put Wedge into words. I suppose the closest I can coherently come is "So what?" He's the most elite pilot of a group of elite pilots, and thus commander, has survived every major event in the galactic history (the canon status of TPM is still pending), and yet he rarely has a display of arrogance, pulling rank, or bad temper. . . in short, his response is usually, "so what?" The guy is the Opie Taylor of the New Republic. He's a good manager, a good (if unelegant) planner, and the most loyal of friends. Best of all, he's very good at letting trusted others take the initiative.
Tycho's fun to analyze because he's the only character to have actually evolved over the course of the comics/novels. On a very basic level, he's an intensely private person who sees what he does as a duty. The Empire is bad, he can fly, therefore it's his duty to fly against the Empire. Tycho is totally committed to anything he does. Analytical and aristocratic, he's become very good at containing his emotions to the point of seeming cold. Superficially, once he's comfortable with a person, and has accepted them as a friend, you'll see Tycho having fun. One other thing: Tycho's criteria for just about everything are extremely idiosyncratic. Who he likes, trusts, or flies with are subject to an elaborate set of specifications. Thus, while it's obvious that Corran doesn't trust him, Tycho chooses to confide his story to the diminutive lieutenant.
(Oops, I think I just got in trouble. Lizzie, that's the last Corran dig today, I swear. He's just such a FUN target!)
Hobbie is the least developed of the Core Four. We know that he attended the Naval Academy, was assigned to the Rand Ecliptic with Biggs Darklighter, with whom he planned and exectued the theft of the ship and defection to the Rebels. He's been with the Rogues since they were formed, so he's an important part of the group and plays a role in anything that happens, but we see relatively little interaction between him and the others. Well, with the possible exception of Janson, but that'll be covered later. It's my not-so-humble opinion that part of the reason he's been so ignored in the books is that he's so difficult to write. Lieutenant Klivian plays an important role in much of my fanfic, and I've had a very hard time with him. He's another intensely private, introverted character, which I believe led Allston to label him "mournful" in exasperation.
If Hobbie is the least developed character, Wes has the least known about him. Actually, I can sum it up in one line.
He's from Tanaab. He flew with Porkins in the Yellow Aces. His first kill was a Rebel.
Anyway, Janson's the official group extrovert, I suppose. Gifted with a quick wit, a merry nature, and steely determination, Wes considers himself responsible for keeping Wedge from, well, being Wedge. Life isn't all fun and games for the lieutenant, though. He takes his responsibilities with a deadly determination--for the enemy. In reading over this segment, I've realized just how cheezy it sounds. Cut me a little slack, I've got two midterms this week, and I swear that I'll immediately move on to interpersonal relationships, ok?
These two make the very best of wingmen. Wedge trusts Tycho implicitly, and Tycho is comfortable with Wedge being in command. Years of experience have allowed Tycho to anticipate Wedge's actions in battle and in planning. The remarkable thing about these two, I believe, is that so much of their friendship is unspoken. As an individual who analyzes EVERYTHING to death (who, me??), I am intrigued by this best friend pairing in the classiscal masculine style of communicating while destroying things. Some use video games, some use x-wings, but it still makes for a great relationship to play with.
Not really a great deal to say here. They are good friends, no denying that, but there is not that extra... the je ne sais quois that goes beyond years or experiences. The reason for this lies first in personalities--Wedge is focused on what needs to happen next, Hobbie is resolutely doing what Wedge plans--that do not cause each other to get silly, and secondly in the way their friendship came about. Wedge and Hobbie each had a special friendship with Biggs, and then met mostly through their relationship with him. (It is my opinion that they did not actually meet until after his death, incidentally.) Therefore, there is a good bit of "friend of a friend" syndrome... where you are friends initially because someone else would like for you to be, but then because of long association and shared experience.
This is truly an inspired meeting of two individuals. Wes has the uncanny ability to make our esteemed commander CHILL OUT. At the same time, Wedge can read Janson's dark side, and knows when to keep it at bay and when to let him channel it into something productive, like blowing up TIE fighters. If Tycho allows Wedge to not be the leader, Wes allows him to not be Wedge Antilles, Orphan, Pilot, and Responsible Guy Extrordinaire.
When Wedge leaves Tycho and Hobbie in command of the Rogues, he spotlights one of greatest missed opportunities in Squadron lore. Tych and Hobbie have a friendship that is never discussed, and only rarely seen, but vitally important. When Tycho joined the Rogues, the first person that he would really have been able to relate to is Hobbie. They both underwent Imperial training, then rejected the Empire in favor of the Rebellion. Oddly enough, in many ways Hobbie is the big brother of this relationship, providing (especially early on) support and guidance, while Tycho is the one who captializes on that experience and uses it to provide a framework to build on. In a way, it reminds me of the older sibling who learns all the teachers, techniques, fads, et al, which then allows the younger one to run amok in the school. There may be a more refined version of this later.
My unabashed favorite combo... mostly because these are the two Rogues who don't actually like each other! Think about it... they are NEVER paired off in any situation (its always a strict Wedge/Tych--Wes/Hobbie or Wedge/Wes--Tych/Hobbie deal), and there are several times throughout the novels where these two fling verbal barbs like no other. Allow me to state very specifically here and now... to those who are readying their flamethrowers or incindiary devices of choice, give me a second!
Tycho and Wes do not dislike each other. They are squadmates of long standing, and their loyalty and comradeship is unquestionable. In a crowded restaurant, they would undoubtedly sit together. However, their relationship does not really extend beyond the years of life and death situations (which makes for a strong, but not supernatural, bond). I have three hypotheses for why this happened.
1) The Wedge thing: These are Wedge's two best friends. However, they each tend to bring out opposite sides of his personality. They also each have very defined ideas of what is and is not good for him. This could very well create some low level, subconscious tension.
2) The personality thing: Wes is your traditional extrovert. While he takes his responsibilities seriously, he does not try to expand them. As Wedge says, he prefers to be one of the guys in Rogue Squadron instead of seeking any sort of real command. Tycho, on the other hand, remains focused on his long term goals--and whatever is necessary to help him achieve them. He is also instinctively tied into the power structure of society. He's not a brown-noser, but he sees the reality of any political or military situation and likes to be in a position to effect the needed changes.
3) The honesty thing: Wes doesn't like to be lied to or made a fool of, and when Tycho joins the squadron he doesn't let them know about his Imperial past. (At least, it is relatively new knowledge when Janson asks him about it after Endor... a year or more after Tycho joins them on Hoth). This could easily smack of betrayal to the Darling One, and means that in the delicate formative stages of their friendship, something got missed that wasn't ever really recovered.
Geez, I love these two. Perfect comic foils, they allow each other's best natures to emerge. Hobbie is a willing audience as well as and unquestioning source of strength... sort of a safety net for Janson. Wes lets (forces, coerces) Hobbie live a little. Also, if not for the pair's genuine ability to play to the other's strengths, there is no way the hairbrained schemes Tych and Wedge concoct could be pulled off.
Anyway, expect me to fiddle with this from time to time as I get bored, discover new vocabulary, or have astonishing moments of clarity. (Or when Liz discovers my stupifying errors... "Um, Ali... are you missing vital info or a brain here??")
Til next time class, when I expect your papers on Psychological Disturbances in the Force (What! We let HIM be a Jedi Knight!) and don't forget about the quiz next Tuesday in...
Canon According to Ali.
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