Column: Wedge: A true ‘Star Wars’ hero

Adam Tumino, Reporter

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With last month’s release of “The Rise of Skywalker,” the ninth and final installment of the so-called Star Wars Skywalker Saga, a chapter of popular culture came to a close.

The saga introduced us all to dozens of heroes and villains and some of the most iconic characters in film history. But none of these characters were as iconic and heroic as Wedge Antilles.

Wedge Antilles: the somewhat anonymous Rebel pilot who flew in some of the most important and climactic battles of the original trilogy and was featured in a very minor cameo in “The Rise of Skywalker.”

The cameo was insultingly short and failed to give Antilles the recognition he deserves.

This is the man who flew in the trenches alongside Luke Skywalker in the assault on the Death Star. Along with his gunner Janson, Antilles took down an Imperial AT-AT walker at the Battle of Hoth.

But these accomplishments were dwarfed by Antilles’ heroic flying during the assault on the second Death Star, when he flew into the main reactor of the space station and assisted Lando Calrissian in assuring its destruction, and thus the end of the Empire.

But all of these daring and memorable moments were not enough to earn Antilles a longer cameo in “The Rise of Skywalker.” Shame, JJ Abrams. Shame.

The people must rise up and demand #justiceforwedge. There are two acceptable options that offer Antilles the proper respect.

The first is to give him a spinoff series or movie on Disney Plus. A Wedge Antilles origin story would be a critical and commercial hit and likely dominate the Golden Globes and the Emmys.

The second, and most preferred option, would be to recut all nine movies of the saga, and possibly “Rogue One” and “Solo,” to heavily feature Antilles in almost every frame. Star Wars fans would absolutely love this. No one can resist a hot slice of Wedge.

The only reason people even watched the original trilogy was for Antilles. No one cares about Han Solo, Princess Leia or R2-D2. Darth Vader? He’s no Wedge.

People need to rise up and demand that Antilles get his seat at the table. We must not rest until we get justice.

It is likely, however, that neither of these options will come to fruition and Antilles will continue to be forgotten and disrespected. Never has a film franchise neglected a character so blatantly.

Adam Tumino is a junior journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]