Wednesday, July 14, 2010

X-Wing or Y-Wing?

I've always had the sense that my sci-fi inspirations were outside of the mainstream. A good example would be my love for the largely unloved Y-Wing fighter. In that final assault on the Death Star, as a small squadron of rebel pilots flew out to meet their destinies, it was obvious the X-Wings were the stars of the show, and why not? Just look at it:

The very personification of cool, a hunter, fast and deadly. It looks like a modern fighter jet with just enough stylistic changes (like lack of tail) to make it look futuristic. But it doesn't look like a spaceship to me. Spacecraft don't need wings. Yes, I know they are actually X-foils, but they look like wings and that makes it look like an airplane to me. Contrast that with the rugged and unsexy Y-Wing:

Instead of wings, it has nacelles. Also, there is very little effort at aerodynamics. Real spaceships don't need aerodynamics, except when lifting off from a planet. In a couple hundred years, when starfighters battle for supremacy in the skies over Mars (it will happen and it will be awesome), I think we will see a lot more Y and a lot less X in their designs (insert Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus joke here).



Tayloritos said...

Toy Y-wings were cooler because you could blow the nacelle of during combat.

Rognar said...

A definite plus

Jay said...

I've loved both since childhood so I'm not in a position to pick, but I agree that the Y-Wing is the grand ol' standby and hard to not to love!

Derobane-bane said...

I liked the B-Wing.

Rognar said...

Somehow, I'm not surprised.

Anonymous said...

If you all don't mind, I'll leave the intricacies of the Y-wing's development and the evolution of its technical specifications to realistically achieve the kind of performance necessary to do battle in aerospace, to the "tech-heads" on this blog or elsewhere on the web.

I simply would like to make the point that the BTL-A4 Y-wing was portrayed on film to be at least as fast and maneuverable as the X-wings and A-wings (not to mention the TIE Fighters and TIE Interceptors) in Episode 6.

I really wish the canonically portrayed "kick-ass" version of the BTL-A4 Y-wing was more fairly represented in various licensed Star Wars film media, web fan-fictions, literary publications and even among Star Wars fans themselves.

It's a shame really, that a weapon system invented for a fun, sci-fi, fantasy adventure is usually regarded as a flying "crap-fest", if even that positive of a description. More often than not, the Y-wing is generally regarded with even less respect.

Not that it particularly impacts the argument of "X-wing or Y-wing", I will gladly say that I would pick the Y-wing over the X-wing. I'm of the group of fans who appreciate a starfighter that destroys ground troops and vehicles, weapon emplacements and early detection systems, Capital ships and space stations... as well as enemy starfighters.

Whatever the case may be, there must have been some significant reason why the BTL-S3 and BTL-A4 Y-wing served the rebels so long and reliably. At the very least, until the advent of the T-65 X-wing. Heck, as a few have stated, there would have been no Rebel Alliance fortunate to have the X-wing, had there been no Y-wing to "hold the line".