Awesome: X-Wing Series
- "You've saved your world. When you're ready, come back and save the rest of us."
- In "Mandatory Retirement", in which Rogue Squadron goes through a daring mission to rescue a high-ranking Imperial defector. One of the pilots, a nonhuman who'd been in the squadron for a long time, dies during this. The defector, who's been an enemy for a long time, complains about the fuss made over "animal filth". Wedge Antilles snaps, does a Neck Lift on the defector, and tells him "Don't make me go Vader on you." It seems like it should be a Punctuated! For! Emphasis! moment, but that's really not a Wedge thing.
- Requiem For A Rogue is commonly seen as a weaker plot for its very Off Model art, some rather pointless deaths, and general weirdness - however, it's hard not to find Wedge's undbending defiance in the face of the Dark Jedi who brought him back to life and could kill him effortlessly awesome.
- Corran helping vape a Lancer-class frigate, an Imperial ship specifically designed to kill starfighters, by having a squadron of Y-Wings target him with their torpedoes so he can lead them into the enemy.
- And Whistler for saving Corran's bacon when one of the Y-Wings fires his torps too late to hit the frigate. Corran's struggling with the stick trying to shake the friendly missiles that are locked on to his signal. Whistler just cuts off the signal.
- The second battle of Borleias. After a Curb-Stomp Battle during the last attempt at invasion, the Alliance tries again. Rogue Squadron is the head of the spear, despite their effective combat strength still being halved due to a lack of replacement starfighters. Even knowing what happened last time, the pilots show no fear upon learning they're going back.
- Early in the book there's a description of the kill silhouettes painted on Wedge's fighter; so many of them that the mechanic has had to result to colour coding to indicate squadrons of kills rather than individual ships and to top it off the whole to display is bracketed by two half Death Stars.
- Mirax being there to rescue Corran when he runs low on fuel. She was there because she'd been worried the mission might have been unintentionally compromised by Emtrey's scrounger personality (thankfully, it wasn't), and after the last forces are taken out, Corran gets a lift home, at a higher speed than the rest of the squadron, where he gets to prank the squadron with a fake "don't feel guilty that I was left behind" message. This results in the first "Corran back from the dead" moment in the entire series.
- The liberation of Coruscant. How does an elite starfighter squadron bring down the defenses of the Imperial capital? By hijacking a giant construction droid to help capture a vital computer core, knocking down the power with a monster thunderstorm spawned by hacking a mirror satellite to vaporize a lot of water, and flying some obsolete snubfighters through the galaxy's greatest metropolis during said power outage and monster storm to hit some strategic targets. And at the end of this Wedge decides "hey, that worked pretty well, I should start another fighter squadron to encourage this sort of thing..."
- Corran Horn's entrance into the courtroom, returning "from the dead" in the process, and then proceeding, with the help of Wedge (and eventually General Cracken) to completely collapse the case against Tycho Celchu.
- A villainous example: when a certain capital ship completely inverts a Colony Drop at the end of The Krytos Trap.
- When the politicians try and force Rogue Squadron to abandon their pursuit of Isard (and the other Lusankya prisoners) and go after Zsinj, the members of Rogue Squadron resign en masse, starting with Corran, and eventually including every current member except Pash Cracken (who, as of the next novel, admits he would like to go, if Wedge wanted; Wedge declines because Pash is a little too prominent, being the son of General Airen Cracken).
- Captain Sair Yonka's resignation from Isard's service, complete with epic "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
- The final battle of the Bacta War: a small fleet of underarmed freighters, a squadron of X-Wings, a comparatively weak Star Destroyer, and an outdated frigate engage a Super-Star Destroyer and win!
- The kicker is that, as we learn with Wedge several books later, this wasn't enough to destroy it. Even after what the Rogues did do it, there was enough of the SSD left for the New Republic to salvage. So the Rogues were able to give the good guys one of the baddest capital ships in the galaxy, a ship that Wedge would later use as his flagship after being promoted to general. That's several kinds of Awesome, there.
- Beforehand, that Super Star Destroyer and a sister ship attack a rusty space station run by Booster Terrik. A minute later he's asking for their surrender as they desperately try to flee. And Booster finally finds a spaceship he's willing to captain again.
- Tycho shooting down Isard's shuttle. With an assist from Corran thanks to the targeting data he was (accidentally) relaying.
- High Admiral Teradoc gets one after the failed ambush at the Graveyard. He tells the Head of Imperial Intelligence, who essentially runs the Empire that he'll only lend her toys if she promises they won't return broken (referring to the Interdictor he lent her, which was damaged in the ambush).
- Erisi leads an Imperial attack force against a peaceful colony that was harboring Gavin Darklighter. Knowing that the colony had zero defenses, Gavin jumps into his starfighter to fight a one man battle against a Star Destroyer and its fighters, to buy the colonists as much time as he could. It's explicitly mentioned he only had 10 minutes of dogfighting time, due to fuel concerns, and he makes them count. He takes out three TIE Interceptors, and uses his X-Wing's laser cannons to utterly destroy some stormtroopers before being forced to break off the fight. He also refuses to rise to Erisi's bait to duel her, knowing that'll give the Destroyer time to cut him off. It's a pretty awesome moment for someone who is still in his teens.
- The battle in Alderaan's graveyard. A double handful of snubfighters with a little help from an automated frigatemanage to destroy a lesser Victory-II class Star Destroyer, damage an Interdicor cruiser to the point it is forced to flee and its owner withdraws it from further service to Issard, and shoot down 24 out of 36 enemy fighters.
- In a twisted way, one of the pilots who washed out of Wraith Squadron. Accused of theft, he denied the charges, then gets chased down by Wes Janson because he stole the picture of Wedge's dead parents that Wedge kept on his desk.
- Piggy's alibi for the assault charge that landed him in Wraith Squadron. The "victim's" charge claimed the "attack" had occurred thirty minutes before the charge was filed. Piggy pointed out that if he had actually hit the man, thirty minutes later the man would still have been unconscious. (He really blocked a punch thrown at him by the "victim.")
- One of the New Meat mouths off about how Wedge is getting too old to be an effective pilot, and should leave the flying to the young. Wedge responds by challenging them to a land race: first to drive a hover-truck past a certain point wins. The race begins, and Wedge seems to be having trouble. As The Rookie approaches the finish line, Wedge drive his truck up a ramp, lands on the rookie's truck (which slows it to a near stop), and then rushes ahead to victory. When she complains that he cheated, he points out to her that if he were an enemy pilot that cheated, she'd be too dead to complain. She gets the point and shuts up.
- The first battle, where Folor has to be evacuated. There's one last transport that needs to evacuate, so Kell Tainer and Runt (as well as two A-wing pilots from Blue Squadron) use false signals to trick the enemy into thinking that the Millennium Falcon happens to be damaged and escaping the hidden Folor base being raided. They pull this off long enough to let the last of the personnel transports escape... and then mock the Imperial captain over an open channel.
- Kell: "Consider yourselves humiliated. And welcome to Folor. Out."
- Voort "Piggy" SaBinring vs. the entire crew of an Imperial corvette. The corvette surrenders.
- Credit must also be given to his weapon during this battle: he used a shortened version of an X-Wing's blaster cannon.
- And disintegrated the captain with it.
- And then called Wedge and announced himself as the corvette's new captain.
- And Wedge ran with it and explained how, according to New Republic regulations, Piggy would be able to apply for the captaincy of the Night Caller, while making clear that Piggy would probably prefer to remain a pilot.
- Face Loran gets a simultaneous Crowning Moment of Awesome and CMOF while impersonating Imperial Captain Darillian. His cover almost, almost slips in front of Admiral Trigit, but he keeps it in place just barely with a totally OTT monologue about Darillian's unrequited love for Ysanne Isard.
Thank you, thank you. Performances every hour, on the hour. Imperial madmen a speciality.
- The impersonation gambit leads to a second one, where the Wraiths are discovered in a battle, as having been faking Darillian. They destroy all the enemy forces, and turn back aground, reporting to the superiors that they were ambushed, and brilliantly escaped as the only survivors. Since the only people who discovered the deception were at the battle, they kept cover. Repeat: They murdered the enemy forces, turned around, and claimed it was an ambush that only they survived. This is right up there with succesfully arguing for someone to take sympathy that you're an orphan, when you just murdered your parents!
- Kell's attempt to save Jesmin when her damaged fighter starts to crash: he uses his own fighter to try and nudge her out of a fatal dive, conducting a series of mid-air collisions. That was insane. Other pilots would have destroyed both fighters attempting it. True, it didn't work, but that was mainly because the g-forces had already rendered Jesmin unconscious and unable to do anything to save herself.
- When Kell returns to battle in Wraith Squadron. Yes, he ran away, but he conquered his fear and came back. And then he proceeds to get five kills ("instant ace") before finally losing his own fighter.
- If you're going to get killed in an epic space battle, taking down a Star Destroyer by flying your unshielded, underarmed Mook Mobile inside the capital ship and chewing it apart from within is a pretty good way to go.
- Definitely the moment when Myn Donos enacts his revenge on Apwar Trigit. "One for Falynn. Two for Talon."
- Lara/Gara, who at this point is not on the Wraiths' side and is only trying to infiltrate them, takes out Colonel Repness' corrupt smuggling operation single-handed. Her "hacker" letter she uses to expose him is worth quoting in its entirety (sans deliberate spelling and grammatical errors).
I am the unseen, the unknowable, the unstoppable.
No computer can stand before me. Gates open for me. Back doors are revealed to me. Knowledge willingly spools itself out for my inspection. I am the Jedi of the electronic world.
I have found evil aboard Tedevium. I have found corruption. Like the Jedi, I shall cut it down.
Examine these files. Test them for integrity. You will find they are the truth.
Go where these files lead you.
Do what you must do, as I do what I must do.
Signed, White Lancer.
- Castin Donn, in his Dying Moment of Awesome, destroys his datapad, ensuring that highly classified information is not found by Zsinj.
- Shalla Nelprin single-handedly crippling a Super Star Destroyer with a sneak attack, disabling the shield generators and the main bridge. Her role in the ship's destruction earns her the right to have half a Super Star Destroyer silhouette painted on her fighter.
- Face gets one in deducing one of Zsinj's main strategic goals weeks before it's confirmed: the acquisition of a new Star Destroyer under construction in Imperial space. Also, putting forth the possibility that Ysanne Isard was alive.
- The whole Lieutenant Kettch thing is one string of Funny Moments, but here's some Fridge Awesome to consider - to continue the charade, Wedge has to fly a TIE Interceptor with a toy Ewok in his lap, which rides up when he moves his arms to try and steer. He's basically fighting with a hilarious handicap, but it doesn't seem to significantly impact his ability to vape the enemy, does it?
- Piggy's response to being shot by Admiral Ackbar's attempted assassin: he picks up a desk and slams it into the assassin and a wall so hard that the other side of the wall bows out and knocks over (and knocks out) someone who happened to be standing there. And he did this right after being shot in the stomach. The assassin, for the record, was smushed.
- Wedge intentionally allowing himself to be shot at during a battle, even ordering his squadron to let the attacker continue, on Squeaky's say-so. Granted, the attacker was using powered down lasers and was actually transmitting crucial information to him, but only Squeaky knew that at the time. It wasn't until after the battle that Wedge got a full explanation.
- When the Wraiths are infiltrating Zsinj's medical research facility, it turns out to be a trap, and a particularly sadistic one involving an incinerator. Some quick thinking and explosives allow them to escape, but they're all battered, bloodied and burned (except for Tyria, somehow). And the only order Face can give them is "no rules, no mercy. Take out everything that gets between us and home."
- During this, Wes Janson, happy-go-lucky, prank-loving, wise-cracking Janson? Utterly silent. When hostiles show up, he gets out his blaster pistol, takes five steps, takes five shots, and makes five kills, aiming purely by instinct.
- Lara/Gara's astromech gets one, given how it managed to abduct and reprogram an entire army of the small mouse droids aboard a Star Destroyer, thus making itself a General. Especially when the mouse droids provide some well needed sabotage in the big battle.
- Related to this, Lara almost single-handedly brings down Warlord Zsinj from within his flagship, fools him into a losing gambit, eliminates his alien experimentation program and frees the prisoners, and then has the gall to send a message to General Solo and the rest of the New Republic fleet right under his nose. Truly a reason to punch the air and cheer.
Lara Notsil: Iron Fist is now in the Selaggis system with her hyperdrive inoperable... I recommend you come by and take a look. Oh, bring your fleet too."
- And for an encore, program's Iron Fist's bridge computes to send real-time updates on the damage estimates of Zsinj's fleet... to General Solo, letting him know exactly where to shoot in order to destroy the Warlord's forces as quickly as possible.
- When Tal'Dira's brainwashing gets activated, he attempts to shoot down Wedge while they are on a mission. However, a small part of the pilot's mind rebels at the horrible thing he is being forced to do, and he manages to break through the brainwashing for long enough to switch his shields to the rear, allowing another pilot in front of him to vape him, preventing him from killing Wedge.
- For most of the novels, Myn Donos has been The Stoic, and not prone to joking, much of it thanks to aftereffects from losing Talon Squadron. Late in the final novel, we see him rediscovering his sense of humor at last:
Donos: "Pretty. What do we blow up first?"
Wedge: "Write that down. That should be the Wraith Squadron slogan."
- And late in the story, Donos saves most of the squadron from an ambush because he recognized one of Zsinj's old tactics at work, and was able to get the warning out before it was sprung. At first he (and several others) thought Donos was going crazy from his PTSD again, but thankfully that wasn't the case, and also thankfully, the warning was heeded before too many people got killed.
- Anyone who played TIE Fighter might squee when a certain triple-winged starfighter design shows up in Isard's Revenge.
- Booster Terrik gets the Crowning Moment of Awesome of all Crowning Moments of Awesome in Isard's Revenge when he beats the ever-loving shit out of Borsk Fey'lya, bare-handed, over the his attempt to manipulate a Rogue Squadron pilot for his own political gain. Never in Star Wars has a beatdown been so thoroughly earned, and made the audience so happy to see it done.
- Iella Wessari's Little "No" at the end of Isard's Revenge and making "Iceheart" panic. As well as what led up to that; Booster Terrik was able to predict exactly what Isard was after, and were able to take out Isard and two Imperial boarding parties with four people and two well-placed traps.
- Starfighters of Adumar has one for Wedge when he is given the mission assignment. When General Cracken, the HMFIC of the pilots in the books up until this point, shows up telling Wedge that his vacation is cancelled, Wedge immediately begins unleashing snark and vitriol on him. When Cracken threatens him with charges of insubordination, Wedge reminds him that he is a General now and "what I am is dangerously close to is violence."
- Wes Janson's oh-so-satisfying beatdown of a very deserving Adumari noble. Let's break it down:
- The whole thing is a rescue attempt to prevent Cheriss from committing Suicide by Duel. Janson is only willing to duel his opponent if he doesn't execute Cheriss, and when Tomer explains that putting conditions on the challenge is a grave insult, Janson confirms that yes, he is insulting the Adumari noble.
- Janson beats Wedge to the challenge, and explains why: he's more expendable than Wedge, he hints that it's an engagement present for Wedge and Iella, and while Wedge would fight the duel out of duty, Janson plans on enjoying himself.
- Janson starts by using his blastsword to draw stick figures in the air and insult his opponent further - using his left hand. Wes blocks his foe's first swing, disarms him, and introduces him to the fine art of brawling, all while explaining the difference between warriors and dilettantes.
- In the end, Janson decides to KO the guy with a bitch-slap, walks away while whistling a Tanaabian dancing tune, and confirms to Wedge that he banked the whole encounter on being able to block the first swing.
- The four versus thirty fight in Starfighters Of Adumar. The four are Wedge, Tycho, Wes and Hobbie, so of course they win.
- Even better, when another lot of Adumari fighters challenge Red Flight immediately afterwards, a third Adumari squadron - Strike the Moons, the first squadron to engage in Wedge's simulated duels - challenges their challengers to allow Red Flight time to escape. Because if four beat thirty, those four have damn well earned an escape.
- In preparation for the final battle, Wedge has been ordered to get some sleep by his other pilots out of fear that he will be too exhausted to fight properly if he doesn't. When he awakens, he discovers that the size of the attack force he will be leading has more than doubled overnight due to various nations becoming willing to either join the fight or change sides solely because Wedge was leading the assault.
- During their escape, Janson's ship is hit and he's forced to eject. Wedge watches as a fighter closes in on his parachute, assuming his friend is toast. Janson pulls a blaster and somehow manages to destroy the fighter. With one shot. From a pistol. Turns out the fighter was actually destroyed by Hobbie, who was protecting his wingman.
- The final battle itself. The free Adumari forces and Red Flight hit Cartann with everything they've got, timing it so that the enemy's initiative will be sluggish from sleeping in to be ready for their favored time of attack, multiple layers of deception, and using each craft type they've got where it excels the most. And up until the TIE Interceptors show up, they are actually winning. So to deal with the TIEs, they plan on getting Red Flight back into their X-Wings (which Darpen had confiscated before setting them up to die.) As Wedge himself notes; the Adumari wanted to see X-Wings in action in lethal dogfights. They got their wish. The more fool them.
- Non-combat one. Non-Cartann pilots come to learn from Red Flight. Wedge takes them in and treats them just like any of the other pilots and helps them learn. This comes up later, where the squadron that helps them after the four-on-thirty duel comes in to help their teachers, using those tactics on the enemy, and the other Adumari nations note that Wedge had gained a lot of allies by taking the time to teach the pilots instead of just killing them for the honor coupons.
- Tied to this; Darpen tells Wedge to cut the simulated duels because the 181st was eating up honor coupons. Wedge basically blows him off and points out that if they act like the Empire they would become the Empire in all but name, and that he would not kill young men and women simply because they wanted to duel with Wedge for the honor.
- And finally, when Wedge takes apart the concept of a Proud Warrior Race Guy:
Wedge: "Circular thinking. I'm honorable because I kill the enemy, and I kill the enemy for the honor. There's nothing there, Cheriss. Here's the truth: I kill the enemy so someone, somewhere - probably someone I've never met and never will meet - will be happy. [...] I told you how I lost my parents. Nothing I ever do can make up for that loss. But if I put myself in the way of people just as bad as the ones who killed my family, if I burn them down, then someone else they would have hurt gets to stay happy. That's the only honorable thing about my profession. It's not the killing. It's making the galaxy a little better."
- Diplomatic one for Wedge. After Darpen makes Wedge and Red Flight a rogue squadron, Wedge points out that he is still the man in charge of the New Republic mission there because his orders did not tie to intelligence and technically speaking he was not to know who Darpen was. So what does he do? He makes a rough alliance with other Adumari powers because as a combined force they could A) succeed, and B) accomplish the New Republic mission even if the Empire gets Cartann.
- Speaking of Darpen, how Wedge, upon returning to Cartann victorious, completely undercuts everything he says, puts him under gunpoint along with Tycho, forces him to give the order to end the communications blackout (after which the leader of the Republic flagship "wants very much to speak with him"), and puts him under arrest until he can stand trial. He's last seen in prison, planning a defense for a trial he cannot win, thanks to Hallis's recording that implicates him.
- The major showdown in Mercy Kill where Piggy banks completely on the assumption that Thaal has already completed his disguise. Followed by Face returning from the dead and completely owning the head of GA Intelligence.