u-wing dropship

Rogue One Analysis: The U-Wing is NOT a Starfighter!

Update (June 2, 2016): Yep, the U-wing is not a fighter. See the leaked pic of the Lego version here.

A couple of weeks ago, we brought you the controversial news that the security droid from the Rogue One leak is actually named K-2SO, not K-250.

Today, Stormtrooper Larry brings you another tidbit: the U-wing is NOT a space fighter like the X-wing, despite what Wookieepedia, Yahoo News, the Inquisitr and other sites say.

It’s actually a combination gunship / troop transport, like the old LAAT gunship of the Clone Wars!

First, here’s the leak again from Rogue One: The Official Visual Story Guide:

rogue one leak rebel fighter

Looks like a sleek T-47 snowspeeder married to a pair of scissors right?

What most people don’t realize is, they’ve actually seen this craft way before, in the concept images of Rogue One!

u-wing

That’s the U-wing. Notice how much larger it is than an X-wing or Y-wing? It hides a big belly which might be a troop compartment.

Don’t believe us? Here’s a clearer shot with the hatchway open:

u-wing dropship

Actually the answer was right in the leak. While we gawked at the pretty colored photos, the bulging troop compartment in the diagram could be easily missed:

rogue one uwing

If that’s indeed the troop section, I hope those aren’t massive windows at the front. There’s a reason why real-world armored personnel carriers like the Bradley and M113 are windowless: they envelope the passengers in an armored cocoon so they reach the battlefield unharmed and combat-ready.

In fact, nearly all APCs are windowless boxes — only the driver gets an outside view out of necessity. Any windows in the troop compartment are limited to gunslits and firing ports.

Could Jyn Erso be staring out of one such window in the trailer?

757b4e60-e309-0133-afba-0e05be20883d

Here’s some leaked set photos from TMZ. Those distinctive engines look familiar, and the ship seems larger than an X-wing:

uwing crashed

EXCLUSIVE: A burnt out ship and dead Storm Troopers can be seen during filming of Star Wars Rogue One.

It could even be the crashed ship in the portion of the trailer where Admiral Fancycloak  Director Krennic strides through the water. Look at the distinctive windows, engine placement and lack of S-foils..

rogue-one-uwing-crash

To summarize what we learned so far:

  • The U-wing is the Rebellion’s equivalent of the Republic LAAT, being a combination gunship and troop transport.
  • Lucasfilm doesn’t have to build full-size props. In this case, they mocked up the crashed engines of the U-wing, while the body and wreckage will probably be added in post-production. If there’s a cockpit or troop compartment mockup, it’s inside the closed doors of Pinewood Studios.
  • Between this and the new AT-ACT, we can expect large playsets (or at least impressive Titanium ships) come Force Friday!

So if the Rebels had U-wings, why didn’t we see them in the original trilogy? Maybe they existed off-screen. After all, the Death Star trench run didn’t call for gunships, and the evacuation of Hoth couldn’t have depended on U-wings alone (that’s what the Rebel transports were for).

Disney seems to be rectifying this by quietly inserting dropship references in new books set in the Rebellion era. For instance, the novelization of the video game Star Wars Battlefront: Twilight Company, mentions Rebel dropships several times. That dropship could be the U-wing.

By the way, those leaked set photos were taken in September 2015, three months before the screening of The Force Awakens. So the U-wing may have been in physical, mocked up existence for far longer than everyone knew!


Stay tuned for more in-depth coverage of the Rogue One leak. Meanwhile, check out this mind-boggling insight about Poe Dameron and The Force Awakens.

2 thoughts on “Rogue One Analysis: The U-Wing is NOT a Starfighter!”

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  2. Just a couple comments. The U-Wing wouldn’t exactly be the equivalent of the LAAT, since it is an actual starship, and not an airspeeder, but otherwise, they both serve as troop transports.

    Also, as far as whether the ship has a bunch of windows in the troop compartment (after seeing the movie, it looks like it does to some extent), such a real world concern doesn’t matter so much when it comes to Star Wars vehicles. The existence of transparisteel means the windows are just about as strong as the rest of the ship’s hull. And then there’s the fact that it has shields that will block a lot of fire before it even reaches the ship itself.

    Like

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