“Watch Your Back! Stay On Target!”: How To Be An Ace SF Fighter Pilot.

All Wings Report In. 


“Fairly early on, the idea of a space dogfight came into play. Wouldn’t it be interesting to take that kind of visual excitement and put it in outer space? We [at ILM] began to focus on the fact that we would have to create a different technology in order to accomplish that” – George Lucas. 

With 100 days until the release of the Most Anticipated Movie of the Decade, a discussion of what Episode VII has to offer seemed like the obvious topic to thrash about tonight. However, considering how stingey Lucasfilm and Disney have been in handing out juicy titbits for eager hacks like meself, there is still hardly any cool data to fill a tweet, let alone expand into a whoppin’ great blog Post.


So, after a particularly gruelling week (so far!), something light and easy was in order. This is not so much letting off steam, but going to bullseye womprats in my T-16. (To this day, still haven’t got the foggiest idea what that means, but it always sounds kinda liberating. What do womprats look like anyway? Are they hyphenated?)

One of the most common staples in recent science fiction movie-making is the dogfight. Okay, so what if in outer space such lightning speed and deft manoeuvres (not to mention those cool laser sounds, or any lasers, for that matter) would be as highly unlikely as any of us getting a walk-on part in Star Wars Episode VIII? Popularised in Star Wars Episode IV, these sequences have featured in numerous other subsequent good (and bad!) sci-fi movies ever since, all boldly defying countless rules of physics, and logic, of course.

Right, on with the mission.

Don’t get cocky; don’t try practicing half-assed victory rolls or any of that bunk! And there is NO EXCUSE for being too frickin’ complacent out there neither! 

NEVER fly straight and level for more than thirty seconds in a combat area! 

Accelerate to attack speed. 



“Squad leaders, we’ve picked up a new group of signals. Enemy fighters coming your way” – Rebel Control Officer. 

Keep up your visual scanning; this cannot be emphasised enough. 

Don’t place all your trust in your scope. With all the jamming in the target area, the enemy fighters will be on top of you before your scope can pick them up. You see, to become an ace pilot, you have to learn the ropes pretty darn fast. Or “they” will have you for breakfast. It’s a case of spring chicken to shitehawk in one easy lesson. 

And for pity’s sake: swot up on your sci-fi jargon! When Gold Leader spouts: “They’re coming in! Three marks at two ten,” rather than get blown to pieces in a volley of laser-fire (because you frowned in bewilderment for far too long), you’ll be expected to suss exactly what that means. In a split second as well! And then act accordingly!

Stabilize your rear deflectors. Watch for enemy fighters. 

If you harbour any notion of becoming (one of) the best pilots in the outer rim territories, take control of yourself. And your fighter. 

Stay on target. 

Remember, you can’t always rely on young novice pilots like Wedge to be there to watch your back!

Blast it, Biggs, where are you? 



“Several fighters have broken off from the main group. Come with me! Stay in attack formation!” – Darth Vader. 

Switch all power to front deflector screens. 

Stay close.

Stay focussed. 

Stay. On. Target! 

Keep your eyes open for those fighters!

“No sign of any- Wait! Coming in point three five.” 

If you pick one up – watch it! Increase speed full throttle!

Am going in – cover me. Select target.



Just DON’T switch off your targeting computer if you begin to hear frickin’ voices in your head…

That’s it. 

Once the target is obliterated in a spectacular (if a tad overdone) CG supernova, it’s back to base for cake and medals.



The Force is strong with this one…

“Evacuate?! In our moment of triumph? I think you overestimate their chances!” – Grand Moff Tarkin. 


It’ll be just like Beggar’s Canyon back home.

5 thoughts on ““Watch Your Back! Stay On Target!”: How To Be An Ace SF Fighter Pilot.

  1. Sorry for not being by in a while, life has been crazy busy. Will do my best to catch up in the next little while. I just watched Star Wars again recently, and yay for space battles! Although those fighters clearly had lousy rear deflector shields…they need to work on that!

    • Thanks, Ashley, glad u enjoyed this Post!
      One thing is for sure: Episode VII WILL not only smash JW’s short-lived Opening Weekend record, but b th 1st blockbuster to Kessel Run it thro th 2 billion mark!
      Speaking of magic: that was th topic of my most recent Post

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