While searching for Han, Luke and Leia recall a past mission to rescue Wedge Antilles: Some time past, Luke, Leia, and Lieutenant Barlon Hightower fly a Y-Wing from Arbra to an unexplored quadrant to investigate a sighted transported cruiser. Its trajectory shows it to be from Hoth, and Luke believes it to be Wedge, missing since Hoth was evacuated. Barlon has doubts, and as they find the ship deserted, Leia tells Barlon that Wedge and Luke are closer than brothers, having grown up together on Tatooine. Finding a log tape, they listen to Wedge's tale: In the Hoth battle, Wedge and Wes Janson, his gunner and Academy roommate, are shot down. His Y-Wing crushed, Wedge drags Janson to safety inside the AT-AT downed by Luke. Tending to Janson's injuries and surviving the cold with a heat stick, he sets out as the suns rise to "set up shop" in an ion cannon turret, awaiting rescue. Evading wampas in the base, he finds enough provisions to last a long time. The comm center functions, but he cannot send a distress call because Vader has left orbiting TIEs to locate stragglers. Hearing screams, Wedge see two wampas eating the tauntauns. They turn on him, but he kills them and domesticates the surviving beast. Over time, Janson grows near death and Wedge grows bored, consoling himself with a photo of his lover, Belina. Supplies run low in the ensuing months, so he hunts ice scrabblers for food. One day, he returns from a hunt to find Janson killed, the base looted by raiders who fly through holes in the TIEs' sensor net. Following tracks, he finds the raiders near a transport cruiser scavenging the battle field, led by Arns Grimraker, a ruthless dealer whom the Rebels have hired whenever desperate. He buries Janson, knowing he will go insane alone, and returns the next day to defeat the raiders, rigging an MLC-3 unit to fire randomly while he changes the navicomputers on their gun tugs. He steals the transport, but when the raiders pursue, their tugs take them past the TIEs. A battle ensues, but as Wedge escapes, a stray shot cuts his transport's fuel line, stranding him in space. As the message ends, Luke mourns Wedge's death, then sees him floating past the viewscreen. He was using the holdful of scavenged parts to repair his ship when they arrived. Friends are reunited, and all return to Arbra, elated.
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