Was the Imperial Raider in The Force Awakens?
The Raider Class Corvette has been a staple of both Armada and X-wing for the past couple of years. This swift and aggressive ship is one of the coolest looking new ships in the Star Wars canon and has found a place on the table and in our hearts. A possible new Easter egg siting suggests the ship has been around for longer than any one thought.
The Raider was first announced in late 2014 by Fantasy Flight Games. The ship was the first, and so far only, Star Wars ship created entirely by FFG for their miniature games. X-Wing Epic play needed a small sized Imperial Capital ship and the canon ship were all either too big, or too ugly. So the Raider was born, the brainchild of the FFG design team and fully approved by Lucasfilms. After it’s introduction in X-Wing it was slowly adopted into the wider canon. It was mentioned in Thrawn and most notably featured heavily in the Battlefront II trailer. The ship is said to act as a mobile base for the player in Battlefront II. Now some eagle eyed fans are saying the ship showed up on screens long before the Battlefront II trailer.
Early on in Star Wars: The Force Awakens Finn and Ray fly the Millennium Falcon to battle over the deserts of Jakku. Jakku, the site of the last major battle between the New Republic and the Empire, is littered with crashed ships. As the heroes battle over a massive ship graveyard you can see one of the crashed ships below them:
Here is a bit of a closer look:
In general it actually looks like a good fit. The shape of it’s cross section, a rough diamond looks pretty similar. The engine layout is also spot on with the large central engine flanked by two smaller ones. There is even a little piece of the wreck sticking up that kind of suggests the TIE like wings of the Raider. Compared to the Falcon flying above it it also looks like the size is a pretty good fit. Now the Raiders central engine is round while this ship shows a clearly hexagonal (or maybe octagonal?) shape. However that could be what the Raider’s main thruster looks like under it covering. It could also be an early design option that was later changed.
How’d it get There?
Well the simple answer is that there were Raiders on the Imperial side at the Battle of Jakku. It is almost certain that one or more was shot down and crashed, like many other ships, on the planet. However another theory suggest that this is not just any Raider, but in fact the Corvus, the Raider from Battlefront II. Now we know the Corvus is at Jakku as shown here:
In addition from some of the other shots in the Trailer it seems like the ship takes some hits during the battle, and is maybe even shot down. So, it’s not impossible that downed Raider – is the Corvus.
Could it Be?
Well, it’s not impossible. I don’t however think any of this was intentional. Most likely what happened is that some Lucasarts SFX guy tasked with filling in the wreckage on Jakku had recently seen a Raider design, or maybe played X-wing himself, and placed something based off of it in the ruins. That’s pretty much the definition of an Easter egg, or at least the older concept of Easter Eggs before companies started putting nods to their other products in everything. If the Corvus theory turns out to be true it would clearly have been a subsequent idea, based on the in-movie wreckage, or a liking of the Raider design. Of course since Star Wars has made a habit of inventing elaborate backgrounds for trivial background characters this would be in keeping with tradition. Either way it’s cool to see a ship make a sneak appearance years before anyone noticed it.
So what do you think? Is that a crashed Raider? Let us know down in the comments.