- "Soontir Fel, Maarek Stele, Walter Sames, and now Vasax Loraq. Oh yes... I think that fits nicely."
- — Vasax Loraq
Vasax Loraq (13 BBY) has never been shy about his talents flying TIE craft. What separates him from many other pilots who have the same habit is that he can actually back up even his most insane sounding boasts with solid performance. There has never been a starfighter trick or a maneuver developed yet that Vasax hasn’t been able to do. By many accounts, he is one of the most talented pilots in the Empire.
Vasax is a ladies man and it’s not unusual to see him capitalizing on his own accomplishments to impress a woman. He is frequently seen spending his off-hours with female crewmembers. Another of his favorite hobbies is playing Sabacc, something in which he is quite talented. He identifies so much with the game that he keeps the Ace of Sabres card from his very first deck tucked away in his flight uniform every time he goes on a mission.
Despite being somewhat egotistical and having only a loose appreciation for regulations, Vasax has a serious side when it comes to the health and well-being of those under his command. He won’t hesitate to risk his neck to save a comrade in trouble and he never orders them into doing something he feels is beyond their abilities. He also takes time off-duty to fraternize with them, doing what he can to help them with their problems or to improve their skills. While on missions, Vasax does everything he can to complete the objectives and see that his people get back safely.
Vasax was the flight commander and creator of Sabacc Squadron, which was known for taking extreme risks in battle. He was then made a member of the famous Ghost Squadron, eventually assuming the mantle of leadership from Walter Sames after his death. He would then give up his command to Khal Arunson and take a promotion aboard the Dark Star as a Flight Major in charge of the entirety of the Star Destroyer’s starfighter forces. Contrary to many other men who occupy the same position, Vasax still leaves the comfort of the Star Destroyer to enter battle in his modified TIE Defender, Sabre Ace - named in honor of Sabacc Squadron and his love of the game.
- "Shows natural talent for piloting and leadership... Frequently flaunts regulations... Unfit for mainstream service."
- — Excerpts from Vasax Loraq's Imperial Record
Vasax had a rather unremarkable childhood. The middle of three brothers, Vasax followed in the footsteps of his older brother, Kasav, who had become a pilot in the Empire. When he was old enough, Vasax joined the Imperial Academy with an eye towards the Starfighter Corps. While his piloting skills were great, he was constantly at odds with his instructors who didn't approve of the "embellishments" he added to his instruction to make it more challenging for himself.
Vasax's constant headbutting with his instructors wasn't enough to get him kicked out of the Academy since it was obvious he had real talent, but it caused him to be labeled as "undisciplined" and "unmanageable" which precluded any chance Vasax had of being attached to a notable ship or squadron like Kasav. Instead, after his graduation, Vasax was transferred back to Corulag as a test pilot for the Sienar Advanced Research Division.
Disappointed, Vasax nevertheless made the best of a bad situation and soon established a phenomenal record testing experimental TIE craft. Although Vasax enjoyed the notoriety of his accomplishments with Sienar, he still longed to prove himself in actual combat. His chance would come with the arrival of Admiral Klinton and the ISD Apollo.
- "Fly and die, that’s the basic motto of most TIE pilots. In retrospect, I think it might have been for the best to start my career as a test pilot instead of a navy regular. Such blind fanaticism was something I could never understand."
- — Vasax Loraq
The arrival of the Apollo at Corulag would prove to be a blessing for Vasax, even if it didn’t seem like it right away. Admiral Klinton had arrived after intelligence reports indicated that New Republic spies had infiltrated the Sienar Advanced Research facility and were planning to steal the schematics to some of Sienar’s newest designs. Vasax initially tried to appeal to Klinton for a transfer to the Apollo, but the warnings on Vasax’s record kept Klinton from approving the request.
It may very well have been the end of the matter, but a few days later the New Republic agents made their move, stealing several of the most advanced designs on the base. By a stroke of luck, Vasax happened to near the hangar when the alarms went off. Rather than leave it to the garrison’s fighter wing to deal with, Vasax commandeered one of the older designs without any authorization other than his own and went after the spies.
The resulting battle would see the arrival of New Republic reinforcements to take possession of the stolen fighters. Despite the technical advantage the newer fighters had over Vasax’s own, his superior piloting skills helped win the day for the Empire as he disabled several of the prototypes on his own. The Imperial forces at Corulag handled the rest.
Despite once again ignoring protocol, Vasax’s actions greatly impressed Klinton to such a degree that he reevaluated his decision and had Vasax transferred to the Apollo. After a few weeks of being attached to the Star Destroyer, Klinton made an unprecedented decision to give Vasax his own starfighter command. The squadron Vasax eagerly formed would become known as Sabacc Squadron.
- "We’re called Sabacc Squadron. To say we’re not your typical Imperial fighter group is quite an understatement."
- — Vasax Loraq
Sabacc Squadron was designed from the outset to be a squadron that went against Imperial procedure. In a sense it was similar to Rogue Squadron in that the squadron wasn’t assigned a specific task and instead was given the freedom to act on its own on the battlefield. However, it set itself apart from other notable Imperial squadrons by being filled with pilots that were willing to do anything, no matter how suicidal, to bring about an Imperial victory.
As the squadron’s leader, Vasax exemplified these qualities to their utmost. In his eyes, Sabacc Squadron simply took the fanaticism the Empire tried to instill in its members to their most extreme. As such, Sabacc earned notoriety for getting the job done but also having one of the highest mortality rates in the Imperial Navy.
Numerous other TIE pilots were openly critical of Vasax and his squadron, most notably Walter Sames of Ghost Squadron. Displaying the same take-on-all-comers attitude he showed in combat, Vasax stood his ground and loudly proclaimed to them all that his pilots would challenge anybody who tried to take away what they had accomplished. More than a few Imperial squadrons took him up in his offer, but very few could stand their ground against the Sabaccs. Of the many squadrons Sabacc took on, the one Vasax really wanted to match skills with, Ghost Squadron, never ended up happening.
Vasax and Sabacc Squadron would serve with the Apollo through numerous events in the Empire, among them siding with James Ardin during his bid for Regent. When Ardin left for the Unknown Regions, the Apollo was among the ships that accompanied him. It would remain there during the reign of Emperor Damascus and inevitably meet its final end.
Only Vasax would survive its destruction…
More to come...
More to come...