Over at Fantasy Flight Games, designer Brooks Flugaur-Leavitt talkes a closer look at the TIE/D Defender and the Dark Lord of the Sith for Star Wars: X-Wing.

“Anakin Skywalker was weak. I destroyed him.”
– Darth Vader [Twilight of the Apprentice]

Darth Vader in a TIE Defender. After Timothy Zahn put the best star-pilot in the galaxy at the helm of the Empire’s most potent starfighter in Thrawn: Alliances, the idea both thrilled and terrified X-Wing fans. Even we as developers weren’t immune, and when the planning for the Skystrike Academy Squadron Pack began, I had to give it a shot! In designing Darth Vader, I aimed to strike a balance that would capture his terrible power while also allowing for his inclusion in normal gameplay.

The greatest hurdle in designing Darth Vader for the expansion was, of course, his pilot ability. Players who have fielded or faced Darth Vader, Black Leader , know how powerful his additional actions can be, and the TIE/D Defender’s ship ability, Full Throttle, also granted an additional evade action that matched its unique maneuver dial. The combination of Darth Vader’s Force Points, additional actions from the Defender’s generous action bar, a free evade, and the ship’s impressive statline was simply too much. Thankfully, the system of subtitles implemented in Star Wars: X-wing Second Edition gave me room to design a new pilot ability that would focus Lord Vader’s abilities in a way that would portray him thematically without being overpowered in gameplay.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker D-O Interactive Droid, App-Controlled with Phone or Tablet, Toys for Kids Ages 8 and up
  • The D-O Interactive Droid has a self-balancing wheel, multiple modes of play, moving head and antennas, and features light-up LED eyes, sound effects
  • CONTROL D-O WITH THE FREE APP: Download the free Ultimate D-O app, follow the onscreen instructions, and kids can control the droid
  • MULTIPLE MODES OF PLAY: D-O will play in Follow Mode, Chase Mode, Guard Mode, and even features a High-Alert Alarm Mode, in which D-O will sound an alarm when the ball controller is pressed 3 times
  • LITTLE DROID, BIG PERSONALITY: Cobbled from odds and ends in the workshop of a droidsmith, D-O is an impressionable little roller that becomes fixated upon BB-8
  • INCLUDES DOCKING STATION AND CHARGE CABLE: D-O can hang out on a desk or shelf while he charges, resting in the included docking station
SOURCEFantasy Flight Games
Jonathan is a tabletop roleplaying game designer working out of Northampton in the UK who got a taste for creating games after designing the missions and writing the dialogue for the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica's official mobile game. His credits include a rulebook and adventures for the RPG of the world-famous Fighting Fantasy line, adventures for Moebius Adventures, Gallant Knight Games and other publications, as well as dozens of articles, essays, reviews and interviews on the tabletop roleplaying hobby. His first full roleplaying game, 'Those Dark Places', is published by Osprey Games in November 2020.