Ian Liston as Wes Janson

Janson: "Oh, stop worrying, Wedge. It's obvious they adore you. You could throw up all over yourself and they'd love it. By nightfall they'd all be doing it. They'd call it the 'Wedge Purge.' They'd be eating different-colored foods just to add variety."
X-Wing: Starfighters of Adumar

Wes Janson's character is a study in comedy. He's the life of the party and the centre of attention. If you're into reading and you haven't yet picked up a Star Wars novel there's a few that are better than the others but none quite as good as the X-Wing series.

When first released it was to be a four book cycle. And much to my delight a fifth novel came out by the name of Wraith Squadron. It was in this book we got to have a closer look at Wes.

During the course of the Wraith Squadron series by Aaron Allston we were delighted and amused by the antics of Wes Janson. Particularly his rebellious nature. The pranks he pulled were hilarious. But the books were not without more somber or even shocking moments. There was the conflict between Wes and Kell Tainer, whose father Wes had to shoot down, in the line of duty, even though they were both on the same side. This happened prior to ANH, when Kell was just a young boy. The hurt and resentment stayed with him through adulthood. You can't get a tenser moment than being hated by someone who's trained in unarmed combat.

Book Nine, The Starfighters Of Adumar is a climax for Wes, Wedge and X-Wing fans alike. The last book of the X-Wing series focuses on these two characters along with Hobbie and Tycho. And it's written in such a way that it puts the reader right in every scene. It was one of the most exciting books I've ever read. It was if I had been invited to join in on the adventure. I read a LOT of books from a variety of different authors and from different genres, so don't think I'm heaping praise on a book from a level of ignorance and inexperience.

Whether flying, fighting or a hapless victim of fashion, Wes makes a spectacle of himself wherever he goes.

Wes is the sort of bloke you'd want as a best friend. Witty, funny, faithful and at times a right pain in the arse. If you're contemplating picking up a book to read and be taken off to a galaxy far, far away I'd suggest the X-Wing series. Wes makes a grand entrance in Book Five but to truly appreciate the story I'd suggest starting it from the beginning, with Michael Stackpole's Rogue Squadron. By the time you finish book 9 you'll be wondering why George Lucas decided to make the prequels instead of the X-Wing series into a movie series.

Wes Janson's Biography

Wes Janson

Callsign: Rogue 3 (Gunner, Battle of Hoth), Rogue 6 (Battle of Gall), Wraith 3

Actor: Ian Liston

A native of Taanab, Wes Janson joined the Alliance at Tierfon, and quickly showed his abilities as a pilot and sharpshooter. He gained True Gunner status while serving at Tierfon as an X-wing pilot in the Yellow Aces. It was while at Tierfon that Janson and Jek Porkins were forced to shoot down the rogue pilot Kissek Doran. He came down with a strain of Hesken Fever just before the Battle of Yavin, and was unable to fly his X-Wing. Jek Porkins drew the duty of filling in for him, and the importance of this occurance has haunted Janson ever since. He managed to recover, and eventually became a member of Rogue Squadron under Luke Skywalker. He served as Wedge Antilles' gunner in the Battle of Hoth, and was known by the callsign of Rogue Five. In the years which followed, Janson remained a fixture of Rogue Squadron, serving as the team's comic relief with Hobbie Klivian. He was reported dead when the Rogues were ambushed at Distna, while searching for evidence of Pulsar Station, but he was rescued by Booster Terrik and the Errant Venture and returned to Coruscant. After recovering from his injuries, Wes rejoined the squadron during the hunt for Prince-Admiral Krennel.

©2000 Bob Vitas. The Completely Unofficial Star Wars Encyclopedia

Wes Janson in The Empire Strikes Back ©1980 Lucasfilm Ltd

Wes Janson
Human male from Taanab

Wes Janson operated out of Tierfon early in his enlistment with the Rebel Alliance. While a capable pilot, his deadly accuracy earned him the gunner's seat of a Y-wing more often than the pilot's seat. But he had the chance to fly with some of the top Rebel pilots and racked up an impressive kill record and a tremendous reputation. But he also suffered through difficult times.

While still a trainee with the Tierfon Yellow Aces, the squadron was sent to ambush an Imperial freighter. The TIE fighter escort was larger than reported and one pilot panicked and fled. With Jek Porkins piloting and Wes in the gunner's seat, they tried repeatedly to stop Kissek Doran for fear he would alert the Imperial forces. To save the squadron, Wes Janson fired the laser cannons killing his teammate. It was his first kill and one that would haunt him in the future.

His other biggest regret came at the end of his time with the Aces. An immediate transfer list was posted for the Yavin base, Janson's name was on it. But he had a case of Hesken Fever from a recent scouting mission. Filling the slot instead was his friend Jek Porkins, who died at Yavin facing the first Imperial Death Star.

Soon after Yavin, Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles formed a new type of starfighter unit. An X-wing squadron with no set mission profile. It would be called Rogue Squadron and Wes Janson would be one of the first recruits, having a long and distinguished career on its roster.

Rogue Squadron provided cover for the defection of Crix Madine on Corellia. They flew converted airspeeders on Hoth, where Wes and Wedge Antilles brought one of the massive Imperial walkers down using tow cables. They were last to leave the ice planet defending Rebel transports against Imperial forces in orbit. And they flew against the second Death Star over the forest moon of Endor, destroying not only the space station but the Emperor as well. Rogue Squadron found itself on diplomatic envoys and guarding convoys during formation and expansion of the New Republic. But these were hardly quiet times as remnants of the Empire refused to admit defeat.

Wes proved his capability as a ground operative when he assisted Kapp Dendo in the sabotage of Imperial razers on Brentaal. When orders came down to reform Rogue Squadron, Wes and Hobbie Klivian traded in their pilot helmets and became flight instructors for the New Republic. When Wedge Antilles invited the two back to rogue Squadron, Wes instead chose to help Wedge build a second new fighter squadron,: Wraith. It was there that his past came back to haunt him.

One of their first recruits turned out to be the son of Dessik Doran, the Alliance pilot Wes had shot down years before in the Tierfon Yellow Aces. But the two struggled through their pain and awkwardness, never becoming friends but able to work together effectively.

When Wraith Squadron was given active status but transferred to the New Republic Intelligence division, Wes chose to stay with Starfighter Command and returned to Rogue Squadron. He has passed up several transfers choosing to stay with the Rogues, currently serving under Tycho Celchu although he took another leave to accompany, Wedge, Tycho and Hobbie to Adumar.

Chronological Order of Appearance:
Rogue Squadron 3D CD-ROM (LucasArts)
The Rebel Opposition (Dark Horse Comics)
The Phantom Affair (Dark Horse Comics)
Battleground: Tatooine (Dark Horse Comics)
The Warrior Princess (Dark Horse Comics)
Requiem for a Rogue (Dark Horse Comics)
In the Empire's Service (Dark Horse Comics)
Blood & Honor (Dark Horse Comics)
Masquerade (Dark Horse Comics)
Mandatory Retirement (Dark Horse Comics)
Rogue Squadron (Bantam Books) *mentioned in name only*
Wraith Squadron (Bantam Books)
Iron Fist (Bantam Books)
Solo Command (Bantam Books)
Isard's Revenge (Bantam Books)
I, Jedi (Bantam Books)
Starfighters of Adumar (Bantam Books)
Specter of the Past (Bantam Books)
Union (Dark Horse Comics)
Customizable Card Game (Decipher)
Star Wars Encyclopedia (Del Rey)
Star Wars Handbook: Rogue Squadron (Dark Horse Comics)

©2000 Chad Clark

The Movies: Serving as a gunner in small vessel like the Alliance snowspeeder requires strong communication and great faith in the pilot. Janson and Wedge Antilles had perfected their coordination as gunner and pilot during the Battle of Hoth. Janson was the first Alliance gunner to successfully use the snowspeeder's harpoon and tow cable to entangle and trip an Imperial walker.

Expanded Universe: Earlier in his Rebel career, Janson was stationed at the Tierfon outpost. There, he was close friends with fellow pilot Jek Porkins. During the events leading up to first Death Star battle, starfighters from the Tierfon Yellow Aces were transferred to Yavin. Had Janson not been ill with a case of Hesken Fever, he would have participated in the Battle of Yavin. Years after the Battle of Hoth, Janson continued flying with Rogue Squadron.

Behind the scenes: Contrary to popular belief, the uniform of a snowspeeder pilot is different from that of an X-wing pilot. The X-wing pilot uniform, seen in A New Hope, is worn underneath the heavier jacket seen on a snowspeeder pilot. Also, snowspeeder pilots wear the same white gloves and boots worn by Rebel Hoth troops, and not the black boots and gloves worn by standard X-wing pilots.

taken from: http://www.starwars.com/databank