So here’s the idiotic science fiction question for the week: Why do X-Wing fighters have wings?
Officially, “The wings not only serve as stabilizer surfaces in air travel, but also distribute deflector shield energy and serve as weapons mounts.”
Clearly, the wings have nothing to do with aerodynamics, as there is nothing aerodynamic about 99% of the vessels in the Star Wars universe, and almost everything short of the Death Star makes controlled landfall and takeoff. (Seriously, how does the Millennium Falcon do it? It’s a stunted frisbee! Eh, a question for another day…) As to the suggestion that the so-called “S-foils” are used to generate deflector shields, that doesn’t explain how the other fighters in the Rebel fleet create defensive energy screens (well, maybe the B-Wing). It just doesn’t add up.
Now, I grant you, looking for science in Star Wars is a largely a futile gesture (Parsecs are a unit of distance, not time!), but we can have fun trying, anyway. The Sci-Fi Apologist has an amusing wing-theory: The x-wings are really heat sinks for the high-powered laser cannons.
Cute, but I think we can do better. So, here’s your assignment, boys and girls: What’s the REAL reason X-Wing starfighters have wings? Let the theorizing begin!