The three Y-wing fighters race toward camera and zoom overhead through a hail of laserfire. Gold Leader pulls his computer targeting device down in front of his eye. Laserbolts continue to batter the Rebel craft.
GOLD LEADER: Switching to targeting computer.
Gold Two, a younger pilot about Luke's age, pulls down his targeting eye viewer and adjusts it. His ship shudders under intense laser barrage.
GOLD TWO: Computer's locked. Getting a signal.
As the fighters begin to approach the target area, suddenly all the laserfire stops. An eerie clam clings over the trench as the surface whips past in a blur.
GOLD TWO: The guns...they've stopped!
Gold Five looks behind him.
GOLD FIVE: Stabilize your rear deflectors. Watch for enemy fighters.
GOLD LEADER: They've coming in! Three marks at two ten.
Three Imperial TIE ships, Darth Vader in the center flanked by two wingmen, dive in precise formation almost vertically toward the Death Star surface. Darth Vader calmly adjusts his control stick as the stars zoom by.
VADER: I'll take them myself! Cover me!
WINGMAN'S VOICE: (over speaker) Yes, sir.
Three TIE fighters zoom across the surface of the Death Star. Vader lines up Gold Two in his targeting computer. Vader's hands grip the control stick as he presses the button.
GOLD LEADER'S Y-WING The cockpit explodes around Gold Two. His head falls forward. As Gold Two's ship explodes, debris is flung out into space. Gold Leader looks over his shoulder at the scene. The three TIE fighters race along in the trench in a tight formation. Gold Leader panics.
GOLD LEADER: (into mike) I can't maneuver!
Gold Five, the old veteran, trys to calm Gold Leader.
GOLD FIVE: Stay on target.
The Death Star races by outside the cockpit window as he adjusts his targeting device.
GOLD LEADER: We're too close.
Gold Five, the older pilot remains calm.
GOLD FIVE: Stay on target!
Now Gold Leader's really panicked.
GOLD LEADER: Loosen up!
Vader calmly adjusts his targeting computer and pushes the fire button. Gold Leader's ship is hit by Vader's laser. Gold Leader explodes in a ball of flames, throwing debris in all directions.
Gold Five moves in on the exhaust port.
GOLD FIVE: Gold Five to Red Leader...
Luke looks over his shoulder at the action outside of his cockpit.
GOLD FIVE: (over headset) Lost Tiree, lost Dutch.
RED LEADER: I copy, Gold Five.
GOLD FIVE: They came from behind....
One of the engines explodes on Gold Five's Y-wing fighter, blazing out of control. He dives past the horizon toward the Death Star's surface, passing a TIE fighter during his descent. Gold Five, a veteran of countless campaigns, spins toward his death. Luke looks nervously about him at the explosive battle.
DEATH STAR - CONTROL ROOM: Grant Moff Tarkin and a Chief Officer stand in the Death Star's control room.
OFFICER: We've analyzed their attack, sir, and there is a danger. Should I have your ship standing by?
TARKIN: Evacuate? In out moment of triumph? I think you overestimate their chances!
Tarkin turns to the computer readout screen. Flames move around the green disk at the center of the screen, as numbers read across the bottom.
VOICE: (over speaker) Rebel base, three minutes and closing.
Red Leader looks over at his wingmen.
RED LEADER: Red Group, this is Red Leader. Rendezvous at mark six point one.
WEDGE: (over speaker) This is Red Two. Flying toward you.
BIGGS: (over speaker) Red Three, standing by.
MASSASSI OUTPOST - WAR ROOM: Dodonna moves to the intercom as he fiddles with the computer keys.
DODONNA: Red Leader, this is Base One. Keep half your group out of range for the next run.
RED LEADER'S VOICE: (over headset) Copy, Base One. Luke, take Red Two and Three. Hold up here and wait for my signal...to start your run.
Luke nods his head. The X-wing fighters of Luke, Biggs, and Wedge fly in formation high above the Death Star's surface. Luke peers out from his cockpit.
Two X-wings move across the surface of the Death Star. Red Leader's X-wing drops down to the surface leading to the exhaust port. Red Leader looks around to watch for the TIE fighters. He begins to perspire.
RED LEADER: This is it!
Red Leader roams down the trench of the Death Star as lasers streak across the black heavens.
DEATH STAR SURFACE - GUN EMPLACEMENTS: A huge remote-control laser cannon fires at the approaching Rebel fighters. The Rebel fighters evade the Imperial laser blasts. Red Ten looks around for the Imperial fighters.
RED TEN: We should be able to see it by now.
From the cockpits of the Rebel pilots, the surface of the Death Star streaks by, with Imperial laserfire shooting toward them.
RED LEADER: Keep your eyes open for those fighters!
RED TEN: There's too much interference!
Three X-wing fighters move in formation down the Death Star trench.
RED TEN'S VOICE: Red Five, can you see them from where you are?
Luke looks down at the Death Star surface below.
LUKE: No sign of any . . . wait! Coming in point three five.
Red Ten looks up and sees the Imperial fighters.
RED TEN: I see them.
Three TIE fighters, Vader flanked by two wingmen, dive in a tight formation. The sun reflects off their dominate solar fins as they loop toward the Death Star's surface. Red Leader pulls his targeting device in front of his eyes and makes several adjustments.
RED LEADER: I'm in range.
Red Leader's X-wing moves up the Death Star trench.