Richard Glover Interview – The Actor Behind X-Wing Pilot Red 12 in Rogue One.
“Red and Gold Squadrons, attack formation. Defend the fleet.“―Admrial Raddus giving Red and Gold Squadrons their orders
I was recently lucky enough to interview actor Richard Glover about his time in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as Red Squadron pilot Red 12. Red Squadron, also referred to as Red Group, was a starfighter squadron of X-wing starfighters that served as part of the Rebel Alliance’s starfighter corps during the Galactic Civil War. The squadron participated in campaigns such as the Battle of Scarif, the Battle of Yavin and the Battle of Endor. Following the victory of the rebellion and the reformation of the Republic, Red Squadron was assimilated into the New Republic Defense Fleet.
Red Squadron participated in the Battle of Scarif along with Blue Squadron, Green Squadron, and Gold Squadron under Garven Dreis’ command. X-wings assisted in engaging Imperial ships above the planet, combating TIE fighters and Imperial Star Destroyers with the rest of the Alliance fleet. During the battle, Pedrin Gaul, flying as Red Five, was killed.
How does working on Star Wars compare to all your work on other projects?
Being in Rogue One was obviously AMAZING! I used to joke that I’d just be happy to be blown up and shoot across the screen in a Star Wars film so to get the chance to actually be an X-Wing pilot was fantastic.
How did you get you get the role of Red 12 in Rogue One?
I couldn’t believe my luck. I was actually offered the part after I’d had a meeting with the lovely casting director Jina Jay. I owe her a large bottle of champagne. I’ve played lots of different roles but this is obviously very special, and I was delighted to do my bit for the Rebel Alliance against those bastards in the Empire.
Can you describe your time filming scenes?
It was amazing to be at Pinewood Studios, and I truly got goose pimples when I got to my dressing room and saw the iconic orange X-Wing pilot suit hanging there. I took a sneaky picture, but then deleted it because they’re very strict about things like that and I didn’t want to jeopardise my chance. Walking into the massive studio space, the size of an aircraft hanger, was doubly exciting. On the far side some stuntmen dressed as Empire officers in a Star Destroyer were being blown up, and then I saw the X-wing. That was amazing. Not only getting to touch one up close but also to climb into one was such a privilege and very exciting. I kept looking around at all the details, the R2 unit in the back, all the buttons. Goosepimples galore!
What is it like being an X-Wing pilot and actually being inside one?
Before I climbed in, the director showed me a computer animation of the battle scene that I would ultimately be in, to help get an idea of the context, and help me to know how to play my small role, i.e. should I be relaxed or was I in the thick of battle. When I eventually climbed into the X-Wing, I asked if I could press a button during the take, pretending I was adjusting my shields or something, and a man immediately ran up to me with a Flight Manual to make sure I pressed the right button. He assured me Star Wars fans would know if I pressed the right button or not and all the buttons had set functions. I can’t remember if the button pressing is in the final cut, but it was great to see the manual anyway.
What are some of your fondest memories from your time in Star Wars?
When we actually did the takes, green (and yellow I think) lights flashed to mimic the flashes of laser fire and 2 burly chaps stood below my feet and shook my chair to mimic the chaos of battle. It was bloody great fun.
If you could play any other characters, who would it be and why?
If I could be something else in Star Wars I think I’d love to be a Jedi with a light sabre (like most people, I imagine), but being an X-Wing pilot is also right up there. AN X-WING PILOT!!! I couldn’t believe it when my agent called me to ask if I’d like to be one. And an X-Wing is one of the coolest spaceships EVER!
Do you attend many comic conventions, if so, what does fan interaction mean to you, and do you have any appearances coming up?
Regarding comic conventions, I’ve never attended one, but someone recently (just today, in fact) contacted me to ask if I’d be interested in attending one. I think I would. I feel incredibly lucky to have been part of Star Wars and it would be nice to share that joy with other people.
Are you open to doing more work for the Star Wars franchise in the future?
If I was ever asked again to be in a Star Wars film, of course, I would LOVE to do it. Regarding my character, Red 12 (Same squadron as Luke Skywalker!!!) I believe the jury is out as to whether I survived the battle. Some say I didn’t, but others say I was at the Award Ceremony at the end of A New Hope. I hope I did survive. I’d love to fly again.
A huge thank you to Richard for answering my questions, thank you for your work in Rogue One and hopefully, we will see you in future films in the Star Wars Universe!