I think we can all recall the first time we viewed Star Wars as kids; a memory I’m quite fond of. It was so much of an incredible experience for me as a kid that during repeated viewings of A New Hope, I would sit on the sofa and pretend I was in the cockpit of an Incom T-65 X-Wing, calibrating my targeting computer as I heard “All wings check in” acting out the Battle of Yavin as if I was in the film. To me, there was nothing cooler and nothing more iconic than a dogfight in space. It’s one of my favorite scenes from that film.
Yesterday I received the news, as it turns out, Drewe Henley, the man who played the role of Red Leader in A New Hope, passed away at the age of 75. Drewe Henley helped to bring Star Wars to life on the big screen as the leader of Red Squadron during the Battle of Yavin.
Red Leader’s name in the film was Garven Dreis, a pilot from the planet Virujansi who served in the Clone Wars and legend has it, he even flew alongside Anakin Skywalker himself.
Henley also took on a variety of other roles in the 1960’s and 70’s including the character of Joe Ehrlich from Space: 1999. To me, I will always remember him as Red Leader, hero of the Rebel Alliance. Thank you Drewe Henley, your work has certainly impacted the lives of many.
Our condolences go out to his family, may he rest eternally as one with the Force…