Arvel, or Arvie, as he was known to his friends, grew up on on Ralltiir, a Core World planet. As child, he witnessed the Imperial invasion of his homeworld. His parents, who had been funneling money to Mon Mothma were arrested and executed. Arvel was placed under the guardianship of a wealthy uncle, who had made a deal with the local Imperial authorities to have him kept there. When Arvel was a teenager, his uncle sent him to the local Empire-run flight school for training. Arvel competed the training, but was unsure about accepting an Imperial position. At this point, his uncle to revealed that he too had been supporting Rebel activity, and offered to have him placed in an Alliance military unit. Arvel saw it as a way to get revenge for what had happened to his parents, and accepted.
Arvel was stationed with a group of X-Wing pilots on the nearby planet Chandrila. When a chance came up to serve on a strike force aiming to liberate Ralltiir, Crynyd volunteered and participated in the battle. After this, he was sent to a Rebel base on Cardooine. There he participated as a test pilot on a new series of high-speed fighters, called A-Wings. The speed and lack of astromech support made them difficult to fly, but Crynyd quickly adapted and ran them so well in battle simulations that he was appointed leader of the first A-Wing squadron.Without much time to prepare, the A-Wings were sent to Sullust to to prepare for the Rebel assault on the Death Star. Crynyd's squadron was to engage in basic ship-to-ship combat with defensive fighters in order to allow the X-Wings and Y-Wings to perform attacks on the battle station itself. They were warned that there were liekly to be several Star Destroyers present, and the squadron may be called upon to use their speed to perform hit and run attacks to draw fire away from capital ships. They were also told that, according to Walex Blissex, an A-Wing could take down a Star Destroyer by crashing directly into the bridge. Arvel responded to this idea with a dismissive wanking motion, saying, "I'll get right on that."During the battle, when it became obvious that the initial plans would have to be put on hold, Arvel led his squadron into combat not only with the fighters, but directly against the Star Destroyers. The speed of the A-Wings made them ideal for hitting the shield generators, as well as precision hits against weapons systems. While performing a strafing run and knocking out some ion cannons, Crynyd's ship suffered significant damage, and he lost control. Knowing that he would not be able to get back to safety, he was able to go full-speed and steer his ship just enough to direct it at the bridge of the Super Star Destroyer Executor. Due to his speed, the A-Wing smashed into the bridge before any defensive action could be taken. The impending explosion killed Crynyd as well as Admiral Piett and the rest of the control crew. Without any control, the massive ship drifted into the gravity field of the Death Star and crashed.
Arvel Crynyd's sacrifice was remembered by people like Admiral Ackbar, who ensured that Arvel posthumously receive the Medal of Holy Crap That Was Some Insane Ish You Pulled That Will Never Be Duplicated!, but most of the other Rebels forgot about it in their mad rush to praise Han Solo, Lando, and Luke Skywalker.