With the many stories of the Star Wars galaxy linking together with increasing frequency it should come as no surprise that as we wait for November and the arrival of Battlefront 2 to consoles across the planet, the Lucasfilm Story Group decided to lead in to the story of the game with this tie-in novel, Star Wars Battlefront II: Inferno Squad.
Written by the always solid Christie Golden, author of three fate of the Jedi novels in Omen, Allies and Ascension as well as Asajj Ventress tale Dark Disciple, this introduces us to the lead characters of the game. The novel tells the story from the point of view of an Imperial squad led by Iden Versio, an accomplished TIE fighter pilot who survived the destruction of the Death Star. The daughter of a noted Imperial Admiral and an Imperial loyal propaganda artist, Versio is Imperial through and through. This bodes well for the game. While many readers and players enjoy the exploits of our heroes, many get their kicks from the Imperial perspective.
The squad is made up of Versio, fellow TIE pilot Gideon Hask, easy-going expert engineer Del Meeko and intelligence officer Seyn Marana, a language expert with photographic memory. Coming together for the first time, the squad is tasked with tackling the developing threat of a rebel group known as the Dreamers, hardline extremists who developed after the demise of Saw Gerrera’s partisan faction in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
The Dreamers show little mercy, and it’s easy to see why the Empire view them as terrorists. Indeed, a neutral would be forgiven for thinking the same, so uncompromising are their actions. The grey area between the actions of the Rebellion and the Empire is wider than ever and the peripheries of both sides step into it.
Iden Versio, wracked with survivor’s guilt after the destruction of the Death Star and keen to live up to her father’s legacy leads her team undercover among the Dreamers. Here we learn that not only is she 100% dedicated to the Imperial cause but that she is far from being without heart. Believing in the ideology of the Empire doesn’t rob Versio of her soul, and Golden does a great job of showing that.
The time period that Inferno Squad occupies is at the nexus of many key Star Wars stories. It follows both Rogue One and A New Hope closely, compliments the events of Star Wars Rebels and The Clone Wars and runs neatly off the Jyn Erso story Rebel Rising. As a standalone book it’s a satisfying read, but as a primer for Battlefront 2 it’s nigh on essential.
STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT II: INFERNO SQUAD / AUTHOR: CHRISTIE GOLDEN / PUBLISHER: CENTURY / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW