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Releasing on November 17, Star Wars: Battlefront II promises to be a gaming experience like nothing any #StarWars fan has ever experienced before. The Campaign Mode will allow you to play as members of a crack Imperial black ops unit, Inferno Squad. It promises to pit you against the best the Rebel Alliance / fledgling New Republic has to offer, and the teasers have even shown you drawing a pistol on Luke Skywalker himself!
The Campaign Mode story will be a vital part of the Star Wars canon, and your characters will transition from the Empire to the First Order. On July 25 you'll get a chance to meet Inferno Squad before you play the game. Lucasfilm is releasing a prelude novel, Battlefront II: Inferno Squad, which shows how the team originally formed in the wake of the Death Star's destruction.
Over the weekend, we've seen both an excerpt from the novel (available on StarWars.com) and a fantastic video introducing us to the story of Battlefront II. Putting the pieces together, we can get a sense of just who these characters are, and there are even some intriguing hints at the kind of missions we'll undertake as part of the campaign...
Iden Versio And Inferno Squad
The main star of the campaign is Iden Versio, daughter of an Imperial Admiral and a firm Imperial loyalist. Iden's father was a major figure on her homeworld of Vardos, and he led the push for Vardos to join the Empire. The family — and their world — have remained loyal to the Imperial ideals ever since, and for Iden it was inconceivable that the Empire could ever fall.
Iden was a TIE Fighter pilot stationed aboard the first Death Star, and was one of the few to survive. Even as the Empire reeled in shock, Admiral Versio saw a unique opportunity to create a special ops team like no other under the Imperial service. As he explained in the excerpt:
"The contribution that one small team can make when it comprises the best of the best is, I believe, both overlooked and invaluable. The distillation of individual accomplishments and skills into a smoothly functioning unit will be something the enemies of the Empire will not be prepared to guard against."
He didn't choose his daughter for the team because of nepotism. No, Admiral Versio chose her because of her accomplishments; not least her skillful flying in surviving the Death Star's destruction.
As the years passed, Inferno Squad became something of an Imperial legend. They were stationed on Endor when the second Death Star was destroyed, and Iden made one simple vow: she would avenge her Emperor.
The Other Members Of Inferno Squad
The Campaign Mode will involve you playing as a number of other characters, though, including two other members of Inferno Squad. First up: Del Meeko. In Admiral Versio's words:
"You worked your way up through the ranks, first as a stormtrooper, then a shoretrooper, then a TIE pilot. You have received several commendations for courage under fire. Your commanders have made notations that you excel at whatever you turn your hand to, but you seem to be particularly gifted with repairing everything—from armor to droids to engines."
According to the video, Del is a well-traveled Imperial soldier who grew up on Coruscant, in the time of the Jedi. He brings a lot of humor to the team, and yet in spite of that he sounds like a ferocious warrior. His skillset is clearly suited to heavy assaults, and we can expect Del to take point in leading attacks on enemy strongholds.
Finally, there's Gideon Hask. We don't get much of Hask's backstory in the excerpt, but according to the video he was an orphan who became thoroughly invested in the Empire. He believes in the Empire more fiercely than anyone else in Inferno Squad, and was decorated as one of the Empire's best. In the video, we hear him making simple statements that suggest just how thoroughly Hask has been indoctrinated:
"Empire is peace and justice and order."
It sounds as though Hask will be a crucial character in the story, pushing Inferno Squad to ever more extreme actions, and no doubt encouraging them to ally with the First Order. This is the kind of Imperial loyalist who wouldn't flinch at deploying Starkiller Base, and some of the videos have shown Inferno Squad joining the forces of the First Order in that snowy terrain.
These, it seems, are the stars of Battlefront II. The game promises to give us a unique perspective on our beloved galaxy far, far Away. We're about to get an inside view on the fall of the Empire, and the rise of the First Order. By all accounts, the story will end right before The Last Jedi, so the campaign may even close with the destruction of Starkiller Base. This is an arc that spans the years, and will test the skills of Inferno Squad like never before.