Star Wars Battlefront II aims to tell a story from a different perspective other than the usual lens of the Rebellion. Instead, its newly introduced single-player mode narrative will boldly center on the adventure and experience of an elite Imperial TIE pilot named Iden Versio. The Imperial forces are mostly synonymous to the dark side of the force in the storied history of Star Wars, which means that players will have a front seat viewing to how the Empire operate and learn the code that they adhere to.
The trailer establishes the background of Iden, who is the commander of the Inferno Squadron commando team. Born and raised in an Imperial family, her father is an admiral in the fleet which solidifies her case as a firm believer that the Empire’s intentions are for the good of the people.
According to EA Motive game director Mark Thompson, the driving force to base Star Wars Battlefront II from the Imperial’s perspective is to present them, through Iden, in a way that the public understands their choice of actions and decisions. “They aren’t conscripted, they aren’t forced, they aren’t brainwashed,” Thompson added. Although stories of notable people in the Empire have been told before, their motivations are usually self-serving. Here, the gamers will have a character that has a firm belief that she is doing the right thing for the right reasons which make her more of a well-rounded character.
Since the resurgence of the franchise with 2015’s Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, it seems like folks over at LucasFilm have been trying to tell stories from both the Empire/First Order and Rebellion/Resistance’s points of view simultaneously. John Boyega’s Finn in The Force Awakens is a former stormtrooper eventually switching sides. Same goes for former Imperial pilot Wedge Antilles’ origin story and even Agent Kallus’ change of heart as depicted in Star Wars Rebels season 3. Although it is unsure whether Versio will also have some fence jumping by the end of Star Wars Battlefront II, it is interesting to see how a deeply rooted Imperial soldier thinks. Furthermore, the choice of another female lead (despite in a video game) proves LucasFilm’s commitment to bringing more strong and capable women in the ever expanding Star Wars mythos.
It is also important to note that the narrative for Star Wars Battlefront II is canon and with the wide range of events that the gameplay will cover, who knows if there will be new characters from the video game that could crossover in other Star Wars media like films, TV shows, and books. Last year, the first Star Wars TV show character made his debut on the big screen with Clone Wars rebel leader Saw Gerrera, being played by Forest Whitaker in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
As a whole, Electronic Arts have learned from their mistakes and made the necessary changes in Star Wars Battlefront II. Not like its predecessor, 2015’s Star Wars Battlefront, the sequel will already include a single player campaign with stories spanning the whole entire Star Wars saga including the prequel, original, and sequel trilogies. It can be remembered that one of the biggest gripe that players had with Star Wars Battlefront was its lack of a campaign mode.