Iden Versio and Inferno Squad will take center stage in Battlefront II when the game arrives in November, but you don’t have to wait until then to learn more about her and the special forces group she leads. Battlefront II: Inferno Squad, the prequel novel by Christie Golden, is available now and delves into the beginnings of Inferno Squad in the weeks after the Battle of Yavin. The elite group is comprised of four members, all in possession of exceptional abilities — especially Iden Versio. These are just a few of the reasons why she stands out.
Spoiler warning: This article discusses major plot details for Battlefront II: Inferno Squad!
1. Rising on merit.
With a father in a powerful position within the Empire — Inspector General in the Imperial Security Bureau, to be precise — Iden devoted herself to climbing to the top of the pile on her own merit. She worked harder and practiced more to ensure any advancement was due to her efforts, not because of favoritism. Other students still credited Garrick Versio’s role for Iden’s success, but she fought for every opportunity or win despite her father’s title.
Iden didn’t bow under the pressure. She pushed herself and earned her place in the Empire and in Inferno Squad.
2. A will to survive.
When the Death Star was destroyed in the Battle of Yavin, most Imperials serving on the battle station were eliminated, too. Darth Vader was an exception. So was Iden. She was piloting a TIE fighter. Though it was damaged in the fight, she got to the surface of Yavin 4 in one piece. In order to survive, she remained calm and quickly processed that the impossible had become the possible.
Then she made a splint from the debris of her crash landing, schlepped through the jungle, took out a rebel, and stole a cargo ship to fly into Imperial territory. No big deal, right? It’s more impressive when you realize she didn’t have much experience with the outdoors.
3. Special forces.
Iden’s resume and experience landed her an invitation to join Inferno Squad, an elite special force tasked with stopping Imperial leaks before they happened. Born from the traitorous actions of Galen Erso and the loss of the Death Star, Inferno Squad’s overarching mission was to prevent the selling of secrets and information from within, sometimes at a painful cost. That she was asked to be part of the group says much about her talents and character.
4. Master planner.
When Garrick pulled together the four members of Inferno Squad, he tested them in order to discern who would be the best leader. Each recruit had to put together a mission plan, and Iden received top marks and scored the leadership position. Rather than rely on only her specific skill set and knowledge, she looked at the bigger picture and incorporated the specialties of everyone on the team. The result was a well-rounded plan with the highest likelihood of success. Being an architect behind covert operations is no small feat.
5. Unwavering devotion.
From the perspective of Iden and other Imperials, the Rebel Alliance’s action against the Death Star was a terrorist attack. She thinks the treason of the rebels was enough of a reason to eliminate Alderaan. She grew up on Vardos, an Imperial world. All of this is to say, Iden knows her beliefs well and is one thousand percent loyal to the Empire and its objectives. She thinks the Imperial way is the best path to a peaceful galaxy.
Though she’s put in positions that show the ugliness of the Empire, she’s also witness to the horrifying actions of partisan extremists on the rebel side. The latter only serves to reinforce Iden’s commitment to her convictions.
6. Room for improvement.
One of Iden’s strengths is her ability to examine a scenario from an objective perspective. She is occasionally swayed by emotion, but for the most part, she can assess what went right and wrong on a mission — particularly when it comes to herself. Iden’s father taught her to be humble, and she took the advice. She can recognize her accomplishments without being arrogant about them, and at the same time, she can see when she’s taken a misstep in a sort of calculating, logical way and takes steps to course correct to avoid repeating the mistakes in the future.
7. Knowing when to compromise.
In a military organization like the Empire, the black-and-white rules often don’t leave room for interpretation. Rigidity is especially important for a special forces group. Inferno Squad is sent into situations that put more than only their lives at stake; they need to have protocols in place so they can easily make a call in the midst of an intense assignment. But at the same time, independent thought and compromise is important, and Iden demonstrated an understanding of compromise in Inferno Squad.
Instead of killing the Mentor or turning him over to the Empire, after the mission was complete, Iden let him live. Whether her action came from a place of compassion or knowing he wouldn’t surrender more information, she made a choice her superiors probably wouldn’t have supported. That willingness to play outside the rule book makes Iden even more of a force to be reckoned with.
Above screenshots are from the upcoming Star Wars Battlefront II game.
Amy Ratcliffe is a writer obsessed with Star Wars, Disney, and coffee. Follow her on Twitter at @amy_geek.