While we got the first trailer for Battlefront II today at Star Wars Celebration, EA Games dropped another bit of news: Christie Golden’s previously announced novel Inferno Squad is a tie-in for the game.
In the trailer, we see the Imperial special forces unit Inferno Squadron in action, taking on the Rebellion after the destruction of the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi, but Golden’s novel will take place years before the game.
Set in the aftermath of Rogue One and A New Hope, Battlefront: Inferno Squad will explore the backstory of the unit and its commander, Iden Versio. According to the original announcement, the unit will be tasked with infiltrating the remains of Saw Gerrera’s Partisans cell that we saw escape from Jedha in Rogue One.
During the convention’s publishing panel earlier today, Golden noted that her soldiers are “true believers” in the Empire, but that both sides are pretty fanatical:
Interesting -- Golden compares writing the Partisans to writing Imperials. People who do bad things but believe it's right.— Jay AT-AT SWCO (@admiraljello) April 15, 2017
Star Wars has a long history with game novelizations (look no further than Michael A. Stackpole’s X-Wing or Karen Traviss’ Republic Commando novels), and Battlefront: Inferno Squad joins the novelization for the original Battlefront game, Battlefront: Twilight Company, written by Alexander Freed, which is set in the midst of the Rebellion.
While it looks like a really exciting book, Inferno Squad is interesting in another way: it shows off how closely integrated the larger Star Wars canon is. While the book helps to set up the game, the game’s developers made sure to read some of the new books, such as Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath trilogy and Claudia Gray’s Lost Stars, to make sure it fit alongside them.
Furthermore, the novel helps to provide some connective tissue between Rogue One and the post-Return of the Jedi era. Given the growing number of entries in the universe, ensuring that every individual story fits together is critically important — so much so, that it takes a dedicated group to coordinate between all of the properties. Their efforts result in books such as Inferno Squad, which can tie in closely with stories across the franchise in all mediums and contribute to the larger story that is Star Wars.