5 Things You Need to Know About Battlefront II’s Iden Versio
The Star Wars Universe is no stranger to making iconic characters. With complex protagonists, morally questionable villains, and adorable mascots, Lucasfilm has brought us some of the most memorable characters in film, books, and video games. With short-lived villains like General Grievous and Darth Maul, to household names like Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, chances are if you aren’t a fan of Star Wars, someone close to you is. Having set such a phenomenally high bar has proven a challenge over the years, as new characters have attempted to appear in the universe and for one reason or another, fizzled like a burnt out E-11 blaster. So when EA Studios and DICE announced the upcoming release of Star Wars Battlefront II, complete with a sorely missed single-player campaign mode that would introduce an all-new protagonist, fans of the series weren’t sure what to expect.
Knowing that the game would bridge the gap between Episodes 6 and 7, we discovered early on that our hero – Iden Versio – was not a plucky champion of the rebellion but instead the leader of a special ops team for the Empire known as Inferno Squad. As cool as it sounds, just how important could Iden Versio be? What do we really know about her? Don’t underestimate the power of Iden Versio, even if she is just a human. Here are 5 things you should know about Iden Versio;
1 – She is Officially Canon to the Star Wars Universe
Battlefront II has been developed by not one but three different branches, and it was up to EA’s Motive Studios to create the much sought after Campaign mode. This meant working with Lucasfilm’s Story Team in creating something very much authentic and fitting to the Star Wars Universe. With all the work Motive has put into the development of Iden Versio, she and the corresponding events of the campaign will be officially part of the movie universe, meaning she has the potential to appear in future media. We have seen other video game characters make an impact before (Starkiller from The Force Unleashed comes to mind) but this is the first time a character has been fully flushed out and accepted into the grander scheme of things, which brings me to my second point.
2 – Iden Versio is a Fully Developed Character
It would have been easy to give the player a nameless soldier and throw them into the fray. It would have only been slightly more challenging to come up with a name and slap it on a not-so-typical every-man Stormtrooper. What Motive did instead was build a completely realistic, believable character from the ground up. Iden may be a soldier, but she is much more than that. In my limited time exploring her story I was able to experience the subtle nuances that make someone a character as opposed to a prop. The way she acted and reacted to those around her, voicing her thoughts and ideals, her opinions on the events around her. She reacts in a very believable way and with the incredible graphical detail put into the game I found myself forgetting I wasn’t simply watching a movie. While other shooter games may have short-lived stories simply to appease the single player fans, Iden Versio is a character well worth taking the time to explore and the campaign mode should not be taken lightly.
3 – Don’t Underestimate the Power of Iden Versio
Right out of the gate in the introductory mission of the game, we learn how deadly Iden is. Black ops specialist, stealth specialist, hand to hand, every conceivable weapon, she is the definition of a living weapon. While she might not possess the force, she herself is a force to be reckoned with. Coupled with her devout belief in the Empire and the good it brings to the galaxy, she will go to any length to defend it against the rebellion. We have seen key characters of the Star Wars Universe uphold their beliefs in the Force, the Dark Side, the Rebellion, and the Republic, but this is our first glimpse into the eyes of someone who never knew the Empire as evil. Iden Versio was raised in an environment loyal to the Empire and as such, the Rebels are the bad guys here. Like any other character, her beliefs and her devotion to the cause drive her to keep pushing forward and push she can.
4 – Her Backstory is too Big For Battlefront II
While cross-media content isn’t new, Iden is a complex character with a rich backstory that simply couldn’t be explored exclusively in the campaign mode of Battlefront II. Instead, New York Times Bestselling author Christie Golden – author of numerous sci-fi and video game related novels – took everything Motive Studios’ created and crafted an exemplary tale of Iden Versio’s backstory. The game will definitely present a solid introduction to her character and who she is, but after the first few missions, knowing there is more to her out there, the book will be a must-have for fans of the Star Wars saga. As an added bonus, Janina Gavankar, who portrays Iden Versio in the game, also narrates the audiobook about Iden’s past.
5 – What Is the Definition of ‘Rebel’ Again?
As I mentioned before, Iden Versio is a born loyalist to the Empire. The fact we are taking her perspective for the game is actually quite monumental given the narrative of the entire series through the eyes of the Rebels. What we see in the films is what the Rebellion wants us to see: the evil Empire controlling all with an iron fist, a militant government hell-bent on domination. We see the Stormtroopers invade un-allied planets and occupy them “for the greater good”, but is the Empire truly as bad as they make it seem? Not to Iden. The Empire is the ruling government body, looking to create unity among the galaxy. Allied planets are at peace, and loyalists are treated with kindness. We only see what the battlefront looks like from the eyes of the Rebels but by definition the Rebels are the ones using guerilla warfare to attack their government. Seeing the galaxy through Iden’s eyes brings to light that no battle is black or white, and her distaste for the Rebels comes from her patriotic duty and belief in the government she fights for.
There you have it, 5 things you should know about Iden Versio. Have any questions? What do you think about Iden? Let us know your thoughts on this new direction for the series on Facebook, Twitter, or the Comments section below.