Star Wars: Battlefront 2‘s single-player campaign revolves around a heroic figure in the evil Galactic Empire, prompting us to ask Motive’s Mark Thompon and LucasFilm’s Steve Blank just how we should feel about her. Should we hold Iden Versio up as a strong, female role model alongside the Rebellion’s General Leia, Rey and Jyn Erso?
“It was more about taking the helmet off of the Stormtrooper and seeing them as a person, rather than just, like, a TK 4713,” Thompson, Game Director at EA Motive, said of the decision to focus on Versio.
“Understanding who they are as a person, where they came from, why they even joined the Empire, where they grew up — that’s all very important,” he continued. “What would give them that kind of belief system. And what’s interesting about Star Wars storytelling, you know like broadening beyond the just Skywalker saga; in Rogue One, suddenly you get this broader spectrum.
“It’s not just this binary right and wrong, good and bad. We start to see things like very extreme rebels who, even inside the Rebellion, seem to be causing problems because they don’t share the same views as everyone.
“Inside the Empire, we can do the same. We can show a broader range of people’s beliefs. With a small unit like Inferno Squad, with a character like Iden, we can establish who they are and what they believe in in terms of the Empire. And as long as we’re true to that, and that character, we can take people on that emotional journey and they’ll identify with the way that Iden sees the galaxy.”
“It’s about providing that unique perspective into something we haven’t seen before,” offered Blank, Creative Executive at LucasFilm.
“If you are growing up in the Empire, Iden is exactly [a role model]. She is exactly that type of hero that you would look up to and that you would aspire to be, right? Because if you are a member of an Imperial academy, and you were trained into that and that’s what you believe in, that’s what you’ve been raised to sort of to become, she epitomises that.
“She is still heroic on that level, just from a total different perspective. In a new point of view that we haven’t gone quite so deep in in Star Wars before.”
Star Wars: Battlefront 2 heads to Windows PC, Xbox One and PS4 on 17 November 2017.