New Star Wars Canon Spotlight: Rae Sloane

Rae Sloane Spotlight
Since the establishment of the Lucasfilm Story Group, we have been witnessing the creation of a unified Star Wars canon, where all the stories – whether they are told in the movies, TV shows, books or comics – create a single narrative. While it took a couple of years for the canon to really get going and show us those connections, there is enough of it now that we can start talking about some standout characters. One of these that most fans seem to agree about is Rae Sloane, the Imperial officer originally created by John Jackson Miller for his novel A New Dawn.

Since then, Rae Sloane has appeared in several short stories, a comic and several novels. In addition to Miller, other authors have taken Sloane’s character and run with it including Jason Fry, Greg Weisman and Chuck Wendig.



As someone who never ventured into the old Expanded Universe, now Legends, I have never connected to a Star Wars character that I haven’t seen on screen in some shape or form. I never had my Thrawn, Mara Jade or Kyle Katarn. But since the introduction of new canon, I have taken a deep dive into the extended mythology of Star Wars and now, in addition to Luke, Leia, Obi Wan, Ahsoka, Asajj Ventress or Kanan, some new heroes and villains have taken part in my Star Wars fandom. Rae Sloane is one of them.


Since her original appearance, we have practically seen Sloane’s entire professional career unfold – from being a cadet on board Defiance Flight Training Institute to becoming Grand Admiral post-Battle of Endor.


As a little girl, Sloane dreamed of leaving her home planet Ganthel for a richer, greener world, so much so that she once attempted to run away from home. That didn’t turn out as well as she expected, but she found her way out when the Empire arrived and cleaned up  her world of slavers and other gangs.  She joined the Naval Academy and graduated high in her class. Ambitious and loyal, Sloane rose fast through the ranks achieving captaincy before the age of thirty.


Darth Vader and Rae Sloane


One of Sloane’s most impressive traits is that she learns from every mentor along the way, whether it’s harsh Commandant Baylo whose plot to assassinate the Emperor she foiled, Count Vidian or Grand Moff Tarkin. In addition to Tarkin, Sloane came face to face with all the head honchos of the Empire, including the Emperor, Darth Vader who deemed her smart (albeit in his head) and, lately, Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax. While her loyalty to the Empire is absolute, Sloane is not a mindless drone. If she feels that the orders she received are, intentionally or not, against the interests of the Empire, she will question them and, in some cases, work actively against them.


Rae Sloane is an important character in-world and in the real world. The Original Trilogy showed the world of Star Wars in black and white; the prequels complicated things a little (not all the Separatists were bad and the Republic wasn’t exactly the glowing example of freedom and democracy), but with Palpatine in the picture, the general division between good and evil was still distinct.


The new canon attempts to show that not all the people who follow an evil regime are evil themselves. One hesitates to call Rae Sloane a “good person” – as she does perpetuate the evils of the Empire. However, Sloane is a believer; she honestly believes that the Empire is a good thing for the galaxy, because she saw with her own eyes the effects of it. Sloane, like many others born on the chaotic and poor worlds, cherishes order and prosperity the Empire brings to those worlds. She is not entirely blind to the Empire’s failings, but her loyalty and idealism keep her in line. This excerpt from Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath Life Debt might best describe Sloane:


Slavery has never been part of the perfect Empire that lives inside her head. It may have been necessary for a time, but now the galaxy should be made to see the Empire’s glory—and you can’t teach them of its splendor through slavery. Slavery is not strength; it is weakness. Citizens should serve the Empire because it is right to do so. Why would any choose otherwise?


In the real world, the character of Rae Sloane is important because she is a woman of color. In the world that freaks out over a black stormtrooper, seeing a woman of color attaining position of power through intelligence and hard work is gratifying. More importantly, she is a complex and nuanced character – she is not on the side of good, she does some pretty bad things, but she is not evil; she has a code of honor and is protective of her people and beliefs.


Rae Sloane and Kanan by Doug Wheatley
Rae Sloane and Kanan by Doug Wheatley


Rae is a determined opponent. After meeting Kanan Jarrus in A New Dawn, she dedicates her personal time to finding out who he is. She sets a trap for him that fails only because of Kanan’s Force abilities. We haven’t seen a lot of her personal relationships, but by all accounts she is a fair superior officer. This is especially reflected in her relationship with her personal assistant Adea Rite, a relationship marked by mutual respect and nearing friendship, which makes Adea’s betrayal of Sloane all the more affecting.


In most situations, Sloane is the person who sees the whole picture best and has control over the situation. She knows when she has lost the battle and when to withdraw, but that doesn’t mean that she has lost the war. After the Battle of Endor, Sloane seemed to be the highest ranking officer left in the Imperial fleet (at least until Gallius Rax appeared) and worked restlessly to consolidate the Imperial forces and plan for the future.


The fate of Rae Sloane is still undetermined. She is going towards major conflict – with both Gallius Rax and the New Republic.  It could be that Jakku is Grand Admiral Rae Sloane’s final resting place, though I certainly hope not. At the very least, I am hoping she gets a shot at Rax because of everything he put her through.


But, whatever her fate will be, I am hoping that we will someday see Rae Sloane transition to the screen. Whether it’s a small screen or silver screen, I feel that she deserves to be presented to a much wider audience. At the time of the Battle of Yavin, Rae Sloane is 41 years old. So, who should play her? Or, who should lend her the voice? What do you think?


Rae Sloane and Grand Inquisitor


Chronological timeline for Rae Sloane:

  • Orientation by John Jackson Miller (Star Wars Insider 157)
  • Bottleneck by John Jackson Miller (Rise of the Empire)
  • A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller
  • Kanan: The First Blood #12, Epilogue: The Ties That Bind by Greg Weisman
  • The Levers of Power by Jason Fy (Rise of The Empire)
  • Aftermath by Chuck Wendig
  • Aftermath: Life Debt by Chuck Wendig



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Staff member, comic and book reviewer. Cheers for the Light Side, but would drink with Grand Admirals.

Jelena Bidin (LadyMusashi)

Staff member, comic and book reviewer. Cheers for the Light Side, but would drink with Grand Admirals.

22 thoughts on “New Star Wars Canon Spotlight: Rae Sloane

  • August 4, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    She is one of my favorite new canon characters. I just wish she had a different first name. Rae, Rey….

    • August 4, 2016 at 8:25 pm

      That is because she is obviously Rey’s mother!!! 😉 (just kidding)

    • August 5, 2016 at 6:31 am

      Agree she’s a great Imperial character.
      Much more believable and multi-dimensional than the likes of Hux in TFA.

  • August 4, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    Is there a place where one would be able to digest all of these short stories that come out all at once?

    • August 5, 2016 at 12:30 am

      I believe you can read the books for free at any Barnes & Nobel, or you can buy them and take them home, or borrow them from a friend… For the comics, you can look for them in comicbook stores, she is only on kanan 12 though and her section of the story is not enhanced by the rest of the issues. As for the star wars insider’s stories, I would like to know to read those as well.

      • August 5, 2016 at 12:53 am

        “Orientation” was also re-published in the paperback edition of Lords of the Sith, at least in the UK…

        • August 5, 2016 at 1:02 am

          awesome, too bad I already have the original version from the US, that’s why I waited to get Tarkin and New Dawn until the bundle with the three short stories was released

      • August 5, 2016 at 1:35 am

        I was just referring to the short stories/insider stories. I am aware the fact that book stores and and comic book store exist. Lol

        • August 5, 2016 at 3:19 am

          ah, sorry, the short stories were included in the repackaging of Tarkin and A New Dawn, Rise of the Empire, if you haven’t gotten those, then I recommend you get the bundle, though it’s only on paperback.

  • August 4, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    Her hair seems way too long. It should be short and professional looking

    • August 4, 2016 at 9:47 pm

      Because only short hair is professional looking?

      • August 4, 2016 at 9:52 pm

        Sloane is a high ranking Naval officer. She should look the part 100%.

        • August 5, 2016 at 12:17 am

          I didn’t realize we had an expert on Imperial dress codes here.

          • August 5, 2016 at 12:25 am

            You’ve got to admit in the B&W pic the hair bun looks a lot smarter considering her rank, no?

          • August 5, 2016 at 4:39 am

            True, but I think the longer hair is still above her shoulders so it MIGHT be acceptable.

      • August 5, 2016 at 12:27 am

        As stated in Lost Stars, long hair’d officers and cadets must keep their hair in a bun or a braid.

  • August 5, 2016 at 3:16 am

    Hope we get her on Rebels at some point

  • August 5, 2016 at 8:10 am

    I like this diversity of characters in the new Star Wars canon! I like how women and minorities are now being properly represented in these new tales. Now I’m wondering when we’ll have a new popular caucasian male main character appear in the new canon that’s not a part of the Empire or First Order.

    • August 5, 2016 at 4:06 pm

      There is already one and he will be in the next new canon spotlight. 🙂

  • August 6, 2016 at 7:25 am

    I think Gina Torres would be a perfect casting for Rae in the Aftermath era

    • August 6, 2016 at 7:31 pm

      I like that choice. Very inspired – she is beautiful, she can play likable and tough, she would kill it in the uniform. 🙂

  • August 20, 2016 at 12:37 am

    FINALLY, Rae Sloane has intrigued me from the first word I read of her. Zoe Saldana has made a mark as a Badass. Rae tends to be written off by her Imperial colleagues as weak, until she saves or kills them which makes me think she is a beauty. But don’t take her looks for granted she is quick and fearless, just ask Loyalty Officer Emarr Ottkreg..

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