USA Today Reveals Exclusive Excerpt from the Upcoming ‘Star Wars: Battlefront II – Inferno Squad’ Novel

It’s no secret that Star Wars: Battlefront II is one of the most anticipated games of the year, and with the promise of a campaign mode in the sequel to 2015’s Star Wars: Battlefront, many Star Wars fans are excited to get their hands on the upcoming novel – Star Wars: Battlefront II – Inferno Squad – which tells  the back story for the game’s protagonist Iden Versio, an Imperial pilot and hero against the Rebellion. The novel is set for release on July 25, but USA Today has just released an excerpt from the first chapter of the novel by author Christie Golden.



(from USA Today):


“How far do you go? What do you really believe? Is there any line you won’t cross for the cause you champion? What are the consequences if you do and if you don’t? The whole idea of gray, rather than black and white, fascinates me.”

– Christie Golden

Iden Versio from Star Wars: Battlefront II


Here’s a partial excerpt (click here to read it in full):


“Attention, pilots,” came the voice of her commander, Kela Neerik, in Iden’s ear, and for a brief, beautiful instant Iden thought her squad commander was going to explain what was going on. But all Neerik said was, “Death Star is now six minutes out from target.”

Iden bit her lip, wondering if she should speak up. Don’t. Don’t, she told herself, but the words had a life of their own. Before she realized it, out they had come.

“Respectfully, Commander, with only six minutes until the entire moon’s destruction, why are we out here? Surely thirty one-person ships won’t be able to do anything resembling damage to the Death Star in that amount of time.”

“Lieutenant Versio” — Neerik’s voice was as cold as space — “don’t assume your father’s position gives you special privileges. We are here because Lord Vader ordered us to be here. Perhaps you’d like to put your question to him personally when we return to the station? I’m sure he’d be delighted to explain his military strategy to you.”

Iden felt a cold knot in her stomach at the thought of a “personal” conversation with Lord Vader. She’d never met him, thankfully, but she had heard too many chilling rumors.

“No, Commander, that won’t be necessary.”

“I thought not. Do your duty, Lieutenant Versio.”

Iden frowned, then let it go. She did not need to understand the rebels; she needed only to destroy them.



She targeted the nearest X-wing and fired. Green lasers sliced through the enemy ship, and then only pieces and a flaring sheet of flame remained.

As if they sensed her renewed resolve, the rebel pilots suddenly upped their game. There was a brief flash at the corner of Iden’s vi­sion, and when she turned to look, she realized with sick surprise that this time the debris hurtling off in all directions was black.

Iden didn’t know who had just died. TIE fighters were so uniform as to be practically indistinguishable from one another. Their pilots weren’t supposed to think of their ships in the warm, fuzzy way the rebels were reported to do. A ship was a ship was a ship. And Iden understood that, as far as most in the Empire were concerned, a pilot was a pilot was a pilot: as expendable and interchangeable as the ships they flew.

We all serve at the pleasure of the Emperor, her father had drilled into her since she was old enough to comprehend what an emperor was. None of us is indispensable. Iden had certainly seen Imperial ships shot down before. This was war, and she was a soldier. But in­dispensable be damned.

The half smile she’d been wearing during most of the combat van­ished, and Iden pressed her lips together angrily. She veered, perhaps a touch too violently, to the right and targeted another X-wing. In mere seconds it exploded into a yellow-orange fireball…



The connectivity continues as this novel places our new Imperial protagonist at the center of the Battle of Yavin in A New Hope. I have a feeling that much like what Claudia Gray did with Lost Stars, that Iden and her “Inferno Squad” will weave their way in and out of important battles throughout the original trilogy in the story as they hunt down the remnants of Saw’s Partisans. We know from the game trailer that she is present at the Battle of Endor as well – maybe she’ll make her way to Hoth or Sullust along the way.


What do you think about this excerpt? Are you excited to read the book? Let us know in the comments below…



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Jordan Pate is Co-Lead Editor and Senior Writer for Star Wars News Net, of which he is also a member of the book and comic review team. He loves all things Star Wars, but when he's not spending time in the galaxy far far away, he might be found in our own galaxy hanging out in Gotham City or at 1407 Graymalkin Lane, Salem Center, NY.

Jordan Pate (Hard Case)

Jordan Pate is Co-Lead Editor and Senior Writer for Star Wars News Net, of which he is also a member of the book and comic review team. He loves all things Star Wars, but when he's not spending time in the galaxy far far away, he might be found in our own galaxy hanging out in Gotham City or at 1407 Graymalkin Lane, Salem Center, NY.

7 thoughts on “USA Today Reveals Exclusive Excerpt from the Upcoming ‘Star Wars: Battlefront II – Inferno Squad’ Novel

  • June 21, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    I can’t wait to see the rest of Iden’s story. Not only because it will explain more of the new canon end of the Empire, but I’ve always loved 1994’s TIE Fighter and seeing things from a different perspective.

    I just hope that they write Iden to stick with her loyalty to the Empire. I think it’d be kind of cliche if she happens to be just another rebel in the making.

    • June 21, 2017 at 11:00 pm

      100%. It would be even better if she’s written with some of the same types of experiences as other “rebels in the making” but comes to a different conclusion: loyalty to the Empire.

      • June 21, 2017 at 11:42 pm

        I think it would be problematic for a true hero to see the Empire for what it really is and still get behind it. However, I could see her getting behind someone like Rae Sloane, who is one who is dedicated to the ideal of what she believes the Empire should be – not for what it was under Palpatine’s tyranny. I could see something like that. But I doubt she will be able to stomach the Empire as it was before when she undoubtedly uncovers the darker truths behind its existence in the game’s campaign.

        • June 22, 2017 at 12:14 am

          Did you ever play the old TIE Fighter game? It did a good job of showing the pro-side of the Imperial argument. One can justify a lot of brutality in the name of peace and order.

        • June 22, 2017 at 1:04 am

          Judging from the small excerpt from above I feel like Iden already knows the reality of fighting for the Empire and accepts that way of life. If anything I can see her becoming more along the lines of Jyn Erso prior to her joining the Rebellion: the Jyn Erso who wanted no part of either faction.

          And to be fair, there are plenty of legitimate reasons to remain loyal to the Empire even when they’re destroying planets and oppressing its citizens. I mean the Rebel Alliance killed thousands of people aboard the Death Star just to save the lives of their leadership and keep the Death Star from ending the Rebellion. It wasn’t even the intention of Tarkin to destroy planets, he wanted to use the Death Star as a tool to intimidate disloyal systems.

          So I believe that Iden can still be a hero while simultaneously remaining loyal to the Empire. She’s fighting for what she believes in. And it sounds like family is important to her, a family that is very comfortable with the existence of the Empire.

          • June 22, 2017 at 5:03 pm

            I agree Empire has/had(in legends) a lot of heroes who believed in Empire and the Empire has done a several good things for the galaxy(defeating pirates, eliminating warlords and so on), fine there were some bad things like Alderaan but the rebels forced them to to this. The Empire brough stability and peace to the galaxy and would have saved bilions of lives when the yuzang vong invaded because they would have Death Star, Eclipse,SSD and Thrawn and Vader and in the end the galaxy would be better on it.

            Also I hope really much that they won’t turn Iden into Rebel because there are far to many rebel stories and heroes but in the Empire except Thrawn and Rae Sloane and Vader there are none

  • June 21, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    I like how Golden addresses the Y-Wing pilot (Keyan Farlander in Legends) that survived the Death Star along with Luke, Wedge, Han and Chewie. It seems that his is the ship that escaped her right before she was caught up in the blast from the Death Star explosion.

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