|“||Hope, cannot save them!||„|
|~ Iden Versio|
Iden Versio is the protagonist villain of both the Star Wars novel Battlefront II: Inferno Squad, and the story campaign for the 2017 video game Star Wars Battlefront II. Having been born and raised on a planet that prospered under Imperial rule, Iden Versio is a rabid pro-Empire fanatic, and is firmly dedicated to their cause. Iden believes that the Empire can and will bring order, and that the Rebellion is nothing more than a collection of terrorists and anarchists who would seek to ruin the Galaxy needlessly.
She is voiced by (and modeled facially after) Janina Gavankar, who also narrates the audiobook version of Iden's debut novel.
Iden Versio grew up on the planet Vardos, a world that had actually prospered under Imperial rule. Her father was in fact an Admiral in the Empire and her mother an artist who designed propaganda posters for them, and so Iden was groomed to become a member of the Imperial war machine herself. Distinguishing herself in combat, piloting, and strategy, she became the commander of a small but elite team of Imperial special forces known as "Inferno Squad" after the Battle of Yavin that saw the destruction of the Death Star. One of Inferno Squad's first assigned missions was the destruction of the remnants of Saw Gerrera's Partisans known as "The Dreamers". The mission was to infiltrate the Dreamers, pretend to be prospective members, and then kill them once they'd gained the Dreamer's trust. In this, the members of Inferno Squad were all-too successful.
Later, during the Battle of Endor in 4 ABY, Iden Versio and her squad participated and expertly killed many Rebels, but they could not prevent the destruction of the second Death Star or the death of their Emperor. Devastated by the defeat, Iden vowed to avenge the Emperor no matter the cost, and so took the fight to the Rebellion alongside her squadmates and her father, who also gave her the Emperor's final, posthumous orders concerning the Rebellion. Or rather, part of the orders--duped into helping Operation Cinder, Iden was horrified to learn later that part of Operation Cinder entailed a "scorched earth" campaign against multiple planets, including her own homeworld of Vardos, who's people were loyal to the Empire. Crushed by this revelation, Iden defected from the Empire in the chaos of her home world's devastation. From there, she and Del Meeko (another former member of Inferno Squad), joined the Rebel Alliance and fought against Operation: Cinder.
Following the end of the war with the Empire, it seems that Iden had a child with Del, as it is noted that he later became a father. Iden's other former teammate Gideon Hask later sought Del out and killed him, before then turning his attentions to Iden.
During the waning period of the cold war she become a mother to her daughter Zay and begins to search his husband who is missing, and over the course Iden and Zay joined the resistance and then trying to stop project Resurrection.
Personality and traits
Due to having grown up on a world that prospered under Imperial rule, and having been indoctrinated rigorously from a young age, Iden Versio was pro-Imperial to the core, and firmly dedicated to fighting for the Empire against the Rebellion, whom she held in utter contempt (especially the Partisans due to their ruthless methods and willingness to kill or endanger civilians). In particular, she was contemptuous and disdainful of the Rebellion's belief in "hope", even going as far as to proclaim that "hope could not save them".
However, unlike many other major Imperials, such as Tarkin, Krennic, and the Emperor himself, Iden was not a sadistic, power-hungry monster who was only in it for power and control over others, but rather because she genuinely believed in order, peace, and stability, and sincerely believed that the Empire brought those things and the Rebellion did not.
Iden was passionate about what she did, and committed to the life of a soldier, training herself vigorously and engaging in often intense work-outs so as to stay in shape and be ever-alert. She could perhaps be called a "workaholic" given her sheer devotion to getting the job done and being prepared for it, at the expense of having little in the way of personal connections and friendships. She did, however, constantly seek her father's approval, and though training and discipline had taught her to keep a professional manner around him, privately she was always happy when he went with her suggestions, advice, and plans.
Come the destruction of the second Death Star, Iden was filled with even more self-righteous rage and hatred towards the Rebellion than before, and vowed to avenge Emperor Palpatine and destroy the Rebellion no matter what. However, once realizing that Operation: Cinder's purpose was to in effect punish the entire Galaxy for the Emperor's death, including loyal planets like her homeworld Vardos, Iden became disillusioned at long last and abandoned the Empire.
After leaving the Empire and becoming a member of the Rebellion, Iden's personality changed again; she became more relaxed and easygoing as a person, learning how to laugh and joke more easily than she had as an Imperial. She also allowed herself to get romantically close with her longstanding teammate Del Meeko, culminating in the two kissing at the end of the Battle of Jakku, and later having a daughter together. As an older woman, Iden remained as dedicated to stopping the First Order as he had been to stopping the Empire she'd once so proudly served.
- She is actually not the first Imperial-aligned villain protagonist in Star Wars, or even the first one in a video game. However, she is the first major one to show up in Disney's Canon (the other examples of Imperial-aligned villain protagonists having all shown up in the Legends continuity). Likewise, she is also one of the first female ones.
- In many respects, Iden could be seen as an evil counterpart to Princess Leia:
- One is wholly committed to destroying the Rebellion in service to the Empire, the other is just as wholly committed to helping the Rebellion bring down the Empire. Similarly, both are very passionate about their chosen causes, and filled with contempt for everything the other side stands for.
- Where one dresses in predominantly black, the other in predominantly white.
- Iden grew up on a mostly peaceful planet that prospered under the Empire's rule. Leia grew up on a peaceful planet that was "destroyed" by the Empire, and prior to that had prospered in spite of it's rule.
- Iden was raised to be a soldier, Leia a senator and diplomat, though ultimately both women came out very combat-capable.
- Both women sought to be like their fathers and live up to their expectations.
- Both are excellent shots with a blaster.
- All of the above becomes ironic when one considers that, after joining the Rebellion, Iden comes to work with and for Princess Leia, and it is Leia who chooses to accept/forgive Iden in spite of her past as a dedicated Imperial.
- Likewise, she is in some ways similar to the Legends character Juno Eclipse, as both are initially idealistic female Imperials in Star Wars video games with good piloting skills, who eventually defect to the Rebel Alliance after feeling personally betrayed by the Empire, and also after seeing their capacity for cruelty and treachery.
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