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Literature / Battlefront: Twilight Company

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The Galactic Empire endures. Despite the destruction of its terrifying Death Star by the Rebel Alliance, its oppression spreads undiminished across the stars.

Under the direction of the Emperor and Darth Vader, an army of highly trained, single-minded stormtroopers quashes dissent and destroys resistance.

But on worlds like Sullust, Coyerti, Haidoral Prime, and untold others, rebel forces fight in the trenches, determined to maintain hope against the unrelenting Imperial war machine...

Battlefront: Twilight Company is a novel set in the Star Wars expanded universe. Written by Alexander Freed and released on November 3, 2015, the novel ties into the 2015 reboot of Star Wars: Battlefront.

Following the destruction of the first Death Star, the Rebellion began a large-scale military campaign against the Empire in the Mid-Rim. Months later, the soldiers of the Sixty-First Mobile Infantry, better known as Twilight Company, have been fighting at the front of the rearguard action as the Rebellion desperately retreats and abandons all the gains they made. On Haidoral Prime, First Sergeant Namir Hazram and his squad encounter Governor Everi Chalis, an efficiency expert who was disgraced following the Death Star's destruction. Offering her knowledge of the Empire's supply lines and infrastructure in exchange for a pardon, the men and women of Twilight Company must decide if they can trust the information Chalis is offering and use it to strike a major blow against the heart of the Empire's war machine.

This novel contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: Twilight Company contains several, including sniper Brand, the slightly psychotic Twitch, and eventually Roach.
  • Almighty Janitor: Chalis is a fairly high-ranking Imperial bureaucrat, but she's still just another cog in the machine. She's so indistinguishable from anyone else that the Imperials essentially didn't care that she defected. However, she's such a logistics expert that she and Twilight Company are able to plan a complex Batman Gambit against the Empire.
  • Anyone Can Die: Ajax, Captain Micah “Howl” Evon, Charmer, Roach, most of Twilight Company, and even the Thunderstrike.
  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: The Mid Rim Offensive is this in the beginning of the book. Framed as the Rebellion taking advantage of the Empire being in disarray after the Death Star blows up, they take a significant portion of the Mid Rim before the Empire regroups and starts pushing them back. The narration says that orders went from advancing, to holding position, to retreating.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Gadren is easily the nicest member of the Company, he regularly charges into Imperial lines and tosses Stormtroopers around with his bare hands. Chief Medic Von Geiz is also one of the nicer members of the Company, and Namir is taken aback when he suggests assassinating an Imperial officer instead of attacking the base he is at.
  • The Big Guy: Gadren, again, as a Besalisk (the same species as Dex from Episode II, and Pong Krell from ‘’The Clone Wars’’).
  • Break the Haughty: Governor Everi Chalis is a logistical genius who was Reassigned to Antarctica after the Death Star was destroyed; when she defects to the Rebel Alliance she warns Howl that she is a high-profile target that the Empire will be determined to track down and punish. Then she comes face-to-face with Darth Vader, who interrogates her about Luke Skywalker's whereabouts, and tosses her aside once he understands that she doesn't know. In private with Namir, she bitterly realizes that the Empire utilized her abilities, but has never considered her more than a very small and easily-replaceable cog in their mighty machine.
  • The Cameo: Namir meets a Corellian freighter captain during his stay on Hoth that is heavily implied to be Han Solo. Leia Organa also makes an appearance, though she never speaks to Namir.
  • The Cavalry: Apailana's Promise and her fighters do this during the climax, after having initially had to flee.
  • Cold Sniper: Brand, though she does have a soft spot for Namir and the rest of the squad.
  • Combat Pragmatist: A recurring theme throughout the book is that, as the Rebel Alliance is vastly outnumbered and poorly equipped compared to the Empire, they rely on underhanded and sometimes ruthless tactics to win.
    • Namir remembers one former Twilight soldier who left the company shortly after telling him that the kinds of acts that were expected of them “felt more like murder than war.”
    • When their squad is tasked with intercepting and destroying an AT-ST walker during the Coyerti campaign, they make several failed attempts at fighting it. Eventually they lure it into a deep body of water, where it becomes helplessly submerged and its crew likely drowns or suffocates.
    • During the raid on the Imperial freighter, Chalis deliberately shoots several holes in an overhead gas pipe, causing the stormtroopers who enter the hallway to start breathing in toxic fumes. This makes them easy targets for her and Namir.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Covers Always Lie: The cover depicts Twilight Company fighting at the Battle of Hoth. In the novel, only four members of Twilight are present, with Howl being the only one from the cover.
  • The Cynic: Hazran Namir is so jaded by a lifetime of war for a variety of causes on his homeworld that he doesn't care about the Rebellion's mission to restore the Old Republic, instead just thinking it's a power grab by politicians that were too slow to try and grab power for themselves without even knowing about everything Palpatine did to establish the Empire.
  • Darkest Hour: On Sullust at the end, Twilight Company is surrounded and it looks like they're going to die, with no avenues of escape or any help coming. Turns out, however, that they win anyway thanks to Chalis, good tactics, and the people of the city below them finally rising up against the Empire.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Several characters, but Roach, Charmer and Howl. stand out.
  • Face Death with Dignity: A Rebel soldier on Hoth smiles as she detonates a handheld grenade, taking out herself and the legs of an AT-ST.
  • Functional Addict: Zigzagged, during the flashback to his recruitment, Namir points out another gang member from a warlord faction whose soldiers are trained to fight in a spice-induced haze, and says that she'll be a fierce ally, but warns against trying to make her fight while sober.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: During the Battle of Hoth, Nasir witnesses a badly injured Rebel soldier whose arm has become trapped in the gears of an AT-ST’s legs. He thinks he sees her smile as she holds up a grenade and detonates it, killing herself and taking the AT-ST with her. If the walker hadn’t been destroyed, it’s highly unlikely that Namir or anyone else would have survived the fight.
  • I Owe You My Life: Why Maediyu makes such an effort to protect Namir.
  • Mauve Shirt: There are quite a few secondary members of Twilight Company who get a bit of focus. Some live and some die, including Sairgon, Ajax, and Maediyu.
  • Mood Whiplash: This book is radically different in tone to the vast majority of other stories in the Star Wars universe.
  • Mysterious Past: Captain Micha "Howl" Evon. The only person in the company who knows his history is Lieutenant Sairgon, and he refuses to talk about it. The rest of the company often speculate about what Howl did before he became a rebel.
  • Not Worth Killing: Governor Chalis believes that the Empire has tracked the Rebels to Hoth to punish her defection from the Empire. When she faces Darth Vader, she is resolved to face her death with dignity, but he tosses her aside as soon as he determines that she doesn't know how to find Luke Skywalker. It is a severe blow to her ego that the Dark Lord was too busy to even break her neck.
  • Punch-Clock Hero: Initially Namir, who simply joined the Rebel Alliance to get off the Crapsack World he was struggling to survive on.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Prelate Verge, the young member of the Imperial Ruling Council dispatched to hunt down Everi Chalis. He worships Palpatine and has some very odd ideas about how to instill loyalty and show dedication to the Empire, which includes torturing subordinates who fail in even the most minor ways as a way to redeem them of their momentary "treason".
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Twilight Company, who holds short recruiting drives on every world they fight on to make up the losses they take.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Everi Chalis was sent to Haidoral Prime to be its governor for her role in the Death Star's destruction.
  • Red Shirt: Beak and Roja, two members of Twilight Company who accompany Namir and Howl to Hoth despite never having been mentioned earlier in the novel, and have minor roles there before being killed in Vader's attack.
  • Sergeant Rock: Namir, Gadren and Brand.
  • Sherlock Scan: Namir is good at login these to new recruits and deducing potential assets and problems they'll bring to the company.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: When Hazram first joins the Rebellion, he is surprised that the Rebels actually believe they are fighting for the freedom of people across the galaxy. Hazram is further stunned when he meets Howl and learns that he even believes that, having thought that Howl was manipulating them like so many other leaders Hazram had fought for.
  • Suicide Mission: The attack on Kuat that Chalis believed would deal a decisive blow to the Empire most likely would have turned out to be this, regardless of Chalis's thoughts of it. Twilight Company was exhausted, continually taking losses, and with only them against one of the Empire's greatest fortresses, regardless of how much from it had been peeled off to guard other planets, most likely would have gotten them all killed.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Everi Chalis is a logistical genius that was the protege of one of the Empire's Ruling Council members, claiming that she was sent to Haidoral Prime for her role in the destruction of the Death Star. Come Hoth, when she comes face-to-face with Darth Vader himself, she is prepared to Face Death with Dignity...only for Vader to not even care who she is, instead demanding to know where Luke Skywalker is. This turns out to be a rather big blow to her ego, though she doesn't really let it show.
  • Taking You with Me:
    • A Rebel soldier on Hoth activates a handheld grenade, taking out herself and an AT-ST that was laying waste to her comrades.
    • A Chadra-Fan rebel, when faced with capture by a squad of stormtroopers, opts instead to set off a detonator and take as many of them out with it as it can.
  • Woman Scorned: Namir starts to think that the Kuat mission is in truth a complicated revenge scheme by Chalis to get back at the Empire for never appreciating her hard work enough and for sending Verge to kill her instead of someone more important.