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Literature / Inferno Squad

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Spoilers in regards to Rogue One will be left unmarked. Browse at your own caution.
The Rebellion may have heroes like Jyn Erso and Luke Skywalker. But the Empire has Inferno Squad.

Battlefront II: Inferno Squad is a Star Wars Expanded Universe novel written by Christie Golden, who had previously written Dark Disciple and Legends novels in the Fate of the Jedi series. The story takes place shortly after the events of Rogue One and A New Hope, being a sequel to both stories. It is also a prequel to Battlefront II (2017), which contains a single-player campaign revolving around Commander Iden Versio during the transition of the Empire into the First Order.

After the humiliating theft of the Death Star plans and the resulting destruction of the battle station, the Empire is on the defensive. In response to this stunning defeat, the Imperial Navy has authorized the formation of an elite team of soldiers, known as Inferno Squad. Their mission: infiltrate and eliminate the remnants of Saw Gerrera's Partisans, a rogue faction called the Dreamers. Following the death of their leader, the Dreamers have carried on his extremist legacy, determined to thwart the Empire — no matter what the cost.

Now, Inferno Squad must prove their status as the best of the best and take down the Partisans from within. But as the danger intensifies and the threat of discovery grows, how far will Inferno Squad go to ensure the safety of the Empire?

It was released on July 25, 2017.

Tropes in this book include:

  • Action Girl: Commander Iden Versio, who leads Inferno Squad and serves as the novel's central character. There's also Seyn Marana. Might qualify as Dark Action Girl.
  • Arc Words: The best lies have a grain of truth in them. Iden and her companions think this line several times while they're undercover. It gives them a few moments of minor introspection as they recognize some uncomfortable grains of truth, and the Mentor himself uses the phrase later on.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Iden shoots Lux... only for it to be revealed later that she merely stunned him, rather than have fatally killed him.
  • Becoming the Mask: All members of Inferno Squad save for Hask struggle with this due to spending months undercover with the Dreamers. Del strikes up a genuine friendship with Piikow, Seyn's feigned feelings for Sadori end up turning genuine, and Iden ends up developing more sympathy for the Dreamers and especially the Mentor than she's comfortable with, and is horrified at their deaths upon the completion of their mission.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: All Dreamers carry explosives on them, so that in case a mission goes bad they can kill themselves and whoever tries to capture them. Also, when she accidentally blows her cover, Seyn throws herself on Iden's knife in order to spare herself from being interrogated and Iden from having to torture her.
  • Bittersweet Ending/Downer Ending: Hask takes it on himself to kill the remaining Dreamers, which devastates Iden and Del, Seyn is killed, Iden comes back to find out her mother died while she was gone, and she and Meeko have grown closer while she and Hask have drifted farther apart. However, Iden faked Lux's death and appears to have gained some understanding about rebels and how they are people too.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Lux returns after having last appeared in the Onderon arc from The Clone Wars and receiving mentions in Rebel Rising.
    • Lassa Rhayme returns after her only appearance in Kindred Spirits.
  • Continuity Lockout: Not required to understand the entire novel, but you may have a better understanding of the Dreamers' actions and thought process if you've read Rebel Rising.
  • Call-Back:
    • Some characters from Rebel Rising return as enemies of Inferno Squad.
    • Iden notices a Y-Wing racing back to the Yavin base right before the Death Star blows up. Presumably, it's Evaan.
    • Admiral Versio acknowledges that it was the Empire's fault for not keeping a closer eye on Galen.
    • Staven from Rebel Rising is revealed to be alive, having been believed to be dead which is why Jyn is told in the Rogue One novelization that he died. Considering in Rebel Rising, characters had also believed Jyn had died when she was instead abandoned by Saw, this implies that the Partisans consider being lost as good as dead.
    • Kage Warriors from The Clone Wars return and their oppression by the Belugans is mentioned.
  • Canon Immigrant:
    • Imperial Universities did exist in Legends, with the University of Coruscant being taken over by the Empire as well. Iden and Gideon are said to have graduated from Coruscant Imperial University, which seems to not be the same entity as the Royal Imperial Academy.
    • Meeko served on the Implacable, which was from the X-Wing Series.
  • Cerebus Call-Back: Remember how Saw's last words were "Save the Rebellion! Save the dream!"? Well, the Partisans that have rogue are calling themselves the Dreamers...
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Covers Always Lie: The cover shows the members of Inferno Squad in their unique Red and Black and Evil All Over military uniforms, heavily armed and looking out over a wartorn battlefield. In reality, almost all of the novel takes place while they're undercover in the Dreamers and they never get their iconic outfits during the novel, and Seyn never even survives to the point where Inferno Squad did get their uniforms and become a more frontline military unit.
  • Cross-Referenced Titles: Once again, a Battlefront novel title is named after the military unit it revolves around.
  • Double Agent: All of the members of Inferno Squad become this for most of the book as they go undercover in the Dreamers. Seyn also discovers Azen might be one for the ISB, having been planted in the Dreamers by them prior to Inferno Squad's infiltration. However, his true loyalties remain unrevealed.
  • Dramatic Irony: When Admiral Versio introduces Inferno Squad to each other, Iden thinks about protecting Seyn, but shakes the thought off because they're both grown women that can take care of themselves. Seyn dies and Iden feels guilty about it.
  • Elite Mook: What Inferno Squad is described as in the summary.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Promotional material for the single player campaign of Battlefront II at the time of the book's release only showed Iden, Gideon, and Del. So, where's Seyn? Dead.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The Mentor was close to Saw and Steela, and he mentions how he used to be a Separatist, then a member of the Republic, and it gets pretty obvious who it is.
    • One mission that Inferno Squad and the Dreamers work on has them kill a corrupt Imperial official who profited off deadly water pollution. They pretend to serve some of the contaminated water to his family, and when the man reacts in grief and horror, berate him for only caring about how awful his actions are when his loved ones are being hurt. In Star Wars Battlefront II (2017), after all of the morally gray or outright cruel things that Iden condones or participates in, the incident that finally destroys her loyalty to the Empire is when it tries to destroy her home planet.
  • Interspecies Romance: Sadori, a Kage, develops romantic feelings for the human Seyn throughout the novel which she pretends to reciprocate as part of her cover, though Sadori's death proves Seyn really had developed feelings for him.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: As the book not only takes place after A New Hope, but is also a sequel to both that and Rogue One, it is assuming that you've watched the latter especially.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: So you've the Inferno Squad from the Empire, versus the morally-questionable Partisans. The Inferno Squad's purpose is to destroy the rebels, particularly the Partisans, with permission to harm innocent Imperial bystanders if the mission demands it. The Partisans, now in chaos, have always been less than kind to even civilians, the injured and defenseless, and the people they're supposed to be allies with. But to be fair, one could consider the Inferno Squad to be ridding a threat to the not just the Empire, but to the galactic masses as a whole; the Partisans are still fighting against the Empire, who are pretty off the rails too...
  • Mirroring Factions: It is repeatedly made clear that most of the Dreamers and the Imperials who aren't Hate Sinks are eerily similar in that they both have high ideals that allow them to justify increasingly awful crimes in their own minds. This is best exemplified when Staven argues that killing the children at an Imperial school is a Necessary Evil because the culture that they're so deeply immersed in will raise them to be a future generation of unquestionably obedient murderers. Iden is unnerved to realize that this is almost exactly the same thing her father/commanding officer argued to advocate murdering the children of rebels.
  • Moral Myopia: A million deaths of Imperial soldiers killed by the Rebel Alliance aboard the Death Star are somehow, to Iden, more important than the billions of civilians who were murdered when the Death Star blew up Alderaan.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Seyn, when she realizes she just responded to a conversation held in a language her cover identity wasn't supposed to know.
  • Protagonist Title: The protagonists are Inferno Squad.
  • Serendipitous Survival: Iden only survives the Battle of Yavin and the explosion of the Death Star because she chased after a fleeing Evaan. She didn't know the Death Star could and would explode, so if she didn't go after Evaan...
  • Spy Fiction: Ultimately what the novel turns out to be, since most of the plot occurs while Inferno Squad is undercover in the Dreamers working to take them down. Firmly in the Stale Beer category.
  • Synchronous Episodes: The novel begins in the closing minutes of the Battle of Yavin, particularly right before the Death Star blows up. Also, given that the story takes place right after A New Hope, it makes it concurrent with Princess Leia, Heir to the Jedi, and Smuggler's Run at the very least.
  • Villain Protagonist: The members of Inferno Squad are all hardline Imperials who see little problem in sacrificing innocent Imperial citizens to protect the Empire. That is, until Seyn almost dooms Inferno Squad's mission in order to prevent the murder of hundreds of Imperial teenage students.
  • Wham Line: Garrick revealing that the Dreamers are being led by escaped convict Staven, who was believed by the rest of the Partisans to have died according to the Rogue One novelization.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • The Mentor to the Dreamers, after they decide to cross the line of intentionally targeting innocent children.
    • Iden to Hask, after the latter executes every remaining Dreamer despite the mission not explicitly asking for it.
  • Would Hurt a Child/Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Staven organizes a bombing that would destroy a weapons factory and kill two Imperial dignitaries, but reveals that his actual target is the 400 teenage students present on site. Most of the group sees no problem with it. The Mentor is horrified and calls them as evil as the Empire, but is powerless to do anything to stop them. Iden pretends to agree with the plan because she can't stop it without breaking Inferno Squad's covers, but the disgust she actually feels makes her swear to make sure this is the last mission they will ever have to perform undercover with the Dreamers. And lastly, Seyn goes along with the plan at first but the enormity of what she's about to do hits her when she interacts with the doomed students, leading her to sabotage the mission at the last moment without telling anyone.
  • You Remind Me of X: The Mentor tells Iden that she reminds him of Steela.

Alternative Title(s): Star Wars Inferno Squad, Star Wars Battlefront II Inferno Squad