"The Voice of the Empire" is a Short Story set in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, written by Mur Lafferty and featuring illustrations from Jason Chan (League of Legends). It was first released in Star Wars Insider 170, which was released December 16, 2016.
On the day of the second annual Empire Day, HoloNet News Editor Mandora Catabe announces her retirement and is to be replaced by Eridan Wesyse, a strong supporter of the Empire. A reporter, Calliope Drouth, is to be promoted to senior reporter and dubbed the "Voice of the Empire", reluctantly accepting the position due to frustration with promotion of Imperial propaganda by her news network. She is assigned to report on the Imperial Ball on Coruscant later that night to build up the Empire's public image, but Mandora has other plans for Calliope.
Tropes in this story include:
- Call-Forward: The story takes place two years after the Clone Wars, so it takes place during Catalyst and serves as a prequel to Rogue One.
- Canon Immigrant: In Legends, the Imperial Ball was a party for Imperial politicians and supporters that was held every month. In new canon, the Imperial Ball is held every Empire Day. This was previously implied in Rebels, where Governor Pryce is mentioned to be celebrating Empire Day on Coruscant with Emperor Palpatine.
- Continuity Nod:
- Jedha being home to a ton of kyber crystals is something Calliope picks up on. We learn that Tifino is responsible for finding this huge cache in the first place.
- Project Celestial Power is mentioned, having been previously explored in Catalyst.
- The Mole: Calliope chooses to become this for Mandora and her "friends".
- Oh, Crap!: Due to being an old droid, X-0X glitches out during the Imperial Ball. When it faints, Krennic picks it up and offers to get his technicians to fix it, which if he had gotten his way, then Calliope's suspicious reports would've been busted. Fortunately, she manages to talk her way out of it by distracting Krennic with Wick asking about a promotion until X-0X recovers.
- Propaganda Machine: Characters like Mandora and Calliope are not happy that the HoloNet News is not being genuine and is not covering issues that should be brought to public light, like claiming Wookiees had "threatened" the peace the other day.
- Simultaneous Arcs: It takes place around/during the latter half of Catalyst.
- Token Good Teammate: House Organa presumably didn't want to go to the Imperial Ball since they're not avid supporters of the Empire, though Pol Treader says that they were busy.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Tifino has no idea that finding that cache of kyber crystals on Jedha will lead to the death of billions by an Imperial superweapon powered by kyber crystals almost two decades later.