Star Wars is Expanding the Imperial Side of Things, and That’s Good


At Star Wars Celebration Orlando this weekend, it seemed like the franchise continued an apparent trend of telling some villainous stories.

Grand Admiral Thrawn and Grand Moff Tarkin share something other than being servants of the Empire. Both of them already have books named after them and starring them in the ever-growing world of newly canon Star Wars books. Star Wars: Thrawn just came out last week, welcoming Timothy Zahn into the new canon. Inferno Squad, a third book, drops this summer. In fact, that title may be most important of all. Why?

Because it’s also a prequel to Star Wars Battlefront II, as you can already see on its official Amazon page, though the cover hasn’t changed just yet. (Del Rey itself does have the new cover, though.)

Speaking of Battlefront II, if you haven’t seen the trailer yet, check it out below:


Even though Darth Maul, Luke Skywalker, and more show up in that trailer, io9 reports that the main character is Iden Versio, a member of the Inferno Squad. The official Star Wars site has also confirmed that Captain Phasma will have a book of her own detailing her adventures.

So why is this a good thing and not a horrible direction for the franchise to take? Certainly, at its heart, Star Wars is about good and evil. But even Darth Vader eventually had some shades of gray and even an outright heroic moment. Giving someone like Thrawn a book of his own, or making the heroine of the next big-budget video game an Imperial, throws in more complexity to the universe, making it more nuanced.

And, to speak more about Darth Vader, we might know that Luke Skywalker’s the hero of the original trilogy, but we don’t see toasters shaped like his head, do we? (No, really, there’s a Darth Vader toaster.) There’s something alluring and fascinating about going over to the dark side, even if it is just in the realm of fiction.

It also helps that much of the Star Wars fanbase has grown up with the franchise, and seems willing to explore the other side of the story.

Besides, who doesn’t like humming “The Imperial March” on occasion?

Next: Is Rey the Main Hero of the Star Wars Franchise Now?

What do you think of Star Wars telling some darker stories in other forms of media? Tell us in the comments below.