2015 was a huge year for the Star Wars franchise. In the span of just a couple of months, the saga got its first major jumpstart in over a decade. The Force Awakens hit theaters in December. Prior to that was the much-anticipated return to gaming with Star Wars: Battlefront. Lost in the media fanfare of the film and game releases, however, was something else. There was the tie-in novel Battlefront: Twilight Company, written by Alexander Freed.
Now, the success rate of video game tie-ins and cross-overs with mainstream media has, over the course of the last twenty years or so, been hit or miss at best. Let’s not forget the debacle that was Doom in 2005. Actually, on second thought, yes, let’s forget it. (Ironically, Dwayne Johnson can claim fame to one of the worst video game cross-overs and also one of the best. According to Rotten Tomatoes, the recently released Rampage pulled down a score of 52% fresh.)
What Twilight Company Brings to Star Wars
So how did publisher Del Rey fare with Twilight Company? There are many who feel that Star Wars should be more than just Skywalker family dysfunction. For us, Twilight Company didn’t just impact on the surface; it was a direct hit.
The novel is based on, and released together with the new Battlefront video game, Twilight Company. It follows Sergeant Namir and the soldiers of the Alliance 61st Mobile Infantry from before the Battle of Yavin through the scattering of the Rebel fleet after the Battle of Hoth. Twilight Company introduces us to the “non-hero” heroes of the Rebel Alliance. In doing so it paints a grim picture of the Galactic Civil War from a soldier’s perspective. Throughout, the book provides an emotional and often gut-wrenching telling of the atrocities of the war. We only see get to see bits and pieces of that in the feature films.
The novel is a necessary and stark reminder that the story of Star Wars encompasses more than just the Skywalker family’s effect on the galaxy. Star Wars needs to be more than Skywalker; here’s hoping that Episode IX, and more, enthralling, written works along the lines of Battlefront: Twilight Company, continue to reveal to us all that Star Wars can be.