[WARNING: Article contains spoilers for Battlefront II: Inferno Squad and the Battlefront II video game. Read at your own risk.] With characters like Rey, Leia, Vice Admiral Holdo, and Rose Tico, Disney and Lucasfilm seem to have made a concerted effort to include more, stronger, female lead characters in the new films. If that was the goal, why then did they waste a character like Iden Versio on a video game?
We were first introduced to Iden Versio, an ace TIE pilot in the Imperial Navy, in Christie Golden’s 2017 novel Battlefront II: Inferno Squad, the tie-in to the release of the Battlefront II video game. In the novel Iden’s father, Admiral Garrick Versio, tasks Iden to command Inferno Squad, an elite special-ops squad of Imperial officers.
Their mission is to infiltrate a Rebel splinter cell, gather intel, and destroy it from within. To do so, Iden must pretend to abandon everything she believes in and become the face of the Rebels; a traitor to the Empire. Versio carries out her mission, but not before her experiences affect her. Iden’s time with the Rebel cell known as the Dreamers plant the seeds of her eventual defection. Disillusion, suspicion and skepticism fill Iden’s head with respect to the Empire’s intentions.
Iden Versio: Traitor to the Empire
Her story continues into the Battlefront II video game single-player narrative, when Versio finally comprehends the breadth of the Empire’s cruelty as her own home world of Vardos is targeted for devastation. Versio and fellow Inferno Squad member Del Meeko defect from the Empire and join the Rebellion, eventally fighting for the Alliance in the Battle of Jakku.
The downloadable content epilogue to the game, Resurrection, fast-forwards to the era of the new film trilogy; Iden has a daughter, Zay, who’s joined her mother in serving the Resistence. Sadly, Iden is mortally wounded during a mission to steal the plans for the First Order Dreadnaught. That leaves her legacy to her daughter.
Iden Versio is an intriguing and complex character. She could have brought so much more the Star Wars cinematic universe. Especically if portrayed by the voice and motion-capture actress behind the character, Janina Gavankar.
Disney wasted an opportunity with Iden Versio. Zay rocketed off to the Outer Rim in search of allies at Leia’s request at the end of Resurrection. Perhaps she’ll make an appearance in Episode IX.