Here’s Part 5 of endnotes for The Essential Guide to Warfare.
CHAPTER 6: FLASHPOINT: NABOO
The Rise of the Trade Federation: In this chapter we see galactic law and order decaying, with the Planetary Security Forces largely ineffective and the Trade Federation changing from a relatively noble institution to a prisoner of its own successes. This depiction fits with a lot of things, from the sense of institutional rot that pervades Episode I to the depiction of the Trade Federation in Rogue Planet. I also think having the Trade Federation begin as a positive force in galactic affairs and then decay into what we see in Episode I is more interesting than imagining an organization that was greedy and predatory from the start. Books like Warfare shouldn’t just be guides; they should tell good stories, too.
The idea that the Trade Federation blazed many of the routes into the outlying systems comes from Cloak of Deception, by James Luceno. Cloak is in my opinion one of the better EU novels out there, combining lots of interesting lore with a good story you don’t need a Masters in Star Wars to enjoy. But the idea that the Trade Federation knit together the Core and the outlying systems doesn’t fit with the rest of Star Wars history. So make that “many new routes” opened up by the Trade Explorer Corps. This is a good example of what I mean by following the spirit of a bit of lore despite taking issue with the letter of what it says.
The discussion of free trade zones and functional constituencies largely follows the Atlas; Darth Plagueis shows the Trade Federation amassing power through the seating of new systems in the Senate, which is a different path to power but one I think can work alongside the dynamics outlined here.
The Trade Defense Force: You’ll find some new KDY classes here, including a proper name for the mysterious Class 1000 cruiser from West End Games. I like Chris Scalf’s painting here a lot – particularly the reunited Gran family over there on the right.
The Gungan Grand Army: You can admit you didn’t read this page because you were too busy staring at Darren Tan’s awesome painting. It’s OK, Paul and I understand.
B1 Battle Droids: Follow the bouncing retcon! The battle droids originally looked like mechanical Neimoidians … when the Neimoidians had shriveled heads and long necks, as they do in Episode I concept art. When the Neimoidians became green-faced cousins of the Duros, the battle droids looked like Neimoidian skeletons, a creepy concept I always thought was cool. Except then Episode II showed us that the battle droids looked like mechanical Geonosians – the species we couldn’t know were their builders back in Episode I. These are the perils of keeping up with a saga that’s always in motion. I think the retcon here — which preserves the Episode I “truth” while acknowledging the Episode II reality — is satisfying without being too strained.
AAT (Armored Assault Tank) / Speeder Bikes and STAPS: Paul writes: “Along with the Battle Droid and Trade Federation Battleship descriptions, these are surviving parts of a wider set of Naboo essays that originally included the MTT and N1 as well as a detailed narrative of the invasion campaign. The AAT essay is basically what an Armory description should be, providing a comprehensive set of stats while conveying a sense of how the weapon is used. The STAP was more complicated, as I had to wangle together some slightly contradictory backstory details, describe the wider role of military speeder bikes, and handle the somewhat ambiguously used ‘swoop’ designation that kicked in with Shadows of the Empire. Above all, I hope this gives a sense of just how cool and well-designed the Trade Federation’s hardware actually is. And how brutal and efficient a battle-hardened droid army inherently must be.”
A cut that really hurt from this section: Moff Panaka meets Leia Organa at Hosk Station in 5 ABY to discuss the loyalties and potential fate of Naboo and the Chommell Sector. That was a lot of fun to write, with both characters thinking of secrets and whether or not to reveal them. Maybe someday….
CHAPTER 7: BEGIN, THE CLONE WAR DOES
The Grand Army of the Republic: Having the doomed Jedi visionary Sifo-Dyas hail from the Cassandran Worlds was one of those neat opportunities you seize if you notice the chance. (In Greek legend, Cassandra was a prophetess cursed to never have her prophecies believed.) I love Bruno Werneck’s picture of Jango and Kal Skirata because it nicely meshes the Republic Commando and The Clone Wars TV settings.
Some enterprising author could tell a great story around Kuat Drive Yards’ massive effort to create so many ships and systems in utter secrecy. How did KDY react internally? What questions did they ask? Did anyone object? Did anyone at KDY try to spill the beans to the Republic? Did KDY’s rivals ever find out about those huge contracts? Send spies to Rothana?
I always liked the ritual words of the clone troopers, originally from The Cestus Deception.
Note that three million clone troopers refers to Sifo-Dyas’s initial order. This was my way of addressing what I once called the “three millionth rail” of Star Wars authorship without creating a new number for military-minded fans to get angry about.
Debriefing: Clone Troopers: This section needed some massaging to account for the different treatment of ARC Troopers in Republic Commando and The Clones Wars TV show, as well as what happens to deficient clones.
Necessary but regrettable cuts here were an exploration of Kaminoan vs. Arkanian cloning techniques and a memo from a Kaminoan scientist discussing Jango Fett and humanity’s contradictions. The latter included a proposed answer to a question I’ve had for years: Why weren’t clone troopers engineered to be sterile?
Clone Trooper Rank Guide: Paul writes: “This section had to combine the basic four-color rank stripes from Attack of the Clones with the more complex grade system from ‘Guide to the Grand Army of the Republic’ in Star Wars Insider #84, as well as stray references to additional ranks in various novels, and it had to make them all work with the unit structure. I’d have liked to have done something with the unit formations, which real soldiers tell me are unrealistic, but I subtly hinted that the Kaminoans are a bit unrealistic and childlike in their liking for neat, obedient ranks of expendable troops. More on that when we get to the Empire….”
Republic Assault Ship / Republic Gunship: Paul writes: “I tried to describe these iconic vehicles from Attack of the Clones at their brightest and shiniest, a textual ‘hero shot’ or sorts to emphasize the way that the new army appeared to save the Republic, while also setting up the sharp-edged, shiny deadliness of the Empire. The sheer speed and size of the assault ship’s hyperdrive is from established canon, but emphasizing its importance helps to explain the ability of a relatively small clone army to hold the line, and the tactics that they use to do so.
“The name of the Nevoota Bee is a homage to the WW II aircraft carriers Hornet and Wasp, and also to an old in-joke from online fandom in the 1990s.
“It seems pretty obvious that the Republic Gunship is kept in the air by antigravity repulsors, like Luke’s landspeeder - but it might seem surprising that its forward thrust comes from a turbofan engine, a straightforward piece of real-world technology perfected during WW II… but that, again, is just like Luke’s landspeeder. I like that little detail, because it shows that, with one piece of sci-fi ‘magic’ (in this case, repulsorlifts), you don’t need to have super-sci-fi technology everywhere.
“The phrase ‘air cavalry,’ set at the end of the shiny optimism and strength of these paired Sensor Profiles, is a nod to Vietnam and Apocalypse Now.”
Clone Trooper Falls in a Hole: Fun to do. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.
(On to Pt. 6)