Here’s Part 9 of endnotes for The Essential Guide to Warfare.
CHAPTER 12: IN THE EMPIRE’S SERVICE
The intro here is one of the more tactics-focused sections of the book, helped immeasurably by Paul Urquhart and resurrecting material from the Imperial Sourcebook. I was happy that the end result discussed tensions between rival camps of Imperial strategists, particularly with regards to the proper role of starfighters and carriers, and explored the technological thrusts and parries of the Galactic Civil War. That was a lot to pack into two-thirds of a page, but I think we pulled it off.
Armory: TIE Fighters: Can I just say how irritating it is that T.I.E. fighters and TIE fighters are different things? Speaking of which, we capitalized TIE/LN, TIE/AD etc. to eliminate the confusion between ln (el-en) and In (eye-en). Stop thinking about all that and look at Bruno Werneck’s awesome painting of Rebel forces in a whole mess of trouble.
More seriously, it was fun to trace the evolution of the TIE from the basic model through Vader’s prototype to the TIE interceptor, with a nod to the ancient Sith and their designs. Note here that the TIE’s evolution after Episode IV becomes the latest iteration of the aforementioned ideological clash within the Imperial military about the value of fighters and how best to use them.
War Portrait: Baron Fel: Fel’s one of the more interesting EU characters, and I struggled with how to do justice to him, worried that a recitation of his career would be flat and dull compared to Dark Horse’s X-Wing #25, which I think is one of the greatest tales of the EU. I cracked the puzzle – or at least I hope I did — with the by-now-familiar tactic of taking a step back and seeing him through other eyes. Wedge was the logical choice to tell Fel’s story, as he’s not only a fellow pilot but also a fellow Corellian.
Han Solo’s Military Service: This section was one of the first things I knew I wanted to write once Warfare became my project — as a sucker for Navy pomp and circumstance, I always loved the scene in which Han gets his saber broken and his dress uniform shredded. (It’s in The Hutt Gambit, though the first references to it are way back in Brian Daley’s awesomer-than-awesome Han Solo at Stars’ End. Plus I seem to recall it’s somewhere else too.) Anyway, Warfare’s account of Han’s career is woven together from multiple sources, with a few retcons and some new material I hope will be a treat for Solo fans. It’s also something of a bookend to the explanation of the sometimes-tortuous Academy system. It was fun trying to capture the voice of Voren Na’al, narrator of many a West End Games sidebar. Dean Wyrmyr is indeed a reference to the despised authority figure from Animal House, but I can’t claim credit: The gag dates back to the Dark Empire Sourcebook.
By the way, I know Han’s said to have graduated at the top of his class, but I’ve never felt it was right for the character – Han’s no fool, but he’s far more likely to impress you behind a stick than behind a desk. (For a time-lapse look at how Chris Scalf’s awesome illustration came to life, go here.)
Fighter Pilot Slang: A mix of existing EU lore, real-world pilot slang given a Star Wars twist, and stuff I made up. I used a liberal helping of this stuff in “The Guns of Kelrodo-Ai,” the Shea Hublin story in Star Wars Insider #132.
War Portrait: Shea Hublin: Ah, there he is. I was always intrigued by Hublin, who appears briefly in the old Russ Manning comic “Princess Leia, Imperial Servant” bearing the ominous title of the Rebel Destroyer. For the Insider story, I wanted to accomplish two things: 1) have the protagonist be a bad guy who doesn’t know he’s a bad guy; and 2) tell a story where pilots can only succeed by flying slowly.
Here’s the rest of Hublin’s tale — the story of a man whose reaction to being shunted aside was to compartmentalize his disappointment and stay loyal to those who’d been loyal to him. I can imagine him putting on his old medals, kissing Eris goodbye and hopping on the Eriadu-Phelarion shuttle. He settles into his seat, sighs, and hopes this fete of Lady Tarkin’s isn’t as boring as the last one.
CHAPTER 13: THE ORIGINS OF REBELLION
The Formation of the Rebellion: There’s a story here that hasn’t really been told – of an early, armed rebellion against the Empire that was fought conventionally and crushed, setting the stage for the clandestine revolution we see in the movies. I also liked the way the ruin of the Secession Worlds sets up the never-ending tensions between Mon Mothma and other Rebel leaders, as explored in the EU.
Alliance Command: A mix of government stuff from the Rebel Alliance Sourcebook and military stuff made coherent by Paul. Note the nod to The Clone Wars TV show and its Separatist parliament, used here as a part of the explanation for why Mothma rejected the idea of a government-in-exile. Throughout Warfare, I tried to stay aware of how the Rebels were or weren’t like their Separatist predecessors. Imperial propaganda would have hammered on any similarities between the two, creating repeated political traps for the Rebel leadership.
War Portrait: Juno Eclipse: A section added very late in the project, at the insistence of super-editor Erich Schoeneweiss, over my objections. As usual, Erich was correct. Imagining it as a conversation between Admiral Ackbar and his niece unlocked it for me: Ackbar’s experiences and our knowledge of Jesmin’s fate give it a sorrowful resonance that I think a straight retelling would have lacked.
Separatists, Imperial Defectors and Other Rebels: A lot of material along these lines got cut from the book, but I’m glad this piece survived – as I mentioned above, the likely links between the Separatists and the Rebels have long struck me as an intriguing subject. I think the sharply different positions and philosophies of Mothma, Organa and Bel Iblis are all believable and consistent with their characterizations elsewhere. Most of the former Separatists here are new creations, though the tensions between Rebel leaders are well-established, as is the bloody fighting in Atravis sector. On further review, the Navy generationals who became Imperial defectors or “benign neglectors” really deserved their own section.
Debriefing: Rebel Troopers: The discussion of the Rebels’ outfits and those of Alderaan’s defense troops is a mild retcon, my attempt to walk back any idea that they were one and the same. In-universe, that would have been a political disaster for Alderaan, for which the Empire was quite literally an existential threat; out of universe, I’m bothered by things that make the Star Wars galaxy seem smaller than it should be. I hope the ironic note about the Empire effectively outfitting Rebel irregulars elevates this from a crabby retcon to something more intriguing.
(And on to Pt. 10)