EA and DICE officially announce Star Wars Battlefront 2, confirming the game will star a female protagonist. The upcoming first-person shooter will also feature a story campaign, addressing concerns that its predecessor mostly offered multiplayer gameplay.
Star Wars Battlefront 2 continues the trend of female lead characters in Star Wars properties with Princess Leia, Rey, Jyn Erso and Padme Amidala being some of best-known and most well liked characters (of any gender) in the franchise.
Star Wars Battlefront 2 Female Protagonist, Story Campaign, Release Date Revealed
When it arrives on PC, PS4 and Xbox One on November 17, Star Wars Battlefront 2 will feature a single player campaign. This story introduces fans to a new female protagonist called Iden Versio (played by Janina Gavankar from The L Word and True Blood.)
However, Iden isn’t a protagonist in the traditional sense of the word as she is actually a commander in the Inferno Squad, an Imperial special forces unit “equally lethal on the ground and in space.” In the Star Wars films, the Empire has always been positioned as the bad guys versus the good guys of the Rebellion so it is highly unusual that the hero of this story is fighting for the Empire and is actively seeking destruction of the Rebels (after the Death Star 2 is destroyed.)
Star Wars creator George Lucas has himself stated that the Empire is based on the Nazis and has referred to the Imperial officers in The Empire Strikes Back as such (via the official Star Wars website.) And in these times of political uncertainty, with Nazis appearing to have a resurgence of support and with people normalising fascist attitudes, it is plenty concerning that Battlefront 2 never describes the Empire as the “bad guys” or suggests that Iden is a villain, according to game director Mark Thompson.
The optics (and really, the politics) of a woman of colour being the face of that narrative is enough to raise eyebrows. And although the game doesn’t explicitly state that Iden Versio is doing wrong, anyone who has watched the Star Wars films is likely to think she’s on the wrong side of (fictional) history and she could also struggle to be likeable as a result.
EA and DICE promise that Star Wars Battlefront 2‘s campaign will be “a story of revenge, betrayal, and redemption that spans 30 years” and fans have already begun to speculate that the female protagonist will have a change of heart during her lifetime and the course of the game.
It’s also being penned by Walt Williams, the same writer behind the morally grey shooting (but exceedingly well-written) game Spec Ops: The Line which does inspire hope that however Iden Versio’s story plays out, it will be handled with care.
Star Wars Battlefront 2 will be released on November 17 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.