Welcome one and all to the final chapter of my interview with the legends of Rogue Squadron. Today we discuss one of the most challenging tasks the legendary squadron took it upon themselves to complete: the Bacta War!
“Let’s talk about the Bacta War,” I said, moving onto the final topic of the interview. “What was this book, really?”
“Propaganda,” Asyr Sei’lar said.
“Propaganda,” Ooryl Qyrgg agreed.
“Propaganda,” General Tycho Celchu nodded.
“An excuse to stop telling stories about us,” Commander and Jedi Knight Corran Horn disagreed.
“And start telling stories about everybody else the Republic’s authors were neglecting,” General Wedge Antilles added.
“Do we really need to get Booster [Terrick] into this?” Commander Horn said with a half-joking groan.
“If The Bacta War is to be believed, there was more traffic at your secret base than there is on Four Thousand and Twenty First Street at rush hour,” I commented. “Is there any truth to that?”
“Well, people did seem to join up a lot,” Tycho Celchu said, “but I don’t think there were quite as many mysterious and unexplained appearances on base as readers were led to believe.
“We elite pilots do believe in some modicum of security,” Asyr Sei’lar added.
“Actually, I just let everybody in and let Booster and Corran sort them out,” Antilles deadpanned, before breaking into laughter as Jedi Horn stared at him, incredulously.
“From a writing standpoint, the events of this book are awfully convenient,” I commented to the group. “Nawara Ven gets a short explanation as to why he’s not flying, and then seems to take a vacation. Flirry Vorru, who’s been impressed upon us as an independent villain on Coruscant, suddenly becomes a lacky of Isard’s on Thyferra.”
“Yeah, I can’t defend that,” Wedge Antilles commented. “That’s about the way it came off on flimsi, and it didn’t have to.”
“That whole Flirry Vorru thing was ridiculous,” Corran Horn added. “It’s like he had no idea what faction he was a part of, and neither did anybody else. I still can’t believe we gave him a New Republic government position.”
“You can tell his story wasn’t exactly biographical when he played all sides against each other like he was Grand Admiral Thrawn and won a stare down with [Ysanne] ‘Ice Heart’ [Isard],”Asyr Sei’lar added.
“Don’t even get me started on ‘Ice Heart’,” Commander Horn said, “She went from a diabolical, if slightly panicky, Empress of half the galaxy to barely being able to run a planetary government and its accompanying corporation.” Villain Degradation was indeed a marked difference between The Bacta War and the earlier books featuring the Squadron; Ysanne Isard in particular seems to have had a scheming lobotomy en route to Thyferra, and even Erisi Dlarit seems to have taken up a new career as generic thug, which offers considerably less class features than Heir to the Xucphra Fortune.
In fact, this new mainstreamism seems to have effected a lot of individuals. When asked about Talon Karrde, Wedge Antilles commented that “I think he was trying to impress someone- maybe Booster.”
Corran Horn added, “Mirax [Horn, formerly Terrick] mentioned to me that Talon [Karrde]’s speaking was off, almost as though he were preoccupied with something else throughout our meetings. It drove me nuts and I never figured out what it was, except that it had nothing to do with killing all of us.”
And so ends our interview. I’ll spare you the parting words- it was much less of a “last hurrah” than The Bacta War was, though with just as much room for sequels. You might find the last exchange between myself and Wedge Antilles interesting, though:
“By the way,” the General called me by name. “The Wraiths are going to have to turn your offer down for next month,” he said, referring to an interview that he had previously accepted without reservations. “They might be… busy, away from the Core.” Read into that what you will, dear readers.
“And if you want to know how much propaganda The Bacta War really was,” Antilles added as he walked out the door, “I want you to take the rest of the day and think of other reasons why Mimban possibly could have been mentioned in the book.” I spent the better part of a week on this puzzle, as the crossword team can testify, and I never came up with an answer.