Welcome back to a new Expanding series from EU Cantina where I explore how the new continuity created by the Star Wars Rebels animated TV series fits in with the current Star Wars Expanded Universe. In this edition of Expanding Rebels we break down the characters, vehicles, and events revealed at the New York Comic Con: The Might of the Empire panel hosted by Pablo Hidalgo.
The primary setting of the show will be on the the poor Outer Rim frontier world Lothal and will be set 5 years Before the Battle of Yavin. The Empire has become a welcome change in the galaxy providing security and stability no matter the cost and looks to expand their territory by pushing into the Outer Rim for more resources.
At the Star Wars Rebels panel we were introduced to the new main villain of the series simply called The Inquisitor. He is a male Pau’an with tattoos influenced from ritualistic Sith markings and a unique dual bladed red lightsaber. Inquisitors in service of the Galactic Empire are not new to the Expanded Universe and come from pre-existing lore.
The Inquisitor in Rebels has similar facial tattoos to The Son, an incarnation of the Dark Side in the realm of Mortis first appearing in Overlords. He also looks very similar to the Sith Lord Darth Desolous from The Force Unleashed, also a Pau’an force user who formed an army of Pau’ans who fought and slew almost two thousand Jedi nearly 3,500 BBY.
During the Cold War era, Sith Inquisitors were one of the two Sith Empire-aligned Force user classes from Star Wars: The Old Republic and were involved with the politics of the Empire and the dark secrets of the Force. They were known to channel vast amounts of Dark Side Force energy to create massive storms of Force Lightning and expressed themselves by designing unique weapons that inspired fear. They favoured double-bladed lightsabers, much like The Inquisitor of Rebels.
During the Rise of the Empire era, the Inquisitorious was a secret division of the Imperial Intelligence Bureau that first appeared in Young Jedi Knights: The Rise of the Shadow Academy and consisted of dark side Force-sensitive agents known as Inquisitors or “truth officers.” Some Inquisitors such as Antinnis Tremayne originally appearing in The Longest Fall – Star Wars Adventure Journal 11 were under the control of Darth Vader, while others reported to Emperor Palpatine and outranked the Emperor’s Hand, Prophets of the Dark Side, and Dark Jedi. These Inquisitors were sinister Force using agents who hunted down and destroyed the last of Jedi.
The new AT-DP or All Terrain-Defense Pod is based on a Joe Johnston concept art for the AT-ST made for The Empire Strikes Back. This was the same art used for the AT-AR or All Terrain-Advance Raider first appearing in the The Bounty Hunter of Ord Mantell comic.
The Troop Transport also known as the RTT or Reconnaissance Troop Transport in the Expanded Universe was a toy released Kenner Products and first toy to never appear in the films. A story booklet that came with the toy explained that the vehicle never appeared on screen because it was used in the assault against the Sandcrawler that had carrier R2-D2 and C-3P0. The Troop Transport also made appearances in Marvel’s Star Wars comics starting with Star Wars 31: Return to Tatooine.
The events of Rebels will be taking place 14 years after Revenge of the Sith which works out to be 5 BBY. There are several stories based at that time and one of them included The Hutt Gambit, the second book The Han Solo Trilogy by the late A. C. Crispin. This story detailed how Han Solo and Chewbacca came to be partners, how Han got started into the smuggling business, how he met Lando, and how started working for Jabba the Hutt.
Another story from that year was Jabba the Hutt: The Art of the Deal which details a series of negotiations and deals set up by Jabba with Gaar Suppoon and other seedy members of society. The short story from Star Wars Tales #2: Routine showed Han Solo’s run in with the Imperial ship, The Vigilant, smuggling spaceships across Imperial space. Finally, according to the Star Wars 1313 creative director Dominic Robilliard, 1313 was reportedly based roughly 5 years before A New Hope.
“Just today I witnessed a new recruit hit his head on a blast door during maneuvers. Blasted idiots!”
After the Clone Wars ended, Clone Troopers basically stopped production and the ranks of Stormtroopers were made up of patriotic citizens who volunteered. The Clone Troopers had too much individualism and the Emperor decided they could find better loyalty from patriots who volunteered.
Since Clone Troopers age twice as fast as normal humans, we can judge how old they were at the time of Rebels. According to The Essential Guide to Warfare, the first batch of two millions clones were formed in 32 BBY which makes them 20 years of age at the time of Attack of the Clones, 26 at the end of Revenge of the Sith, and 54 at the start of Rebels. In Attack of the Clones we saw a batch of adolescent clones and another batch of embryos in the Kaminoan cloning chambers. If we are to assume those clones we saw in AOTC were the last ones grown for the Republic, this would make these batches 44 and 34 years of age come Rebels if allowed to mature and be used as Imperial Stormtroopers.
During the Clone Wars, the ranks of the Grand Army of the Republic grew thin and Kamino couldn’t keep up with the demand. In The Clone Wars: Defenders of the Republic, Lama Su stated they were stretching Jango Fett’s DNA to produce new clones and new donors were suggested.
In Order 66: A Republic Commando Novel, we saw Chancellor Palpatine secretly develop a new cloning operation on Centax-2 using more efficient Spaarti technology and Arkanian Clone Masters. In a matter of a year and through flash-learning modules, this program produced millions of clone troopers ready for deployment at the Battle of Coruscant in 19 BBY and be used to help defeat the Jedi during Operation: Knightfall. These Spaarti clones would then be assimilated into the 501st Legion and Coruscant Guard’s shock troopers.
The term “stormtrooper” was officially adopted by all clone troopers shortly after the formation of the Galactic Empire and the Stormtrooper Corps was formed from the original clone army of the Republic. The Essential Guide to Warfare stated that the Empire ended the Republic tradition of unit markings and armour customization and the Stormtroopers retained simple white Phase II battle armour until the new Stormtrooper armour became standard.
The Empire banned the creation of clone soldiers and many other cloning facilities across the galaxy to keep a monopoly on its existing cloning facilities as revealed in Pax Empiricia – The Wookiee Annihilation. In Battlefront II, the clone facilities on Kamino were occupied by the Empire to ensure the continued production of clone troopers but the Kaminoans created a secret army of Jango Fett clones to fight the Empire. This incident causes Palpatine to consider production of soldiers from various non-Fett templates as well as volunteers.
When Palpatine began looking for new sources for his Stormtrooper Corps, one of the programs he had tested was the GeNode Program which conditioned the clones to believe they had artificial memories and names but fell out of favour due to psychological instability. We first saw the Empire activity recruiting patriots shortly after the events of Revenge of the Sith in Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader when it is mentioned there are Imperial academies gaining recruits in the Mid Rim, while in Allegiance, Imperial recruiters came to Copperline in 10 BBY.
Some of the clones still believed in the system and went on to become trainers whilst others became discarded by a society that never really cared for then to begin with. In a The Force Unleashed II data entry, Commander CC-2224 ‘Cody’ became bitter and nostalgic due to the military’s decline in effectiveness since they started recruiting citizens for the Stormtrooper ranks. He regarded the enlisted troopers as “idiots” and an embarrassment to the legacy of the Grand Army of the Republic.
That’s all I have for this edition of Expanding Rebels. Comment below and let me know if I missed anything or what you think of the new continuity set to be brought with Rebels. Make sure to keep an eye out on EUCantina for the latest Expanding Rebels articles as well as new Expanding the Clone Wars when the bonus content is released in 2014. You can catch me discussing Star Wars Rebels on Rebels Report: A Star Wars Rebels Podcast on iTunes for more insight and news from the Rebels TV show.