Star Wars: Squadrons makes numerous references to characters and places, most of which the game just expects you to know.
Taking place after the events of Return of the Jedi, Star Wars: Squadrons sees the freshly formed New Republic face off against the now emperor-less Galactic Empire. You take control of two pilots, both on opposing sides of the conflict, and fly for the Republic's Vanguard Squadron and Empire's Titan Squadron. Both in-between and during missions, you'll hear quite a few names and references that the game never explores or explains. To help you out, we've thrown together a quick glossary of people and places you'll hear about in Squadron's campaign.
As a quick heads-up, you don't need to know all of the following information to understand Squadron's campaign. A vast majority of the main characters are original creations that developer Motive made specifically for the game. But these are still just cool Easter eggs that are fun to know. Plus, we need the smallest of excuses to flex our knowledge of Star Wars' expanded universe.
Alphabet Squadron was first introduced in the 2019 Star Wars novel of the same name. The group is one of the first of its kind, a squadron composed of different types of ships. Previous rebel squadrons were primarily solely composed of one type of ship, whether X-Wing, Y-Wing, B-Wing, U-Wing, A-Wing, etc. But Alphabet Squadron is made up of all the letters.
Overseen by New Republic general Hera Syndulla, Alphabet Squadron tackles missions that no other squadron can--as their diverse assortment of ships allow them to handle everything from bombing runs to starfighter dogfights and everything in-between. Squadron's Vanguard Squadron seems to be inspired from Alphabet Squadron, as it's also composed of different starfighters.
Dragon Void Race
The Dragon Void Race is described as one of the oldest competitions in the Star Wars galaxy. It sees pilots have to fly between three predetermined planets, with the planets acting as mandatory pit stops for refueling. The race was first mentioned in 2016's Star Wars: Han Solo, a comic book series.
Daughter of Clone Wars hero General Cham Syndulla, Hera Syndulla is one of the earliest leaders of the Rebellion. She led a rebel cell composed of former Jedi (and her lover) Kanan Jarrus, his padawan Ezra Bridger, Mandalorian warrior Sabine Wren, Lasat survivor Garazeb Orrelios, and astromech droid Chopper, and succeeded in an insurgency on Lothal during the events of Star Wars: Rebels.
Hera would go on to become a general for the Rebellion, her new title is first mentioned during Star Wars: Rogue One. We actually see her as a general in Star Wars: Squadrons, now overseeing a secret project for the New Republic. Hera is one of the best pilots in the galaxy--her personal ship, the Ghost, was introduced during Rebels and seen again in both Rogue One and The Rise of Skywalker.
An Imperial special forces commando and commander of Inferno Squad, Iden Versio was a Galactic Empire loyalist until she learned of the purpose of Operation: Cinder, a secret project to be enacted in the wake of the Emperor's death. Iden went on to join the Rebellion, marry her crewmate, have a daughter, and help shape the New Republic. Her story is told in Star Wars Battlefront II, which seems to roughly take place at the same time as Star Wars: Squadrons.
Mimban is a swamp planet and home to the Mimbanese (that's the species of alien that Gunny is). The planet was largely ignored by the rest of the galaxy until the first year of the Clone Wars, when the Separatists learned that Mimban is an excellent source for mining. As heard in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the Republic sent the 224th, nicknamed the Mud Jumpers, to defend the Mimban. Years later, the 224th would return to Mimban as Imperial invaders to mine the planet's resources. The planet was first mentioned in The Clone Wars Season 1, Episode 5 "Rookies" and first appeared in Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Mirial is the home planet of the Mirialans (that's the species of alien that Keo is), though there's not much known about it. Other pieces of Star Wars media refer to the planet as cold and dry, which is likely why the planet was largely ignored throughout both The Clone Wars and Galactic Civil War--the planet doesn't provide any significant military advantage.
Mon Calamari, or Mon Cala for short, is a planet that's primarily composed of oceans. It's home to both the Mon Calamari and Quarren. Mon Cala was a hotbed during both the Clone Wars and Galactic Civil War, appearing as the location for battles in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith, and Star Wars: Squadrons.
Pazaak is a card game that's basically Star Wars' version of blackjack (the rules are different but the gist of both games are largely the same). Only, instead of trying to get as close to 21 without going over, in pazaak you're aiming for 20. Though it's been mentioned in plenty of different pieces of Star Wars media, it wasn't until BioWare's RPG, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, that we got to see the game in action.
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Though she did not command Darth Vader's respect like Tarkin, nor possess a powerful intellect like Thrawn, Rae Sloane clawed her way up to the top of the Imperial military hierarchy all the same. One of the Imperial survivors of the battle of Endor, Sloane remained composed even in the death of the Emperor. Her ability to calmly command even in grave situations, impressive military record, and ruthless strategies impressed the remains of Imperial command, and Sloane was ultimately promoted to Grand Admiral and leader of the Empire's entire fleet.
Grand Admiral Sloane would go on to lead several successful campaigns and became a prominent leader within the First Order. She also took a young Armitage Hux under her wing, and the man would take her teachings to go on and become the power-hungry antagonist that serves directly under Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens. Despite her role largely being directorial and behind the scenes, Sloane's influence is felt throughout the Star Wars saga post-Return of the Jedi, including Battlefront II.
The Skystrike Academy is one of the most prestigious Imperial starfighter flight schools--it's where the Empire's best TIE pilots learned how to fly. In Squadrons, Wedge mentions his time there, but you'll have to watch Star Wars: Rebels in order to actually see it.
Mitth'raw'nuruodo, or more commonly known as Thrawn, is one of the most infamous antagonists in the Star Wars universe--and one of the most popular amongst fans. One of the few alien officers in the Galactic Empire (tldr: Emperor Palpatine is super xenophobic and used the monstrosity of General Grievous as a means of perpetuating the idea of aliens being barbaric, and that's why pretty much only humans hold important positions in the Empire), Thrawn is a brilliant tactician who rose through the ranks to become a grand admiral.
Though most of Thrawn's best stories are no longer canon, the character is a prominent and terrifying threat in Star Wars: Rebels. If Ezra Bridger hadn't found a way to get rid of Thrawn, arguably the biggest threat to the Rebellion following the Emperor and Darth Vader, the rebels may have failed to stop the Empire. The New Republic is pretty lucky that Thrawn isn't around in Squadrons--dealing with Terisa Kerrill and Titan Squadron is hard enough.
First seen in A New Hope, Wedge Antilles flies alongside Luke Skywalker in Red Squadron against the first Death Star during the Battle of Yavin. He and Luke are the only two members of their squad to survive. Wedge would go on to join Rogue Squadron, who participated in the Battle of Hoth during The Empire Strikes Back. Wedge would continue to fight for the Rebellion and then for the New Republic for quite a while, including fighting alongside Vanguard Squadron in Star Wars: Squadrons.
Not always a freedom fighter, Wedge originally learned how to pilot a starfighter by attending the Imperial Skystrike Academy. As seen in Star Wars: Rebels, Wedge was able to leave the academy with the help of Sabine Wren, another former Imperial turned rebel who was a part of the cell led by Hera Syndulla. His escape from the Imperials can be seen in Rebels Season 3, Episode 4 "The Antilles Extraction."
Yrica Quell joined the Imperial Military in hopes of learning valuable knowledge and combat skills that she could take with her when she ultimately defected to the Rebellion. But then she grew to care for her Imperial colleagues and saw goodness in the Empire that the Rebellion propaganda hadn't mentioned, convincing her to stay. Years later however, like Iden Versio, she grew disillusioned with the Empire upon seeing it resort to Operation: Cinder, and decided to join the Rebellion.
Under General Hera Syndulla, Quell would go on to lead Alphabet Squadron--their first mission was the pursuit and destruction of the 204th Imperial Fighter Wing, Quell's squadron when she flew for the Empire. Quell would continue to fight the Empire as a starfighter pilot for the New Republic--she's regarded as one of the best pilots in the galaxy.