About 26 seconds into EA's new trailer for Star Wars Battlefront II, you hear a very familiar voice: "The Rebellion must be crushed," it declares. "Resistance. Rebellion. You will burn these ideas away." It's clearly the Emperor... but didn't we just watch the second Death Star go kablooey?
Yes. He's very dead. But overconfident as he was, Palpatine prepared for a day like this. And those who read Marvel's Star Wars: Shattered Empire #2 by Greg Rucka may recall the four-page debut of the Messenger, who basically looks like a crimson-robed version of the Spider-Man villain Mysterio... but with more fashion sense.
Actually an Imperial Sentinel droid, the Messenger lives up to his name by relaying a recording from Palpatine, whose prune face replaces the black screen the Messenger calls his head. The dialogue may ring a bell if you've watched the Battlefront II trailer 1,138 times: "Resistance. Rebellion. Defiance. These are concepts that cannot be allowed to persist, Captain [Duvat]. You are but one of many tools by which these ideas shall be burned away."
The Messenger doesn't have a whole lot more to say in the comic, but he does state, "You, and a handful of others unknown to you, have been selected for a particular honor." It would appear that one of the others unknown to Captain Duvat is Battlefront II protagonist Iden Versio, leader of Inferno Squad, and we get a taste of her version of this in the trailer.
In fact, attendees of the Battlefront II panel at Celebration were treated to an unreleased behind-the-scenes piece that shows a little more Messenger action than the trailer does. Specifically, this – verbatim: "Operation: Cinder is to begin at once."
Does Operation: Cinder drive the events of the next 30 years for Iden and Inferno Squad? And does the Messenger play a bigger role in Battlefront II than its four pages of glory in Shattered Empire? We'll have to wait until November to know for sure.
But to hazard a guess: Yes, and probably not.