Introducing the Titan Leader himself: Varko Grey.
In "Hunted," a new computer-generated short film from Lucasfilm, Industrial Light & Magic, Motive Studios, and Electronic Arts for the upcoming game Star Wars: Squadrons, we meet Varko Grey, a TIE Interceptor pilot and the leader of Titan Squadron, in the middle of a devastating battle against the New Republic, evidence of the beginning of the end for the Empire after the destruction of the second Death Star.
More details about the character were released today to accompany the short. Revealed in Grey's new databank entry on StarWars.com, he is LGBT+. The entry reads:
Beating the odds to survive battle after battle – much to the relief of his husband Emory – Grey's skills and experience eventually earned him a promotion to Titan Leader.
This representation is exciting! Besides being LGBT+, Varko Grey is also an East Asian man.
Grey is a main character in the single-player mode. As a new recruit, you will join Grey and the other members of Titan Squadron for missions when you play on the Imperial side.
I think it's really great that we're getting a major character that is intentionally named as a member of the LGBT+ community. Grey is not a minor or background character, and his sexuality is not merely hinted at or suggested vaguely. Grey is in an established relationship. I'm excited to see if having a partner—a family—plays into his decisions and personality. I hope we learn more about who Emory is, too.
In the CG short, Grey desperately tries to survive pursuit by a snarky New Republic X-wing pilot after he is abandoned by his commander.
It's nearly seven minutes of exciting, heart-thumping action and cinematic, sweeping shots. We're given a first look at a new planet, Var-Shaa. Grey finds himself on one of its beaches by the end of the short, looking weary and defeated.
However, Grey dusts himself off, replacing his helmet with newfound resolve to keep fighting for his Empire. "It's not over yet," he says aloud, of the war. "Not for me." This is likely where we'll meet him in the game, still leading Titan Squadron. That also means Grey made it back home to Emory again.
Grey has steadfast loyalty to the Empire, it seems. Interestingly, Grey's databank entry also includes this line:
Over the years, Grey has wrestled internally with the Empire's methods, but he's seen too many TIE pilots sacrifice their lives for Imperial ideals to reject them now.
With the Empire crumbling after each defeat and failed mission, I wonder if we'll see Grey question those Imperial ideals even more. Does the increasing risk of not making it back home outweigh the fight to keep the Empire alive? Or is Grey committed even more to his beliefs?