- "All in good time. First, we need to get clear of this awful little planet and out of the Jinata system."
- ―Azen Novaren, to Iden Versio
Vardos was a planet located in the Jinata system in the galaxy's Core Worlds home to Iden and Garrick Versio. It was described as an "Imperial utopia." The planet was notable for its diversity and loyalty, with even the planet's many alien inhabitants expressing faith in the Empire.
Vardos was the location of the Future Imperial Leaders Military Preparatory School. Iden attended the school from a young age, and upon graduation finished at the top of her class with honors.
By 34 ABY, Vardos was ruled by Protectorate Gleb who, with the help of the local Jinata Security Forces, was overseeing the process of rebuilding the planet, with the capital Kestro still uninhabited. Following Gleb's death at the hands of First Order Commander Gideon Hask and the First Order's attempt to put the planet under their direct rule, the Jinata Security rebelled against them.
- "Ah, Gannis Ducain. The famous gunrunner."
"Who... who are you? What is this place?"
- ―A male individual and Gannis Ducain
Located in the Jinata system of the Core Worlds, Vardos was populated with Imperial installations, training grounds and military bases, as well as housing millions of citizens loyal to the Empire. The stunning red soil of the planet could be seen from space, as can its mountain ranges and oceans. But the planet's jewel was Kestro, the capital city and Imperial hub. It was also the location of the Future Imperial Leaders Military Preparatory School, as well as the headquarters of Jinata Security.
During the Imperial Era, Garrick Versio joined the Empire and brought the Galactic Empire to Vardos. For this, he was honored as a hero and had a statue built for him. He was married to Zeehay Versio, an Imperial propagandist. They had a daughter named Iden who would go on to train as an Imperial soldier. Iden attended the Future Imperial Leaders Military Preparatory School where she met Gideon Hask and was mentored by Protectorate Gleb, the leader of Jinata Security.
Galactic Civil War
- "Vardos is our target?"
"One of them, yes."
"Why? The entire planet and it's people, they're- they're loyal to the Empire!"
- ―Admiral Garrick Versio and Commander Iden Versio
Following the destruction of the Death Star at the Battle of Yavin, Garrick Versio formed Inferno Squad and ordered them to infiltrate the Dreamers, a remnant of Saw Gerrera's Partisans. As part of the mission, Iden pretended to be a traitor to the Empire. Following her treasonous comments she was brought to Vardos to do hard labor. During this time she stayed at Gleb's house. Gleb knew about the mission and ensured that the Dreamers found her. The Dreamers eventually "rescued" her and her team succeeded in ending the Dreamers. During this time Zeehay died, but learned that Iden was not actually a traitor.
After the destruction of the second Death Star and death of the Emperor, the Emperor's contingency plan, Operation: Cinder began. Aboard the Eviscerator, above Vardos, Iden was briefed by Garrick Versio on Operation: Cinder. He sent Inferno Squad in their ship, the Corvus to the planet Fondor to receive climate disruption array satellites. Following a battle against a rebel attack, the satellites were secured on the Dauntless, which then traveled to Vardos. The Corvus arrived shortly later to find the satellites ready to attack Vardos. Iden was infuriated and barged onto the bridge of the Eviscerator where she was horrified when she learned that Admiral Versio had no problem with targeting Vardos, despite it being both his own homeworld and loyal to the Empire. The satellites were activated and Iden was sent with Inferno Squad to extract Protectorate Gleb from the planet as massively destructive storm systems were formed in minutes. The Corvus landed at Bay 2 and Inferno Squad headed for the Archive to extract Gleb. While walking they saw the stormtroopers struggling to control the population, who were uneasy about the storms and requesting to leave, requests which were denied and met with notices that all ships that attempted to leave without authorisation would be shot down.
As they approached the Archive, the storms increased in ferocity and Kestro was ravaged by lightning strikes. Inferno Squad began to argue amongst themselves about the morality of Operation: Cinder; Iden and Del Meeko were highly uncomfortable with the idea of massacring innocent civilians and loyal Imperials, but Hask was indifferent to their moral quandry as he believed the Empire could never be wrong in what it did. Upon reaching the Archive, they found Gleb and a large number of civilians sheltering from the storm, several of whom were almost crushed by falling debris from a lightning strike. Iden and Meeko decided to evacuate the civilians to the Corvus. However, Hask stopped them and refused to disobey orders. Hask attempted to fire upon Iden, but she shot him in the leg before he could. After Iden and Meeko left, Hask contacted Admiral Versio who ordered him to return Gleb to him while would deal with the traitors.
Iden and Meeko found death marks on their heads, forcing them to fight their way to safety. At the same time, the civilian population realised they were being left to die and erupted in rioting, many taking to their ships and trying to flee the planet. The Empire's anti-air batteries began firing on escaping civilian ships in response. Iden and Meeko stole an AT-AT and fought their way through numerous Imperial forces and destroyed the relay controlling the anti-air batteries. As they made their way to the Corvus, the walker was struck by lightning and destroyed, but the two rogue agents escaped unhurt and boarded the Corvus, fleeing Vardos alongside many escaping civilians. Meanwhile, Hask managed to return Gleb to the Admiral and received a promotion to Commander.
New Republic Era
- "Gleb scooped up Del when he stumbled onto Project Resurrection."
"Where is she?"
"You're not going to believe it."
- ―Shriv Suurgav and Iden Versio
Sometime after stealing the Millennium Falcon from Han Solo, Gannis Ducain went to Vardos to meet his employer, who told him that he would have big plans for him within the galaxy's new ruling order.
Due to Operation: Cinder, Vardos was left an uninhabited dead world, the former great cities being reduced to ghost towns covered in ash, an atmospheric run-off from the storms generated by the satellites. Following the Empire's defeat at Jakku, Vardos became a base for Project Resurrection; the kidnapping of children to convert to First Order stormtroopers. After the death of Meeko, who had learned about the Project on Pillio, Hask, now a First Order officer, returned to Vardos to set up a trap for his former Inferno Squad Commander. Iden, her friend Shriv Suurgav, and her daughter Zay, went looking for Meeko and eventually made their way to Vardos.
Believing Gleb had captured Meeko, Iden and Shriv moved to the Archive, the same place Inferno Squad was broken thirty years earlier, while Zay stayed on the Corvus. Shriv originally thought that the ash was snow until Iden explained that it was left over from Operation: Cinder. While making their way to the Archive, they witnessed the destruction of the Hosnian system in the sky, though neither knew what it was.
First Order takeover
- "Find out what they know about the Resistance and then burn the city."
- ―Gideon Hask, to his troopers
They both, however, correctly assumed that the First Order was responsible for it. When they reached the Archive, they found that Hask had killed Gleb. His troopers captured Iden and Shriv, while Hask explained the New Republic was now gone and that he murdered Meeko. He then forced them to watch his Resurgent-class Star Destroyer, the Retribution, blast the Corvus out of the sky in an effort to kill Zay. Hask ordered his troopers to find out what the pair knew about the Resistance and then burn the city to the ground.
As Iden and Shriv were being escorted, they managed to free themselves and found a battle taking place between Jinata Security and the First Order due to the death of Gleb at the hands of Hask. Iden and Shriv fought their way through the ruins of the city, being fired at by both members of Jinata Security and the First Order. They searched the ruins of the Corvus, eventually finding Zay. After clearing the area of opposition, they informed Zay about what happened to her father, Meeko. The trio then made plans to board the Retribution in order to learn more about the First Order.
As the fighting cleared and the Jinata Security members that were attacking were killed, the First Order prepared to leave. Iden, Shriv, and Zay stole two TIE fighters and joined the other First Order fighters in formation around the Retribution. They were soon recognized as having been stolen and the First Order starfighters attacked them. While this was happening, they were able to board the ship before the Retribution exited the atmosphere and jumped to hyperspace.
Behind the scenes
- Star Wars Battlefront II (First pictured)
- Battlefront II: Inferno Squad (First appearance, simultaneous with Battlefront II: Inferno Squad audiobook)
- Battlefront II: Inferno Squad audiobook
- Alphabet Squadron (Mentioned only)
- Alphabet Squadron audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Victory's Price (Mentioned in chapter title)
- Victory's Price audiobook (Mentioned in chapter title)
- "Flight of the Falcon, Part 5: Grand Theft Falcon"—Star Wars Adventures (2017) 18 (In flashback(s))
- Star Wars: The Rebel Files
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 62 (Databank A-Z: U-Wing–V-Wing)
- Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition
- Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge: Traveler's Guide to Batuu
- Star Wars: X-Wing Second Edition – Fugitives and Collaborates Squadron Pack (Card: )
- "Emperor Palpatine" – Star Wars Encyclopedia