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Imperial Navy Core Rulebook?

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GURPS World War II allows players to play characters from any belligerent countries, including nazi Germany, fascist Italy, red fascist USSR, military fascist Japan. If somebody was outraged by that it didn't make any noise. Is it because GURPS is unknown outside the world of p&p RPG ? Or is it because the 80's is well past and nobody gives a **** about RPG's content now ?

Personally I doubt LucasFilm will ever allow an Empire SourceBook because Star Wars is about fighting against the Empire, not fighting for the Empire. In all the official canon published so far, is there any that show a story about characters on the Empire side ? I never saw one but I don't know everything about SW canon, so I might be wrong. If I'm right we'll never see an Empire Sourcebook published by FFG. If I'm wrong there's a very tiny hope to see one someday in the future.

The same reasoning could be applied for the possibility for a KotOR era sourcebook to be published. Would it be genuine without Sith careers, imperial troopers careers, imperial Intelligence careers, and an extensive description of the Sith Empire ?

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3 hours ago, WolfRider said:

GURPS World War II allows players to play characters from any belligerent countries, including nazi Germany, fascist Italy, red fascist USSR, military fascist Japan. If somebody was outraged by that it didn't make any noise. Is it because GURPS is unknown outside the world of p&p RPG ? Or is it because the 80's is well past and nobody gives a **** about RPG's content now ?

Personally I doubt LucasFilm will ever allow an Empire SourceBook because Star Wars is about fighting against the Empire, not fighting for the Empire. In all the official canon published so far, is there any that show a story about characters on the Empire side ? I never saw one but I don't know everything about SW canon, so I might be wrong. If I'm right we'll never see an Empire Sourcebook published by FFG. If I'm wrong there's a very tiny hope to see one someday in the future.

The same reasoning could be applied for the possibility for a KotOR era sourcebook to be published. Would it be genuine without Sith careers, imperial troopers careers, imperial Intelligence careers, and an extensive description of the Sith Empire ?

It would be all about how you frame it. Look at the Academy Cadet tree in Dawn of Rebellion. 

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6 hours ago, WolfRider said:

In all the official canon published so far, is there any that show a story about characters on the Empire side ? I never saw one but I don't know everything about SW canon, so I might be wrong.

Tarkin (novel)

Lost Stars (YA novel)

Lords of the Sith (novel)

Darth Vader, vol 1 and 2 (comics series)

Thrawn (novel, comics mini-series adaptation)

Battlefront II (video game campaign mode)/Battlefront II: Inferno Squad (novel)

Catalyst (novel; Rogue One prequel about Galen Erso’s original research for Project Stardust)

Phasma (novel; “origin story” which also includes Brendol Hux as a central character)

Captain Phasma (comics mini-series; First Order, but same concept)

Thrawn: Alliances (novel)

Han Solo: Imperial Cadet (comics mini-series...but, yeah...it’s Han 😂)

Age of Rebellion: Grand Moff Tarkin (comics one-shot)

Age of Rebellion: Darth Vader (comics one-shot)

TIE Fighter (comics mini-series)

Thrawn: Treason (novel)

Age of Resistance: Captain Phasma (comics one-shot)

Age of Resistance: General Hux (comics one-shot)

Age of Resistance: Supreme Leader Snoke (comics one-shot)

Age of Resistance: Kylo Ren (comics one-shot)

Edited by Nytwyng

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@Nytwyng How many of those portray the Empire as the "Good Guys?" Many, if not most, of those are related to backstory for bad guys or about people trying to take down the Empire from the inside/defecting.
For example: my memory from the bits and pieces I've picked up on Wookieepedia (I haven't read it yet) is that in Tarkin he is portrayed as a brutal and evil man.

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49 minutes ago, P-47 Thunderbolt said:

@Nytwyng How many of those portray the Empire as the "Good Guys?" Many, if not most, of those are related to backstory for bad guys or about people trying to take down the Empire from the inside/defecting.
For example: my memory from the bits and pieces I've picked up on Wookieepedia (I haven't read it yet) is that in Tarkin he is portrayed as a brutal and evil man.

All three Thrawn novels are effectively neutral in their portrayal of the Empire. Lost Stars ultimately shows two perspectives of the Empire. Lords of the Sith is similar, following two stories: Cham Syndulla’s movement attacking a star destroyer in an assassination attempt on the Emperor, plus the Emperor and Vader surviving after a crash following that attempt.

The two different Battlefront II stories make for an interesting take: the novel on its own shows Inferno Squad as true loyal soldiers of the Empire, while the game’s campaign (set later) does follow a defection arc. With the novel supporting the game, does Golden count on the reader bringing that knowledge with them?

To be honest, even though I only recently read it, I didn’t really retain much of Tarkin. But, generally I’d say he was shown as being as cold as his typical portrayal, but the perspective of the story (at least as I recall) didn’t really lend itself to “evil,” so much as, “cold-hearted bastich.”

The Vader comics are interesting in that the “evil or not” focus could shift from story to story, based on the needs of the tale being told. In some stories, he’s the unstoppable force of dark side nature we’d expect, and in some, he’s kinda sympathetic and pitiable.

But, if I took the meaning of @WolfRider‘s question right, that “good guy or bad guy” presentation is moot. It seemed as if the question was, “Is LFL even open to the idea of presenting Imperial stories at all?” And the answer is: yes, with different takes on how those principal characters are portrayed. That range of presentations would seem to be a stronger case for LFL/Disney not being overly concerned about negative reactions to Imperial-focused material.

And, since we’re talking more specifically about a game in this thread, all of FFG’s other Star Wars offerings don’t just allow, but pretty much require that someone play the “bad guy.” Meanwhile, both of the Battlefront games released under Disney’s ownership of LFL enable you to play Rebels and Imperials (in fact, they randomize that in some multiplayer content, so you can’t opt out of playing the “bad guys”). And video games reach a much bigger audience than probably the RPG, X-Wing, Armada, Legion, etc combined, with as much finger-pointing in their direction regarding alleged negative influences as RPGs.

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5 hours ago, P-47 Thunderbolt said:

@Nytwyng How many of those portray the Empire as the "Good Guys?" Many, if not most, of those are related to backstory for bad guys or about people trying to take down the Empire from the inside/defecting.
For example: my memory from the bits and pieces I've picked up on Wookieepedia (I haven't read it yet) is that in Tarkin he is portrayed as a brutal and evil man.

None.

They're either good guys who get killed for being good, good guys who eventually defect, or bad guys who are shown in a sypathetic light, but are still bad guys. And occasionally you have an idealist who tries to change what the Empire is from the inside, but is forced to still go along with a lot of evil, and is doomed to failure because we know howit turns out.

What you do have a lot is evil people who believe they are good therefore the Empire they serve has to be good too. 

Edited by micheldebruyn

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12 hours ago, WolfRider said:

The same reasoning could be applied for the possibility for a KotOR era sourcebook to be published. Would it be genuine without Sith careers, imperial troopers careers, imperial Intelligence careers, and an extensive description of the Sith Empire ?

I would say all of these, except for the extensive description, are in the game today.

How would an Imperial trooper or spy be different from a regular one? There are a bunch of specialisations with a Sith feel to them that are tough to justify taking as a light side character. You can't tell me the Mystic-Magus wasn't tailormade for players  who wanted to play a Palpatine.

 

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On 8/31/2019 at 6:59 PM, Galakk Fyyar said:

I assume the harsh rules for what they considered "Dark side" play was probably a sort of CYA.

You assume incorrectly, as it was based on what was understood of the Force and the dark side at that time, that namely that the concept of a "grey" Force user was a load of trash and that it could be very easy to fall to the dark side given how powerful a Force user (called Jedi in that time) could be.  It was also the time frame where the majority of gamers were eager to play the heroes doing good deeds rather than to be the firmly-established villains of the setting.

Playing "evil" campaigns was a very rare thing, even before the Satanic Panic of the 80's, as they mostly tended to self-destruct within the first session, and the ones that lasted tended to be more a case of murder-hobos with fewer scruples than a more traditional band of D&D player-characters rather than out-and-out evil.  It wasn't really until the 90's with the advent of the "gritty anti-hero," where a mass murderer like the Punisher or borderline feral psychopath like Wolverine could be touted as "heroes" instead of a villain simply because they went after criminals and terrorists that the allure of playing bad guys became more prevalent.

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2 hours ago, micheldebruyn said:

None.

They're either good guys who get killed for being good, good guys who eventually defect, or bad guys who are shown in a sypathetic light, but are still bad guys. And occasionally you have an idealist who tries to change what the Empire is from the inside, but is forced to still go along with a lot of evil, and is doomed to failure because we know howit turns out.

What you do have a lot is evil people who believe they are good therefore the Empire they serve has to be good too. 

This is the truth of the matter.

The last point is something the many writers, comic artists and other Star Wars wider canon creators have tried hard to justify. Real people would not join an outright evil organisation. Nazis are the classic example - when the Nazis rose to power it was by championing helping the workers and people of Germany, and to the everyday citizen they did just that. They made cars affordable, allowed holiday cruises for working class families and generally improved the average German's way of life. Then they invaded Poland and France in something that made War look easy and desirable. The Star Wars Empire has needed this "The Empire did lots of good for some people/at first" justification for most of its existence. The easy out is usually "They took care of all the pirates" but we have never seen these Pirates as a major problem that ruined lives - Solo came close. Rogue One also came close by showing Krennic and Galen's comfortable Core World lives.

Ultimately its a struggle because the entire point of the Empire as written is to make them detestable to most people. They are facist, non-democratic, cruel, genocidal, racist, maniacal super villain slavers.

To follow them you need to be a patsy or wilfully ignorant of the many detestable things they do constantly.

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1 hour ago, Spartancfos said:

This is the truth of the matter.

The last point is something the many writers, comic artists and other Star Wars wider canon creators have tried hard to justify. Real people would not join an outright evil organisation. Nazis are the classic example - when the Nazis rose to power it was by championing helping the workers and people of Germany, and to the everyday citizen they did just that. They made cars affordable, allowed holiday cruises for working class families and generally improved the average German's way of life. Then they invaded Poland and France in something that made War look easy and desirable. The Star Wars Empire has needed this "The Empire did lots of good for some people/at first" justification for most of its existence. The easy out is usually "They took care of all the pirates" but we have never seen these Pirates as a major problem that ruined lives - Solo came close. Rogue One also came close by showing Krennic and Galen's comfortable Core World lives.

Ultimately its a struggle because the entire point of the Empire as written is to make them detestable to most people. They are facist, non-democratic, cruel, genocidal, racist, maniacal super villain slavers.

To follow them you need to be a patsy or wilfully ignorant of the many detestable things they do constantly.

I can agree in concept, but not in full practice (from a storytelling standpoint, that is). As the relatively omniscient audience, we absolutely know that the Empire is capital E Evil. But does the average citizen of the Empire? And if that average citizen joins the Imperial military, do they find themselves in an organization that is incontrovertibly performing evil acts on a routine basis? Or is there a spin put on those detestable acts to explain why it’s ultimately necessary?

Ultimately, LFL has authorized storytelling and gameplay across multiple platforms that allow, encourage, or sometimes require different degrees of being on the Empire’s side without backlash. For the people out there who would be interested in such an RPG book, I don’t think potential negative connotations or public pushback would be considerations, because they haven’t been so far. A bigger question would be whether or not the potential audience for the book was large enough to warrant development and production. From that perspective, I’d say that an “Imperial sourcebook” would probably be more useful not as a career- or even era-type book, but more as a sector book: put worlds loyal to the Empire in the spotlight, expand on the details of how the Empire works from Dawn of Rebellion, and have a small section with suggestions for using existing careers and specializations for Imperial-focused campaigns, as well as suggestions for how to approach such a campaign.

I have no plans to ever run or play in an Imperial campaign (although I do play in a Clone Wars campaign in which we all have both Republic and Separtist characters), but I’d find a book like that to be useful. (For that matter, I’d find it useful for my Rebel spy character who is also an agent for Imperial Intelligence as part of his deep cover.)

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59 minutes ago, Nytwyng said:

For the people out there who would be interested in such an RPG book, I don’t think potential negative connotations or public pushback would be considerations, because they haven’t been so far. A bigger question would be whether or not the potential audience for the book was large enough to warrant development and production. From that perspective, I’d say that an “Imperial sourcebook” would probably be more useful not as a career- or even era-type book, but more as a sector book: put worlds loyal to the Empire in the spotlight, expand on the details of how the Empire works from Dawn of Rebellion, and have a small section with suggestions for using existing careers and specializations for Imperial-focused campaigns, as well as suggestions for how to approach such a campaign.

 

I concur that this sort of book is more likely. I personally would find it more desirable as well. Giving my Rebel campaign interesting parts and corners of the Empire to explore would be cool.

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4 hours ago, Spartancfos said:



The last point is something the many writers, comic artists and other Star Wars wider canon creators have tried hard to justify. Real people would not join an outright evil organisation. Nazis are the classic example - when the Nazis rose to power it was by championing helping the workers and people of Germany, and to the everyday citizen they did just that. They made cars affordable, allowed holiday cruises for working class families and generally improved the average German's way of life. Then they invaded Poland and France in something that made War look easy and desirable. The Star Wars Empire has needed this "The Empire did lots of good for some people/at first" justification for most of its existence. The easy out is usually "They took care of all the pirates" but we have never seen these Pirates as a major problem that ruined lives - Solo came close. Rogue One also came close by showing Krennic and Galen's comfortable Core World lives.

So you just contradicted your self. Germans clearly did join the Nazi party forna variety of reasons. Some like Schindler did so to help people escape. Some were true believers. Some fell for the rhetoric. This is not a simple subject that you can just paint of with a wide brush over. 

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23 minutes ago, Daeglan said:

So you just contradicted your self. Germans clearly did join the Nazi party forna variety of reasons. Some like Schindler did so to help people escape. Some were true believers. Some fell for the rhetoric. This is not a simple subject that you can just paint of with a wide brush over. 

Where is the contradiction?

The Nazis are our societies definition of an evil organisation. There is genuine reasons to have joined the Nazis in 1930's Germany - less so as 1940's started. My point is the Empire is an evil organisation which lacks that level of justification, and many writers and content creators have attempted create that justification. The Star Wars Empire situation is a simple subject. They were written as villains.

My whole point is portraying them as protagonists and encouraging players to adopt an evil, fascist organisations persona is a bad idea in a game about playing roles. It is not akin to moving miniature toys around on a table. My Armada fleet doesn't involve any level of narrative bleed when I slide my triangles about.

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51 minutes ago, Spartancfos said:

Where is the contradiction?

The Nazis are our societies definition of an evil organisation. There is genuine reasons to have joined the Nazis in 1930's Germany - less so as 1940's started. My point is the Empire is an evil organisation which lacks that level of justification, and many writers and content creators have attempted create that justification. The Star Wars Empire situation is a simple subject. They were written as villains.

My whole point is portraying them as protagonists and encouraging players to adopt an evil, fascist organisations persona is a bad idea in a game about playing roles. It is not akin to moving miniature toys around on a table. My Armada fleet doesn't involve any level of narrative bleed when I slide my triangles about.

Your contradiction is saying noone but evil people would join them. Then you explain why none evil people joined them

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38 minutes ago, Daeglan said:

Your contradiction is saying noone but evil people would join them. Then you explain why none evil people joined them

Your absurd example of Schindler 'joining' them is practically like an undercover British intelligence agent joining the nazis by putting on the uniform to infiltrate something.

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4 hours ago, micheldebruyn said:

Your absurd example of Schindler 'joining' them is practically like an undercover British intelligence agent joining the nazis by putting on the uniform to infiltrate something.

I pointed out there many reasons people joined. Manybof which were not because the person was evil.  The reality is that time period is not simple. And to try and make blanket declarations about a complex time period is a problem.

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You also have to remember that a vast portion of the German military were not Nazi's.  They were just regular Bundeswehr (army), Luftwaffe (Air Force), and whatever their Navy was.  The Nazi party was a subset of society that extended into the military.  You average soldier went to war for his fatherland.  Not because of some capital E evil.  Remember that the German citizens were shocked and appalled when they discovered what the Nazi's had done, but that was only after the war.

I maintain my stance that it would be very easy to run an Imperial campaign while being the good guys.

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16 minutes ago, Ahrimon said:

You also have to remember that a vast portion of the German military were not Nazi's.  They were just regular Bundeswehr (army), Luftwaffe (Air Force), and whatever their Navy was.  The Nazi party was a subset of society that extended into the military.  You average soldier went to war for his fatherland.  Not because of some capital E evil.  Remember that the German citizens were shocked and appalled when they discovered what the Nazi's had done, but that was only after the war.

I maintain my stance that it would be very easy to run an Imperial campaign while being the good guys.

Whermacht (army), Luftwaffe (Air Force), and Kreigsmarine (Navy). The Bundeswehr was founded in 1955, so very few of the members of the Bundeswher were Nazis.

The German army committed many atrocities including killing prisoners and reprisals against civilians. Whether or not they were all "true Nazis," many still would have committed war crimes, orders or no. Just like the Imperials.

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We're back all over the place with completely irrelevant politics and real-world talk.

17 hours ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

You assume incorrectly.

I don't believe I do, but hey, let's agree to disagree. We've got some significantly different outlooks even on the history of RPGs by the looks of it.

Edited by Galakk Fyyar

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21 hours ago, P-47 Thunderbolt said:

Whermacht (army), Luftwaffe (Air Force), and Kreigsmarine (Navy). The Bundeswehr was founded in 1955, so very few of the members of the Bundeswher were Nazis.

The German army committed many atrocities including killing prisoners and reprisals against civilians. Whether or not they were all "true Nazis," many still would have committed war crimes, orders or no. Just like the Imperials.

So has every other army in history, including America and it's allies.  There is no clear black and white unless you want to put blinders on.

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12 hours ago, Ahrimon said:

So has every other army in history, including America and it's allies.  There is no clear black and white unless you want to put blinders on.

Here's the problem with that statement as it relates to Star Wars (which is what we're talking about here, not real-world militaries).

Star Wars is at it's heart a fairy tale story of the heroic scrappy underdogs (The Rebels) eventually defeating the monolithic forces of evil (The Empire) and restoring freedom to an oppressed region (the galaxy), with a special "chosen one" of that generation with barely-explained quasi-mystical powers being the focal point (Luke for the OT, Rey for the ST) while having to contend with a villainous enforcer who has greater mastery of those same quasi-mystical powers.

Even in the Expanded Universe in the hands of the better crop of writers, the Empire was still very much "evil," it just wasn't the same extent of mustache-twirling villainy that it was in the films.  Even Timothy Zahn's Thrawn was an evil warlord, albeit an affable one that would still commit heinous acts (such as keeping an entire species in bondage) simply because it suited his purposes.  By the time the NJO series of books rolled around, the folks in charge of the books realized that they'd long since milked the "Empire as the villain" for all it was worth, and pretty much shunted them off to the side to make way for the new "evil" power for the heroes to contend with.

It's only with more recent media in this century that we really start seeing more of "heroic Imperials" and "villainous Rebels" (such as Saw and his crew) which is due in no small part to the growing cynicism amongst American and European cultures (for whom a lot of Star Wars material is created, with other markets being a secondary concern at best), and that there's no such thing as a hero without a dark side or that anyone (even Palpatine) is irredeemably evil.  Granted, this flies in the face of what the OT films were (a simplistic fairy tale), but the world is generally a more cynical place for a variety of reasons.  But far more often than not, you've got the Rebels as the setting's de-facto good guys and the Imperials as the setting's de-facto oppressive villains, who support a system that suppresses the rights of its populace (Human and especially non-Humans) and removes even more of their say in how things operate (taxation without proper representation).  You might on rare occasions see Rebels do questionable things, but they generally tend to regret and brood over their actions and very rarely write it off as "acceptable" under the fallacy of "I did what I had to do."

So in line with the original topic (would FFG every publish a core rulebook that encourages the players to be Imperial characters), the answer remains no as Lucasfilm, even prior to being purchased by Disney, always pushed for players (be it RPGs or video-games) being on the light side with regards to the canon; prime example is that KOTOR and Jedi Knight series of games always went with the "light side" ending being the "official" result in terms of the timeline, and the "dark side" endings being deemed as "non-canon."  I suspect FFG is under the same onus; at most they might be able to publish bits here and there to suggest "well, if you want to play a campaign as members of the Empire, here's some ways to do that" in a sourcebook focusing entirely on the Empire, but that'd be the extent of it.

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On ‎9‎/‎2‎/‎2019 at 11:27 PM, Galakk Fyyar said:

I don't believe I do, but hey, let's agree to disagree. We've got some significantly different outlooks even on the history of RPGs by the looks of it.

My "outlook" as you describe is based on some very simple facts.

Firstly, what was known about the Force was limited to the original three films, from which WEG didn't stray very far (something Bill Slavicsek mentions in his e-book about the history of Star Wars as an RPG), with the designers taking Yoda's like about "a Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack" quite literally in that any directly offensive use of the Force resulted in an automatic dark side point.  So there was none of this "grey side" of the Force in the official material; the whole notion of "Grey Jedi" was a munchkin effort on the part of a small segment of players to be able to use the "cool" dark side powers and not have to pay the in-game price for doing so.

The vast majority the published adventures that WEG did were based around the assumption that the PCs were all members of the Rebel Alliance (i.e. the setting's de-facto heroes as per the original films), with a few outliers for PCs that were unaffiliated spacers who were pitted against vile criminals or the Empire, again pushing the narrative that the Empire and those associated with it were the bad guys of the setting.

The few pages in Heroes & Rogues was WEG shrugging their shoulders and throwing a small bone to the small portion of their customer base who clamored for the opportunity to play as Imperials who were still loyal to the Empire, and is a tiny outlier on the large volume that WEG published over the course of the game's life span.  And may of those character templates were far from what one would call "heroic," being self-interested opportunists at bests, so even then it's not like WEG was saying "guess what, loyal Imperials can be heroic too?" in their official material.  They might be the protagonists of the campaign in question, buy they aren't heroes, as being the protagonist doesn't equate to being the hero; Dexter from the show of the same name is the protagonist, but he's far from heroic, what with being a serial killer.  The 90's age of comics was overflowing with protagonists that were only marginally better (if that) than the antagonists they fought against; Image Comics made quite a bit of money off the 90's take on the overly violent and capricious "anti-hero."

The only "narrative" that assumes that WEG was officially on-board with the PCs being Imperials or that the Empire was viewed as anything other than the setting's primary antagonist is a purely self-invented one.  Something that is plainly obvious to a rationally intelligent individual.

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1 hour ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

My "outlook" as you describe is based on some very simple facts.

Firstly, what was known about the Force was limited to the original three films, from which WEG didn't stray very far (something Bill Slavicsek mentions in his e-book about the history of Star Wars as an RPG), with the designers taking Yoda's like about "a Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack" quite literally in that any directly offensive use of the Force resulted in an automatic dark side point.  So there was none of this "grey side" of the Force in the official material; the whole notion of "Grey Jedi" was a munchkin effort on the part of a small segment of players to be able to use the "cool" dark side powers and not have to pay the in-game price for doing so.

The vast majority the published adventures that WEG did were based around the assumption that the PCs were all members of the Rebel Alliance (i.e. the setting's de-facto heroes as per the original films), with a few outliers for PCs that were unaffiliated spacers who were pitted against vile criminals or the Empire, again pushing the narrative that the Empire and those associated with it were the bad guys of the setting.

The few pages in Heroes & Rogues was WEG shrugging their shoulders and throwing a small bone to the small portion of their customer base who clamored for the opportunity to play as Imperials who were still loyal to the Empire, and is a tiny outlier on the large volume that WEG published over the course of the game's life span.  And may of those character templates were far from what one would call "heroic," being self-interested opportunists at bests, so even then it's not like WEG was saying "guess what, loyal Imperials can be heroic too?" in their official material.  They might be the protagonists of the campaign in question, buy they aren't heroes, as being the protagonist doesn't equate to being the hero; Dexter from the show of the same name is the protagonist, but he's far from heroic, what with being a serial killer.  The 90's age of comics was overflowing with protagonists that were only marginally better (if that) than the antagonists they fought against; Image Comics made quite a bit of money off the 90's take on the overly violent and capricious "anti-hero."

The only "narrative" that assumes that WEG was officially on-board with the PCs being Imperials or that the Empire was viewed as anything other than the setting's primary antagonist is a purely self-invented one.  Something that is plainly obvious to a rationally intelligent individual.

This pretty much the feeling i got when talking to Sterling Hershey about WEG Star Wars. 

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