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Lit Info/source request ("Legends" only): earliest white-shirt= ISB confirmation

Discussion in 'Literature' started by SheaHublin, May 13, 2018.

  1. SheaHublin

    SheaHublin Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 15, 2008
    I was trying to track down the earliest source to explicitly confirm that ISB Officers wear white uniform tunics and am failing to do so. The earliest WEG sources do not actually explicitly confirm that ISB Officers are "whiteshirts". I had notes on this but to my dismay they have been misplaced. The Yularen and Evax trading cards are the oldest sources I can find so far. So if anybody here knows, what is the first EU source that explicitly indicates that ISB Officers/Agents/etc are those wearing the White Imperial Uniform tunics? This is part of an ongoing look at "Legends", so no post-Disney sources, please. Many thanks in advance for any help with this.
     
  2. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Force Ghost star 9

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Considering the Yularen card was in 1995 and the Evax card 1996, that's a long way back.
     
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  3. LAJ_FETT

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 9 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    May 25, 2002
    Cover of Timothy Zahn's Heir to the Empire shows Thrawn in a white tunic. This is the Bantam UK edition and came out in 1991. That might be a source to check.
     
  4. SheaHublin

    SheaHublin Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 15, 2008
    Yep. I do wonder if they really are in fact the first sources to conflate the white tunic with ISB officers. The Imperial Sourcebook, which was the first to even mention the ISB, never actually specified that they wear White tunics. Still, there could be an earlier source, and I'm still going through a huge amount of books to try and pin down this reference. I'm also looking through older versions of the SWTC Saxton site over on the Internet Archive to see if that might have been the first to suggest a connection between the ANH whiteshirts and all ISB Officers, from which it could have made its way into general canonical status.

    That was something else, though the back covers do indeed depict the full Grand Admiral uniform. The actual special thing about that depiction is that it is the first source for a 4th Insignia tab color: Gold. Not the Orange seen in ANH (along with the Red and Blue), but Gold, something seen only on the Insignias of very highly placed Imperials. The Gold tabs are used only on Rank Insignias of Viceregal (this term is explicitly used in the original Imperial Sourcebook) Level of Command Ranks and above. And they are different than those Orange tabs seen in ANH, something that a lot of otherwise excellent fan Insignia systems never noticed.
     
  5. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Force Ghost star 9

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Offhand, I can't think of any ISB references in TTT. Lots of Imperial Intelligence references though.

    If an Imperial Intelligence officer was shown with white jacket and black trousers in the Thrawn Trilogy comics, that might where the idea that they wear white jackets, came from.

    For ISB - I recall the few Star Wars Adventure Journal issues I've ever had a chance to look at, being black-and-white - but if they used a movie shot of white-jacketed officers, for ISB, that might qualify as an earlier example.
    Were Tarkin's tabs supposed to be gold then - and a different shade from Romodi's?
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
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  6. SheaHublin

    SheaHublin Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 15, 2008
    Yeah, I have no memory of any ISB mentions in the original Thrawn Trilogy beyond a few fleeting references- that one used Imperial Intelligence more. They do play a more prominent part in much later Zahn works.

    The comic versions would have come years later, and none of them show anything resembling an ISB Officer, let alone like the ones from ANH.

    I have a vague memory of a later WEG source, possibly an Adventure Journal, that made a connection between the ISB and White Imperial Uniform tunics. There was also the bit of slang of ISB personnel being "birdwatchers", but this may be crossed memory wires.

    Most precisely, the Insignia that Tarkin wears in ANH later became that of a Grand Moff in the EU, but so many mistook the Orange colors to be Gold. So originally, all of the Grand Moffs, and by extension the other "Grand" Officers, should have had Insignias with Orange, not Gold, tabs. That's a thing with how the onscreen colors have been misinterpreted by fans over the years. It is seen on all of the fan Rank systems that mistake the Orange seen onscreen as being Gold or even Yellow. Even Saxton made this mistake. The best example is how the Red on Praji's Insignia is mistaken to be Gold (mostly due to lighting issues).

    Onscreen, the Tarkin's Insignia IS Orange, much the same as the Romodi/Khurgee Insignia. NOT GOLD, as so many later works went with. This Orange Insignia color tab is only ever seen in ANH and in the "Priority Sector High Commander" Insignia from the original Imperial Sourcebook, and with the exception of Tarkin, only ever on Officers with single-row Insignias who are also Staff (not Line) Officers. And even then, only in works set circa 0BBY. It isn't that Tarkin's Insignia was supposed to be Gold, but that all of the later sources ended up creating a 4th color of Rank Insignia tab seen only on the highest-Ranked Imperials.

    The Table of Ranks I've been working on (for the time circa ANH/0BBY) uses the proper 4 colors of Blue, Orange, Red, and Gold. I was left having to explain why Tarkin would wear an "incorrect" Insignia with Orange instead of Gold, when I looked at the evolution of Imperial Uniforms. They were originally the last ones used by the Republic, and Orange ones were present. Tarkin became the first Grand Moff very early on, while some of the late Republic-era Insignias were still in use. The Gold color wasn't in use that early on- only later once much higher levels of Rank and Command became prevalent (Viceregal Ranks, per the Imperial Sourcebook), to include the later Grand Officers. Fortunately, there is a line from the Death Star Technical Companion that explicitly states that Tarkin "proudly wears the first Grand Moff Rank badge"- meaning that he still wears the older, first one that has Orange tabs while newer Grand Moffs wear the more common newer one with Gold tabs.

    That single line serves to explain why Tarkin's ANH Insignia has Orange tabs that are only otherwise seen on a handful of Staff Officers on the Death Star, and to reconcile it with all of the other Moff/Grand Moff/Grand Admiral/etc Insignias depicted in the EU as having Gold instead of Orange tabs.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
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  7. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Force Ghost star 9

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    There still seems to be a certain amount of debate on the "lighting makes red look gold" subject:
    I'm not sure if it's really necessary to split gold from orange - if the movies never specifically called out gold tabs as a thing.

    Especially when the few ROTS-era badges, show officers with a very pale, yellowey-orange shade on their badges:

    IMO it's simpler, just to have gold and orange tabs be synonymous.

    The images from Heir to the Empire, doesn't make Thrawn's badge colours different enough from Tarkin's, to make me say "That is definitely not the same colour as on Tarkin's badge".
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
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  8. SheaHublin

    SheaHublin Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 15, 2008
    After doing a little more quick searching it seems (so far) that the 1995 card that names the Conference Room whiteshirt as "Wullf Yularen" is the first source to draw a connection between the ISB and the white uniform. Yet, the Evax card from the next year indicates that it was worn by somebody specifically indicated as being with Imperial Intelligence. So, if nothing else, those creating the cards were operating under the idea that the White tunic is NOT exclusive to the ISB. Time to look more at other sources to find the first explicit association...
     
  9. SheaHublin

    SheaHublin Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 15, 2008
    Checking the 3-part Encyclopedia revealed something interesting: immediately after the entry for the ISB is one for "Imperial security officer" (only Imperial is capitalized), which has the simple description of: "These officers served aboard the Death Star. They had black caps, white tunics, and black pants".

    So if the whiteshirt Uniform tunic was actually meant to be associated with ISB explicitly, the perfect chance to do so wasn't taken. More specifically, it would seem that the particular black/white/black uniform combo seen in ANH is worn more generally by security officers, rather than ISB or Imperial Intelligence. Security, not Intelligence. Hmm.
     
  10. jSarek

    jSarek VIP star 4 VIP

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Interestingly, the character portrait for the ISB Investigations Specialist template in Heroes & Rogues (also 1995) depicts a chap in a dark uniform, explicitly called out as an "ISB uniform" in the template's equipment section.
     
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  11. SheaHublin

    SheaHublin Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 15, 2008
    There's also an old WEG reference to "Intelligence grays" as a uniform color that I had thought was from Heroes and Rogues. Couldn't find it, though. It's out there, somewhere...

    I was thinking more about this and if White tunics really don't actually belong to the ISB, but rather serve as a visual indicator of an Officer's function/role, then logically so would all the other uniform colors.

    All white with Gold epaulettes- Grand Admirals (and possibly Grand Generals)- Grand Officers
    -Silver epaulettes: ceremonial dress
    Black cap/white tunic/black pants- Security Officers (per the Encyclopedia)
    All Black- Elite/Joint forces Officers. These mystery guys, The Blackshirts. What exactly is their function??? It's been noted since Saxton's SWTC site was still a thing. Some, though not all, Stormtrooper Officers wear them, but so do some, though not all, TIE Pilots, two Analysis Bureau Officers, Death Star/Naval Trooper Officers/, some Star Destroyer and Task Force commanders, one General early on who aligned with the Gentis coup (suggesting that the Republic also had Blackshirts going around), "Moff Tragg Brathis" was credibly a Blackshirt, and others.
    Gray-Line Officers (the majority of what we see)
    Brown- Staff Officers (we do see several Brown uniforms in various EU works, and seemingly in ANH)
    Green- Army field officers?