Station 17 is a war film, produced by Illium Entertainment during the Reaper War, and based on real events that occurred during the early stages of the ground war on Illium itself.
The film's events are based (with intentional fictionalisation and dramatisation of certain elements) on the defence of the titular Station 17, an improvised forward command post set up by Eclipse troops within a weather monitoring station in Cold Claw Gorge to oversee the staged retreat of forces from Reaper-controlled Nos Astra to the nearby city of Nos Varda. Although the retreat overall went smoothly, one of the probing attacks made by Reaper ground forces cut off the station from friendly forces, leaving its garrison to fend for themselves against heavy attack until a counterattack could be organised three days later to extract the survivors.
Station 17 was one of a number of films produced in Nos Varda while the war still continued. Due to the galaxy-wide FTL communications failures caused by Reaper forces, Illium Entertainment's primary revenue stream from media export was cut off. Having secured intact production facilities in a deal with Nos Varda local studio ExtranetPlayground, IE kept itself in business (aside from continuing to push already-completed films such as Blasto 6 in offworld markets not yet overtaken by the war) by producing limited-budget films for local audiences, providing much-needed entertainment and escapism to the planet's population.
The defence of Station 17 proved an attractive option for IE's first major production in this period (although several short films were produced earlier, by largely independent small teams working with IE funding), due to the cost-effective nature of the small, self-contained setting, the audience-pleasing note of victory against the Reapers (albeit on a small scale) in the storyline, and its desirability to the Nos Varda Provisional Authority, which was eager to see Eclipse portrayed in a positive light to overcome any public unease about the mercenary corporation's nationalisation.
This positive portrayal also led to cooperation from Eclipse itself, which provided a number of non-classified technical specification databases to IE to use as reference in set, prop and costume design, as well as assigning a media liaison to be on set during filming to provide advice to the actors portraying Eclipse personnel.
Station 17 was generally well received, both by critics and the general public. While noticeably more smaller in scope and ambition than IE's pre-war blockbuster fare, most reviewers commended the studio's adaption to the limits imposed on it by Nos Varda's siege, and the lead actors were warmly received. Audiences responded very positively, making the film the financial success IE sorely needed, and paving the way for future productions.
One criticism levelled at the film in some quarters was its uncompromisingly glowing portrayal of the Eclipse personnel who were the majority of its cast of characters; some commentators went so far as to label the film Eclipse propaganda, a claim which was picked up on by those who objected to the effective blanket amnesty for past crimes awarded to the corporation in exchange for its assistance in the city's defence. Although these critics were allowed to air their views, the Provisional Authority's support for IE was a given, and calls for investigation into the production of propaganda, including wilful distortion of the truth, in the guise of entertainment fell on deaf ears.