The time is almost here. On November 17th, Star Wars fans all over the world will finally be able to return to their beloved Galaxy Far, Far Away. But Battlefront II is unlike any other Star Wars game so far as the campaign mode doesn't star the heroes. Instead, the game will revolve around the battle of Endor, providing us with a chance to play as members of a specialist Imperial squad. By all accounts, the narrative will run from Return of the Jedi right through to The Last Jedi, and we've been told that the story is actually part of the official canon!
In the latest trailer, EA Games has given us a unique glimpse of the starfighter assault modes. The locations are clearly designed for multiplayer, but some may well appear in the campaign mode too. So check out the trailer, and then we'll give you the lowdown on each location...
The Unknown Regions
We kick off with the Unknown Regions, with X-wings assaulting the Resurgent Star Destroyer. It's only a brief scene, but it's one that's sure to get #StarWars fans excited.
The Unknown Regions are a territory of space so dangerous that the Old Republic have been unable to chart it. Chuck Wendig's novel Aftermath: Empire's End described the Unknown Regions like this:
"Outside the known galaxy is an unexplored infinity, Palpatine explained, one closed off by a labyrinth of solar storms, rogue magnetospheres, black holes, gravity wells, and things far stranger. Any who tried to conquer that maze did not survive. The ships were obliterated, or returned to the galaxy devoid of travelers.
Communications from those explorers were incomprehensible, either shot through with such static as to make the content useless, or filled with enough inane babble to serve as a perfectly clear sign that the explorer had gone utterly mad out there in isolation."
Intriguingly, the novels have established that the Unknown Regions are the birthplace of the First Order. Empire's End, set after the events of Return of the Jedi, saw the last surviving Imperials retreat to a secret rendezvous point in the Unknown Regions. It also hinted at a powerful dark side presence watching from that dangerous area of space — and fans believe that presence to be Supreme Leader Snoke himself. As previous Battlefront II clips showed Kylo Ren and the First Order, we could become privy to an important part of the story.
Endor — Death Star Debris
The next location depicted is clearly designed for multiplayer — starfighter combat in the Death Star debris! The whole environment looks stunning, with Rebels and Imperials duelling in one of the most chaotic space environments imaginable. The wreckage of the Death Star seems to have become an asteroid field in orbit around the forest moon (the new-canon reason why Endor didn't suffer ecological devastation as chunks of the Death Star crashed down to the ground?). Appropriately enough, the central ring of the Death Star seems to have survived, and become a major 'landmark' in this set.
Fondor — Imperial Shipyards
Another multiplayer location, the Imperial Shipyards at Fondor are legendary among Star Wars fans. Fondor is an industrialized world orbited by a complex network of drydocks and shipyards, and was associated with the Techno Union back during the Clone Wars. To give you an idea of the scale of these shipyards, they were vast enough to construct Darth Vader's Executor-class Star Destroyer!
It looks as though this is a simple 'versus' mission, with the Rebels attempting to destroy a Star Destroyer that's under construction. Heroes for this mission clearly include Han Solo and Darth Vader himself!
Ryloth — Lucrehulk Battleship
Ryloth is one of the most popular Star Wars locations, and featured extensively in The Clone Wars. It's the homeworld of the Twi'leks, a race who have frequently been exploited by the Hutts. One of Ryloth's main exports is ryll, a precious ore that can be turned into a powerful drug known as spice. There's a massive black market centered around spice, and in the Original Trilogy Era, Han Solo was often a spice smuggler for Jabba the Hutt.
This multiplayer setting clearly takes place during the Clone Wars, and uses Ryloth as the backdrop for a battle against the Trade Federation. The target is the Lucrehulk Battleship, the primary capital ship of the Trade Federation's Defense Force. It's an enormous battleship, heavily armed, presumably with fleets of droid defenders. Don't expect this Clone-Wars-era Lucrehulk to be as vulnerable as the one we saw in The Phantom Menace...
Speaking of the Clone Wars, Kamino is a planet familiar to any fan of the Prequel Era. It's the mysterious world sought out by Obi-Wan Kenobi in Attack of the Clones, and stands at the center of the mystery of the Clone Army. Where the other battles are set in space, this one looks to be radically different; the action takes place on the storm-tossed surface, and it's possible that part of the objective involves infiltrating the research outposts of Kamino. Heroes for this mission clearly include Yoda and Darth Maul!
The Star Wars galaxy is a fantastic one, full of many varied and creative locations. Fortunately, it looks like Battlefront II will take full advantage of all these settings, exploring everything from the Death Star debris over Endor to the research outposts of Kamino. As exciting as this may be though, the really intriguing possibility is that we'll finally have a glimpse of the First Order's formation. If that's true, then the campaign mode sounds just as exciting as the multiplayer...