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#StarWarsCelebration 2017 is in full swing, and the Battlefront II panel has officially blown our minds. Releasing November 17th 2017, the game promises to be revolutionary in so many ways! It boasts a multiplayer that will span all eras, a unique degree of customization, and a single-player story that is actually part of the Stars Wars canon. That's right, if you're hooked to the ongoing story of our beloved galaxy far, far away - then Battlefront II is for you!
Naturally, it's far too soon to know everything that this game is going to add to the canon. But the panel gave us some tantalizing hints...
Endor And Beyond - From The Empire's Perspective
"Forge a new path as Iden Versio, commander of Inferno Squad—an Imperial special forces unit equally lethal on the ground and in space. Encounter many of Star Wars ' greatest characters in a story of revenge, betrayal, and redemption that spans 30 years."
The Rebellion has its heroes, and we all know their names; Luke Skywalker, Jyn Erso, Mace Windu, and more. But Battlefront II will explore the #StarWars story from a whole new perspective: The Empire has heroes this time, too. In this case, the heroes are Inferno Squad, the elite commandos who inspire legions of Stormtroopers. Battlefront II will invite us to experience the Star Wars story from their perspective, and it will begin in the forests of Endor.
What would it be like to see the destruction of the second Death Star not as a victory, but as a defeat? The single-player story will invite you to put your helmet back on with a hardened resolve to take the fight back to the Rebellion. In a thrilling twist, the campaign will lead you from the forests of Endor all the way to Starkiller Base; yes, that's right, you'll follow the story of the Empire's fall - and the rise of the First Order.
The Secrets Of The First Order
Lucasfilm has deliberately kept this story under wraps - likely to give EA Games as much freedom as possible with their narrative. But in late 2017, as part of the build-up to the release of #TheLastJedi, Lucasfilm is finally revealing the history of the First Order. That story is going to be told in two forms; in Delilah S. Dawson's Phasma novel - and in Battlefront II. Do you want to see the fall of the Empire? Do you want to understand how the First Order came to be, how it tapped into a rich vein of anger and passion in order to launch a devastating attack upon the New Republic?
Battlefront II is where you'll get to experience it firsthand - from the perspective of the Empire.
A Range Of Characters And Worlds
EA chose their central characters with real care; Inferno Squad are proficient at both aerial combat and ground warfare. As you explore different worlds in the Galaxy, you'll also get the chance to play as different characters. You'll touch paths with some of the iconic heroes of Star Wars - and, in a fantastic twist, there'll even be moments when you get to play as them. Yes, you read this right - Battlefront II will give you the chance to play as both Luke Skywalker and as #KyloRen!
Remember: this is canon. The events you'll see in this game are a real part of the characters' journeys. So you'll encounter Luke Skywalker before he retreated from the Galaxy and secreted himself on Ahch-To; you'll play as Kylo Ren in the dawning days of the First Order. The game's narrative promises to give us more tantalizing clues to so many of the questions that have plagued us since The Force Awakens; why did Kylo Ren fall? What happened to #LukeSkywalker? I doubt the game will give us the answers - but we're sure to get some important clues.
Perhaps the most exciting tale of all will be told on the planet Vardos, homeworld of Iden Versio. Iden's father encouraged his world to join the Empire, and the planet's population are firm believers in the Imperial ideology. This is no occupied world; the people of Vardos are true believers, and Iden is one of the truest. For her, the battle against the Rebellion is personal, and it's never going to get more personal than when the Rebellion comes to Vardos.
The quality of world-building sounds exceptional. Vardos will provide unique new gameplay opportunities, forcing players to move away from the open sandbox style and into the chaotic complexity of an urban environment. And again, remember - this world is now canon.
The Official Tie-In Novel
Author Christie Golden took to the stage to reveal what we already suspected; that her Inferno Squad novel is actually a tie-in to Battlefront II. We'd already thought as much; Del Rey released a tie-in novel for the first Battlefront game, while Amazon UK unwittingly listed Golden's book as a #BattlefrontII novel.
Inferno Squad is set in the immediate aftermath of A New Hope, with the Empire reeling after the destruction of the first Death Star. It shows how Inferno Squad first meet, and charts their first mission - to take on Saw Gerrera's surviving Partisans. According to the back-cover blurb, Inferno Squad will be tasked with going undercover among the Partisans, and will destroy them from within. In the process, they'll become heroes to the Empire - avengers of the fallen Death Star, whose heroism will ultimately lead them to that fateful forest moon of Endor.
So, Star Wars fans, the creators of #Battlefront2 have a challenge for you; it's time to put on your armor and take a stand. The Emperor may be dead, but Inferno Squad are true believers - and now is the time for their revenge!