With the always delightful Star Wars Celebration far behind us and May 4th upon us, gamers and Star Wars fans from all walks of life are now left with the nigh impossible task of waiting until November 17th for the release of Star Wars: Battlefront II. Here’s what we know about the game and can predict from the existing canon.
To catch the casual Star Wars fan up, after Disney bought out Lucasfilm (and all it’s associated properties) in 2012, everything that was published under the Star Wars brand with the exception of the 6 saga films, The Clone Wars animated series and a 4 issue comic arc published by Dark Horse, Darth Maul: Son Of Dathomir, was effectively filed under the label as “non-canon”, or what they now classify as Legends. As such, every property released after the 2012 buyout is now apart of an officially recognized canon universe, with a few exceptions, mostly in the form of the Lego games.
Because of this initiative to make the Star Wars Universe that much more connected, we’re left with the potential for a lot of backstory for the campaign story mode that’s been confirmed for Battlefront II that most players won’t be aware of until after the fact.
From the trailer it’s revealed that we will play through the campaign mode as a member of the Inferno Squad, the “legion of [his] best troops” that Palpatine so fondly speaks of in Return of the Jedi:
While games produced by LucasArts, Lucasfilm’s now defunct video game division, would frequently borrow and even recreate scenes from the saga films before the Disney buy out, EA hasn’t used the films as anything other than a universe for their shooter considering the lack of a campaign or story mode in Battlefront I. Just with this bit of context from the “other side” of the equation, we’re able to get a much deeper understanding of who our character will be in Battlefront II considering the immense amount of confidence we see Palpatine tout. That on top of the reveal that the lead character survives for the next 30 years and joins the ranks of the First Order means that this game will totally service fellow canon junkies that might not otherwise be interested in the format.
So, given that we have a concrete 30 year time period where a fair portion of these events will take place, we actually have a lot of potential to learn about new events that might unfold for the very first time in Battlefront II, thanks to the footage shown in the trailer: a trip to Takodana (Maz Kanata’s planet seen in The Force Awakens) while being chased by TIE fighters, a battle above Coruscant, a siege of the Emperor’s Palace, and we revisit the Battle of Jakku, which was a playable map in the first Battlefront, but not 100% canon.
Of these four, the two that strike as having the most impact on the overall Star Wars canon are the potential battle above Coruscant and the, what looks like siege of Palpatine’s Palace. For a second, let’s focus on what appears to be the palace.
In the post-2012 canon, it was established in Tarkin that five years after Order 66 and the rise of the Empire, that Palpatine converted the former Jedi Temple into his palace. While this is a clearly Palpatine pouring salt into the wound he caused the Jedi, but it was also canonized in Tarkin that the Jedi Temple was built on top of a Sith shrine thousands of years ago. The evidence pointing to this being the palace/former temple is pretty strong- first, the art displayed on the Star Wars: Force and Destiny RPG book, published in 2015, depicts the image we know as the Jedi Temple adorned with Imperial banners, bearing a very similar resemblance to what we see in the trailer:
Further, in the screenshot from the trailer, we can see some rather peculiar looking trees in the background with red leaves. This might seem like an odd thing to dwell on, but we’ve seen similar trees before in the Clone Wars animated series:
These trees are important to the overarching story of Star Wars surprisingly enough. Given that these trees grew on a site that was effectively overflowing with both light and dark energy from The Force, these trees were perceived by Palpatine to have some special properties, leading to him taking many of them off world for experimentation. This is shown in the Shattered Empire 4-issue mini series by Greg Rucka that Marvel released as apart of their “Journey to The Force Awakens” promotion, of which, a great portion of a Luke Skywalker adventure is devoted to liberating two saplings from one of Palpatine’s many off Coruscant facilities.
With this location likely being visited again, the storylines that could branch off from simply the exploration of the grounds itself and discovery and recovery of artifacts could be very interesting.
Oh and one more thing…
This creepy, robed, holographic headed droid that’s towering over some moderately terrified Imperial officers finally makes his 3-dimentional debut. This… thing was introduced as “The Messenger” in the Shattered Empire 4-issue mini series and it initiates a contingency plan in the event if The Emperor was ever killed. That’s all I’ll say because I don’t want to imply too many spoilers. If you want to learn more about the Star Wars canon, check out our list 7 Ways to Keep Busy Until Battlefront II’s Released.