Disney and Lucasfilm are revving up the Star Wars marketing machine ahead of the theatrical premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Of course, that means tie-in merchandise for the film is right around the corner, and in the coming months we’ll see everything from books to Hasbro toys to video game systems hit shelves for consumers.
It’s an exciting time to be a Star Wars gamer because November marks the release of the latest version of the popular Star Wars: Battlefront video game. Like most products from a galaxy far, far away these days, the game will be looking to fill in some of the blanks in the new franchise canon. Most notably, it features downloadable content (DLC) that showcases the Battle of Jakku.
The desert wasteland planet has quickly become familiar to fans, thanks to its heavy presence in the two Force Awakens trailers. With images like the wreckage of a Star Destroyer and X-wing laying in the sand, it’s become apparent that a great conflict between the Empire and the Rebellion took place on the world after Return of the Jedi, and now those interested will be able to see what exactly happened.
EW had some details about the new Battlefront game, including information about the Jakku content. Though the actual game goes on sale in November, the DLC will not be made available until December. Gamers who pre-ordered the package will receive it on December 1, while those who decide to wait will get it a week later.
One note of interest is that the Battle of Jakku apparently takes place 29 years before the events of The Force Awakens, which means it’s only a year following the Rebel Alliance’s victory at Endor. As if fans needed further proof that the Empire did not go quietly into the night after Palpatine’s death, DICE concept artist Anton Grandert said that the development team was eager to show how little things have changed since the Galactic Civil War seemingly concluded at the end of Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi:
“There’s a David and Goliath theme to this. The epic, huge super structures of the Star Destroyers contrast against the tiny but brave Rebel soldiers fighting the Imperial forces.”
As screenshots of the Jakku content has shown, this is one of the more destructive battles in Star Wars lore, with participants in both ground infantry and ariel combat. Grandert also elaborated on why the level was constructed the way it was, saying that he felt it made the game more immersive:
“We wanted to portray a battle completely surrounding you, in every direction. Debris is falling from the sky, telling the story of battles above. On the surface of the planet you can see ground troops as well as X-wings, all taking part of the fight.”
All in all, it sounds like the DLC will be a worthwhile addition to anyone’s copy of Battlefront when it comes out. Not only does it look to be a visually stunning environment to explore, it also has a strong connection to the upcoming movie and will most likely lay out some foundational breadcrumbs for the Episode VII narrative. As is the case with the new wave of Star Wars books, this may not be a prerequisite for Force Awakens viewing, but it should enhance the experience.
Star Wars: Battlefront will be available for consoles on November 17th, 2015.