While anticipation was certainly high for EA’s follow-up to the wildly popular Battlefront, it was hard to know quite what to expect going into the official premiere at this year’s Star Wars Celebration. (That is, aside from that trailer leak.) But Star Wars and video game superfans were met with a veritable bounty of exciting info this weekend, with enough compelling switch-ups to pique the interest of even video game casuals.
At the panel, which welcomed minds behind the game like Matt Webster, Bernd Diemer, Paula Joyaux and Mark Thompson, the crowd was given the first look at the trailer, an exclusive behind-the-scenes featurette, new images from the game and an official release date. Here’s everything we learned at the Star Wars Celebration Battlefront II panel:
- Battlefront II will take place following the events of The Return of the Jedi, during the 30 year gap between the final film of the original trilogy and The Force Awakens.
- The storylines revealed in Battlefront II will be canon, and will serve to fill in the narrative blanks between episode 6 and episode 7.
- Rather than play simply as the Star Wars heroes you know and love, Battlefront II will offer single player gameplay with a new character, Iden Versio the Inferno Squad commander, whose father is a high-ranking Empire commander. She will be played by Janina Gavankar.
- The single player story will be told from the perspective of loss from a Stormtrooper on the ground following the Death Star explosion in The Return of the Jedi.
- The game will also reveal a new Star Wars location: Vardos. It’s a location that allows you to play inside of the city, featuring Brutalist architecture and (my favorite detail) tree leaves that give the impression of “bleeding” when they get wet.
- The Battlefront tie-in novel will be written by Christie Golden and will be titled Battlefront II: Inferno Squad. The book will be released July 25 of this year.
- All eras in Battlefront II are playable, meaning characters will include everyone from Luke Skywalker and Yoda to Kylo Ren and Rey. (You can also play as Luke Skywalker and Kylo Ren in story mode.)
- The game will allow you to upgrade your heroes, improving them as you continue to play.
- The creators referred to Battlefront II as “way more physical” than the first game, calling it “the biggest game [they’ve] ever worked on.”
- Battlefront II will feature space battles in multiplayer, which the creators call a “significant part” of the gameplay.
- Part of Battlefront II will take place on Kamino, though it’s unclear yet in what specific capacity.
- Battlefront II will be released November 17 of this year, and the potential The Last Jedi ties (thanks to that perfect timing) aren’t lost on the creators. There will reportedly be a few Last Jedi tie-ins, and pre-order will have Episode 8 themed costumes for Kylo Ren and Rey.
- Battlefront II will offer droid companions that are customizable, allowing you to range from cutesy R2-D2 riffs to darker and creepier sidekicks.
- Multiplayer gameplay is expanded, with characters like Yoda, Darth Maul, Kylo Ren and more available to play.
Wanna stay up on all the Star Wars Celebration happenings? Check back on Collider frequently over the weekend for our extensive Celebration coverage.