Last week, we got our latest look at Star Wars Squadrons, the upcoming video game that is set to release on October 2!
The game has both a multiplayer and single player focus, and this latest trailer was specifically exploring more of the single player campaign. In this story, you’ll play as pilots of both the New Republic and the Empire, set after the Battle of Endor, as you fight in the final days of the Galactic Civil War. And it features some familiar faces making appearances, too.
Check it out for yourself:
We won’t break it down shot-by-shot, but let’s look at some of the more notable aspects of this great trailer.
Setting the stage
The trailer begins with a tremendous monologue from Leia Organa, setting the stage for where we find ourselves in the game, but also seemingly serving as an in-universe recruitment ad for the New Republic, which is pretty great. Here’s what Leia says:
“We all choose our path. Light, or dark. Freedom, or destruction. The Empire chose to destroy Alderaan in order to spread fear and douse the fires of the Rebellion. But the heroic pilots of the Rebel Alliance have chosen to keep fighting. To show the Empire that we are not afraid. It was their bravery that ended Palpatine’s reign, and brought about our New Republic. However, the Empire lives on, shattered though it may be. As I speak, Imperial forces are edging toward the Bormea sector, hoping to end our New Republic before we find our footing. As their Empire collapses, they try to tighten their grip. But the galaxy is changing, and you can be a part of it. With the help of brave and daring pilots, this war can end! Make a choice. Fly with the New Republic! Change our galaxy, for the better.”
Like I mentioned, it’s framed as a recruitment video for the New Republic, which I think is a great touch. It remains to be seen whether this is actually included in the game or not, but it serves multiple purposes. Firstly, it’s a cool and interesting way to begin the trailer. Secondly, it’s a way to set the stage for where we’re at; if you didn’t already know when in the timeline this game is set, now you do! Alderaan has been destroyed (that’s the first Death Star), and Palpatine’s reign has ended (that’s the second Death Star). Additionally, the mention of the New Republic is enough to make us realize that this is set after the fall of Palpatine and his Empire is shattered, but the war isn’t over yet. And thirdly, the fact that the trailer manages to tell all of this information in the format of a recruitment video is cool. I loved the recruitment video nod in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and I love it here as well.
One of the coolest things about the story that we’ve seen so far is how well it seems to incorporate other Star Wars storytelling, and nowhere is that more obvious than with the inclusion of Admiral Rae Sloane. We’ve seen her in other trailers, but she appears here giving orders, saying via hologram: “Take Titan Squadron. Hunt down the Starhawk, and eliminate it.”
So to clarify things a bit, Titan Squadron is the Imperial force that we’ll follow along with in the story, and so this is the mission given to them: to find and eliminate the Starhawk. So what’s the Starhawk? Well, that’s also a pretty significant deal (which we’ll get into more in a bit), but it’s a ship the New Republic secretly built that helped turn the tide of the fight against the Imperial fleet and its Star Destroyers. It’s not inaccurate to suggest that the Starhawk project could be a decisive factor in the war,, so it makes sense that the Empire is desperate to destroy it.
But that’s not the focus right now. The focus is on Sloane. If you’re not familiar with her, she’s a major player in the final year of the Civil War and has appeared in several books. She served the Empire as a Vice Admiral, but in the wake of Palpatine’s death, she was eventually promoted to Grand Admiral, and she in fact wound up overseeing the entire Imperial fleet and serving as the leading figurehead for the Imperial remnants (publicly, that is). After the Empire’s decisive defeat at the Battle of Jakku, Sloane fled into the Unknown Regions to regroup and rebuild, where she became one of the founding leaders of the First Order. Given how she is addressed and how she dresses, it looks like this exchange takes place before Sloane’s promotion to Grand Admiral, but it’s nonetheless great to see her in the game. I absolutely love how this game is taking a character established previously in the books and perhaps introducing her to wider audiences through Squadrons. That’s really cool.
Wedge and Rogue Squadron!
We also get a glimpse at another familiar character in this trailer, but he’s actually appeared on-screen before: Wedge Antilles! The heroic Rebel pilot who flew at the Battle of Yavin, the Battle of Hoth, the Battle of Endor, and so much more shows up in this game and walks toward the camera, saying, “Wedge Antilles, Rogue Squadron. I hear you’re the reason I was able to finally get a com through.” Later in the trailer, we see a glimpse at a mission that the player goes on, accompanying Wedge as you attack a Star Destroyer.
But what’s most significant about all of this is how Wedge identifies himself as “Wedge Antilles, Rogue Squadron.” Now, for fans of the old video games bearing that title, you’ll surely be excited. Rogue Squadron was a huge deal in legends material, so it’s surely got to be really cool to hear it mentioned again. In canon, what we know is that Luke Skywalker formed this squadron sometime after the Battle of Yavin, naming it in honor of the crew that gave their lives to retrieve the Death Star plans, Rogue One. Luke served as commander of Rogue Squadron (of which Wedge was a member), but sometime after the Battle of Hoth, Luke stepped down and Wedge took over as squadron commander. So by the time we encounter him in this game, he’s probably leading Rogue Squadron, and that’s awesome.
This too also helps us to place things, however, as we know that at some point Wedge would found Phantom Squadron, with which he would fly in the later battles in the Civil War, such as at Kashyyyk and Jakku. So this moment very likely takes place before Wedge has founded Phantom Squadron, and thus before he is taken prisoner and all that (as we read in the Aftermath books).
An extraction mission
The trailer gives us a more detailed look at one of the missions in the game in particular, as we are told that one of the missions that you go on for the Empire with Titan Squadron is to extract an Imperial spy who has obtained vital intelligence on Project Starhawk. So your mission is to extract her from an orbital outpost above Hosnian Prime. Your job is to eliminate the defenses, escort your ship to the outpost, where the spy is then extracted, and then regroup with your ship to escape – but before this happens, New Republic reinforcements arrive, meaning you’ve got to fight your way out of there.
This confirms what was already expected, that there will be various types of missions. In other words, it’s not just dogfighting but there are actual objectives, like an extraction. So I’m looking forward to that. It’s also cool, however, that this takes place above Hosnian Prime. It’s not the capital of the Republic at this point (that’s Chandrila), but Hosnian Prime is the capital of the New Republic by the time of The Force Awakens – leading to the destruction of the Hosnian System by Starkiller Base. It’s a key location, and it would serve as the home of the New Republic Flight Academy (which Wedge Antilles would help oversee), was the homeworld of Kazuda Xiono, was the planet on which the New Republic Senate was held when Leia’s political secret was disclosed, and much more.
Like with Rae Sloane and Wedge Antilles, we’ve seen Hera Syndulla in previous trailers, so we knew she was going to make an appearance – but that doesn’t make it any less cool to see more of her. She’s talking to the camera and says, “I need you focused and ready to go.”
Of course, this is just another example of this game pulling in elements from other Star Wars material. Hera was one of the main characters in Star Wars Rebels, so between her (TV series), Sloane (books), and Wedge (movies) we’ve got the main mediums represented (plus, of course, there’s overlap as well). But I think it’s awesome how this game is pulling in various material to create a story that seems engaging and significant.
By this time, Hera is a general in the New Republic. Presumably, this takes place while Hera is commanding a battle group of New Republic fighters from her flagship (the Lodestar), but that remains to be seen for sure. What we do know from other trailers is that Hera welcomes the New Republic fighters to the Nadiri Dockyards, so it seems like she might have a role in helping to oversee and protect the dockyards where the vital Starhawks are being constructed.
We’ve mentioned it several times, and that’s because it seems to be the primary driver of the story, but the Starhawk also makes an appearance in the trailer. We see it emerge, and it looks like the tractor beam is activated (though I can’t say for sure that’s what it is). But the Starhawk is known for having an incredibly strong tractor beam – which the Star Wars databank says is ten times as strong as an Imperial Star Destroyer. It also mentions that the Starhawk was commissioned to give the Republic a fair fight against the Empire, as it can match up against those Star Destroyers and help the resurgent rebels to victory.
So those are the main things that I noticed from the trailer that I wanted to point out, but I want to wrap up by just highlighting a few of the images from the trailer that help us get an idea of just how beautiful this game looks!