The chance to tell a story in official Star Wars canon is one many would commit bloody, bloody murder for. This is a world we’ve come to know inside and out over 40 years, so fiddling about in such a beloved toybox is one hell of an opportunity. It’s also a setting that can carry a range of narratives without buckling; basically, the sky’s the limit.
Star Wars: Battlefront II made the most of this with a tale from the Empire’s perspective. What should the series do next, though? Although it’s very likely that Battlefront III will follow the adventures of Zay (daughter of Iden Versio, our last playable character), there’s a whole universe of possibility to choose from within that.
AWOOGA! AWOOGA! Spoilers for Star Wars: Battlefront II ahead.
The Resurrection DLC sets up a current-trilogy campaign to perfection. After watching her mother die, Zay leaves for the lawless Outer Rim under orders of Leia… moments before The Last Jedi begins. It’s a real statement of intent/flare shot into the sky accompanied by an orchestral band that shrieks, ‘all aboard for Kylo Ren and Porgs in the next game’. This is a fab idea for more than brand synergy. While Battlefront III will probably hit at the same time Episode IX does, it’s an era we know precious little about; what we’ve cobbled together can basically be recounted in an elevator ride. As such, there’s plenty of scope to plug those gaps.
What better subject than the First Order? The Force Awakens waved vaguely in the direction of military loyalists left behind after Return of the Jedi, but we’ve got very little to go on beyond that. Specifically, we’re told that:
- They established themselves through the help of sympathisers.
- Were seen as a pocket of nutters without any real manpower (whoops).
What does life look like for the average First Order citizen? It makes you wonder if they buy into the bigotry of these Empire-wannabes or if they’re simply brainwashed. The Last Jedi tells us via Rose that they occupy planets and force the inhabitants to work for them, but just that’s the tip of the iceberg; how do they find enough children to abduct for their Stormtrooper program, for instance? Are kids willingly given over by fanatics within First Order space? Let us find out by going behind enemy lines, messing with the bad guys’ s***, and generally throwing a spanner in the works.
Failing that, lifting the curtain on the New Republic (which is now in disarray after Starkiller Base’s attack) would be a good call. After all, we’ve only been to the outskirts of modern galactic society in the last two films. I’d love to see how things have changed since the Empire’s day.
Moreover, it’d be fun to find out whether criminal outfits like Jabba the Hutt’s have been snuffed out after peace was restored by Leia and co. (spoilers – I’m guessing not). This at least is a strong contender; I’d say Zay going to the Outer Rim guarantees bounty hunters, Tattooine, and scruffy lookin’ nerf herders. Which is wonderful, obviously.
Of course, there’s no reason why the developers have to limit themselves to this new era. In fact, I’d almost prefer them to take a leaf out of Battlefield I’s book and give us a range of missions from throughout the series. The latter provided a collection of war stories from various points across WW1, and Battlefront is ideally positioned to do the same. We could have the harrowing story of a clone in the trenches of the Clone War, culminating with that massive space-battle in Revenge of the Sith/Order 66. We might then step into a Rebellion fighter’s boots as they struggle past the biggest conflicts of the original trilogy, leaving us to finish up with Zay’s narrative post-The Last Jedi.
Regardless of where the story goes, it’s wonderful to see the developers given such a position of trust within Star Wars’ story. Lucky sods.
Check back each Friday for more as I go into the weeds on pop-culture story, lore, and settings.