E3 – Star Wars Battlefront 2

This game just looks absolutely amazing but as you know, I’m biased when it comes to Star Wars things so first here’s the main gameplay trailer to let you guys see for yourself.

Alright, so we already got to see a lot of great things really fast such as the showing the different era’s throughout the series and the different heroes we’ll get to see. I was actually really surprised to see that we’ll have heroes mixing in different eras. Having focused so solely on one era through the first game, it was a welcome surprise to see them really open up the possibilities of fights between Darth Maul and Rey or Boba Fett and Yoda. I also love how seamlessly they’re switching their style over to an actual team based shooter in the ways of Battle Points(Which will help you buy Heroes, Vehicles, Speciality Classes and so on.) And in the different classes of Assault(Basic shooter), Heavy(Tank), Specialist(Sniper) and Officer(Support) you really get the feel that working together is the best way to play the new game. They’ve only shown the “Assault on Theed” game mode but I’m sure they’ll announce more as we get closer to the release date of the game itself.

I love that we’ve already seen more planets than we did in the first one which will help it to feel new and fresh. The graphics and sound are still nothing short of perfect and that’s to be expected. I truly think that this will be the Star Wars game we need.

The only thing I’m concerned about is that they said “Free Seasonal DLC” starting with the Last Jedi featuring Finn and Phasma as the new heroes. That sounds great and I love the idea of it…but I’ve been hurt before. I’m still getting the game but I’m waiting to see if EA sticks to that.

Here’s my favorite of thr actual gameplay videos, pay close attention and you can see some of the different abilities that each class and hero can use. There’s two videos from Massive G, one of the clones and one of the droids. Enjoy!

 

A Return To The Stars

Long before I began on my journey as a writer, certainly before I picked up my first comic and even before I travelled all across Middle-Earth there was one fandom that started it all : Star Wars.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Star Wars coming out and that’s why I wanted to talk about what this series meant to me. With the exception of Star Trek or Flash Gordon, we had never seen anything like it until this film, we were given glimpses into the lives of these fantastical characters and new worlds that we never wanted to leave and there’s always more on the horizon even far after the main characters stories are told.

The first film was what introduced us to characters like Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, Han Solo, Chewbacca and many other classics that would stick with us for years. But why? Why were these wild stories so close to us? I think it’s because we’ve all felt like Luke before, I think we’ve all worried about our place in the universe and I think that resonates with us. We’ve all wanted to be Strong like Leia, cool like Han, wise like Obi-Wan or Yoda and loyal like Chewbacca, R2-D2 or C-3PO. That’s why Star Wars hits home with us is because of how powerful the storyline is. There will never be a scene that affected me more as a kid then Vader saving Luke from the emperor and him wanting to see Luke with his own eyes one time. We finally saw Anakin for what he was and it’s just an incredibly powerful and emotional scene.

Another reason the film was groundbreaking was THX and ILM. These studios basically built the special effects department and it’s why most of their effects still hold up to this day. Practical Effects will always hold up because they still look real even if the film is older and that’s why movies like The Force Awakens and Rogue One stuck with them so much. Their stop motion work with the AT-AT’s on Hoth was nothing short of phenomenal and it’s clear to see why that scene is considered so iconic. Think of Star wars in your head and you might get a certain visual of something you loved like a character or a ship or a lightsaber but the lightsaber doesn’t work as well without sound and the sound of the Tie-Fighters is what makes the Death Star battle so intense. Think of most of your major blockbusters over the last 30 years and they were probably helped by something that ILM or THX created. Prime Example : You like Pixar? John Lasseter got his start with ILM along with half of the staff from the first Toy Story. In other words, would we have had Pixar if it wasn’t for Star Wars? Possibly, but it still would be very different.

And of course, we can’t talk about Star Wars without mentioning John Williams. His work on multiple different films have made him one of the most iconic composers of the last 50 years but it’s Star Wars that’s his crowning achievement. Whether it was something classical like “The Imperial March” or something new like “Duel Of The Fates” John Williams’ music is something that we all associate with Star Wars.

Memory is an interesting thing because I can’t tell you when I first saw these films and I can’t tell you the exact moment that the love of this galaxy overtook me but I can tell you exactly how it felt to hold a micro-machines X-Wing in my hand and imagine that there were worlds out there with stories for ages. I can tell you how I longed to become a Jedi Knight like Luke following Obi-Wan. But most of all I can tell you how it felt when me, my family and my friends got together to watch these films and enjoy the galaxy of lore together. When I really look back at it, to paraphrase Obi-Wan, these were my first steps towards wanting to become an entertainer. I’ve always wanted to create stories and characters like these because I want people years from now to have the same feelings as I did when I first saw the Tantive IV being chased by the Star Destroyer, watched the Millennium Falcon narrowly dodge Tie-Fghters or was drawn to the edge of my seat as Luke made the Trench Run on the Death Star.

That’s what Star Wars truly means to me. It’s the nostalgia of that childhood magic, the excitement of the battles and the wonder that there’s something else just beyond that horizon. It’s that feeling that carries me through my career…and that’s all because of Star Wars.

“It’s so much bigger” Star Wars Celebration 2017

Major Spoilers for The Force Awakens and Rogue One to Follow!!!

Over the weekend Star Wars Celebration was going on in Orlando and obviously this was a big weekend for me for a lot of reasons but the main one was the reveal of The Last Jedi trailer. There was a lot to cover but I’ll mainly be focusing on The Last Jedi and Star Wars Battlefront II. I won’t be talking much about Rebels because I’m not caught up with Season 3 just yet but that being said, Season 4 looks great and I think it will be a fantastic finale for this series.

 

Star Wars Battlefront II

This year will see the release of Star Wars Battlefront II, EA and Dice are trying to do better than their previous outing in the Star Wars franchise which was panned by critics and fans alike for various problems. While it looked and sounded absolutely phenomenal it was plagued by a lack of content, few planet choices, no space battles, no clone wars, and little to no single player experience. Add all of this plus the fact that the only way to get more content was to pay $50-$60 dollars for the Downloadable Content…A good amount of people were very upset about this game. I waited until The season pass went on Sale after Rogue One came out and finally got it and the entire game felt full and satisfactory but it was only after I bought the extra content. I’m hoping that they’ve learned from their first mistakes and fix most of the issues.

The first trailer revealed the addition of Space Battles, the addition of all eras of the films including the Prequels and The Force Awakens and a very intense Single Player Campaign from the look of it. They’ve announced that different parts of the studio will be handling different aspects of the game which makes a lot of sense for one group to focus on the campaign, one to focus on the ground battles and one to focus on the space battles.

From what I can gather from the trailer and EA’s Website, The Campaign will focus on Iden Versio, The Commander of Inferno Squad and will open on Endor during the destruction of the second Death Star and will continue through various battles leading up to The Force Awakens.

They’ve also said that they’re adding a class system similar to the Battlefield games and I think that’ll work a lot better than Star Cards or pick-ups.

I have a lot of hopes for this game and everything sounds great and I hope they can stick the landing. I will be pre-ordering the deluxe edition soon…mainly just to make sure I get The Last Jedi versions of Kylo Ren and Rey.

 

Forces Of Destiny

Forces Of Destiny is a new youtube miniseries that’s going to focus on the great female characters of Star Wars such as Leia, Rey, Ashoka and the rest. It’s been announced that pretty much everyone from the Cartoons and Films are reprising their roles for the series which is gonna be great. It’ll start sometime this summer and I fully intend to share all of the episodes on here and our Facebook page.

Below is a picture of the dolls they’re releasing for the series. Sabine looks a little wonky and Jyn looks the most accurate but I need that Rey and BB-8 in my life.

 

Captain Phasma

Phasma is officially getting her own comic which will bridge the gap between The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. I’m incredibly excited about this for the main reason that the lack of Captain Phasma in Force Awakens was my only complaint about the film. It seemed like a wasted opportunity but between this comic and her addition in The Last Jedi trailer I hope that we’ll get to know a lot more about Phasma.

Personally, I think it’d be awesome if she was revealed as one of the Knights of Ren…I doubt it will happen but it would be pretty awesome if it was true.

The Last Jedi

 

Whoa, now I’ve discussed this trailer with a lot of different people and this is what I’ve come up with :

1. This trailer is very Luke heavy and that’s perfectly fine by me. He has the first lines spoken and I think that it’s an important piece of Dialogue from both the standpoints of story as well as meta-textual, remember that the very first line of The Force Awakens was “This will begin to make things right.” Which once again worked within the context of the story and the idea that these films will be much better than…certain things that have come before. Dialogue is very important in these films and a perfect example of that is “Breathe, just Breathe. Reach out. What do you see?” See, with The Force Awakens we were just now getting back into Star Wars but now we’ve had time to process the return and now we get to focus on a brand new story.

2. The next thing we see is a Resistance control room, presumably with Leia running things like she does, Rey says she sees Light. Then we see Kylo Ren’s broken mask, Rey says she see’s Darkness. Then we see what looks to be an old school Jedi altar, it basically looks like something from the Mortis trilogy in The Clone Wars or from the Bendu in Rebels which I think is awesome. I love that they’ve focused on building up the force in this trailer. I really think we’re gonna see some new stuff like we did with Kylo Ren holding the blaster bolt and using telepathy.

3. Then we see some really quick hits featuring a new speeder squadron going to charge against AT-AT’s, we see Finn in recovery after his duel with Kylo Ren, we see Poe and BB-8 running through a hall just as Poe’s X-Wing explodes…which broke my heart cause I love his X-Wing and we see a space battle towards the end of this part which is going to be great but the key element of this part is 3 very quick scenes, a close up of Kylo Ren holding his lightsaber out amid a firey backdrop, a building burning in the distance as a man falls to his knees next to R2-D2 and Captain Phasma leading a group of Stormtroopers through a firey hallway. I think that all three of these scenes are done as a flashback sequence to reveal the truth behind Ben Solo’s transformation into Kylo Ren and the destruction of Luke’s Jedi Academy. Notice that this is his original Tri-Saber even though his original lightsaber was destroyed in his duel against Rey and she also scarred his face and it does look like he might have one but it’s kinda hard to tell. There have been Rumors that we’ll see him build his new Lightsaber in this film which would be a great and emotional scene to see him make that rite of passage and it would also work in perfect juxtaposition to Rey making her own lightsaber instead of using Luke’s. Although the lightsaber building is only rumored for the two characters it would be a really cool scene to see from both perspectives.

4. The final point behind this entire trailer hinges on that final scene where we see the silhouette of Luke and he says “I only know one truth, it’s time for the Jedi to end.”

Let’s dissect his Dialogue here for a bit : After Rey says what she sees, he tells her “It’s so much bigger.” and then at the end he says “It’s time for the Jedi to end.” That’s some really heavy stuff coming from him. See, my biggest question after The Force Awakens was “Why would Luke not be there? Why would he allow all of this to happen without his guiding hand to stop the first order?” Well what if everything he believed was undone? What if he realized that the Jedi and Sith weren’t the only two groups to use the force? Let’s go over this list of Force Users : Snoke, Kylo Ren, Maz Kanata, Chirrut Imwe, The Bendu, The Mortis Family, The Nightsisters and The Inquisitors. All of these characters use the force in some way and none of them identify as Jedi or Sith. I think the ultimate point of the Last Jedi is that Luke is the Last Jedi and he wants Rey to be something better. The Jedi served their purpose and their time has passed, I don’t think Luke is turning evil and I don’t think that he’s just a grey Jedi. I think that Luke has realized that the Jedi were the reason that Anakin turned to the dark side and I think that Yoda was being prophetic when he said “When gone am I, the last of the Jedi you will be.” I really like the idea of Rey being something new.

Also, this is what I think Snoke is. A new player from a new teaching of the dark side that we haven’t seen. He never claims to be a sith and neither does Kylo and that is very telling to me as a writer and as a fan…and I think Luke is actually searching for the answers behind the beginning of the force and where it split off besides the Jedi and The Sith.

5. My final point of the trailer is this : This film will not be what we expected by any means and I’m totally Ok with that. Rogue One already proved that Disney and Lucasfilm can make a darker Star Wars film without hurting the source material and I think The Last Jedi will be a darker film as well. It’s like I always said, The Force Awakens can be nostalgic for the classical feel so The Last Jedi can be something different entirely. Luke is my favorite character and I can’t wait to see what he’s been up to and just how powerful he’s become.