Star Wars Squadrons CG trailer will make you root for the Empire

EA has teamed up with ILM and Lucasfilm to create a new CG short for Star Wars Squadrons—and it’s a bold one. Rather than put the classic good guys of the Star Wars universe front and center, this mini story instead views things from the side of the Empire.

Near the start of the six-minute short, Varko Grey, the leader of the Empire’s Titan Squadron, finds himself abandoned during an evacuation. Now alone, he must do whatever it takes to make it out alive.

We won’t spoil what happens—the full thing is actually really compelling and worth a watch—but it’s shocking how well it emphasizes the Empire’s point-of-view.

Of course, the full story of Star Wars Squadrons will see players step into the cockpit as both New Republic and Empire fighters, so Grey and his side won’t be the ones we’re rooting for throughout.

But after this short, it looks like Squadrons has a good chance to do something interesting with the universe other games have failed to do—move beyond the simplicity of “good-versus-evil” that’s so baked into the universe. Since the game is set after Return of the Jedi, the New Republic will have the upper hand and the Empire will be underdogs. Given the way the prequels jumped right into an already ascendant First Order, we haven’t really explored this side of things much in higher-profile Star Wars media.

Past Star Wars games, even those like Force Unleashed or Battlefront II that emphasized the “bad guys” tended to hinge on big moments where our heroes realized that, actually, no, they were good guys all along, and the Empire sucks. If EA’s Motive Studios can craft something that values characters and perspectives on both sides of the conflict, it could be a refreshing change of pace.

Star Wars Squadrons launches October 2nd on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows PC.

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