Electronic Arts and Lucasfilm have teamed up for a new CGI short set in a galaxy far, far away titled Hunted, which ties into the upcoming game Star Wars: Squadrons. The short comes from visual effects legend John Knoll, who has been a part of the franchise since the beginning. Even though this is just a short intended to promote a video game, it may help fill the void for fans who are hungry for new content. It is action-packed and full of space combat, while also bringing a unique perspective.
EA's Neel Upadhye directed the short, which tells the story of Imperial pilot Varko Grey in the wake of another failed mission after the destruction of the second Death Star. John Knoll and Industrial Light & Magic collaborated with Motive Studios and EA to produce the short, which, much like the campaign for Star Wars: Squadrons, is canon. Knoll had this to say about it.
"I really admired cinematics from older Star Wars games. I think they're wonderful stories. It was kind of irresistible to have been offered to work on a standalone short. I felt like we had to do it."
The short wastes no time in getting to the action. Interestingly, it offers a sympathetic view to members of the Empire, which is not something we often see. From the score to the action and the story, this feels like genuine Star Wars storytelling. James Waugh, vice president of franchise content and strategy at Lucasfilm, had this to say.
"Even in the development of the game story, I think we all felt like this was going to be something incredibly tricky to pull off. The reason I say that is, we all want to make sure our characters are rich and dynamic and humanized, and approach every villain as the hero of their own story. But the Empire are the bad guys, this fascist order hellbent on total domination via oppression and subjugation. It's hard to even paint them in a way there they're sympathetic. That said, they have a point of view, regardless of how misguided or sinister they might be."
Star Wars: Squadrons looks to get EA and Lucasfilm on a hot streak in the video game department. The revamp of the Battlefront series proved to be underwhelming and caused a lackluster first couple of years under the Disney era in the gaming side of things. But last year's Jedi Fallen Order proved to be a huge hit, telling a canon story in a sprawling, single-player-focused game. In this case, the franchise is returning to space combat, much like the Rogue Squadron games of old. While the video game is multiplayer focused, there will also be a single-player campaign. Plus, the multiplayer will include crossplay between different platforms.
Another bonus is the price point. Star Wars: Squadron is available for pre-order now and runs $39.99. It arrives on October 2 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and VR. Be sure to check out the new short for yourself. This news comes to us via StarWars.com.