Making a game based on an existing franchise is a tricky affair, thanks to all the various minutiae. Star Wars is one of those franchises where the fans are absolute sticklers for details, with every single weapon, vehicle, rank and planet looked over with a fine tooth comb. My house is full of books on the subjects of how X-wings work, why certain parts are visible and the outfits of Naboo royalty. There is a foundation, the 501st Legion, that makes sure that everyone who dresses like a stormtrooper can arrive at a convention and look similar enough to be part of the same unit, down to the very boots.
Star Wars video games are no different in their attention to detail. Star Wars Battlefront II takes players to a number of worlds in the Star Wars universe, all of which have been reproduced in the game in glorious detail – the best we’ve ever seen in a video game. I decided to take a closer look at some of the planets featured in the single-player portion of the game to see how they hold up against their film counterparts.
Endor, home of the Ewoks, is a forest moon and was supposed to be the place where the Empire crushed the rebels in a trap. Using a shield generator on the surface of the planet, the second Death Star would be protected from all attacks. That is, until some rebels blew it up, making their way past speeder bikes, AT-STs and more.
In Battlefront II, we arrive on Endor *after* the shield generator has been destroyed, on a mission to see if it was merely deactivated and whether it can be repaired or restored. The debris field is impressive and there is no hope of repairing anything in the buckled scraps of metal. The team has to find ships to leave the planet and they climb up one of the landing pads that dot the surface.
Here is a shot of the massive shield generator from Return of the Jedi, and the debris that greets Inferno Squad.
This beautiful planet is home to the mysterious Maz Kanata and her castle/pub /smugglers’ haven. We join Han Solo at the castle and we get to see the flags in the courtyard with a lot more detail than is possible in the few frames they are visible in The Force Awakens. Given this is also a few decades before the film, the flags seem to be in better shape too.
The stand out flag is the central grey with red skull – the symbol of the Mandalorians. This flag is prominent in both the game and the movie. Other flags include Hutts, podracers, bounty hunters and many more can be seen hanging proudly. Talk about a hive of scum and villainy.
It has been a long time since we saw Naboo and while the quality of the prequels is often a point of debate, the landscapes and cities were amazing to behold. This verdant breadbasket world houses the capital of Theed, with its domes of pale green and many statues.
Here is a shot of the main plaza that leads to the palace, a road we see often in the movie as the droid army rolls in to occupy the city, and when a celebration parade happens at the end of Episode 1. It is also the central building for both a story mission and a multiplayer objective in the game. Here it is, with the same statues at the entrance to the small doorway into the palace.
Ever wonder how Jakku became a place junkers flock to? A massive battle between the Rebellion and the Empire resulted in many Star Destroyers crashing into the desert dunes, where they have slowly been picked clean over decades. A whole industry has built up around the hunks of scrap and junk. Here is a shot of one of the first Star Destroyers that crashed into the desert surface of the planet.
Now have a look at this shot from The Force Awakens. This is a few decades later and sand has shifted and moved, but notice that front part of the ship is sitting at an angle? See how it is also broken about midway through? Yes, it may be complete coincidence and maybe Star Destroyers all break in half when crashing into a planet at an angle… Yeah, you don’t believe that either, do you?
Many other locations are shown in Battlefront II but most of them are only mentioned in passing in the films or don’t show the place from the same viewpoint. For example, the game has a level in Bespin and while we have seen Cloud City in the movies and know how the place seems to be all clouds and not much else, Battlefront II has a different perspective. Here we see the Beldons – giant floating creatures that create the Tibanna gas that is used to fuel ships – as well as a refuelling depot.
Star Wars Battlefront II is not a game without flaws, but its attention to detail in bringing the Star Wars universe to life as we have never seen before in a video game is something casual and diehard fans alike can appreciate. (My wife, the biggest Star Wars fan I know, sat with me while I played the campaign, pointing out all the important locations!)
Disclaimer: This post was paid for. The article was made in-house and we chose the tone and topic for it.