One of the biggest talking points following Disney’s acquisition of the Star Wars franchise was the decision to remove expanded universe content like video games, novels and comic books from the series’ canon. Since then, the company has set about re-establishing the universe to its own specifications — but where does that leave Star Wars: Battlefront?
The answer is a little more complicated than in other areas of the franchise. A Star Wars story told in a book has a definitive set of plot points that can be inserted into the existing canon; the open-ended nature of a video game like Battlefront makes it more difficult to establish whether or not it conforms to the lore of the overarching series.
According to DICE GM Patrick Bach, that’s what makes the canon status of Battlefront “complicated”. “Canon is connected often to story,” Bach said in an interview with IGN. “Is every battle you play out canon, or is this specific item canon? I can’t give you a clear answer on canon.”
Basically, Bach is saying that just because you took Darth Vader to Hoth and stopped the Rebellion in its tracks by killing Han, Luke, Leia and Chewie, that doesn’t mean it really happened in a galaxy far, far away — but his statement might suggest what fans can expect to play out in the game.
We know already that Battlefront won’t have a traditional campaign mode, but with only four planets confirmed, questions remain as to how much content will be included. However, DICE has confirmed that there will be co-op missions that can be played with friends or bots.
Obviously, the results of multiplayer matches were never going to be canon, so we can presume that Bach was referring to these missions when he spoke about the game’s canon status. As such, we might be able to infer that co-op will allow players to change the course of Star Wars history.
Seeing how battles might have played out different would be compelling content for hardcore fans — and would certainly live up to early marketing chatter about players being able to ‘live out their most memorable Star Wars fantasies’.
Details on the hotly anticipated return of the Battlefront series are still sparse, but we can expect to hear more about what’s in store at E3 in June. Until then, it’s time to rewatch that trailer another few hundred times.
Star Wars: Battlefront is set to launch for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on November 17, 2015.