The new Star Wars: Battlefront may not have space battles, a single-player campaign, more than five planets, or settings from the prequel trilogy, but it’s got something none of the previous entries in the series do: a tie-in novel.
As dedicated Star Wars fans know, following Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm and the Star Wars franchise, the powers that be decided to remove the so-called “Expanded Universe” – i.e. all of the novels, comic books, television shows, and other non-filmic Star Wars material that’s been produced over the years – from the official Star Wars canon. While this media will still be published, it now appears as part of the “Legends” line; the movies and The Clone Wars and Rebels television shows still “count,” but otherwise, Lucasfilm is rebuilding Star Wars continuity from scratch.
So far, the new Star Wars canon includes a number of comic books by Marvel, as well as a line of novels from Del Rey books. So far, two books have been published – Tarkin by James Luceno and Heir to the Jedi by Kevin Hearne – with a half-dozen more waiting in the wings. As announced at the 2015 Star Wars Celebration, one of these books is Star Wars Battlefront: Twilight Company, a novel based on the upcoming video game.
Battlefront: Twilight Company is being written by Alexander Freed, and while that name may not sound familiar, many gamers are already quite familiar with his work. Before going freelance, Freed worked for six years at BioWare, the studio behind Mass Effect and Dragon Age. Freed spent most of his time at the company working on the Star Wars MMORPG The Old Republic; he’s also responsible for a number of comics that take place in The Old Republic’s setting. If anyone’s qualified to turn a Star Wars video game into a novel, it’s probably this guy.
Battlefront: Twilight Company takes place after the destruction of the first Death Star, and focuses on the ongoing struggle between a group of elite Stormtroopers and a squad of rebels. As the official summary says:
Under the direction of the Emperor and Darth Vader, an army of highly trained, single-minded stormtroopers quashes dissent and destroys resistance. But on worlds like Sullust, Coyerti, Haidoral Prime, and untold others, Rebel forces fight in the trenches, determined to maintain hope against the unrelenting Imperial war machine…
Star Wars: Battlefront is the first AAA video game to officially join Lucasfilm’s new Star Wars continuity. While The Old Republic will continue, in a panel at the Star Wars Celebration, Star Wars Story Group member Pablo Hidalgo said that BioWare had created a “fantastic” universe but confirmed that the game isn’t canon.
Star Wars: Battlefront releases November 17, 2015 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.