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Within the last week, DICE has released a plethora of information on Star Wars: Battlefront, such as its setting, play-style, some game modes, rough number of maps at launch, tie-ins to the movie, and so on; however, it’s the last piece of information that piqued an incredible amount of interest – Star Wars: Battlefront will, in some way or another, tie in with Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Given the current mass confusion over the Star Wars canon, this move is simultaneously expected and surprising.
Are you confused about what’s included in the Star Wars canon and what isn’t? Don’t be – here’s a guide on what does and does not belong, according to Disney.
Scrapping existing Star Wars canon
When Disney first acquired the rights to Star Wars, many saw it as a fresh start for the franchise, which is moving onto its eagerly-anticipatde seventh instalment at the end of the year. Disney wasted no time in re-establishing relevant lore and scrapping everything you thought you knew about Star Wars.
Early last year, Disney announced that it is scrapping the Star Wars Expanded Universe from official canon, meaning that any Star Wars books you may have read never actually happened. That’s right – Death Troopers never happened, nor did Knights of the Old Republic.
The Expanded Universe is now referred to as ‘Legends’, which is pretty self-explanatory in itself. Scrapping the EU was the easiest way for Disney to come in and tell a story without having to worry about interfering with 30 years of storytelling.
What is Star Wars’ new cannon?
According to Disney, Star Wars canon will now consist of:
- Star Wars main series (I – IX)
- Star Wars: Anthology series (Rogue One, et al.)
- Clone Wars movie & TV-Show (2008 CGI one)
- Rebels TV show
- Every post-2014 Marvel comic*
- Every post-2014 video game (Battlefront etc.)
- Every post-2014 book (Tarkin, Aftermath etc.)
Pretty simple, right?
Where it gets tricky is knowing whether or not they’ll include historically famous characters in any upcoming projects, and which traits of said characters will come through on the screen if they do.
What happens if they include famous Star Wars characters?
We already know that some characters who will appear in Star Wars: Battlefront, such as Darth Vader and Boba Fett, have an established canon in the main six Star Wars films, meaning it’s safe to use them. What we don’t know are specific details on each character that were previously established in the Expanded Universe, such as whether or not Boba Fett escapes the Sarlacc Pit.
If Disney include any famous characters in their upcoming games or films, characters who had a presence in both the ‘new’ canon and the EU, then they will ignore anything that was previously in the EU.
According to Pablo Hidalgo, a member of the Lucasfilm Story Group, “Boba Fett is both simultaneously alive and dead in the Sarlaac Pit until a story pulls him out.”
For games like The Old Republic series, the story is essentially ‘canon until it isn’t’, meaning that the team isn’t planning on doing anything with the characters within just yet, but may at some point in the future.
What about games with multiple endings?
If history has taught us anything, it’s that at some point we’ll get a new Star Wars game that features multiple endings. Whether it’s a(nother) space epic from Bioware or a completely new Visceral project, Star Wars fans can expect multiple choice in how they play some of their Star Wars games in the future.
Even Star Wars: Battlefront technically features multiple endings to every battle – the Empire will always win the battle of Hoth in the official canon, but in Battlefront it can go either way.
The Story Group has stepped in and clarified the obvious: if something is approved as canon, that doesn’t necessarily make it 100% canon. For example, a new LEGO game can’t be 100% canon because of how the series mixes and mashes everything from the Star Wars Universe together into one – often hilarious – game.
The Story Group’s stamp of approval, however, deems that it’s an ‘authentic’ part of the canon, which deems that the characters behave how they should, and the game is worthy of the ‘Star Wars’ title. This also goes for games that will have multiple endings.
If there's anything else that needs clarifying, or you have any questions, please include it in the comments below, and we'll be sure to update this post.