You know that shot in the second Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer, where a speeder rides by a crashed Star Destroyer on a desert planet? The Destroyer is shown at incredible scale in the background, and though few details are conveyed by it, it seems pretty clear that the fight that brought it down occurred many years ago.
That desert planet — which everyone assumed to be Tatooine at first — is named Jakku. All we know about Jakku is that it's a world on the outer rim of that galaxy far, far away, where Daisy Ridley's character Rey lives and first meets John Boyega's AWOL Stormtrooper Finn.
But what about the Star Destroyer? What brought it crashing down onto the surface of this remote planet, and when did that happen?
That won't be addressed in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but the big fight itself will be depicted in a special downloadable level for EA/DICE's upcoming video game, Star Wars Battlefront. This DLC pack, which will be free for all owners of Battlefront, will allow gamers to play the Battle of Jakku itself.
DICE is keeping mum on what all will be involved in that battle — because there are probably some minor spoilers in it for The Force Awakens — but today the curtain has lifted with some juicy details. First and foremost: the Battle of Jakku is said to have taken place "29 years before" The Force Awakens. That puts it not long after the Death Star, Emperor, and Darth Vader were all destroyed in Return of the Jedi. About one year after, to be exact, which means that by this point, the Rebels have already formed their fledgeling "New Republic." But there's still plenty of mop-up work to be done throughout the galaxy, among Imperial regions and strongholds that refuse to go down without a fight.
A pair of concept art images for the battle have been posted online, and these visuals are staggering. They display an extreme sense of scale, from a ground-level perspective that's like nothing ever seen in Star Wars before.
The article accompanying the two images notes that the Battle of Jakku is responsible for creating "the massive, battle-scarred landscape of Jakku" as seen in The Force Awakens. What you see in the images is the immediate aftermath of the Star Destroyer's crash, with "myriad Imperial ground troops" evacuating and joining the surface battle against the New Republic. The article also notes that the Imperials and New Republic troops are both "strangers to this planet." Interesting.
Created by DICE concept artist Anton Grandert, the images are meant to showcase the dramatic differences in size between the various vehicles and the miniscule soldiers fighting. Grandert stated that his mandate in creating the image was to convey the chaos of war, with "a battle completely surrounding you, in every direction."
Sounds good to us.
Star Wars Battlefront is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC on November 17, 2015. The Battle of Jakku level pack will be available for download on December 1 for those who pre-ordered the game, and one week later for everyone else.