Replaying the Classics: Star Wars: Bounty Hunter

StarWars.com

In Replaying the Classics, StarWars.com revisits Star Wars games of yesteryear, examining why we loved them then and why they stand the test of time.

Released six months after Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, LucasArts’ Star Wars: Bounty Hunter is the ultimate Legends-era Episode II prequel. With Temuera Morrison and Leeanna Walsman reprising their roles as Jango Fett and Zam Wesell from the film, the game also costars Clancy Brown (Savage Opress) as the ruthless Mandalorian Montross and Corey Burton (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) as Count Dooku. Originally launched exclusively for the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube, the game was given the royal treatment in November 2015, when it was included as part of a special Star Wars Battlefront bundle for PlayStation 4.

In terms of narrative and presentation, Bounty Hunter delivers the goods. It’s got high-quality cinematics rendered by the special-effects wizards at Industrial Light & Magic; it’s got original music by Jeremy Soule, who later composed the original score for Knights of the Old Republic (2003); and it tells a story that adds color and depth to some of Jango Fett’s best dialogue in Episode II.

Darth Sidious speaks with Count Dooku in the game Star Wars: Bounty Hunter.

At the outset, Dooku (“Tyranus”) is still a Sith in training under Darth Sidious. The seedy galactic underworld, meanwhile, is slipping into chaos under the influence of factions like the Bando Gora, a Force-worshipping death cult led by Komari Vosa, a former disciple of Dooku’s. Two tasks are laid out before Sidious’s new apprentice: eliminate the threat of the Bando Gora, and find a suitable host for the Grand Army of the Republic, which of course the Sith intend to use for their own nefarious purposes.

The Count of Serenno puts a bounty out on Vosa: five million Republic credits. Whoever manages to kill Dooku’s former Padawan will become the template for the Republic’s clone army. (To further flesh out this epic prequel story, LucasArts’ Haden Blackman also wrote a tie-in comic, Jango Fett: Open Seasons, that explored Fett’s relationship to Montross, his longtime rival among the Mandalorian people.)

From a gameplay perspective, Bounty Hunter’s built on a classic, tried-and-true formula rarely seen in more modern action titles. Jango’s primary weapons are his dual blaster pistols, which can be rapid-fired as quickly as you can press the gamepad’s square button. The twist is that you can lock on to targets, making survival less about precision aiming and more about agility. With Jango’s jetpack, which requires a slight cooldown after being used for a certain length of time, you can essentially fly over enemies’ heads as you rain down blasterfire on them from above; crouching and strafing also let you keep the upper hand in a straight fight on the ground.

Darth Sidious in the game Star Wars: Bounty Hunter.

The game includes several exciting boss fights against characters central to Fett’s backstory, as well as an optional bounties system that allows you to scan, identify, and hunt down wanted individuals hiding out in the galaxy’s underbelly. Progressing through the story also unlocks fun bonus content like comic-book pages, Fett-related Star Wars Trading Card Game scans, over a hundred works of concept art, and a few minutes’ worth of humorous outtakes from the game’s voice-over sessions, which have been animated to various degrees by ILM.

Uprezzed to 1080p high definition and featuring additions like PSN Trophies support, the PS4 port of Bounty Hunter is the definitive version of an already stellar game. Many fans remember it as probably the best Clones-era tie-in game — alongside Pandemic’s Battlefront predecessor, The Clone Wars (2002) — and I’m pleased to report that it’s aged phenomenally. With the game’s fast, fluid framerate, intuitive control scheme, and smooth third-person camera, it’s effortless to slip into the armor and feel like a simple man tryin’ to make his way in the universe. And well worth your time.

Star Wars: Bounty Hunter is available on PlayStation 4.

Alex Kane is a journalist based in west-central Illinois. He has written for Fangoria, Polygon, the website of Rolling Stone, Variety, and other publications. Follow him on Twitter at @alexjkane.

Replaying the Classics: Star Wars: Bounty Hunter

Replaying the Classics: Star Wars: Rogue Squadron 3D

StarWars.com

In Replaying the Classics, StarWars.com revisits Star Wars games of yesteryear, examining why we loved them then and why they stand the test of time.

Rogue Squadron has a lot in common with Episode I: Racer — it’s one of the best Star Wars titles of the Nintendo 64 era, it’s still easy to pick up and play, and age hasn’t dulled its magic in the slightest.

Here’s a game — an aerial shoot-’em-up inspired by the Rogue Squadron comic books of the mid-‘90s — that was uniquely suited to the N64’s single-thumbstick gamepad in its day. Plug your favorite controller or joystick into your PC now, and flying into battle still feels both effortless and intuitive; just choose a configuration that prioritizes precision aiming. One analog stick is all it takes to steer your X-wing (or other starfighter) in all three dimensions, so you’ll be shooting down TIEs in no time.

Blasting TIEs on Tatooine in Star Wars: Rogue Squadron.

In the aftermath of their victory at Yavin, the rebels find themselves on the run from a vengeful Empire in this Legends-era story. Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles have established Rogue Squadron, made up of the Alliance’s very best star pilots. Playing as Skywalker, you’ll lead the Rebellion on 16 story-driven missions across the galaxy, recruiting Imperial defectors like Crix Madine to your cause, scrambling for resources, and — following a late-game time jump to the New Republic era — saving Mon Calamari from a trio of planet-killing World Devastators. (For more context, read Dark Empire, written by Tom Veitch and illustrated by Cam Kennedy.)

Most of your favorite starfighters are available for you to take into battle, keeping in mind that the game launched in 1998, before even The Phantom Menace had made it to theaters. You’ll start off in Luke’s T-65 X-wing, then gradually earn access to fan favorites like the A-wing, Y-wing, Naboo N-1 starfighter, Millennium Falcon, and a Legends version of the V-wing airspeeder, seen mainly in Dark Empire and this game. Each vessel has its own set of unique abilities and attributes, introducing more fun and variety into engagements as you make your way through the story.

V-wing attacks a World Devastator in Star Wars: Rogue Squadron.

Things start off on familiar ground with a brief return to Tatooine’s Mos Eisley, which has been overrun by Imperial Viper droids. But there are also plenty of worlds never before shown on-screen, as well as planets, such as Corellia and Mon Cala.

Rogue Squadron is a beautiful, thrilling game. It’s visually reminiscent of Shadows of the Empire, and a perfect complement to the experience of that earlier N64 cartridge. Like Episode I: Racer, Rogue Squadron takes one essential aspect of Star Wars and turns it into a faithful and inviting simulation — in this case, aerial combat. It’s one any fan is sure to love, for the exciting dogfights and for the flying-ace story.

Star Wars: Rogue Squadron 3D is available on Steam and GOG.com.

Alex Kane is a journalist based in west-central Illinois. He has written for Fangoria, Polygon, the website of Rolling Stone, Variety, and other publications. Follow him on Twitter at @alexjkane.

Replaying the Classics: Star Wars: Rogue Squadron 3D

Sith Story: How Count Dooku Came to Star Wars Battlefront II

StarWars.com

“I’ve been looking forward to this.”

So said Count Dooku prior to his next clash with Anakin and Obi-Wan in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, but that statement also applies to our own feelings about the Sith Lord’s Star Wars Battlefront II debut. Count Dooku is the latest prequel/Star Wars: The Clone Wars character to arrive in the popular game, and is available beginning today. StarWars.com spoke with Lucasfilm’s Michael Dailey, assistant producer, about bringing the Separatist leader into Battlefront II. Here are his greatest insights.

Count Dooku in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

The iconic villain battles Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

On capturing Dooku’s essence as seen in other media:

“We partner with the DICE animation team and point them in the direction that we think would make sense for developing the character. From there they do a lot of research, looking at examples from the movies and The Clone Wars. In this case I think, The Clone Wars was the bigger influence. They went and looked at the way that he fights and brought in elements of that into the way he was was animated — the way he does his attacks and does special abilities. A lot of times designing a specific ability, we’ll go right to a clip from The Clone Wars and say, ‘Oh, wouldn’t it be cool if he did something like this?’ From there we may tweak things slightly to better fit our gameplay needs for the hero, in the end the most important thing is that he’s both fun to play and feels authentic to both the universe and the character themselves.”

On developing a gameplay identity for Dooku in Battlefront II:

“One of the most important things to nail down first is: What should the fantasy around this particular character be when you play as them in Star Wars Battlefront II? One of the more skilled lightsaber wielders in the galaxy, Count Dooku is a precise duelist with a more refined technique than most, so that’s the approach we took with him. All of his abilities and the core way he plays focus around his ability here. For us, that was the key thing we focused in on when we were designing all his abilities.”

On differentiating the villain from other Sith:

“While we focused in on his ability as a lightsaber duelist, we do see Dooku both in the films and The Clone Wars using Force lightning. Although we didn’t want to lean too heavily into the Force lightning, because he might start feeling too similar to the Emperor, he is the only character that has the ability to utilize both his lightsaber and this particular Force power, adding an extra facet to his in-game character.”

Count Dooku in Star Wars Battlefront II.

The Sith Lord as he appears in Star Wars Battlefront II.

On how players should strategize when playing as Dooku:

“Where Dooku excels is in one-on-one fights. In particular, I imagine he’s going to be very popular in Heroes vs. Villains [mode]. But I think it’s important to know where his weaknesses are, too. Since he is so focused on one-on-one, you definitely, when you’re playing as Dooku, you want to be sure you’re not getting surrounded by a lot of enemies. So be aware of your surroundings, make sure that if there are a lot of enemies around you, you’re using your dodges to move in and out. Most of our Heroes in the game have two dodges, and there’s a cool down before you can dodge again. But Dooku actually has three dodges, which makes him a little better suited to keep away from enemy attacks.”

On why Dooku may be the best of all lightsaber wielders in the game:

“Dooku’s skill with a lightsaber is well known. In the game this is reflected in a few different ways, but what really stands out his ability to take the defensive role in a fight. Dooku is able to perform more consecutive dodges than other heroes, and blocks incoming lightsaber attacks more effectively than any other lightsaber wielder in the game, as blocking drains less stamina.”

Corey Burton recording as Count Dooku for Star Wars Battlefront II.

Corey Burton (in a lighter moment) while recording lines for Count Dooku Star Wars Battlefront II.

On their secret weapon in bringing Dooku to life:

“One thing that really goes a long way and really brings an awesome touch to Dooku is that Corey Burton, who voiced Dooku in The Clone Wars, is back. He’s just fantastic as that character and has a lot of great banter in the game. It’s a fun way, before The Clone Wars comes back, to get a little bit more of those characters and those versions of those characters interacting with each other.”

On why Dooku was an essential addition to Battlefront II:

“When you look at the Clone Wars, you kind of highlight the key figures in the war on both sides. When it comes to the heroes, Obi-Wan and Anakin are key there. If you look at the villains, Dooku is such a key part of both Episode II and II and The Clone Wars series as a whole. As the leader of the Separatists master of General Grievous, and the apprentice of Darth Sidious himself, it was an easy choice to bring Count Dooku to Battlefront. From a gameplay perspective, he counters the recent light side addition of Obi-Wan as a defense-oriented saber-user and, from a fantasy perspective, gives players the opportunity to recreate his iconic showdown with Master Yoda.”

Count Dooku in Star Wars: Attack of the Clone.

Dooku, as played by legendary actor Christopher Lee, in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones.

On the reception of the recent prequel invasion of Battlefront II:

“The reaction has been tremendous. We’re really happy to have been able to deliver fun and engaging prequel content that the fans are pleased with. It was definitely something they asked for a lot and were vocal about, and it’s been really awesome to be able to deliver on that. Obi-Wan and Grievous went great, Dooku is here, and we’re very excited for Anakin.”

Look for Anakin Skywalker and more content to arrive soon in Star Wars Battlefront II!

Dan Brooks is Lucasfilm’s senior content strategist of online, the editor of StarWars.com, and a writer. He loves Star Wars, ELO, and the New York Rangers, Jets, and Yankees. Follow him on Twitter @dan_brooks where he rants about all these things.

Sith Story: How Count Dooku Came to Star Wars Battlefront II

Galaxy of Heroes: 5 Things You Should Know About the Flight of the Falcon Legendary Event

StarWars.com

If you’re a Galaxy of Heroes player, you might be the next owner of an iconic hunk of junk.

The classic version of the Millennium Falcon has finally arrived in the popular mobile game, unlockable thanks to a new Legendary event called Flight of the Falcon. Just call upon your Bounty Hunter faction (and a little help from the Empire), defeat the Falcon in battle, and it’s yours. (Sorry, Han.) StarWars.com caught up with several of the talents behind Galaxy of Heroes and discovered five things you should know about Flight of the Falcon, including why it took so long for the original trilogy version of the ship to get here, insights into bringing the bucket of bolts into the game, and some tips on winning the event.

1. The game designers have wanted the Falcon in Galaxy of Heroes just as badly as the fans have wanted to fly the fastest ship in the galaxy in-game. “This has been one of the most requested ships from our community since launch but we wanted to make sure we did her justice,” says Chris Stott, senior community manager. “The most legendary ship in the Star Wars universe deserves something special, so we took our time exploring what parts of the Falcon‘s history really resonated with us and then, how those moments could translate into our game. It needed to not only feel great to play but also sound and look just right. We hope you’ll find that the wait was worth it!”

Millennium Falcon and a list of attributes for Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes.

2. The ship that Rey once referred to as “garbage” is anything but in Galaxy of HeroesThe Falcon has several attributes and abilities that will take your fleet to the next level. “True to form, the Falcon boosts Rebel allies and brings the faction to center stage,” says Corey Willis, associate game designer. “It cuts through the toughest defenses and creates openings with its basic attack, pulverizes the Empire with a devastating special attack, and evasively outmaneuvers the enemy team.”

3. In developing the Falcon, the Galaxy of Heroes team went back to the original source for inspiration. “We knew from the start that we absolutely had to fulfill the fantasy of the original Millennium Falcon to the best of our ability,” says Chris Mandell, game designer. “So we started out re-watching all the movies and gathering every bit of information about it to make sure everything was spot on. You’ll notice that every ability takes inspiration directly from the films. I also spent some time talking to everyone in the studio about what they remembered most about the Falcon and tried to incorporate the most memorable moments. Aside from thematics, we also knew that while playing with it, it really needed to really feel like it was an essential part of a Rebel fleet. This was the most fun we’ve had making a Ship to date! We really feel like we captured the essence of the Falcon and we’re excited and hopeful that our players will feel the same.”

Millennium Falcon in Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes.

4. You’ll need to do some recon to be successful in Flight of the FalconIn talking with StarWars.com, the creators of Galaxy of Heroes stress that research and planning is integral if you’re going to win the event. “In addition to the Devastator, you’ll notice that the event features some (hopefully) familiar ships to provide Han’s Millennium Falcon with some backup,” says Mike Profeta, game designer. “The Falcon will almost always have the Outmaneuver buff, which means it has increased Evasion and can’t be targeted if it has allies present, so you can pretty much count on not being able to defeat it right away. It’s going to be extremely beneficial to learn what each of the Falcon’s new allies can do and which ones to prioritize defeating first in order to gain the upper hand.” And like the Tarkins and Ackbars of the galaxy, you’ll want to strategize which craft to send into battle and when.

“You’ll need to pick your front line ships carefully and maximize the potential of their abilities,” adds Willis. “For example, bringing IG-2000 in at the start to utilize its Stun can allow you to lock down the enemy’s most deadly Attackers, allowing you to focus on eliminating them first.”

5. If you’ve never played Galaxy of Heroes before but want to jump in, this is a good time to fire up your mobile device and shout “Punch it!” But before you can capture the Falcon, you’ll need to beef up your squad. “If you are gunning for Han’s Millennium Falcon as soon as possible, then I’d recommend focusing on Bounty Hunters and their ships, with an emphasis on the specific characters needed for the Flight of the Falcon event,” Stott says. “Bounty Hunters are a great place to start if you are new to Galaxy of Heroes as they can be used in a variety of events and are just plain cool.”

Even if you obtain the Falcon, however, you should heed Han’s words: But who’s gonna fly it, kid?

“The Bounty Hunter ships unlock Han’s Millennium Falcon but you’ll also need characters, like Boba Fett and Bossk, to unlock one of the pilots, Chewbacca,” adds Stott. “Level up those scoundrels and keep your eye out for the Legendary “One Famous Wookiee” event. The other pilot of this iconic ship is, of course, Han Solo. You’ll need to join a Guild to start earning shards of Han Solo from the Guild Raid, The Pit. It can be quite a journey to unlocking Han’s Millennium Falcon, but one well worth the effort!”

Dan Brooks is Lucasfilm’s senior content strategist of online, the editor of StarWars.com, and a writer. He loves Star Wars, ELO, and the New York Rangers, Jets, and Yankees. Follow him on Twitter @dan_brooks where he rants about all these things.

Galaxy of Heroes: 5 Things You Should Know About the Flight of the Falcon Legendary Event

Replaying the Classics: Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds

StarWars.com

In Replaying the Classics, StarWars.com revisits Star Wars games of yesteryear, examining why we loved them then and why they stand the test of time.

In this oft-forgotten gem from the golden age of Star Wars gaming, you command whole armies as they charge into battle. Released in November 2001, Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds is a full-fledged real-time strategy (RTS) game, developed in-house by LucasArts using Ensemble Studios’ renowned Genie engine, the same technology that powered Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings (1999). It’s a gorgeous, richly detailed tour of the Star Wars universe with a strong focus on all-out warfare.

Featuring robust single-player campaigns, multiplayer, and a training mode — along with easy, moderate, and hard difficulty settings — there’s no end of replay value here. With the addition of the Episode II Clone Campaigns expansion, included in the Saga edition available on GOG.com and Steam, Battlegrounds gives you access to eight story-based campaigns filled with variety and narrative depth. During each campaign, you’ll be issued mission-specific objectives that fit the settings and stories you already know and love, including iconic planets from the original Star Wars trilogy as well as Episodes I and II: Geonosis, Hoth, Kashyyyk, Naboo, Yavin 4, and more. Here’s your chance to explore the geography of your favorite locales with a bird’s-eye view of the action, or see even more of Theed’s baroque architecture than you might have glimpsed in The Phantom Menace.

Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds screenshot featuring Darth Vader leading stormtroopers.

Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds screenshot featuring rebel soldiers.

Each Galactic Battlegrounds campaign puts you in control of a unified faction from a galaxy far, far away — the Confederacy, the Empire, the Gungans, the Naboo Royal Guard, the Rebel Alliance, the Trade Federation, the Wookiees. You’ll also fight alongside special characters like Attichitcuk (Chewbacca’s father in the Legends era), a Jedi Master named Echuu Shen-Jon, Princess Leia Organa, and of course Darth Vader. By fighting for territory and managing resources, the game raises your army’s “tech level,” granting you access to new kinds of units, such as special troopers, vehicles, and more powerful weapons.

You can amass up to 200 individual units this way, so prepare for a large-scale assault, with hundreds of warriors battling it out for victory. But it’s an inviting experience; start out on easy mode for a while, learn to manage individual groupings of troopers, and get a feel for how different units function. Each trooper has their own individual health bar, and medical droids can assist in the field by healing wounded allies in real time. There’s a lot happening on-screen at times, but the game gives you plenty of opportunities to learn the ropes and ease into the flow of combat. The more forgiving difficulties also make it easier to crush your foes, and therefore showcase just how exciting Battlegrounds becomes as you grow more adept at interstellar conquest.

Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds screenshot featuring Gungans on Naboo.

Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds screenshot featuring battle droids on Naboo.

With its destructible enemy environments, aerial isometric viewpoint, and charming sound effects like the Gungan battle cry, players will be drawn into these worlds for hours at a time, eager for mastery. Simply click (with the left mouse button) and drag to highlight your ground forces, direct them outward into the unknown (by right-clicking), and discover the thrill of marching a legion of droidekas on the city of Theed, the voices of wicked Neimoidian schemers guiding your strategy. Or control Lord Vader himself as he cuts down the rebels still stationed on Yavin, and enjoy the Sith-like satisfaction of revenge.

Uncover Legends-era Easter eggs like Mara Jade, or an Imperial trooper designated “THX-1138,” and find hidden levels to explore along the way. Using the game’s clever scenario editor, you can even sculpt terrain, create your own custom levels and campaigns, and see how the Separatists stack up against the might of Darth Vader and the Empire. Throw Shadows of the Empire’s Dash Rendar into the mix, if you like. This is your playground.

Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds is available on GOG.com and Steam.

Alex Kane is a journalist based in west-central Illinois. He has written for Polygon, the website of Rolling Stone, Syfy Wire, Variety, and other publications. Follow him on Twitter at @alexjkane.

Replaying the Classics: Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds

Save on Classic Star Wars Games During Steam’s Winter Sale!

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Want to get yourself — or the gamer in your life — a gift for the holidays? Now’s your chance: the entire catalogue of classic Star Wars games on Steam are currently on sale for up to 65% off, making for some amazing Star Wars deals that would even impress Lando Calrissian. You can save on critically-acclaimed hits like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (65% off), Star Wars Episode I: Racer (25% off), Star Wars: Empire at War — Gold Pack (60% off), and many, many more — as well as some other Lucasfilm-produced gems of yesteryear. The sale ends January 3, so punch it and check out the full list below!

Star Wars: Empire at War key art.

Star Wars: Empire at War – Gold Pack

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic key art.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Star Wars The Force Unleashed II key art.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II

Star Wars Battlefront II (Classic, 2005) key art.

Star Wars: Battlefront II (Classic, 2005)

Plus these other amazing titles:

  • LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
  • Star Wars : The Clone Wars – Republic Heroes
  • Star Wars: Dark Forces
  • Star Wars Episode I: Racer
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition
  • Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds Saga
  • Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II
  • Star Wars: Jedi Knight – Jedi Academy
  • Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith
  • Star Wars: Jedi Knight II – Jedi Outcast
  • Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
  • Star Wars: Rebel Assault I  
  • Star Wars: Rebel Assault II
  • Star Wars: Rebellion
  • Star Wars: Republic Commando
  • Star Wars: Rogue Squadron 3D
  • Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
  • Star Wars: Starfighter
  • Star Wars: TIE Fighter Special Edition
  • Star Wars: X-Wing 
  • Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance
  • Star Wars: X-Wing Special Edition
  • Star Wars : X-Wing vs TIE Fighter – Balance of Power Campaigns

  • Afterlife
  • Armed and Dangerous
  • The Curse of Monkey Island
  • The Dig
  • Escape from Monkey Island
  • Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb
  • Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
  • Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  • LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures
  • LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues
  • LOOM
  • Lucidity
  • Maniac Mansion
  • Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck’s Revenge
  • Outlaws + A Handful of Missions
  • Sam & Max Hit the Road
  • The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition
  • Thrillville: Off the Rails
  • Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders

StarWars.com. All Star Wars, all the time.

Save on Classic Star Wars Games During Steam’s Winter Sale!

Battlefront II and More Classic Star Wars Games Arrive on EA Access, Origin Access, and Origin

StarWars.com

For Star Wars gamers, the holidays have come early.

Modern favorite Star Wars Battlefront II and several classic Star Wars games, including Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, are now available on EA Access, Origin Access, and Origin. Subscribers to EA Access and Origin Access, all-you-can-play membership services, can enjoy these titles at no additional cost; in addition, games arriving for individual purchase on Origin are currently discounted at 60% in celebration of their release. Check out the complete list of games below!

EA Access

Star Wars Battlefront II (2017)

Origin Access

Star Wars Battlefront II (2017)
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
Star Wars: Rebel Assault 1 + 2

Origin (titles are currently offered at a 60% discount)

Star Wars: Battlefront II (2005) – $3.99 (reg. $9.99)
Star Wars: Empire at War – $7.99 (reg. $19.99)
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic – $3.99 (reg. $9.99)
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords – $3.99 (reg. $9.99)
Star Wars: Rebel Assault 1 + 2 – $3.99 (reg. $9.99)
Star Wars: X-Wing vs TIE Fighter – Balance of Power Campaigns – $3.99 (reg. $9.99)

StarWars.com. All Star Wars, all the time.

Battlefront II and More Classic Star Wars Games Arrive on EA Access, Origin Access, and Origin

3 Reasons You Want C-3PO on Your Squad in the New Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes Legendary Event

StarWars.com

They may not serve his kind, but this week C-3PO has finally made his way into the cantina inside Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, as part of the latest legendary event.

The goldenrod faux god programmed for human/cyborg relations can only be unlocked by leveling up your Ewok squad. As we’ve seen before, C-3PO isn’t much for combat even when he’s been spliced together with a battle droid, but his knowledge of protocol and fluency in over 6 million forms of communication comes in handy while traversing the galaxy. StarWars.com recently spoke with Kyle Powell, game designer at Capital Games, to discuss bringing the metal-bodied mindless philosopher to life in the mobile game and to teach you why it’s always helpful to have a protocol droid on your side.

1. Artoo says the chances of survival are 725… to 1.

C-3PO seems to have been made to suffer. It’s his lot in life. And no matter how often he’s rescued from the brink, pieced back together, or altogether evades getting into any real trouble in the first place, he always finds the time (and power reserves) to complain. “Whether he’s dodging blaster fire in the Petranaki arena or wandering the endless sands of Tatooine, C-3PO somehow manages to narrowly escape trouble and still find time to grumble about it,” says Powell. In the game, Threepio’s evasive abilities make it difficult for the opposition to target him, which comes in handy. And the very talkative droid also serves as a translator. “Translation is a unique buff that C-3PO uses to support the Rebels, Resistance, Ewok, and Galactic Republic factions. The more he can translate for them, the stronger the bonuses get!”

2.“This is madness!”

Finally, a tactical use for C-3PO’s more fretful side. “ Our testing process uncovered that C-3PO enables many unexpected squads and allows for a lot of mixed-faction experimentation,” says Powell, accomplished through the abilities “Intermediary,” “Cyborg Relations,” and “Fretful Mediator.” “Each of these provide a different bonus to Rebels, Resistance, and the Galactic Republic — and Ewoks, of course, gain all of these bonuses. Yub nub!”

3. C-3PO isn’t much for combat, but his incessant babbling has been known to spark a fight. From time to time.

Since C-3PO is a non-combatant in Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, the character doesn’t deal damage directly and he will retreat from battle if he is the last unit standing, just like the anxious droid we know and love. “What he lacks in damage he more than makes up for with the powerful new debuff ‘Confuse,’” says Powell. Here’s how it works: “His opponents are inflicted with ‘Confuse’ when C-3PO uses either his basic or special ability.” Similar to his translation powers, “’Confuse’ has a stacking effect. The final and most debilitating application increases enemy cool downs whenever they use a basic ability.” In-game, as on film, sometimes C-3PO’s antics have a hilariously confusing effect.

Kristin Baver is a writer and all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Do you know a fan who’s most impressive? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver all about them!

3 Reasons You Want C-3PO on Your Squad in the New Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes Legendary Event

5 Tips for Conquering the Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes Grand Arena

StarWars.com

You’ve collected characters from across the Star Wars saga and today Galaxy of Heroes is ready to take you on the ultimate showdown. Welcome to the Grand Arena, a new game mode that allows players to battle each other using their entire character collections to prove once and for all who is the best player in the galaxy. Ignite your lightsabers or reach for the good blaster at your side, StarWars.com recently spoke to game designer Brandon Scheel to get valuable intel to take you to the verge of greatness and increase your odds at becoming the grand champion of the Grand Arena.

A screenshot from Galaxy of Heroes.

1. Avoid putting all your eggs in one basket. (Or maybe it’s a solid strategy after all).

If your opponent conquers one of your territories, they’ll earn a windfall in banners. “This means you may want to spread out your strong defensive squads, because putting your top three squads on defense in a single territory and three weaker ones in the other territory can create an easy target for your opponent,” says Scheel. But he concedes that putting your best defenses in the same place could also make that territory nearly impossible to defeat. “That’s a solid strategy when you have confidence you can take out at least one of your opponent’s territories.”

2. Save your squads for quick use in the Grand Arena.

Squad goals: Scheel preps different squads for offense and defense to save time later. “It also allows you to plan out which squads you’ll use on defense and which to save for offense.” And he saves the squads in the order he’ll place them in to cut down on confusion. “In my saved squad list, squads 1-3 go in my top territory and squads 4-6 go in my bottom territory.” Guess and test new configurations until you find what works for you!

3. Choose a path – go heavy on offense, defense, or strike a balance. “Some squads are better on defense than others, and some of the ‘glass cannon’ squads are much better on offense,” Scheel says. “Explore different strategies and see which ones work best for your collection of characters and ships — and your play style.” And don’t forget, you can always turn back and change your strategy for each new round.

A screenshot from Galaxy of Heroes.

4. Choose your offensive matchups carefully. One should always pick an opponent with care, especially if you hope to emerge victorious. Some matchups in the Grand Arena are just destined to fail. For example, if you’re playing as the First Order, Scheel does not recommend picking a fight with the Resistance led by Rey fresh from Jedi training. But Imperial stormtroopers against the clan of the Nightsisters? That’s more like it. “Remember, you may not need to take out all of your enemy’s squads to win — you just need to earn more banners.”

5. Don’t be afraid of failure. “Do you think that winning 1 territory will be enough, or will you need to win both territories to earn more banners than your opponent? Take risks when necessary and be precise,” Scheel says. But don’t be wasteful. “Avoid wasting squads against defensive squads that have a much higher Galactic Power than your attacking squads.”

Bonus: You earn bonus banners if you attack and win with less than a full squad. So if you’re in a neck-in-neck race to win your Grand Arena round, consider taking some risky attacks with a lighter squad to gain the edge over your opponent.

Prepare for battle and watch the trailer for the Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes – Grand Arena below!

Kristin Baver is a writer and all-around sci-fi nerd who always has just one more question in an inexhaustible list of curiosities. Sometimes she blurts out “It’s a trap!” even when it’s not. Do you know a fan who’s most impressive? Hop on Twitter and tell @KristinBaver all about them!

5 Tips for Conquering the Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes Grand Arena

Replaying the Classics: Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast

StarWars.com

In Replaying the Classics, StarWars.com revisits Star Wars games of yesteryear, examining why we loved them then and why they stand the test of time.

Star Wars video games have a rich history, steeped in decades of Legends lore, and a shining example of this is the beloved Star Wars Jedi Knight series.

When an eagle-eyed fan spotted a Corellian YT-2400 freighter in the Star Wars Rebels Season Three trailer at Celebration Europe in 2016, he asked Dave Filoni, “Are we gonna see Dash Rendar [in Rebels]?” He was referring to what looked to be the Outrider, a Falcon-esque starship featured in 1996’s Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire game. Filoni gently squelched the fan’s hopes when he explained that it was simply another vessel of similar design; Rendar wasn’t likely to show his face in Rebels. Then Darth Maul voice actor Sam Witwer, himself a massive fan of Star Wars games, joked about another possibility: “But Kyle Katarn will be in there.”

Kyle Katarn in Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast.

So who’s Kyle Katarn, anyway? In the early 1990s, LucasArts set out to build upon the hugely popular first-person shooter genre established by id Software’s Wolfenstein 3D and Doom. The result was Star Wars: Dark Forces, a hit 1995 FPS that married the quick run-and-gun formula of id’s Doom with Star Wars-caliber storytelling. It told the story of an Imperial turncoat named Kyle Katarn, who, in the now-Legends continuity, was responsible for stealing part of the blueprints for the first Death Star. Born to farmers on one of the moons of Sullust, Katarn had enlisted in the armed forces of the Galactic Empire at the age of 18, while his father quietly aided the Rebellion. After learning that one of the Emperor’s Inquisitors murdered his father, Katarn became a rebel — and, eventually, a reluctant Jedi.

Much of Katarn’s tragic tale takes place in Dark Forces, Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II (1997), and a Jedi Knight expansion called Mysteries of the Sith (1998). All three won critical acclaim, and are equally worth your time, but Raven Software’s Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast (2002) is arguably the culmination of everything that made the series great. To get the most of Outcast’s lore-intensive narrative, consider playing the first two games as well as Mysteries of the Sith, and maybe even check out Drew Karpyshyn’s novel of the ancient Sith, Darth Bane: Path of Destruction, while you’re at it.

Kyle Katarn duels in Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast.

With all that out of the way, however, Jedi Outcast is just a fabulous playground in which to live out your biggest Star Wars fantasies. The game begins as a straightforward first-person shooter in the vein of Dark Forces; anyone who picks up Jedi Outcast after playing the Star Wars Battlefront II (2017) campaign will see the clear lineage between the two. Katarn (Jeff Bennett, who later voiced Revan in BioWare’s Star Wars: The Old Republic) will start out wielding familiar weapons like the E-11 blaster rifle and his trusty K-16 Bryar pistol, his longtime partner Jan Orso (Vanessa Marshall of Hera Syndulla fame) at his side, as they investigate new stirrings within the post-Endor Imperial Remnant.

The worlds of Jedi Outcast are vast, at times labyrinthine, and you’ll regularly feel compelled to stray from the task at hand to explore, seek out hidden secrets, and take in the sights. There’s a hint of retro charm to the game’s 2002 textures and models, but the environments boast such exquisite lighting and epic scale that they seem utterly timeless. You won’t forget which galaxy you’re in.

Kyle Katarn in Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast.

After witnessing a terrible tragedy, Katarn seeks out the spirits that reside in a place called the Valley of the Jedi (you really ought to read Path of Destruction). His connection with the Force rekindled, he heads to Yavin 4 to retrieve his lightsaber from an old friend: Luke Skywalker (Bob Bergen). Katarn, no stranger to the dangerous lure of the dark side, doesn’t give in to hate; this isn’t a straightforward tale of revenge, and nothing’s quite what it seems. Kyle’s journey sees him once again becoming a Jedi Knight, impressing even Skywalker with the depths of his strength, and bringing a fallen Jedi — a memorable saurian named Desann (the late Mark Klastorin) — to justice.

For a story that begins with Katarn picking up his lightsaber to exact vengeance, its ending almost couldn’t be more Jedi-like.

Come for the classic Doom-style gunplay, Jedi action, and Force puzzles; stay for the online one-on-one lightsaber duels in familiar Star Wars locations, like Cloud City and the Death Star. For years, Jedi Outcast has maintained a reputation for being one of the best Jedi-centric gaming experiences ever made. Game Informer magazine once deemed it “the most enjoyable and accomplished Star Wars game yet,” and it’s aged as gracefully as any fan could hope for. If you’re new to the realm of Star Wars Legends but you love video games, rediscover the Valley of the Jedi. Take your first step into a larger world.

Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast is available on Steam, GOG.com, the Humble Store, and the App Store.

Alex Kane is a journalist based in west-central Illinois. He has written for Polygon, the website of Rolling Stone, Syfy Wire, Variety, and other publications. Follow him on Twitter at @alexjkane.

Replaying the Classics: Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast