Twenty-nine years before BB-8, Rey, and Finn run for their lives on the surface of Jakku, a much larger battle took place in the skies over their scorched desert world.
We’ve seen the remnants of that fight — junked Star Destroyers and rotting X-Wings — in the trailers for this December’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but to find out just how that conflict played out, fans will have to play a game.
Star Wars: Battlefront hits stores on Nov. 17, but a downloadable add-on called The Battle of Jakku will be available in December (The first day of the month for those who pre-order, and a week later for those who wait.)
It’s not clear yet what circumstances led the Rebels and the Empire to this particular clash, but as you can see from the new concept art released by game developer EA-DICE, neither side is holding back.
Click the image above for a much wider view. Notice in the background, not only does a ship similar to Princess Leia’s Tantive IV appear to be screaming toward the ground, but in the distant haze of the atmosphere we can discern the outline of a Super Star Destroyer tilting toward oblivion.
We see the smoking hulk of the crashed Destroyer, and in its debris field marches the much smaller (relatively speaking) AT-ATs and a scattering of infantry soldiers from both sides, annihilating each other in what is presumably a hail of Wilhelm screams.
“We wanted to portray a battle completely surrounding you, in every direction. Debris is falling from the sky, telling the story of battles above. On the surface of the planet you can see ground troops as well as X-wings, all taking part of the fight,” says DICE concept artist Anton Grandert.
“There’s a David and Goliath theme to this,” he adds. “The epic, huge super structures of the Star Destroyers contrast against the tiny but brave Rebel soldiers fighting the Imperial forces.”
The game will also allow players to recreate the battles of Endor, Hoth, and fight amid the sands of Luke Skywalker’s home world of Tatooine.