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One of the things that Disney, Electronic Arts and DICE have been touting lately is that Star Wars: Battlefront 2 will be canon in the Star Wars universe. This was big news when it dropped, and now gamers and fans of the property alike are curious how Battlefront 2 will tie-in to existing Star Wars canon.
Well, in an interview with Eurogamer, creative executive Steve Blank, the director of the single-player campaign mode in Star Wars: Battlefront II, Mark Thompson, and multiplayer manager from Criterion, Matt Webster, discussed what the game would include, how they're approaching it and what threads they're using from Disney's newly re-established lore to tie it all together.
According to creative executive Steve Blank, the bridge between the game, movies and comic comes from a character called "The Messenger", who works as a conduit between the deceased Emperor and his most loyal soldiers, with Blank saying...
That's actually a direct lift and a direct reference from the comic book Shattered Empire which does take place after the destruction of the second Death Star. That character's called The Messenger and is actually a contingency of the Emperor's that he leaves in the wake of his death to still give orders to very upper echelon members that are left from the Empire.
So, it's a little like what Jor-El did for Kal-El when he put all his fatherly soul into the crystals when he shipped his son off Krypton to Earth? I suppose it makes sense. It's weird that this is one of the first times we're really hearing about this as a focal point of storytelling in regards to the Emperor, but "The Messenger" character appearing in Star Wars: Battlefront II won't be his first appearance. As Blank mentioned, the character (or spirit, or soul?) actually appeared in the comic book Star Wars: Shattered Empire, which actually followed the character Shara Bey, the mother of Poe Dameron from Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
The comic makes a brief reference to the Messenger in the second part, according to the Wiki page. The character is actually a physical being represented through one of the figures who looks like one of the Imperial Royal Guards. They don't mention in the interview exactly how much of a presence or role the Messenger will have in Star Wars: Battlefront II, but they do mention that the game's 30 year span of the lore within the Star Wars universe will help bridge the gaps between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.
Some gamers and Star Wars fans are a little concerned because, previously, LucasArts tried a canonical approach with Galen Marek, the Starkiller (and oftentimes referred to in his meme form as "The Star Wars Storykiller") and things didn't turn out so well. A lot of people had issues with the way the story unfolded around Starkiller, even though some people didn't exactly mind the character himself. Following the abysmal critical reception with Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II, Marek was retired from The Force.
Following Disney's clean wipe of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, they now have an opportunity to bridge the different eras properly. A lot of people were very satisfied with the 501st story thread from the original Star Wars: Battlefront II from 12 years ago, so we'll see if EA, DICE and Motive can strike gold with the, now canon, story in their version of Star Wars: Battlefront II.