SWBFII Story Is About Perspective & Understanding Rather Than Convincing You The Death Star Was Good
When Star Wars Battlefront II (SWBFII) was revealed, several fans were surprised to see that the main character was an Imperial Commander of the Inferno Squad special forces unit. In the debut trailer, we can plainly see Iden Versio’s dismay after the destruction of the second Death Star and her conviction in getting back at the Rebels, which she perceives as terrorists.
Speaking with Glixel, EA Motive’s Game Director Mark Thompson explained why the developers chose this unusual point of view for SWBFII.
We’re not trying to reframe how everyone in this world sees the people in that galaxy. It’s just about perspective and understanding – that not everybody in the Empire believes in exactly the same thing. Everyone has their own personal view of what the Empire means, what’s right or wrong inside the Galactic Empire, in much the same way that we probably all have a different opinion about the way that democracy works and what its pros and cons are. Those kinds of discussions, those kinds of beliefs – when you start to meet Inferno Squad and you take the helmets off and you see them as people, you start to understand their perspective.
We’re not looking for sympathy, but more empathy – understanding their perspective and who they are as people and what drives them and motivates them. Ultimately, we just need to bring people on a journey to the point that they understand why Iden and Inferno Squad make the decisions they do and believe in the things that they do. The example I keep using is that we’re not trying to convince our audience that the Death Star was good. Because in much the same way that I don’t believe that every stormtrooper, or every single imperial, thinks that Death Star was the right course for the Empire to take. It’s an extreme measure.
Rogue One is super interesting in that it’s starting to show the gray side. It moves a little away from the black and the white of right and wrong and into the gray space of Saw Gerrera and the Partisans, and even Cassian and some of his early missions before the Galactic Civil War really started. There are some questionable missions!
Star Wars has been traditionally very much black and white, but this seems to be slightly changing as more gray areas appear within the movies, comics, and games. We’ll see if it was the right choice for SWBFII, though, when the game ships on November 17th for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.