By: Dominic Jones
Lucasfilm has been making a big push since the announcement of new films and the decision to re brand the existing Expanded Universe "Legends" (as non-canon) to have all of its stories fit together as one cohesive canon. However, this does raise some questions about the status of the upcoming video game Star Wars Battlefront, which does not have a campaign/story, in terms of canon. IGN caught up with DICE GM Patrick Bach, and asked him this very question. Bach responded with, "It's complicated."
What Bach goes on to tell IGN is that while the battles players play out in Battlefront are not canon, however other elements of the game are considered canon, such as locations. The example Bach uses is the planet Sullust. Battlefront will be the first on screen appearance of Sullust, meaning that the look of Sullust we see in the game, will be the look that is used for all other appearances Sullust may make in other mediums (films, TV shows, books, comics, etc.).
While this all makes a lot of sense to me, it does raise one more interesting question. What about the game's first DLC "The Battle of Jakku," which will take place after Return of the Jedi and explain the opening shot from the new trailer for The Force Awakens. How does that fit into canon? Will there be more of a story to that? Unfortunately Bach didn't answer that, so we're left wondering about it until the DLC is released this December (or somebody clears it up before then).
Ultimately, I don't think canon really matters when it comes to a game like Battlefront. During the "One Big Story: Working Within Star Wars Canon" panel at Celebration Anaheim, Lucasfilm Story Group member Pablo Hidalgo explained the difference between something being canon and something being authentic. If something is canon it is part of the story, but if something is authentic it should feel like Star Wars even if it isn't officially part of the larger story. And that to me is exactly what Battlefront is about, getting immersed in the Star Wars galaxy and living out the dream of taking part in epic Star Wars battles.
Star Wars Battlefront hits shelves on November 17th and the "Battle of Jakku" DLC will be available to all players on December 7th.