With any sequel comes immense pressure. The need to make it as good, if not better, than what came before. The need to make it bigger, either visually, emotionally, or both. The need to have it build upon its predecessor but also stand strongly on its own. When you’re making a video game sequel and it’s called Star Wars Battlefront II, you definitely feel that pressure. This is the story of how Lucasfilm, EA, DICE, Criterion, and Motive rose to the challenge.Press startThe original current-gen Star Wars Battlefront, a multiplayer action shooter, launched in November of 2015, coinciding with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens soon after. The game received strong reviews and went on to sell millions, marking, along with its film cousin, the start of a new era of productivity for a galaxy far, far away. Thanks to the power of modern consoles like PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, Battlefront featured the most fully-realized take on Star Wars ever seen in a video game. Character models and ships were detailed in ways not previously possible, from scuffs on stormtrooper armor and scratched paint on snowspeeders to the cleft in Mark Hamill’s chin. There were ground battles and aerial combat exercises on planets from the original trilogy, The Force Awakens, and even on Sullust — a world only previously mentioned in The Empire Strikes Back and finally brought to life for the game. (Running side-by-side with an AT-AT on Hoth as it kicks up snow, just one of many great Battlefront moments, was something of a dream come true.) For the developers, however, there was still a feeling of missed opportunities and more work to do — which would ultimately shape Battlefront II.

“We were super proud of Battlefront,” says senior producer Orion Kellogg of the Lucasfilm games team. “It was great to bring the Battlefront franchise back to consoles and in HD. It just looked amazing and it really fulfilled a lot of Star Wars fantasies, but we knew we weren’t done. We knew that it was going to be a multi-game franchise, and we knew we wanted to bring, right off the bat, some of the things that the fans called out as missing from the first one.”

But first, they were determined to address the bantha in the room.

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