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The Glorious Star Wars: Squadrons Short Movie Is A Story About The Other Side

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BY September 18, 2020
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There’s not a lack of Star Wars content these days with franchise stars John Boyega and Daisy Ridley sharing behind the scenes reveals. Not to mention the most recent The Mandalorian season 2 trailer that I have yet to fully process. However, another bit of content from the space western franchise comes from an unexpected source. From EA’s upcoming video game, comes the Star Wars: Squadrons short movie titled Hunted. And it’s not at all what you would expect. 

Squadrons Is Latest EA Game Set In The Star Wars Universe

Star Wars: Squadrons short movie dogfight. Image via Screen Grab.

Star Wars: Squadrons is a new space combat action game taking place in the Star Wars universe. The game allows players to play as either the Empire or the New Republic, after the fall of the Empire in Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi. Some of the playable ships in the game are the infamous Tie Fighters and Interceptors, along with the even more famous X-Wings. Players can follow the story from either side, as a New Republic pilot, or an Imperial one. And that’s kind of where things get a little interesting. 

Squadrons allows players to play for either other side, not just the good guys. So you get a pretty different perspective on the Empire and its regular Joe soldier. Sure, we know the Emperor himself was evil with a black, singed heart, but what about all those followed him? Even Darth Vader only joined the Emperor through decades of manipulation and trickery. And the Clones had the Order 66 programmed into them, to betray the Republic. But what about the others? There are lots of non-clone members of the Empire throughout the franchise, all of whom can’t have been operating with ‘Yay, Evil!’ motivations. And that’s kind of where the Star Wars: Squadrons short movie comes in. 

Star Wars: Squadrons Short Movie Shows The Everyman Imperial

The Star Wars: Squadrons short movie is a thing of beauty in and of itself. I realize the movie is a marketing thing to promote the new game, but it’s very difficult to not see it as a remarkable, standalone entry into the Star Wars franchise. It’s that good. The short opens abruptly with a battle over a planet housing an Imperial shipyard. The New Republic and Empire collide in space as Destroyers lay in flames, and the Empire looks to be losing. But instead of following the exploits of a Republic pilot, like usual, the audience is inside the cockpit of a Tie Fighter pilot. 

The pilot Grey, leader of Titan Squadron, gets called back to his command ship as part of the Empire’s retreat. But one of his squad-mates is in trouble, so he attempts a failed rescue. Without enough time to make it back to his ship, Grey becomes stranded among the Republic fleet. He tries to hide but an X-Wing finds him, and what follows rivals any of the major action sequences in the movies or TV shows thus far. It’s an amazing cat and mouse Tie Fighter-X-Wing chase sequence that goes from space into the lush tropical depths of this new planet. It’s visually stunning, with no dialogue, but all the makings of a high flying action set piece that keeps you on the edge of your seat. 

We Need More Star Wars Content Like This Short

Star Wars: Squadrons short movie Grey. Image via Screen Grab.

The Star Wars: Squadrons short movie is so brilliantly good, that it makes me want to play the game, even though I’m not a gamer myself. Despite its short run time, it sets up so much. There’s space action as a hook, sympathy for a leader trying to save his crew, not to mention the desperation of a soldier behind enemy lines. The thrilling chase, the emotion behind the only bit of dialogue near the end, and how it revives Grey’s motivation to fight despite losing the war, is all just breathtaking. It makes you want to know more about the character, and why he is seemingly so bitter and angry. What ideals make him be a part of the Empire, an entity we know to be evil? It’s this, wanting to know more, that makes the Star Wars: Squadrons short movie so damn good. 

Hunted is available on Youtube right now. Star Wars: Squadrons the game releases on October 2, 2020, for Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows.

What did you think about the Star Wars: Squadrons short movie? Let me know in the comments below.  

Featured image via StarWars.com.

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Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or on Twitter @theshahshahid.

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