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Meet a TIE Fighter pilot from Star Wars: Squadrons in new CGI short from EA Games

By Benjamin Bullard
The imperial pilot lineup in Star Wars Squadrons video game

With just a little more than two weeks to go before Star Wars: Squadrons arrives to bring some of the galaxy’s most hair-raising dogfights to consoles, publisher EA is filling players in on some of the game’s backstory — and for TIE captain Varko Grey (that's him on the right in the image above), the Empire’s defeat just got personal.

Introducing Grey as a new character whom we’re sure to spend some quality cockpit time with (or maybe against) during Squadrons’ story campaign, developer Motive created this 7-minute CG short in collaboration with Lucasfilm and ILM. If the gameplay feels anywhere close to the action here, our hunch that Squadrons is inching EA’s Star Wars franchise ever closer to playable movie territory is set to pay off bigtime.

Check it out — and buckle up:

It looks like we actually might be meeting story characters from both sides in the clip, with Grey and an unnamed X-Wing flyboy playing a cat-and-mouse game that lands them both, minus their ships, back on the surface. Fighting in the aftermath of the battle of Endor during the Galactic Civil War, the action picks up with Grey and the imperials caught in a surprise attack by the New Republic at the Imperial dockyard at Var-Shaa. Grey’s ordered to disengage — only to be stranded when the Star Destroyer Overseer he’s seconds away from docking on blasts into hyperspace.

Left all alone in a Rebel hot zone, Grey takes an idea from Han Solo and hides out like space trash. But of course that doesn’t go as planned when his X-Wing nemesis spots him, leaving our TIE pilot no choice but to show off some ace moves while beating a costly retreat — and, in the process, deciding that it’s past time to make things personal.

While the trailer looks to set up the game’s story campaign, Squadrons also will touch down with a 5v5 Dogfight mode, as well as a team-based Fleet Battles mode that EA describes as “a multi-stage, objective-based contest between two squadrons of five” that can be played with online teammates or with an AI-assisted squad. We’ve had our targeting sensors set on this one since it was first announced back in June, and the wait’s nearly over. Star Wars: Squadrons warps to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on Oct. 2.