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Fortnite’s ‘Operation: Sky Fire’ event sending aliens out with a bang in Season 7 finale this weekend

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Sep 7, 2021, 7:10 PM EDT

As season-ending cataclysms go, the one that Fortnite is getting ready to stage this weekend definitely feels like a power-to-the-players kind of moment. Operation: Sky Fire, coming Sunday, promises to be one big humans-versus-aliens push to kick those evil E.T. invaders off Fortnite’s loony cartoon version of our planet — this time, for good.

Not content to simply have players watch in awe as a black hole consumes everything this time around, Fortnite is handing players a task worthy of Will Smith in Independence Day: Strap up and take the fight to the bad guys, all to put a “This is our Earth!” exclamation point on the wild island events of its current Chapter 2, Season 7 campaign.

Operation: Sky Fire puts players in the middle of an intrepid strike team; one that’s boldly scheming to sneak aboard the alien Mothership that's been ominously parked above the island. Sound crazy? Maybe, but it's a necessarily unfriendly gesture aimed at delivering a “final message” from the Imagined Order “to the invading Aliens,” teases Epic Games.

If you need a refresher on how we Fortnite Earthlings found ourselves in this predicament in the first place, here’s the Season 7 story trailer — just to jog your alien-addled memory:

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Things have aligned against the island since the Mothership set its sights on the IO’s secret base at Corny Complex, which means this weekend’s season finale is the moment when it all comes to a head. “Slone has hatched a plan to end the Invasion once and for all. You’ve answered her calls, worked as an undercover agent for the IO — now it’s time to infiltrate The Last Reality and put a stop to the Alien’s occupation,” Epic teases, advising that you may just want to load out with a sneaky disguise for this one.

Fortnite is making the event playlist available 30 minutes before the start of Operation: Sky Fire’s official launch time, giving players more or less an equal chance to reserve their spot aboard the mission. Not that anyone needs to be reminded, but it’s probably a good idea to log in ahead of time and be on standby for “go time,” as Epic puts it. Up to 16 friends can assemble (and probably bite their fingernails) in the lobby, and it sounds like you’ll probably need every one of them for what Operation: Sky Fire will throw at you.

Just like everything else under the Mothership’s evil eye, fans who’ve been playing through Season 7 Battle Pass quests are on a timer to get their business finished before Operation: Sky Fire cracks the sky. “Complete any remaining Epic Quests and exchange your Battle Stars for the rewards you desire before Operation: Sky Fire begins,” the event’s landing page cautions, noting that same timer applies to unlocking Clark Kent’s memory (and receiving cool unlocks) in Superman’s Quests.

The final fight to send the aliens packing begins at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 12, when Operation: Sky Fire closes out Chapter 2, Season 7 with a bang…while paving the way, after the smoke clears, for whatever wild new season schemes Fortnite is sure to hatch next.