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Star Wars Squadrons takes flight, but the Celebration is over (for now)

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Jun 19, 2020

Time again for STAR WARS WEEKLY, the SYFY WIRE series that rounds up the most important news of the week from a galaxy far, far away.

Think of us as your own personal Star Wars Holocron.

STAR WARS: SQUADRONS

Over the last week, Star Wars fans have been treated to a steady trickle of news about Star Wars: Squadrons, the new first-person flight simulator game coming in just a few months from EA.

We know the game is set in the days after the Battle of Endor, and will cover some of the same parts of the timeline as EA's last release, Battlefront II. How far it goes exactly is anyone's guess, but the smart money would be that it culminates at the Battle of Jakku, in order to give us a definitive view of that battle that has only been told piecemeal so far.

According to StarWars.com, the game will follow the Alliance's Vanguard Squadron, led by combat pilot and instructor Lindon Javes, as well as the Empire's Titan Squadron, led by Terisa Kerrill. From the trailers, the game will also feature fan-favorite characters like General Hera Syndulla and Admiral Rae Sloane. There are likely to be more special appearances as well. The game appears to be set in the same era as the Alphabet Squadron books by Alexander Freed.

In addition to the single-player story mode, we'll be treated to some truly epic multi-player which will likely be the backbone of the gameplay experience.

EA Star Wars on YouTube

The thing I'm most excited about is the idea that we'll be able to play in the cockpit of a Star Wars fighter in VR. Having played far too much of the impossibly enjoyable Star Trek: Bridge Crew in VR, it's thrilling to think I'll be able to do something similar in the Star Wars galaxy with smaller fighters and a faster pace.

We'll learn more about the game as we get closer to its October launch date. It is coming out on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. However, only PC and PS4 will support VR. It's also priced at $39.99, making it a steal for a game of this size and scope.

STAR WARS CELEBRATION POSTPONED

It's finally official: Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, set to take place in just two months, will be postponed until 2022. With the dangers of the coronavirus, it felt inevitable that this convention experience would go the way of every other responsible (or non-digital) convention this year.

The next Celebration will take place in 2022, again in Anaheim. Prior to the pandemic, there were rumblings that Star Wars would return to the big screen in 2022, so this makes a lot of sense.

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK RE-RELEASE

Variety reports this week that George Lucas' definitive 4K cut of The Empire Strikes Back will be screened at theaters in the UK to help bolster the movie theater industry after months of COVID-related closures. It's expected to be released on July 4, just a few weeks away.

But who exactly will be racing to the theaters to see it in the middle of the pandemic?

There's no word if the United States will be seeing a similar release, though it would be great to get an entire slate of re-releases of the entire saga, starting with The Phantom Menace. Let's just hope they decide to do it next year when the pandemic is more under control.

STAR WARS: DARK LEGENDS

News of a new Star Wars book broke this week. Star Wars: Dark Legends comes from the same team as Star Wars: Myths and Fables and looks to be every bit as gorgeous and exciting. This seems as though it will be a darker story, though.

StarWars.com posted an early look at the artwork with artist commentary, and it offers some tantalizing hints at what's to come.

The most interesting story of that bunch might well turn out to be "Master and Servant," which takes place on Exegol and is said to have a very Frankenstein vibe. With people scrambling for any additional information or context they can to explain how Palpatine's returned, this is going to be a must-read.

Star Wars: Dark Legends comes out just next month, July 28, 2020.

STAR WARS: JEDI TEMPLE CHALLENGE

The third episode of Jedi Temple Challenge came out this week. Watch it and count how many Star Wars easter eggs are hidden in it. Even if you're not a kid, the show has a lot of fun nods for older fans everywhere.

And let's be honest, we can always use more Ahmed Best.

Until next week, may the Force be with you!

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