Star Wars Tales From the Galaxy’s Edge received a heavy dose of information through a trailer and developer Q&A ahead of its November 2020 release on the Oculus Quest.
The game will also bring lightsabers back and tell its different levels through flashbacks, featuring voice actors from the Original Trilogy. It will also be longer than the entirety of Vader Immortal with a more open-ended approach to level design.
Hot off the release of Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series, Lucasfilm-backed studio ILMxLab returns with a spiritual sequel based on the Disneyland theme park. Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge is also set in the sequel era between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker as players become a smuggler. But the Guavian Death Gang first featured in The Force Awakens quickly become enemies and force players to escape to Batuu, aka. the Black Spire Outpost. This is where players meet Seezelslak, a bartender voiced by SNL alumni Bobby Moynihan. His stories serve as the game’s story-driven levels which put players in the shoes of different characters.
Unlike the Jedi-deep lore from Vader Immortal, Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge takes on a more upbeat narrative with bigger activities. Its trailer revealed Guavian Death Gang leader Tara (voiced by Jedi Fallen Order‘s Debra Wilson) going after a mysterious cargo for The First Order. Players use blasters to fight through the pirates and find their way into Seezleslak’s cantina. It serves as a hub for minigames and for accessing levels, with opportunities to visit other sections in Batuu.
There are also outdoor sections where players can interact with new wildlife and collect ingredients for Seezleslak’s drinks. It’s suggested that the drinks will teleport players into a new story across its three-hour experience. Like the Disneyland park, the Droid Depot lets players collect parts to build their own astromech which can help players along their journey.
Anthony Daniels will also be reprising his role as C-3P0 who will put players on a Resistance mission with R2-D2. But one of the bigger highlights comes from Frank Oz, who will be voicing Jedi Master Yoda again in a flashback. Players become a female Padawan named Ady Sun’Zee in this segment and fight creatures with a lightsaber, with some refined combat built off of Vader Immortal.
In a Star Wars exclusive interview, producer Alyssa Finley stated players have more freedom to explore Batuu and won’t be going on-rails like Vader Immortal. This gave Galaxy’s Edge a way to add level selection and even side quests for players to take on.
“The really interesting thing about Tales is that it allows us to explore a bunch of different mechanics because of the way we’re approaching our storytelling,” said game director Jose Perez III, adding players will be applying their skills to build combat-assisting droids and upgrades.
Lightsabers are back, but with a catch. There will also be some Force-driven elements from Galaxy Edge‘s Jedi section, which includes new ways to slash, push and pull with lightsabers. It’s worth noting there wasn’t a main focus on making players a Jedi this time around and a replayable Dojo from Vader Immortal won’t be in the game.
“It’s not about trying to do cool combat, we’ve done that already in the dojo in Vader Immortal, now it’s really about the storytelling and how we pull you through the experience,” Perez said.
Even more information was shared by Oculus Executive Producer Michael Doran, who directly spoke to fans on Reddit after the trailer’s release. Tales From the Galaxy’s Edge will include a range of accessibility options, including seated mode and teleport/smooth locomotion. Players can also use subtitles, which were a late addition when Vader Immortal was localized for international release.
As an exclusive for the Quest and Quest 2, Doran stated both versions of the game will be nearly identical. The Quest 2 will feature slight graphical enhancements while both run at 75hz over the standard 90. Most importantly, players can die in Galaxy’s Edge and revisit the story with difficulty levels. The game’s scale even includes fast travel which lets players zip through different parts of Black Spire Outpost “at will.”
“I don’t like commenting on length for titles like this because it really depends on your play style. Vader Immortal had less player agency and really focused on pushing you through a cinematic narrative,” Doran wrote in a reply, adding it’s double the length over Vader Immortal, which clocked-in at 90 minutes total.
“This game is different. There’s some exploration, optional content, and stuff to do after you’ve finished the main story. Not to mention a bigger focus on health management and much more danger in general, including player death.”
Star Wars: Tales From the Galaxy’s Edge releases exclusively for the Oculus Quest/Quest 2 on November 19, 2020 (sharing a date with Cyberpunk 2077). The game is also getting a Part Two which will be coming in an update to the base game next year.