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Kingdom Hearts 4 may finally give the series its Star Wars world

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Fans believe they’ve spotted an early clue about Sora’s next destination

C-3PO, R2-D2, and Wicket the Ewok on the forest moon of Endor from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi Image: Lucasfilm/Disney

Kingdom Hearts 4’s official announcement on Sunday was relatively light on details. We know that a more grown-up Sora, along with Donald and Goofy, will be back for an all-new adventure that will launch a new story arc. We know that Sora will battle the Heartless in the Quadratum, and at least one semi-new character, Strelizia, will play a role.

Oh, and Sora may finally visit a galaxy far, far away, based on a possible clue in the debut trailer for Kingdom Hearts 4.

While much of the announcement trailer for Kingdom Hearts 4 is set in the Tokyo-like Quadratum, there’s a brief dreamlike sequence set in a forest. That forest appears to be teeming with redwoods, much like the forest moon of Endor from Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi. While a verdant redwood forest might not be enough to go on, fans noticed one more detail that likely points to a new Star Wars world: the foot of an AT-ST.

A shot of a forest floor from Kingdom Hearts 4’s announcement trailer Image: Square Enix/Disney

It’s barely noticeable among the rocks and stream cutting through the forest floor, but the object in the upper right of that still frame sure does look like an Imperial AT-ST (aka chicken walker) foot. That’s all the Kingdom Hearts fanbase, and equally obsessive Star Wars fans, needed to fire up the speculation hyper drive.

Disney, of course, has owned the Star Wars franchise since 2012, when the company acquired Lucasfilm for $4 billion. Sora, Donald, and Goofy would be well within their rights to hang out with Wookiees, Ewoks, and droids on Endor’s forest moon, or any other Star Wars planet.

The Kingdom Hearts franchise has largely played within traditional Disney and Pixar worlds, with Kingdom Hearts 3 exploring the worlds of Toy Story, Frozen, Big Hero 6, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Tangled. But series director Tetsuya Nomura has declined to explore the worlds of Star Wars and Disney-owned Marvel until now. Perhaps the allure of a lightsaber keyblade has become too strong for even Nomura to resist.

Kingdom Hearts 4 does not have an announced release date or platforms yet.

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