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Star Wars Outlaws directors’ commentary thrills us again, for the first time

It’s time for fortune and glory on the Outer Rim

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Perhaps you’re still awash in the spacefaring smuggler’s fantasy that Ubisoft and Massive Entertainment showed Monday with Star Wars Outlaws. Perhaps you’d like the chance to relive it. Well, narrative director Navid Khavari, creative director Julian Gerighty, and game director Mathias Karlson are here to give you ... a directors’ commentary! Of what you saw yesterday at the Ubisoft Forward showcase.

Seriously, though, they explain a lot of the setup and narrative choices for this. They also outline the effort that went into developing the world of Toshara, the galaxy’s newest hive of scum and villainy where we find Star Wars’ newest scoundrel, Kay Vess, skulking around.

The video is still the same; Vess infiltrates a Pyke Syndicate chop shop, makes off with the macguffin and escapes back to the dusty border town to fence the wares, where the shit really goes down as it always does in heist movies — bloodlessly, over cocktails.

Then Vess is on the move, wanted by the Empire, and Gerighty makes it clear that Star Wars Outlaws might be something like Grand Theft Auto in space: “At the highest levels [of wanted-ness] the Empire will throw a huge amount of resistance and force in your way.” Best to get off-world and to a safe house, but for those TIE Fighters. That’s where the space combat comes in — and hands up if you were expecting that component from this sort of game.

Star Wars Outlaws is coming sometime in 2024 and if, like me, you feel that the franchise’s true, redemptive, narrative arc runs through its mercenaries, bounty hunters, criminals, spies, and smugglers, that can’t get here soon enough.

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