I’m seeing Star Wars: The Last Jedi tonight, and that means that it’s time for all of the related video game products to launch their live events to celebrate the release of the latest entry in the Skywalker saga. Electronic Arts’ Battlefront II shooter is no different, and its Last Jedi event introduces new multiplayer content, such as the former stormtrooper Finn as a playable hero. But this is the update that also finishes out the single-player campaign’s narrative by following an aging Iden Versio during the timeline of the latest trilogy, and it rules that I’m getting to play as a somewhat elderly woman in a big-budget action game.
The first few minutes of Iden’s continuing adventures kick off with cutscenes that reveal a gray-haired Iden. She has built a life for herself after the collapse of the Empire, and that includes a family linked both by blood and by battlefield camaraderie. It’s awesome to see this matriarchal figure take a central role in a big game from publisher Electronic Arts, and I hope they don’t kill her.
I’ve played through the first of three new missions, and so far it is more of the same. Those early story cutscenes set up an X-wing mission. That’s a nice way to start because the space combat is the strongest part of Star Wars: Battlefront II. It is, however, a similar objective structure to what you’ve experienced before. You blow up some enemy fighters before blowing up some enemy freighters. You then get into a dogfight with a boss character.
It’s nothing groundbreaking, and it didn’t give me direct control over Iden. But the writing still found a few moments to express how time has changed her. To spoil something that is implied by the ending of the single-player campaign up until this point: Iden has a daughter named Zay. When we first see Iden again, she is flying practicing maneuvers with Zay, who is on the cusp of adulthood. Zay apparently tricked her mother into flying around a comet cluster, and that naturally sets off Iden’s mom-alarm.
“This old lady’s about to teach you a thing or two about X-wings and safety,” Iden tells Zay.
It’s a small moment that made me roll my eyes a bit, but that’s only because it sounds exactly like something a formerly cool mom would say. I didn’t love Iden’s story in Battlefront II. The game felt too scattered and chained to a mandate to introduce familiar faces from the galaxy far, far away. But I like the idea of following a former stormtrooper who is now a mother and trying to do good in the universe.