In Star Wars: Squadrons short film ‘Hunted,’ the Rebels are the bad guys

A new Star Wars short film has fans pumped for the upcoming Star Wars: Squadrons video game.

“Hunted” is a CGI collaboration with game developer Motive Studios, Lucasfilms and Industrial Light & Magic. It follows the perspective of pilot Varko Grey as he desperately defends a Galactic Empire dockyard against New Republic forces in a heated dogfight, one that ends with Grey remaining as the lone survivor of his squad.

After being abandoned by his superior officers, Captain Grey gets locked into a dangerous game of cat and mouse as he struggles to survive in his damaged TIE fighter against a relentless New Republic X-wing pilot.

Though it’s just under 7 minutes, “Hunted” is a brilliant short that subverts traditional Star Wars tropes. As a prequel to Star Wars: Squadrons, “Hunted” takes place sometime after the Battle of Yavin when the Rebel Alliance destroyed the second Death Star and shattered the Galactic Empire.

The Star Wars films have always depicted the Republic Alliance as a ragtag resistance that barely scrapes by to fight another day, but in “Hunted,” it’s the Galactic Empire that’s on the ropes and clinging for survival. Grey is not a sneering villain, but a battered soldier who sacrifices his own chance for evacuation to save a pilot under his command, only to watch her tragically go down in flames when she’s shot down.

It’s a refreshing take on the Rebel-Empire dynamic, one that’s been quite well received on Reddit.

“Finally a decent perspective from the imperials point of view beyond ‘hurr durr we are evil,’” one Redditor said. “Definitely liked it!”

“Well that was just cool,” said another Redditor. “Really nice to see so much from the perspective of a TIE Pilot. I do hope they have another coming out from a Rebels POV.”

Hopes are flying high for Star Wars: Squadrons. It’s not only the first Star Wars flight simulator to be released in over 20 years (the last was Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance in 1999), it also carries a low price tag of $40. In fact, the announced cost was so low that players initially assumed Squadrons would be multiplayer only, but the game is also coming with a full-fledged single-player campaign.

Star Wars: Squadrons will launch on Oct. 2 for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

If you enjoyed this story, check out In The Know’s article on how this Star Wars update for Sims 4 made fans furious.

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