Welcome back to my series “Battlefront II Revisited”. When Star Wars Battlefront II was released in November 2017, a large part of my excitement was directed towards the inclusion of a single player story mode, which would be telling a new story in the canon and following a new set of characters: Inferno Squad. Having completed the story mode rather quickly, I have only really played the game in patches since as online multiplayer shooters are not really my thing, but all the recent improvements and new content have had me playing a bit more recently and I decided it would be fun to return to the story mode and give my thoughts on each level. Today looks at the 11th mission The Battle of Jakku
Please be aware there will be spoilers for the story
- The Cleaner
- The Battle of Endor
- The Dauntless
- The Observatory
- The Storm
- General Distress
- Under Covered Skies
- Cache Grab
The time has come. Admiral Ackbar has called the New Republic fleet to Jakku, where the Empire has massed all of its remaining forces. Those little hints that we have heard about Imperials being moved to the Western Reaches was all in preparation for this climactic battle, and you can read more of how the galaxy got to this stage in Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath Trilogy. The Battle of Jakku has featured in a number of stories and we were also teased it by seeing the remains of the battle on Jakku in The Force Awakens, so it was amazing to finally get to see the battle on screen in some form.
“Iden. Make sure you come back.”
“Make sure I have a ship to come back to”
“‘Hey Shriv. I hope you survive this incredibly dangerous mission.’…‘Thank you, Del, your friendship means everything to me.’”
The Corvus emerges as part of the fleet and makes its way into atmosphere. There are ground forces, fighters in atmosphere and in space and (we know from Aftermath: Empire’s End) a Star Destroyer blockade stopping New Republic capital ships getting to the planet. Iden leaves Del in command of the Corvus while she and Shriv fly out in their X-wings to provide support for the ground troops. As they are prepping for takeoff, the Corvus takes a hit, which causes it to list and tip the X-wings out of the hangar, but Iden and Shriv manage to power up their fighters just in time to avoid hitting the ground.
At this point, we take control of Iden in her X-wing in the middle of a dogfight (though there are very few TIEs that we can actually get into a fight with), with Del marking 2 nearby distress beacons for us. It doesn’t matter which order we do these in. Now, you can rush to the objectives, but I chose to take a bit of time flying around and taking out what TIEs I could, which I recommend doing as it gives you a chance to hear a bit more ambient dialogue over the comms, much of which ties back into some of the books that feature this Battle: We hear of the plans to take out the Ravager, the flagship of the Imperial fleet (Aftermath Trilogy), mentions of the Starhawks (Aftermath Trilogy), Wedge Antilles and Snap Wexley of Phantom Squadron get name-checked (Aftermath Trilogy), the Star Destroyer Inflictor being set on a collision course with the planet and Thane Kyrell being onboard (Lost Stars).
We make our way to the first distress signal and for me, this was a downed Imperial Star Destroyer. As we get close, a group of TIE bombers and TIE fighters emerge, though they are easy to take out. We hear that the bombers are continuing to leave the downed ship and supplying a key position, so we land our X-wings and look to take out the hangar from the inside. We make our way through the wreckage, having to fight a large group of troopers but there is plenty of cover to utilise. There are 2 lots of explosive charges that we need to pick up in this area, which again feels like an excuse to draw out the mission and make it feel longer. When we have picked up both sets, a TIE fighter emerges from the hangar and attacks us, but luckily there is a rocket launcher right next to the detonators which makes this an easy fight. We make our way into the hangar and attach the charges to the remaining TIEs, but as we are leaving, we see 2 shuttles drop off a squad of troopers between us and our X-wings. Again, it’s a relatively easy fight with the troops rather spread out and plenty of cover. With the troopers dealt with, we can get back in our fighters and make our way to the other distress call, detonating the charges as we take off.
The second distress call is coming from a crashed CR90 corvette. We enter communications with a Captain Lindsey, who says they are coming under heavy fire. We take out a squadron of TIEs trying to strafe them from the air and land by the downed ship, where the surviving troopers have set up a defensive position. There are 2 AT-ATs incoming, but we don’t have the firepower to take them out. Instead, we need to push forward tot he front of the lines to pick up a set of electrobinoculars that had been left behind. Once we have these, we can use them to mark the AT-ATs while contacting Starhawk Command to request orbital bombardments from the Starhawk Unity. This is definitely not easy as each AT-AT requires 3 strikes to take out and they are really not easy to lock on to, especially when there are Imperial shuttles frequently landing in the way and dispersing troops to attack us, though if you can time and judge your throw well, you can generally take most of the troops out by hitting them with an impact grenade as they are still coming down the ramp. It was a shame to not actually get to see the Starhawks in game, but I get the feeling that they tried to stick to ship models that had other uses in the game as there is not much variation in the ships we see.
With the AT-ATs destroyed, we call in the Corvus to pick up the stranded troops, falling back to a more open position. We get here and have to hold off Imperial troops – 2 squads each dropped off by a Lambda-class shuttle. Now you’d think this battle would be easy, but clever positioning of a blaster turret dealt with the one shuttle, while an E-Web at the rendezvous point made quick work of the troops as they came down the ramp of the other shuttle… talk about an anti-climax. With the area cleared, the Corvus arrives to pick up the troops and take them to their intended destination.
“How’s it going up there?”
“Hard to tell, but… I think the Empire is losing.”
“I think you’re right. I can feel it. It’s almost over. Today, the Empire dies.”
We make our way back to the X-wings and get back into the fight, but there’s not really many TIEs for us to deal with. As the Corvus returns, Del tells Iden that it looks like the New Republic is winning and we make our way back to the ship to regroup with our crew, bringing an end to the mission, though the next mission follows directly on so this could be considered as Part 1 of the battle…
Thanks for reading. May the Force be with you…