Disney Launches 'Star Wars' iOS Game Ahead of 2015 Film

With the release of Star Wars: Episode VII still more than a year away, Disney and LucasFilm are hoping a new mobile game will keep fans satiated.

Free-to-play combat strategy title Star Wars: Commander launched today, available exclusively for iOS.

Gameplay begins shortly after the events depicted in the original 1977 film, A New Hope, and follows the Galactic Civil War of Episodes IV through VI, where commanders (that's you!) determine whether the Empire's strength or the Rebellion's resourcefulness will win the war.

Users begin by choosing a side: Will you command AT-ATs, TIE fighters, and stormtroopers as a member of the Empire? Or instead call on heroes like Han Solo and Princess Leia as part of the Rebellion?

According to Nathan Etter, vice president at Disney's game making division, your decision will not only change your storyline, but also provide different types of experiences.

"We wanted to give players an authentic feel for being a part of the rebellion or the empire," he told CNET.

Once you've joined a campaign—be it on the side of good or evil—you must build and defend a base, using a set of trained soldiers.

"In this time period, the Rebels, although they have established themselves as a threat to be reckoned with and get the attention of the Empire, they don't necessarily have the industrial capacity that the Empire has," LucasFilm exec producer Matt Fillbrandt told VentureBeat.

So, they're forced to repurpose older technology, like Clone Wars-era tanks; Fillbrandt teased a droid tank that's been refitted for organics to use, as well as other vehicles "that people might recognize."

The game also features a full array of weapons and technology. Take a look at Star Wars: Commander in the video trailer below, and download the game for free in the iTunes App Store to choose a side.

Disney acquired all things Star Wars when it purchased LucasFilm for $4.05 billion in the fall of 2012. At the time, the companies announced Episode VII, set for release in December 2015, and plans to release a new Star Wars feature film every two to three years after.

But beyond filmmaking, the entertainment giants have also released additional mobile games, including Star Wars: Tiny Death Star, which hit Android and iOS app stores in November.

And in an attempt to engage a new generation of fans, Star Wars Rebels is set for an Oct. 3 release on the Disney Channel. The one-hour special will be followed by regularly scheduled episodes, starting Oct. 13 on Disney XD.

For more, see PCMag's predictions for 5 Directions the New 'Star Wars' Movie Could Take.


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