Star Wars canon is an odd thing these days. While it received an official reboot by Disney several years ago, it has been slowly but surely bringing back fan-favorite elements from the old Expanded Universe continuity.
The latest immigrant from the "Legends" canon looks to be an old friend from the X-Wing series. During a press demo for Star Wars: Squadrons, director Ian Frazier confirmed that its single-player story would be an "authentic part of Star Wars," meaning that it will be part of the official canon. That will include the old BFF-1 bulk freighter, a ship that should be familiar to long-time fans of the LucasArt's space sims.
First introduced in Mission 1 of the original X-Wing game, the BFF-1 bulk freighter is the diametric opposite of most ships in the Star Wars universe. It's neither sleek nor cool, and you certainly won't see one screaming down the Death Star trench. Nevertheless, it's a constant companion in the X-Wing series, where it mainly serves to be identified, captured, or simply blown up. Peak X-Wing is watching a transport slowly work its way to a freighter to dock and capture it.
In Star Wars: Squadrons, the BFF-1 bulk freighter pops up in the very first mission, in which you are tasked with identifying a series of transports to find Rebel refugees. It's a comforting sight in Star Wars: Squadrons; proof that the developers have enough affection for the old games to include elements from them in the reboot. Look closely, and you'll see other clues as well, including the familiar name "Ace Azzameen" from X-Wing Alliance (no, the Azzmeens aren't suddenly canon—it's just one of the randomly generated name you can choose for your pilot).
"When you see [the BFF-1 bulk freighter], that is an authentic part of Star Wars now. When you see… you may have caught a hint of it in some of our screenshots, there's a certain design of space station which is actually in the old games. We've created a new modern version of it that is now an official part of Star Wars," Frazier says. "In general the story that you’re going to play is an authentic experience. Multiplayer we treat as more of a 'fantasy' cause it's like... you do it a hundred times over, so each individual multiplayer match is living out a fantasy."
Star Wars: Squadrons isn't the first EA Star Wars story to enter canon. Star Wars Battlefront 2, which features the Imperial pilot Iden Versio alongside familiar faces like Han Solo and Luke Skywalker, is likewise considered an "authentic" tale. But where Battlefront 2 focused more on original material, it seems like Star Wars: Squadrons is intended to be an appreciative nod to the older games. That means the BFF-1 bulk freighter is back in business.
Star Wars: Squadrons was first announced last month, and gameplay impressions for it are going live as we speak. A multiplayer space combat sim, Star Wars: Squadrons is a tribute to the old Lucasarts space combat sims that will include full VR support, as well as support for HOTAS flightsticks on PC. Frazier describes it as a "passion project," which goes a long way toward explaining all of these references to the classic games.
Star Wars: Squadrons will be out on Xbox One, PC, and PS4 on October 2; a date that will double as the BFF-1 bulk freighter's coming out party. I can't wait. Now bring back the Missile Boat already.
Image sourced from Wookiepedia