SPOILER ALERT: This post contains plot details from Star Wars Battlefront II.
The Cloud Car is having a moment in Star Wars Battlefront II.
These goofy-looking atmospheric vehicles first popped up in The Empire Strikes Back, but they’ve never been a hit. All it takes is a quick glance to see why.
They’re painted in an ugly shade of burnt orange, they’re piloted by the sky cops of Bespin’s Cloud City, and they don’t look like they handle particularly well. That second cockpit is where a gunner sits, but… why? They’re not particularly well armed to begin with, and Bespin isn’t exactly a hotbed of hostile activity (unless the shady city administrator strikes a bum deal with the Empire, that is).
The Cloud Car is basically the DeLorean of the Star Wars universe: Weirdly striking to look at, but not actually useful as a real vehicle.
And yet. Star Wars Battlefront II puts the Cloud Car front-and-center in a memorable mission that takes protagonist Iden Versio to Bespin. Iden and her pal Del Meeko are there on a secret mission to infiltrate the Imperial-held floating metropolis and cause some spoilerific trouble. After they sneak their way in and disguise themselves as rank-and-file Stormtroopers, they spot a familiar sight.
“No real pilot would ever fly one of those,” Iden says, virtually guaranteeing that she herself will soon fly one of those. And she does! Gotta love it when a video game employs foreshadowing.
Later in the mission, Iden and Del are found out and forced to go loud as they look for a way to complete their mission, then escape. A nearby landing platform seems to hold the answer: Two TIE Fighters, ready and waiting.
A pitched battle ensues as they fight their way to their only real possibility for escape. It’s a bad scene, but worth the trouble, right? TIE Fighters, man! TIE Fighters.
Not so much. Enjoy the epic fakeout.
For all the controversy that’s engulfed Battlefront II as it’s careened toward release, don’t forget that there’s still a delightfully geeky and fan service-heavy Star Wars story waiting to be discovered. I loved this moment, right down to the “Settle for a Cloud Car” mission objective text.
There are lots of moments like that scattered throughout Battlefront II‘s campaign, and they’re the big reason I’ve continued to peck at the story mode even after finishing it. I want to find all of those geeky little nods.
Star Wars Battlefront II is out for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on Nov. 17.