Rebels

ES05: Top Star Wars Villains

ES05: Top Star Wars Villains
Echo Station

 
 
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The dark side is calling to Kris and Ian as they talk and rank their top four Star Wars villains from each era. Ian takes on the prequels including the Clone Wars tv show, Kris takes the lead with the original trilogy and its various spinoff movies and tv shows, and finally they both talk the new trilogies array of bad guys. So tap into your inner Sith and or crime lord and come join us as we explore the worst of the worst in Star Wars.

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Echo Station Podcast Credits

A Heroes Podcast Network Production

Hosts
Kristina Davis
Ian Turner

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Music
Flying Killer Robots

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ES05: Top Star Wars Villains

GH36 – Star Wars Battlefront II Beta

The Force is with us as we break down the recent Star Wars Battlefront II Beta that closes out this week. We also talk about some Overwatch League in-game items and the new Stranger Things mobile game!

01:40 – Stranger Things Game

06:35 – Overwatch League in-game Items

12:45 – Star Wars Battlefront II Beta

40:40 – Game Contest & Show Details

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Hosts
Jon Czerwinski
Derreck Mayer

Special Guest
Ian Turner

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Flying Killer Robots

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GH36 – Star Wars Battlefront II Beta

Star Wars Battlefront: Death Star DLC

This past week marked the arrival of the third Star Wars: Battlefront DLC, “Death Star.” Releasing two weeks early to season pass holders, this DLC allows players to fight inside the infamous battle station, finally dogfight in space, and make the famous trench run from A New Hope. The Star Wars: Battlefront “Death Star” DLC comes with an all new mode in multiplayer, Battle Station, new star cards, weapons, ships, pickups, and new heroes and villains to play.

Here we take a look at the three new phases presented in the new mode, Battle Station that was specifically created for this DLC.

Phase 1Battlefront DLC

The first phase is where you attack a Star Destroyer preventing one of the rebellion landing craft from entering the Death Star. This is where the dog-fighting in space comes into play. As the Rebels you must attack four key hard points on the Star Destroyer in a limited amount of time in order to break the blockade and allow your shuttle to pass through. As the Empire, you are trying to prevent your Star Destroyer from being blown up and allowing the Rebels access to the Death Star. During the space battles you get new pickups as you’re flying around. This allows you to call in wing-men to help assist in the battle. The Rebels get Y-Wings and B-Wings while the Empire get TIE Bombers and Defenders (a fighter previously in the EU). Think of them kind like probe droids in space; they hunt enemies down while providing you cover and giving you more points.

Phase 2star-wars-battlefront-death-star-dlc

The second phase is where the Rebels make their way inside the Death Star to retrieve R2-D2 who has the stolen plans for the station. In there you fight along the halls and hangers of the Death Star and try to retrieve R2 before the Empire stops you from doing so. New heroes come into play during this mode as well, Chewbacca for the Rebels and Bossk for the Empire. Both have unique special abilities than can aid in the battle for their side. Along with new heroes and villains you get new skins for the Rebels and Empire. Ranging from the classic Tantive IV Rebel security uniform to a Death Star gunner’s uniform there is a lot to pick from. Also included in the map is, of course, the Death Star layout itself. This map is one of the bigger maps. It is beautifully designed and has callbacks from the original Battlefront games back in the early 2000’s. Here you utilize the new star cards and blasters that EA and DICE have developed.

Phase 3Trench Run-Death Star

Once you retrieve R2 or if you stop the Rebels from doing so it will lead you to the third and final phase which is the trench run. Similar to how it goes in the movie, you must either defend three fighters going into the trench from TIE Fighters and give them time to destroy the Death Star, or try and prevent the Rebels at all cost in doing just that. If you play as the Rebels and are chosen randomly by the game to destroy the Death Star then you must navigate through the trench and hit 12 checkpoint markers. The trench isn’t just a straight line, it’s a lot of twists and turns through narrow gaps to try and reach the exhaust port. You will need to use speed, timing, and your power-ups if you want to reach the objective on time. If all three fighters fail, then a new batch is picked to try and do another run until the Death Star is blown up or time runs out. As the Empire you are trying to protect the Death Star no matter what. The same pickups from the first phase are available to both sides to try and protect one another. Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker return as the heroes for this phase in their ships. Luke in his X-Wing with new abilities and Darth Vader in his TIE Advanced X1.

So far this is the last of the Original Trilogy themed DLC we are going to get. The final DLC, “Rogue One: Scarif”, which will tie into the new movie, will be released sometime this December.

How are you all liking Battlefront so far? Are you satisfied with all the DLC to date? What DLC would you have wanted to see or game modes you want to see in Battlefront 2? Let us know in the comments below.

Star Wars Battlefront: Death Star DLC

Star Wars: Battlefront Beta – Review

As most of you may know DICE and E.A. Games have been working on a new Star Wars game in the Battlefront franchise titled simply Star Wars Battlefront. It isn’t a continuation on the previous series but a reboot of the franchise. Well this past week they released a Beta version of Star Wars Battlefront across the PS4, X-BOX One and PC for all to play and go through. With three out of the 13 different modes unlocked for the Beta version, players got just a taste of what DICE and E.A. have been putting into this next game and possible rebooted franchise. So here is my review on all three game mods, the pros and cons for the game as a whole, some DLC, and what hopefully this game will deliver on its release date of November 17th. (I should also mention that I played this game on the PS4)

Walker Assault Mode

The first game mode I tried out was the famed Walker Assault. I did get a taste of this as well when I went to San Diego Comicon. They had a tent set up with this as a playable thing. Now it was on PC and I myself am a PS4 guy. So I died pretty much every single time while playing it at SDCC. I was therefore very happy when it was released on consoles. The basic idea for this game mode is a 20v20 online battle on either Hoth or Endor (Hoth was the only one available for the Beta version).  You either play as the Empire or Rebel Alliance as you take control of unique vehicles, power-ups, and weapons. You either defend your base if you’re a Rebel or lead Imperial Walkers and troops to destroy the Rebel Alliance if you play as the Empire. The choosing of what side you are on for any of the three game modes was completely random. So it’s unknown if that will stay the same when the final version of the game is released or not.

In the Hoth mode, it was just like watching Empire Strikes Back. Everything from the music, to the location, sound effects and objectives really did feel like the battle of Hoth. The match played fairly simple. Either you’re the rebellion and you’re trying to activate uplinks around the map to call in Y-Wing Ion Bombing runs or you’re the Empire and trying to destroy the uplinks and lead the walkers to the shield generator. There are an array of weapons and power ups scattered across the map for you to find, including the rare and hard to grab AT-AT power up, where you get to control the cannons on the Imperial Walkers and hero card where you get to play as either Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader for this map. With those two being some of the hardest to grab they will surly go fast if you can’t find them first. You can also fly Tie-Fighters and X-Wings respectively but sadly not the bombers. This is a fast-paced map with a very large open landscape for all you sniper fans out there. This mode during the Beta would earn a solid 8.5/10 with me.Star Wars Battlefront Gredo Battle

Drop Zone Mode

The second game mode I tried was a mode called Drop Zone. In this mode you have to capture and defend five escape pods that are randomly dropped from the sky onto the map. Once you defend and secure the escape pod it releases power-ups from inside as a reward. The team who captures all the pods or has the most in 10 minutes wins the match. The developers have stated that they intend to add more escape pods to capture but only did a small amount for the Beta. This mode took place on the new planet they have been pushing called Sullust. Mentioned briefly in Return of the Jedi this is the first time in the newly formed Star Wars canon where we get to see this volcanic planet in all its glory. This mode has a smaller map and I believe only 6-10 players on each team.Star Wars Battlefront Vader ForestI am not sure if there will be other locations for the game mode but I do know for sure Sullust is one of them. Was this the most fun game mode I played? No. But it was more action packed and extremely fast paced with tight corners and rocks to maneuver between. I found it super relative after the third time playing it but that’s just me. So if you like the close combat style and capture the flag style gameplay, then you will surely love this mode. Personally I would give it a 6/10.

Survival Mode

The final game mode that was released with the beta is called Survival. This is a part of their single player/co-op missions. During this you only play as the Rebel Alliance as you are stranded on a planet and must fight off 15 waves of Imperials either by yourself or with a friend. During around every 3-4 waves a drop pod will land in your location and you must capture it to gain the power-ups from within. Star Wars Battlefront Luke ForceThese power-ups include personal shields, orbital strikes, rocket launchers, and Ion magazines for your blaster just to name a few. This is the typical survival mode that are in games now, you kill all the enemies in the wave and then more challenging enemies emerge in the waves after. During the game you want to use the environment around you to take cover and spy on what the enemy is doing and where they are going. This mode probably features the smallest map out of the three in this article. So use the corners and rocks for major cover from snipers and AT-ST’s. With each wave the Imperials grow in number and strength so you can’t just go full head on charging them. You have to plan your attack according to what power-ups you have and what type of enemy there is to face. This mode was a solid 7.5/10 for me.

Battlefront: Pros

Now on to some pros and cons for this game. I can’t list all of them but I will hit on the key ones fans have been vocal about and some I found while playing it. Let’s start with the pros. The game is beautiful! The graphics are absolutely amazing and blew my mind when I saw them. This is so far the best looking Star Wars game out there right now. The snow shines like real snow on Hoth and you can leave footprints in the sand and have destructible environments in forests and while blasting at rocks. It is just amazing. It really feels like a Star Wars game when you see the blaster bolts firing from your rifle and hitting your target ahead. You no longer have a count for ammo or thermal detonators like you did in previous Battlefront games. It is on a cool down system for the rifles/blasters and grenades replenish over time along with your health if you’re hit.

You get to customize what species you are. You sadly didn’t get to during the beta but they have confirmed, along with customizing weapons, you get to choose your species. They haven’t released what’s to choose from yet but rumors are Twi’leks, Rodians, Sullustians, and many more. You also get to play as a female soldier! After all these years of featuring female characters who are totally bad ass you get to play as them on the front lines. You get to play as iconic hero’s and villains. Everyone ranging from Princess Leia to Boba Fett and with a whole lot more to chose from. You only got to play as Luke and Vader during the beta but they played fairly easy. If you were a fan of the heroes and villains you could play as in Battlefront 2 then you will love these because it’s basically the same game mechanics. And finally the gameplay itself. It feels like a PS2 game. Not in a bad way at all, mind you, but like how the original games felt. It’s very simplistic with not a whole lot of buttons to use. You basically point and shoot. You will have to play it to see what I mean by that, but it’s totally a good thing.

Battlefront: Cons

Now on to some cons. No campaign mode. In the previous two games there were actually story driven missions where you played through iconic battles and locations from the movies or expanded universe. This does suck, but they have said that there will be single player missions. Whether or not those are story mission or whatever is still unclear. So we will have to wait and see what those are all about.
Star Wars Battlefront FalconThere are no hangars for ships/ground vehicles. Before, you could just walk up to a random ship or ground vehicle and get in no matter what side you were on or what you were doing. In this you have to find and activate power-ups for vehicles of any kind. So in all reality if you’re on a big map you may never find a vehicle power-up for a good long while if others keep taking them or if they are scarce. But they do make up for it in a way by just having a fighter squadron mode. So that may calm people down who can’t fly anything during normal game modes.

There are no Republic or CIS sides to play as. I will miss playing as those two sides just because it gave the previous games more to work with character and troop wise, not just the Empire or Rebels. There are only limited locations and planets. So far, only four planets have been announced to fight on and it’s looking like that could be it for now. I sincerely hope not because there are so many locations in the Star Wars universe, and it would be a shame to limit it to just 4 or 5 planets.

Finally, there is no space combat. That was a huge plus for Battlefront 2 and it was so cool! Docking in huge capital ships and taking out their support systems, then flying out and destroying fighter support was a blast. With the game engine and mechanics that DICE and E.A. have come up with for this, a space combat mode would have been killer! I am hoping they will add that in either the next hopeful game or as a small DLC pack.

Speaking of DLC packs, E.A. has just announced that there will be four add-on packs that you can buy for Star Wars Battlefront, one of them being a pre-order bonus, which is called The Battle of Jakku. This takes place one year after the Battle of Endor as the newly formed New Republic tries to capture a major post on the planet. This is also the setting for a good part of the new Star Wars film, The Force Awakens. So fans get to see and live out what happened before we see it some 30 years later on the big screen. Those who pre-order the game have early access to it and those who do not pre-order it must wait a week before its release to the public (It’s rumored to be a free download, btw),

All in all, I hope this game really delivers to the fans what they want and need. Most Battlefront fans have been waiting for a new game since Battlefront 2’s release in 2005! So no pressure to DICE and E.A. I really did enjoy myself while playing through just those three modes. And with 10 more to be released along with all the DLC, I am sure that this will be one of many Battlefront games to come.

Have you picked up the Star Wars: Battlefront beta? If so, what do you think so far? Which platform are you playing it on? Comment below!

Star Wars: Battlefront Beta – Review

Star Wars Rebels Season 2 Movie Review

Things were looking pretty good for our heroes at the end of Star Wars Rebels Season 1; however, the Empire is not one to turn the other cheek and makes sure that the rebels pay for their actions by sending along an expert in dealing with such matters, Darth Vader.

WARNING: SPOILERS ABOUND!

Overview

Following a huge victory at the end of season 1, Rebels picks up where it left off with the crew of the Ghost helping out the new rebel fleet. Some of the crew, in particular Kanan, feel a bit overwhelmed by their new circumstances. The idea of serving as a sort of intergalactic Robin Hood against the Empire was fulfilling. Fighting a full on fight against said Empire, on the other hand, is almost out of their league. So when the crew receive a message from Lothal concerning the smuggling of a high ranking official off world, it seems like the perfect opportunity to get more Imperial information as well as return to their roots in small-time rebellion; however, little do they know that this is a trap laid by none other than the Sith Lord, Darth Vader.

The Good

Kanan expresses his uneasiness with joining the larger rebel cause.

Kanan expresses his uneasiness with joining the larger rebel cause.

1. “The Siege of Lothal” changes the dynamic even more than the season finale. We honestly were not sure where the series was heading after finding out that the small band of rebels aboard the Ghost were actually one sect in a larger group. The option of them still operating in Lothal is completely thrown out by the end of this episode as Vader makes that an impossibility. Getting off of Lothal was a good and bold move on the show’s part, as it throws our characters out of their comfort zone.

2. Darth Vader is used properly and it looks like he will not return for quite awhile. At first, it seems that our heroes will outwit and escape Vader. This would have been a concern since Vader cannot lose like the villains in the previous season; however, “The Siege of Lothal” uses Vader perfectly. Even when it looks like the rebels had escaped Vader’s clutches, we find out that it was all apart of his plan. Also, as expected, Kanan and Ezra are no match for Vader in lightsaber combat. That scene, in and of itself, was an awesome treat to watch as Vader toyed with the duo.

Ezra and Kanan observe the destruction of Tarkintown.

Ezra and Kanan observe the destruction of Tarkintown.

3. The inhabitants of Lothal have had it rough. Many of them have had to move to Tarkintown, a refugee camp that the rebels often helped out. The name of Tarkintown is a clear call-out to the Hoovervilles of the 1930s when the poor would move to these places and mockingly name them after President Hoover, but Tarkintown also serves as an important plot point as it is burned to the ground by Darth Vader. Why did Vader do this? To take advantage of our heroes’ “weakness” for compassion. Watching Tarkintown burn into ashes really brought the idea home that there was little else our heroes could do in Lothal.

4. When Vader reported to the Emperor of his mission’s completion, we did not see the Emperor. Rather, we simply heard his voice (as performed by the very talented Sam Witwer). I am sort of hoping we do not see the Emperor’s face at all in the show, as his disembodied voice would make him more mysterious and foreboding. Of course, now that Vader knows Ahsoka lives and has already told the Emperor of this, we can only imagine what their plans might be. Vader clearly is not going to turn Ahsoka to the Darkside since he already informed the Emperor of her presence. Sith lords do not inform each other when they want to usurp the mantle of Dark Lord of the Sith.

The Bad

Darth Vader reports the status of his mission to the Emperor.

Darth Vader reports the status of his mission to the Emperor.

1. Within the first few minutes of the episode, John Williams’ music was already being used. I am not talking about a small theme. Rather, the show used quite a bit of the asteroid field music from The Empire Strikes Back for much of the scene. This was a problem throughout the first season, and, unfortunately, it would seem that it will be a problem in this season. George Lucas himself pushed the production team of the Clone Wars to use Williams’ music sparingly. That show would throw in a theme here and there, but we would never get a full track pulled from one of the films. Overusing John Williams’ themes and even copying and pasting them into the show, instead of creating new themes, not only devalues their worth but is also lazy.

2. Darth Vader’s voice sounded a little bit off. This is not a stab at the work of the awesome James Earl Jones; however, somebody in the sound department did not do the best job at making the voice sound mechanical. It actually sounded too mechanical. Maybe minimization is the goal of the show, but, for those of us who grew up on the original trilogy, this sounded wrong.

Meet Lando's droid (left), W1-E1, the droid with a Southern accent.

Meet Lando’s droid (left), W1-E1, the droid with a Southern accent.

3. Lando shows up again to help out the crew of the Ghost; however, this could easily have been handled by an unknown smuggler since Lando had a total of maybe thirty seconds of screen time. Minimizing nods to the original trilogy is key since they could steal the show from our core heroes… of course, I might be able to forgive this one since we were introduced to Lando’s awesome southern-accented droid.

Conclusion

“The Siege of Lothal” was a huge opening episode that set the course for the entire season. Our heroes no longer have a planet for their headquarters (poor Ezra’s old home was even destroyed), Vader and the Emperor are plotting, the rebel fleet is on the run, and, on top of that, it looks like we are getting a new Sith Inquisitor! There was very little not to like in this episode. All in all, season 2 is off to a great start.

 

Star Wars Rebels Season 2 Movie Review

New Season of Star Wars Rebels Premieres Tomorrow!

That’s right. Star Wars Rebels is back and premieres Saturday, June 20 at 9 PM (ET/PT) on Disney XD. As shown in several clips and the Star Wars Celebration trailer, season 2 will now feature Darth Vader. It will be interesting to see how the Rebels survive since the show takes place in the time period prior to A New Hope where the Empire, and especially Vader, are fairly invincible. One thing to note is that James Earl Jones, the actor who voiced Vader in the movies, is reprising the role for season 2. The one-hour premiere is titled “The Siege of Lothal.” If you need something to tie you over until tomorrow, here’s a clip of the immortal Darth Vader…

New Season of Star Wars Rebels Premieres Tomorrow!