Interview: ‘Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge’ Creators On The Game, Bringing Ady Sun’zee And The High Republic To Life & More
Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge is now available on the Quest 2 and Quest. Check out our review of the game here! After getting to play through the game, I had the chance to sit down with Senior Producer Alyssa Finley and Visual Director Steve Henricks.
During our conversation, the pair spoke about the success of their first VR game Vader Immortal and what they learned from that. The two also discussed why they chose to make the main character a droids repairman versus the typical Jedi hero we are used to seeing. We also chatted about the new tools and equipment you have at your disposal, and how the new Jet pack adds a whole new layer of immersion to the game like never before. Lastly, we ended the discussion by talking about the cast and what it was like getting to bring the High Republic to life for the first time.
Check out our interview with the Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge creators below:
Can you talk about where the idea came from and what you learned from Vader Immortal?
Alyssa Finley: In Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge we definitely wanted to transport the player to other parts of Galaxy’s Edge that have never been explored before, and the mechanics of the game itself sort of lend themselves to bigger environments. We learned a lot of lessons from Vader Immortal on what we can do and what we can’t. And we just kind of took all that knowledge and sort of rolled it into our new plan to make these more vast environments. Our team is a bunch of geniuses and they really were able to squeeze every ounce of performance out of this machine. You’ve seen it, it’s big [laughs].
And it all started with figuring out where we fit into Galaxy’s Edge itself. You can see right behind the screen that we integrated the cantina into an area where you could overlook the park itself. And then the next step was saying how do we connect to these parts of the planet that nobody has seen before? How do we build them out? What’s happening around this time and what kind of history we can start to dig into? And it was an amazing collaboration with Lucasfilm and Disney.
One thing I loved about this story was the choice to make the main character a repairman. Where did that idea come from?
Finley: I think it starts out with wanting to talk about relatable and authentic things to do in the universe that anyone can understand, which leads to a more and more complex set of problems – like I fighting a Guavian Death Gang…which I now feel like I have done [laughs]. And I think it was all about that story; like who are the characters? He’s got this little droid business going on and he’s obviously got to get some cargo from somewhere so it started to really weave itself together organically.
I had a blast with the new multi-tool kit! Was that an idea from the start?
Steve Henricks: The all kit is one of my favorite pieces in the game and seeing that you’re a droid repairman, it makes sense for you to have different options on that tool which allowed us to try a bunch of different things and a bunch of different mechanics. It all sort of rolls back into being a droid repair person and using the tools that come from your humble beginnings to help carry you throughout the rest of the experience.
Finley: Another really exciting thing was that we had a bunch of folks on the team that came together to brainstorm and think of different ideas and experiments that you could use the tool for, and it was one of the first big developments to come along in the process. It was amazing the whole time figuring it out.
The jet pack was another fun feature I wanted to highlight. Can you talk about that?
Henricks: The hover pack was another day one thing. Jose Perez brought that in as a mechanic, and that’s something we built around and hand in mind for the entire game. We based a lot of the work that we did off of the capabilities of that power pack.
Finley: I think one of the reasons is partly because he is so short [laughs]. It also adds to the way you approach interactions and destinations. It gives you a new dimension, literally. And I think that was one of the things that was so exciting. Steve and his team put in an extra amount of work to be able to build worlds that were supported from any level of covering up. I think it really gives us the opportunity for strategic advantages. If you’re somebody who doesn’t want to go into guns blazing, you can find a good vantage point to take down enemies you encounter. So there’s a lot of strategy that came along with it.
We do get to enter the High Republic and this is the era of Star Wars that really hasn’t been tapped into or anything like that. What was that like just being able to kind of really introduce this world to people like in an immersive experience for the first time?
Henricks: I’ve been a Star Wars fan since I was a tiny little kid. But there’s now this whole new exciting era and we got to be a part of it. And the art direction part of it, we worked really hard with story group and James Watt and Matt Martin to make it authentic and make it something that, you know, we can hopefully continue to utilize in the High Republic as we go along with the game.
Finley: In Vader Immortal one thing we knew was we’re gonna have to expand on what we have been so proud of is the lightsaber dojo. But one of the things about the dojo is that you were always in one place. So really being able to add the new dimension in the world, as well as navigating around to you choose your play style, and, you know, your location. That was that was incredibly exciting on top of getting to tell the story of Ady Sun’zee was amazing. Getting feedback from character development team and seeing the concept art come together to now it being released has been incredible experience to watch unfold.
This is Debra Wilson’s second time voicing a character in the Star Wars universe! How did she get involved?
Henricks: Actually, Matt Martin suggested Deborah Wilson to us because she did do such a good job on Jedi Fallen Order, and she absolutely brought this character to life. She brought Tara to life without a doubt. We had a great session with her and you know, she just comes with 1000% every time and is super professional. She really helped us explore this character and find out like, what Tara could really end up being. So yeah, she was spectacular from the start!
I do want to talk about the future of the game and what you guys have planned moving forward with the franchise? I definitely want to jump back in and I want to get more and more into this world. So anything you guys can tease?
Henricks: We definitely set this project up as a platform to tell more stories, right? So there will be more stories…
Lastly, any tips you can give Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge players?
Finley: Personally, for me and my playing style is the remote is absolutely essential so that I feel like I can take on any challenge. My favorite training remotes will help you a lot.
Henricks: I don’t know if you know this, but you can eat Taro tea pods. That will give you a little health boost. You can take a dart to the wilds with you if you want to, it’s hard to get people with it but you can do it. The enemy secret droids you can actually grab if you get close enough to those guys. You can snag them and they’ll start to shake and explode. You can kind of throw them like a grenade!
Thanks for talking with me! Love the game and can’t wait to see what y’all do next!
About Tales From the Galaxy’s Edge
In Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge, you play a droid repair technician who crash lands on Batuu after a pirate attack. In typical Star Wars fashion, you’ll quickly get swept up into a grand adventure on the outskirts of Black Spire Outpost.
“Matching the look and feel of Galaxy’s Edge is our main goal,” says Steve Henricks, visual director, noting that the creative team has worked with artists and assets from the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run attraction to ensure authenticity. In addition, the experience promises true Star Wars immersion. You’ll listen to a jukebox, play space darts, go into the wilds of Batuu and explore, and maybe best of all, hang out with porgs.