SWTOR class cinematics go for nostalgia and starfighter antics

Star Wars: The Old Republic players will experience movie déjà vu and thrilling space combat when rolling new characters in-game.

Intro clips for each of the eight starting classes will use the distinctive opening crawl in the The Empire Strikes Back movie, down to the yellow text and bottom-to-top scrolling.

Then, “each movie transitions from the opening crawl to the scene where the camera pans from space to reveal a ship or a group of ships heading towards a planet,” said senior video editor Brian Arndt in his behind-the-scenes look of the class cinematics.

And in true Star Wars fashion, mad conflict between the Galactic Republic and Sith Empire erupts even before you take control of your character. You can see all this in the storyboard sequence below.

For example, the Smuggler class intro scene starts with a daring escape from a Separatist blockade to deliver goods to Republic troops stationed in Ord Mantell. (Hopefully getting paid premium SWTOR Credits for his efforts.) Meanwhile, the Sith Warrior will arrive in his starting area on Korriban after launching from an engaged Star Destroyer.

BioWare and LucasArts have been vocal about the immersive quality of SWTOR, and it looks your first play session will be no exception. Even sound production values seem to have been amped up, with each class using a unique voice actor.

“When a player class is speaking a line or narrating in the class videos, you’re hearing the voice of the actual actor who will be filling that role,” said BioWare of the 900 hundred voice actors that have been used across all three language versions.

SWTOR developers know that opening cinematics play a huge part in making a good impression, especially to casual players and non-Star Wars fans who will be taking the game out for a test run come its launch date, which is rumored to be sometime this Christmas.

If you ask me, it wouldn’t hurt to sneak in a couple more barrel rolls in there – everyone loves barrel-rolls.