It’s that time of year again. A new Star Wars movie is coming, which means that Disney have partnered with countless other brands to make sure there are stormtroopers and lightsabers and blasters in your face every day. One of their latest partnerships is with Fortnite, where Geoff Keighley, director J.J. Abrams, and Ben Schwartz (as a stormtrooper) got together in-game on Saturday to show off a new Rise of Skywalker trailer for players. It was only a ten or so minute event but the short movie clip was followed by lightsabers and blasters popping up on the Fortnite island for players to wield for the next week.
The in-game event kicked off with an overhead fight between the Millenium Falcon and several TIE fighters. After fending off the attackers and landing, Geoff Keighley and a stormtrooper hop out to greet all the players, calling out famous streamers by name, of course. Once Abrams makes his appearance, there’s a bit of back and forth between he, Keighley, and their stormtrooper friend mostly on the subject of how tight the pants are on Abrams’ avatar. Dad jokes abound.
After the introductions wind down, players get the chance to vote on what clip they think will be shown from the movie. Jedi mind tricks win the popular vote and a curved screen pops up in front of the Millenium Falcon to play a scene from the movie. It’s a short bit of Rey pulling a fast one on a couple stormtroopers in classic Obi-Wan style by telling them it’s alright for her, Finn, and Poe to be on the ship they’ve infiltrated. Shortly after, Abrams, Keighley, and their trooper all make an exit with TIE fighters hot on the Falcon’s tail.
All told, it’s a lot of pomp, circumstance, and E3-like scripted excitement for a one minute movie trailer that would have probably looked better if you were watching it on your actual monitor instead of a giant screen inside a game. If you can look past the event being one big marketing plot for two giant companies, it is neat to see games becoming digital spaces for real events to take place in.
The event may be over but the lightsabers are here to stay in-game for another week. Star Wars blasters are an obvious choice for a Fortnite tie-in but the lightsabers seem to be where the action is at. Or at least all the good gifs. There are a few different locations on the island where you can find a glowing blue box with a saber inside. If you manage to snatch one during a round you may be able to tempt your opponents into a sabers-only duel.
Over on Reddit, one user posted a video of winning their first solo match of the season with Kylo Ren’s red crossguard lightsaber. They and their opponent throw all their guns on the ground to ensure a fair fight and get to work twirling around one another with glowing green and red flourishes. Spoiler: the Sith player wins.
Aside from the new sabers, there are new skins to wear in exchange for your V-Bucks. Epic were planning to give away a TIE fighter glider skin to all attendees of the reveal event but due to so many players struggling to actually get placed in-game to see the event, all players who logged in before December 15 at 8PM ET were gifted the glider for free.