Star Wars Outlaws’ New Trailer Leans Into the Best Part of the Series

The weird little guy effect.

Star Wars Outlaws

Star Wars Outlaws continues to look drastically different from any game the series has seen before, in the best way possible. The new story trailer released by Ubisoft gives us a look at the story of Kay Vess, an aspiring scoundrel looking to make the galaxy her oyster. Crucially, however, it shows exactly what I’d want from the first-ever open world Star Wars game: a galaxy bursting at the seams with unique locations and a generous helping of alien weirdos. After countless games that chronicle the stories of Jedi and soldiers, Star Wars Outlaws could be the breath of fresh air the series needs.

The roughly three-minute trailer dives into the setup for Outlaws, which is set between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. A cabal of brigands and crime lords is taking advantage of the brewing conflict between the Empire and Rebellion, gripping the Outer Rim in a state of lawlessness. Kay Vess enters this world trying to make it big, and from the sound of things she’ll be launching a heist against one of the biggest crime lords, someone named Sliro. To this end she’ll need to gather a crew, setting the stage for a kind of intergalactic Ocean’s Eleven.

What stands out about the trailer, though, is how visually dynamic so much of the footage seems, including planets with lush green fields, a tropical resort, dark cantinas and alleyways, and a verdant forest planet glowing ethereally green. Mixed into all this are dozens of different aliens, from types we know like Twi’Leks and Rodians, to wild new creations, like a terrifying mutant mix of a wolf and a warthog.

To be clear, there’s nothing inherently wrong with Jedi-focused stories or ones that chronicle the actual “Wars” part of Star Wars, but it’s a lack of variety that’s the problem. What makes Star Wars so special is the absurd array of stories, characters, and themes you can tackle in one universe, it’s practically boundless. This is the series that tackles deep themes of oppression and fascism with Andor, but also has an episode of The Mandalorian where Lizzo and Jack Black play quirky out-of-touch leaders of a democratic planet. Star Wars’ got range.

Outlaws is emphasizing visually dynamic worlds, and hopefully, those locations are just as much of a joy to explore as they are to look at.


That’s exactly what makes Outlaws look like the perfect chaser to 2023’s Jedi: Survivor. Where Survivor delved into the tired tropes of the Jedi and dealing with grief and loss, I’m hopeful that Outlaws can be more of a light-hearted romp about finding your place in a wider world.

The key, of course, is that these diverse locations and characters still need to be meaningful, and interesting to explore. Being the first open world Star Wars game is a tall task, and while Ubisoft was pivotal in the development of the genre, but recent years have seen the “Ubisoft formula” grow stale.

Games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Far Cry 6 use the same format of unlocking towers to reveal the map, checklist side quests, and generic design. There are other things those games do well, but it's hard to feel like Ubisoft’s open world design isn’t stagnating, in the wake of games like The Witcher 3, Breath of the Wild, and Dragon’s Dogma 2.

Outlaws looks like it’s filled with weird and wild alien creatures, including Vess’ adorable companion Nix.


Star Wars Outlaws still has a lot to prove, but just the brief looks we’ve been given are enough to give me hope. The series’ beating heart has always been fascinating characters, and the story trailer shows Outlaws leaning hard into that aspect. Vess has all the makings of a good scoundrel, with plenty of jokes and a happy-go-lucky attitude. There’s her hunky droid companion ND-5, who the internet is already thirsting over. Even the villains in the trailer seem comically evil, in a good way.

This is the fun-loving series that’s endured for all these years, and Outlaws could be the final piece of the puzzle for a new golden age of Star Wars games.

Star Wars Outlaws launches on August 30 for PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

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