EA's discussion of upcoming Star Wars projects during the week of E3 2016 was quite the tease. Instead of basking in the glow of wondrous reveal trailers, we simply got a short reel that showed developers hard at work, with EA Motive's Jade Raymond promising that exciting things are in the works. We still don't have names for the upcoming Star Wars projects from Respawn Entertainment and Visceral Games, and all we actually got to see of the latter was literally eight seconds of "early in-game footage".
But that incredibly brief glimpse has already told us so much. Clearly, Visceral's Amy Hennig (most famous for shaping the Uncharted series) is trying to convey some key details about the studio's Star Wars title, despite sharing such a small amount of footage. We scoured those eight seconds as if many Bothans died to bring us the clip, and we've made some fascinating discoveries... including the possible time period in the Star Wars saga when the game takes place.
This isn't just some random desert planet in a town unfamiliar to the known Star Wars universe. The protagonist wearing the trenchcoat is walking out of the very same cantina where Obi-Wan and Luke struck a deal with Han and Chewie. Just take a look at the surroundings. As the new hero walks out the door you can see a white, windowed pod on the left and a seemingly random pile of junk on the right. But we've seen these objects before.
We can also clearly see Mos Eisley's tallest tower in the distance, albeit with more Empire regalia than usual.
If you're still not convinced, here's some more evidence. Just before our hero steps into the light, we see him walking down a hallway that has a lamp-like fixture on the wall.
This is a perfect replication of the lamps seen in the Cantina, including this pair resting above the lovable Han and Chewie moments before their fateful first meeting with Luke and Obi-Wan. It would appear that the artists at Visceral thought of every detail - well done!
It's extremely difficult to spot at a glance, but look closely, and you can clearly see the Rebel symbol painted onto the wall near some of the Empire flags. Some daring tagger is making a statement that the Rebel Alliance still has a presence, even in the face of the Empire's regime.
The symbol may just be a bit of world-building art, or it could have bigger repercussions to the plot. We're not saying that Visceral is working on Jet Set Star Wars, but Star Wars Rebels fans know that graffiti does exist in the galaxy far, far away - just look at how Sabine likes to leave her mark by tagging Rebel iconography wherever she can. And the concept art that Amy Hennig and co. are perusing during a brief behind-the-scenes shot of a meeting shows even more Rebel and Empire symbols, seemingly stylized as bits of graffiti.
Let's connect a few possibly unrelated dots. As our hero exist the cantina, you can see two 74-Z speeder bikes, which are known Empire vehicles; you probably recognize them from the iconic forest chase scene in Return of the Jedi. Our hero appears to be walking towards them as if one of them is his ride - but that other one parked next to it can't be a coincidence.
In the piece of concept art briefly shown before the gameplay clip, we see three figures (one who appears to have their back turned) in the distance, squaring off against some guards in the foreground wearing unfamiliar helmets. The man on the right is clearly the same guy as in the clip, judging by his hair and attire, but we don't yet know who the woman on the left might be. Perhaps our protagonist doesn't work alone, and that speeder bike belongs to his partner on missions of a potentially Empire-funded nature.
Here's the big one: That short gameplay clip might actually be telling us exactly when the events of the game will take place. For one thing, it seems from the clip that the Empire has occupied the backwater planet showing Two Star Destroyers and a pair of TIE fighters flying over the Mos Eisley Spaceport. Being a resource-lacking planet in the Outer Rim, Tatooine has only attracted the attention of the Empire when Princess Leia's Blockade Runner was captured and a certain pair of droids made off with the Death Star plans. This might be a clue as to when the Visceral Star Wars game takes place.
Unless some new event has caused the Empire to return to such a desolate planet, we could assume that the new protagonist walks out of the Mos Eisley cantina just after the first movie's heroes blast their way out of the spaceport and make the hyperspace jump to Alderaan. If you take a look back at the scene from the movie Han, Luke, and crew escape from two Star Destroyers and, lookie there, we see two Star Destroyers hovering over the town in the gameplay clip. After losing the heroes in space, the capital ships could be coming down to the planet to occupy the settlement and lock down the fugitives' former safe haven. The pieces are all there, but this is still all speculation.