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Battlefront and Episode III game to appear in Star Wars Trilogy DVD set

LucasArts confirms reports that a playable Xbox Battlefront demo will appear, and promises a behind-the-scenes look at a forthcoming Episode III game. Details inside.

LucasArts has confirmed reports that the forthcoming Star Wars Trilogy DVD box set, which is due out in Europe on September 21st, will feature previews of two upcoming Star Wars titles, including a previously unannounced Episode III spin-off.

Although no gameplay details of the Episode III title have been released so far, LucasArts says that a "Making the Game" extra will focus on how the developer worked behind the scenes and on the film set to create it. The Episode III title is due out on PS2 and Xbox in spring 2005, which would seem to suggest a tie-in with the movie's cinematic premiere on May 19th.

As rumoured earlier this month, multiplayer title Star Wars: Battlefront will also appear on the Trilogy's fourth "extras" disc, both in trailer movie and playable demo form. The demo option will give players a run at the Battle of Endor level we've already seen in various trailers and screenshots, and you can expect to control either a Rebel or an Imperial soldier, commanding AT-STs, riding speeder bikes and drawing upon all sorts of weaponry.

Perhaps surprisingly, LucasArts has opted to make the playable Battlefront demo Xbox only, despite the PS2's all-conquering installed base. Then again, with the full version of the Pandemic-developed Battlefront due out on PC, PS2 and Xbox in the same week, it's not quite the coup some had anticipated.

Then again, the demo is guaranteed a huge audience. The long awaited Star Wars Trilogy DVD set marks the first time the original films - A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi - have appeared on DVD, and we doubt we're the only ones keen to get our hands on it, even if we will have to put up with some of our least favourite aspects of George Lucas' 1997 Special Edition revamps.

When the package was officially confirmed earlier this year, Lucasfilm's VP of Marketing and Distribution Jim Ward admitted to Empire magazine that the box set would focus on the 1997 Special Editions of the films, rather than the ageing originals. "At the end of the day, George is an artist, and the artist has the prerogative to present what he wants as a definitive version of the film," he said at the time. Bet you wish you'd kept those VHS copies now...

Star Wars: Battlefront (PS2, Xbox, PC) is expected to make an appearance at this year's E3 trade show, and the Episode III game could well do likewise. LucasArts has yet to officially confirm its line-up for the show, which runs from May 12th to 14th in Los Angeles.

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Tom Bramwell

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Tom worked at Eurogamer from early 2000 to late 2014, including seven years as Editor-in-Chief.

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