Every now and then, Star Wars: The Old Republic releases a brand new CG trailer, acting as a cinematic prelude to the story events of an upcoming expansion. These cinematic trailers have become a much beloved aspect of the game, even going as far as to overshine the actual expansion's content in some cases. With every Star Wars fan being able to watch these trailers for free, they've become some of the most lauded Star Wars media in recent years, featuring tons of fan-service details and some excellent animation.
The one that began it all, Star Wars: The Old Republic's "Deceived" trailer released on June 1, 2009, just a few months after the game's October 2008 announcement. This trailer was groundbreaking at the time, and still is in many ways. While Knights of the Old Republic showed a few brief glimpses of a Jedi/Sith war, this trailer made it the focal point.
The trailer shows off the primary antagonist of the game, Darth Malgus, as he leads a Sith assault on the Coruscant Jedi temple. While the original trilogy's lightsaber combat is often considered a little slow-paced, and the prequel trilogy's lightsaber combat is usually thought to be a little too frenetic, this trailer shows off some slick but refined lightsaber and Force combat, something that really helped this trailer to stand out from the crowd at the time.
Released about a year later, the "Hope" trailer takes place about 20 years before the events of the game. The trailer shows the planet of Alderaan being ransacked by Sith forces while Republic troopers try desperately to defend it. Losing the battle, one Republic trooper is taken hostage and is about to be executed before a Jedi launches into battle.
This Jedi, later revealed to be Satele Shan, the granddaughter of Revan and Bastila from Knights of the Old Republic, defeats the Sith holding the trooper. She takes the fight to Darth Malgus, who appears significantly younger and is without his mask and breathing apparatus. The rest of the trailer shows the Jedi Knight and Sith Lord locked in an intense battle while their troops battle it out around them, eventually culminating in Satele seemingly winning the duel.
Releasing another year later, and taking place a whole 38 years before the start of The Old Republic, the "Return" trailer sees an even younger Darth Malgus appear with a Sith fleet above Korriban. Taking the fight directly to the Republic, Malgus and his master board the Republic ship, where they find Satele Shan and her master.
The four Force users proceed to duel it out over the next five minutes in what is some of the most engaging lightsaber combat ever seen in a Star Wars property. Featuring all the dramatic tension and emotional payoff a Star Wars fan could want, this fight is easily one of the best in the franchise, even featuring a Jedi using both a double-bladed lightsaber and a single-bladed lightsaber at once.
These three trailers do a great job at showing exactly who Darth Malgus is and just why he should be so feared. They also do a good job of setting up most of the game's classes, with the Smuggler, Trooper, and Jedi/Sith classes being shown using some of their in-game abilities.
With the game releasing in December 2011, it had plenty to keep fans interested for a while. The next cinematic trailer wouldn't release for another four years, coming out in June 2015 to set up the game's Knights of the Fallen Empire expansion.
In just four minutes, this "Sacrifice" trailer manages to pack a pretty hefty emotional punch. Telling the story of two brothers being trained in the ways of the Force, the trailer details their entire lives, eventually culminating in one's fall to the Dark Side and their eventual clash. Hardly any dialogue is spoken in this trailer, yet it still manages to convey a great deal while also looking phenomenal.
Released just before the Knights of the Eternal Throne expansion, the "Betrayed" trailer continues the narrative started in "Sacrifice." In this trailer, it's revealed that the brothers actually have a sister who was also trained in the ways of the Force. The trailer takes the viewer through the key stages of her life, showing her as an innocent child who can barely use the Force to an immensely powerful Force user.
The trailer sees the girl's mother attempt to rescue her from her impending fate, taking out some yellow lightsaber-wielding guards before being forced to retreat. The mother never stops looking for her child, but upon finally finding her, it's revealed that she was too late and that the girl has turned into an extremely powerful Dark Side user.
Almost six years after the previous one, a brand-new Star Wars: The Old Republic CG trailer has just dropped. Coinciding with the release of the Legacy of the Sith expansion, the "Disorder" trailer treads some familiar thematic ground but is an absolute visual delight with some masterful animation on display.
This trailer sees the return of Darth Malgus, once again battling the Jedi, this time to try and take control of a mysterious artifact that will presumably grant him even more power. Using the classic Sith power of manipulation, Malgus manages to convince the Jedi apprentice to turn on their master before taking the artifact, leaving them to die in the crumbling temple. Hopefully, this trailer isn't the last one fans of The Old Republic get.
Star Wars: The Old Republic is available for PC.