On Saturday, the third annual CitizenCon was held in Manchester. During the convention, attendees were shown extensive new footage and behind-the-scene glimpses as to how development of Star Citizen continues.

This year, the single-player portion of the upcoming space simulator, Squadron 42, was front and centre, with the opening cinematic being presented to the gathering. The game’s expansive cast of actors was also unveiled, and it’s pretty damn impressive!

Gary Oldman (The Fifth Element, The Book of Eli, Batman: Begins onwards), Mark Hamill (Star Wars), Gillian Anderson (X-Files) Rhona Mitra (Shooter, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, Hollowman), and Andky Serkis (The Lord of the Rings, Rise of the Planet of the Apes) are just some of the familiar faces who have spent the last three months in a performance capture studio, bringing life to the massive cast of characters that will populate the story of Squadron 42.

Below you can find the opening cinematic for Squadron 42. It features a very rhetorical Gary Oldman playing the character of Bishop as he calls the United Empire of Earth together to face the growing Vanduul threat. It’s very chest-thumpy, but it also has such a Wing Commander tone that I can’t help but smile.

Next up is a behind-the-scene video showing off the performance capture sessions with the various actors mentioned above. It includes Cloud Imperium Games employees geeking out over Mark Hamill; I can’t really blame them.

Finally, there’s an extensive piece of Squadron 42 gameplay on show. It was prefaced by a warning that the gameplay was being played live and was still a little rough around the edges. It certainly is rough in terms of some unpolished animations, lip-syncing issues, and the occasional clipping glitch. That aside, it’s looking really good, especially the attention to detail on character models and the enormous space ship that gameplay takes place in.

Maybe this will be enough to assuage the very vocal minority of Star Citizen pessimists for the next, what, week or so? Squadron 42 will be out in 2016.

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