During the Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary trailer for the reveal of Kingdom Hearts IV, there are five shots of a forest reminiscent of California's Redwood National Park. What looks to be just a regular forest at first shows a small glimpse of what seems to be the foot of a vehicle from Star Wars.
Seven years ago, Gamesbeat interviewed Tetsuya Nomura about the possibility of a Star Wars world in Kingdom Hearts III, and after some time, Nomura was allowed to discuss the topic. Nomura went on to say that both companies (Disney Interactive and Square Enix) would have to contact both Disney and Lucasfilm to request permission to use any of the characters and locations. While it seemed impossible at the time, it appears that a deal might have indeed been agreed upon with this small tease.
The second shot of the forest clips shows a small set of three waterfalls. While these waterfalls were not featured in Star Wars Episode VI - Return of the Jedi, they are featured in the video games Star Wars Battlefront (2015) and Star Wars Battlefront II (2017)
Below are some comparison shots of the recent Kingdom Hearts IV reveal trailer and Star Wars Battlefront (2015):
While not precisely the same, they are similar enough. At this point, you're probably thinking, "Well, two separate properties ARE allowed to use the Redwood National Park's likeness, you know." And while you may be right, this following point is where things get interesting.
The third shot of the forest's clips pans up to reveal a metallic-looking object in the top right corner. Now, this blew past many heads because it blends in perfectly with the ground around it, but it's just clear enough to identify!
For those who aren't familiar with Star Wars technology, this foot belongs to the Galactic Empire's All Terrain Scout Transport, or AT-ST for short. It's a two-man, lightweight, bipedal walker used by ground forces within their military. At first, this just sounds ridiculous until you put both of them side by side.
Below are comparisons of the metallic object in the trailer and the foot of an Imperial AT-ST from an official plastic model based on the vehicle.
Right away, you can tell they're the exact same. The backplate that allows the foot to bend, the half circles on either side, and the pieces that come out on either side of the foot are just about identical.
While Square Enix hasn't officially confirmed Star Wars is in Kingdom Hearts IV, by the small tease of this foot, we can tell that Tetsuya Nomura has likely gotten permission from Disney and Lucasfilm to use their property.
Do you believe these assumptions to be true, or is it just a mountain over a molehill? Let us know in the comments!