Star Wars DOA: What we wanted from LucasArts' 20 cancelled games
Not to let a hiccup like LucasArts' closure rain on our geek parade, we've dreamed up our own concepts for these long lost projects. So polish your lightsaber, channel your midi-chlorians, and join us as we share our visions for the Star Wars games that time forgot...
Star Wars: Han Solo
Our pitch: We've played as Han Solo before. We know his story. Our ideal Star Wars: Han Solo would zero in on a part of his life we haven't fully explored; namely, his employment with Garris Shrike and his dastardly pirate crew. Our third-person action game would see players climbing through Garris' ranks by selecting missions and completing them in ways that would impact his reputation back at Garris' HQ. With heaps of smuggler side quests and a storyline that would lead up to Han's escape, Star Wars: Han Solo would be an open-ended adventure title worthy of the chaotically good hero in us all.
Star Wars: Dark Jedi
Our pitch: Xendor was a general who's skills in battle made him a legend in the Old Republic. With that in mind, there would be no better genre for Xendor's game than an RTS that would place players in control of his Legions of Lettow in large-scale conflicts leading up to the Star Wars historic Great Schism event.
Illustration: Uploaded to Wookiepedia by Cade Calrayn (opens in new tab) (aka Michael)
Star Wars: Rebel Scum
Our pitch: It's the peak of the Galactic Civil War and the universe is on fire. As the famous Platoon Commander, Zaxor Pornstache, your job--nay, duty--is to confront the Rebel threat head-on in tactical, turn-based skirmishes across the galaxy. Defend key Empire targets and infiltrate Rebel bases. Develop weapons of mass destruction in your Death Star homebase and order Tie Fighter attacks against incoming scum. Grounded in X-COM mechanics and inspired by iconic Star Wars events, Star Wars: Rebel Scum would be the ultimate Stormtrooper fantasy. Aside from a new Rebel Commando game, of course.
Photo credit: Stefan Le Du (opens in new tab)
Star Wars: Rebel Agent / Rebel Warrior / Rebel Fury / Rise of the Rebellion
Our pitch: What was life like as a Rebel agent? We'd like to think LucasArts was preparing to answer that very question. In our ideal version, rookies would create their own Rebel persona and set out on a personalized journey of redemption and/or heroism that ran parallel with the events in the original Star Wars trilogy. Because someone's got to the do the dirty work, players would get a taste for the less-than-glamorous (yet equally adventurous) missions that took place in the background while Luke and company were busy hotdogging it on some Ewok moon.
Star Wars: Vader
We're actually OK with the fact a Darth Vader title never made it off the assembly line. We love the slightly charred Skywalker as much as the next fan, but after all the prequels and video game appearances, we've had our fill of Vader's story. Instead, we have something racier in mind...
Our pitch: Introducing Darth Vader: The Dark Racer (hold on, hear us out). Anakin was a pod racing prodigy back in his blonde cherub days, so who's to say Vader didn't pursue his hobby on the side? We see Star Wars: Vader pitting Dark Helmet in underground pod races against the likes of Cad Bane, Bobba Fett, Greedo, and the gremlin dude who sits on Jabba's shoulder. Between each match, Vader would upgrade his ride in a secret Death Star garage while assembling a museum of carbonite statues collected from his defeated opponents. Think Need for Speed, but with Sith.
Star Wars: Smuggler
The life of a Jedi is one of honor, duty, and self-control. The life of a smuggler is one of sex, spice, and big hairy co-pilots. Yeah, we'll take that one, please.
Our pitch: Think Faster Than Light (opens in new tab), but with the Millennium Falcon. Subset Games' rogue-like strategy title is easily one of the most addicting games out there today, and it's all but screaming for a Star Wars adaptation. In it, we see players controlling Han, Chewbacca, and a diverse alien crew on smuggling assignments throughout the know universe--all the while staying one step ahead of bounty hunters and the Galactic Empire. Like FTL, each game would present a fresh slate of quests and instances, each of which would unlock resources to customize the Millennium Falcon and its crew. And, like FTL, the goal would be to see how long players can hack it as an intergalactic smuggler before succumbing to intergalactic permadeath.
Star Wars: Jedi Master
Our pitch: 1997's awful Star Wars: Masters of Ters Ksi and a few Star Wars cameos in the Soulcalibur aside, the series hasn't really made a dent in the fighting genre. We see Star Wars: Jedi Master as the ultimate throw down between Jedi and Sith elite--one which takes players on the path through Padwan brawler to Jedi Master. Give it a DC Injustice-grade backstory and a wide selection of characters (famous and obscure) and Star Wars: Jedi Master could be a contender on the fighting scene.
Star Wars: Rebel Jedi
Our pitch: Rebel Alliance, Schmebel Schmalliance. Rebel Jedi would work best as a game that gave players their own ship, fancy Jedi powers, and the means to exploit connections to both sides of the war. We'd welcome the opportunity to adopt the role as a double agent who runs jobs for both the Galactic Empire and Rebel Alliance while tending to their own mini-empire on some far off moon. After all, who says being one with midi-chlorians means you have to pick sides?
Star Wars: Jedi Rebel
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Star Wars: Jedi Knight III
When we last saw Kyle Katarn in Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, the former Jedi had saved Yavin IV from an invasion and bested the Dark Jedi Desann. Not bad for a lowly Rebel from Sulon. But he can do more...
Our pitch: The Jedi Knight series did what all Star Wars games should aspire to do: Make us feel like unstoppable, Force-wielding badasses with an actual stake in the future of the galaxy. It also established Kyle Katarn as a key figure in Star Wars lore, and set him up for a lifetime of swashbuckling adventures following Desann's defeat. In our sequel, players would reconnect with Kyle ten years later and play through his years as a Jedi Master leading up to the Yuuzhan Vong War. As a Jedi trainer, players would control their students in battles a la Mass Effect, while larger conflicts would see Kyle directing his team from his battlemaster chair. Oh, and of course we'd bring back that sweet, sweet Jedi Knight multiplayer.
Illustration by: James Raiz (via Star Wars wikia (opens in new tab))
Star Wars: Jedi Outlaw
According to The Art of Making of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (opens in new tab)
Our pitch: Actually, that sounds fantastic. Setting a Star Wars game a half millennium into the future would allow for new technologies and Force powers. We imagine a Dishonored-esque action-adventure wherein players would explore a string of open levels using Force powers and gadgets to expose a grand conspiracy and clear their names.
Star Wars: Rogue Jedi
The Jedi Gone Wild is a re-occurring trope in Star Wars lore, and judging by the dark tone hinted by the Star Wars: Rogue Jedi logo, LucasArts was intent on giving fans a glimpse of life on the fringe. And while the concept of playing as a ne'er-do-well Jedi isn't altogether new, a game focused on this morally grey lifestyle gives us some ideas...
Our pitch: Star Wars: Rogue Jedi would send players on the run from the Jedi Order after a mission on Cloud City goes sour and makes them the main suspect in a number of high profile Imperial attacks. Forced to go underground, players would scrape together the resources and alliances necessary through action adventure campaign that would take them deep into the heart of the enemy.
Star Wars: Underworld / Scum and Villainy
The Star Wars universe is a hotbed of villainous fiends and criminals, so we can only imagine Star Wars: Underworld and Star Wars: Scum and Villainy were LucasArts' attempts at turning a searchlight on the franchise's seedier side.
Our pitch: Grand Theft Auto: Coruscant. Forget what you know about Coruscant's pristine facade. Below the surface of the Galactic capitol lies an underworld rife with smugglers, sinners, and aliens of ill repute. If that isn't the perfect backdrop for a sandbox crime game, we don't know what is. Here, players could pick their race and make a name for themselves among the criminal element by running spice, jacking lift-cars, or pulling off jobs for the Hutt Cartel. Throw in upgradable Force powers, jet-packs, and futuristic weaponry, and Star Wars: Underworld / Scum and Villainy could rival the free-roaming antics of Saints Row and Crackdown.
Image from: Star Wars: 1313 (RIP)
Star Wars: Episode VII: Shadows of the Sith
One does not paste roman numerals to a Star Wars sequel on a whim. Our best guess is Star Wars Episode VII: Shadows of the Sith was born as an adaptation of the upcoming J.J. Abrams films. If that's the case, we have one request.
Our pitch: Make it old school. The SNES/Genesis era of side-scrolling Star Wars games remain some of the most cherished entries in the franchise. Star Wars: Episode VII: Shadows of the Sith would thrive as an HD platformer that honored this era while advancing the cinematic story. No doubt, we've played a billion-and-one third-person movie tie-ins. For Episode VII, we envision a return to a more innocent era in the Star Wars gaming timeline, albeit with all the new platforming mechanics and flourishes that've been pioneered since the 1990s.
Fan Poster Credit: GuardianoftheForce (opens in new tab)
Star Wars: Darth Maul
Poor Darth Maul. As if being adopted by a Sith Lord and forced to look like a demonic Juggalo wasn't enough of a burden, this wayward Zabrak barely had time to mug for the camera in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace before taking a nosedive into a reactor pit. If any Sith Lord deserves their own game, it's him.
Our pitch: Darth Maul has flourished in the Star Wars: Clone Wars TV series and countless Star Wars books. Combined, these would provide more than enough fodder for an action game like Star Wars: The Forced Unleashed. The title would shed light on Maul's story, beginning with his initiation as a Nightbrother on Dathomir and stretching beyond his cinematic duel with Kenobi. Like The Force Unleashed, we'd whisk players through the 'greatest hits' of Darth Maul's career, including his debut attack against the Black Sun, his solo run on Lotho Minor, and his formation of the Shadow Collective. No doubt, Darth Maul's Sith-ventures are many, and we would relish the opportunity to play them for ourselves.
Star Wars: Jedi Hunter
One of the downsides of being a Jedi is there are hundreds of Jedi hunters attempting to take you down at any given time. They can be anyone from Sith lords to fellow Jedis, or even that repair droid who's been following you for the past three blocks (don't look, just keep walking). And speaking of Jedi hunting droids...
Our pitch: Remember HK-47 from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic? Of course you do. Darth Revan's meatbag hating assassin was easily the most memorable character in the game, and more than capable of headlining a spin-off all his own. We see Star Wars: Jedi Hunter plucking HK-47 from his supporting role and giving him a FPS shooter to call his very own. Adopting the role of HK-47 would place fans in the trenches of the Jedi Civil War and the backrooms of the Hutt Cartel. Our ideal version of Star Wars: Jedi Hunter would show-off Star Wars' dark side, as well as give due attention to a master assassin who has more than a small part to play in the fate of the universe.
That's no moon...
Keep the Force flowing with our list of the best Star Wars games (opens in new tab) and 7 things we want from DICE's Star Wars: Battlefront (opens in new tab).