Star Wars 1313, we hardly knew you. Seriously, EA and LucasArts' ill-fated Star Wars game was rumored, announced, and cancelled in what felt like no time at all, though the inner workings of its death were no-doubt messy and complicated. Luckily - and bittersweetly - we now know the game a bit better thanks to a newly released animation preview showing the cancelled game's third-person combat in action. Naughty Dog animator Jonathan Cooper shared the clip on Twitter earlier this month. Give it a watch:
Star Wars 1313 (Cancelled 2013) Animation Previz pic.twitter.com/F2lBNDmPKEJune 11, 2019
Much of this clip lines up with the gameplay shown in the E3 2013 demo which, while very early in production, looked like a promising third-person shooter. The standout to me is the droid partner fighting alongside protagonist Boba Fett. I don't remember seeing him in previous footage, but he looks pretty integral to the combat here. He can take out enemies, heal you when you're wounded, destroy cover, and even serve as a vault for an aerial takedown. There's no telling how many of those abilities would've made into the final game, and it's possible the droid was just a temporary partner character, but he looks like he contributed a lot to combat.
Animator James Zachary added a bit of context to the clip in a reply on Twitter. "We animated this a proof of concept to show how the player should/could move through the world," he said. "There is still lots of room for polish but the animation wasn’t really supposed to be public."
It may be a demo made with animation skeletons and barebones models, but the movement itself looks great. I especially love the way the player interacts with cover. Early cover-based shooters were bad about unnaturally gluing players to walls, but this clip shows Fett sliding into and over cover very fluidly. That's something I really appreciate in modern shooters, so it's pretty impressive to see it animated so well in 2013.
Last we heard, Star Wars 1313 was dead in the water but its story could be salvaged in a future project.