Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Five Star Wars stories that would make great games

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Now that Lucasfilm is enabling more publishers and developers get started in making Star Wars gamesI would love to see a handful of Star Wars “classics” reborn as interactive experiences. I put “classics” in aerial quotes because the Star Wars story is so complicated and messy that some of its greatest stories no longer exist in the continuing continuity of the universe. Yes, you can still buy and read these stories, but most have been reconnected. Lucasfilm now calls them “Legends”, treating them as “what ifs” alternating timelines or dreams.

Seeing incredible creative works reconnect is horrible, but I understand why Lucasfilm did it from a business and storytelling standpoint. With dozens of stories each year, the Star Wars universe quickly became a mess of puzzling intrigue and crossed threads; too much was happening at once and there weren’t enough controls in place to ensure the quality of the content. When it came to making a new sequel trilogy with Luke, Han, and Leia, they had all lived busy lives in novels and comics. Communicating their character developments to viewers would have been a monumental task, one that would have to be nailed down to the smallest detail. Could it have been done? Yes. Should it have been done? Yes. Did Lucasfilm’s decision to activate the Death Star laser on these stories pay off? I think the answer is also yes.

Whether you like the sequel trilogy or not, the mystery surrounding these titular characters was nice to watch unfold. We all wanted to know where Luke was and what had happened between Han and Leia. Again, you may not like the answers that have been given. You might prefer that these films be pieced together to bring back the tradition of the books, but Disney’s decision to work with a blank canvas has created fantastic story potential – not just for the movies, but also for the books, the comics and games. Anything is possible, and we’re even seeing some creators delve into these lost works to bring back fan-favorite characters and ideas. All is not lost.

While I wish none of this would be revived in the first place, I really like the new content that is being created, and some may not have been possible given what was established in the old stories. I really believe The Mandalorian is the best thing that has happened to Star Wars since the original trilogy. And by far. Could it have been done regardless of what happened to past stories? Maybe, but there’s probably a chance we got the cancellation Underworld show instead.

As we move forward with the green light from Ubisoft and potentially other studios to play in this beloved universe, here are a few stories that I wouldn’t mind seeing return one way or another.

Star Wars: Dark Empire

Written by Tom Veitch with works by Cam Kennedy, Star Wars: Dark Empire is a short comic book series that was published by Dark Horse Comics in 1991. Six years after the Battle of Endor, this story shows us that the victory of the Rebel Alliance is short-lived and that their champion, Luke Skywalker , could not resist the lure of the dark side. As he struggles with his inner demons, Han and Leia Solo (who are now married) are cast out by loyal servants of Jabba the Hutt. Freed from Sarlacc’s pit, Boba Fett also shoots them. The Empire is rising in a terrifying way. Fallen Emperor Palpatine returns with his miserable soul duplicated in a Clone Army (an idea JJ Abrams used to The Rise of Skywalker).

This excellent Star Wars story is a page turner that screams the potential of video games. Playing as the conflicted Luke Skywalker would be great, and being on the run as Han and Leia (in shooting or stealth sequences) would be just as satisfying. We would then see the group reunite with Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca for space battles and some more action on foot. Most Star Wars games give us a Jedi experience or a shooting experience. Why can’t we deliver both? The heart and soul of many Star Wars stories see a set of unlikely companions overcoming great difficulties. This is the heart of what works for this crew and it would be a shame not to have Dark empire Game. There are enough of them as part of this story that would still work fairly well with Disney’s sequel trilogy.

Bring it back, Lucasfilm!

Star Wars: Darth Maul – Shadow Hunter

A Darth Maul video game was in the works years ago at LucasArts (about which I wrote a lot in a retrospective), but it never saw the light of day. Playing the role of this beloved Sith Lord would be amazing as it wouldn’t be a story far removed from the more traditional tales, but it would give players a chance to take part in a tale that is not centered around the Jedi. Barely six months before the events of The phantom menace, this game would show us why Darth Maul is such a threat, as he uses his double-sided lightsaber to put out politicians, warlords and even a padawan.

Star Wars: Tales of the Bounty Hunters

Tales of the Bounty Hunters is an anthology of short stories that brings us closer to Boba Fett, IG-88, Dengar, Bossk, Zuckuss, and 4LOM – the lineup that Darth Vader encountered in The Empire Strikes Back. The game would hang on to that concept and give the player control over all of those bounty hunters for their own stories, who might even connect with each other to have many hunters together. I’d love to know why Dengar is considered such a threat (or should even be considered cool), and getting more of Boba Fett is always a good thing.

Considering the similarities between all of these dreaded hunters, the controls and gameplay would be universal for everyone, but each would have distinct abilities, such as Boba Fett’s jetpack, and, well, whatever Zuckuss can do.

Star Wars

George Lucas’ original script for Star Wars was written in 1974 and was quite different from what made its way onto the big screen three years later. This first version of the story followed a character named Annikin Starkiller. With the blessing and guidance of George Lucas, Dark Horse Comics adapted this script into an eight-issue comic book series in 2013. It’s a fascinating read that shows us what could have been, including an older version. of Luke Skywalker who looks almost identical to Lucas today.

I would love to see this story come to fruition in video game form. I know Lucasfilm wants everything to be canon now, but I think Star Wars fans would go crazy for it. Some of Ralph McQuarrie’s early Star Wars sketches are based on characters from this script. Whenever these works of art are turned into toys, collectors foam in their mouths for them. A full set of McQuarrie-esque imagery would be wild, as would see Lucas’s early ideas come to life interactively.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old High Republic

If you are confused you should be. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is the great video game series launched by BioWare in 2003, which is unfortunately no longer canonical. Regardless of that, people want BioWare to make a sequel, but with its stories and characters no longer existing, what would that next chapter or reinvention be? To complicate matters further, Lucasfilm recently introduced The High Republic as a New Era, which takes place more than two hundred years before the events of feature films.

The Upper Republic is essentially the new place where old Star Wars stories are told. Yes, KOTOR is set four thousand years before the movies, but I doubt Lucasfilm wants two old eras to run in parallel. What I would love to see happen is for BioWare to create a similarly designed RPG set in the New Republic. So instead of being Knights of the Old Republic, it would be the Knights of the High Republic. The comics and novels of The High Republic have been fantastic so far, and there is a fair amount of narrative room for a game (or series of games) to explore. Imagine how the Boys would look at next-gen hardware. Play as Lula Talisola or having him as a companion wouldn’t be a bad way to start this story.


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