Is Star Wars 1313 in trouble at LucasArts?

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Ever since George Lucas sold the Star Wars franchise to the enormous Death Star that is Disney last October, there has been a rush of news about the new films. From confirmation of a new trilogy, as well as stand-alone films, to the announcement that Star Trek director J.J. Abrams would jump ship to direct Episode VII, Disney have been slowly keeping fans excited with these tidbits.

However, the same cannot be said of the games based in the same universe, or more specifically, Star Wars 1313, which debuted at E3 2012 in June. Up until that point, an ambitious live action television show was in development that would bridge the two decade gap between Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV: A New Hope. Rumours hinted that the show would run 100 episodes regardless of ratings, and would feature secondary characters we had come to know. Peter Nikolai, Producer of 1313, acknowledged that the character in the demo was just a test character and not the actual main character, who was going to be a young bounty hunter.

Boba Fett? And there’s even more speculation from Kotaku‘s report about the development of Star Wars 1313.

Fans of the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars will know that a young Boba has already popped up now and again, but still as a “youngling.” Given that 1313 was due to take place a decade later, it is not far fetched to believe Boba was set to be the main character of the game that explored Coruscant’s underworld (literally and figuratively). Again, if you have seen the penultimate episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, you would have witnessed padawan Ahsoka Tano cast down into the city that lurks 1313 levels beneath the surface, out of the sun.

However, in 2010, the long gestating TV show hit a budget crisis, and was put on hold. How this impacted the game’s development has not been officially revealed, but Kotaku’s report states that under the then-President of the studio, Paul Meegan, LucasArts was pushed to make games in more popular genres, a move that lead to Star Wars 1313’s opening demo being reminiscent of Naughty Dog’s Uncharted franchise, with explosive platform elements. George Lucas himself was said to be impressed with the game, and urged the developers to link it to the universe through known characters, which again points to Boba Fett being a potential main character.

This leads us back to the Disney buyout of Lucas’ life work, which included the gaming division. While there has been no official word on the game, and Nikolai still has himself listed as producer on his Twitter account, Kotaku’s sources state the game has been put on hold. It could also be that if the studio is planning a stand-alone film about everyone’s favourite bounty hunter, they do not want the game to complicate his past. But according to an official LucasArts repsonse, “Star Wars 1313 continues production.”

It could be that with all the changes within the company, the games division is gearing up for the guaranteed movie tie-in that will accompany Episode VII in 2015. However, that summer tent-pole is still two and a half years away from being erected, so perhaps it’s likely that this game will actually see the light of day on next-gen consoles. And as Kotaku also noted, LucasArts was listed at the recent PS4 reveal as an official developer for Sony’s next-generation system.

Hopefully we’ll find out something official soon.

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In addition to being Warp Zoned’s UK Correspondent, Andrew Rainnie is a screenwriter and filmmaker. You can email him at andrew AT warpzoned DOT com or you can, if you’re inclined, visit his personal website.


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