This article comes from Den of Geek UK.
The galaxy far, far away that George Lucas created and Disney now owns is a fertile ground for gaming greatness. Although it was the cinematic experience that originally earned this franchise its fan base, and no matter how excited we are for The Mandalorian on TV, there’s something uniquely brilliant about crafting your own individual Star Wars saga by exploring that vast galaxy in gaming form.
Sadly, though, as is the case with many licensed video game franchises, the Star Wars gaming back-catalog has its fair share of projects that never made it through development. These seven titles became one with the Force before they got a chance to shine, but we’re still itching to play them against all the odds…
Knights of the Old Republic 3
BioWare’s Knights of the Old Republic remains one of the finest games in Star Wars history. Its wide array of explorable worlds, a masterful plot, and heaps of fun characters create that sensation that you’re playing through a personalized Star Wars movie. Even its more controversial sequel, Obsidian’s The Sith Lords, was very much an enjoyable ride.
A third game was in development at LucasArts, with designer John Strafford later revealing in the book Rogue Leaders that the assembled team “wrote a story, designed most of the environments/world, and many of the quests, characters, and items” before their funding was removed during a wave of cuts. Think of all those new planets we’ll never get to explore. Sob.
Star Wars: 1313 was set to be a gritty bounty-hunting title that plunged a young Boba Fett into the dark underbelly of the city-planet of Coruscant. 1313 was a cool idea that garnered a lot of attention and excitement during its initial announcement at E3 2012 (you can still find that demo on YouTube, by the way).
However, this project was officially shut down when Disney laid off the LucasArts development team and changed the company’s purpose from developing games to licensing them. Disney later let the 1313 trademark lapse but there has been some talk of fans finishing and releasing a version of the game without the Star Wars branding.
One of the more recent cancelations in the Star Wars gaming galaxy was a linear action-adventure game being designed by Dead Space developer Visceral Games under the leadership of Amy Hennig, who previously worked on the Uncharted franchise at Naughty Dog. Under the working title Ragtag, the story followed a band of smugglers and thieves led by a scoundrel named Dodger. The crew would have flown to different planets across the galaxy on heist missions while evading the evil Empire.
The game was set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back and would have dealt with the aftermath of the destruction of Alderaan. The concept art and tiny glimpses of gameplay looked great, but EA opted to close Visceral instead of pressing ahead with the project. The publisher later explained that Ragtag had been scrapped because players no longer wanted to play linear games. Other rumors also suggest that development was fraught with problems behind the scenes.
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Rogue Squadron: Rogue Leaders
Rogue Squadron: Rogue Leaders was a compilation game made by Factor 5 for the Wii, and it would have featured remastered levels from Rogue Leader and Rebel Strike. Making the most of the Wii’s motion capabilities, the game would’ve let you swing lightsabers and swoop X-wings using your controller.
Frustratingly for fans and the developers that worked on the game, Factor 5’s financial and legal issues at the time impeded the release of the game – despite being completed and having a finished trailer. We’d love to see this game dusted off and plonked on the Nintendo Switch and so would Factor 5’s former staff, but that seems unlikely now that EA holds the keys to the ship hangar.
As the sequel to 2005’s clone-centric first-person shooter Republic Commando, LucasArts’ Imperial Commando would’ve made players change perspective and join the Empire’s army. Of course, this wouldn’t be the first or last time that gamers swapped sides in the galactic conflict at the heart of Star Wars, but it would’ve been a brave move to paint these baddies as the protagonists.
Early development began on Imperial Commando before Republic Commando had hit shelves but sadly didn’t last very long. Some design work was done, including concept paintings, but ultimately LucasArts decided not to produce a sequel to Republic Commando. If you do fancy playing on the side of the Empire, though, do check out the early campaign levels on EA’s Star Wars Battlefront II.
Red Fly Studio was working on a Darth Maul title for LucasArts in 2010 under the working title Maul and the codename Damage. The studio made enough progress on the project to create a decent amount of gameplay footage, which featured some impressive combat with lots of spinning and slashing that we’d still really like to try out.
Story-wise, it sounded like Darth Maul would end up in a conflict with old Expanded Universe characters like Darth Talon and Darth Krayt. Bring characters like that into a mainstream video game would have seriously altered audience expectations and blown this galaxy wide open, but the project was canceled around the same time as Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm. It resurfaced in 2015, with the original developers expressing an interest in working with EA, but we haven’t heard anything else since.
After ditching Project Ragtag and shuttering Visceral, EA tasked its Vancouver team with creating an open-world Star Wars game. This was an intriguing proposition for fans, especially since open-world games in other franchises have come on leaps and bounds in recent years while Star Wars lovers have only had Battlefront games to play on consoles.
The game – made under the codename Orca – was rumored to have something of a scoundrel-y, bounty-hunting vibe, allowing players to visit a variety of planets and team up with different factions of characters. Disappointingly, though, it sounds like we won’t be getting any of that. EA Vancouver is still working on Star Wars stuff, but its new project is a “smaller-scale” title to release in 2020.
With all of these potentially brilliant titles fallen by the wayside, Respawn’s upcoming Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order adventure game really is our only hope. Fingers remain crossed that it can make it to market and give Star Wars gaming a new lease on life.