More than five years after its death, we continue to mourn the game development branch of LucasArts, the company responsible for many of the best Star Wars games of the ’90s and ’00s. What’s so tragic about the end of LucasArts (it still exists as a licensor) is that there were a couple of projects still in the pipeline in its twilight years, before Disney shut down operations for good in 2013.
These projects included an action-adventure game starring a young Boba Fett called Star Wars 1313, as well as a Darth Maul game and Battlefront III – all promising, all reminders that Star Wars games weren’t just about “live services” and microtransactions back in the day.
Add to that list: Battlefront IV. According to Eurogamer, developer Free Radical was already in the process of planning the next installment in the Star Wars shooter series when LucasArts decided to cancel Battlefront III in 2006. While it’s a shame that the very far along Battlefront III never saw the light of day, the fact that we never got Battlefront IV is an even bigger tragedy if a new collection of concept art for the game is any indication.
Based on the concept art, Battlefront IV would have featured alternate versions of many fan-favorite heroes and villains, including dark side versions of Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Leia, and even evil Chewbacca. On the other hand, Count Dooku, Maul, and Asajj Ventress would have been Jedi. There is even concept art for an Emperor Vader!
Check out all the concept art below:
What Free Radical was planning was very different from anything we’d ever seen in the games before. The game would have remixed the storyline of the first six films, having Anakin kill both Yoda and Padme, causing Obi-Wan and Luke to fall to the dark side (for reasons). Palpatine would have never even been a senator and Chewbacca would have spent his life as a slave. The approach seems most akin to Dark Horse’s Infinities series, which featured alternate takes on the film saga, such as when Leia became a Jedi after Luke was killed on Hoth.
Alas, we’ll probably never get to play a Star Wars game like this, at least not an experience that takes this many liberties with the story and characters of the film saga. And if we ever do get the chance to play as Dark Side Luke, we’ll probably have to buy quite a few loot boxes first.