How ‘Star Wars 1313′ Can Fit Within Disney’s Movie Plans

Mar 1, 2013 by  

Star Wars 1313 GameplayStar Wars is in a good place again. Or it’s about to be over the next few years and beyond. After merchandising every inch of the universe in every possible way – even the little bits we hate about the franchise (read: Jar Jar Binks) – and after guiding what was a film series everyone of all ages could get behind into what became a polarizing prequel trilogy and animated Clone Wars followups, the brand was rescued by Disney.

Disney bought Marvel Entertainment in 2008 at the best possible time, and now they have one of the world’s biggest film franchises, to go along with the associated cross-media merchandise and entertainment. In October, they similarly acquired Lucasfilm and LucasArts with it, for a similar price tag, with the goal of continuing the saga beginning with Star Wars Episode VII in 2015. But what does this all mean for the games?

Some would argue George Lucas and/or other decision-makers behind the Star Wars legacy damaged the reputation of the franchise over the last decade and a half, and part of that is on the games front. Gone are the days of the Triple-A, critically acclaimed Star Wars games like Dark Forces, Knights of the Old Republic, X-Wing Alliance and Rogue Squadron, replaced by disappointing or canceled Force Unleashed sequels, an inexplicably abandoned Battlefront III and very basic LEGO adventure games.

Star Wars 1313 Developer Diary Underworld

At E3 2012, we saw what looked like a major step in returning LucasArts to its former glory and it was called Star Wars 1313, a game we were told during the demo would be available on the PC. Very few details were offered but with its impressive graphics it seemed a given 1313 would make its way to the next-gen consoles as a late 2013 release. Now, according to three separate sources of Kotaku, that may not be the case.

When Disney acquired everything Star Wars in the fall, their mission statement was to focus ahead on the new trilogy, and rumor has it, development on Star Wars 1313 may have been halted, thus explaining the complete silence surrounding the game since its debut last summer. When asked about the status of the game, the response seemed to indicate development is continuing as planned:

 “LucasArts has been working diligently to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities that the new Star Wars movies present. Star Wars 1313 continues production.”

The sources revealed additional details about the game’s development history and origins:

  • Began in 2009 as an adult open-world RPG tie-in to the live-action Star Wars series that takes place in between Episodes 3 & 4.
  • Was originally titled Underworld due to its planet Coruscant setting we saw gameplay of during E3, a setting that was also a core part of the TV show.
  • In 2010, as the Star Wars live-action show failed to materialize, the game’s story was changed to fit a lower budget and separate itself from the show.
  • In 2011, Underworld became Hive, the Uncharted-style game we saw at E3. This was allegedly part of LucasArts’ goal of bringing back popular Star Wars games across multiple genres, including casual and FPS markets.
  • LucasArts planned a Star Wars FPS codenamed “Trigger.”
  • George Lucas saw the game and “loved” it, requesting that it tie-in story arcs from the live-action show. These additional rewrites for Lucas meant the game was still without a complete story come time for E3 2012.

Star Wars 1313 Concept Art 5

Interestingly, LucasArts was namedropped by Sony on their official “List of Third Party Game Developers and Publishers” supporting the PlayStation 4, butStar Wars 1313 was obviously nowhere to be found during the big event last week in New York. Could it be part of Microsoft’s inevitable next-gen Xbox unveiling ceremony? Unlikely, according to this report.

Disney wants all hands on deck for the relaunch of the franchise and with Lucas’ super-expensive live-action television show going nowhere fast, tying the mostly-original Star Wars 1313 into it may be a waste. From the LucasArts response to the rumors it sounds to me as if they’re re-jigging the game to fit within the plans for the films and that actually makes a lot of sense.

Star Wars Han Solo Boba Fett

The most intriguing part of Kotaku’s scoop is part where their sources said the game would address certain topics from the TV show, specifically:

  • “Who is Boba Fett?”
  • “Why was Han working for Jabba?”
  • “Who were the Bothan spies?”

And wouldn’t you know it, that there are not only Star Wars Episodes 7-9 (and maybe 10-12) in the works, but there are two confirmed standalone spinoffs as well. One we know is based on a younger Han Solo and the other, on Boba Fett. And the time period of said films happens to fit very, very well within the timeline (and topics) the game may cover. Coincidence? Star Wars 1313 may actually be a quasi-tie-in game to the standalone films and it could very well be delayed to fit Disney’s bigger picture plans.

Much of the focus of the E3 Star Wars 1313 demo was on the multiple Lucas-owned studios behind it, working together to take advantage of their industry-leading experience and technology. That will remain as LucasArts potentially changes the story, perhaps even the characters. Is it possible that we may see a familiar face become one of the protagonists?

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes and let him know if  Star Wars 1313 should tie into the in-canon spinoff films or tell its own, entirely separate story a la Knights of the Old Republic!

Source: Kotaku

Image from All That’s Epic

15 Comments

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  1. I refuse to support or acknowledge anything Disney does with Star Wars. They haven’t even had it for a year and there’s at least 5 movies in the works already. Why are people so happy about this? Disney doesn’t give a crap about franchise integrity… there’s a Cinderella 3 for the love of… people thought Lucas milked Star Wars? You ain’t seen nothin yet.

    • and yet Marvel got ridiculously good when Disney bought them…………..People need to stop looking at is as The star wars episodes, and look at it as the star wars universe. Like the Marvel universe. They are going to make it better than Lucas ever could.

      • I couldn’t disagree more about Marvel. The movies have become generic blockbusters that share a similar tone so that they can be easily recognized as a Marvel brand superhero film, and the comics are being made to sell movies now more than ever. It’s all being made to tie in to each other, and not for the sake of great story, it’s just so that you have to buy it all to get the full experience. They’ve always done this, but now it’s so obvious and predictable like they’re not even trying to hide it. I don’t blame Disney, by the way. I blame Lucas and Marvel for fighting for independence and integrity for so long and then selling out to probably the worst offender of product milking this side of EA.

        • it is quality though. everything after avengers will be differnt and the comics un marvel now are awesome you either like it or you dont and if you dont then I guess your SoL

          • under*

      • Disney are now the absolute power house of Hollywood. They own ILM and PIXAR. They have all the talent. In recent years Ive loved the films Disney have been churning out so I think its great they are in control of Star Wars and really cant wait to see what they do with it.

    • dude brings up a good point… 5 movies announced and they’ve had the franchise for 6 months, but ill set aside my cynicism until I see something to support it. Having said that, a focus change for SW:1313 is more good than bad. Trying to keep at is far away as possible from the doomed live-action show can’t be anything but a blessing.

    • Just be thankful they pried it away from George Lucas.

      • … so how about them fish tacos?

      • Yeah seriously! Why are people worried NOW? What about fifteen years of no Star Wars movies, the muddled mess that was the prequels, and Lucas telling fans to wait twenty more years for any more? That plus the total dirth of great games and defunct franchises… What worse could happen that what already has been happening? Do people honestly think that this is the moment Star Wars is in trouble? This is the chance to maybe revive it, and I will be shocked if any movie is as bad as episode one, or if any character/actor will be as excruciating as the wonder child Anakin. Imagine this actually ends up working…. That would be fantastic.

  2. I’m surprised how little of the game was complete when they showed it off last year. I’m not surprised they’d want to tie it in to the new trilogy though. Could be a good idea!

  3. I don’t think Disney wants a simple tangential relation to their new Star Wars universe – they’ll want deeper connection knowing the large overlap between gamers and Star Wars fans.

    I don’t believe Disney will bring anything deep or meaningful to the Star Wars franchise but I do think they’ll build it correctly.

    • I think the reason to have hope is that Disney may HIRE some people that bring some depth and meaning to Star Wars. It’s possible and has been done. Consider the best liscensed games. They were good because of outsiders,in many cases, and that’s a formula I can get behind.

  4. Look, this may sound weird but I don’t want them to use a “familiar face” for the protagonist or even one of the central characters. I would like this to be completely new. Familiarity with characters often result in games being slightly more boring than they should have been, especially if the characters come from a different media platform and have been explored as much already as most characters in Star Wars have. It would be cool to have little Easter-eggs that refer to moments taking place in one of the movies etc. that is using the same timeline, but those moments should be kept brief…. But you know, its Star Wars so whatever happens I’m getting it

  5. George lucas: “I will not make any more star wars movies”
    Disney: “kk bro heres sum 4.4 billion dollas”
    Lucas: “STAR WARS NEEDS MORE MOVIES”

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