Disney has large and very specific plans for their latest major acquisition and nothing will get in the way of it. When the deal was announced that George Lucas had sold Lucasfilm and the Star Wars franchise, Disney made sure the world knew that the franchise would return with Episode 7 in 2015.
Since that time, more and more elements of the Star Wars franchise that do not fit within the plans of building towards the return of the saga (Episodes 7-9 and a pair of standalone spin-off films) have seemingly been put on hold or outright canceled. Today, Lucasfilm Animation announced the end of the animated Clone Wars series while also shelving the in-development comedy, Star Wars Detours. We also heard the rumors that Star Wars 1313 development may have halted, and today, more curious news on the LucasArts side.
We first came across the name Star Wars: First Assault last August when Lucasfilm trademarked the title. Upon first glance, the title immediately reminded us of the classic Rebel Assault games but we later learned, thanks to an Xbox.com slip-up, that First Assault would be a downloadable game.
When Kotaku learned that Star Wars 1313 may be in trouble thanks to the Disney takeover, they also discovered a game codenamed Trigger and it turns out that Trigger is First Assault, and most interestingly, it’s designed as a precursor to Star Wars: Battlefront III, a game so many fans have demanded for years but was ultimately canceled despite being almost complete.
According to their sources, Star Wars: First Assault is a downloadable 8 vs. 8 multiplayer first-person shooter where one team plays the Rebels, and the others, Stormtroopers. The game was intended to release this Spring, and LucasArts was apparently building off of its engine to begin crafting Battlefront 3, should First Assault. They even have a few working vehicles ready to go should First Assault prove popular and production on the big game we all want is greenlit.
The problem is, like Star Wars 1313, First Assault’s future is uncertain. The Disney acquisition halted the original plans to announce the game in the fall with a playable beta and since that time, developers have been working on it not knowing if it will even hit the market. Worse, Kotaku is told that LucasArts is “bleeding talent” which for fans still waiting for Star Wars games to return to their former glory, is outright heartbreaking to hear.
LucasArts was making a legit effort to bring Star Wars back to the gaming scene where it stood proudly with hit after hit in the ’90s, and now no one knows for certain. We do however, expect that Star Wars 1313 will come out but that it may be partially redesigned to fit within the Star Wars movie universe plans. For First Assault, being a multiplayer shooter, it could also easily be altered to fit the movie plans, or better yet, the development can focus on step two, which is Battlefront III, perhaps as a tie-in to Episode 7.
We can all agree that Star Wars needs help on the gaming front as well as on the film side. Let’s hope at E3 2013, we see a glimmer of a brighter future. Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes and tell me if LucasArts should (re)begin development on Star Wars: Battlefront III!
- How ‘Star Wars 1313′ Can Fit Within Disney’s Movie Plans
- ‘Battlefront 3′ Production was Almost Complete