In the span of a week, Star Wars fans have been spoiled to death with high-quality content that includes the new Disney Plus live-action TV show, The Mandalorian, and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, a new single-player Star Wars game from Respawn Entertainment. However, that wasn’t the case once upon a time, and fans were begging for anything new to come from the franchise, particularly in the video game space.
Prior to Disney’s acquisition, Star Wars video games were all developed in house at LucasArts with credits that include Star Wars: Jedi Knight II which recently came to Nintendo Switch, and The Force Unleashed. To the dismay of fans all around the world, one game that never saw the light of day was Star Wars 1313, a standalone action-adventure game starring Boba Fett. Could the success of a new single-player Star Wars game and a new show about Mandalorians mean that it's time to revisit 1313?
Originally announced during E3 2012, Star Wars 1313 was an action-adventure game that followed the bounty hunter Boba Fett between the prequel and original trilogies, following the death of his father Jango Fett in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. Named after the setting rather than the protagonist, Star Wars 1313 was set on a new location on the city-covered plant Coruscant, called Level 1313; a subterranean metropolis that's home to the criminal underworld.
Unfortunately, excitement for Star Wars 1313 was short-lived when the project was canceled indefinitely in April 2013, roughly 10 months after its official announcement. Disney announced plans to buy Lucasfilm in October 2012 for $4.05 billion following George Lucas' retirement from blockbuster filmmaking. A little further down the road, this led to the announcement of a new Star Wars trilogy and narrative canon, the closure of LucasArts, and the cancellation of all existing projects including Star Wars 1313. The trademark was abandoned the following year, and while President of Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy commented on the possible return of the project in December 2015, that never came to fruition.
When Star Wars 1313 was first announced, the protagonist was known to be a bounty hunter but at the time hadn't been named as the bounty hunter Boba Fett; that came later. Considering the popularity of Boba Fett, it's easy to speculate that the character wasn't always part of the plan and was later changed as part fan-service, part smart business practice, like the Fortnite/Star Wars crossover, is doing right now. After all, the character sells. Disney's new live-action series, The Mandalorian, is in a similar boat, capitalizing on the popularity of Boba Fett by building the show's story and protagonist around the bounty hunter's iconic look.
Neither of the Star Wars: Battlefront games were received particularly well, despite selling millions of copies, with one of the biggest criticisms coming down to single-player content. The first game didn't have a single-player campaign mode at all, while the second was criticized heavily due to false-advertising in its story and forced hero characters like the chapter where Luke Skywalker fights bugs for 15-minutes. Part of the reason Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is being praised right now is down to the fact that fans of the series are craving new single-player stories in the video game medium. The demand is at an all-time high.
When it comes to the AAA video game industry, EA has done very little with the Star Wars franchise since signing a multi-year deal for the exclusive publishing rights back in 2013. To date, only three games have been released including the reboot of Star Wars: Battlefront in 2015, the 2017 sequel Star Wars: Battlefront 2, and Respawn Entertainment's Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order which released last week. Outside of those three, two Star Wars games were in development at Dead Space developer, Visceral Games, both of which were canceled, leading to the closure of the studio.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a huge step in the right direction to winning back fan's trust and for EA to prove that it can and will do right by the franchise after so many wrongs. Now, with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker less than a month away and a new show on Disney Plus that just so happens to be about Boba Fett's race, the Mandalorians, the Star Wars franchise is back in full swing. It seems like a perfect time to take a once canceled project that the industry was incredibly excited about and resurrect the project under a new developer, giving them free rein to create something special or at least make a cool game about Bounty Hunters.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.