We know now Star Wars Episode VII as The Force Awakens — but several years earlier, the seventh instalment of the saga was being developed as a standalone video game.
Last year saw the record-breaking release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was accompanied by EA’s Star Wars Battlefront reboot. However, several years earlier, there were conversations going on at LucasArts that might have seen a very different Episode VII unleashed upon fans of the series.
At this point in time, it was widely expected that the prequel trilogy would be the last major cinematic releases in the Star Wars saga. As such, LucasArts was reportedly experimenting with a range of ideas for a new game that wasn’t a straight adaptation of an existing story.
As well as concepts that would cast the player as memorable characters like Darth Maul, Han Solo and Darth Vader, the LucasArts team began to work on a particularly ambitious idea. If Lucas wasn’t going to make Episode VII himself, the studio would create a video game that would fill that same niche.
The game would have been titled Star Wars: Shadows of the Sith, and was apparently being discussed even before the theatrical release of 2005’s Revenge of the Sith, according to a report from Cinelinx. The site spoke to former LucasArts creative director Haden Blackman for some details on the proposed plot.
Shadows of the Sith would have featured an adult Ben Skywalker as its protagonist — as established in books released as part of the Star Wars expanded universe, he was the son of Luke Skywalker and his wife Mara Jade. Of course, this content was since rendered non-canon when Disney purchased rights to the franchise.
Skywalker would reportedly use Force powers ‘never-before-seen in games or movies’ as he toed the line between light and dark. It’s likely that these elements of the game were later re-used in projects like The Force Unleashed and its sequel.
There was another element of Shadows of the Sith that’s since been implemented successfully — but it’s something of a spoiler for The Force Awakens, for those few that still hasn’t seen it. The game’s main villain would have been the child of Han Solo and Leia Organa.
Of course, The Force Awakens has now rendered Shadows of the Sith untenable, so don’t expect to see this project resurrected any time soon. However, it seems likely that there’s a major new Star Wars video game on the horizon — and we should hear more news about that title soon.