This post has two functions. First, to detail my proposal for a next-gen remake of Shadows of the Empire. Second, to address the rumors on the possible demise of Lucasarts.
Shadows of the Empire Remake
I’m a huge Shadows of the Empire fan. I’ve read the novelization, I’ve read the graphic novel, and I’ve played the Nintendo 64 game, many a time. SOTE bridges the gap between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. They called it an “interquel”. A lot happens in SOTE. I didn’t realize, until researching this article, but you can’t realize the whole experience of SOTE, without all three mediums.
SOTE’s wiki page:
“The main story is told by the novel written by Steve Perry, the comic series by Dark Horse, and the Nintendo 64/PC game. Each is designed to tell one part of the overall story; the story is complete only when all three venues are explored. The novel tells the overall story, focusing on the main characters. The comic book series focuses on bounty hunter Boba Fett’s battle to keep possession of the frozen Han Solo. The video game allows players to control new character Dash Rendar, whose adventures in the game weave in and out of the overall storyline. All the while, a battle for the life of Luke Skywalker takes place between Darth Vader and Prince Xizor, as each tries to please Emperor Palpatine.”
In my vision for a remake of SOTE, they would still focus on Rendar, but they’d also tell more of the general story. Dash Rendar is definitely the star of the story and obviously the game. Dash Rendar is a Corellian Smuggler and Mercenary. He’s a lot like Han Solo, really. In a remake, they might want to shake his character up a bit, but it’s not necessary.
Shadows of the Empire wasn’t the best game that Lucasarts ever came out with, but it was one of my favorites. Like I always say, it’s all about the story. A remake is perfectly set up. They’ve already got a story and a game outline to work with. Can you imagine how epic SOTE would be on next-gen consoles? A lot of video games these days are like movies. The original SOTE was like a video game and I want it to see it become like a movie. Give it the Uncharted/Tomb Raider type of treatment. It would be amazing and people would love it! SOTE will never become a real movie, but a next-gen remake is a way that they can finally do the story justice.
The End is Near?
I had no idea that Lucasarts’ future was in question, until I read an article on the Game Industry website today.
“Now, sources have indicated to Games Industry International that since the acquisition LucasArts hiring has been frozen, and other rumors passed along to us questioned the future of the studio itself. LucasArts, when reached for a statement, said it’s “one hundred percent not true” that LucasArts was headed for a shutdown, and that “everything is moving ahead.” Speculation will doubtless continue in the absence of hard information about release dates and future products.”
That certainly doesn’t sound good. Based on the moves that Disney has made since acquiring all things Star Wars, I wouldn’t be surprised if the rumors are true. Apparently, things haven’t been going so well financially for them. Can you think of the last Star Wars game that was a hit? The three that come to my mind were all made by Bioware (Knights of the Old Republic 1 and 2, Old Republic MMO)! You never want people to lose their jobs, but maybe the best thing for the Star Wars IP is for the closure of Lucasarts. I’m not really sure what their best move is, but they better decide quickly. As G.I.I. said in their article, every moment wasted, is money wasted. Either close or revamp Lucasarts, but do something, Disney! Games take time to make…
Personally, I’m hoping that Lucasarts can pull it together and become a profitable Publisher again. I grew up playing their games and it would be a shame to see things end for them. They’re going to have to re-think the way they do things, though. They’re going to have to work better with their friends. You can’t do everything on your own in the gaming world anymore. Once they do pull it together, I hope they will consider my proposal for a next-gen Shadows of the Empire game (as if they’ll actually see it)!
May the Games be with you, Lucasarts!