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The Tokyo Gameshow’s hands-on look at some of this year’s biggest titles may have shown us some of big releases, but there was something equally fascinating lurking under the surface: LucasArts’ canceled game of Star Wars 1313. Among all the “canceled” games to haunt this generation, the fantastic getaway to Coruscant’s seedier side that never was earned itself much disappointment in the Star Wars fans’ world, namely mine.
However, with its mysterious and head-scratching “reveal” at TGS 2013, why the heck is it news about it still treading water? And why shouldn’t it? It’s arguably the best-looking and soundest concept that LucasArts came up with since its death. Now that EA’s picked up LucasArts’ gaming tab, isn’t Star Wars 1313 worth the emergency CPR?. . .
Just this week, 1313 raised its once proud head in IGN’s exclusive report on the concept art and content summary as revealed by an anonymous source at the convention. To match what can be described as utterly gorgeous artwork depicting some of the best set pieces in LucasArts’ gaming history, IGN was also shown a 15 minute demo of what was supposedly gameplay still in development. The demo was easily the most extensive reveal of a still allegedly canceled game and it’s secrets revealed many a juicy tidbit.
In stark contrast to the no-name bounty hunter character featured in E3 2012’s reveal footage, players got their hands on the bid bounty hunting daddy of them all, Boba Fett. Yes, no kidding. Apparently a young adult by this time, Boba still donned the iconic helmet of his father, Jango, and teased viewers with a prologue mission that brought him to Mos Eisley. After getting hired by Jabba the Hutt (no surprise) he ships out in Slave 1 to Coruscant’s criminal underbelly of 1313 on behalf of the Hutt’s crime cartel to nab an undisclosed target.
Coruscant’s underworld would have taken Boba Fett on a progressively darker descent into the planet’s secretive underworld. The metropolis beneath the metropolis would have been breathtakingly huge, from skyscraper sized garbage piles to rows and rows of interactive bars, clubs, crime syndicates, and shady denizens out to hire you or get you killed.
Eventually Boba would’ve ended up journeying into 1313’s sister level of 1314, an even more mysterious, unexplored slum hiding one of Boba’s targets deep within its frightening ruins. The alien enemies Boba would’ve encountered were well-armed and diverse, sometimes with unique designs that suggested some sort of adaptive abilities to the environment like night-vision goggles and gas masks.
The gameplay of 1313 looked even better and with all the best balance of classic Star Wars tropes and explosive Uncharted style mechanics. Boba Fett would have found himself platforming across plenty of bottomless chasms in search of runaway bounties and his weaponry and armor would have evolved over the course of the game, adding its green, classic look along with his trademark blaster rifle.
Reportedly the 15 minute demo saw Boba in a foot chase with a scaly Trandoshan lizard guy through one of 1313’s markets, taking him through storefronts and even a Tauntaun butcher shop, Assassin’s Creed III style. By the level’s end, Boba cuffs the target and can produce him alive to Jabba or the other 1313 crime families.
Boba would’ve had plenty of friends along for the ride too. An unnamed robot partner would have also aided Boba, betraying him in some fashion later. Concept art of what seemed to be a cloaked Dathomirian sniper, a Twi’lek, a human, and what appears to be the Expanded Universe’s 4-Lom join Boba as allies in what could have made for the game’s multiplayer cast. All of them might’ve worked together to capture targets or eventually but Star Wars logic tells you that back-stabbings probably followed.
Even more interesting, IGN’s reported source claimed that the characters in question as well as 1313 itself may have also tied into the still-planned Star Wars live-action tv series in a kind of Firefly survivalist take on Coruscant’s bounty hunting enterprises.
In the end, 1313 looked and sounded like the game to put the Star Wars brand name back on the map in both the gaming world and maybe period. This flashy reveal could serve to twist the knife in Star Wars fans’ and gamer’s hearts even more and it’s deliberately shadowy nature only raises more eyebrows. While games like The Last Guardian may be pretending you don’t remember they exist, 1313 is still trying to keep momentum alive. Why? Is this an idea that Disney still has its money-laden eyes set on?. . .
All the afore mentioned factors point to even the smallest glimmer of hopes of yet another Hideo Kojima style trolling, one that may pay off one day with something as serious as a release. If we could ever dare think that 1313 should see the light of day, the only question left is: “Who’s making this?” For now, Disney seems to have dubbed EA the sole master over all Star Wars video-game titles and only one of EA’s likely subsidiaries comes to mind: Visceral.
Visceral Games had already established a successful history with games like its above-average Lord of the Rings: Return of the King movie game and a slew of old PS2 James Bond games, and sure, maybe Dante’s Inferno wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Its Dead Space series has turned more heads this generation and 1313 nearly seemed to be a love-letter to what Visceral does best. Coruscant’s dark, gritty, claustrophobic atmosphere of death and corruption speaks volumes as to what the Deadspace franchise is known for capturing. Boba Fett could also be considered another armored, Isaac Clarke stand-in for encountering some of the worst alien menaces that the underworld had to offer. That tone and world building could be the blend of Star Wars and scion of survival horror and Uncharted that the players could savor.
In terms of legality, Star Wars 1313 was a very different story from its long dead predecessors. Star Wars Battlefront III’s rights were held by Pandemic and those have since been lost at see when Pandemic sank in 2009. The same can be found with Rogue Squadron’s developer, Factor 5, liquidated in 2011, effectively ended that game franchises’s future. While both game series will no doubt see their equivalent Star Wars shooters and space-fighter games from EA, 1313 was arguably good enough to be made just as it was. LucasArts’s had sole development rights over 1313 and Disney now owns everything it had in development. Simply giving the keys to EA seems like child’s play. Why not save 1313 let us experience its incredible potential?. . .
(Does poor Boba deserve to be left out in the sand to die again?. . . )
Do YOU think Star Wars 1313 should be resurrected? Do you think it’s at all possible that we’ll see it formally announced yet again by EA in a new shell? Think Star Wars is a beating a dead-horse? Leave your thoughts down below and thanks for reading. May the gaming be with you. . . always.