5 GAMES THAT NEED TO BE MADE - Star Wars (Part 1, May 4th special)
(This new article series “5 Games that need to be made” is where I pitch 5 games that need to be made in a particular franchise, company, genre etc... If you enjoy and want more of these lists let me know in the comments on social media! Tell us which of these 5 was your favorite, and what franchise or theme you want to see next!)
I have been really looking forward to May 4th, even more than usual. As a huge Star Wars fans, May 4th is like Christmas. I take off work. I wear my favorite Star Wars shirt. I will be watching Bad Batch and my favorite Star Wars movie (which I won't name out of fear of being mocked). I also have been planning some fun extra content for Game Infinite on Star Wars day. I wanted to do a Star Wars theme of 5 Games in celebration of our most holy of days. I am excited for this Star Wars installment not just because it is May 4th, but because it was a similar article that inspired this series entirely. A long while back, when rumors of EA losing exclusivity first started circling, I wrote an article where I pitched 10 Star Wars game ideas. Some of those ideas have actually since come out as upcoming games, while others might be further touched upon in this article.
It was that article that inspired me to create this regular series, and I think this is a perfect time to revisit this franchise in this article series. Because Star Wars is too big and too awesome, I am doing this as a two parter! Part 1 for May 4th will be completely original game ideas for Star Wars, so no sequels, reboots, or remakes of existing games. Part 2 will come later and focus on those.
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5. A Galaxy Less Long Ago? 100+ years after TROS
One thing that I want Star Wars as a franchise to avoid is a mistake that I feel Star Trek made. They got stuck in the past for decades in real life. We got prequel after prequel and it took two decades before we finally got to see the story move forward again. Right now the furthest point in the Star Wars timeline is the Rise of Skywalker, and I don't want it to be decades before we find out what happens next. While the High Republic, the time between Return of the Jedi and Force Awakens are both ripe for exploration and will get it under Disney's plans for the foreseeable future, I don't want them to forget to push forward. I'm kicking off my 5 games pitch with a simple premise. Tell us any story that takes place after Rise of Skywalker. TROS left so many unanswered questions about the future of the universe that it needs to keep going. Does the New Republic return? Does Rey take on an apprentice or establish a new Jedi Order? At the end of the film, we get a universe with no large scale galactic government, and no concrete future for the Jedi.
I have two ideas for this concept. I would love for a "Star Wars Rey" game that takes place perhaps 10-15 years after TROS where we play as a slightly older Rey, now a Jedi Master with a Padawan. The New Jedi Order and New Republic are thriving and there is a new antagonist/threat to face. I also feel this path could be used to course correct the universe back into a direction I think a lot of fans wanted. While I enjoy the sequels more than some, I do admit I want to see a new Jedi Order and New Republic. As fans of the now Legends, Extended Universe, I could foresee the future of Star Wars borrowing more form the Extended Universe post the events of TROS.
My second idea would be a little more safe is Disney wanted to avoid limiting their options for the future of Star Wars pending their desire to tackle it on the big screen in the future. If they want to leave the decades following the sequels open for future films, they could simply allow a game that takes place centuries in the future. This game takes so many hundreds of years in the future that it would be easy to argue that it would be "legends-proof" from any future Star Wars story. There is so much Star Wars that it is easy to forget that it all takes place in just three generations. If you time jump hundred so years forwards, you can tell stories, with factions and events wildly different, without having to worry about the creative options. The excuse of "by then it will all be different" will always be there.
4. Star Wars Acolyte
As a huge Star Wars fan, and someone who actually has fond memories of the Phantom Menace being the first Star Wars I ever saw in theaters as a kid, it pains me to know that there was a Darth Maul game in development that got cancelled. Star Wars has its fair share of villains, and it is a universe where the bad guys are insanely cool. I mean, Darth Vader is one of my all time favorite fictional characters. It is a travesty that to this day we still have yet to get a game where we get to play from a game as the BAD GUY.
I can already hear the fellow nerds typing, BUT BUT BUT KOTOR, STARKILLER, IDEN VERSIO.... No, I am not talking twist endings, Vader Apprentice turned good guy, play as Imperial for 2 seconds before joining the rebels. I mean it. I want a game where we play as a Sith from start to finish and there is no doubt we are the bad guys. It took super hero films a while to deliver on the Antagonist-lead stories and they prove they work. I named this pitch Star Wars Acolyte because that is the name of a announced Disney+ show that is supposedly a Sith focused story during the time of the High Republic. I thought that if Disney proves to themselves that a villain centric story works for the tv side, than perhaps it could work in a game.
My game pitch could be a game adaptation or tie in to that Disney+ show, however, since we have no details about the show as of now, I will just pitch it by itself. In this action adventure game, players play as a female Sith acolyte in the long line of progression of the Rule of Two that existed for thousands of years before the Phantom Menace. I too think that placing it during the High Republic era would be interesting. It puts players into the role of a female Sith who for the first time in the history of Star Wars games is evil from start to finish. She remains a villain and the game tells a villainess story. We see her scheme and kill in secret as the Sith manipulated behind the scenes. It could even have elements of stealth, as the Sith leave no witness to their misdeeds. The sight of a red lightsaber itself is a death sentence to any witnesses. This game could shows us more about the Cult that is the Sith than we ever imagined. We know so much about the Jedi, but very little in comparison about the Sith. Do they have supporters during this time? How does the rule of two work specifically? There is an entire history of the Sith during this 1000 year time period that this game could help explain.
3. From a Certain Point of View
Speaking of wanting a game from the bad guys perspective, I have another pitch that I can't believe has yet to happen. Why have we yet to get anything from the perspective of the Empire? That was one of the things that really excited many of us about the supposed pitch for the campaign for EA's Star Wars Battlefront 2 that turns out to be completely bogus. We want to play as the Empire. I also want it to be a morally grey and mature story. So much of the Villains of Star Wars is blatantly black and white, literally with the bad guys sporting red swords to denote their "Evilness" that we not often enough get to dive into the morally ambiguous nature that could be all the "other" people who worked for the Empire. I found it fascinating that we know from Solo that many people joined the Imperial forces willingly. Many probably thought they were truly protecting their homes, bringing order and peace to the galaxy fresh after the devastating Clone Wars. Some may have even believed the propaganda that the Rebels were terrorists. Maybe, sometimes they were? While many aspects of Star Wars portray Imperials as evil, every now and then we get to see the grey. It easy to forget that the Empire had the appearance of democracy for decades with the Imperial Senate and even the fact that the Empire was originally (the appearance of) a democratically elected official. I want more of the grey. I want a game that is from the perspective of Imperial Officers. This game follows their adventures as they operate in a military. The campaign could be similar to that of many Call of Duty campaigns following the stories of multiple military officers off to fight against terrorists. I want to see them suffer personal losses at the hands of the Rebels. I want to see an emotional roller coaster, a story about the grey moralities of war. I want to showcase that the Rebels maybe occasionally crossed the line. I want to see the negative effects of a Imperial officer betraying his peers when he went off to join the rebellion. I want to see that good misguided people thought that the Empire actually did good for the galaxy. I want to see examples of the Empire hiding their most evil deeds from he public. I want to see examples where the Rebellion committed war crimes. Imagine a mature, gritty, The Last of Us level story where at the end we are left unsure who the good and bad guys always were in Star Wars. This game would be the first time it was never clear who the bad guys were. It would be so important for the developers to stand their ground and resist the temptation to have the protagonist "switch sides" and have the story slip into clear lines of good and evil in the end. This is story is as grey as the imperial officer uniforms.
2. Star Wars Nightmare
Star Wars Nightmare is a first person horror game. It is long past time we get to see a dark, and terrifying Star Wars story. The universe of Star Wars has it's share of horrors from the geonosian zombies to the Wampas of Hoth, and both are at the heart of my ideas for this pitch. I have two settings in mind. The first setting idea would be a clone square crash landing on Hoth. The cold hostile wasteland is a harsh place to be stranded and you play as these Clones. The harsh reality that they are expendable soldiers, lost on a barren world adds a layer of futility to their efforts to survive. One by one players see their squamates captured and eaten by the hostile Snow creature. While this game may at first appear to be a shooter, this is very much a run and hide horror game. The Wampa stalks and follows you as you sneak around the vast cave system. I think the low visibility, cold, and added sense of doom from being marooned on an alien world could all make for an intense horror game. They could also show that the caves on Hoth are filled with other unholly nightmares such as the Mandalorian's Ice Spiders? I want an entire game set in a setting like that episode.
The second setting is onboard a Clone Hospital ship, and a wounded recovering Clone trooper is one of the last troopers left after a deadly outbreak of a monster. This could even be a second part of the game where the player is "rescued" only to find that the creature was captured as well. You as the player could be made to think your journey to be over with being in the clear, only to find out you must now survive the station as well. In either setting or combination of the two antagonists, I take inspiration form the game Alien Isolation, and think a Star Wars version of that game could be fascinating.
1. A Star Wars Anime Style JRPG Project
For my number one pick, I had to chose one of my biggest desires for the future of Star Wars games, and that is for Disney / Lucasfilm Games to approach a Japanese developer for Star Wars. Japan is a treasure trove for so much amazing nerd culture, video games, anime, and other forms of entertainment, that I would love to see their take on Star Wars. JRPG's are a category of games that I loved dn would like to see how Star Wars would appear through the lease of a Japanese developer. JRPG's are often over the top and filled with insane action. Star Wars has done well in American animation, that I have always wanted to see it made into an Anime. We are getting a full Star Wars original Manga this year, and it makes me wonder how a Japanese studio could evolve and tell a unique Star Wars story. How would their approach to art, combat, and story telling lend itself to a Star Wars game?
I think that from a business perspective, Disney would have an incentive to do this as Star Wars is no where near as larger as other mega franchise in the Asian markets and having a successful JRPG made by a Japanese studio would be a huge first start to popularizing the franchise further in the Asian markets. This would also add a layer of creative diversity to Star Wars allowing for even more cultural perspectives. I want Disney to hand Star Wars to a Studio that could add a creative cultural evolution to the franchise. A Japanese studio could certainly produce a wildly different and fresh take on the universe.
In my pitch for this, my first thought would be one my favorite Japanese studios, Platinum games. I am currently playing through the remaster for Nier Replicant, and am a huge fan of Nier Automata. I picture a game similar to Nier Automata with a female Jedi and the overly stylized almost rhythmic combat we have come to expect from Platinum. However, as I am not Japanese, I want this pitch to focus more on the "please hand the Star Wars liscense to a talented Japanese studio to see what they can add to Star Wars" rather than the specifics of the game I would pitch. I want to see what they could do with Star Wars. It would be a great step to taking one of my favorite franchises ever, and improving it with a cultural diversity by our friends in Asia. I believe cultural diversity leads to better entertainment and art, and that is true for Star Wars.
If you enjoyed this article, stay tuned for more "5 Games" lists, and much more on Game Infinite social media. Tell us in the social's comments which pitch you liked best and what games you want to see get made!