Any fan of Star Wars video games could tell you that Lucasarts, EA Games, and developer BioWare have released eye-poppingly kinetic trailers for Star Wars: The Old Republic over the past couple years. It’s been an achingly extended pre-release campaign that’s turned the elusive massively multiplayer game into the mouse-and-pixel equivalent of The Tree of Life or Chinese Democracy — the anticipation almost seems more important than the project itself. (EA still hasn’t yet set a release date, but a rep suggests it will come out in 2011, “when it meets the quality BioWare and Star Wars fans expect.”) So today another trailer for SW: TOR was released, only this one is supposed to be the actual cinematic intro to the game. And Holy Sith, if this doesn’t make you want to revisit that Galaxy Far, Far Away, you must be frozen in carbonite. Check it out after the jump:
Short of a Jedi mind trick, could Lucasarts have devised a better way to get us salivating over The Old Republic? Let’s break it down.
First, we’ve got a whole new epic backstory teased at us. The Sith homeworld Korriban has been abandoned for over a millennium since their defeat — and exile into the Unknown Regions — at the hands of the Republic at the conclusion of the Great Hyperspace War. Diehards already know all this, but it’s never really been dramatized visually other than in comic book panels. That’s the amazing thing about Star Wars — from the first time Obi-Wan Kenobi mentioned the Old Republic and the 1000 generations of Jedi knights, Star Wars has been constantly reframing itself to place you in the middle of an even bigger mythology. This time, though, Lucas & Co.’s storytelling becomes a foreboding, return-of-evil, Battlestar Galactica-style portent: the Sith haven’t been seen nor heard from in a millennium…until now. Awesome.
Second, we have a new scruffy-haired scoundrel! That’s right. We don’t yet know his name, but with his beat-up-but-super-fast ship, cockeyed fedora, and possession of spooky ancient artifacts, he’s an obvious cross of Han Solo and Indiana Jones, with maybe a little bit of Uncharted’s Nathan Drake thrown in. (Hey, Indiana Jones inspired Uncharted, so it’s only fair that Uncharted returns the favor, right?) Despite his Harrison Ford swagga, he finds himself on the wrong side of the law — those Sith artifacts belong in a museum! — and in Jedi custody. Until, like Battlestar’s Cylons returning to reign nuclear hellfire on the 12 Colonies, the Sith peel out of hyperspace and show how it’s done on the Dark Side.
Okay, I’m not too impressed with the acting of the Jedi Master who first says “The Sith have returned” in an inexplicable monotone. I mean, the Sith have been gone a thousand years! Surely their return could provoke a little more reaction, right? It’d be like the Vikings suddenly returning to lay waste to London in 2011 — something that might provoke a little surprise, you know? I mean, these are Jedi, not Vulcans.
Anyway, who is the only one with the ship fast enough to blast their way out? Mr. Scoundrel, of course. (FYI: “Scoundrel” is the official term for this class of character in the game.) Some of the previous trailers have been criticized for overtly recycling elements of the movies for the game’s own mythology — a heavy-breathing deformed Sith Lord, a raid on the Jedi Temple, the heavy focus on shady, underworld characters — but, let’s face it, these are the things people want to see.
Third, we have continuity! Darth Malgus, the yellow-eyed, breather-mask-wearing Sith, who we know from the “Deceived” trailer will later sack the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, makes an appearance, living up to his Sithly reputation by killing his own master as soon as his lightning-spewing posse have reclaimed their homeworld.
I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling a disturbance in the Force that in our galaxy we call goosebumps. This looks like the greatest Star Wars movie that will unfortunately never be made. Can’t you just imagine this on the big screen?
What do you think of the new trailer? Will this game ever come out? How much does this actually make you want to see a movie set in this period? And how long before that female Padawan starts calling the smuggler a “scruffy nerf-herder”?