It’s hard to take just a few steps on the internet right now without tripping over some or other bit of Star Wars news. As somebody with close to zero attachment to Star Wars, its characters or its lore, it’s made the internet a little tiresome this weekend with all of the celebrations. There one bit of Star Wars media that tickled me though: Knights of the Old Republic.
I adored BioWare’s pre-Mass Effect space opera, and the moment where you, as the player, become a Jedi and first get your own lightsabre stands as one of the finest moments in my gaming history. The Obsidian-made sequel was actually the first game I have distinct memories of pre-ordering, back when South African games retailer BT Games was still called Budget Technologies. Like many, I’d been waiting patiently for a sequel that just never happened. Speaking to VG247 at Reboot, former Obsidian head Chris Avellone revealed that there were plans for a third KotoR – and that it was pitched, but it never came to pass.
“When we finished the second one we were all trying to restore our lives back to sanity,” Avellone said. “We did start working on the third game pitch, because we always imagined the trilogy. Even when working on the second game, we [tried] to foreshadow what Darth Revan was doing in the second game, and he wasn’t always just ruthlessly and mindlessly blowing everything up. He actually had a larger plan because there was some greater manipulation and threat going on.”
The third game would have seen Revan battling ancient Sith Lord across the galaxy.
“The third game involved you, as a player character, following where Revan went and then taking the battle to the really ancient Sith lords who are far more terrifying than the Darths that show up. These guys would just be monsters. These would have a level of power that was considerable, but at the same time you’d be able to dig more into their psychologies, and their personalities, their history, and even how they dealt with the player, how they talk with the player, the different powers they cultivated and developed, and for some of them like – they’re the ancients, so they’re not just ruling a solar system, [but] swathes of the galaxy.
“So the places you travel to [you’d see] how they left their stamp on that world, or that solar system, or whatever collection of moons. You’d see how horrible that was. Part of that environment would tell a story about that. [That] would be a great, epic way to end the trilogy. The Old Republic are out there. We just didn’t get a chance to do it.”
And the reason Obsidian didn’t get the chance? Avellone speculates that it’s down to politics within BioWare and the team at Lucas Arts. He believes a team at Lucas Arts wanted to do it, and that BioWare pitched it a few times, but nothing ever came of it. Instead, under EA, we got an Old Republic MMORPG.
At least there’s a promising new Star Wars game on the way, in Respawn’s Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
Incidentally, Avellone is working on that game, along with a handful of other narrative designers. It’s a single-player story-focused game, which EA promises won’t have any microtransactions in it whatsoever.
Last Updated: April 15, 2019