There’s a single image that inspires me to submit to further Star Wars punishment. It’s not even an image from in-game. It’s a piece of concept art, which is probably even more misleading than the doctored screenshots often used to advertise games. It’s this image over there to the right. You can see the entire thing at the official website for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. It’s a picture of a young jedi/sith yanking a proto-star destroyer through a famer’s market. I want to do that.
I wrote earlier about how this next-generation Star Wars iteration would be using a system similar to the smooth psychic manipulations of Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy, and, so far, that’s about all we know. The official site has gone live, though, and has a bit of careful marketing for you eager beavers.
There’s a "coming soon" link for a "webdoc," which we can assume will be a behind-the-scenes dealie, as well as a little slideshow of more concept art, all of which looks nifty and not-at-all representational of the finished product. There’s also a rote list of planned game features, and a production diary with a single, introductory entry. They threaten to deliver more information next week, and I wouldn’t dream of contradicting them. One minor piece of story has been revealed already: You play as Darth Vader’s Secret Apprentice. The capitalization is theirs, so I can only assume George Lucas has retired to the dictionary for his alien names, now, in lieu of anagrams.
The whole project smacks of retcon to me, as if the writers said to themselves, "Hey, Lucas never said this didn’t happen, so…" Which is the same way the Bible got written, and look how that ended up? Republic Commando worked out all right, though, so I’m about as useful in this regard as a barometer filled with chicken blood.
I’m still stuck on that piece of concept art, little good though it will do me. We very rarely get godlike powers in games, I think for the same reason that fiction requires conflict: it’s boring if everything goes your character’s way. It’s why Superman games impose life bars on the hero, or Kratos gets stripped of his massive powers for a sequel. Is it a respectable challenge to create a game world in which escapist wet dreams such as monumental force powers could be the norm, or is that an impossible goal? Do our characteres need to be weak to impose some weight on their goals?