Star Wars: The Force Unleashed: Interview

We chat with LucasArts about this new Star Wars game, which bridges the gap between Eps III and IV.

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By Alex Wollenschlaeger & Adam Doree

In September of 1977, Sam Witwer was born in Glenview, Illinois, a small town just outside of Chicago. A few months later, in December of that year, director George Lucas saw his space opera, Star Wars, debut to sold-out screenings across the country and later the world.

Born only months apart, it would be nearly 30 years before the worlds of Witwer and Star Wars would collide, in a new game from LucasArts that picks up the interstellar story a few years before the first one even begins.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is a new game being developed by LucasArts. As the team behind the game tells us, this is the first game that taps into the power of a new generation of consoles. But don't think of it as just a game.

"It's no Star Wars video game," insists Cameron Suey, producer on the the project at LucasArts. "It is completely the next chapter in the story." Better still, it's got George Lucas's blessing.

The game tells the story of a Jedi serving as the apprentice to Darth Vader, helping the power-mad Anakin Skywalker wipe out all traces of the remaining Jedi in the galaxy.

Portrayed in body, face and voice by Witwer, the unnamed character provides us with a bridge spanning the all-important 18 years that separate the darkness surrounding the downfall of the Empire at the end of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and the bleakness of a broken world in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

In some ways, technology particularly, progress on development of The Force Unleashed has tracked that of the Star Wars saga, says Suey:

"In much the same way George [Lucas] didn't want to make the prequel trilogy until the technology had caught up to the point where he could accurately see on screen what he had in his imagination, we finally feel like we've caught up technology wise to tell this story we've wanted to tell, this massive next chapter in the Star Wars saga."

As Haden Blackman, project lead on The Force Unleashed continuously reminds his staff, the aim of the game is "kicking someone's ass with the Force". To do that, the team had to re-imagine the Force - that intangible power that gifts those who master it nearly limitless power.

Cameron Suey, Producer for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

To do this, LucasArts needed to find new ways to do old things in the game world, and that meant turning to two companies in Europe who had just what they were looking for.

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