Take it from us: there’s no shortage of crackerjack ideas where the work of George Lucas is concerned. From the main installments to decades’ worth of peripheral content, each one arrestive and unerringly momentous, the 77-year-old singlehandedly developed a great profusion of character and mythos to fuel many more movies to come. And so it has. Led by industry giants Kathleen Kennedy and Jon Favreau, Lucasfilm boasts an around-the-clock parade of new films and streaming exclusives to immerse Star Wars fans for years down the line. The studio has everything from filler material to obscure favorites, each cleverly rehashed into its own individual property. But with only one video game scheduled to hit shelves in the foreseeable future, fans would be hard-pressed to say Lucasfilm executives came prepared.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order in 2019 was, by all accounts, an overnight success; it should have been enough impetus to authorize a dozen more action-adventures just like it, and yet another LEGO Star Wars is all Lucasfilm can come up with — at least for now. Hollywood insider Daniel Richtman has reason to believe a revolutionary new Star Wars game is on the way. Details are scarce, but the project markedly has an “evil Sith Lord” for a protagonist, a far cry from the usual Star Wars video game where players take control of the good guys in their quest to save the galaxy.
This hypothetical hack-and-slash wouldn’t be the first Star Wars game to feature a villain as a main character. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed introduced fans to Starkiller, a soulless, Force-imbued assassin trained to eliminate Jedi survivors of Palpatine’s Order 66. Darth Vader found young Galen Marek and took him under his wing, teaching him the ways of the dark side of the Force. And thus was born Starkiller, perhaps one of Vader’s top Sith apprentices. Voice actor Sam Witwer famously reprised the role in the sequel two years later; he plays a redeemed Starkiller, having turned his back on Vader in the previous game. Starkiller is partly responsible for the formation of the Rebel Alliance later seen in A Star Wars Story: Rogue One and introduced the first time in Episode VI – A New Hope, and dies trying to protect it.
Other Star Wars games offer the occasional reprieve from being a hero; in Star Wars Battlefront, Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader are both playables. Vader also guest-starred in Soul Calibur IV, wielding his insidious red lightsaber. But The Force Unleashed, as well as its spiritual successors, was released more than a decade ago; it’s time for the Sith to repopulate video game consciousness a second time. Now, Richtman didn’t specify which Sith Lord executives have their eye on, but the character could be either completely original or someone perfidious we’ve already met. Or perhaps a Jedi gone rogue? Forget that; who’s up for a Palpatine-led murder fest?
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is the next Star Wars game to come out in recent years. It presents a fresh take on the LEGO Star Wars series, with all three film trilogies readily accessible at any point during the game. It also features in-game voice acting — a first for the franchise. TT Games has been writing these since 2005 with the release of Lego Star Wars: The Video Game, which retold the prequels in brick format for a new generation of fans. The project is currently on hold. The Skywalker Saga was officially announced at E3 2019 and has a projected 2021 release date.