What If George Lucas Remastered The Old Republic? «

Having spent the last fifteen years compulsively adding random cgi aliens to the original Star Wars trilogy, George Lucas is taking a much deserved vacation following the release of The Complete Saga.

Meanwhile, The Old Republic is closing in on its recently announced release date of December 20th. Since the Star Wars MMO carves out a niche some 3,500 years before the events of the films, BioWare has enjoyed a great deal of creative freedom up to this point. With a restless George Lucas roaming the wild, however, it’s only natural to wonder what would happen if he turned his attention toward The Old Republic and gave it the “Special Edition” treatment.

Character Creation

 

The first and potentially most important choice in The Old Republic is whether to side with the Galactic Republic or the Sith Empire. Thankfully, this is made somewhat easier by noticing that the Galactic Republic is represented by a glowy light blue which makes them good, while the Sith Empire uses a sinister shade of red.

George Lucas’ vision would call for a less nuanced distinction between the factions, renaming them the Benevolent Nice Guys and the Insidious Menace. One symbol would feature a dove taking flight over a multicultural handshake. The other would be an exploding planet, its core a laughing skull. Just in case that wouldn’t be clear enough, the skull would be smoking a cigarette while jaywalking.

Combat

 

Jedi use the power of the force to judiciously pull boulders from the ground and hurl them at people’s faces with wisdom and honor. Ranged characters dive behind cover and pop up to unload volleys of blaster fire. Bounty Hunters employ a variety of gadgets, maneuvering about the battlefield with jetpacks while wondering how their backs and rear ends remain unscorched. Every class has a unique flavor with multiple roles to choose from as they progress.

Yawn.

Have you seen Yoda fight in the most recent films? Then you know that combat would be way more exciting and nonsensical in the Special Edition of The Old Republic. Every character would wield a minimum of four three-bladed lightsabers. The most basic attack would involve jumping twenty feet into the air and doing ten backflips, which would be five backflips more than necessary by my count.

Story

 

The Old Republic has been touted as the first MMO to truly emphasize story. Every quest is fully voiced, there’s a branching dialog system, and all eight classes have unique narratives. BioWare is certainly capable of coming up with interesting plots, sidequests that flesh out game worlds, and memorable characters. They’re also capable of Dragon Age II, but since they created HK-47 we won’t hold it against the meatbags.

The Special Edition would approach storytelling in a different way, with cutscenes out the wazoo. Only two narratives would be present: The tale of a lovestruck teenage Jedi being a smug jerk for no good reason, and an hours-long galactic senatorial hearing on trade embargoes. None of these stories would make much sense or have anything to do with you, but they would certainly feature swelling orchestral music to make them feel very important, and that’s close enough.

As for all that dialog? It would be replaced with drawn out, anguished cries of “NOOOOOO!” All of it. Except for every instance of the word “no”, which would be replaced with a much louder “NOOOOOO!” that lasted twice as long.

Flashpoints

 

Roughly equivalent to World Of Warcraft’s dungeons, Flashpoints are instanced story arcs taken on by a group of players. These aren’t simply difficult encounters, but self-contained adventures with branching events resulting from a team’s decisions.

That’s right, you and four other people will vote to choose dialog options while speaking to quest givers. Hard to imagine that going terribly wrong. It’s not like everyone else will choose the meanest responses, leaving you gasping in horror as your group persuades a Hutt to eat more and exercise less frequently.

Flashpoints would be removed in the Special Edition. After all, every quest would already be the most exciting event that ever happened. If you set out to pick 10 Forceberries, you would have to dodge a thousand blaster shots and outrun the shockwave of an exploding military base, then dash across the front line of an intergalactic war. Upon turning in your quest, you would receive a pie – a Sarlacc Pit Pie which would immediately attempt to slowly digest you over the course of a thousand years, or until the pie cooled. Whichever came first.

Space Combat

 

If you’ve played Knights Of The Old Republic or Mass Effect, you have some idea of what to expect with The Old Republic’s starfighters, which serve as home bases of sorts. From the cabin of your starfighter you choose your next destination, which could simply be a planet or a combat-driven mission which almost plays out like a Starfox level. By that I mean flying along a preset path and shooting enemies, not jumping on mushroom trampolines and hitting dinosaurs with a wizard’s staff or whatever the hell went on in the fever dream that was Starfox Adventures.

All space combat in the Special Edition would end in your death at the hands of an AI-controlled ten year old pilot who would toss out such classic quips as “Whoops!”, “Look out!”, and “Didn’t mean to press that button!” This would also be your fate during most non-combat flights, and it would be the leading cause of death while walking around on a planet’s surface doing quests.

Will It Happen?

 

While it’s fun to imagine The Old Republic in the hands of George Lucas, it is, of course, not very likely that it would happen anytime soon. There are already so many Collector’s Editions of the game that a Special Edition would get lost in the shuffle of cloth maps and pewter figurines. Besides, these changes would require computer graphics that match the fidelity of those found in the game, and we’re several years away from technology reaching the point where such a thing would be feasible.
 

 

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