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OldBenFilter: What if Obi-Wan went Sith
January 16, 2009 9:00 AM   Subscribe

Star Wars Battlefront III: a preview of a recently canceled game that apparently had plans to turn our good ol' ghost-ey friend Old Ben Kenobi into a Dark Jedi.

The original developer for the game went under a few months ago, but alpha footage leaked about a day ago. Towards the end of the video you can hear a Sith (or a hoodless Palpatine) utter "Stick to the plan Kenobi." Just today, a picture leaked from Free Radical showing the character models. If only development could have continued.
posted by azarbayejani (43 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
But is it canonical?

Supporting non-canon material is buying into some alternate history line of thought, ruining everything Saint George created and spitting on the holy grounds created by Lucasfilm Ltd.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:09 AM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wish George had stuck to the canon.
posted by rokusan at 9:14 AM on January 16, 2009


I hear Yoda's mom is rather...large.
posted by rand at 9:16 AM on January 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


But is it canonical?

Well, it should be C-canon, according to the wikipedia entry: "C-canon is primarily composed of elements from the Expanded Universe including books, comics, and games bearing the label of Star Wars."
posted by azarbayejani at 9:18 AM on January 16, 2009


Dark jedi my arse, all the jedi were evil. Consider:

Brain Washing for social education and theft (Ep 1)
Training and deployment of child soldiers (Ep1-3)
Growing and brain washing clones to be used as cannon fodder (Ep2-3)
Restricting information on achieving immortality (Ep 3-6)
Collusion in slavery (Ep1)
There didn't seem to be much come back on Anakin's slaughter of the sandmen in Ep2 either.

It's also pretty clear Yoda knows more than he lets on about the formation of the empire, plus he's a smug tosser.
posted by biffa at 9:19 AM on January 16, 2009 [10 favorites]


Dark jedi my arse, all the jedi were evil.

Villains always see a hero in the mirror.
posted by Dark Messiah at 9:27 AM on January 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm kind of at loose ends today, could we all please geek way the fuck out on this topic so I've got good reading material?
posted by Shutter at 9:33 AM on January 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Games don't plan. Game designers do.
posted by notyou at 9:33 AM on January 16, 2009


I didn't post this in the last Star Wars thread, but just in case someone out there hasn't read Brin's awesome essay from 1999, you really should. It's the one where he calls Lucas and Campbell fascists, and it is very well written.

There's also the follow up, in which he quite convincingly shows how Vader is the good guy, and Yoda and Palpatine the evils ones...

I'm quite sure this has been posted here before, but I didn't see anyone mention it. Sounds like just what you're looking for, Shutter.
posted by Squid Voltaire at 9:39 AM on January 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Actually, back in 2002 George_Spigot linked to yet another Brin article on the same theme.
posted by Squid Voltaire at 9:43 AM on January 16, 2009


Growing and brain washing clones to be used as cannon fodder (Ep2-3)

I think it was the acceptance of the use of clone soldiers that led to the downfall of the Jedi. The clones were ordered by the Sith, and Yoda only accepts them as a last resort in Ep 2. The fact that the Republic then continues to use them instead of raising an army of natural biological entities and robots was part of Palpatine's plan and the Jedi council's biggest mistake.

No clones, no Order 66.
posted by vibrotronica at 10:01 AM on January 16, 2009


honestly, the footage was basically just more Star Wars Battlefront, except with what could be nicer graphics. That's not a bad thing, I like the battlefront games a lot. But the only really interesting thing in the video, in my opinion, is seeing the ship take off on a planet and be piloted all the way into space, then land on a ship and the guy gets out and runs around. All of that controlled by a player. That I liked a lot. Derek Smart is probably pounding his keyboard and screaming "I came up with that shit!" The unfortunate part is that, while it's unknown whether or not the Dark Kenobi storyline is moving to the new developer, that take-off to landing tech is staying with Free Radical and won't be in the eventual release. hopefully they'll sell it to someone good who'll put it to decent use.
posted by shmegegge at 10:07 AM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sad to see Free Radical go down like this, having Battlefields yanked away from them pretty much killed them after the disastrous Haze. Did anyone actually play Haze? Was it really so bad? It seems very… yellow.

Also evil Kinobi looks like he could probably be placated with a couple of cans of special brew.
posted by Artw at 10:09 AM on January 16, 2009


"I think it was the acceptance of the use of clone soldiers that led to the downfall of the Jedi. "

I think it was the sheer, utter STUPIDITY of the Jedi that led to their downfall. I mean, look at Episode 2: your guardians of justice and all that successfully sneak into the baddies secret base...only to completely forget theri actual mission, and dash en mass out onto the killing floor. I found myself yeelling Kuni's line from UHF: "STUPID! You're so STU-PIIIIIIIIIIID!"

The Jedi were literally too stupid to live, so I regard it as Darwin in action.
posted by happyroach at 10:24 AM on January 16, 2009


Very sad to hear about Free Radical. Loved the Timesplitters games.

My best friend and I are huge Star Wars nerds. During one viewing of ESB, I mentioned that the AT-ATs that got shot with the tow cable would've been fine if they simply stopped walking forward.

I decided to test my theory in one of the Battlefront games. I loaded up the battle of Hoth, jumped into an AT-AT and waited for a Snowspeeder to tie me up. When that happened, I stopped walking....only to collapse forward and die anyway.

I never played another Battlefront again.
posted by Diskeater at 10:34 AM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


If you’ve not played the original Goldeneye then it’s worth digging out an N64 or emulator or whatever and giving it a go – a really great and varied game with all kinds of cool design touches.
posted by Artw at 10:42 AM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I really love those Brin articles...I can't believe it's been a decade since I first read them. Here are the ones linked earlier in this thread, plus one more:

"Star Wars" Despots vs "Star Trek" Populists
What's Wrong (And Right) With The Phantom Menance
An Addendum To David Brin's Critique of The Star Wars Universe
Commentary On Attack Of The Clones

posted by Ian A.T. at 11:03 AM on January 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


Someone is secretly in love...
posted by Artw at 11:06 AM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow that guy Brin is so wrong in so many ways, I don't even know where to start.
posted by muckster at 11:15 AM on January 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


A very nice story of his about Dolphins is being serialised on the StarShipSofa podcast though.
posted by Artw at 11:18 AM on January 16, 2009


Back around the time the second prequel was out, I remember reading a great article that offered Lucas a way out in the third episode: reveal that it was actually Yoda's dark machinations that brought about the entire mess. Said article even went so far as to retroactively (erm... clairvoyantly?) justify all of his actions in episodes 4-6, and was masterful--it suggested one five-minute scene with Yoda revealing his intentions that would tie up just about every weird continuity error that the prequels introduced, and make Empire into a totally different movie upon re-watching. I have spent many an hour searching for it, to no avail.
posted by Mayor West at 11:18 AM on January 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Star Wars just isn't that kind of story.

(Not that every story should be Star Wars)
posted by Artw at 11:22 AM on January 16, 2009


I wanted to like the Battlefront games so much, but they sucked so hard. Take away the star wars license and what do you have?

A Battlefield (1942, Vietnam, 2, 2142...) game, with basically no original aspects, and executed poorly. For some fans, the license is enough though.

That being said, the transition between a planet and space looks awesome, and so does evil Kenobi. It will be interesting to see what comes of this.
posted by utsutsu at 11:33 AM on January 16, 2009


I sympathize with Brin. I also wanted a big twist in which Kenobi and/or Yoda and/or the Republic turned out to be the bad guys all along, thereby salvaging a story that maybe made sense... but I also knew it was too much to hope for.
posted by rokusan at 12:05 PM on January 16, 2009


I like this one: R2D2 is the real leader of the Rebellion.

Also Pandemic used the Battlefront engine to make the new Lord of the Rings: Conquest game. Played quite a bit of the demo this past weekend and my how much fun that was!
posted by daHIFI at 12:08 PM on January 16, 2009


Back around the time the second prequel was out, I remember reading a great article that offered Lucas a way out in the third episode

If you find that, Mayor West,could you mefimail me the link?

Loved the Jedi as a kid, but even as child I was bothered by their tendency to solve problems by killing and maiming people in direction contradiction to their "we're one with the entire universe, every living thing" claims.

I think that in one of the games based on the franchise you can choose "negotiator" as your Jedi sub-class or some such thing, but in the canon material, this so-called mystic order only ever seems to take a smashmouth approach to dealing with those with whom they disagree.
posted by lord_wolf at 12:18 PM on January 16, 2009


No one should be subjected to Smash Mouth, regardless of how much they disagree.
posted by owtytrof at 12:41 PM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is all wrong. The bad guys are the ones with the immaculate, pressed six-figure suits and pristine manicures. When will hacks learn?
posted by Eideteker at 12:42 PM on January 16, 2009


I'm playing the demo of Lord of the Rings: Conquest which is basically a Battlefront spinoff based in the Middle-Earth (it's made by Pandemic, the original makers of the first two battlefront games). I don't think I could stand more than an hour or two of the game (like with Battleground before that). But, it's sad to see no one is trying to expand this concept and make it into a solid multiplayer game.
posted by darkripper at 12:47 PM on January 16, 2009


I enjoyed that alpha footage more than Episodes I-III combined.
posted by mazola at 1:46 PM on January 16, 2009


I really, really loved the first Battlefront's multiplayer. It had all these great maps, lots of vehicles, and was the first big mutliplayer star wars game that let you play in the world the original movies. Unfortunately, the servers quickly emptied out when the next big FPS came out and the sequel was as bad as the prequels were to the originals. Shame really, Battlefront should have been one of those games that lived on forever as multiplayer, but I think there really wasnt too much nuance to the fighting and the limited number of maps turned players off.

I did love it when out of nowhere Vader or Luke would appear and start cutting people apart with their light sabers. Random hero appearences == win in my book.
posted by damn dirty ape at 2:09 PM on January 16, 2009


I always thought the whole idea that the Jedi brought about their own downfall was pretty clear in the movies, even from the very beginning. Hell, Obi Wan IS partly responsible for what happens with Anakin, and he lies to Luke about it to boot. Hell, the usual good-guy claptrap about love being the power that conquers all is largely absent. It's emotions, period, that cause problems. Care about your friends? They're going to be used to bait you into a trap. Care about your sister? You'll lead her enemies right to her. Care about your mom? Her death will spur you to wipe out a whole Tusken raider camp. Even Vader's redemption That makes the emotionally distant Jedi come off as imperious dicks with some regularity, but that's the point. It's not as simplistic as haters would like to believe.

Anyway. I never liked the Battlefront games, but that footage *did* look pretty good. What was up with the "crazy legs" run animation though?
posted by Amanojaku at 2:52 PM on January 16, 2009


Take away the star wars license and what do you have?

A Battlefield (1942, Vietnam, 2, 2142...) game, with basically no original aspects, and executed poorly.


You know, I've heard people talk about how bad the Battlefront games are, and I can certainly accept that part of the reason I like them (not love, but they're not bad) is the franchise, but I'm not sure I can agree with this. When I think of battlefield games, I think of human players only (unless you're playing a bots match offline) and a rigid set of classes to choose from, and no narrative from one map to the next.

What the Battlefront games added to that, though the core gameplay is the same, are bots on field at all times to make the battles feel and act more epic than they otherwise would. Additionally, there are the Jedi and other special characters you can occassionally play as to add some variety and pure visceral glut enjoyment. More than that, the battles do have a kind of narrative to them, (though a very very loose one) that takes you from planet to planet or battle to battle, and at their best points from planet to space.

So I wouldn't say they had NO original aspects. They certainly weren't perfect, and wouldn't have sold as well if they had been original IPs instead of Star Wars, but they did some things in a new way.
posted by shmegegge at 2:58 PM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


When does the Oblivion/Fallout 3 style Star Wars game come out?
posted by starman at 3:31 PM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Brother, that shit ain't canonical.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:33 PM on January 16, 2009


This strange "Sith Obi-wan" concept points out how ludicrous the "Star Wars universe" became by the end of the franchise. It's just drivel, pure drivel, and I (whose first movie at age 6, in 1977 was Star Wars) am reluctant to introduce this confused crap to my own six year old son. Although I do like the reissued toys.

Anyway, if Lucas and Spielberg have no problems buggering Star Wars, then why not anyone else?
posted by KokuRyu at 3:46 PM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]



Rokusan: I sympathize with Brin. I also wanted a big twist in which Kenobi and/or Yoda and/or the Republic turned out to be the bad guys all along, thereby salvaging a story that maybe made sense... but I also knew it was too much to hope for.

If only they create a dark Yoda, then maybe Brin's dreams of Yoda, Kenobi, and Vader smiling upwards from "Jedi Hell" at the end of Return of the Jedi will actually become part of the canon.
posted by azarbayejani at 4:12 PM on January 16, 2009


daHIFI, I've long thought that someone should put out an edit of the original trilogy where R2-D2 and Chewbacca get subtitles for all of their lines. After reading your link, I think that material should definitely be the basis such an effort. Not sure exactly how it would be done, but at least the subtext that they know more about what's going down than they let on could definitely be worked in.
posted by CheshireCat at 4:47 PM on January 16, 2009


Mayor West, the "how to fix the Star Wars plot" you're thinking of is actually the very end of that David Brin piece linked above, after he takes apart Episode II.

Here again.

He also mentioned it a few other times later.
posted by rokusan at 2:15 AM on January 17, 2009


So, who's watching the Clone Wars TV series? I was losing faith after the Dooku and the pirates thing, but last night's episode, written by Katie Lucas, was pretty excellent.
posted by muckster at 4:49 PM on January 17, 2009


When does the Oblivion/Fallout 3 style Star Wars game come out?

They were called Knights Of The Old Republic, and they were spectacular.
posted by shmegegge at 10:19 AM on January 20, 2009


Oh man, shmeggegge, I wish. A free-roaming Star Wars game, where you could learn Force powers, go smuggling, wander around planets, and generally do your own thing while the story sits in the background and waits for you to pursue it, would be fucking amazing, especially if it offered several planets to fly between. KOTOR was great, but it was pretty emphatically not free-roaming.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:32 AM on January 20, 2009


yeah, that's true. that would be pretty boss. unfortunately, it looks like bioware is working on a star wars mmo instead. meh.
posted by shmegegge at 8:17 AM on January 21, 2009


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