Today, the 30th anniversary of the original Star Wars, fans were given a glimpse of the next chapter of the saga: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. Key members from the crew of LucasArts’ cutting edge videogame as well as the two star cast-members of The Force Unleashed joined host Dave Collins (who is actually developing sound for the game) to discuss what fans can expect. Check back later for more quotes…
Haden Blackman (Project Lead): When we first started out with this game, we explored a lot of different options and a lot of different directions. We kept coming back to the idea where we really wanted to reinvent the Force and create a game that took the Force in new directions. What really resonated with us was this idea of really amping up the Force and kind of blowing it out of proportions, and in some cases, making it totally out of control. Really being able to use that to set up interesting game-play situations, and to really take advantage of the power of next generation systems and do a lot with physics and simulation, and all driven by this notion of the Force as you’ve never seen it before.
Matt Omernick (Art Director): As a Star Wars fan, it’s a cool dream come true There’s that 18-year gap that we get to work with. A big theme that we really stick to visually is the idea of evolution and construction. As you know, the galaxy is pretty much turned on end at this point. The Empire’s taken over. We see a ton of transition. Imagine a TIE fighter construction factor. What does that look like? We get to create that.
Another example is Kashyyyk, which is in the game. We think of Kashyyk as this pristine, very calm world. What happens when the Empire really makes it mark there on that, takes over and starts to enslave Wookiees? From an artistic standpoint, it’s an incredible playground. You get to invent.
Haden Blackman: Ultimately, we hit on this idea of — what if Darth Vader were to take a secret apprentice? From there, the story kind of exploded. It’s cliché to say that things write themselves — they don’t. It’s a lot of hard work, a lot of back-and-forth, a lot of iteration, but once we had that idea, the number of possibilities seemed limitless to us. The story really has been driven from this main character. The plot all revolves around that.
Matt Omernick: Getting the script really opened up our mind to the possibilities of the Secret Apprentice. How would Vader really treat an apprentice? We came up with this concept that referred to internally as “Vader’s Attack Dog.” The idea being that Vader would really keep this person under his heel and beat them down both physically and mentally and basically raise them in darkness. That’s what really informed our design of the character. You’ll see tattered clothing and layers and layers from years and years of… not necessarily torture devices, but restraints and things like that when you see design of the character.
Juno Eclipse, on one hand has to be this very stoic hardened Imperial pilot with tons of experience, but at the same time, she has this soft heart inside of her, because she’s the love interest in this game. So, it’s finding this balance. Finding someone you know and respect as an Imperial officer, yet there’s something inside her that’s redeemable.