Archive for ‘Video Games’



Star Wars in the UK: The ’90s

Mark Newbold | June 25, 2013

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The Dark Times of the mid to late ’80s had passed and as we entered the 1990s brighter times lay ahead for Star Wars fans — but at the turn of the decade, that was yet to become evident to the wider Star Wars public. While rumors continued to float around about the prequel trilogy there was little movement from Lucasfilm on the Star Wars front. Indeded, Lucasfilm had recently completed their Indiana Jones trilogy and were in a busy period, releasing Willow, Howard the Duck, and Tucker: The Man and His Dream. ILM had worked on a number of special effects smashes in the late ’80s including Star Trek IV, Ghostbusters 2, The Witches of Eastwick, and Back to the Future II and III, and LucasArts was fast building a solid reputation in the computer gaming industry via such smashes as Labyrinth, Maniac Mansion, and Secret of Monkey Island. It would appear that Lucasfilm had outgrown its reliance on the galaxy far, far away and developed an identity free of Jedi, Wookiees, and Wampas.

However, in the late ’80s artist Cam Kennedy and writer Tom Veitch pitched an idea to Lucasfilm, who in turn was offered it to Marvel Comics, the longtime publishers of Star Wars comics who had let the license lapse in 1987. Marvel turned it down, despite going so far as to releasing a print ad for the series and the project – Dark Empire – found its way into the hands of Milwaukee comics publishers Dark Horse, a relatively new face on the comics scene who had proven to be adept at handling movie licenses. The title would go on to be a smash hit for Dark Horse, coming out in late 1991 after another dipping of the toes into the Star Wars pool proved to be equally as successful.

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Star Wars: Battlefront Returns

StarWars.com Team | June 10, 2013

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Combining stunning visuals, incisive gameplay, and smart level design, the Star Wars: Battlefront video games took fans into the Star Wars universe in previously unexplored ways. The series beautifully showcased Star Wars locales, featured intense ground-battle action, and allowed gamers to fight for the Empire, the Republic, the Rebellion, and other factions. They were not just great Star Wars games; they were great video games in their own right. And we are thrilled to confirm that the series will continue.

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Happy Rancor: Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II — Rogue Leader

Dan Brooks | March 28, 2013

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With Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles battling it out last week in This Is Madness: The Star Wars Character Tournament, I was reminded of Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II — Rogue Leader, a video game that stars them both.

I couldn’t believe early images of Rogue Leader. It was one of the few third party titles developed for the September 2001 launch of the Nintendo GameCube, and previews began popping up in gaming magazines and online well in advance of the system’s release. Exclusive Star Wars games on Nintendo systems had become something of a tradition at that point: Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back on NES, the Super Star Wars trilogy on Super Nintendo, and Shadows of the Empire, Star Wars: Episode I — Racer, and the first Rogue Squadron on Nintendo 64. I loved them all, but the advance screenshots from Rogue Leader looked more detailed than any previous Star Wars game. It was clear that there was something special about Rogue Leader — and when it finally came out, it actually lived up to expectations, garnering critical acclaim and becoming a hit with fans. Years later, it’s still a dazzling Star Wars experience.

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I’m the Action Figure in Star Wars Video Games!

Brett Rector | March 22, 2013

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Ever since I saw Star Wars in theaters for the first time in 1977, I’ve wanted to “play” in that universe. My first obsessions were Stormtroopers and those cool suits of armor. As a seven-year-old I schemed daily on how to get my mitts on one. I imagined being part of the Empire, roaming the “galaxy” and enforcing Darth Vader’s will onto those who would oppose us, all the while looking cool in my shiny white duds. Needless to say I was not able to procure Stormtrooper armor, not even the Ben Cooper version. In lieu of not possessing the coveted costume, I decided my only hope to play an active part in George Lucas’ universe was to dream up scenarios and situations and act them out using my stable of Kenner action figures and vehicles. Ah, the hours and hours of fun I had! But as good a time as I was having manipulating my plastic alter-egos during countless adventures, I still didn’t feel as immersed as I wanted to be. That all changed in 1982 when a friend of mine bought The Empire Strikes Back by Parker Bros. for the Atari 2600. I finally got to be the action figure as I flew a snowspeeder against literally endless waves of AT-ATs.

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Star Wars Pinball Is Here…and There’s More to Come

Neil Sorens | February 27, 2013

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Hey Star Wars fans,

My name is Neil Sorens and I’m the creative director at Zen Studios.

With Star Wars Pinball out today, we’re fielding a lot of questions about how and why we chose our table themes. I’d like to answer those and also get the opinion of you dedicated Star Wars fans on what tables we should do next.

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StarWars.com Weekly Roundup: November 9, 2012

StarWars.com Team | November 9, 2012

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Wondering what’s been happening at StarWars.com? Here’s a quick roundup of what you might have missed this week, including some major Star Wars: Episode VII news and lots more!

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A Look Behind the Look of Angry Birds Star Wars

Toni Kysenius | November 6, 2012

My name is Toni and I live a double life. My friends know me as a Star Wars superfan; my work colleagues at Rovio HQ know me as the art director for Angry Birds Star Wars.

What this means is that my Star Wars Blog debut is actually a really, really big deal for me.

I’m here to talk about some of the decisions that went into directing the art for our new game, and also leave you guys with a little exclusive that can be found within Angry Birds Star Wars when it launches on November 8.

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Vote for Mark Hamill as Best Voice in the 2009 VGAs

StarWars.com Team | December 10, 2009

There have been a lot of great Jokers over the long history of the Batman franchise, but our favorite is Mark Hamill for admittedly biased reasons (sorry, Cesar Romero).  Hamill first took up the Joker mantle in the glory days of the ’90s Batman animated series, and though others have played the role in more recent incarnations, the makers of Arkham Asylum rightly tapped Mark to reprise his high-energy performance as the quintessential Batman villain.

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The Video Game Awards are looking for votes for the best voice performance in a 2009 video game, and Mark Hamill is one of the nominees. Head over there and make your voice heard by voting for him as your fave. The VGAs air live on Spike on December 12, at 8pm.

Behind the Scenes on The Old Republic

StarWars.com Team | July 24, 2009

At E3 this year, LucasArts and BioWare gave not only their first live demos of The Old Republic  to press, but also released what has quickly become a fan-favorite trailer for the game. The reception has been fantastic. And as more information came out, fans got more excited. It should be no surprise – Knights of the Old Republic is one of the better loved Star Wars videogames, and it came out of this same partnership. Today, Jake Neri from LucasArts moderated a panel to give fans even more insight into exactly what goes into making a game that continually breaks boundaries.

On the panel were some of the senior people from the development team -  Hall Hood (senior writer, BioWare), Alexander Freed (managing editor, BioWare), Dallas Dickinson (senior content producer, BioWare), and Jeff Dobson (art director, BioWare). Jake wasted no time jumping directly into the questions – starting with Dallas who didn’t shy away from a few jokes. “Star Wars: The Old Republic is a Story-Driven Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game – that’s SDMMORPG for those who are Twittering right now. It’s set 3,000 years before the movies and 300 years after the events of the original Knights of the Old Republic.”

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Report from the Star Wars Spectacular 2009

StarWars.com Team | July 24, 2009

This Star Wars Spectacular report may be quite different from others because the Star Wars Spectacular is quite different this year. Joining Lucasfilm’s Head of Fan Relations Steve Sansweet on the stage to showcase some of the most exciting upcoming developments this year holds for Star Wars are G4’s Kevin Periera and Olivia Munn from “Attack of the Show.” This Hall H presentation will be broadcast on G4 tomorrow (Saturday, July 24, at 2pm), so those who want as thorough a recap as possible had best catch that show. Still, we want to keep you up to speed on the big beats, so here goes…

Star Wars: In Concert

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The panel presentation started “cold” — with no preamble, no vocal introduction. Just the lights going down, and the massive screen coming to life with a video introduction of Star Wars: In Concert (see the video here).

A surprise presence then took the stage — Anthony Daniels, known to legions of Star Wars fans as C-3PO. “Star Wars [music] has always been one of the key characters in the Star Wars Saga,” said Daniels. “As key as Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. We’ve all loved John Williams music as an integral part of the movies. And so I was thrilled to be asked to host what I thought would be a concert, with film clips.”

Daniels described the premiere at the O2 Arena in London, where Star Wars: In Concert first took shape. “I stood on the empty stage looking at the thousands of seats that would soon be filled by fans and music lovers. It felt magical. It felt like home. I felt good.”

Continued Daniels, “This thing was not ‘a concert with clips.’ It was indescribable. It was massive. Not only was I going to retell one of the greatest stories ever. My words would cue all this overwhelming technology.  And all live… no retakes.  Of course being on stage I sort of missed the whole thing. It wasn’t until later, when I saw a recording of the show that I realized just how good it is. I knew it was different but not that it was so extravagantly spectacular and thrilling.”

Star Wars: In Concert begins its Worldwide Tour in Anaheim on October 1. Daniels pointed audience members to www.StarWarsinConcert.com for more information and ticketing.

Welcome Your Hosts

Steve Sansweet next took the stage, a familiar fixture to the Star Wars fan community and the Comic-Con experience. Welcoming the fans, Sansweet quickly described how this Spectacular was different this time round.  “This is the first time ever that a San Diego Comic-Con panel will be televised, but we like being first—just as Lucasfilm was the first film company to bring its story directly to fans with details and photos of a little space fantasy—way back in 1976!” Sansweet teased that next year is the 30th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back, and that it’s the perfect opportunity for a Star Wars Celebration. “We don’t have yet have an exact date or place, but we are in the planning stage of Star Wars Celebration V, coming to your galaxy next summer.”

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He invited his co-hosts on to the stage, handing the baton to Kevin and Olivia (who had their hands filled with lightsabers as they dueled their way into stage). To show their devotion to Star Wars fandom, both showed up in costume. Olivia was decked out as sexy (but not Jabba’s slave) Princess Leia. “Now, nothing shows commitment more than strapping yourself into a metal bikini,” quipped Olivia. “But that outfit is – let’s call it: drafty. So I went in a different direction – what do you think?”

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