Posts Tagged ‘LucasArts’



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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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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Interview with Star Wars: The Old Republic Devs

StarWars.com Team | June 19, 2009

Here’s a round-up of interviews about the upcoming video game that everyone is all a buzz about: Star Wars: The Old Republic.

From MMOgamer.com:

Daniel Erickson (Lead Writer on The Old Republic):

Because we did all class-specific stories for The Old Republic, we’ve allowed ourselves to basically make, Knights of the Old Republic: The Smuggler, its own game. Everything in there, when you’re playing a Smuggler, you feel like a Smuggler. The adventures are crazy, and madcap, and you’re flying by the seat of your pants, and there’s romantic stuff, and you’re spouting off crazy one-liners, etc., etc.

Then, when you’re playing as a Sith, it’s a completely different game. Everything is from that perspective, you come from a very dark world, you’re on Korriban, you’re dealing with Sith politics, you’re dealing with some very, very dark people who are allowed to do anything they want. It completely changes the way we do storytelling.

VIDEO: Giant Bomb Interviews Star Wars: The Old Republic Devs

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SOURCES: Slashdot, 1up.com

The Force Unleashed Wins WGA Award for Best Writing!

StarWars.com Team | February 8, 2009

When LucasArts set out on the trailblazing journey of creating The Force Unleashed, they had multiple objectives in mind. One of the key ones was to tell a compelling story worthy of the Star Wars saga in the hitherto unexplored territory between Episode III and Episode IV. This story — the epic saga of Darth Vader’s  Secret Apprentice, was recognized for excellence yesterday.

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Congratulations to Haden Blackman, Shawn Pitman, John Stafford and Cameron Suey who were honored with the WGA Award for outstanding achievement in Writing for Videogames. The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) announced the winners of the 2009 Writers Guild Awards yesterday in categories including screen, television, radio, news, promotional, and videogame writing. Here is the list of the 2009 winners.

TFU Gets WGA Writing Nods; QFT, BRB, BBQ.

StarWars.com Team | January 13, 2009

When people think of video games, they usually think of button-mashy, time-draining bits of visual flair. Usually, the writing does not live up the fun of the game. I mean, really, stomping turtles isn’t exactly a brilliant metaphor for world suffering or the trials of a hard life. It’s just stomping turtles, Freud.

But some video games can have those deep undertones. Gamers sat up and took notice with Bioshock in 2007, amazed at the story within the game. They weren’t alone. The Writers Guild of America were so moved that in 2008 they created an award for Best Writing within a Video Game. Dead Head Fred won for the 2007 span of releases – deservedly so, in my humble opinion. For the 2008 year, things hit a bit closer to home.

LucasArts is quite proud to have received praise from the Writer’s Guild. Regardless of what the critics said about The Force Unleashed, they all agreed the story is brilliant. And why not? Expanding the storyline of our beloved mythology, blazing ahead into previously unexplored dark times – who wouldn’t love that – gamers were hooked by the story as well as the brilliantly-crafted voicework and well-directed cinematics.

So, we extend congratulations to our friends Haden Blackman, Shawn Pitman, John Stafford, and Cameron Suey. Give them some love – they worked incredibly hard on the game and deserve every bit of honor they are given.

Rogue Leaders is ‘Heaven’ for the Hardcore

Brooks Brown | December 3, 2008

As we here at LucasArts ramp up to the release of our history to the public in book form, our favorite fan sites are beginning to take notice. The much-beloved International House of Mojo has gone over the book itself with a fine-toothed comb and obviously fallen in love with it quite readily. To quote:

What will interest many people is the wonderful amount of previously unseen concept art, storyboards, puzzle flow-charts and other cool behind-the-scenes stuff for many of LEC’s games. There’s Steve Purcell’s alternate Monkey Island 2 covers, some of Peter Chan’s storyboards from Grim Fandango, the original Full Throttle logo and the notes for adjustment, designs for most of the creatures in The Dig, and even a letter from George Lucas praising the team after the success of Rebel Assault. For a lifelong Mojo reader, this is heaven. 

I’m glad they enjoyed it as much as myself. Coffee table books are sadly rare for us gamers, and one as well-crafted as this deserves a place in any gamers home.  To read the rest of their review, head over to MixNMojo.com and give it a read.

Rob Smith, the author of the book, should be proud. Even the most hardcore fans loved it. That’s saying something!

Create Your Own Geeky Avatar

Brooks Brown | November 26, 2008

With the latest update to our 360′s worldwide, one of the odder features is the inclusion of ‘Mii-Like’ avatars. Sure, some of us bounced through the process very fast since we’ve been through it a dozen times with family on the household Wii. But some creative people decided to take it a step further.

One of my favorite gaming sites of late, Games Radar, decided to collect their favorites and show them to us. The Pris (remember her from Blade Runner?) and the Neo from The Matrix are good. But I’m not here for them. As they note – the hairstyles included are minimal, yet somehow – some way – they found room for historic buns.

LeiavatarIt is worth heading over to their site to see the rest of them. Spock, Mr. T, and even a really, really creepy Michael Jackson. That one might be going too far.

Ye Olde-Timey Arcade Machine

Brooks Brown | November 25, 2008

In my home town the ‘The Gold Mine’, an arcade that closed in the early 90′s, was a haven for the socially awkward. On a bad day you’d fly through your change in no time flat, on a good day, you’d feel like a hero and only have dropped a single token. Alas, the days of quarters, tournaments and dark rooms filled with bleeps and neon lights are long gone.

But when it comes to reminiscing on these great days, my mind always drifts to the great vector-based games that still – to this day – mesmerize me. I know I’m not the only person who gets weepy staring at a good rendering of Tempest, right?

The crown of vector gaming, however, goes to Star Wars. I cannot help but smile when I think about its incredible controller, bright graphics and pseudo 3-D rendering of the battle on the Death Star.

The Greatest Vector Thing Ever
Apparently, neither can the guys at Screw Attack, who feel the same way I do. Luckily, they decided to put their love for the game on their latest episode, which I proudly present to you. Be careful not to overdose on nostalgia, okay?

Popular Science Gives The Force its Due

Brooks Brown | November 10, 2008

One of my favorite newsstand mags to browse is Popular Science, leading the way for some of the better and more fascinating subjects you can read and digest in a short period of time. Every year they name their favorite new things we can spend our paychecks on – and the list is, quite often, a geeks dream.

This year is no different, with things from OLED Televisions to sub-woofers for your seat gracing the pages. A personal pick is the new Onkyo Receiver. The ability to adjust color and brightness before the video signal hits your television is any videophiles fantasy.

Not to be left out, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, thanks to the brilliant physics and AI engine within (DMM and Euphoria respectively), made this year’s list. As the award exclaims, videogame players finally get a tactile sensation they are effecting physical objects, and actually hurting Stormtroopers. We’re flattered for the award, and our thanks goes out to PopSci.