As an incredibly wrinkly old man, with the face of a scrotum once said: “I feel your anger“. (I’m referencing Robot Chicken btw) Yes, such brilliant news to have come to light within days of Rogue One’s co-writer Gary Whitta wanting Disney to take away your (EA’s) Licence away during an interview and that EA Vancouver has cancelled their open world Star Wars Game. What a week.
Isn’t this just great publicity EA? Three headlines that further question what decision making is going on in those boardroom meetings. Well at least with this one there might be more than just EA. Mainly because of something I have remembered that other sites haven’t brought up, though it is just me speculating due to Canon & Legends.
Released back in 2003, the game is set nearly 4,000 years before the events of A New Hope (Remember 4000 years). During a major conflict between the Jedi and the Sith. The Game was initially planned to be set around or during the Clone Wars, something like the storyline of Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones, it was even supposed to have a subplot focusing on clones but it was cut so it wouldn’t spoil the then upcoming movie. BioWare (the game’s developers) were also given the option to set the game 4,000 years in the past. The company chose the latter as it would give them much more creative freedom. And created what is considered to be one of the greatest Star Wars games ever made.
Since its release, Knights of the Old Republic has won one-hundred-twenty-six awards. Forty-eight were various forms of Game of the Year Award, including Game Developers Choice Awards” best game of the year, BAFTA Games Awards’ best Xbox game, and IGN’s Best Overall Game of the year. IGN also ranked KotOR 3rd on its list of the best films and video games of the 2000-2009 decade.
Over the years, we’ve heard rumour after rumour that BioWare might have been working on a new Knights of the Old Republic game. There was even a rumoured report that their Austin studio was secretly working on a new entry to the series. But there hasn’t been anything concrete. And after what had happened to Apeiron’s “Knights of the Old Republic” Fan Remake after a cease and desist from LucasFilm, that left some fans disappointed and some fans hopeful that LucasFilm stepping in could mean they were considering a new game.
However, a recent update to the EA/Star Wars fiasco seems to indicate that unfortunately isn’t the case.
“They’ve tried to make it happen, more than once from what I’ve heard,” says Kotaku’s Jason Schreier on Twitter in response to a question about BioWare making another Knights of the Old Republic game. “No luck.”
They've tried to make it happen, more than once from what I've heard. No luck
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) January 18, 2019
The begs the question: “Why has EA denied BioWare creating another instalment?” Well I can offer two possibilities.
The first being there has been reports that Electronic Arts isn’t all that happy with the license and that their CEO Andrew Wilson, who has reportedly never been “entirely thrilled” with the 10-year licensing deal in the first place. Which explains why EA hasn’t jumped at the opportunity of creating Star Wars game after Star Wars game. If true, that would explain why EA has done what fans would call the “bare minimum” with the license.
These his claims of EA’s enthusiasm come from inside EA as well as former employees according to Kotaku’s sources. Though the publisher spokesperson responded to these reports, calling them rumours “pure speculation and not accurate.”
Someone says one thing, with another saying something else, so who do you trust? Hubba, hubba, hubba who do you trust? Insider info/former employees or the publishers spokesperson? Who do you trust?
The second, well reason could also be down to what’s Canon and what’s Legends. As many fans know on April 25, 2014, LucasFilm announced that in preparation for the upcoming Sequel Trilogy, the Expanded Universe would be retconned; past tales of the Expanded Universe would be printed under the Star Wars Legends banner, with a new continuity being established that consists only of the original six films, the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series and film, and all future material from that point onward. Though past elements of the Expanded Universe have been declared non-canon as a whole, they remain a resource for future Star Wars material to reference, thus bringing these elements into the new continuity as canon. Until today, the only Legends product that is still being released is the video game Star Wars: The Old Republic, along with short stories published at the Star Wars blog.
In short, with Knights of the Old Republic being that of Legends continuity, it won’t be continued, just like the rest of Legends. LucasFilm only wants to focus on Canon, as that’s the story they want to tell going forward.
But, Knights of the Old Republic was built on lore. It was teeming with it. The “war” of Knights of the Old Republic, The Jedi Civil War was the result of a previous war: The Mandalorian Wars. Now the Mandalorian Wars is not only Legends, but also Canon though dubbed The Mandalorian-Jedi War. As quoted by Wookieepedia:
A series of conflicts fought between the Mandalorians and the Jedi Order, the Mandalorian-Jedi War saw the advancement of Mandalorian technology when they collided with the Force-wielding Jedi, whose abilities they didn’t understand. In response, their arsenal and armour were designed to combat them, and they began to often win as a result. The Mandalorian crusaders fought against the Jedi during their crusades. The Mandalorians also waged war against the Old Republic, and, during the period of its fall, members of House Vizsla reclaimed the darksaber, a unique lightsaber created by Tarre Vizsla, the first Mandalorian ever inducted into the Jedi Order from the Jedi Temple after its creator’s passing.
The last great struggle between the Jedi and the Mandalorian warlords resulted in a large battle on Mandalore. This caused a cataclysm that scorched much of the planet’s surface into lifeless white desert and ending the conflict, the Jedi emerging victorious.
During the episode “Trials of the Darksaber” in Season 3 of Star Wars: Rebels, Kanan Jarrus brings up the Jedi victory over the Mandalorians to Sabine Wren during her training to wield the Darksaber.
It should also be noted that during the Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith comic series two ancient Sith were introduced: Lord Momin and Lady Shaa. Whom both at this time are the Oldest Sith in Canon. The mask of Momin was kept within the vaults of the Jedi Temple for thousands of years until it was claimed by Emperor Palpatine.
At this time both the dates of the Canon Mandalorian Jedi War and births/deaths of Lord Momin and Lady Shaa are unknown, but both are said to be from a time well before the events of Episode I: The Phantom Menace. The major conflicts that we do know of, before the The Phantom Menace in Canon are:
- Sith War – At least 6,000 years before the Clone Wars (2000 years earlier than Knights of the Old Republic)
- Jedi-Sith War – A war fought between the Jedi Order and the Sith during the Dark age. At least two battles were fought for control of the planet Coruscant.
- The Mandalorian- Jedi War – The Mandalorian-Jedi War was a series of many conflicts fought between the Mandalorians and the Jedi Order. The final war between both groups ultimately resulted in the devastation of the former’s homeworld of Mandalore.
- The Mandaloiran Civil War – The Mandalorian Civil War occurred on Mandalore many years prior to the Clone Wars.
So while I don’t think we’d ever see a Knights of the Old Republic III, I don’t see what the problem would be doing a spiritual successor set within Canon. Like Legends before it, it’s an era of Star Wars we know very little about. And has wiggle room to have stories told of that era. A “new” Old Republic game series.
There’s your pitch right there BioWare, a spiritual successor to Knights of the Old Republic set in Canon during either The Sith War, the Jedi-Sith War or the Mandalorian Jedi War. It’s not Knights of the Old Republic III but it’s a new take on something we’re not only familiar with, but enjoy. And it can be tied with things that we know from Canon. Darth Bane, the Rule of Two, the Darksaber, Great Scourge of Malachor, and so on.
It can be done, just EA has denied BioWare from doing so, on more than one occasion.
Written by: Connor Heggie