Rian Johnson's New 'Star Wars' Trilogy Won't Be Set in the Old Republic

Tuesday, 05 December 2017 - 6:48PM
Sci-Fi Games
Star Wars
Tuesday, 05 December 2017 - 6:48PM
Rian Johnson's New 'Star Wars' Trilogy Won't Be Set in the Old Republic
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Electronic Arts
Bad news everyone - it looks like we're not getting a Knights of the Old Republic movie any time soon, despite some rumors that it may have a future in the Star Wars film lineup.

Following the announcement that Last Jedi Rian Johnson would be making his own Star Wars trilogy, some particularly earnest members of the fan community began hoping against hope for what we've been waiting for since Disney first bought Lucasfilm: a movie set in the era of the Knights of the Old Republic BioWare game.

Alas, it's not meant to be. During a recent interview with Mashable, Johnson was asked whether his new trilogy would borrow from the classic roleplaying game, and his answer certainly let the wind out of the sails of a lot of gaming fans:

Opening quote
"Oh, they love Knights of the Old Republic. I played that game when it first came out and it was like, God, I loved it. Yeah, that's a fantastic game. And I understand it, the instinct to automatically go to something that you know and love, that you've already seen. To me, what's really fun is the notion of what new stuff are we gonna see, what new stories can we tell?

For me, the possibility in a new story told over three movies, go anywhere, do anything, sky's the limit, in Star Wars? That's so exciting."
Closing quote

Well, that's a shame - but perhaps it is for the best. After all, we already have a practically perfect version of the story from KotOR, and that is the game itself.

It may be dated graphically, but it holds up as one of the most engaging, immersive tales ever set in the Star Wars universe. Any cinematic attempt to recapture that magic would inevitably end up being compared to the game that inspired it, and any necessary changes to canon would only serve to enrage hardcore fans of the original game.

On the other hand, if Rian Johnson is going to come up with wholly original characters, in a brand new setting within the Star Wars universe, then instead of seeing an approximation of things that we already love, we'll be able to enjoy a brand new, unique set of cultural icons that will delight and wow audiences afresh.

Johnson's decision to shy away from adapting an existing Star Wars tale means that we'll get more completely new Star Wars, rather than just a new version of a story we already enjoy. Whatever happens, here's hoping that Johnson's fresh take on the Star Wars mythos will at least bring a little more nuance and originality to the picture.

One criticism levied against The Force Awakens, for example, is that the movie plays things far too safe, avoiding giving audiences a new story in favor of simply copying plot points from the Original Trilogy that have proven their worth. Similarly, while Rogue One is a new story, its setting and aesthetic clings firmly to that of the original Star Wars: A New Hope, without giving us a new look at any cool, interesting, different sights within this fictional universe.

If things go well, it seems like The Last Jedi may introduce a little more vitality into the trilogy, and if Johnson is able to set up his own full series of movies, he might well be able to deliver the originality that's been lacking from Disney's crop of Star Wars movies thus far.

What's more, for fans of Knights of the Old Republic who yearn for a time when Star Wars video games could be immersive single-player experiences rather than just shallow online shooters, the current backlash against Battlefront II may well be enough to convince Disney to ultimately end their deal with EA, and allow other gaming studios the opportunity to make different, more varied Star Wars video games that draw inspiration from the classic titles we got last decade.

It's a long shot, but there is hope, and after all, rebellions are built on that sort of thing.
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