The Old Republic: All I Want is the Cutscenes

Written by Clive Webster

June 13, 2011 | 07:29

Tags: #star-wars #star-wars-games #trailer

Companies: #bioware #electronic-arts #lucasarts

The latest trailer for Star Wars: The Old Republic has been released and it’s freaking awesome. This follows previous cut-scene and video releases that have been similarly impressive, engaging and enjoyable. However, with the game looking a bit duff, I’m wondering if Electronic Arts, Bioware and LucasArts could be persuaded into releasing a cut-scene-only version? I’d happily pay to watch a short film made from them.

If you’re not sure what I’m on about, have a look at the Star Wars: The Old Republic intro cinematic (watch it in fullscreen mode) above, then the other trailers (not the gameplay videos) and come back.

See what I mean? They’re much more reminiscent of the original trilogy than the rubbish prequel films. There’s a focus on people that you readily recognise and empathise with overcoming obstacles; the classic setup for injecting drama and interest into a scene or story. Furthermore, there’s absolutely no mention of trade disputes, midi-sodding-chlorians or annoying lizard-rabbits.

In fact, some of the intros' cinematic characters are really close to those of Episodes IV to VI. There’s a dependable droid that happily receives rushed instructions, and it’s on a ship with dingy, circular corridors and laser-cannon pods. Then there’s the pilot of this ship – he’s instantly introduced as a likeable yet roguish smuggler, and his attire hardly suggests otherwise. He even seems to steal Han’s dialogue: his is the fastest ship in the fleet, even though it might not look like much. All we need is a co-pilot with a shaving phobia and we’re done.

But who cares if Bioware is borrowing heavily from the source material to produce something this fun? Arguably, the mistake that George Lucas made with his prequels was refusing to follow his own conventions. We wanted a bit more of the same please, not some confused reinterpretation of the Universe we’d spent the last however many years discussing in detail.

So when the ‘trader’ ship blasts through the Imperial turbo laser, rushes through its guts, and then hits its hyperdrive, we’re cheering on the crew. When the Jedi master Force-pulls the second lightsaber to him, we’re given a moment to consider the great duel that’s about to ensue.

Even the cutting and pacing between the personal fight between Jedi and Sith and the action on the not-Millenium Falcon is so reminiscent of The Empire Strikes Back that it can’t fail to make Star Wars fans happy. The trailer even conveys emotion brilliantly – Malcus exudes rage as he stalks towards the Jedi master and bats away his defence, while you can read the thoughts of his Padawan perfectly well after his death.

So please, can we just have the cinematics to watch, and leave the MMO to WoW deserters? Please?
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