While just about everyone else is hyped about that new Star Wars video game, this playthrough of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed really makes me want to find my old copy and fire up the Wii. Right. Now.
What makes it so cool is not the game itself — which remains amazing, and probably deserves a re-release if not a next-gen remake or sequel — but the running commentary and Twitch Q&A with Starkiller himself, Sam Witwer, and voice actor-director/LucasArts sound designer David Collins, who hosts the video on his YouTube channel The Comlink. (Subscribe, you must.)
There’s a lot of great behind-the-scenes insight on The Force Unleashed’s history and development, and the state of LucasArts at the time. Collins was a longtime employee of LucasArts, and he gives insight into what was going on there in the period after the release of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith; it was a time of tumultuous change for the company, under then-president Jim Ward, but as Collins points out it also was a time rethinking what was possible and expected in a Star Wars game. George Lucas had just united all his tech companies under one roof, basically, and was insistent on the game being built from the ground up, with a proprietary engine. The result — The Force Unleashed — was revolutionary and became the fastest-selling Star Wars game ever at the time.
Witwer, for his part, is hilarious. He remains one of Star Wars’ most versatile voice actors (in addition to Darth Vader’s secret apprentice Starkiller, he’s voiced Emperor Palpatine in various games and Star Wars Rebels, and played The Son in Clone Wars’ mind-bending “Mortis” arc before taking up the role of Darth Maul in that series). Witwer is also one of the best ambassadors for Star Wars fandom out there, and just a really cool guy to follow.
I’m certainly looking forward for the next installment. (And I don’t mean The Force Unleashed II, which I’ve never played but maybe now will.)
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