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9 STAR WARS Projects That Almost Happened

Fifteen years ago this week, one of the greatest video games in the galaxy far, far away and the one we’re currently in came out. That game was BioWare’s Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Set 4,000 years before the formation of the Galactic Empire, it was a sprawling RPG full of hard choices, harrowing situations, and memorable characters. So it’s no surprise that fans wanted a sequel. Except the one that they eventually got was very different from another one that almost happened. And another sequel that was straight-up canceled. These aren’t the only Star Wars projects that nearly came to pass either, so on today’s episode of The Dan Cave, we’re taking a look at the many, many Star Wars projects that almost happened… but didn’t.

Knights of the Old Republic 2

Image: Obsidian Entertainment

While we eventually got a sequel to KOTOR from Obsidian Entertainment, BioWare had a concept for a sequel to their critically acclaimed game that sadly never came to pass, and it involved a familiar face: Yoda. Well, not Yoda, but another one of whatever the hell Yoda is. In an interview with Eurogamer, KOTOR lead designer James Ohlen said, “The initial twist in the first two-page concept we had for Knights of the Old Republic 2 was you were going to be trained by a Yoda-like figure” only for you to discover that “he was training you to essentially be his enforcer, a Dark Lord to conquer the universe, and he was going to become the main villain.”But ultimately that game never came to pass as BioWare assumed direct control of their destiny and shifted gears to Mass Effect and Dragon Age instead.

Knights of the Old Republic 3

Image: Unseen 64

In the grand tradition of games like Half-Life, Portal, and Left 4 Dead, KOTOR has never received a third entry. A sequel was in active development and it was pretty far along the Kessel Run to delivery before it was Force choked out of existence. According to designer John Stallford, it “got quite a bit of traction… we wrote a story, designed most of the environments/worlds, and many of the quests, characters, and items.” The game was said to feature a new character named Naresha and would take players to places like Rodia, Taloraan, and an unnamed Mandalorian City. Honestly, I’d say I’m fine with it, but I’m about as fine with it as Anakin is spending a day at the beach.

George Lucas’ Sequel Trilogy

Image: AMC

While the gigantic babies with $200 million trying to remake The Last Jedi have their own plans for the franchise, the O.G. himself George Lucas had big plans for a sequel series of his own before he sold Lucasfilm to the House of Mouse. And good news, Star Wars fans: it’s all about everyone’s favorite teeny, tiny microorganisms: midi-chlorians.

More details emerged recently from Insight Editions’ tie-in book to AMC’s James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction. In the book, Lucas says, “[The next three Star Wars films] were going to get into a microbiotic world. But there’s this world of creatures that operate differently than we do. I call them the Whills. And the Whills are the ones who actually control the universe. They feed off the Force. If I’d held onto the company I could have done it, and then it would have been done. Of course, a lot of the fans would have hated it, just like they did Phantom Menace and everything, but at least the whole story from beginning to end would be told.”

If the last several years have shown us anything it’s that no matter what you do, certain fans will hate it. So you do you, George, you do you.

Star Wars Detours

A long time ago, on a network not so far away, Lucasfilm ordered 39 episodes of a CGI-animated Star Wars parody show from Robot Chicken creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich. It was going to be a deeply silly comedy series featuring the voice talents of Donald Faison, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Seth MacFarlane, Felicia Day, and many, many more. But then Disney purchased Lucasfilm, and thought to themselves, “Should we really take our big serious space fantasy and dilute it through animated comedy?” And while Palpatine would have said one thing, Bob Iger and company said another, and they shelved the series before it ever made it to air.

Proteus

Image: Electronic Arts

Were you a console player who was intensely jealous of your PC-owning pals getting to explore the massively multiplayer worlds of Star Wars Galaxies? Well, you nearly had a Star Wars MMO of your very own in the early 2000s before it was taken away like so much high ground from so many angry angry Anakins. The project took on two forms: one as Proteus for then-current-gen consoles and it was later moved to a project known as Pangea, which was an MMO for next-gen consoles. Development was chug-chug-chuggin’ along, but like the train from Solo, it was derailed. “Challenges with the interface which created an unattractive revenue model” is the official reason that was given for Proteus’ demise, but you and I both know that, like Padme, it died of a broken heart.

Star Wars: Underworld

Image: LucasArts

Since time immemorial, man-kind has looked to the heavens and asked one burning question: When will we finally get a live action Star Wars TV show? Well the answer is “probably 2019 when Jon Favreau’s live action Star Wars series launches on Disney’s new streaming platform.” But it was something that had been in the works for at least a decade before Disney ever bought Lucasfilm. With a rumored 50 episodes fully scripted by the likes of George Lucas, Battlestar Galactica’s Ronald D. Moore, and Life on Mars’ Matthew Graham, Underworld was going to be a TV show all about the seedy underbelly of the galaxy far far away. Set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, it would take viewers into the heart of a crime syndicate on Coruscant and spit them out like so many Boba Fetts in so many Sarlacc Pits. But who knows—maybe some of those plots will work their way into Jon Favreau’s series. Or we’ll just get a sassy death stick merchant played by Vince Vaughn. Either way, I’m in.

Star Wars: 1313

Image: LucasArts

One of the greatest tragedies since Darth Plagueis the Wise was the cancelation of Star Wars: 1313. The video game—much like Underworld—was going to be a game that put you in the shoes of a bounty hunter running dirty jobs and black ops missions in the bowels of Coruscant. It was a mature, gritty adventure that looked like something Star Wars fans had waited their entire lives to play. Truly one of the most impressive tech demos I’ve seen at E3, the game met its untimely end when LucasArts was officially shuttered on April 3, 2013. According to Kotaku, near the very end of the game’s life span, the unidentified bounty hunter was refocused to be Boba Fett, so this should come as a double-blow to those who dreamed of being the universe’s most renowned but low-key incompetent bounty hunter.

Star Wars: Droid Edition

Image: Lucasfilm

Do you ever think to youself, “Boy howdy, I sure do love Star Wars, but I’d love it even more without these pesky meatbags gummin’ up the works?” Well, you’re not alone. In 1980, George Lucas told Prevue magazine that he was working on “some ideas for a film about robots, with no humans in it.” Never one to take things one film at a time, Lucas also said that he planned to make “three trilogies of nine films, and then another couple of odd films. Essentially there were 12 films.” While those are probably the aforementioned sequel trilogy and the prequel trilogy, one can’t help but wonder what Lucas’ botty comedy would have looked like.

Star Wars: All Wookiees, Baby

Image: Lucasfilm

Look, if the rise of the Internet has taught me one thing, it’s that more people have fursonas than you would expect. So naturally, a movie comprised entirely of Wookiees would appeal to a startlingly large demographic, right? Well that’s what George Lucas thought waaaaay back in 1980. In the same interview with Prevue, he said, “When I got to working on the Wookiee, I thought of a film just about Wookiees, nothing else. So, for a time, I had a couple of odd movies with just those characters.” The most surprising part about this is that three years after the infamous Holiday Special, George Lucas still believed in a story revolving all around Chewie, Lumpy, Malla, and the gang.

And those are some of the Star Wars projects that almost happened, but didn’t. But tell me — which of these would you most want to be a reality? Let me know in the comments below.

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Dan Casey is the senior editor of Nerdist and the author of books about Star Wars and the Avengers. Follow him on Twitter (@DanCasey).

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