I have so far managed to avoid getting too worked up over Star Wars: The Old Republic, for two reasons. First, it’s a long ways off yet and it’s silly to get all in a lather about a product that we won’t get to actually see for a couple of years. And secondly because… well, I figured Star Wars was all worn out. The prequel trilogy did have its moments, but they got fewer and farther between as the films progressed. Whatever gifts for storytelling Lucas once had have been utterly lost. (See for example the excreable Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.)
A couple of weeks ago Mrs. Ardwulf and I were babysitting our nephew, who is 5. Whilst shopping at Target, I learned that he hadn’t seen the original Star Wars, an appalling oversight in his education. I decided to remedy that.
I never bought Star Wars or any of the original trilogy on DVD, because for a long time the only version you could get were those horrible adulterated travesties where Greedo shoots first and lots of egregious CGI effects that pretty much ruin the thing. It’s Lucas’s baby, so I’d pretty much resigned myself to not being much of a Star Wars fan anymore.
But the current version of the discs have the original theatrical cuts on them as extras. Original to the point that the opening crawl of the first one hasn’t had “Episode IV: A New Hope” added in. The real deal. So I bought it, expecting to sit through it half-paying attention while the nephew stared in open-mouthed rapture.
Surely, you see where this is going. The kid kept occupied with his coloring books and toys, while the damn movie sucked me in immediately, and Mrs. Ardwulf too. It’s really a masterpiece of adventure sci-fi, seen in its original unsodomized form. We plan to pick up The Empire Strikes Back soon and give it a whirl as well.
I was probably thus primed to see the Star Wars: The Old Republic trailer that debuted at E3, and which I watched this morning. Yes, I know that the game is still a long way off, and that the stuff in the trailer will hardly reflect the way the game actually plays. But still… it’s really pretty slick. As Alec over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun points out, the message that Bioware is sending with this trailer is not “get excited about our game that’s 3 years away yet,” so much as “we’re going to bring you new Star Wars, but done right.”
And that is tremendously encouraging.