Interview with the Sith Legacy

Interview with the Sith Legacy

Tech Highlights:

  • A decade later, The Old Republic endures, having become a free-to-play game. Many of its ideas and influences can be now felt in current Star Wars projects like the High Republic transmedia initiative, itself its own tale of that “more civilized age” before the Republic fell.

  • As the MMO turns 10 this year, The Old Republic finds itself at something of a strange crossroads. Unlike many Expanded Universe products, its status as a living, ongoing online game allowed it to escape the end its fellow EU stories were confronted with when Disney and Lucasfilm announced their plans to reboot Star Wars canon, pared down to, at the time, the original and prequel movies, Clone Wars and Rebels, and a handful of new Star Wars publishing items.

The Old Republic’s connection to its spiritual successor, Bioware and Obsidian’s beloved duology Knights of the Old Republic and its sequel, The Sith Lords, has seen its legacy live on in projects like next year’s KOTOR remake, and even lingering rumors and wishes that Lucasfilm will revisit the era with new cinematic projects.

Their concerns are, naturally, more about how to keep players invested and active in shaping the story of characters they’ve been playing for the best part of a decade, in a story that lets them determine a lot of moments, big and small.

Even as the company’s relationship with the EU has re-warmed—mostly through the chance to merchandize the past with re-releases and Star Wars’ greatest love of all, new toys—The Old Republic has largely been left to its own devices, telling its own continuation of an era thousands of years before the films, one where the Sith Empire and the Republic have waxed and waned in a cycle of conflict. Which means its developers, coming into its latest expansion—Legacy of the Sith—don’t really have much of a challenge when it comes to how to keep The Old Republic and the era it represents alive.

“It’s got to be that there’s so many choices and options, right?,” Charles Boyd, one of the creative directors on The Old Republic at Bioware Austin, mused of the game’s biggest challenges at a recent press conference to discuss Legacy of the Sith and The Old Republic’s legacy itself.

“We do have the benefit of 10 years of story, and 10 years of branching options and storylines, and characters and classes having separate experiences—which is awesome, because whenever we’re like, ‘What do we want to do next?’ we have all this stuff we can look at and say, ‘It’d be cool to continue that piece,’ or ‘Here’s a new thing, how can we ground it in something players know?’”

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