Nerd Rant: The Super-Awesome Wii Star Wars Video Game That Could Have Been
Since Disney bought Lucasfilm back in 2012, tidbits about unfinished Lucasfilm projects--particularly video games--have been slowly coming to the surface. Earlier this week, a bitter bit of news arrived for those of us who are both Star Wars fans and avid Nintendo Wii owners: Somewhere out there, there's a complete first-person Star Wars video game that allows players to use Wii Motion Plus controls to pilot Star Wars vehicles (such as X-Wings and Speeder bikes) and engage in lightsaber duels, but this game will probably never see the light of day. Oh, the pain, the pain ....
Wii had a good selection of Star Wars games, such as the Force Unleashed titles and the Lego Star Wars series, but a first-person Motion Plus game set in the Star Wars universe would have been the absolute best. Read on for more details about this chapter of Star Wars video gaming that will never be.
I've been reading news about the unreleased Wii Star Wars game on IGN, which broke the story a few days ago. The game was supposed to be called Star Wars Rogue Squadron: Rogue Leaders, and it was being developed for Lucasfilm by a gaming studio named Factor 5.
According to IGN, "Star Wars Rogue Squadron: Rogue Leaders was revealed as one of several cancelled projects by former Factor 5 president Julian Eggebrecht. The Wii game was a compilation that featured modified versions of Star Wars Rogue Squadron: Rogue Leader and Star Wars Rogue Squadron: Rebel Strike, along with additional content. ... Rogue Leaders featured a new graphics engine running at 60 frames-per-second and supported multiple control schemes (including optional support for the Wii Wheel to drive an X-Wing or Speeder bike with the Balance Board pedals used to control speed). Factor 5 also created a lightsaber dueling game using 1:1 control via Nintendo's Wii Motion Plus peripheral."
In IGN's interview with Eggebrecht, he said that the Wii game was largely finished, so finished that footage of the game in action has been found and posted on IGN. Unfortunately, a variety of financial issues kept it from seeing the light of day, and whether Rogue Leaders--or some other Star Wars game like it--will appear on the Wii U remains uncertain.
Financial issues aside, I just don't understand why Rogue Leaders was never released. The outstanding Red Steel 2 game proved that a Motion Plus-enhanced Star Wars game could work, so why Lucasfilm didn't push this ahead at all leaves me baffled. At the very least, they could have released ports of Atari's vector graphic-based Star Wars arcade games from the '80s with a Wiimote control scheme that would match the games' H-shaped yoke controls. They also could have ported Sega's Star Wars Trilogy Arcade game to the Wii, particularly since that game had first-person lightsaber duels that looked similar to Rogue Leaders.
Fighting AT-ATs, vector style: Atari's Empire Strikes Back arcade game.
With any luck, interest in the Star Wars franchise will gain enough momentum through the Rebels TV show and the highly anticipated Episode VII movie that the Wii U will get a Star Wars game that utilizes both the motion controls and the game pad. May the Force be with Wii U!