WCHB…VIDEO GAMES | Star Wars: Rogue Leaders

WCHB…VIDEO GAMES | Star Wars: Rogue Leaders

Back in August 2012 I started a series of articles entitled, “What Could Have Been…”, which detailed the way some of our favourite films could have played out if different decisions had been made during the production process. Now I’m turning my attention to video games that will never see the light of day.

I was one of the few who purchased a Nintendo Gamecube on day one of its release here in the UK. There was one game that as a Star Wars fan I had to own, Star Wars: Rogue Leader – Rogue Squadron II. Set in the time-frame of the original trilogy, the game had you piloting various spacecraft across the galaxy in ten missions against the galactic empire.

The game was oozing atmosphere with rich detailed graphics, John William’s classic score and various gaming levels all based around vital moments from the original Star Wars trilogy.

Rogue Squadron II was a sequel to the original game which first appeared on the Nintendo64 and later on a third game was produced entitled Rogue Squadron III – Rebel Strike.

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Rebel Strike featured more space battles and new sections where you could leave the vehicle and face the enemy on foot although these sections did feel rather clumsy. As with previous games there was added bonus content with extra ships and missions. Rebel Strike included all but one of the levels from Rogue Leader but this time you could play them as split-screen co-op!

After the completion of Rebel Strike, the games creators, Factor 5, started work on a version for the original Xbox which would contain all three games but with enhanced higher resolution graphics and game play tweaks. Unfortunately this was cancelled by their publishers LucasArts after they had a change of management in 2003 despite the game being fifty percent complete!

Nintendo meanwhile went on to release their Wii console. Factor 5 once again put into production a Rogue Squadron game comprising of all three titles in the series. Using the assets from the cancelled Xbox release they created an even better version running at 60fps with an improved 3D engine. According to the head of Factor 5 this was the most technically impressive game the Wii would ever see.

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The game levels were tweaked to make full use of the Wii hardware. You could use the Wii steering wheel to fly your space craft with the Wii balance board acting as control pedals. Lightsaber battles would have accurate control thanks to the Wii Motion Plus sensor.

Unfortunately due to a financial crisis in 2008, Factor 5’s publishers backed out and the company went into liquidation. The rights reverted back to LucasArts who are now part of Disney.

But what makes this tale really hurt for me?

Star Wars Rogue Leaders was 100% finished and now it lurks somewhere in the vaults of LucasArts never to be seen.

Check out this game play trailer that was released to coincide with this story.


John Abbitt

About the author | John Abbitt

@UKFilmNerd | John loves film, and he used to write for his own website, The Tydirium Hangar Bay, in the late 1990s. Whilst that website became lost in the passages of time, John's love of film did not. He's back, writing for The Unheard Nerd.

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