August 9, 2022
Enlarge / “Skydance” is the key indicator of what’s to come, since that game studio is led by former Star Wars Ragtag director Amy Hennig.

Skydance New Media / Lucasfilm Games

Lucasfilm Games’ latest announcement might sound boilerplate: Another Star Wars adventure game is coming, and it doesn’t have a release date, screen shots, or target platforms.

And yet, this Tuesday announcement is turning heads for a major reason: It brings Amy Hennig back to the Star Wars video game fold, nearly five years after her last major Star Wars project crashed and burned.

The news, announced by Hennig’s current employer, Skydance New Media, and mirrored by Lucasfilm, confirms that Hennig will lead the production of “a richly cinematic action-adventure game featuring an original story in the legendary Star Wars galaxy.”

Coincidentally, the same description applies to “Ragtag,” the code name for a Hennig-helmed Star Wars game that spent four years in development hell at EA before being summarily canceled in 2017. At the time, critics wondered whether any of the game’s production issues were due to EA shifting resources to games-as-a-service releases—an apparent focus that torpedoed Star Wars Battlefront II‘s late 2017 launch.

In the years since EA lost its exclusive deal to make Star Wars games, more stories have come out about GaaS priorities cursing other EA-affiliated studios. The most notable example was Dragon Age 4 receiving a full mid-development overhaul to remove multiplayer modes after the game publisher noticed how successful Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order turned out as a single-player, wholly offline adventure game. (In other words, what Star Wars Ragtag would’ve been.)

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Criminal families, scoundrels, and action-packed heists to come?

Hennig, who led development of the cult-classic Legacy of Kain series before directing Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 3, is now leading a game-development team at Skydance New Media. In late 2021, her team announced work on an “all-new game” set in the Marvel Entertainment universe—which arguably means the House of Mouse that controls Marvel, Star Wars, and more has been impressed enough by Hennig’s early Marvel efforts to double-dip.

As part of the Tuesday announcement flurry, Hennig offered a sly nod to the reality of returning to Star Wars game development, posting on Twitter, “Never tell me the odds.”

How much of the Ragtag project might be sourced and resurfaced as a template for Hennig’s next Star Wars game? The ashes of Ragtag were, according to a Hennig interview, transferred to an “open-world” EA Star Wars game that we’ve yet to see signs of. It’s unclear whether that included content like characters, voices, and stories or technical assets, leaving the original Ragtag script and concept available for Lucasfilm Games to reuse as it sees fit. (Either way, EA still has a few more not-yet-revealed Star Wars games in its release schedule.)

Should Skydance get the rights to reuse any Ragtag content, its new Star Wars game could revolve around life immediately after the destruction of Alderaan and follow the exploits of at least one Han Solo-like bounty hunter in “a story about criminal families, scoundrels, and action-packed heists,” as Jason Schreier previously reported for Kotaku. (That’s not the same as a canceled 2013 third-person adventure game, Star Wars 1313. That one revolved around Boba Fett and, according to a January leak, looked remarkably similar to Uncharted.)

This week’s news follows the megaton “April Fools” announcement that Lucasfilm Games and legendary Lucasarts developer Ron Gilbert had shaken hands on development of a new Monkey Island point-and-click sequel.

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