Roundup: Parsing some of the Episode VII rumors

Ben SkywalkerSpeculation. I generally stay away from this sort of thing, but Mike Cooper’s piece on JJ Abrams, Jesse Plemons, and the best-case scenario is a good read based on some of the things we’ve heard. (I still hope that Plemons isn’t in the mix for a Skywalker, though.)

Gaming. Looks like 1313 – or at least the title – is officially dead, as the trademark has been abandoned.

Ancient history. Was Tupac Shakur supposed to read for Mace Windu role?

Roundup: No New Mexico for Episode VII; 1313 might still rise from the ashes of LucasArts

Las CrucesReport. The Albuquerque Journal’s ReelNM blog says the the reports of Episode VII filming in Mexico are false. “New Mexico was never on the list for the film,” their source says. The New Mexico rumor started by a local film blog, with Latino Review narrowing the location down to Las Cruces.

Gaming. IGN unleashed a bunch of stuff on 1313, the video game that may or may not have been canceled in the post-Disney shakeup. A source tells TFN to lean heavily on the ‘may not.’

Alumni. “I intend to pursue the role of Chewbacca for Episode VII,” Peter Mayhew says in relation to the Wookiee casting.

Hints This isn’t the first we’ve heard about October being the month that Lucasfilm will finally start announcing things, but, y’know, pencil it in. Meanwhile, Bob Iger is hinting that Disney could create specialized content for “new platforms.” Sound familiar?

Roundup: LucasArts closed: Tributes & Inquiries

lucasarts-logo-grim-fandango_250x250With the official word that Lucasfilm’s video game division, LucasArts, was being effectively shut down this week, there’s been a lot of reminiscing of the great titles that LucasArts had developed and some investigation for why the closing happened, and the search for a silver lining.

With the company’s re-alignment to solely focus on licensing Lucasfilm’s intellectual property to outside game developers, in-house game development has been shut down, finally cancelling Star Wars: 1313 and First Assault games. (See our guest column from Paul Ens suggesting that Dark Horse could turn these game projects into graphic novels.) I’ve rounded up some of the views on the closure, with a look at LucasArts’ recent history, and some tributes to the game company that started in 1982 and the people who worked there, as well as my own nostalgic look at some of the games that were part of my life.

Continue reading “Roundup: LucasArts closed: Tributes & Inquiries”

Could Dark Horse rescue 1313 and First Assault?

1313

Wednesday, it was announced that Disney is closing down LucasArts, the video game division of Lucasfilm. This news did not come as a surprise to me, nor likely to many who follow the storied company closely. In the process, an estimated 150 employees have been laid off, including friends and former colleagues of mine. To they who worked very hard everyday to bring interactive Star Wars entertainment to the fans, we wish the best of luck.

1stassaultLike every aspect of Star Wars fandom, the pros and cons of this move will be hotly discussed and contested among fans, and perhaps I will join you when the wound has healed somewhat.

Meanwhile, for those who lament that they will never see cancelled LucasArts projects Star Wars: 1313 and Star Wars: First Assault, might I suggest that you may one day have a rescuer in Dark Horse Comics?

Continue reading “Could Dark Horse rescue 1313 and First Assault?”

LucasArts laying off staff as LFL moves to ‘licensing model’ for video games; report says ILM also affected

LucasArtsKotaku reported and GameInformer confirmed with Lucasfilm that the company is in the process of shutting down LucasArts. Kotaku says that 150 have been laid off and both Star Wars: First Assault and Star Wars 1313 have been canceled. Variety is reporting that the layoffs are spilling over to Industrial Light & Magic as well.

Here’s part of the official statement:

“After evaluating our position in the games market, we’ve decided to shift LucasArts from an internal development to a licensing model, minimizing the company’s risk while achieving a broader portfolio of quality Star Wars games. As a result of this change, we’ve had layoffs across the organization. We are incredibly appreciative and proud of the talented teams who have been developing our new titles.”

This has expected for a while, and there was plenty of speculation that LucasArts was headed for the bin even before Disney was in the picture.

Ron Gilbert, creator and co-creater of several of the company’s most iconic games, says goodbye to Lucasfilm Games.