Retro Gamer

THE MAKING OF: STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC

It is 4,000 years before the rise of the Empire, the birth of Luke Skywalker and the Rebel Alliance. Yet the Republic, a democratic mass of aligned systems and worlds, is on familiarly shaky ground as the forces of the Sith Lord Darth Malak plague the galaxy. Eager to assume despotic control of the many systems, Malak is waging war against the Republic and its guardians, the Jedi. Knights Of The Old Republic opens as his forces ambush the Republic space cruiser the Endar Spire, forcing the player, in a scene familiar to the beginning of Star Wars: A New Hope, to take flight via an escape pod, along with war hero and top pilot Carth Onasi. Beneath the stricken Endar Spire sits Taris, and it is here that the adventure, spanning several worlds, encompassing multiple missions and numerous colourful characters, begins with a search for a Jedi named Bastila Shan. Across some of the realms we already know and love, and employing a very Star Wars theme of dark versus light, this backdrop to Knights may appear conventional on first examination; yet underneath the patina is an RPG that expands the lore of the Star Wars universe while presenting a superb gaming experience that enraptured both fans and those new to George Lucas’ legendary saga.

“HE REACHED OUT TO US TO SEE IF WE WOULD BE INTERESTED IN DOING A STAR WARS RPG, AND IT WAS A TRUE COLD CALL – WE’D NEVER MET OR EVEN SPOKEN TO HIM BEFORE”
GREG ZESCHUK

Long before Disney began to create its variably successful Star Wars spin-offs, videogames were spinning a whole world of sci-fi built around that galaxy far, far away. “We received a cold call from Simon Jeffrey, then director of development at LucasArts,” remembers Greg Zeschuk, BioWare cofounder and executive producer on Knights Of The Old Republic. “He reached out to us to see if we would be interested in doing a Star Wars RPG, and it was a true cold call – we’d never met or even spoken to him before.” BioWare was just beginning to wrap on Neverwinter Nights, an ambitious role-playing game that encompassed a brave new engine

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