One of the interesting debates with respect to Star Wars: The Old Republic, or TOR as it’s supposed to be referred to, but then I have to add “blimey Mahwey Poppin’s” after it, and then I break out into the whole Chim Chimney routine, which gets a bit dull after a while, especially trying to get back down from the neighbour’s rooftop for the fourth time in a row. Anyway, one of the interesting morsels of information that Bioware has dangled tantalisingly above our heads and let us jump for with clamouring maws is the fact that TOR (blimey Mahwey etc.) is set approximately three thousand five hundred years before the original films.
I wonder if it’s not perhaps a little too far back?
I understand that they’ve done this to give themselves room to manoeuvre with respect to the Star Wars IP, but honestly, how much room do you really need? Think of the human race’s history, from today and reaching back three thousand five hundred or so years. Consider all the things that have been and gone in that time. If, for example, there are starship manufacturers from the original Star Wars films back in the time of TOR, it’s like having Mr Horus’s Olde Egyptian Pyramid Shoppe still building pyramids today; admittedly they’d look a bit different now, they’d be all futuristic and cube shaped. However, the Star Wars universe has always been a very futuristic setting, it’s a weird mix of technology, religion and tribal shamanism, and it may perhaps be a reflection of the enduring nature of a suitably advanced intergalactic society. We have no experience of this, as of yet, so perhaps such a thing is indeed possible.
It’s amazing, however, that in three thousand five hundred years no manufacturer has managed to come up with a voice synthesizer chip for an R series droid.
The Jedi and Sith I can sort of believe, however. Ok, I think that the ol’ lightsaber might have been adapted a little more in the three millennia that we’ve witnessed it, and that the Grand Master Jedi Tailor might have come up with something a little more inspiring than incontinence brown for the colour scheme of the greatest fighting order the galaxy has ever seen in the meantime, but perhaps it’s something that can be happily overlooked. One just has to look at our religions, some of which have been going for a thousand years or more, to see that they are one of those rare things that man has invented which can endure across vast spans of time.
It will certainly be interesting to see how Bioware approach this problem, to make the game feel both Star Warsy enough and at the same time alien enough that fans will not begin to wonder when exactly they’re going to get to meet Darth Vader or fly the Millennium Falcon. Although in the case of the latter, the clue is perhaps in the name.