A new YouTube video making the rounds reveals that a long-canceled Star Wars game would have been the first time that bounty hunter and fan favorite Boba Fett starred in his own game.
Long before Fett became a fixture on Disney+, the game development teams at LucasArts began work on an action video game about bounty hunters and the planet Coruscant. As Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier reported in his games-industry book Blood, Sweat, and Pixels, that project, dubbed Star Wars 1313, morphed wildly over a four-year span. 1313 started development in 2009 but was canceled after LucasArts shut down in 2013—a casualty of Disney’s acquisition of all things Lucasfilm and Star Wars.
While we’ve seen teases of Star Wars 1313 before—especially during its splashy debut at E3 2012—public footage thus far has been limited to the game’s brand-new bounty hunter heroes. This week’s video is the first to show what Boba Fett looked like as 1313‘s playable hero, a development shift mandated by George Lucas months before the E3 2012 reveal. Coincidentally, Lucas also demanded that Fett not appear in that public 2012 reveal.
Fett is finally seen taking Uncharted steps
The new video comes from The Vault, a YouTube channel that focuses almost exclusively on details and leaks surrounding the canceled Star Wars Battlefront III project. The channel’s first-ever video about Star Wars 1313 pulls primarily from the portfolio of James Zachary, who directed 1313‘s animation team and led its motion-capture department.
Since Zachary’s Boba Fett videos are marked “private” and don’t have timestamps, we can’t be certain how long they’ve been hiding in plain sight on Zachary’s portfolio site. This footage shows 1313 at the point in which its development had shifted squarely into “Star Wars does Uncharted” territory, as opposed to an earlier state that reportedly borrowed from the Gears of War franchise.
Fett is framed in a three-quarters, third-person camera perspective, and The Vault video includes two discrete sequences: an atmospheric walk through a seedy bar, where he must contend with disagreeable patrons bumping into him, and an action-filled chase chase complete with dramatic jumps, cliffside hangs, and downhill slides. While the video’s first half has a few clearly unfinished assets, the second half is all “gray boxes” and other rudimentary content.
Zachary describes the chase sequence as something “used to sell the ‘environmental interaction’ animation pillar” of Star Wars 1313. The Boba Fett we see may very well be a reskin of the game’s original brand-new bounty hunter protagonist, as the chase doesn’t include any of Fett’s signature jetpack moves—which, as Schreier reported, had evolved and become functional during development before the project was canceled. Instead, the chase looks like a Nathan Drake sequence with a Coruscant background, with floating vehicles zipping across the horizon.
Coincidentally, Star Wars 1313 began life as a “connected universe” project. That means it would join the same gritty universe that George Lucas had been putting together for a planned, adult-focused Star Wars TV series dubbed Underworld. The game project continued moving forward even as its associated TV series descended into development hell before vanishing entirely.
With The Mandalorian, the Star Wars powers-that-be have carried on what Underworld began, at least on the TV front. And the success of The Mandalorian and the Book of Boba Fett TV series means we shouldn’t be surprised if one of the mysterious, recently announced Star Wars game projects from EA and Respawn follows a Fett-like bounty hunter.