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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Knights of the Old Republic’s cinematics in Unreal 5 will make you pine for when Star Wars was good

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Youtuber Unreal Cinema has a dream, and that dream is simple: to remake Knights of the Old Republic’s cinematics in Unreal Engine 5, and make them look amazing. He’s even got the nod from Lucasfilm Games that they won’t sic the lawyers on it. So sit back, relax, and imagine you’re twenty years younger and KOTOR always looked like this.

The big caveat of course is that Unreal Cinema is all about cinematics, and this project is purely about making a KOTOR mini-series out of the game’s cutscenes: it’s not a game, nor will it be. And the chances of us ever getting a proper KOTOR remaster are basically non-existent, as it’s part of ‘old’ Star Wars lore and Disney doesn’t like that. This is still a bit of a sore point with me: imagine chucking out those wonderful Timothy Zahn novels in favour of the utter garbage that was the sequels trilogy. Ahem.

Unreal Cinema’s also got several videos showcasing the process of rebuilding scenes from the game, and below you can check out how the Ancient Ruins look (spoiler: shiny).

The mini-series is intended to consist of ten episodes of various running times, and the creator also has a video discussing what happened when he reached out to Lucasfilm Games. Essentially he was told to go ahead, under certain self-explanatory conditions: no footage from the movies, no direct crowdfunding of the project, making clear it’s a fan project, and all that jazz.

One of those where we can only look, salivate, and wonder about what might have been. KOTOR has a shout as the best Star Wars game ever made, not necessarily in terms of the moment-to-moment action but in how it made that universe feel exciting and fresh again: it’s something Star Wars arguably needs more than ever. We’ll just have watch this and keep dreaming, while Lucasfilm Games continues to pump out digitally de-aged Lukes and palimpsests of past glories.

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