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Crossing the Dark Divide

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Sep
29

TFUII Graphic Novel Out!

The graphic novel tie-in to the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II hit shelves today! I wrote the script, with art by Omar Francia. Rather than a straight-forward adaptation like the graphic novel for the first Force Unleashed, this one tells a story that runs parrallel to and intersects with the events of the game. Specifically, it follows Boba Fett as he hunts for the escaped Starkiller. We chose this route because we wanted to expand on TFUII and give fans more story set within the time period between the two trilogies, and to really have the graphic novel serve as a companion piece to the game itself. From a story-telling perspective, I also really wanted to provide a different character arc for the graphic novel — Starkiller goes on his own journey in the game, but I think that Fett’s character arc is (hopefully) just as compelling. I think we also reveal a little more about Vader too, and for Star Wars fans there are some new characters and locations. 

Just be warned that although the focus is on Fett — who has a small but integral role in the game — there are some game spoilers… 

You can order it from Things from Another World.

Comments

  1. Sweet! Just ordered it. Looking forward to reading it. Finishing up the last 2 achievements for TFU. Great game! (I’ve replayed it an embarrassing amount of times) And looking forward to not only the Batman works but your own works. TFU2 as well 🙂 With the layoffs at LucasArts and more rumors that TFU3 got squashed – I’m just plain pissed. Look forward to seeing what you do with your own brand. Thanks!

  2. Hey Haden,
    Just curious, since TFU2 hasn’t come out yet, was there supposed to be a TFU3 and if so, what would have happened for in that game? I heard rumors it was cancelled after you left Lucas Arts; I hope they don’t leave the story on a cliffhanger and never resolve it, that would surely be a slap in the face to fans and poor storytelling on their part. Anyway, good luck to you in your future endeavors.

  3. Thanks for the kind words guys!

    Since I resigned from LucasArts, I haven’t kept up-to-date on the plans for the TFU franchise – I basically know what you know. Obviously, I hope that they continue with TFU3 somewhere down the line; I think it’s a great re-envisioning of Star Wars, the core fantasy is very rich, there’s still a lot more story to tell in the time period, and there are many opportunities to expand upon the core gameplay and systems even further. The reception to and success of TFU2 will likely be a big factor in determining whether or not there’s a TFU3, so go out and buy it on October 26th. 🙂

  4. Yeah definitely, TFU2, Call of Duty Black Ops, and Batman: Arkham City are the next games I’m looking forward to. Still hope they make TFU3, but not sure why others are nervous about the ending if TFU 3 isn’t made for whatever reason. Still, won’t be the same without it being written by you, or did you and your team happen to write a treatment for TFU3 before you left? Did you have any idea about where you wanted to go with the story after TFU2? Sorry, I keeping asking questions, its the fanboy in me I guess, and if you don’t feel like answering, that’s fine. Anyway, have a good day!

  5. IF worse comes to worse and they don’t make TFU3, they could solve the cliffhanger this way… As Vader is captured and is on his way to be taken to Dantooine, he never actually hears them mention that they are going to Dantooine.
    As seen in a web doc, a while back Boba Fett has been following them since the Battle of Kamino. Starkiller, Juno, Kota, and Proxy head to a rendezvous point with some of the Rebel fleet before going to Dantooine. Boba Fett arrives and attacks the Rogue Shadow, while you play as Vader, like in the first level of Star Wars Force Unleashed 1, who uses the opportunity to bust out. He attacks and kills Starkiller, Kota, Juno, and Proxy. X Wings try to kill Boba but he takes out some of them. The Imperial Fleet then arrives and helps aid Boba in the fight.
    A shuttle is sent out to retrieve Vader from the Rogue Shadow that is floating out in space badly damaged. Vader, in his shuttle, and Boba Fett in Slave 1 return to the Super Star Destroyer that has come to their aid and Vader is pissed that he still doesn’t know where the Rebel base is, as he never heard that the Rebel base was on Dantooine. He kills the leading Imperial officer with force grip, since they did not try to board one of the Rebel ships and capture some Rebels to get the information out of them and since Kota and the others were trying to kill him, he didn’t keep them alive for information. He then goes back to Coruscant and swears to never have an apprentice again.
    And the Rebels don’t know where the Death Star is because, since it is a moving station that has just been completed, it has moved into orbit of a different planet. Eventually, the rebels get their hands on the plans and Vader still tries to find the location of the base, which he never heard or knew was on Dantooine, since he did not overhear Kota talk about being taken there, and the Rebels have already moved to Yavin.
    Hopefully, Lucas Arts can do this and fix the canon. One DLC, the gamer plays as Vader, and it ends along those lines, as well as Vader actually mentioning if Starkiller is really a clone or not.

  6. The only comment I can make on all of this is that we were very respectful of the films, and therefore (in the game and comic at least), Vader never hears the word “Dantooine.” Cheers!

  7. Yeah, I believe you, I could tell, when I watched E3 on TV that you are an individual quite passionate about Star Wars and the stories you made are fantastic and respectful to the films and striving to make that in between arc just as good, if not better. I just hope Lucas Arts feels the same way and completes your story instead of leaving it unfinished. On a side note, I guess I stressed if Vader actually knew about Dantooine a little much, lol, but wasn’t sure if he knows at all in the game and was worried if this DLC idea would be able to work based on that knowledge or lack of knowledge thereof, since he seems to not know about it in Episode 4. Hopefully Lucas Arts is willing to make a DLC if they don’t make TFU3, maybe they could use this idea or something similar, but I hope they make TFU3. Cheers to you too and good luck on Batwoman!

  8. Haden,

    Just curious how this story arch is supposed to go between the novel, game, and graphic novel. What order should they go in?

    I really like the story, but feel the game does do it justice and feels incomplete when compared to the first game. It seems like the game was cut short because of the length of the narrative for it.

    Was this intentional or is there more of this story to come in DLC for the game?

    Thanks,

    Chris.

  9. Chris – you can read them in any order, since they all basically cover the same time period. The novel deals more with Kota and Juno, and the graphic novel follows Boba Fett.

    The game wasn’t cut short because of the length of the story. I don’t think that’s ever the case anywhere in the games industry… Story and game content go hand-in-hand, but story is pretty malleable and it’s usually much easier to add or expand story beats than it is to add or expand levels.

    Instead, the amount of game content (specifically the number and variety of levels, bosses, enemies, etc.) that the team could build in the time they had available really dictated the length of the story. In addition, the team was told that TFU2 would be the second game in a trilogy, so the story was meant to set up the third game, which is why it ends the way it does.

    Thanks for posting!

  10. Haden,

    Thanks for the response, I should rephrase my statement about the game being cut short. What I meant to say was, I feel the game could have been longer in terms of the encounter with Yoda, game play and enemies, such as encounters with Boba Fett. I also understand you guys deal with time lines imposed by upper management, it seems like a lot of licensed properties get the same treatment. As a big fan of the first game and the star wars universe, I wish the game was given more time; not to say what is in the game now is bad by any means, it just would have been great to have more. It definitely leaves fans wanting more which is great in terms of building up anticipation for a sequel. Hopefully LucasArts can finish the Trilogy and wrap it up the way you and the team envisioned it when you created the first. Best of luck in your new endeavors!

    Chris.

  11. Mr. Blackman,

    This may be a little late to ask (seeing as how the last comment was in November) and you may have been asked this question many times, but I still have to ask, “Is ‘Starkiller’ a clone?” Everything seems to point to it (the novel, the Distant Thunder cinematics, the graphic novel, etc), but there’s so much differing opinions, it’s hard to be sure.

    Jordan

  12. Jordan –

    I’m not sure the future of Starkiller right now. We definitely had ideas for how to continue the story, which included revealing the definitive answer to the question of whether or not he’s a clone. If it ever becomes 100% clear that there are no future plans for Starkiller, then I’ll probably share my thoughts on what could / should have been. Until then, though, I prefer to stay mute.

    But for TFU2, we always thought the more important question was “Is Starkiller *human*?” I think the answer to that is pretty clear – by the end of TFU2, he shows he still has a lot of humanity left, whether he’s a clone or not.

  13. Mr. Blackman,

    Thank you for your response. I never really expected an answer as to whether he’s a clone or not, but I just had to ask anyway. I would be glad to hear what your thoughts are on the subject if there was nothing left to follow the Force Unleashed series, but personally I hope it doesn’t come to that. Starkiller (the original and the clone, that is if the main character is a clone in TFU II) is a great character and I thought his story was brilliant. I also hope that the Dark Apprentice’s story is continued as well. Even though he was only seen in the Distant Thunder scenes and the Dark Side ending and mentioned in the novel, I found the idea of a perfect clone devoid of Starkiller’s *humanity*/emotions to be fascinating. Thank you again for the response and I hope that there are more plans for Starkiller in the future.

    Jordan

  14. Mr. Blackman,

    First off thank you for bringing us The Force Unleashed series. The depth of the storytelling still amazes me to this day and it’s something I’ve enjoyed sharing with my two boys. I’ve been looking forward to a Force Unleashed III and the answer to whether or not Starkiller is a clone (if it counts for anything my boys and I think he’s the original) since we first beat TFU II and have been keeping my eyes and ears peeled for any new info. Unfortunately at this year’s Comic-Con I had dinner with some Lucas authorized artists and a Lucas employee (I don’t want to mention names since he may not have been authorized to tell anyone) who told be TFU III had been cancelled due to poor sales. I asked about a conclusion and he said “Maybe Haden will write the comic”. I was pretty much gutted and didn’t ask further questions but the following day I went to the Prima Games booth and spoke to the author of the TFU series of user guides and he told me Lucasarts told him the same thing.

    Have you been contacted about continuing the story be it through graphic novel or any other medium? It’s hard to believe there isn’t someone at Lucasarts saying “Hey we need to finish this story for all those thirty-six year old losers with bad Marek family crest tattoos out there”. Is there any reason for hope? And if not hopefully you can share where you were planning on taking the story (provided it concludes with Starkiller not being a clone and living happily ever after with Juno somewhere of course).

    Thank you for everything you’ve done for the Star Wars universe. Hopefully you’re not done yet!

    Best,

    Paul

  15. Glad you like the TFU series. I’m very proud of it and the team that worked so hard to bring both games to shelves. Regarding TFU3, at this point, I don’t know much more than everyone else. Contrary to what you’ve heard, the TFU franchise was successful from a sales standpoint (despite a very rushed development for TFU2), and fans seemed to like the story and characters, so I’m not really sure why LucasArts has let it die. I chalk it up to regime changes at the company and interest in pursuing other genres. Hopefully LucasArts will decide to revive it one day, in which case I’d love to be involved, provided the company is committed to doing it right of course. I did outline a story for TFU3 that ties up all the loose ends, including the question of whether or not Starkiller is a clone or the real deal, Vader’s fate, and Boba Fett’s role in the Starkiller saga. Maybe someday it’ll get written. 🙂

  16. Thank you for your response Mr. Blackman. I was curious about the sales comment myself as I have seen a TFU II Platinum Edition which I assume means a certain sales number was reached. While the development did feel rushed for the second game the quality of the storytelling did not. Just like in the first game, I had to tell my boys that no I was not crying at the conclusion of the second.

    Nothing would please me more than for a third game (with your participation) to be announced. I attended the TFU II panel at Comic-Con and your enthusiasm and love of the series was plain to see. However I have a back-up plan. My ten year old son who wishes to work in the video game industry has promised he will make TFU III for me if LucasArts doesn’t come through.

    However things turn out for TFU series you will always have our support in your other endeavors. We wish you the best.

  17. Hi Mr. Blackman. I hope you never tire of commenting about the Force Unleashed but with the upcoming Star Wars Rebels the status of The Force Unleashed as canon is now coming into question among the fans. My understanding was The Force Unleashed was 100% canon as to how the Rebel Alliance formed since George Lucas approved the story. Was I wrong? It would just seem wrong and disrespectful to you, the Force Unleashed team and the fans to ignore the story of Starkiller.

    I’m hoping for the best but of course expecting the worst.

  18. I know as much about the show as the general public, so I can’t really comment on whether or not it will establish a new origin for the Rebellion or if it will try to incorporate Starkiller. When we were working on the game, we certainly treated the story as canon, but only George Lucas (and now Disney, I guess) can really decide what is and isn’t canon. Fortunately, Dave Filoni is a great story-teller, so I’m sure if they decide to go another direction, he and his crew will tell an even better origin story. And, then some comic book writer will come along and tell another story that reconciles any discrepancies. 🙂

  19. You probably thought after two years you were rid of me but no such luck. It appears TFU and Starkiller have been removed completely from Star Wars lore and I for one am saddened by this. A while ago my issue of Game Informer arrived and detailed the Darth Maul game that was never made. The part I found interesting/disturbing was this:

    The next day, Red Fly finally met with George Lucas, but not before being told how to talk to him. Our source says they were told to never say “No” to him, or to say, “Yeah, that will be easy.” They were also told not to mention Force Unleashed’s protagonist, Starkiller. If he’s referred to by George, it will be “that guy.” The most important rule, much like not feeding a Mogwai after midnight, was “Don’t tell George how the Force works.”

    I’m curious as to why that may be and if I may be so bold as to inquire if the time is right for you to fill in the blanks of what would have been TFU3.

    I appreciate your patience with us TFU fans. I hope you take it as a compliment that many of us still love the game, story and characters.

  20. I have no idea who gave them that advice or why. I had already left LucasArts by that point, so I don’t know what the climate was like.

    I did an interview that will be posted soon that talks a bit about TFU3; I’ll link to it on my site when it’s up. I don’t think there are any huge revelations (and honestly, I can’t remember all the details of my story ideas for TFU3), but hopefully it satiates some curiosity.

    I definitely take the TFU fandom as a huge compliment. I loved working on that game, creating those characters and telling that story. It’s humbling to know that the work I did on that project still resonates with people, so thanks for reaching out. 🙂

  21. Thank you for your response. I appreciate and respect the fact that you are so accessible to your fans. I imagined you wouldn’t know about the comments in the Game Informer article since you had already left but they were just so odd I had to ask.

    I look forward to the article and hopefully mine and my son’s curiosity will be satisfied. I think most important to us is whether Starkiller was a clone or not. While I have been watching “Rebels”, TFU will always be official “Paul Canon” as to the formation of the Rebel Alliance.

    Thank you again and best of luck with your future projects. You can always count on our support. Provided Starkiller wasn’t a clone of course. 😉

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