Thursday, July 22, 2010

Boba Fett Confrimed for TFU II


Just before LucasArts' Haden Blackman made the trek to Comic-Con in San Diego he took time to talk to Game Hunters about the announcement planned there for Thursday: Star Wars fan favorite Boba Fett will appear in The Force Unleashed II and be an impediment to main character Starkiller.

Coming Oct. 26 for PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, Nintendo DS and Windows PCs, The Force Unleashed II continues the story of Starkiller, Darth Vader's secret apprentice, with events that take place between the films Star Wars, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV: A New Hope.

At the beginning of the game Starkiller escapes Vader (more on The Force Unleashed II story line). "Darth Vader is hiring Boba Fett for this top-secret misson. Boba Fett realized that Starkiller has quite a head start on him having escaped from (cloning plant planet) Kamino so he goes after what Starkiller is probably after which is (love interest) Juno (Eclipse)," Blackman says. "It's easier for him to track down Juno than it is to track down Starkiller and use that to lure Starkiller back into Vader's clutches."

Blackman says LucasArts purposefully saved the Boba Fett news for Comic-Con (that includes the short cinematic clip from the game, above; plus check our print edition for an exclusive image). "Boba Fett is one of those characters that really resonates with fans," he says. "There is obviously a lot of fan favorites and it's a really, really rich universe with tons and tons of characters but Boba Fett is one of those characters that fans just keep asking for more of."

At the convention, Blackman will be demonstrating the game Thursday and signing autographs. Blackman served as project leader on The Force Unleashed and is franchise director on the sequel. "There is a project leader that is running the day-to-day operations on the game who reports to me," he says. "Then I oversee the franchise as a whole (and) overseeing multiple Star Wars projects."

A frequent writer of comics and graphic novels, Blackman wrote the story for both Force Unleashed games and is also writing a graphic novel for the new game. "There was a graphic novel for The Force Unleashed and it was very successful for Dark Horse (Comics) so they are doing another one for (the sequel)."

The Force Unleashed, he says, is considered "a new Star Wars franchise under the umbrella of the greater (intellectual property). When we did (the original), we wanted to treat it very much like a film release and get all the major licensing partners you would see with any major film. So we had a novel. We had a comic book adaptation and we had other toys as well and we are doing a lot of the same things with The Force Unleashed II. There will be a novelization (written by Sean Williams, who wrote the first one) that goes into more detail about what Juno and General Kota are going through during this time period."

For game developers, Comic-Con has a different vibe than the Electronic Entertainment Expo, he says. "What is really exciting about Comic-Con is it is a chance to interact with fans and consumers and show them the game for the first time. E3 is mostly press and retail, which is great to get the message out about what a game like The Force Unleashed is. At Comic-Con. we really have an opportunity to interact with fans and find out what they liked about the first game, get them excited about the sequel and get their thoughts on Star Wars in general."

But Blackman plans some time for himself. "I'm a huge comic book geek, in general, so I have been an attendee for 15 years now. So for me to get a chance to see other creators that I admire and see what other comic book companies and game developers are doing is really exciting, too."

(By Mike Snider)

This is some exciting news. The wait for comic con seems like eternity!

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