E3 06: LucasArts working on Darth Vader game?

<i>New York Times</i> article hints at a future Star Wars project dealing with the backstory of the series' premier villain.

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Now that George Lucas has completed his second Star Wars trilogy, everybody knows how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader. But there are still a couple of decades' worth of untold stories between the close of Episode III and the opening of A New Hope. It appears LucasArts is looking to tap into some of that with an upcoming Star Wars game, according to a profile of the developer on the New York Times Web site Web site (registration required).

"Their [LucasArts president Jim Ward and VP of product development Jim Hirschmann] excitement was palpable on a recent afternoon," the article reads, "when Mr. Ward, Mr. Hirschmann, and Haden Blackman, the project leader of a forthcoming Star Wars game, reviewed all of the company's recent projects. Mr. Blackman outlined a new storyline that delved deeper into Darth Vader's history."

The article then says Hirschmann gave an enthusiastic demo of the game, "shouting and jumping each time a storm trooper tumbled onscreen, the character barely catching his fingers on the pixel ledge."

While the movie series wrapped up with 2005's Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, it's clear that LucasArts has no intention of letting the license depart the gaming scene anytime soon. Three of the top 10 best-selling games in the US last year carried the Star Wars logo, although one of them, Lego Star Wars, was actually published by Eidos. Currently the only announced Star Wars game in development at LucasArts is Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy.

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