Unforced: The Old Republic Timeline Trailer

A Hutt, because it's better than the guy from the video.

Thanks to Bioware’s original brilliant idea to set Knights Of The Old Republic safely 4,000 years before the Lucas films, the forthcoming MMO, The Old Republic, can distance itself from the events of KotOR and KotOR II, without having to worry about nibbling at the heels of the movie story. But it still gets confusing, so Bioware have put out a video explaining the timeline of events that led from the KotOR games to the events at the beginning of SW:TOR. Or at least we think Bioware have. It’s made with unanimated artwork, which makes it all look like the illustration from a Bible story you were shown in primary school. Ignore the pictures, and focus on the voice over.

Hosted by Master Nos’tril (I think that’s what he said), he rather awkwardly statically sits on screen for slightly too long, not even offering the chin movement from Moorkus Rex that made Lost Eden’s animation the best of any game ever. He explains to us that things begin three hundred years after the death of Darth Malek, and then talks through the events between the Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic, their brutal wars, and the eventual retreat of the Jedi.

It’s smart. Stalemate in the galaxy, split down the middle, sets up things nicely for an MMO. And setting the events 300 years after anything in the KotOR games means new players won’t be alienated, but there will be a detailed history in place for those who want to link it all together. It’s a bit of a shame a little bit more effort wasn’t put into the video, especially when there were glimpses of in-game footage in last month’s release. It’s important to note that the video isn’t mentioned on the official site at the time of writing. Still, SWTOR! Properly excited.

42 Comments

  1. Pidesco says:

    Hopefully, this will have characters as interesting and well-developed as Carth, Bastila and MAlak.

  2. Heliocentric says:

    Somehow putting the game before luke ‘douchbag’ skywalker saves the galaxy from his old man and an old man. Puts me off. Its like no matter what you do, a one handed untrained pratt will be the saviour of the universe, have fun grinding the level 400.

  3. Paradukes says:

    “Hopefully, this will have characters as interesting and well-developed as Carth, Bastila and MAlak.”

    Unlikely. MMOs rarely have interesting characters, in my experience.

  4. Amqz says:

    Is KOTOR 2 not part of the official story?

  5. Bizz says:

    I’m just curious what the official version of history will be, since the game has multiple endings…

  6. Steve says:

    Actually this video is on the SWTOR Website, and in a context that makes much more sense than this video version:

    link to swtor.com

    On that page you can drag about a scrollbar to go through different events in the timeline, presumably they have the intention of making “narrated entries” for other times in the timeline too.

  7. TwistyMcNoggins says:

    This game is sounding better and better with everything I read about. But that’s mainly because it sounds absolutely nothing like an MMORPG.

    Which is making me wonder why it’s an MMORPG…

  8. drewski says:

    It’s an MMO for, like, subscription fees and junk.

  9. Schadenfreude says:

    Where do I know that guy’s voice from? Sounds familiar.

    I’ll be watching this with interest, but shall miss Canderous Ordo. Unless Mandalore put himself on ice for 300 years and the Mandalorians thaw him out after they got their arse kicked by smugglers. Tenuous, but I can dream.

  10. Derek K. says:

    Helio: The SW universe is constant cycles. Even when Luke saves the galaxy, it’s gonna get screwed over again, and saved by someone else.

  11. Kaltano says:

    Schadenfreude says:

    “Where do I know that guy’s voice from? Sounds familiar.”

    Sounds like Lance Henrikson

  12. Pantsman says:

    One thing that bothers me about the Star Wars canon is that because they have to keep setting up seemingly indestructible villains at every stage in galactic history to preserve the basic dramatic arc that all stories within the universe follow, it to invalidate what Yoda said about neither side being stronger. I’ve wound up with the feeling that every time a Sith Lord sneezes, the Republic loses a dozen planets.

  13. pilouuuu says:

    It makes the game sound like it’s going to be good, but no, this is not KOTOR 3… This is an MMO! The dark side of Lucasarts clouded Bioware’s vision…

  14. Zanthox says:

    O man, looks good! Caaaan’t wait.

  15. Psychopomp says:

    I miss Lost Eden…
    I tried to get it up and running on Dosbox, to no avail.

  16. fantomas says:

    You’ll find the news article on their site about it here – link to swtor.com

    And yes, it’s “…narrated by actor Lance Henriksen”

  17. Lukasz says:

    @Pantsman

    from what i understand (not an expert) is that although neither side is stronger, dark side is easier.
    While it takes hard work, years of commitment, discipline to become a powerful Jedi
    losing oneself to the darkside makes one powerful practically overnight.

  18. Klaus says:

    The Sith – Spend their time level grinding. They don’t care about connotations to *genocide when they exterminate some camp of AlwaysChaoticEvil creatures.

    The Jedi- Can’t (or rather won’t) massacre. They get their xp slowly, doing fetch quest and escort missions, sometimes there will be a few battles. If they’re lucky they may find a bunch of robots to kill, with or without connotations to genocide.

    That’s the way I’ve always interpreted Sith and Jedi power disparity.

    *Using genocide in the loosest sense.

  19. Chiablo says:

    It could be interesting. I’d love to see it succeed, but only if they break the mold set by WoW. If they follow the same formula, but Sith instead of horde, and Jedi instead of alliance… then I lose all faith in MMO’s.

  20. Helm says:

    It’s kinda depressing to think that humanity in this galaxy far, far away is pretty much doing the same things over and over for the last 32,000 years. Lightsabers invented, evolution ends.

  21. Azradesh says:

    I wish this wasn’t an mmo :'(

  22. Bobsy says:

    Agreed. I can’t help but feel this is two steps back for both MMOs as a genre and the Old Republic games as a series.

  23. Thirith says:

    I’m reserving judgement till we know more about the game. Potentially this could be a step forward for MMOs, and I think that their decision to have the game set in the Old Republic makes much more sense than the continuity-breaking Star Wars Online. It could also backfire, obviously… but since I’m not all that invested in MMOs I don’t feel too emotionally involved. If it works out well, all the better; if it doesn’t, well, we’ll survive.

  24. Grimrita says:

    well i think this video sums up the game – terrible. Cartoon video for a cartoon MMO. *yawns*

  25. Theoban says:

    I’m loving the extrapolation at work in this thread

    Video showing the history and setup of the game universe

    therefore

    THIS GAME IS TERRIBLE, I CAN’T BELIEVE HOW RUBBISH IT IS

    Bravo! That’s a deductive leap that would even dumbfound Holmes himself!

  26. Thirith says:

    Theoban, you’re obviously an MMO/Bioware/Star Wars/Lance Henriksen apologist and an Old Republic fanboy. Therefore your sarcasm will be dismissed as the howlings of an imbecile wearing a Mandalorian armour made of goose droppings, string and Skittles.

    Or, in other words, I fully agree.

  27. you shameless bastards says:

    I haven’t watched the trailer yet. In fact, it’s currently hidden by Flashblock. But based on the size, shape and orientation of the blank frame in front of me, this is the most appallingly wasteful, opportunistic, money-grubbing, disrespectful, and flat-out lazy piece of shit that has ever soiled the name of a respected franchise since [Fallout 3 | Oblivion | Invisible War | Keen Dreams].

  28. coco says:

    i think he said master nostoral

  29. skalpadda says:

    Amqz: Is KOTOR 2 not part of the official story?

    Considering almost all of the story in KotOR2 was centered around The Exile and there was no big galaxy spanning war, but rather small skirmishes limited to a planet or two, there should be no problem incorporating some it in the story here as well. I’m really curious if they will be following up on what happened to Revan after KotOR or if his/her story will be kept in the dark. Yeah, I’m still hoping for a KotOR 3 RPG some day :)

    What struck me when seeing this is that they’re setting the world up to be in a state of conflict much like WoW. The game world is at a tenuous cease fire, and I wonder if they will have a similar conflict situation as you play the game as well or if it will escalate into war again at some point.

    John already pointed out the great cleverness of moving the story back thousands of years before the films, but I think both Bioware and Obsidian made another very clever move in removing some of the absoluteness of the dark/light sides in both games. It’s made very clear that your average man (or alien of course) doesn’t really see the big difference between the Jedi and the Sith; to them it’s more like watching two religious groups fighting each other. Most Sith were fallen Jedi, after all. They drove that home even more by making a the Jedi not paragons of light but full of flaws and capable of some great injustices and while the Sith were ruthless and often a bit crazy you could almost see their point at times. Add in some more complex in-between characters from both games, like Jolee Bindo and Kreia and you’ve got a lot of philosophical grey area to work with.

    When moving into an MMO it’s easy to again draw the parallel to WoW where it’s more about choosing a side and philosophy than choosing between absolute good and evil. Considering there’s much more room for story depth in this game, I hope they handle it well and make something grand and interesting out of it :)

  30. Kompi says:

    @Derek K.:
    Didn’t Jolee Bindo in fact remark on that in the first KotOR? I distinctly remember him pointing out (to Carth, no less) that those in the present always think their struggle is the most monumental and important, and that the outcome will only last so long before the Universe normalizes it in time for new struggles?

    Carth being Carth, of course, strongly disagreed.

  31. TooNu says:

    I want this game.

  32. Wouldzey says:

    A Star Wars MMO is always going to cause a lot of controversy no matter what direction it goes in and whilst there are some things im disappointed about, there are others that im really excited to here more about.

    The setting is great in my eyes. Its in the old republic era so gives incredible backstory and story possibilities whilst still being relevant to star wars. SWTOR WILL be cannon and wont be messing with continuity like galaxies did with almost every update and feature.

    Im still not happy about the visual style. Whilst ill admit seeing it in action does look great, im a fan of realism over stylized everytime. Star Wars to me is supposed to be realistic visuals to a degree. I dont like WoW’s visual style, tolerate WAR’s and whilst TOR looks alot more sharp and fluent, it still makes me care less about the setting as more ‘cartoony’.

    The biggest things im looking forward to hearing about are squad gameplay (companions and how they work in groups), PvP (massive opportunities here so please not just scenarios) and the players personal light/dark/republic/sith/good/bad mechanics. This game has a lot of potential and i cant wait to hear more about it.

  33. PC Monster says:

    @You shameless bastards: Oh, you can’t have seen the Clone Wars film yet then. Quite how Lucas can have so much money and hire people with so little talent is utterly beyond me. I swear it’s like he’s actively TRYING to kill his own baby.

  34. PC Monster says:

    Incidentally, the Dark Horse comics series that kicked off the whole KOTOR thing was bloody brilliant. Being given the latitude to side-step the revered continuity like that was an opportunity they grabbed with both hands.

  35. Pantsman says:

    I suppose the dark side is easier, but the Jedi still seem spectacularly inept. In the original timeline, two Sith Lords all but wipe out the entire Jedi order. Ok, so one of them was very clever and the other was the most powerful Force-user ever, so it’s still plausible.

    Three thousand years previously, two Jedi fall to the Dark Side and bring the Republic to its knees. Well, ok, the Republic had been recovering from a big war with the Mandalorians, so that’s not too bad.

    But then (in one version anyway) the Jedi, having defeated the new Sith empire, are immediately wiped out by them. Because apparently three new Sith Lords, working almost alone, without the help of an empire, ran around the galaxy killing Jedi left and right, entirely unopposed.

    Sure, maybe it’s faster to be on the Dark Side, but one would think at least many of these Jedi were experienced and capable. The Republic had to have been keeping them around for some reason.

  36. DMJ says:

    They might’ve been keeping them around as some sort of early-warning system.

    Are your Jedi extinct? Then you may have a Sith problem.

  37. Mad Doc MacRae says:

    The trailer reminds me of the old TIE fighter/X-wing cutscenes (just higher resolution and a lot less interesting)

  38. Pantsman says:

    Oh, and of course now, three hundred years later, the republic gets its collective ass handed to it again, despite a revived Jedi order.

  39. Pantsman says:

    By the Sith, that is. Cursed lack of an edit function.

  40. DildoBaggins says:

    Great. Now it will truly be a decade before KOTOR 3 comes out. If SWTOR is successful, Bioware will want to maintain it and continually add content, and if it fails they’ll be sick of the universe and take a break. All for another one of these games that charges you cash every month….

  41. Rath says:

    According to Wookiepedia, the ‘canon’ version of the story for KOTOR was that Revan was male and chose the light side before disappearing off into the unknown, and the ‘canon’ story for KOTOR 2 was that the Jedi Exile was female, and after the light side ending at Malachor V, she returned to Dantooine to complete her training as a Jedi, then she ventured in the Unknown Regions in search of the Jedi Knight Revan, and was never seen again, leaving her apprentices behind to resurrect the fallen Jedi Order.

  42. AidenJerrod says:

    So, there IS still a chance fo KotOR 3! Revan alone went to Unknown Region, then The Exile came along. If Revan was male and the Exile was female, then they were having a good time in the Unknown. Yaaay! KotOR 3, “The Tales of Revan’s Offspring”, LoL!