A new batch of concept art from the canceled Star Wars Battlefront IV video game reveals dark side versions of Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Shortly after acquiring Lucasfilm in 2012, The Walt Disney Company shuttered beloved game developer LucasArts and established a multi-year, multi-title licensing agreement with Electronic Arts (EA) to produce a new generation of Star Wars games, beginning with a reboot of Star Wars Battlefront in 2015.
Until then, Star Wars fans had been clamoring for Star Wars Battlefront III, which was officially canceled in 2008. It was first reported in 2006 that TimeSplitters developers Free Radical Design were developing a sequel to Pandemic Studios’ Star Wars Battlefront II. However, the project was canned two years later when Free Radical stated that they had suddenly lost the rights to develop the game despite spending years working on it. Unfortunately for fans, Free Radical co-founder Steve Ellis later said that Battlefront III was pretty much completed when the game was canceled (via GamesIndustry). Then, shortly thereafter, it was revealed that the studio was actually in the early stages of developing Star Wars Battlefront IV as well, which was canceled along with Battlefront III. And now, fans can finally see what that fourth installment would’ve looked like.
An enormous selection of Star Wars Battlefront IV concept art has leaked online courtesy of Imgur user LukeLandwalker. The art showcases dark side versions of Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Mace Windu, as well as light side versions of Maul, Count Dooku, Asajj Ventress, and more, including an intriguing Emperor Vader variant of Anakin Skywalker. There’s even an Evil Chewbacca that looks… interesting. Check it out:
This isn’t the first time that concept art for Battlefront IV has leaked, but it is the first time that fans have gotten a real look at what the game could’ve been like if it actually got made. In 2009, Unseen64 got their hands on a dozen pieces of concept art that showcased Battlefront IV‘s settings and locations, whereas the new concept art showcases the game’s potential character designs. Of the newly leaked images, the only concept art that has been previously revealed is the dark side Obi-Wan. What’s interesting is that all the light side users are depicted here as dark side users, while all the traditional dark siders are now shown as Jedi. It’s an intriguing concept that could’ve played into Free Radical’s plans, but it’s something that fans, unfortunately, may not see in the future.
EA DICE’s rebooted Battlefront game was an enormous commercial success for the studio (despite a lack of content), hence the reason they poured so much effort into getting Star Wars Battlefront II on store shelves last year to coincide with the release of Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi. But it didn’t turn out as expected. Battlefront II suffered considerable backlash for its overuse of microtransactions as well as its flawed progression system. And there hasn’t been any word on if there will be a Battlefront III down the line, but it stands to reason that EA will try to release another Battlefront installment alongside J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode IX to close out Lucasfilm’s Star Wars sequel trilogy in 2019.