David Oxford: War. They say war never changes, but that isn't true. Wars do change, Star Wars in particular.
When it was first released in 1977, Star Wars wasn't about the lightsaber, about the Jedi and the Sith. They were a part of the picture, there is no question about that, but it felt like a much larger picture -- those who could wield the power of the Force were basically oddities. There was Darth Vader, the right-hand to the then-unknown, unseen Emperor Palpatine. There was Old Ben "Obi-Wan" Kenobi, a survivor of a war long passed whose details were unclear. And then there was Luke Skywalker, the eponymous New Hope of the galaxy who barely knew what a lightsaber was, much less how to use it.
During this time, things managed to feel more... even, somehow. While Jedi and Sith were extremely powerful, their rarity made them all but nonissues in stories told across a galaxy far, far away. More prominent, among others, were characters such as bounty hunters and smugglers, Rebel pilots and Imperial Forces. Then came the prequels...
It stands to reason that the prequels would feature more Jedi and Sith; where there were now few, there were once many, a fact which had been established previously in the original trilogy. This led to many, many new characters appearing with a mastery of lightsabers and command of the Force. As with any sort of power fantasy, this proved popular, and so we got plenty of it throughout the prequel trilogy and beyond, including games, the Clone Wars cartoons, and the spin-offs and derivatives of that. The new Star Wars, as one might expect, has become more the focal point of the franchise while the old has basically taken a backseat, if even that.
So, what does this have to do with Star Wars 1313, and why we're excited for it? It's quite simple, really -- 1313 does away with putting glorified glowsticks in our hands, and allows us to venture more into the darker, seedier underbelly of the Star Wars universe. While Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader were awe-inspiring, it was the Han Solos and, at least until he was eaten by a Sarlacc, the Boba Fetts who just emanated a sense of cool which didn't rely on any sort of supernatural powers. If they didn't, people would probably not make such a big deal over whether or not Han shot first.
Star Wars 1313 will put us behind the blaster of a bounty hunter, one whose details are being kept tight-lipped by the developers at LucasArts. And instead of the Force-powered theatrics which have become so prevalent, they have let loose the promise of getting to use "exotic" weaponry which is unique to the bounty hunters of the galaxy, in addition to human-level skills as you work to uncover a conspiracy deep beneath the shiny facade of Coruscant.
In a sense, it's sort of like opting to be the Batman of that galaxy far, far away, rather than the Superman. Well, aside from using blasters... and being a bounty hunter. But you know what we mean.
While the details remain few, including just when in 2013 we will see it (and with a name like "1313," it would be a shame if it slipped out of this year's release window), what little has been revealed are just the nuggets of information to entice us and make us hungry for more. The Star Wars universe is vast and rife with potential, and it's good to see LucasArts once again attempting to make good on it.