BioWare creative director Charles Boyd on the bright future of the long-running MMORPG.
Like a parent who can’t believe how much their child has grown, even Charles Boyd seems surprised that Star Wars: The Old Republic is turning 10. Creative director of the MMPORG, he’s been with developer BioWare for 15 years and worked on the game throughout its lifespan. “It’s incredible,” he tells StarWars.com. “I’ll compare it to TV sometimes. How many TV shows get to have 10 seasons? That’s very rare and special.”
It’s so special that BioWare and Lucasfilm Games are celebrating. To mark the milestone, a new expansion dubbed Legacy of the Sith arrives today, and with it a stunning trailer that’s more like a short animated film.
“Now we’re at our 10th anniversary as a live project, and we saw that as a really cool opportunity to pay homage,” Boyd says. “To see what these kinds of storytelling pieces would be like nowadays, see what we could do to celebrate that anniversary and engage people with The Old Republic again, and show them what we’re still up to and why we’re so proud of it.”
The trailer -- which you can watch below -- finds Jedi Master Orr and his Padawan, Sa’har, discovering a mysterious machine, before Darth Malgus quickly confronts the duo. The events depicted have a direct impact on the story in Legacy of the Sith.
“In the story of the game up to this point, Darth Malgus has returned to center stage in the last few years. He’s been revealed to have a separate plan of his own, independently from the rest of the Sith Empire. Certainly at odds with the Jedi, as he’s always been,” Boyd says with a laugh. “He’s kind of in pursuit of that plan. The players have been slowly unraveling that mystery in learning what it is he’s up to, and this trailer shows a big part of that, a big element in it, and sets up where it’s going to go in the future. Not just in the expansion itself, but beyond that, in the updates to come.”
But at the heart of the cinematic is Sa’har, who takes hold of a holocron and flashes back to the moment her master chose her for training -- and left her brother behind. It’s something that clearly haunts her, and conflict arises when she learns there may be more to the story.
“That hanging element from her past is brought back to light, and this thought of how things might have been different if she hadn’t become a Jedi or if her brother had been given the same opportunity she was -- those are suddenly in the foreground of her mind, and she’s sort of questioning everything about her life as a result of it,” Boyd says. “That’s going to be a driving force for her as the story goes on and we learn more about what happened.”
There’s also the question of the device that housed the holocron. While it appears to be destroyed, its role in the tale is far from over.
“What that machine does and knowledge of how it works is very central to the story going forward,” Boyd says. “We see in the trailer, she takes out that holocron that might have some designs or plans or explanations of its purpose. So that’s going to be a key element and something that everyone’s vying for as we go forward.”
For as much as it points to the future, the trailer also represents the game as whole. There are multiple points of view, forces of good and evil, and tough choices. All of the things found within SWTOR. In SWTOR, the player is free to be a Jedi, Sith, smuggler, bounty hunter -- whatever they’d like to be in the galaxy far, far away.
“We wanted to not only tell some of the backstory of the game, but also show what kind of game it is. It’s a game about characters,” Boyd says. “It’s a game about making moral decisions and facing difficult odds.”
Visit SWTOR.com today and begin your own Star Wars legacy in Star Wars: The Old Republic - Legacy of the Sith.