At E3 2007, I caught up with the Dark Lord of the Sith, himself, Darth Vader. Not known for giving interviews, we were lucky to get a short candid rap with him while we both rode for almost an hour on the shuttle bus. Even more lucky for us, he became so distracted when he found out he was not on an Imperial Shuttle, but was, in fact, on his way to Barker Hanger, that he got quite distracted and we managed to get away without him using his remote vulcan death grip thingie. What are the odds?!
Geck0: Lord Vader, this year E3 has been spread across two different events - the Media Summit and "E for All" - three months apart and even just this Media Summit being chopped into so many pieces and strewn across a series of hotels across the city of Santa Monica. What do you think of this new version of E3?
Vader: (angrily) "That name no longer has any meaning for me!"
Geck0: Oh, so you don't agree with the person at ESA who chose to have E3 in Santa Monica?
Vader: "He is as clumsy as he is stupid. Now his failure is complete."
Geck0: I hear ya. I've just seen LucasArts' presentation. Star Wars: Force Unleashed looked like it's going to be awesome. What did you think?
Vader: "The Force is strong with this one."
Geck0: I'll say! But, according to the storyline, we play the part of your secret apprentice. Do you honestly expect us to believe you had a secret apprentice?!
Vader: "I find your lack of faith disturbing."
Geck0: Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan... I'm just saying... Well, the intro of the game trailer I saw features your apprentice supposedly using the force to pull an Imperial Star Destroyer down to the surface of a planet, against its will. Surely the force can't do that?
Vader: "The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force."
Geck0: I see, now, that you are right. As I understand it, Star Wars: Force Unleashed will allow you to hurl enemies through multiple walls and will have materials that react the way their real-life counterparts would when stressed, from glass shattering to metal bending and cloth ripping.
Vader: "How is that possible?"
Geck0: It's going to have Digital Molecular Matter (DMM) technology, which makes the ultra-realistic environments possible. Force Unleashed is also going to feature Natural Motions' Euphoria Engine, which embues A.I. characters with the ability to exhibit realistic reflex behaviors, such as trying to maintain balance and reaching out to grab onto items around them in their environment to steady themselves if they become unsteady. What are your thoughts on these new technologies?
Vader: "Don't be too proud of this technological terror."
Geck0: Yes, but how do you think they will affect gameplay?
Vader: "I sense something ... I've not felt since..."
Geck0: ...Shadows of the Empire? I know. Me, too... Force Unleashed is, supposedly, not just going to be another Star Wars game that follows some side story; your apprentice is, evidently, going to be part of a major story arc that adds to the Expanded Universe. That's exciting news to Star Wars fans. But there are other fans to consider as well... What about the Indiana Jones Fans? These technologies were supposed to be featured in an upcoming Indiana Jones game, but, despite the fact that LucasArts assures us that "it's coming," the game's a no-show. Star Wars: Force Unleashed is coming out in Spring 2008 and Indiana Jones, I can only assume, won't be until a while after that! What's the deal? Indiana Jones was supposed to be the first...
Vader: "I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further."
Geck0: ...uhm, fine. One last question. Do you have any insight on where E3 will be next year?
Vader: "What of the reports of the rebel fleet massing near Sollust?"
Geck0: I would think that even the ESA would have the good sense to hold it here on Earth, somewhere. Well, any suggestions on how we might try to figure that one out?
Vader: "Calculate every possible destination along their last known trajectory."
Geck0: You'd think that would help, I know... but there's a perfect city for E3 - Los Angeles. It's a city with a convention center large enough to hold the entire expo in one place. This city has a convention center with lots of hotels nearby, lots of restaurants, and possibly most important, it is a city that is very familiar with holding conventions and one that the E3 attendees are already familiar with. E3's been in this city for the past eight years!
Vader: "They must never again leave this city. Perhaps I can find new ways to motivate them."
Geck0: That would be great; I couldn't agree more... oh, this is my stop. Enjoy Barker Hanger - that's the next and last stop; I'm assuming that's where you're headed...
Vader: "Nooooooo!" (Pushing some button on his chest) "Bring my shuttle."