2016 was a memorable year for Star Wars thanks to the release of Rogue One, but the world of gaming could've commemorated the space opera in a special way thanks to ambitious plans for a shooter game that was cancelled.
That galaxy far, far away is littered with cancelled games like Star Wars 1313 and Knights of the Old Republic III, but the team behind Rebel Galaxy wanted to bring a fully-functioning space shooter to consoles. Star Wars Battlefront II may have had its problems, but it showed just what a modern battle game in space could look like. Behind the controls of an X-Wing or the Millenium Falcon, players got to go further than they had before, but there was one problem - there just wasn't enough sprawling shoot-outs in the depths of space.
However, back in 2016 a pitch was put together by the Double Damage team to persuade EA Games to take a chance on a solely space standalone. It sadly never came to be, and speaking to Kotaku, developer Travis Baldree revealed what could've been.
“This was back in 2016, and we pitched a modernized take on X-Wing with all the classic bits. It was a long-shot, and we had near-nil hopes that it would be seriously considered, but we probably did it to please ourselves rather than out of any hope that it would get greenlit.”
He also revealed that the game would adjust the old X-Wing flight simulator series to add some handy pilot aids and modifications for controller pads. Also, Baldree intended to include the ability to save your progress as a lifesaver to gamers who would've had to start each mission again after being blasted to pieces in deep space. Also, if you jump to the 2:24 mark, you can see the ingenious idea to allow players to jump between ships mid-mission. If you get bored of zooming around in the Falcon, hop into a much nippier X-Wing.
It apparently took the team 2-3 weeks to put the video together as an attempt to show EA Games what they could do. Eagle-eyed gamers may notice that the video is cobbled together from various sources, and might spot some of the Rebel Galaxy UI. It had all the arcade-style thrill of the Rogue Squadron series, but with some much-needed improvements. Technically, the pitch could be looked at again thanks to the recent hype surrounding the project, but there are so many abandoned Star Wars games out there, it is pretty low on the pecking order when compared to projects like 1313.
While Star Wars Battlefront II mixed both ground and space battle, the canned game shows what could be done with an officially licensed Star Wars space game. The closure of Visceral has scuppered Lucasverse shooters for the moment, but with the movies expanding into various spin-offs and anthology films, time is definitely on EA's side. Poe Dameron may have been told you can't solve all your problems by hopping in an X-Wing and blowing stuff up, but we aren't so convinced!