George Lucas & Haden Blackman

Guru/developer

As directors are to film, Blackman is to “The Force Unleashed,” spearheading LucasArts’ much-anticipated, long-delayed new game — the biggest title of the year on the company’s relatively small slate.

“The Force Unleashed” bridges a key gap in geek history: the passage between “Revenge of the Sith” and the original “Star Wars.”

In an inspired bit of role-reversal, gamers will play Darth Vader’s apprentice, hunting down the last Jedi. “George (Lucas) gave us an hourlong history lesson and let us go away and write a story, encouraging us to create original characters that filled familiar archetypes and giving us feedback as to how Darth Vader would act as a master,” Blackman explains.

“The Force Unleashed” also introduces two behavioral simulation programs, NaturalMotion’s Euphoria and Pixelux’s Digital Molecular Matter, which imbue the characters with central nervous systems and add complex new variables to gameplay.

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