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This Canceled Star Wars Series Might Be Making A Comeback

Here's a rumor fans weren't expecting: a long-defunct Star Wars video game series is said to be back in development. Tipster Daniel Richtman, who has a history of reliably spilling the news about Disney's plans for the Star Wars franchise, revealed on his Patreon page that Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 3 is in the early stages of production.

The news is, naturally, unconfirmed. And it's worthy of skepticism, since it's been 10 years since gamers have seen the last installment in the series. However, adding more fuel to the fire, it does look like there's another Star Wars game coming. EA has seemingly confirmed it, after a job opening surfaced for its Motive Montreal studio. The software developer job description features this line: "The team is already working on a new Star Wars action game and will also be developing original IP." However, whether or not it's a new The Force Unleashed game, which is indeed a third-person action game, is a bit more of a question.

The first Star Wars: The Force Unleashed game was released in 2008. The second came out in 2010, and a downloadable contact pack for that title released after launch was the last fans saw of the series. A third game made it to the prototype stage, but was scrapped.

As fans probably know, the entire Star Wars universe underwent a slight change of ownership not long after that. In 2012, Disney announced that it had purchased Lucasfilm, opening up new possibilities for storytelling within the Star Wars universe — and negating much of what had happened in the expanded universe that was built in the franchise's books, video games, and other media.

In fact, not long after the purchase, Disney disbanded the video game development company LucasArts, which worked on many well-received Star Wars games over the course of its lifetime. Those games included The Force Unleashed series, the X-Wing series, The Knights of the Old Republic series, the LEGO Star Wars games, the Star Wars: Battlefront games, and many more.

Disney then awarded the video game license to Electronic Arts, which has been the company responsible for Star Wars games since then. The company's stewardship of the Star Wars gaming license has been controversial and people have mixed opinions, even eight years later, about EA's contributions to the franchise. EA does allegedly have a history of cancelling Star Wars games, including an open-world project originally from Visceral Games that was said to be in development for six years before getting the ax.

It's even made a few missteps with the games it has actually released, like it did with the microtransactions in Star Wars: Battlefront 2. But it has also made attempts to correct those mistakes – titles like Star Wars: Squadrons and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order were praised by fans and critics alike.

If the new title turns out to be a Force Unleashed game, players may be sent back to the era between the first and second trilogies. The original games tell the story of Galen Marek, also known as Starkiller, an apprentice of Darth Vader's who eventually turns to the light. 

In May, people involved in the cancelled version of The Force Unleashed 3 revealed some of the plans for the game during an IGN Watch From Home Theater episode. It was planned as an open-world title in which Starkiller would team up with Darth Vader to confront a new threat. The Force Unleashed 2 ends on a cliffhanger, when Starkiller cuts off Vader's hand and captures him. Sam Witwer, who played Starkiller as well as Darth Maul in the movies, said that Vader was basically toying with Starkiller.

"And at some point, there would be a confrontation where Starkiller's fighting Vader, and everything that worked before suddenly isn't working now," Witwer revealed. "He's like, 'I cut off your hand!,' and Vader says, 'That wasn't my hand. I have no hand.'" 

Given all the details that have been leaked about the original plans for the third game, it seems increasingly unlikely that the upcoming Star Wars game is another game in The Force Unleashed series — unless EA has chosen a different path for the plot. The news that another game is already in development so quickly after the release of Star Wars: Squadrons on Oct. 2 is good news for fans of the franchise nonetheless.