I just had a hands-on demo with the hugely anticipated massively multiplayer role-playing game Star Wars: The Old Republic, but after an hour of watching self-described sizzle reels of prerendered and in-game footage of casually pirouetting Jedi and environments so full of foxfire and crepitating tails of energy, I couldn’t actually make myself actually play the game. This isn’t the Star Wars I love. This is a cartoon fantasy of a world that once felt lived in, ancient and crumbling, but is presented now-three-thousand years before the events of the Star Wars movies—as mawkishly digestible neoteny.
Which isn’t to say SW:TOR is going to be a bad game or that its story will be bad. (And Lord does Bioware think players of massively multiplayer games care about story; they’ve bet what is rumoured to be hundreds of millions of dollars on it.) It’s simply clear that the world that Bioware has created (or reinterpreted), the world in which they expect players to spend hundreds or thousands of hours within, is so unlike the Star Wars that excites me that I can’t bear the thought of spending all that time living inside that universe.