While there are sadly no new Star Wars space shooters in development (that we know about), that’s not for a lack of trying. In 2016, for example, the studio behind Rebel Galaxy put this video together for a pitch to EA to make exactly what we’re asking for.
Double Damage is the team responsible, and they’re headed by Travis Baldree, who co-founded Runic Games and had a big part in Torchlight’s development.
“This was back in 2016, and we pitched a modernised take on X-Wing with all the classic bits”, Baldree tells Kotaku. Their idea was to retain the idea of a campaign, but also adjust the old X-Wing formula to suit modern audiences, like adding pilot aids and control modifications to suit control pads, as well as adding the ability to save a mission’s progress at any point (constantly restarting 60-minute missions after failing at the 57-minute mark can stay in 1993, thanks).
“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.”
It took Double Damage around 2-3 weeks to put the video together, using assets “cobbled together from a variety of sources” (Rebel Galaxy players will recognise some of the UI on show here). “EA was very gracious in listening, but it never came to anything, and we moved on.”
As you can see below, it looks cool! And also has a neat idea the originals never had; at around 2:24 you can see that the player is able to jump between different ships on the same mission.
But alas, it was not to be, and all we’ve got left in 2017 is to play through Criterion’s starfighter sections in the Battlefront games and imagine.