Star Wars: The Old Republic is 10 this year, and as part of the birthday celebrations BioWare have decided to do something I can’t remember ever seeing before; they’re re-releasing the game’s old trailers in an elegant resolution for a less civilized age.
The first one to be given the 4K treatment is Deceived, which was first shown off in June 2009, long before the game’s actual release, and at the time had a lot of people saying “holy shit this looks amazing”.
The trailer was made by Blur Studio, who are still around and doing amazing video game-related stuff, but who in 2009 were at the very forefront of taking the humble video game trailer and turning it into the expensive, cinematic masterpieces/monstrosities we know today. Indeed their approach was so new and well-received by fans that I interviewed them in 2010 about the transformation, and if you’re floored by these figures, imagine what they look like ten years later:
On average, I’d say a regular three-minute trailer…will take about three months and use between 40 and 50 people. The DC Universe Online cinematic we just finished stretched over about six months, and was touched by a total of 71 artists, from layout artists, concept designers to lighters and a team of FX folks.
While deciding to re-release old trailers in 4K might sound like a silly thing for a major studio like BioWare to be bothering with, since they’re essentially just stale pieces of marketing, it’s important to remember just how big and important these clips were at the time.
Released between Lucas’ prequel trilogy and Disney’s own misfiring sequels, the series of trailers BioWare and Blur put together — there’s another excellent one in the interview — were treated at the time almost as standalone pieces of Star Wars canon, vignettes you could enjoy even if you cared nothing for the game itself, and if you had to ask fans for some of the most memorable video game trailers of all time, you’d likely find at least one of Old Republic’s clips making the list.
Re-releasing them in 4K may not change the world, but it does give us a chance to revisit some classic Star Wars clips and have them looking better than ever.