As demonstrated by our Rogue One: A Star Wars Story review, there’s a lot of opportunity in hopping back into the middle of Star Wars’ big moments. Exploring what different characters were doing while Luke was eating crappy fishsticks on Dagobah can lead to exciting new opportunities! Or it can lead to Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire for Nintendo 64. Released 20 years ago this month, Shadows of the Empire represents the best and worst Star Wars habits; there’s nothing awesomer than fighting the battle of Hoth but when you’re introducing new characters, even characters like Dash Rendar who’s really just ’90s Han Solo, shouldn’t we see something new?
Shadows of the Empire is also an interesting benchmark in the 25 year career of game designer Jon Knoles. Today Knoles is one of the primary minds behind the Forza racing series at Turn 10, but 20 years ago he was the designer and lead artist on Shadows as well as many other Lucasarts games.
On the 20th anniversary of Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, Jon joined us to discuss what it was like to make the game and to create a decade of Star Wars games.
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