This Is the Way: How the Canceled Star Wars: 1313 Game Helped Create ‘The Mandalorian’

January 24, 2020

While Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker left the fandom just as divided as The Last Jedi did, there is one Star Wars property everyone can agree on: the amazing Disney+ series The Mandalorian.

Part of what makes the show so great is that it takes familiar ingredients from your favorite Star Wars movies, shows, and books to create something new. But did you know one of the biggest ingredients is a canceled Star Wars game most fans have never heard of?

Star Wars: 1313 is a game that never saw the light of day. Nonetheless, it helped to seriously influence The Mandalorian.

What was Star Wars: 1313?

The never-produced game Star Wars: 1313 was announced at E3 all the way back in 2012. Within a year, it was canceled. But what was this long-lost video game all about?

It was going to be set on the familiar Star Wars planet Coruscant. While we have seen this planet plenty of times, we mostly glimpse the upper levels where the rich and powerful (such as senators and Jedi) live.

The title of the game refers to Level 1313. This is an area of Coruscant far away from the glamorous parts and people, and it is mostly used by various kinds of scum and villainy. Hardcore Clone Wars fans have already seen this area: you can see it in the episodes “Lethal Trackdown” and “To Catch a Jedi.”

The Star Wars: 1313 video game would have focused on the adventures of a familiar character: Boba Fett.

Why was Star Wars: 1313 canceled?

A video game featuring a cool new area and starring Boba Fett seems like a surefire hit. So, why was Star Wars: 1313 canceled in the first place?

The main answer seemed to be that the game died when LucasArts died. Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2012, and shut down LucasArts in 2012. Star Wars: 1313 wasn’t the only casualty — we also lost a multiplayer-centric game known as Star Wars: First Assault.

Another reason Star Wars: 1313 got canceled might be its identity crisis. Throughout its development, 1313 kept changing gameplay focus (it was going to be like Grand Theft Auto, then Gears of War, and then Uncharted). It also changed protagonists from an unknown bounty hunter to the most famous bounty hunter of all, Boba Fett.

Allegedly, George Lucas kept demanding changes before the project was shuttered altogether with the acquisition of LucasArts by Disney.

How Star Wars: 1313 influenced ‘The Mandalorian’

So, where can we see the influence of this game on The Mandalorian? Before this, almost every major Star Wars game focused on familiar characters. You almost always played as Jedi, Sith, Rebels, and/or Imperials. With Star Wars: 1313, you would get to fully immerse yourself in the fringe ⁠— the characters, places, and events outside of the galactic mainstream. That’s the entire focus of The Mandalorian TV show.

Star Wars: 1313 would have featured upgrading Mandalorian armor

Perhaps the most obvious connection between Star Wars: 1313 and The Mandalorian is Boba Fett. The game was going to star the most famous Mandalorian character of all. And while the TV show focuses on a different Mandalorian, his overall armor design is instantly familiar to Boba Fett fans.

We also see the protagonist of The Mandalorian upgrading his armor in the TV show. That was going to be a central element of 1313, with Boba Fett upgrading armors until he achieved the iconic look we all know and love.

‘The Mandalorian’ appears to borrow from Star Wars: 1313 concept art

Boba Fett was going to start Star Wars: 1313 off looking different than what you remember from the Original Trilogy. And his starting look should be instantly familiar to any fan of The Mandalorian!

Concept art from the canceled game shows us that Boba Fett looks exactly like the titular Mandalorian from the hit new show. Without this canceled game, the show design would look completely different!

Star Wars: 1313 would have had a lethal droid sidekick

One of the more interesting character developments in The Mandalorian centers around droids. Due to a traumatic childhood event, our protagonist basically hates all droids. He eventually develops a soft spot for a reprogrammed assassin droid that helps him to protect The Child (better known to the internet as Baby Yoda).

A Mandalorian with a lethal droid sidekick: 1313 did it first! In a gameplay pre-visualization clip posted to Twitter, we can see basic animations for a droid fighter that would have helped Boba Fett kick ass in the game. While we never got to play through this, we now have an awesome recreation onscreen thanks to The Mandalorian.

1313 was going to be a more mature Star Wars

A surprising idea for Star Wars: 1313 was the intended rating: before cancellation, LucasArts intended this to be the first Star Wars game rated MA. This wasn’t to add lots of gore and ultra-violence. Instead, developers wanted to explore more mature themes than the typical “beat the bad guys and save the galaxy” Star Wars plot.

We’ll never know exactly what the themes of this canceled game would have been. But we can see the desire for a more “mature” Star Wars in The Mandalorian. Show plots revolve around things like child abduction, child abuse, and murder for hire. It’s all presented with a light touch. However, all of this is a far cry from the simplicity of a normal Star Wars tale.

Would you have played Star Wars: 1313? What do you think of The Mandalorian? Sound off in the comments below!

Related: The 5 Best and 5 Worst Star Wars Games Ever Made

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