It Isn’t Your Destiny — A Shift in Focus for FFG’s Star Wars Plans

SWR2There’s been a lot of buzz lately about Star Wars, ranging from Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm, the cancellation of the Clone Wars in the wake of its fifth season, and even Fantasy Flight Game’s announcement of their Star Wars RPG line, kicking off with Edge of the Empire and then followed up with Age of Rebellion in 2014 and Force and Destiny in 2015.

Well, it would seem that the destiny that FFG’s design team had in mind for Force and Destiny is not going to proceed as they had originally foreseen.

According to a source that wishes to remain safely anonymous, the “House the Mouse Built” has decided to play things a little closer to the vest when it comes to Jedi Knights and the Force, two iconic elements of the Star Wars franchise for many people. With Disney shifting various resources over to focus on the as-yet-unnamed Episode VII and all the talk of how much of the post-Return of the Jedi Expanded Universe will be spared, it probably shouldn’t come as any great surprise that what could be considered a total embargo on anything to do with the Jedi or the Force, at least until such time as Episode VII is in theatres, has been issued by Lucasfilm. There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes speculation that the edict is based upon suggestions made by George Lucas, acting in his role as creative consultant that was taken to heart by high-ranking and influential executives of the Walt Disney Company’s motion picture department.

As far as our understanding of this “No Jedi” edict goes, it pertains primarily to Jedi and the Force in the context of events that occur starting around the time of the events depicted in Return of the Jedi and continuing onward up to and potentially including the most recent novel Crucible, detailing the “final adventures” of Luke, Han, and Leia. There’s no indication that this edict will have any impact on the Dark Horse Comics’ recently launched Star Wars Legacy: Volume 2 series, possibly as the series takes place over a century after the events of the New Jedi Order series, with a similar reasoning being applied to Star Wars: The Old Republic, taking place 3 millennia before A New Hope. There’s also been discussion that this edict might also apply to Jedi in the prequel era as well, possibly being a contributing factor to Disney deciding not to renew the popular and successful Clone Wars series for additional seasons. Once Episode VII has been released, the edict is expected to be relaxed, though Disney and Lucasfilm will be “keeping an eye on things to ensure any new material sticks to George’s vision.” Those familiar with the Star Wars Expanded Universe will know of the efforts that Lucasfilm has undertaken to maintain a coherent universe, with differing levels of canon established to dictate which material takes precedence when two sources contradict each other.

There was a great deal of concern for Fantasy Flight Games, as even their soon-to-be released Edge of the Empire core rulebook has information pertaining to the Force. But luckily, they won’t have to recall those books from the printer or do any last-minute changes, as the “No Jedi” edict will not be retroactively applied in regards to the Force material that is included in the first of the three core rulebooks, due in no small part to much of that material’s presence in the Edge of the Empire Beta rulebook; a fact that allegedly lead a senior member of the EotE design team “breathe an audible sigh of relief” and remark “I’m so glad we followed our gut and included at least some Force material in the first book.”

As things currently stand, there’s no immediate impact on the X-Wing miniatures game, although the Star Wars Living Card Game is being reviewed, particularly in light of future expansions. And while the embargo does seem to focus primarily on Jedi, it would also mean that FFG wouldn’t be able to produce new miniatures for X-Wing that are based upon ships that have only been seen in post-RotJ sources, though whether this embargo would prevent a new production run of the A-Wing or TIE Interceptor models remains to be seen. In the wake of this edict, there have been a series of high-level meetings with both FFG and Lucasfilm in regards to the future of all of Fantasy Flight Game’s Star Wars product lines.

So, what does this “No Jedi” edict mean for Force & Destiny, you ask?

Well, it means a rather big shift in focus for Fantasy Flight Games regarding the third installment of their Star Wars core rulebook series. Taking heed of comments on their own forums that Edge of the Empire games simply didn’t feel “epic enough” or sufficiently capture the “larger than life” aspects of the movies, Force & Destiny will follow a path not too dissimilar to Wizards of the Coast’s Epic Level Handbook for their Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition product line.

While it might seem an odd decision based upon Edge of the Empire lacking character levels, apparently FFG feels that such a sourcebook would be “a fitting capstone in what we feel is a great RPG system.” Further details about what this new direction for Force & Destiny will mean are pretty scarce, with the only certainty being that it’s still “on track” for a 2015 release.

Given the sudden and drastic nature of this news, we’ll keep you up to date as we learn more.

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