Fans can be quite an interesting bunch. Depending on rabidity, they can be a force for good or a pain in the posterior. Some fans, however, have enough skill and knowledge to take things where their original creators would probably never tread. Like Jason Lewis, whose applies his expertise as Obsidian’s senior environment artist to redo parts of a classic Star Wars game in Epic’s Unreal Engine, giving it not just beauty but the feeling of a modern game that will never be.
Released in 1995, Star Wars: Dark Forces was the foundation upon which LucasArts and later Raven Software would build the Jedi Knight series that ended with Star Wars: Jedi Academy in 2003. Dark Forces played as a first-person shooter which made it a perfect match for the Unreal Engine.
Lewis is leading the “Dark Forces Remake” project which, despite his professional creds, is really just a fan project. A few screenshots are publicly available on the artist’s ArtStation page but a more interesting tidbit has recently popped up courtesy of YouTube Bluedrake42. Lewis was apparently also involved in a playable demo for “Docking Bay 94”, the iconic location in Mos Eisley where the Millenium Falcon makes its debut.
The demo doesn’t have enemies shooting at you, which is good news. It leaves you free to wander around and take in the beauty of the surroundings. If Disney ever made such a game, it would probably look like this.
That, sadly, may never come to be. And this fan remake, before we know it, may be shut down by a couple of legal letters. Such is the fate of many non-commercial works of passion made by loving fans but, at least for a brief moment, Star Wars fans can have a glimpse of what could have been.