Ubisoft’s Star Wars Game Should Focus on Jar Jar Binks and Gungans
Naboo in itself is a planet filled with RPG opportunities and one that Ubisoft could pull off.
You’ve no doubt heard the news, Ubisoft Massive announcing that it will be working with the newly announced Lucasfilm Games to create a brand-new Star Wars game. And so far, details are incredibly scarce, which is no surprise. But we do know that creative director, Julian Gerighty has said it will be a story-driven, open-world game. And that got me thinking about all the many stories in the Star Wars universe we could see come forth. And I finally settled on a story in which you play as a Gungan warrior on Naboo. Or, and hear me out here, you play as Jar Jar Binks.
There’s a huge, potentially global dislike toward Jar Jar Binks and I’ve never quite understood why. Sure, the character was goofy and obviously presented in such a way to give the films some comedic nudge. I was coming up to the age of 10 when I saw Phantom Menace in cinemas, and sure enough, the character left an impression on me. There’s no denying that he was one of the most memorable characters and didn’t deserve the hatred of which the actor, Ahmed Best was subjected to.
Star Wars is a huge universe of which many planets with many cultures reside. And while Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has you jumping between different planets, I can’t imagine Ubisoft having an open-world on numerous planets, and as such would just settle for one story on one planet. And I think a story set on Naboo would be fantastic.
Naboo is an iconic planet, which is populated by both humans and Gungans — depending on the timeline. It boasts flooded caves, beautiful waters, grassy hills, dense forests, slimy swamps, vast seas, and even the beautiful city, Theed. It has everything you’d expect from a Ubisoft open-world game.
And that’s not all, the new Star Wars game has been said to be being developed on the Snowdrop engine, which has previously been used to develop The Division series, Starlink: Battle for Atlas, and apparently an Untitled Avatar game. We already know Snowdrop can handle a massive city as presented by The Division. We know Starlink was capable of doing the shooty pew-pew effects that Star Wars is known for as well as exploring planets’ vast landscapes. And given how beautiful the Avatar movie’s forest was, the Snowdrop engine would have to deliver the same level of detail.
But having the player take control of a Gungan warrior of sorts with an RPG system to level up and learn new skills could allow fans of the Star Wars universe to learn more about the Gungan species, perhaps even finding the story taking place during the period in which Naboo joined the Galactic Republic, that way players could experience some gripping missions set during the early celebrations of the Festival of Light. Video games love those big events where the action takes place unknowingly around celebrating NPCs.
Now, the whole idea of playing as Jar Jar Binks himself could allow us to experience his life either leading up to the events in The Phantom Menace such as his banishment, or the bits in between the films that we don’t see, or even his love interest. But then, Ubisoft’s welcomed stance on allowing players to play as different protagonists such as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla may mean it’d be better to present a story of a Gungan warrior that goes through similar situations, with Jar Jar Binks playing a recurring role.
I don’t know about you, but I’d love to be able to explore the underwater-based Otoh Gunga or go fishing at one of the lakes. I’d like to climb up the Gallo Mountains or wander through the streets of Theed. The planet has a whole host of potential for RPG elements. Flora to gather, species to discover, and those exploring glorious waterfalls you’ll recall Anakin and Padme having a picnic nearby.
And that’s another reason why playing as a Gungan would make sense. Naboo is the Gungan’s homeworld, and they seem to have the dexterity for performing all manner of traversal tricks. I imagine that while some may be better suited for dealing devastating blows in combat, others would be able to clamber up trees in the swamps and forests, others may be able to swim with speed.
And in an RPG game, you’d have the power to choose where your skills in the Gungan population lie, as well as how charismatic you are, or persuasive. And taking heed from the Assassin Creed games, imagine being able to seduce and bed another Gungan character.
And then there’s the awesome armour and weapons we see the Gungan’s use in the films. There’s plenty of room for players to craft or earn new armour to look cool and protected, and lots of weapons to shift between from ranged to melee. Oh, and those large, weird Ostrich looking Kaadu things that you could ride around the world for quicker transport.
I just feel like the story of being a Jedi or a Sith has become massively overdone now, and I’d like to see Ubisoft explore a more diverse story arc. One that doesn’t rely on mastering the power of the force, and doing spinny lightsaber tricks, no matter how cool the weapon is. A Gungan-focused story might seem like a silly idea, but given what the planet has to offer, and the rich history of the species to explore, I think it could be a pretty good idea.
I guess we’ll have to wait until we finally hear the first information be announced for the upcoming Star Wars game being developed by Ubisoft Massive. I just hope there’s no space flight. I’m not overly keen on flying spaceships that much anymore. I’m not sure why.