Nick Kolan: The Star Wars universe is a vast and varied place. It’s a place where entire planets are dominated by a single meteorological phenomenon, where a planet can be covered by a single continuous city or eternal drought. It’s also a universe with an extremely rich history. Making a varied and interesting environment without straying from what is so quintessentially Star Wars is no simple task.
It’s what BioWare is attempting with Star Wars: The Old Republic, though. From what I’ve seen so far, they’re on the right track. The two starter planets, Tython and Ord Mantell, contain elements of lush, naturalistic green pockmarked by signs of conflict. In the case of Tython, the conflict stems from the strengthening forces of the Flesh Raiders. The ruins of an ancient Jedi Temple tells of Tython’s longstanding status as a Jedi training world, and the massive Flesh Raider camps strewn with technological waste foretells of the growing threat.
On the capital city of Coruscant things get a little more complicated. Coruscant is a single massive city. That doesn’t leave a huge amount of room for visual variety. The social section of Coruscant, which contains the market and the Council building, is absolutely enormous. The Council building alone takes a long time to thoroughly explore. It’s all very clean and structured lavish.
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