An Episode VII game before an Episode VII movie was ever a thing
[Warning: The following contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.]
The book Rogue Leaders: The Story of LucasArts, published in November 2008, included numerous logos for Star Wars games that never made it past the pitch process. One of those projects was a game called Star Wars Episode VII: Shadows of the Sith, which LucasArts creative director Haden Blackman came up with in late 2004. Note that that’s well before the May 2005 premiere of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, which, at the time, George Lucas said would be the final Star Wars film.
“In late 2004, we were focus testing/developing a ton of different concepts — over two dozen in all over about a 6 month period,” Blackman told Cinelinx. He said the focus testing that LucasArts conducted confirmed what the studio knew: Gamers wanted to play as a Jedi and use the Force.
So Blackman put together a brief description for Shadows of the Sith, a game that “would have put you in the role of an adult Ben Skywalker.” In the Star Wars Expanded Universe — which Disney, following its October 2012 acquisition of Lucasfilm, declared as non-canon — Ben Skywalker was Luke Skywalker’s son with Mara Jade Skywalker.
Ben Skywalker would have been “walking the line between the light and dark sides of the Force, unleashing new Force powers never-before-seen in games or movies as he investigated a new threat to the galaxy,” said Blackman. That evil figure, by the way? “A Solo,” according to Blackman — so that’s one thing that the Episode VII game would’ve had in common with the eventual Episode VII film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
While Shadows of the Sith itself didn’t get off the ground, Blackman said LucasArts ended up using its concepts — wielding Force powers, and playing on the Light and Dark sides of the Force — in the studio’s two Star Wars: The Force Unleashed games. Disney shut down LucasArts in April 2013, about six months after acquiring Lucasfilm.