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Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, BioWare's Dungeons & Dragons-inspired take on the galaxy far, far away, was originally released on July 15, 2003, 15 years ago. I still remember picking the game up when it launched on PC, playing through it once, watching the end credits, and immediately starting a new playthrough. And then there was Obsidian's sequel that, despite its unfinished and buggy nature, managed to somehow tell the single best Star Wars story ever told.
And now that the game is 15 years old, BioWare celebrates this anniversary with a tweet and a promotional article over at StarWars.com that heralds the arrival of Knights of the Old Republic's characters to Capital Games' mobile RPG Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes. The article also features a couple of quotes from BioWare's developers, where they talk about Knights of the Old Republic's enduring legacy and the origins of its companions. For example:
“Naming characters is always one of the hardest things to do,” says Hudson, who served as project director on KotOR and the original Mass Effect trilogy. “But Jolee Bindo was apparently an imaginary friend that I had when I was like three years old, that I invented. And I have no idea where that name came from, but it’s just one of those that — you know, when you’re searching for stuff, you just kind of draw from your background. A lot of the other names also came from James Ohlen. He used to run [Dungeons & Dragons] campaigns, so some of the characters that showed up in Knights of the Old Republic were from D&D characters that he’d made up years before.”
“Mission was originally supposed to be a young male, maybe a teenager or in his early twenties, based on some of the concepts that we had,” Art Director Derek Watts recalls. “But we decided to make her female.”
“Drew Karpyshyn, the writer, came up with that name, and I think the name was Mission before we even decided that she was gonna be female,” says Hudson. “Then the concept went up the chain, and it had the name ‘Mission’ on it, and it was one of those things where I saw the name, I went to stand up to go over to his office to tell him that I hate the name — but there are those times where people who you work with are gonna do better work than you’ll think of doing. And sometimes you just need to let those things simmer and see if they actually are great ideas. So I waited, and very quickly I realized that, yeah, it’s a unique and special name for that character.”
You can also check out this Eurogamer feature that celebrates the game's birthday by taking a look back at its coverage through the years.