What's Star Wars Shadows of the Empire?
It was 1996 when Lucasfilm, in order to prepare the advent of the Special Edition and the subsequent Prequels, launched the project of a "movie without a movie", released in every possible medium except for the theatrical motion picture: novel, comics, videogame and even a full orchestral sountrack by Emmy Award winner Joel McNeely.
The task of SOTE was to tell the crucial events between The Empire strikes back and Return of the Jedi: the vain attempts to rescue the carbonite freezed Han Solo from Boba Fett, the maturation of Luke Skywalker from a reckless apprentice to a true Jedi Knight, after the cruel revelation of Darth Vader, but also the maturation of Vader himself, who starts finding signs of his old ego inside his own tortured soul; and more, the events leading to the construction of the Second Death Star, the bothans' sacrifice, and many details (why Leia arrives at Jabba's palace dressed as ubese bounty hunter Boushh? where did she get that thermal detonator? how did Luke build his new green lightsaber?).
All those things are told while introducing a new, memorable villain in the tradition of the Star Wars saga: Prince Xizor, shipowner of the biggest merchant fleet but, above all, leader of the most feared criminal syndicate in the Galaxy: Black Sun.
Shadows of the Empire represents a vital moment in Lucas' saga, managing to get into the true core of the beloved and unforgettable Classic Trilogy; it catches the characters in the middle of an evolution otherwise taken for granted at the beginning of ROTJ, and satisfies every fan's curiosity about what happens in the meantime, not answering with the lexicon of the uninspired "expanded universe" but looking back at the most pure world of the classic films, both in visual terms (thanks to Lucasfilm's preproduction) and in the narrative style.
The beauty of SOTE is all in its cinematographic feeling of a "lost movie" from the golden age of Star Wars: canonic, believable and funny.
What's a graphic adventure?
For many people graphic adventures are the most mature form of electronic entertainment: less action and fighting, more brain and narration. Born as a natural evolution of textual adventures (like the Zork Saga), they became popular between the less powerful machines, especially attracting many Personal Computer users.
Adventure Games knew their "boom" with the development of the SCUMM engine of Maniac Mansion, and went through a constant evolution until the birth of interactive movies, which started a bad time for the genre.
Running up to today, after a nasty period where the most famous software houses decided to give up, even due to the first person shooters supremacy and the high quality graphics standards, our dear GA are starting to recover a better position, thanks to well organized groups of independent developers.
With SOTE we’ll try to attract both grown ups and young people and to satisfy an old request: a graphic adventure set in the epic Star Wars universe. We'll try to bring back the old LucasArts classics' atmosphere and winning choices (the ‘golden age’ of Zak McKraken, Monkey Island, Indiana Jones and The Dig) with some hints by Sierra and Revolution. Will we be able to accomplish such a task? Only you, the players, will tell.
What's SOTE Graphic Adventure?
It's the combination of the two above things. A beautiful (and funny! unlike Zahn's books) Star Wars story that deserves to be told again, since it's not widely known, even by many SW fans, now combined with a medium —the classic graphic adventure— which seems it was created for.
The original idea was conceived back in 1989, when Boba Fonts played Zak McKracken, followed by Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and then Loom, which ignited the desire to see an adventure set in the Star Wars universe, focusing on the young Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Although that story was destined to be told by its own creator, yet the project was not going to be forgotten.
Later the idea for the graphic adventure took the form of an unofficial adaptation —but philologically faithful— of Shadows of the Empire, the missing chapter in the epic saga. In the meantime become a die-hard fan, Boba realized that the storyline of SOTE seemed to be made on purpose to be translated into a graphic adventure: dynamic, long, intricate, with lots of characters and travels.