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Technology
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Star Wars: An advance look
graphic February 13, 2002: 12:43 p.m. ET

New games offer a preview of 'Attack of the Clones'
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    NEW YORK (CNNmoney) - Psst! Want a sneak peek at the new Star Wars movie?

    The secrecy surrounding "Attack of the Clones" is a few levels higher than where Vice President Dick Cheney is spending his afternoons, but that doesn't mean it's impossible to learn a little about some of the new characters, worlds and plot threads.

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    Expect to see these ships on the big screen this summer.
    LucasArts Entertainment Co., the gaming arm of George Lucas' empire, has a number of titles on the drawing board that will include elements of Episode II in the Star Wars saga, some of which will hit stores well in advance of the movie's planned May 16 release. Chief among these is "Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter," set to hit the PlayStation 2 in late March.

    While technically the sequel to the PS2 game "Starfighter," this new entry "is a chance for gamers to get a sneak peak at some aspects of the movie," said Logan Parr, associate product marketing manager for LucasArts. Among those is the opportunity to control the Jedi Starflighter, a ship which you can expect to see onscreen, and a look around the Karthakk system, which is a key location in the film. You'll interact with characters who are part of "Attack of the Clones" and might even learn a plot detail or two -- though which story elements are tied into the movie and which are strictly game-centric will be fuzzy until May.

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    Hayden Christensen: The new face of Darth Vader
    Want an even earlier peek? How about this week? "Star Wars: Racer Revenge" is the sequel to "Racer," a title that was released with Episode One in 1999. While technically not a tie-in with "Attack of the Clones," the game does feature an older Anakin Skywalker, modeled on Hayden Christensen's character (as opposed to Jedi-tyke Jake Lloyd). And Heather Twist Phillips, public relations manager for LucasArts, does concede that another pod racing scene is planned in the upcoming film.

    The company's taking a different approach to marketing the film through games this time around. With "The Phantom Menace," LucasArts released two titles simultaneously with the film -- "Racer," which let gamers participate in the film's pod racing scene, and an adventure game which shared both the name and storyline of the film. Sales of both were pretty good -- "Racer" sold 145,000 copies in 1999, while "TPM" sold 197,000 copies, according to NPDTechworld. But having such a tight deadline and tight storyline focus didn't win a lot of raves from developers or gamers.

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    Even Jedis can be cannon fodder.
    "What we learned from 'The Phantom Menace' was that we didn't want to be in that position again," said Twist Phillips. "We, as well as everyone else, wanted to explore more, rather than be tied in with the narrative. ... We're looking at the universe in a much broader way -- not just limiting it to Episode One or Episode Two and so on."

    Instead, the company plans to develop titles based on various facets of the films. The next Episode II-related title will be announced in March, simultaneous with "Jedi Racer" in the form of a preview trailer attached to the game. Others will be unveiled in May at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (the annual trade show of the computer and video gaming industry).


    Padawan Morris is director of content development for CNN/Money

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    Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.

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