Disney Infinity 3.0 – Bringing Iconic Star Wars Characters to the Franchise


Entertainment Weekly caught up with Jeff Bunker, the VP of Art Development at Avalanche Studios — the company behind Disney Infinity —  and discussed with him the monumental challenges and rewarding opportunities behind bringing such iconic Star Wars characters to the franchise. EW asked Bunker about the design behind Leia, and the specific costumes she brings with her.

"“It was amazing and surreal getting to work on Star Wars, in general, and Leia, specifically. Most of development team at Avalanche grew up on the original Star War Episodes IV-VI and would never have dreamed it possible that some day we would get to work with those characters.”"

It’s nice to see a game developer actually be a fan of Star Wars, instead of having the genre placed in his lap, and him not having a clue about the universe in which he’s operating. He also mentions the original trilogy as his muse, which is a good thing, especially when creating iconic figures from Star Wars like Leia.

Burk goes on to talk about Lucasfilm wanting the version of Leia that represented the strong individual woman and now the sexy, sultry Leia dressed in a golden plated bikini…I guess that wouldn’t pay off in a game targeted at children. He also discussed inserting the Jedi and Sith into the game, and the lightsaber combat their presence would bring with them.

"“With so many Jedi characters available in the game, it allowed us to double down on our lightsaber gameplay. It was exciting for us partner with Ninja Theory, the developer behind titles like Heavenly Sword and Devil May Cry, who had excelled in that kind of gameplay. We were also able to incorporate force powers with both push, pull and aerial mechanics.”"

Then there’s the time period each character was chosen from. With each playset representing a time period from the Star Wars saga, it was important to pick the right ones.

  • Twilight of the Republic — covering Episodes I through III and The Clone Wars.
  • Rise Against the Empire — covering Episodes IV through VI and Star Wars Rebels.

Avalanche based their character selection off of how they would retell those stories and which characters would have the most compelling role in terms of gameplay. Burk says that Avalanche would have loved to have C-3PO and R2-D2 as playable figures, but they just didn’t work. C-3PO running is not something that works well in the Infinity environment.

Disney Infinity 3.0 is set to release later this year for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC, iOS, and Android devices. As far as an exact date goes, I would look for it to launch between September and December, as September will kick off The Journey to the Force Awakens.

Next: Comic-Con 2015: Which Star Wars Actors May Appear?