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Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope.

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Kyle Katarn, one the hero of the Dark Forces/Jedi Knight series, and his frequent partner Jan Ors, in Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast

Dark Forces/Jedi Knight is a multimedia project centered around a series of video games following the adventures of Kyle Katarn, Mara Jade and Jaden Korr. However, only the Dark Forces games are truly concerned by the multimedia aspect of the series, as the Jedi Knight games aren't related to any other products.


Dark Forces debuted with the first-person shooter Star Wars: Dark Forces in 1995, by LucasArts, and introduced the character Kyle Katarn. It was followed by a sequel, Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, in 1997, which saw the Dark Forces title slide to a subtitle as the series adopted the new Jedi Knight main title, mirroring the evolution of Katarn from a spy operative in the original game to a Jedi Knight in the sequel, which featured lightsabers and Force powers. It was quickly followed in 1998, by an expansion, Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith, with Mara Jade as the main character.

Between 1997 and 1998, the first two games were adapted by William C. Dietz into three novellas: Dark Forces: Soldier for the Empire, Dark Forces: Rebel Agent and Dark Forces: Jedi Knight. The novellas followed the events of the game as well as providing an extended view of the background of the series.

With a second sequel, Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, the game series abandoned the Dark Forces title. Released in 2002, it was the first time the series departed from internal development at LucasArts and instead was developed by independent developer Raven Software. In 2003, Raven also released a fourth entry to the series, Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, this time focusing on the new character of Jaden Korr. The LucasArts website posted a series of in-universe stories, the N.R.I. Reports, which provided some background to the then incoming game.

In 2005, roleplaying game editor Wizards of the Coast released two series of web supplements focusing on the Dark Forces storyline, written by Abel G. Peña and Jason Fry. The Dark Forces Saga would provides players with rules and background information for Star Wars Roleplaying Game, while Kyle Katarn's Tale would do the same for Star Wars Miniatures.

Two rejected concepts for future games in the series include Jedi Knight III: Brink of Darkness and Jedi Master.[8] Jedi Master was one of the many video-game concepts LucasArts considered for what would become Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. It was to be a survival horror game—a much darker, more violent, and more mature continuation of the Jedi Knight series set during the Great Jedi Purge immediately following Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith. The concept was originally put out to potential consumers to test the demand for both another Jedi Knight game and a more mature Star Wars game, but both the consumers and the developers felt the concept was too gratuitous and derivative, so it was thrown out.[9]

On August 23, 2023 Nightdive Studios announced Star Wars: Dark Forces Remaster, a remastered version of the original Star Wars: Dark Forces video game with enhanced graphics, redone cutscenes, behind-the-scenes content and the demo previously playable at Consumer Electronics Show in 1994. The remastered game was released on February 28, 2024.[10]



Dark Forces logo

These works were the first video games (years before Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic) that had new elements referenced by subsequent Expanded Universe sources and retcons, transitioned afterwards to the wider Expanded Universe corpus, thus creating several important and integral concepts in the Star Wars continuity and the galactic history. Examples include some Force powers, the dark troopers, the Battle of Ruusan, Prophets of the Dark Side, Dromund Kaas, and the Reborn.


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