Robota is the pet project of Star Wars prequel concept artist Doug Chiang. As it stands currently, Robota is an “illustrated film book that’s more like an art-book than a novel”. Plans are, as I understand, to make it a computer game, hopefully eventually even a feature film.
The story revolves around a human, animal and robot civilization on the planet Orpheus. From the prologue:
About 2.1 billion years ago, life on Orpheus came to a catastrophic end.
After avoiding catastrophe with the proto-Earth for billions of years, these two planets finally collided. Orpheus was completely obliterated and the Earth was shattered. Eventually the fragments of Orpheus coalesced to form Earth’s moon, which stabilized our planet’s erratic rotation and allowed life to germinate.
Life on Earth is the legacy of the planet Orpheus.
This is a story of life on Orpheus before the collision, and of the conflict between the animal life, and the intelligent machines that sought to dominate them.
There once was a place of machines…
Since I last wrote about Robota, no less than two new teaser trailers have appeared, both equally interesting.
Teaser III, entitled “Hunted”, follows two robots that could be bounty hunters, chasing a woman through an old forest. This gives us our very first glimpse at how humans will look in Robota. Since I saw the failure in Enki Bilal’s otherwise magnificent “Immortel“, I’ve been worried about the mix of great looking CG robots and plastic-looking CG people. Fortunately, closeups show real actors, leaving the CG to action scenes, just like most other Hollywood movies do.
Teaser IV follows three robots battling in an arena. Compared to the second and third teaser, this trailer seems much more like a “proof-of-concept” reel that shows how a fight could take place in a computer game. Still, it looks great, and I don’t mind it, especially if it’ll result in a feature film.
I’ve always thought the best thing about Star Wars, was the universe in which great spin-off games could be placed. I like the idea that Robota focuses more on having a saturated deep universe for myriads of stories to take place in, rather than have the universe be created around the story. I actually think that Robota – The Game, might become all that which Uru – Ages Beyond Myst tried to become, but failed in.
- View Robota Teaser Trailer IV
- View Robota Teaser Trailers II and III (Faster mirrors)