Long-lost Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic E3 demo shared

Documentary and game history channel Noclip has released a new video from a long time ago, recorded in a galaxy far, far away (read: Los Angeles, California). The team obtained a video recording of the E3 2001 presentation given to journalists by BioWare for none other than Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Noclip obtained the archive on physical media, then digitized it and uploaded it to its Noclip Game History Archive sub-channel on July 4, 2023.

Check it out below:

BioWare showed the above presentation to press and industry representatives two years before the game was released in July 2003. It shows never-before-seen concept art and in-development gameplay footage, and even design concepts from that stage of the game's gestation that were later abandoned for various reasons.

For example, BioWare initially intended for players to be able to select from three Star Wars races and six classes. By the final game, these would be narrowed down to three class archetypes, with the player limited to being human.

Other tidbits included plans for there to be more fully-realized space combat mechanics. BioWare implied that space races and dogfights would be supported. It showed early concepts of the ship that would become the Ebon Hawk, the player's home freighter.

BioWare also showed off animation loops for what seems to be an early version of Jedi character Bastila Shan. An early version of the Tatooine map was also showcased, with BioWare talking up the number of NPCs, and their ability to "recognize" a player's actions.

BioWare closed out the 18-minute presentation with a teaser cutscene that was eventually removed from the game, showing the player confronting the character who would later be known as Darth Malak on what looked to be an early version of Taris.

Knights of the Old Republic was originally released on Xbox and PC, and was later ported to iOS, Android, and Nintendo Switch.