I can only think of one response to the news that the highly anticipated remake of Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic has been delayed indefinitely… in the immortal words of Luke Skywalker himself, “NOOOOOOOOooooooooo!!!” To be fair, when I heard that the remake of one of the most beloved games of all time was in the hands of a relatively unproven studio (Aspyr), I was a little concerned. When it was announced that the remake would be exclusive to the Sony PlayStation 5 platform, I relaxed a little in the hope that focusing on one platform would optimize their developmental approach. When the recent remasters hit with a few critical bugs (like not being able to actually finish the game), my concern grew to alarm. So, when the news broke that a vertical slice of the game performed so poorly that the lead design director and art director were terminated from the project and the game has been postponed indefinitely, I can’t say I was surprised. I was absolutely disappointed, but the truth is the writing was on the wall from day one for this game. This game won’t be coming out anytime soon, and it is kind of hard to spin that news into a positive. But with the Star Wars franchise experiencing a level of mainstream popularity that is arguably as big as it has been since the launch of the original trilogy, broken games that reflect poorly on the brand are simply not an option the way they may have been previously. Both LucasArts and Sony looked at the progress of the game and decided it was not where it needed to be… especially for a game that was reportedly projected to release at the end of this year. The interminably long wait for my beloved KOTOR remake begins… again.
If you aren’t familiar with Aspyr, this little studio was previously responsible for remaking titles (including KOTOR) on mobile platforms… but this was certainly their highest profile project yet. The rumors are swirling that they will be replaced as the lead developmental studio for this remake with another developer, and with the stakes as high as they are on this title, that is a completely understandable decision. But that doesn’t make it any easier to accept for the team members of that studio who most likely considered this a “dream project” to work on. In today’s “hustle culture” we are accustomed to being told that if we are willing to work long and hard enough, make the big sacrifices, and believe in ourselves that ANYTHING is possible. And when that well-meaning but inaccurate message is embedded into our consciousness from birth to adulthood, we not only believe it, but place unfair and unrealistic expectations on ourselves and the Lord to see all of our dreams come true… dreams that may not have been aligned with His purposes for us.
There are entire industries that are monetized with the promise of helping us achieve our “dreams”… and even the most well-intentioned of these are ultimately placing us at the center of carrying the responsibility for this. I have personally bought the videos, read the books, watched the sermons, and tried to “think and believe” my way into fulfilling my dreams… but in the end all of these programs and messages just left me feeling more discouraged than when I started. And at the heart of all of these problems was a simple reality that I had to accept… the same one that Aspyr is evaluating right now in the midst of their soul-crushing setbacks to remake the greatest Star Wars game to ever exist. But before we get there, we need a little Biblical context on the challenging balance between navigating our calling and chasing our dreams. And who better to start with than everyone’s favorite giant slayer… David.
2 Samuel 21:15-22 When the Philistines were at war again with Israel, David and his servants with him went down and fought against the Philistines; and David grew faint. Then Ishbi-Benob, who was one of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose bronze spear was three hundred shekels, who was bearing a new sword, thought he could kill David. But Abishai the son of Zeruiah came to his aid, and struck the Philistine and killed him. Then the men of David swore to him, saying, “You shall go out no more with us to battle, lest you quench the lamp of Israel.” Now it happened afterward that there was again a battle with the Philistines at Gob. Then Sibbechai the Hushathite killed Saph, who was one of the sons of the giant. Again there was war at Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaare-Oregim the Bethlehemite killed the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. Yet again there was war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number; and he also was born to the giant. So when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea, David’s brother, killed him. These four were born to the giant in Gath, and fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.
David’s entire calling started with his heroic and epic defeat of the larger and more skilled Goliath may years prior to this, but that was many moons ago. David’s days as a conquering warrior who would return from his victorious battles to massive fanfare and praise were a thing of the past… but nobody had bothered to tell David that. David entered the battle to face yet another giant, and since killing giants were kind of his thing, he had no reason to be alarmed. Similar to the studio remaking Star Wars: KOTOR, this might be a NEW giant… but it was still just a giant. David had been there, done that, bought the shirt, and basked in the glory. What could go wrong? Well, in this situation a LOT could go wrong. David might have still carried the desire of achieving his dreams on the battlefield as a warrior, but those were not his dreams to chase anymore. He was a KING, and the challenge and calling to slay giants now belonged in the hands of others… because while others could more competently win those battles, David’s role as the king at that time was his BEST destiny and the most important one for him to fulfill. David’s troops were the ones that had to break the news to David that he had become a liability on the battlefield… but not because he no longer served a purpose. It was because he had a HIGHER purpose that he was destined to occupy… and only by relinquishing his previous dreams would he be able to fulfill these new ones as well as give others the space to step into their callings as the NEW giant-killers in town.
Dreams are a funny thing… and as David found out on many occasions his dreams were not necessarily a divine direction from the Lord, even when his heart was in the right place. David wanted to build a temple to the Lord, but while that was a beautiful dream to have, it was not HIS dream to complete. The temple would absolutely be built… but not by David. It would be built by his son Solomon, long after David had moved on.
2 Samuel 7:1-3 Now it came to pass when the king was dwelling in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies all around, that the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells inside tent curtains.” Then Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you.”
2 Samuel 7:12-13 “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
Here is the tough truth that Aspyr had to face… while we can all agree that Star Wars: KOTOR is a well-deserving game that needs to be given the full remake treatment so a whole new generation of gamers can enjoy its’ story, it seems that Aspyr may not be the team to do this, or at least not on their own. Sure, they had previous success releasing versions of this game and others on different gaming platforms, but perhaps this mission is for someone else. Or maybe this IS their dream to complete, but the team they currently had in place were not the right people to achieve this vision. As David found, our God-given dreams have a specific time and place for their accomplishment… and not all of the dreams that we carry are ours to complete. When we choose to take ownership of a dream that was not meant for us to fulfill, we place ourselves out of the destiny that we were ACTUALLY designed for. For one final reference, let’s look at the Apostle Paul and how he chased his dreams in the wrong direction on more than one occasion… both before AND after his conversion.
Acts 9:1-6 Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
Acts 16:6-10 Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.
Pre-conversion Saul/Paul was incredibly zealous to serve God… he was so passionate in his faith that he devoted himself to seeking out and destroying all heretical teachings and those who held them. But his dream was not aligned with his calling… while his purpose was to hit the road and advance the Lord’s message, he had the WRONG message. His heart was in the right place, but his direction was all wrong… so the Lord came down and gave him a NEW vision and sent him on his way. Seven chapters later we catch up with Paul again as He is now rolling with His ministry to serve Christ… but he continued to hit roadblock after roadblock until once again the Lord gave him a vision and aligned his direction with his calling.
Let’s get back to our dream-chasing predicament… the studio who chose to take the wheel of this remake certainly had all the right intentions and an honorable purpose. But the reality is that in their current state they are not the right team to deliver on the vision for this game… it is a beautiful dream, but it may not be theirs to chase. And as this project shifts directions and potentially gets a fresh start, the team at Aspyr Media may be disappointed that they will not complete that particular journey, at least not with the team they thought they would… but now they are free to pursue the dreams that they are truly designed for. There is a prevalent narrative that permeates our world that every dream is ours to pursue… and while that sounds like a positive message, the reality is that each of us have a unique calling and have been given specific gifts to fulfill that calling (1 Corinthians 12). And when we place pressure on ourselves to fit the callings and gifts we received from the Lord into the wrong place, this will only result in feelings of disappointment, frustration, resentment, and depression… something most of us are unfortunately all too familiar with.
The truth is that we were designed and chosen for a specific purpose on this planet, and in my experience pursuing dreams that aren’t aligned with the Lord’s direction for my life only left me feeling unworthy, incapable, worthless, or defective. But I am NONE of those things… I am a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:7), and I can do ALL things through the Lord who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13). But those two verses were BOTH written by the same Apostle Paul who knocked on MANY of the wrong doors before he found the ones that he was meant to walk through… Paul was the PERFECT vessel at exactly the RIGHT time for his SPECIFIC mission that only he could fulfill (Acts 9:15). The Lord’s direction was not intended to LIMIT Paul, but to UNLEASH him to his maximum effectiveness to do the things only he could do. And that is the same message to the dejected development team at Aspyr media as well as to each and every one of us… there is no shortage of dreams to chase and visions to pursue in life, and many of them have substantial merit. But only those dreams that are aligned with what we are uniquely called and equipped to do will result in satisfaction and success. We are perfectly designed by the Lord to fulfill a specific purpose, and pursuing any other direction only yields disappointment.
It is disappointing that the current team working on the KOTOR remake were unable to deliver on the potential of this game… but that doesn’t mean the dream is dead. It may simply mean that it is not THEIR dream to complete. They have a track record that suggests that this was never really aligned with their capabilities in the first place, and they would be better served crafting the specific experiences that they are uniquely positioned to create. Does this run opposite of the conventional and empowering thought process that says there are no limits but those we create for ourselves? Yes… yes it does. But the Lord never promised we could be whatever we wanted or do anything we can imagine… He simply said that He will be faithful to complete the specific work He is doing in our lives (Philippians 1:6) so we can fulfill the unique destiny we have been designed for (Romans 8:29). Let’s not be discouraged by the multitude of gifts that we did not receive or the paths that are not ours to pursue… let’s rejoice and use the ones we DID receive to fulfill the God-given dreams He has placed in our hearts that only we can do.
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