Some franchises die hard. But even after they die, the fans still want more.
Such is the story of Lunar. The first two games, on Sega CD, were sleeper hits. And their overhauled remakes for Saturn/PlayStation (brought to the US via Working Designs) are beautiful games. But outside these two titles (Silver Star/Story, Eternal Blue), the franchise has failed to make anything good. The "Walking School" / "Magic School" gaiden title was a flop that never made it to the US. The Nintendo DS game Lunar Genesis ("Dragon Song" in the US) was, put nicely, a steaming turd. My own review of the game included me pleading for people to keep holding out hope for the series even though Dragon Song was terrible.
What's going on? For one thing, the core talent behind Silver Star (Story) and Eternal Blue have disbanded. Anyone who has picked up the franchise has done so in a way that dishonors what makes it so great. If your Lunar game doesn't have full production values: anime FMVs, vocal theme songs, a long-form thrilling story involving Dragons and the creation/destruction of the world, you're missing it. If your characters are all boring one-dimensional douche bags, you're really missing it.
But most importantly, if your next Lunar game doesn't make OBVIOUS tie-ins to previous titles, you've missed the boat.
There has been talk of a Lunar 3 for well over a decade now. As far as we know, nothing has ever been put forth seriously in terms of development. The scenario writers have toyed with different ideas, but the rubber never met the road.
Should the talented creative team (art, music, game mechanics, and most importantly story) from SSS and EB ever join hands, or even just *some* of them alongside some other very talented game creators, there would be hope for a true Lunar 3.
What would it look like? Obvious spoilers: it would take place after Lucia and Hiro have helped recultivate (and... repopulate?) the blue star, which was the original home of humanity. That Althena has "disappeared" could be a central plot point. What does the world look like without a reigning Goddess? Essentially, Althena saw fit to move from monotheism (with her in charge) to some sort of pantheism (she has dispersed and now everything is divine). Can people handle that on the blue star? On the silver star?
I imagine a game where you visit both planets. One that takes place a century or two after Eternal Blue. One whose villains are either foreign entities (can we do some space travel or is that verboten?), or are a powerful group against the sharing of ideas/resources with the corresponding planet. Build a solid five- or six-person cast of playable characters using the same basic template as SSS and EB. Make sure Iwadare does the music, and load that mother up with high-quality anime cut scenes.
The ONLY way this game could fail is if the development work was lazy. Good PR will help, but the core needs to be solid. The fans will do the leg-work from there, and the franchise could experience a great revival. I've heard people say, of this and so many other franchises: "let it die." I'm in agreement with them about many a franchise, but this one still has a spark of life. Lunar hasn't been given a fair shake. A true Lunar 3 could be amazing. My fingers are perpetually crossed.