Will Star Wars 1313 Give Us A New Hope for Star Wars Games?
[Warning: This editorial contains spoilers from the Star Wars movies, for those of you who live under a rock. Joking! Maybe...]
Just recently a new Star Wars game has been announced, Star Wars 1313. The game is to take place on the planet Coruscant. You will be playing as a deadly bounty hunter who is trying to uncover the truth of a criminal conspiracy. All the buzz states the game to be mature, and gritty. Hmmm. Interesting. As a pretty hardcore Star Wars fan, this immediately peaks my curiosity.
I was introduced to the original Star Wars trilogy when I was about in the 6th grade by my older brother. I was hooked and basically ran my VHS tapes near death. I started becoming a collector. As a result, my Star Wars collection over the years of middle school and high school got kind of ridiculous. Since I couldn’t purchase anything off eBay, I went through antique stores trying to find the original tin lunch boxes, Burger King glasses, etc.
I even recently got to meet Jeremy Bulloch, who is actor in the Boba Fett costume. I had him sign an Empire Strikes Back poster of mine.
To me, the original trilogy was love at first sight.
Then Episode I: The Phantom Menace came out. Now, I love Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor, and yes Natalie Portman about as much (or more) as the next girl. But the story fell flat, in my eyes. I hated (and still do hate) Jar Jar Binks, even at my age where such annoyances could be forgiven. I thought Darth Maul was a shallow character with no purpose other than to do fancy tricks.
With that out of the way, I some what lost hope in the Star Wars world. Then the 2nd and 3rd installment came in, and I realized I hated those more than The Phantom Menace. The story was just…to put it nicely, painful.
Nevertheless, I still call myself a bit of a Star Wars fangirl. I love the Battlefront and Rogue Squadron games. And I still cross my fingers in hopes for Battlefront 3. Deep down, even if it is never made I will always hold my breath.
I liked The Force Unleashed and LEGO Star Wars enough to where my interest in Star Wars games still holds to a high expectation.
Then there is Star Wars Old Republic MMO. I played the beta and thought it was a pretty well put together game. I thought about getting it on launch day, but then I decided against the idea of starting another MMORPG.
Star Wars has always tried to appeal to the mass audience. On one side, it’s suppose to be an epic space opera full of family betrayal, politics, and overcoming your inner evil. You have Darth Vader, who I still think is an awesome villain. Then there’s the Emperor, Boba Fett, and Jabba the Hutt. And though Luke Skywalker is pretty whiney, you still get Han Solo, Leia, and Chewbacca as the heroes. The original fans of Star Wars see it in one light, but then The Phantom Menace turns into essentially a kid’s movie.
Then all of a sudden in the third installment, Revenge of the Sith, it turns into a heartbreaking, domestic violence mess that I haven’t bothered rewatching after seeing it once in the theater.
So we forever have Jar Jar Binks, where Lucas states he wanted it to appeal to children. Then 2 movies later, it shows Anakin choking his wife Padmé. Maybe it’s because I’m a woman, and I don’t take that stuff lightly. It’s fine that it’s in the movie because it shows how dark Anakin became (and yes, choking across the room is something he seemingly likes to do), but at the same time you can’t label it a kid’s movie to justify Jar Jar, and then have that.
In the Star Wars universe you can do whatever you want as far as story goes or world building since it is so expansive. But if you’re building a grouping of movies that all string together, you kinda have to pick your target audience. Then at the end of the day if you wanna do something to appeal to someone else, you write parallel stories and build off of it. Maybe I’m alone on that thought, but that’s how I feel about it. Of course there’s always that Ewok argument; that Ewoks in The Return of the Jedi prove the series to be a kid’s movie.
I could probably go on a longer rant over this. I could especially go on about how Padmé goes from a strong senator / queen and then DIES of a broken heart. REALLY? She dies, of a broken heart? It’s kind of pathetic in my opinion. And the fact that she didn’t feel the urge to live for her babies makes me wonder if either Lucas doesn’t understand a woman’s love for her unborn babies, or that Padmé just didn’t care about her babies after her husband becomes estranged. The whole thing drives me crazy.
Never once did she go, “Hey, I’m having a baby or two…maybe I should step it up and live for them and forget about Anakin.”
But still, I don’t give up on Star Wars. I guess it’s just a wonderful world that so many great stories could come from it. There are other side stories out there done by other awesome authors and fun games to boot.
Will 1313 bring on a new hope to Star Wars games? I can already tell there is a lot of excitement over the possibilities of what it’ll end up being like. Are we going to see the side of Star Wars we always wanted to see or is this going to fall flat?
I say, bring it on. I’m here, and willing to see more.
Despite all my disappointment with the Star Wars franchise at times, I still hang in there. Someone has to do it right, sometime. Star Wars has always been under heated and long drawn out debates on all sides over how it should be done, or what it should’ve been.
It’s not just the original movies that I love, it’s the universe itself. When I say Star Wars to someone I don’t just mean the movies, it’s that universe, in a galaxy far far away.
It’s the fanfare by John Williams – monsters – droids – wookies – the force.