Last year, as I stood in line at my local movie theater, waiting to see Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, I got the feeling that many people around me were thinking, "This is it. There's no more Star Wars after this." While that may be true in the movie sense (at least for now), the Star Wars universe is far from telling its last tale. There are already several novels and comic books in the works, and two TV series (one live-action, one animated) will give fanatics like me something to watch.
As exciting as the final clash at the end of Episode III was, there are still plenty of great Star Wars moments left to be experienced.
But let's not forget another form of media that the Star Wars universe has dominated- video games. Last year was a banner year for Star Wars games, as three of the top-selling games of that year were from the galaxy far, far, away. It saw the release of the PC version of Knights of the Old Republic II, the Xbox/PC game Republic Commando, Lego Star Wars, the game based on Episode III, a new expansion for Star Wars Galaxies and the long awaited Battlefront 2. While not all of these games were perfect, all of them were still fun, in their own way (well, maybe not the SWG expansion, but I will talk about that game at a later date). Make one thing clear: as long as video games exist, Star Wars will never go away.
And games allow us to experience the Star Wars universe in a way novels simply can't. I'm not trashing novels, I enjoy a good read every now and then. But, does a novel let you live the life of a Jedi, and fight Sith Lords and other evil, all the while hearing the famous John Williams score in the background? Do words on a piece of paper make you feel like you are Anakin, racing against the cheating Sebulba? Of course not. I've often put novels and games on different ends of the "experience" spectrum. Novels allow you to see the characters doing such things, even when you can't. Games let you live the events that the characters are involved in, even though you aren't.
The Star Wars universe also allows Lucasarts to hit all different kinds of genres. From strategy games to racing to first-person shooters, there is a Star Wars game for it. There is even a possibility for a Star Wars sports game. If you remember the scene in Episode II, when Obi-Wan and Anakin go into the club, you can see a TV monitor that appears to have some sort of football-esque sport on it. I've often joked that I'm surprised Lucasarts never made that into a game…if Star Wars can't unseat Madden as the football king, what can?
Will we ever see this Easter Egg turned into a game? Not likely, but you never know…
All kidding aside, I often wonder about the future of the Star Wars gaming franchise. Will we ever see another MMO? How about games that take place after the movies? Is the Rogue Squadron series done? Will the inevitable Wii game really make you feel like you are wielding a real lightsaber?
In the middle of every month, I will bring up such topics as this, and give my thoughts and insight on the past, present, and future of Star Wars gaming. So keep gaming, my young Padawans. And remember- the Force is still alive!