Looking at the past and present of Star Wars games to see what the future could hold

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Author:

Jordan Smith

Publish Date:

8 Jan 2021

In recent years we have seen some incredible Star Wars titles release on console and PC and it looks like we still have many more to come. For this article, I wanted to look at the past, present and future of Star Wars and share with you where I think the future of where I believe the galaxy far far away should go next in video games. Traditionally Star Wars has always been about the Light Side and the Dark Side, Empire VS Rebels, Darth Vader VS Luke Skywalker. This was not only the case in Cinema but also in comic books and games, thanks to Lucas Films' subdivisions such as Lucasfilms Games. Lucas Film Games brought us some incredibly memorable titles based around the know Star Wars Universe at the time, such as Super Star Wars, Death Star Interceptor and a series of other games based on each of the original trilogies titles. As we fast forward into the 90's Lucasfilm Games is transformed into the fondly remembered Lucas Arts, which began to explore the Star Wars Expanded universe, now known as "Legacy" since the Disney Takeover. Lucas Arts brought us many memorable games in the 90's some of which are still able to be enjoyed today, including the start of the Jedi Knight series', X Wing and Tie Fighter games and Rebel Assault.

After the Phantom Menace was released in cinemas worldwide in 1999, Lucas Arts truly began to boom. The love for Star Wars was stronger than ever, and the gaming world was lit up with lightsabers and blasters as we got stuck into incredible games like Star Wars Demolition, Empire at War, Star Wars Battlefront and the most beloved Star Wars game of all time Knights of the Old Republic. Lucasarts kept pushing incredible Star Wars games alongside Lucas Films prequel trilogy releases, always focussing on Jedi and Sith, Empire and Rebels or Republic and Droids. Very few games dared to venture outside of these lines and for Star Wars fans this was great as it made games such as Bounty Hunter, where players would be put in the shoes of Episode 2's coolest character Jango Fett a considerable success. Star Wars wasn't all Lucas Arts was working on as they also brought us many incredible games like Monkey Island and Outlaws. Unfortunately, in 2013 Lucas Arts ceased to be in the world of Video Game development. Its swan song for the Star Wars universe was The Force Unleashed series. These two games stood out as right from the start as we walked the line between Jedi and Sith playing as none other than a secret apprentice for Darth Vader.

As the years passed fans waited patiently for the promise of a new Star Wars game by Disney, and that was eventually given to them with the announcement of Star Wars 1313, where you would play as a street kid on the 1313th level of Courasant, one of the prominent planets in the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy. Unfortunately, the game was cancelled shortly after its announcement and fans cried out in outrage, especially when they learned it would be a Boba Fett story. Soon after that when the anger had died down, we saw the release of EA's Battlefront, a game that scored mixed reviews from fans, as it had incredible graphics and gameplay, but its online multiplayer focal point felt like a standard FPS game, which was flooding the gaming world at the time rather than its predecessors, which offered a lot more in terms of gameplay. Star Wars Battlefront's sequel Battlefront 2 offered a lot more to the brand, bringing a great stand-alone story, and more game modes to the table, but it also included "Pay to Win" mechanics where players were able to upgrade their characters through loot boxes. The mechanic caused Battlefront 2's Player base to decline rapidly, and ultimately the feature was removed. Unfortunately, the damage was done, though that did not stop EA putting in a lot of effort to win fans back which had some pay off for fans, including the return of capture the command post and customisable clone troopers. However, two other EA developers, Respawn and Motive, were the ones to truly bring back the Star Wars fan base, which finally brings us into the present day. Fans are enjoying story-driven Star Wars games again with its two most recent releases, Jedi: Fallen Order and Squadrons. Fallen Order took Star Wars to a new adventure game style, with mechanics similar to that of Soulsbourne titles. The enemies where formidable bosses and intense lightsaber combat took centre stage as we played through the life of a Jedi who survived Order 66. On the other hand, Squadrons took us to the stars as we jumped into a starfighters' cockpit for the Empire or the New Republic. We witnessed the events that took place after the original trilogy in a heavily reminiscent game of the Rogue Squadron games.

The future of Star Wars is looking incredibly promising, I would like to think we will see more from Fallen Order, and with the recent hype around the great spin-off series' and movies that are being released, I would hope that we see more from EA and Disney regarding that, but the biggest question remains. Where should Star Wars go next? As a massive fan of Star Wars since I was a kid, I have a few different options: The most obvious, Remakes. Lucas Arts in the 90s and early 2000s brought us some of the greatest Star Wars video games out there, some of which I still play today. There are quite a few different titles EA could opt for as Remakes too, the biggest game they could choose to remake is Knights of The Old Republic, an RPG that fans including myself hold close to their heart. Knights of The Old Republic was originally created by BioWare, an EA subsidiary currently working on Dragon Age 4, reuniting these developers with one of their early games would be an incredible move to the fans. Personally, I would not be surprised if this is already in the works. Another option for remakes, in my opinion, is Star Wars Demolition. This vehicular combat free for all could fit in amazingly with today's battle royal culture. In the original Demolition, there were 13 different vehicles to pilot, but that was based only on four movies, with the 11 blockbuster movies and several TV series' out now you could easily double or triple the number of vehicles and add an online feature to the PlayStation 1 classic, all whilst maintaining the integrity of the original game.

Moving away from remakes, I also have a belief on where the next story-driven Star Wars title should go. In all of the story-driven Star Wars titles we have always seen light vs dark, good vs evil, but we have never really had much from the factions that have no place in the wars, those whose home has been invaded by Imperials, or the bounty hunters that care only for the next payday. Given the recent success of The Mandolorian, I believe that the next Star Wars game should look deeper into these "fringe" factions, maybe putting us into the shoes of one of the Hutts bounty hunters, in an intergalactic "mafia" game, or making us fight for resistance against the empire with no X Wings or Jedi to back us up in a first or 3rd person story-driven shooter. There is a lot of untapped potential with this style of story arc that EA could bring some genuinely vivid storytelling to its Star Wars lineup. What do you think the future holds for Star Wars? Would you like to see remakes or something new? Join us on our social media channels below and let us know in the comments of this article, or join us on discord where you can discuss your theories for the future of Star Wars with this articles author and the rest of 3Bit.

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