"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...."
- – Star Wars opening text
Star Wars is one of, if not the, most influential media franchises of modern times, let alone its effect on science-fiction and fantasy. Indeed, among nerddom, it is challenged by only a few others, like Star Trek and The Lord of the Rings. The incredibly ardent fandom is spread worldwide and has a strong presence in popular culture. Many of the characters, like Darth Vader and Yoda, are iconic even to the general public. John Williams' score for the original trilogy is probably the best-known film score of all time. The universe has spawned numerous video games, hundreds of novels, multiple TV shows, one of the largest merchandising franchises ever, and, relevant to /tg/, a whole bunch of board, card, and roleplaying games.
It is also the current leading world source of Skub.
- 1 The Basic Concept
- 2 Why is it so popular?
- 3 Characters
- 4 The rise of the original trilogy
- 5 The coming of the prequel trilogy
- 6 Disney and the sequel trilogy
- 7 Expanded Universe
- 8 Star Wars:The Television Shows
- 9 Species
- 10 Impact on 1d4chan and associated games etc
- 11 Sabacc and Pazaak
- 12 Tabletop games for Star Wars
- 13 Video games for Star Wars
- 14 Assorted list of Awesome From Star Wars
- 15 See Also:
The Basic Concept
Star Wars was originally a series of epic science-fantasy "space operas" that roughly followed the mythic cycle that's been around since Homer. They're set "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away," [Note: this makes the entire series a fairy tale] where a mysterious life force called (reasonably enough) the Force permeates everything. This, in turn, can be wielded by certain people, giving them pseudo-magical abilities; thank the Emperor (no, the other one) there were no Commissars in that universe. Those who use it for good become mystical, selfless warrior monks called Jedi, whereas those who use it for evil are ruthless, self-serving bastards called Sith. However, the Force must always be in balance, so any time the Sith arise to cause imbalance, the Jedi have to pull together and take them out to restore the natural order.
The so-called Original Trilogy (made up of films IV through VI, released from 1977 to 1983) followed a young man named Luke Skywalker who becomes a Jedi and re-balances the Force. Meanwhile, the Rebel Alliance is fighting to end the oppressive Galactic Empire, which is secretly led by the Sith. Luke and his Rebel companions eventually defeat the evil Emperor Palpatine, but along the way they discover that his lieutenant, Darth Vader, is actually Luke's father. A financial, critical, popular and cultural H-bomb, these movies are basically the filter through which Generation X perceives the world... for better or worse.
The so-called Prequel Trilogy (made up of films I through III, released from 1999 to 2005) explained how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader and how the Galactic Empire was established. This involves a lot of convoluted politicking in the Republic, which is then torn apart in the Clone Wars, where the Republic (with an army of clones led by the Jedi) fights against the Confederacy (with an army of robots led by General Grievous and secretly controlled by the Sith). It was not as well received as the first trilogy, for reasons we'll talk about below.
There's also a so-called Sequel Trilogy (made up of film VII and presumably films VIII and IX), which started in 2015 and picked up the story some three decades after the Emperor's defeat with a new generation of heroes taking on the remains of the evil Empire, which is a group of extremist former Imperials calling themselves the First Order. However, Episode VII aka The Force Awakens, was directed by J.J. Abrams, who's mostly known for the skubtastic Star Trek reboot, while Episode VIII was written and directed by Ryan Johnson who was a young director known for plot twists and genre experimentation on a handful of movies and television episodes that openly said he wanted to "subvert expectations" and make half of viewers dislike his work, then got pissed when half of them disliked his work. The result managed to fracture the Star Wars fanbase over issues of dull rehashing for VII and a whole laundry list of reasons for VIII (ranging from small ones such as it being too different, to major issues like half the movie being filler), as well as those who still enjoyed them and very little common ground between the three groups.
Finally, there are the so-called Anthology movies, standalone one-shots involving characters and plotlines that aren't a part of the main "Saga" films, except they kind of are. The first, Rogue One (2016), is an immediate prequel to Episode IV that follows those Rebel spies who stole the Death Star plans. The second film follows a young Han Solo and pals Chewie and Lando. A third rumored one follows Boba Fett.
There are also three separate TV series. The first one, Clone Wars, was based on traditional animation, whereas the later one, The Clone Wars, was a weird 3D animation. They're both pretty good. There was also a terrible theatrical release that was basically just an advertisement for The Clone Wars, but, since it's even worse than the Prequel Trilogy (hint: babysitting Jabba the Hutt's kid), nobody talks about it much. The third series is Disney's "Rebels" which is set between Episodes III-IV and it takes itself far less seriously than Clone Wars did, and is more of a homage to the original trilogy since not every character in the series is the owner of a lightsaber nor are they constantly talking about grown-up politics, senators and trade embargoes... pretty much the things that clogged up the plot of the prequel trilogy.
And then there's the whole Expanded Universe, which covers pretty much everything not covered by the films, like the Old Republic (set thousands of years before the prequel trilogy, when there were a hell of a lot more Sith and Jedi around) and the New Republic (set immediately after the original trilogy, explaining what became of all the characters. It could also reach 40k levels of grimdark with races like the Yuuzhan Vong characters like Darth Nihilus and beings like Abeloth.
The EU is no longer considered in the main canon of the films and TV series, due to the new sequel trilogy which does not follow EU, the reason for this being, according to Disney, that following EU would restrict their creative freedom. The reaction to this was, well, mixed, for lack of a better word. They've since noted that they'll slot some of it in on a case-by-case basis, but the canon is in a highly fluid state at the moment. EU is now officially called Star Wars Legends, though most fans still refer to it as EU.
Why is it so popular?
Star Wars is as accessible as science fiction gets. It doesn't require extensive knowledge of a fictional world (a la The Lord of the Rings or Warhammer 40,000) or cultural background (as Star Trek sometimes does) to make sense. Those elements are present for those who want them, but they largely stay in the (very rich and vibrant) background. It has well-shot action and good enough dialogue to make it interesting for both kids and adults (as well as allowing parents who grew up with it to watch it with their children, thereby hooking the next generation of viewers). It has simple, good-vs.-evil themes that resonate with almost anyone, anywhere, at any time. The science fiction elements are generally handled well if you don't obsess over making science fiction realistic and hard. It's a prime gateway drug for sci-fi which still holds up to the experienced eye, Isaac Asimov saw and rather enjoyed the films. All in Fourteen hours of cinema, plus optional sides for those who want it.
There's a ton of merchandise that is, of course, really cool. Also, given it's crossed over into the mainstream, many people feel comfortable being part of the community without feeling judged as "nerds" (as they might with Lord of the Rings, D&D, Star Trek, Warhammer, etc.).
Again, they roughly follow the mythic cycle that's been around since Homer. If you think about it, 4 of the 7 films can be summarized as: hero begins his journey under the tutelage of a wise (more or less) man, they encounter a threat which has captured/enslaved a princess/girl, who was in one way or another connected to an important secret (usually a superweapon but could be the identity of a political figure or the location of someone); the heroes save the princess/girl but someone dies tragically in a battle against the villain while someone else is blowing up a space station or a spaceship afterwards they are happy, they celebrate and mourn the loss of the poor bloke who died.
Additionally, the first film can be summarized as a samurai and a gunslinger team up to save a princess from Nazis in space. That is multiple cinematic genres at once, following the style of the epic myth.
Originally, a list was on this page. It was idiotically long, and so has been given it's own page to help streamline this page in particular.
- Star Wars Characters, For those of you who care.
The rise of the original trilogy
A long long time ago, in a galaxy far far away....etc etc you all know the lines.
A man called George Lucas had the idea to create a series of epic sci-fi space operas that would become so successful that Disney would take notice and give it the franchise fluttering eye lashes, trying to seduce it.
They would be called... Flash Gordon.
Unfortunately for Georgie boy, and fortunately for modern nerddom, Dino de Laurentiis already owned Flash Gordon, and were busy making their own, hilariously eighties version, so he said, screw it, I'll make my own!
He decided to start with the fourth movie in the series he envisioned, for at the time he didn't have the special effects to create the first three to the standard he wanted, and/or he just kinda made up the first movie as he went along (drawing heavily on Akira Kurosawa's seminal samurai action film, Hidden Fortress in the process as well as the book The Hero with a Thousand Faces, a complex 1949 Joseph Campbell analysis of the various mythologies of human history all boiled down into the basic archtypes and elements required in heroic myth). So Episode Four A New Hope was created (simply titled Star Wars at the time) and it is not an exaggeration to say it changed the face of sci-fi and general moviemaking forever, bringing a new era of special effects and imagination to cinema and changing the lives of many who would go onto to become dedicated fan boys.
Originally, the studio had forced Lucas to take ever-increasing paycuts for what they were sure was going to be a flop, and only let him keep merchandising rights. However, whatever his flaws, George Lucas was a man of vision. Having helped pioneer the summer blockbuster, he went on to do the same to ginormous piles of movie-tie-in memorabilia. His production company, Lucasfilm ended up rolling in dosh, and with Episode Five The Empire Strikes Back and Episode Six The Return of the Jedi, the legend of Star Wars and its place in cultural history was assured.
tl;dr: Pretty much this.
The coming of the prequel trilogy
With the year 2000 coming, George Lucas felt that special effects technology had reached the level he wanted and began to create the first three movies in the star wars story he had envisioned. (As a side-note, he also made some touch-ups to the three original films, re-mastering them with special effects and a couple of extra scenes that weren't doable with the eighties' animatronics. But those were mostly accepted/shrugged away since they didn't deeply modify anything.)
The hype for the movies was immense.
And then the first movie, Episode One The Phantom Menace came out.....and there was nerd rage beyond expectation.
Part of the problem was that the immense expectations of the fandom had grown until anything less-than-perfect simply would not do, so perhaps that is somewhat to blame for the reaction to the prequel trilogy. In a vacuum one has to admit that they aren't completely terrible films .
Episode Two Attack of the Clones and Episode Three Revenge of the Sith followed after a few years each and didn't garner nearly as much hatred, though fans complained they didn't match the greatness of the original trilogy, more concerned with flashy action and effects than competent story-telling; but hooo-boy did it deliver in flashy action, with laser armed MI-24's full of
stormtroopers extracting jedi from a coliseum full of shooty killbots.
Revenge of the Sith did, however, receive higher ratings than Return of the Jedi, and is generally seen as the best and most-complete of the three prequel films as a story. Unusually the novelization alters some details and is considered a legitimately good book on its own merits.
What was generally more well received (despite a rocky start with a two hour pilot being pressed into service as a movie and an art style that took some time to gel) during this time for Star Wars was the Clone Wars animated series (both the traditionally-animated Clone Wars and the later seasons of the CGI show The Clone Wars, the latter which most everyone agrees is what the prequels should have been), following the war between the Republic and the Confederacy that sprung up during the time between the second and third of the prequels.
It'd be really hard to find a group of movies more skubtastic than the prequel trilogy, and saying a good or bad thing about it in front of the wrong crowd's sure to provoke huge amounts of nerdrage. In defense of the prequel trilogy's sins, they did at least do their own thing. Because of how much money the original trilogy made, practically every form of media in the 80s and 90s aped it to some form or another, and instead of falling back on the same old shit the prequels branched out and tried to get out of the franchise's comfort zone a bit. While a lot of it sucked, it blazed a trail for better writers to follow and helped liven up the universe by showing us the galaxy beyond fuckhueg spaceships and faux-Western shitholes like Tatooine. And all but the most diehard OT purists can get behind shit like Naboo architecture, the Clone Army and Mace "The Ace" Windu. From a story perspective the worst sin of the prequels was demystifying the force, and subsequent works have largely swept that detail under the carpet.
Disney and the sequel trilogy
Finally, all the efforts by Disney to woo George Lucas paid off and in 2012 Disney acquired the Star Wars franchise for 4 billion dollars and immediately announced they would produce a new trilogy of films set after the original trilogy.
Episode 7: The Mouse Awakens
Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens debuted in December of 2015, and reception was what you would expect: the film was immediately a massive success from a monetary standpoint as everyone (almost) everywhere rushed to the theaters in response to the hype, with children engaging in as many repeat viewings as their parent's money could allow as fans did the same thing with their own. It has become a financial hit with the general public and a (critically) generally well-reviewed piece, with decent cinematography, special effects, technical stuff, etc. It also went on to become the third biggest financial success in film history, when not adjusted for inflation.
Fan response was a good deal more mixed. Many criticize the plot for rehashing Episode IV, without doing anything to establish its own identity and claim that it had a bland main character, who had too many abilities whereas others find the replication of Star Wars feel an acceptable trade and praise it for being a decent action film, and FALSELY point out the lead doesn't even outdo any of the previous main characters in anything. These people forget Luke was weaksauce in his first movie, constantly being saved and led by Solo and Obi-wan, and even the princess he goes to rescue is more assertive than he is, and he had to be saved from Vader by Han Solo before taking the final shot against the Death Star with a Force ghost's guidance. Even Anakin the Chosen One still lost his hand in his first real lightsaber duel (Dooku) even after a decade of training under an accomplished knight (Obi-wan defeats a Sith in his first duel!), and his journey is a tragedy of failures to save those he loved despite his powers.
Some would argue that by rehashing the original trilogy it basically nullified the accomplishments of the original crew; the Empire's still around, they've got yet another superweapon, Han & Leia split up, Luke failed to rebuild the Jedi, etc. Other fans praised it simply for being a new Star Wars that was better than the prequel trilogy (expectations were lowered due to those, to be honest). Some see poor storytelling when there was no proper showing of what went on in the galaxy 3 decades since Palpatine died, and not explaining what caused big character changes like why Han returned to his old ways or Luke ran from his friends was critical. Other say this is going to be explained in the next film and people should keep their curiosity. Some argue even with their superweapon, none of the villains feel threatening. Others argue the incompetence of the main villain is a fresh change and the point of the plot will be to see him change, to be more competent, or even learn to become good.
Overall, those against argued JJ Abrams' mystery box approach may do well for a TV series but does not mesh with films that take years to make. Defendants held the position that fans should wait to see whether the next film will do anything with the unexplained plot points.
And at least the jokes were better this time. You mean cringier Disney style sitcom jokes that belong on iCarly or whatever shitshow they crank out over there.
Coincidentally, when Hamill and Fisher were originally approached by Disney to reprise their roles as Luke and Leia, they didn't want to do it right from the start. But, they didn't want to give an out-and-out "no" answer either, so they told Disney they'd return if Harrison Ford agreed to return as Han Solo as well. Knowing how much Ford hated Solo, Hamill and Fisher figured they were safe, until Disney irresistibly sweetened the deal for Ford by agreeing to kill off his character, thus forcing a reluctant Hamill and Fisher to make good on their deal... only for the three characters to never appear on the screen at the same time. To be fair, Hamill has a history of saying he won’t do something only to immediately agree like he’s making a standard sitcom gag in real life, even if that usually just applies to still voicing the Joker in Batman media.
Rebels & Rogues: Star Wars Stories
Disney also released their own CGI series: Star Wars: Rebels, which is actually pretty ok (considering that it airs on Disney XD, it should be no surprise that they've toned down the graphic depictions of gratuitous violence, much to the chagrin of those who love overly gory deaths). It focuses less on the Jedi that have come to dominate the franchise and more on the "boots on the ground" experience of the average characters, and while the show started slow and small, the plot gained momentum as the series progressed, especially after the first season. The Rebel movement started to grow, several characters returned from The Clone Wars, and the enemies the main characters have had to face steadily got darker and more dangerous as more of the Empire’s attention was attracted. When Darth Vader gets involved (played by none other than James Earl Jones himself) he immediately proceeds to open a 24-pack of unstoppable whoop-ass on the rebel scum. The return of Maul resulted in three character deaths (possibly four), the crippling of one main character with another well on his way down the dark side, and to top it all off Maul himself was on the loose once again. Things did not turn out so well last time that happened, so expect the body count to rise, especially with Grand Admiral Thrawn now also coming onto the scene. The show also continues the trend set by The Clone Wars in making the Force mystical again, though whether this is a good or bad thing depends on how you felt about the
bullshit scientific skubtastic midichlorian explanation of the Prequels. The animation is on point with The Clone Wars, which considering it's Disney should surprise less than nobody. Oh, and Steve Blum voices one of the main characters. However, it is also noted that Star Wars Rebels may indeed have dark ending. Which, to a degree, it did. An important character dies, and his padawan flees into the unknown regions, leaving us with two other characters to go look for him after the second Death Star blows up.
The way that Filoni (the creator of Rebels and The Clone Wars) has handled the Mandalorians, a fan-favorite warrior-culture based upon the Scots and Vikings, has either been met with praise from those who despised Traviss and her overpowering of said culture, or utter RAGE that he turned many of them into either pacifist morons or bloodthirsty barbarians- usually that particular criticism comes from the Traviss fanboys. Do take note, however, that the old ways for the Mandalorians are making their way back into canon, such as the language, the emphasis on martial honor, and the decentralized nature of their government.
December of 2016 brought us the first standalone Star Wars movie, "Rogue One", showing the theft of the original Death Star plans. While "Rogue One" has been criticised for being lacking in character development; (fair warning) literally the entire cast of the movie who doesn't appear in Episode IV dies by the end, and it still manages to pack more than it's fair share of awesome into the movie, with Donnie Yen, Alan Tudyk and Darth Vader all used to great effect. Rogue One also answers several questions, plugs several plot holes, and just generally makes A New Hope make a lot more sense in retrospect. (No wonder Vader wasn't impressed when Leia claimed to be on a "diplomatic mission.") It also has the distinction of being the only Star Wars movie to focus on regular soldiers instead of Jedi. Much, much Skub still exists of course, since no Star Wars movie will ever please all the neckbeards but out of the four post-Disney Star Wars movies released so far, this one is definitely the least divisive and arguably the best of the bunch.
Episode 8: The Last Royalty Check (aka zomg Luke dies!)
On December 14 2017, Star Wars Episode 8: The Last Jedi was released world wide. The critical reception was extremely positive, with many critics considering it the best movie in the series since The Empire Strikes Back. The fan reception has been a great deal more negative and mixed, and a number of fans are convinced that Disney leaned on media outlets to shill the new movie or else. If you have watched the Empire Strikes Back, you WILL be disappointed at best, if you want to see a Star Wars film that would finally expand the characters of Kylo Ren and Rey, you WILL be satisfied and disappointed at the same time, if you want to watch the film because it is the last film starring the great and wonderful Carrie Fisher, you WILL feel hollow and sad inside, and if you came to see a pair of lightsaber-wielding punks involved in one of the greatest or worst lightsaber battles of the franchise, you WILL be pleased or horribly dissapointed. The Last Jedi is seen as one of the most divisive films in the franchise by the fandom, which is one hell of an achievement considering other films.
The complaints about The Last Jedi are many: the treatment of Luke (which even his actor, Mark Hamill, hated, to the point that he has no interest in playing Luke again), Leia's Superman asspull, Finn's plot arc that serves practically zero purpose and has him undergo the same character arc as the last movie, the forced humor, the complete disregard for established fluff, disregard for even the most basic laws of physics, the fact that the central conflict is essentially the same as the one in the originals right down to the last stand ripped straight out of Empire, the PC bullshit (a hipster admiral who the plot always treats as being in the right despite killing 90% of the Resistance, the Gilded Age planet arc that sucks up a third of the movie to no benefit, Rose expressing her desire to get BLACKED with a horrendous and forced #LoveTrumpsHate one-liner in the final act) added solely to virtue-signal and the whole thing being basically a 2,5h screed against the franchise it belongs to and the culture which spawned it.
Fans have also criticized the movie for dropping or discarding major plot points from TFA and repeatedly invoking Shamalamadingdong-tier plot twists for cheap gotchas that are somehow less interesting than the recycled cliches they play off of. Director Rian Johnson has responded by shitting on said critics and trying to defend the film on social media like something out of an ED article. (Important note: George Lucas never tried to defend the prequels, despite the huge backlash at the time, and he agreed with fans that The Star Wars Holiday Special was an abomination.) It later came out that Johnson had not been given any kind of roadmap beyond Lucas' old and unfinished concept scripts and was not allowed to see what Abrams had done until TLJ was too far into production to write in most of the previous movie's plot points, which makes the fail Disney's fault just as much as it is Johnson's. Except we also know that he had at least a modicum of influence over the ending of TFA, so they must have talked on at least some degree. As with TFA Lucasfilm has tried to paper over the holes with tie-in material, and just like TFA the fans recognize the damage control.
The Last Jedi has without a doubt torn the fanbase apart in ways even the prequels didn't come close to, with many fans declaring that they have dropped the sequel trilogy. Even Star Wars' famous merchandising has taken a mauling, as /toy/ giggles at Rose Tico and General Hux figures warming shelves while new product shipments go straight from the transport case to the clearance bin.
On May 25th 2018, the 41st anniversary of the franchise, Solo: A Star Wars Story was released. The general consensus seems to be that it is the most average film in the series. At the very least, most people agree that it is at least better than The Last Jedi (if barely) and the backlash from that movie can be felt even in Solo: many fans have chosen to boycott the movie. Even before release, many fans had derided the whole affair as unnecessary: no one was really asking for a Han Solo origin movie, particularly one without Harrison Ford. Han Solo's entire life history had already been explored thoroughly in EU novels and comics, so the movie could only be a retread or a retcon, both things most fanbases tend to disapprove of. Whether it is because of this boycott or not, something no one expected happened: Solo was a box office bomb. Its opening weekend performed way below expectations and as of this writing, it has only made half of the money it needs for it to break even. Disney still continued to labor under the delusion that China would save their bottom line regardless of the fact that Star Wars has never been popular in China.
So what is it like? Well, rather than being a space opera like the other films, this is a space Western. Rather than being about large-scale battles and saving the galaxy from tyranny, it's about heists and the galactic underworld. (Except for the Mimban sequence, which you'd swear was lifted from a live-action Imperial Guard movie.) It's essentially Disney's reboot/retcon of the old EU Han Solo novels, taking things that were mentioned offhand in the original trilogy (like how Han did the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs) and making that the subject of an entire movie. The film was perhaps cursed from the beginning due to its troubled production. How troubled? The lead needed an acting coach to get through his shoots (Han may have walked away with the Falcon, but Danny Glover's Lando stole the spotlight every time) and 70% of the movie had to be reshot by a different director due to creative differences between Lucasfilm and the original directors.
The fail only compounded when it premiered and fans got to see what those "creative differences" may have wrought: the writing staff started spewing bullshit to the press about Lando being "pansexual" with no precedent in any Star Wars production including Solo, the film's tone is a schizophrenic nightmare to the last-minute reshoots and Han's sidekick for most of the movie is a self-built female droid social justice warrior named L3-37. Audiences cheered and applauded when that
manhuman-hating self-insert character finally fucking died. Perhaps the most damning sin is that these are the movie's only notable qualities: take them away and you're left with a movie that would make you think "Huh, that was okay," and then never think about it again for the rest of your life, were it not for the crippling disappointment of seeing one of the most beloved franchises in the world fall so far. Between the boycotts, the mediocrity of the movie itself, and certain news outlets claiming that the driving force behind said boycotts was /pol/, Solo cratered so badly that all non-Episode 9 Star Wars movies were for a short time shelved indefinitely, and the only side-movie still being worked on is the obligatory Boba Fett origin movie, which is more likely to sell tickets based on the name alone. Incidentally, one of the writers picked by Lucasfilm to handle Solo's tie-in content, Cavan Scott, has been hired by Games Workshop for the Warhammer Adventures series.
Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker (aka Papa Palpatine returns)
We don't know much. What we do know, is that Palpatine (or the senate, according to some.) will be returning in a major role. However, this enrages the old guard of the Star Wars community. Why? The entire storyline of Star Wars was built around the idea of Anakin Skywalker's fall, and eventual redemption. He was the "chosen one", right? But now, seeing as the big bad is not dead and might end up being killed off by some relatively unknown new character compared to the classic characters from prior trilogies, this essentially means that Anakin died for nothing, and that all his character development meant nothing in the grand scheme of things (As a side note Papa Palpatine also returned in the old EU; but then again so did Vader with the whole force ghost thing.). This is made all the worse seeing how epVII basically detached the new trilogy from the events of the previous two by nullifying everything the heroes achieved in OT.
On the other hand, seeing the trailers for the other sequel movies, that JJ Abrams is known for revealing nothing of importance before the premiere of his films, and that Force ghosts exist; the most likely thing is, or that Palpatine is haunting the ruins of the Death Star instead of being alive, his force ghost is possessing someone else or that it is a big misdirection (although that would be a bullshit move).
If that's a good thing or not, we must wait and see. However, after finishing shooting, a poor showing among test audiences resulted in 3+ months of reshoots. If reception was poor enough to almost double the filming time and make it last till mere months before release, one can expect interesting results. The current speculation is, that Disney has about a dozen versions of the film thought out, and is making all the recent leaks on purpose to find one that would appease the fans. Also, HORSE RIDING ON STAR DESTROYERS! Star Wars will never recover.
It can be said what makes a franchise into a long term lasting thing is when a wealth of extra story and background is created that expands on the original story far beyond what there was. It could be argued Star Wars leads the race in this, as the sheer amount of extra novels, graphic novels and games based on Star Wars can and does overwhelm the ordinary fan.
The background has expanded into the distant past before the founding of the current Jedi and Sith orders and into the (not-quite-so) far future looking at the descendants of Luke Skywalker and other popular characters. Uniquely, especially considering other franchises' track records, the Star Wars Expanded Universe is
remarkably sorta sometimes internally consistent, both with other sources within the universe and with the films themselves, at least in comparison to other comparable settings. Of course, it's got plenty of its own problem children that slipped through, and the skub mine of it all isn't much shallower than that of 40K. Good portions of it do hold up well, largely due to the efforts of Lucas' company's continuity department leaning on everyone to hold it together. Particularly well-loved parts include characters like Grand Admiral Thrawn (a rare alien officer in the Empire and popular enough that Disney brought him back to the canon from the EU) and Mara Jade (a Force-using former agent of Emperor Palpatine before she turned good, became a Jedi, married Luke and had a son with him) - interestingly both were created by the same author Timothy Zahn.
Upon their acquisition, Disney said "fuck it" and threw out everything but the films and the Clone Wars cartoons. Some popular old stuff got mentions or appearances (and Thrawn got to be a major character), but the overall quality is even lower than the old EU. What was set up as a major book contains phrases like "The TIE wibbles and wobbles through the air" and random virtue signalling. As though to top the previous, Disney literally published a book with an entire chapter about mass wedding farts (Yes. Really.). The only good stuff is from established EU authors writing stuff far away from era of the Disney films.
The rage over the EU's scrapping was major among many fans of it, but for all Disney's shortcomings, they were in a tight spot. Towards the end all that continuity and consistency got thrown out the airlock for increasingly dumb and disjointed narratives and garbled plot threads to the point that the Star Wars logo was just about as much a sign of quality as the Nintendo approval stamp on shitty SNES games. Though they have their fans, particularly contentious parts include the grimdark invasion of the Yuuzhan Vong - forcenull space-Druchii (no no, not Comorrites though they have the pain and body modification fetishes for it, space-Druchii, riding enslaved tyranid bioships) from another galaxy, a personal-sized spaceship that could blow up whole galaxies and destroy fleets on its own, Mnggal-Mnggal - mindraping gelatin lost on its way to Star Trek, and Abeloth - an ancient (she predates the Jedi and the Sith) yandere Force entity who wandered in from the Cthulhu Mythos and is so dangerous the Jedi and the Sith joined forces to fight her. It's difficult to envision how Disney could have kept the EU when even before all that it was struggling to find a market beyond the most dedicated fans.
Granted it's debatable how much less successful the new EU is over the old.
The Good EU
- The Thrawn Trilogy: The origination point for the EU, and focuses on the conflict with the Imperial remnants left over after RotJ. Named for the main villain, Grand Admiral Thrawn, who went on to become one of Star Wars most well-loved characters. Basically the story "The Force Awakens" wishes it was. Also introduced Mara Jade, a sexy redhead that's everything Disney wishes Rey was and more.
- The Han Solo Adventures: Star's End was the second spinoff book written and the first good one. Would have made for a better film than Solo did.
- Shadows of the Empire: Shadows is set between ESB and RotJ and fills in the details of getting the Death Star II's plans, finding out where Han was taken, Luke building his own saber, etc by the introduction of another bounty hunter by the name of Dash Rendar. The Special Edition rerelease of A New Hope added the Outrider to the background of one scene. Most notable for the fact that it was also adapted into a video game for the N64 and PC.
- Revenge of the Sith: The novelization is actually considered a serious improvement over the movie itself.
The Bad EU
- Jedi Academy Trilogy: Luke sets up his academy on Yavin IV and tries to teach Kyp Durron. Imperial remnant superweapons hit ludicrous territory with the sun crusher. This was the beginning of Kevin J Anderson hammering out a couple dozen Star Wars books over about four years.
- Young Jedi Knights Series: Set between Jedi Academy and New Jedi Order, mostly follows Han & Leia's kids.
- I, Jedi: A retelling of the Jedi Academy Trilogy (see above) with more of Corran Horn from the first set of X-Wing books. Less derp in general but significantly more Mary Sueage of Horn.
- Legacy of the Force: The survivors of the Yuuzhan Vong War are trying to rebuild the galaxy, but Jacen Solo turns Sith and becomes the main villain. The book series is infamous for nearly killing the Star Wars EU, threatening the franchise and issues between various writers years before Disney went down the same road (Jacen Solo was also a major inspiration for Kylo Ren). The biggest complaints were Jacen killing Mara, the heroes becoming idiots whenever they could've stopped the villains, poor dialogue, long-winded writing and the story being overstuffed with allusions to post 9/11 United States.
The Skub EU
- New Jedi Order: The longest-running (19 books long) and most divisive story of the EU. Luke's married to Mara and they're rebuilding the Jedi Order while Han and Leia are trying to reconcile the New Republic and Imperial Remnants. Han and Leia are also raising three kids and Mara's got a terminal illness. Then extragalactic aliens called Yuuzhan Vong - religious fanatics with organic technology, a thing for pain and body modification along with partial immunity to The Force - start a war to conquer the Star Wars Galaxy. Chewie dies Majora's Mask style, Mara's illness is cured and she gives birth to Ben Skywalker, the Vong capture Coruscant, most factions team up against the Vong, lots is learned about the Force and the bodycount goes through the roof. A real love-it-or-hate-it series, some parts were good, some were bad and some were weird.
- Dark Empire: Palpatine's back to save a dying franchise decades before Disney tried it. Starts off good, falls apart fast. Known for its love-it-or-hate-it artstyle and dialogue.
- Courtship of Princess Leia: Deals with another Imperial remnant. This one has force witches. It's also really silly. If you like that, raise this higher. If not, it might even drop lower.
- Fate of the Jedi: People are growing dissatisfied with the Jedi Order following LotF. Luke, his son Ben and the remaining Jedi are trying to fix things and a Sith Tribe emerges from hiding. Things take a turn for cosmic horror when a yandere eldritch abomination of the Force who could spell doom for the galaxy escapes her prison. One of the Sith rises through the ranks and finds herself in a Catwoman/Batman situation with Ben Skywalker. While being an OoM better than the preceding trilogy,FotJ has a very divided opinion among SW fans.
Star Wars:The Television Shows
Star Wars:The Clone Wars
While we're on the topic of the EU,let's talk about TCW. One of the most universally known and loved parts of Star Wars,most fans worth their action figures and limited edition movie sets have watched the show and have an opinion on it one way or another. Some of the most notable characteristics are:
- The Clone Troopers are fleshed out,and we see that they are manly motherfuckers who make Guardsmen's balls of steel look like the cardboard their armor is made out of (seriously,in the movie,they literally charge straight into close combat with giant armored walkers with large guns and jump off roofs to get top of them to shoot them point blank, and punch droids in the face)
- Anakin Skywalker is actually a good, fleshed out character, with a good voice actor and shows his descent to child-murdering Force-choking asshat wasn't just him going 'welp,guess I'll fall to the Dark Side.' There was a fair amount of casual bad-cop murder to get there.
- Non-OP non-Mary Sue female Jedi as a major character who doesn't invalidate characters from the movies.
- Obi-Wan being a sexy one-liner spouting sarcastic badass.
- And many others.
However, there were some pretty derp moments too, such as
- Babysitting episode.
- D-squad, where a bunch of droids become heroes of the Republic.
- Mandalore and how it's fluff was basically screwed 180 degrees, and then some.
- Droid were comic relief of the first and second seasons. It was annoying.
All in all, it was an ok show.
Now that Disney owns Star Wars they can't go a season without something new to run on Disney XD, so after The Clone Wars ended they needed a series to milk episodes out of and launched Rebels. Rebels is set a few years before A New Hope and covers the early formation of the rebellion from the perspective of one cell focused on the planet Lothal. If you liked Rogue One but thought it should be about 25 hours long and done in cartoony CGI then this is the show for you.
So what did we see in Rebels?
- Grand Admiral Thrawn makes his debut in Disney Star Wars, along with the TIE Defender project. The character doesn’t lose much in the translation, and later on is arguably treated better than the source.
- The bearded old guy in the Endor strike team in RotJ turns out to be Captain Rex. Fan theory at first, later confirmed.
- You CAN combi-weapon a lightsaber and a blaster, and it's OP as shit
- Force wolves (no, not those force wolves)
- Game of Thrones-style Mandos (Krownest is pretty much Space-Winterfell). Read it again, Disney managed to unfuck post-KOTOR Mandos.
- Ahsoka fights Vader (and then escapes into the webway)
- The Obi-Wan Kenobi vs Maul in a duel that's as epic as it is brief
- Imperial Inquisitors. Sure they don’t last long, but they were intimidating while they were, and it planted the seed that was used elsewhere.
So about the wolves... Rebels turns the force mysticism up past 11. Forget just being precog space monks with laser swords; as far as Rebels is concerned the Jedi are craftworld eldar without the racism. Rebels picks up the torch of the Clone Wars “Force Gods” and mixes in some of the straight-up fantasy shit from the Lucas era novels and the KOTOR/Old Republic Jedi philosophy schools and heresies beyond just “Light good, Dark bad”.
However, there were levels of derp that we got to see in this show, such as the following:
- Since this is a Disney cartoon, the bad guys can't have even a temporary victory. This changes Thrawn and the other Imperials from an imposing force to cartoon villains, although Rebels villains manage to stay intimidating more than Grievous did in Clone Wars.
- Battles slower paced than a Death Guard movement phase. Enjoy characters having full conversations in cover-based shooting when everyone has Stormtrooper aim.
- Lightsabers the shape of toothpicks.
- Helicopter lightsabers
- Complete bipolarity in tone. This can create some great moments, but invariably ruins the mood episode by episode, or between the A and B plots.
- Iron Squadron. Just...fucking Iron Squadron
All in all, it depends on your preference.
Since the show does have a fair amount of dedicated fans,
likely possibly more than the sequel trilogy itself, Disney has made a habit of planting Easter Egg references to Rebels in basically everything moving forward, usually in the form of an appearance by the iconic ship The Ghost or the friendly-ish space pirate character Hondo Ohnaka.
Annnd they had to go and change things. With Rebels coming to a close and a burning need to keep Star Wars on their lineup, Disney had a choice: find a new plot and setting for a formula and art style that had produced two successful multi-season shows, or throw it all out and start from scratch. Remember, this is Disney we're talking about, the company that once paid a quarter billion dollars to fire the producer who made The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King only for him to go and found Dreamworks out of spite.
Like its predecessor, Star Wars:Resistance sets itself up as a prequel to a trilogy, in this case following the early days of the Resistance in its fight against the First Order. Where it differs from Rebels is that Resistance is playing the warm up act for a trilogy that nobody likes. On top of which, the creators abandoned the 3D style that Rebels inherited from The Clone Wars, and replaced it with a cel style that's half Treasure Planet and half Avatar: The Last Airbender.
To be blunt, this show is 100% pure crystal derp. Our star is Kazuda Xiono, a manic depressive who literally fanboy-ed his way into being a spy under the cover story of being a mechanic, two jobs he is not qualified for. This kid is the Invader Zim of Star Wars. Filling out the cast we have the original only cockney girl in space, an autistic alien, their widower boss who is definitely gonna die, D.Va and her ex-imperial officer dad, and BB-8. Poe Dameron shows up regularly so he can be Ace Fucking Rimmer without having to compete against Rey for the TOP SUE trophy. Reception was so terrible it was confirmed canceled at 2 seasons before the second season even started.
Part of the problem with Resistance is that the First Order has a doomfort that can frag planets across the galaxy, yet has to resort to hiring pirates to encourage settlements into accepting the First Order's protection racket. Palpy's empire was a model of efficient, heavy handed governance; its evil intent veiled from the masses who mostly resent it for bringing order. The First Order on the other hand is basically just Cobra Command, a font of evil hamstrung by flailing incompetence. As mentioned earlier, the backstory for the Resistance and First Order is basically that the First Order are a mobile pirate fleet with one untested secret base weapon lead by old farts of dubious actual leadership abilities from the Empire and their fanatical children with grunts made up of brainwashed child soldiers kidnapped from pioneer settlements while the Resistance is just a tiny militia that is so poorly funded they don’t even qualify as a single fleet since their few outdated capital ships are crewed by outdated droids and they don’t even have enough fighters to protect them, but rather than depict the potentially interesting dynamic this suggests the series just tries to be Rebels again, the same path the movies took even though at this point both factions are even smaller than they were in the movies.
One important thing to note about alien species in Star Wars is that almost all of them were originally singular costumes added to the films for background color or to make a character stand out, then had a species name and culture retconned onto them by Expanded Universe writers. As a result, most species' "personalities" are just shallow clones of the character they're derived from. Many of the species seen in the original trilogy were given names and backstories by the original RPG from West End Games that became canon as every other EU novel to come after used Star Wars D6 as a reference.
- Humans: Leias. They originated in the Galactic Core, but have spread to most inhabited planets, first as slaves to a now-extinct race of precursors and then through initial space exploration with pre-hyperdrive generation ships. As a result there are a lot of "near-human" species kicking around that are basically just weird-looking humans and pretty much the only species humans can crossbreed with.
- Mandalorians: Bobas. A society of space Spartans/Vikings with cool armor. Actually not human majority initially (Unless you are a Disney fan).
- Corellians: Hans. Literally an entire culture of dashing rogues and space cowboys who like to go fast and smuggle shit; the Corellian Engineering Corporation made the Falcon (duh) and many of the Rebel ships seen in the original trilogy. Nearly ruined their planet with starship factories, but now they've gone green and relocated all of their heavy industry to space stations. Their home system reeks of precursor meddling and is detailed enough to be a setting in itself, complete with a Big Dumb Object in the middle (Centerpoint Station) for PCs to fuck with.
- Wookiees: Chewbaccas, and one of the only species to be named in the films. Huge, swole sloth people that do not live on Endor and can't speak (but absolutely understand) Basic. Most are actually pretty peaceful and intelligent and they have produced a lot of highly skilled engineers. They highly value people who save their life, becoming their eternal friend in what is known as a Life-debt; this is how Han met Chewie. Has the unfortunate distinction of being the first species in Star Wars lore to have their home planet and culture detailed...
in the Star Wars Holiday Special.lore from the Legends.
- Trandoshan: Bossks. Brutish, scaly Lizardfolk capable of regenerating severed limbs and absolutely obsessed with hunting shit. Have had a continuous race war with the Wookies since before FTL was a thing, which is a long-ass time in Star Wars. Their religion is about scoring "points", with the only known method of gaining them is violent action and the only known method of losing them is being captured alive by enemies. The system was first mentioned a mere three years after Doom so the fact that they essentially see life as a giant, violent video game is likely pure coincidence. Despite this they aren't universally evil, though they often are.
- Twi'leks: Hot alien babes. Enough have been transported off world, generally as slaves, they can be found anywhere, and many have never seen their ancestral home. Given it's a borderline death world whose chief economic exports are drugs and slaves, they aren't missing anything. Their most interesting quality is that they can communicate silently with the weird head-tails ("lekku") that they have instead of hair. TORtanic tried to rationalize their fetish for enslaving their own as being the result of a precursor project to design the perfect slave race, but nobody cares about this because TORtanic is shit.
- Duros: Seen once in Hope during the cantina scene. Naturally they're one of the most important species in the EU despite not having a canon character until The Clone Wars introduced us to Cad Bane. Enslaved by precursors alongside humans, they were among the first to develop FTL travel based on salvaged hyperdrive technology and are the only non-human species to have an equivalent of "near-human" in a few "near-Duros" species.
- Bothans: Died to bring you this information. A race of wolf-men/goat-men (depending on which author/illustrator) who are almost universally spies thanks to that one-off line from Mon Mothma. In truth the best and early EU works portray them as something far worse: politicians. The most prominent Bothan is Borsk Fey'lya, a Bothan politician who used his role in the acquisition of the second Death Star plans to maintain a place in the New Republic's senior leadership and uses his position for personal gain like any proper politician should. Now possibly NOT wolfgoatpeople, thanks to some Lucasfilm source being all like “it’s never explicitly stated that they’re aliens, maybe they’re humans, *WINK*”.
- Rodians: Greedos. Their home planet being a death world full of predators means they are often aggressive and put hunters in high regard, which is the EU excuse for all the film Rodians being criminals.
- Chiss: Thrawns. Near humans with blue skin, dark blue/black hair and red eyes. They dwell in the Unknown Regions, with they’re own fancy schmancy empire, crack navy and altogether superior technological advancements that make the rest of the galaxy look fucking backward (see blaster resistant clothes...whereas fucking stormtrooper armour can be defeated by arrows loosed by Care Bears). Known for being superb pilots, traders, negotiators, tacticians and all round scheming bastards with Danish accents.
- Gran are three eyed goat (?) like aliens with rough, tan skin. They are quite nice and peaceful with excellent vision, especially in distinguishing color. Unfortunately for the galaxy at large, Gran exile most of their criminals: They consider being unable to see the rich and beautiful environments of their homeworld a fate worse than death. These exiles often fall into criminal groups.
- Mon Calamari: Ackbars. An aquatic species whose long history of making airtight vehicles for travel in three dimensions has made them excellent ship-builders. During the early days of the Rebellion the Mon Calamari were one of the few races to successfully throw off the Empire during Operation Domino and not be subject to immediate reprisal thanks to their isolated location and strategy of mining hyperspace routes to buttfuck any Imperial ships sent to shut them down (ships coming out of hyperspace don't have shields). Those weird-looking bubble ships from Return of the Jedi are built by Mon Calamari.
- Quarren: Another background species from Jedi who share their homeworld of Dac with the Mon Calamari. Prideful isolationists who stick to the depths, with their main contact to the surface being trading deep sea mined materials to the Mon Calamari. Look more than a bit like Illithid.
- Gamorreans are space Orcs: Pig-like, brutish, stupid and violent. Constantly at war with each other, their clan identity is so strong they'll try to kill each other if from opposing clans if they meet off-world. Frequently brought into the galaxy as slaves or by clans trading labor/muscles for outside resources. Like Wookiees, can't physically speak Basic. Unlike Wookiees, only their clan matrons and some high ranking men are literate in their native language.
- Droids aren't a true species, but are playable in all RPGs. They're supposed to be really smart appliances, but Star Wars technology is so fucked up that a few develop sapience if left on too long without formatting. Despite this droids aren't considered people by the galaxy at large because sapient droids are as rare as non-evil drow and most of the time leaving droids running for a long time just makes them slower and buggier until they can't do their jobs anymore, like Windows, or, at best, overly attuned to a specific user. That a good number of sapient droids have learned to bypass that pesky "no killing" clause doesn't exactly encourage experimenting with it either.
- Class 1 droids are designed to preform scientific applications like medicine or lab work. Since they were designed to be used in fixed locations most, but not all, have limited mobility.
- Class 2 droids are designed to preform technical labor like repair work. Since they are expected to work within artificial locations they are generally on wheels or treads and have short, non-human shapes. One notable subcategory of Class 2 droids are Astromech Droids (like the famed R2 series), which are designed to plug into fighters and bombers where they function as a co-pilot, navicomputer and in-flight repair.
- Class 3 droids are designed for human interaction, with jobs like translator or chef. Some lower end Class 3 droids were made for positions like waiter. Almost all of them are roughly human shape, with the main exception being those built by and for non-humans.
- Class 4 droids are the most varied but have one thing in common that clearly separates them: They are made for combat and (except for a few armed with only stun weapons) don't have programming against killing. Class 4 droids vary in intelligence from blaster turrets with some targeting AI to clever and ruthless assassins/commandos. Even Human Replica Droids, designed to be indistinguishable from humans, are technically Class 4. Many Class 4 droids have their nature obfuscated by building them into the shell of a Class 1 or Class 3 droid.
- Class 5 droids are made for manual labor like heavy lifting or a power generator with legs. They are barely intelligent, rarely have names and almost never become sapient. They are however cheap and quite common.
- Zabrak: Mauls. Near-humans with mostly bald, spikey heads and two hearts. Those black markings Maul had are actually ritualistic tatoos that Zabrak men often get. They were pretty divided internally till the Empire decided to oppress them all and force them to join together. Eeth Koth of the Jedi Council was one.
- Dathomirians are a sub-species of Zabrak native to Dathomir who supposedly interbred with humans to create a new group, which was separated according to gender, though their origins have been neglected in current canon. Even so, the females of this sub-species do not have the spiked heads typical of other Zabraks. Darth Maul is the most prominent Dathomirian in the films and TV series.
- Togruta: Red skinned humanoids with lekku and hollow horns that allow echolocation. Shaak Ti and Ahsoka were Togruta.
- Hutts: Jabbas. (Fun fact: "the Hutt" was just a title in the original trilogy and Jabba was just some random slug dude. The original film didn't even intended for him to be an alien!) Naturally they're all mini-Jabbas who live in a clan/crime-family/zaibatsu type of arrangement known as the kadjic. Kind of like the Mexican drug cartels in that they have their own corner of the galaxy that they rule independently, even after they join the Empire they pay the Moff to look the other way when they do shady shit. (They're always doing shady shit.) Because the Hutts own exactly one third of all organized crime (and a significant number of planets) in the galaxy and it is the third (after Basic and Binary) most widespread full language, Huttese is a good language to take, especially for criminal-types . Be warned! Hutts have four fingered hands and their numbering system uses base eight! Despite being looking and acting like fat neckbeards they're actually insanely strong and their less bulky youth are very agile for their size. They LOL at the Force, so the RPGs tend to give them a huge bonus to resist mental influence.
- Sullustan: Short, tunnelfaring, crafters who can drink a lot without getting drunk. Near-humans with flappy jowls and black eyes that originally evolved for tunnels. Their SoroSuub company is one of the largest tech makers in the galaxy, and likely the largest that isn't Human run.
- Toydarians: Wattos. Blue tapir-looking dudes from Hutt Space who can hover on fly-like wings. As their source character is a hilariously offensive Jewish stereotype, the EU largely ignored Toydarians until The Clone Wars reinvented them as a vaguely Cambodian monarchy on a mud world. Mind tricks don't work on them (only money).
- Jawa: Utinni! They roam Tatooine (and a few other planets) scavenging technology and selling it. A handful of sources mention they are rodents under the hoods.
- Ewoks: If skub became a race, Ewoks would be a contender up there with Gungans and Yuuzhan Vong. Small koala-like creatures, similar to Jawas, that live on the forest moon of Endor, Ewoks are super primitive and live in tribes. They end up playing a big part in the Rebel victory in Return by attacking Imperial stormtroopers and destroying some walkers. Their reception didn't seem too bad at first, but in the following decades they've become reviled by many, not so much for their design but more for the idea that small bears with spears and rocks could defeat what were supposed to be the Emperor's finest troops. Some people don't mind them (and they were definitely profitable for merchandise) but others hate them and say they're a prime reasom that attitudes toward Return have gotten increasingly negative over the years.
- Neimoidians: Trade Federation flunkies; they will not survive this. Their reproductive cycle is really weird, producing lots of grubs which are raised in warrens fighting over a limited amount of food in which the weak are culled. Unlike how this usually goes, this process makes the Neimodians prone to hoarding resources and wary of danger.
- Noghri: Primitive, short Suarian people who happen to be some of the deadliest non-Jedi melee combatants and assassins in the galaxy. Darth Vader bought their loyalty by saving them from the environmental damage a crashed ship caused. They are a major part of Timothy Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy, which they were invented for.
- Tarasin: Invented whole-cloth for the Living Force campaign for Star Wars D20. Lizardmen with scales that change color based on their emotions and frilled necks. With focus they can control their colors enough to camouflage themselves and even "speak" silently amongst each other. They had a high degree of force sensitivity, though if this a result of their species or their home system being a place where the Force is strong is unknown.
- Shards: Sapient crystals. They are incapable of movement and don't speak the way humans do. They can however control droid bodies they are implanted into. Several are force sensitive which led to a Jedi teaching them the ways of the Force. The Jedi order shunned these "Iron Knights" and excommunicated the master responsible. This wound up benefiting them though, as the master and his students were able to survive the Jedi purge due to the obscurity this granted. When Luke's new order emerged they welcomed the Shards with open arms.
- Rakata: The aforementioned precursors, developed by BioWare for the Knights of the Old Republic game (though there were a few mentions of precursors here and there before that). Formed an "Infinite Empire" long before the Republic using dark side powered hyperdrives only they could use. When they gradually lost their force sensitivity their empire fell apart. Responsible for why there are so many Humans and Human off-shoots everywhere: They were seeded throughout the Infinite Empire as a slave race and abandoned when it fell. There is no evidence they existed past the Old Republic era, where a few fractured and primitive survivors were seen on their home planet and this planet was devoid of life by the time of the Ruusan Reformation.
- Sith: Red skinned near-humans with boney tentacles growing out from near their nose and an affinity for the dark side, especially illusions. Natives of Korriban, the order most people know as Sith were a result of exiled dark Jedi interbreeding with them and adding their knowledge of technology. So diluted with human blood they were extremely rare by the Old Republic era and believed extinct by the time of of the prequels. A few small mostly primitive pockets had been discovered however, but were covered up by Palpatine so he could grab more dark side goodies. More or less invented whole-cloth for the EU.
- Yuuzhan Vong: Extragalactic aliens who only use organic technology. Pallid humanoids with tapered skulls who came from a living planet they worshiped as a god called Yuuzhan'tar. The first time the Vong met aliens was an interstellar robot war. Fighting off said robots made them hate all machines and gain such a taste for conquest they made up a new war god and conquered their galaxy... only to destroy it due to infighting. To punish their tyranny, Yuuzhan'tar cut them off from the Force, unintentionally making them mostly immune to it. They developed a race-wide pain and body modification fetish trying to fix this before finding and invading the Star Wars galaxy. The resulting religious war decimated the New Republic, caused mass genocides and had a death toll of around 365 trillion (including Chewbacca). Then Luke and his family killed the guy manipulating their civilization behind the scenes, found Yuuzhan'tar's living planet offspring and ended the wawr. The Vong colonized it, reconnected to the Force and became terraformers as penance. Rendered part of the Legends by Disney.
- Grysk: A near mythical species from the Unknown regions, where starships usually can't go because the hyperspace along its border is a level of fucked-up that only warp storms can match. Little is known about them except that they live on a spacefleet, have a fierce warrior culture, are humanoids with tapered skulls, their weapons and armor are ritualistically disfigured on the right side and they had a penchant for electrical weapons. Likely Disney's replacement for the Yuuzhan Vong, since Space Cenobites with bio-tech is too weird and grimdark for Disney. The Rak'gol to the Yuuzhan Vong's Tyranids.
Impact on 1d4chan and associated games etc
Star Wars has had subtle and clear impacts on a number of other franchises and genres and it can be incredibly hard to gauge the extent of it all. Certainly it didn't create the concepts of sci-fi, space battles, sweeping storylines, and a blending of mystical and scientific ideas, but it certainly popularized them during the years of the original trilogy and influenced many people that would go on to have interests in sci-fi, fantasy and epic adventure today.
Hell, look me in the eye and tell me that the lightsaber didn't give us the power weapon. But then again, magic weapons.
Sabacc and Pazaak
A rather unusual entry here but it's well in line, Sabacc is an actual tabletop card game from the Star Wars universe which is basically a hybrid of Poker and Blackjack. A Sabacc Deck has 76 cards, most of which in four suits of 16 cards numbered one to 16, plus sixteen wildcards in two sets with values that were either negative or (in the case of the Idiot) Zero. The goal of the game is to have a set of three cards who's total as close as possible to, but not over, 23 or -23. If you got 23/-23 which could only be beaten by an Idiot's Array (One Idiot, a two and a three, thus 23). The stakes are raised every cycle until the cards go down or one player is left standing who gets the pot.
The notable thing about Sabacc that sets it apart from real world card games is that the Cards can change value every turn. A Pure Sabacc can easily become an instant lose 25 and an absolutely lousy hand can become an Idiot's Array. They can be stabilized to fix their value, but everyone knows when you do so. This feature has so far prevented Sabacc from being released in tabletop form as of yet. (Of course, there are ways to deal with this, such as simply re-dealing unfixed cards, but never let it be said that nerds will choose practicality over purity.)
Pazaak is an older game from an in-universe perspective, similar to Blackjack but its player versus player rather than player versus dealer and also has some aspects of a collectible card game. Goal of the game is to raise cards from the main deck until their total value is 20 or they can also choose to stand if they get close but don't want to risk it. Best out of five wins.
CCG-aspect of Pazaak comes from the sidedeck: both players collect ten cards for their side deck and then randomly take four cards from their side deck to their hand in the beginning of the game. Hand cards are used to either lower or raise the total value: so if the player raises cards from the main deck to the total value of 25, they can prevent dropping out if they have a -5 card or higher in their hand. Cards which only either raise or lower the value are the most common of the side cards. More rarer are cards which can be used to both raise and lower the value. Then there are flip cards, which change certain main deck cards on the table to negative ones. So if the player plays a 2&4 flip card, all 2:s and 4:s on the table become -2:s and -4:s. Flip cards exist in 2&4:s and 3&6:s. Then there is the double card, which doubles the value of the last played card. So if the player raises a 5 from the main deck, playing the double card would turn it into a 10. Finally, the rarest side deck card is the tiebreaker, which grants the player a win if the game would otherwise end in a tie.
Tabletop games for Star Wars
West End Games made a Star Wars role-playing game called Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game AKA Star Wars D6. Like many West End products, it's a good game with the great misfortune of being published by West End games.
Wizards of the Coast picked up the license later and made two distinct RPGs based on their d20 System, called Star Wars D20 (imaginatively). Could be fun, but generally broken as hell, much like its parent game. It was then utterly revised that into what they called the Saga Edition, which is relatively balanced and pretty good.
Fantasy Flight Games is presently selling a whole line of Star Wars-themed RPGs, whether you want to play a bunch of scruffy space outlaws, members of the nascent Rebellion, or exiled Jedi Knights. Unlike their Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay games, which are all juuuuust different enough from one another to completely buttfuck any attempts at blending, all three gamelines use identical mechanics and are fully cross-compatible. Uses symbol-counting dice pools with ludicrously overpriced custom dice. Like the other RPGs they decided with the retardedly similar name, and thus this one is sometimes called Star Wars FFG to avoid confusion.
FFG have kept milking the franchise and in summer 2017, decided to reanimate the Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game with a "30th Year Anniversary Edition" print of the original game. It finally shipped in July 2018 after spending a year in limbo.
The big card game set in the Star Wars universe is the Star Wars Customizable Card Game. It's no longer produced by Decipher, but there is still a sufficiently large player community to organize annual tournaments, rule on cards, and so on. SWCCG was radically different from the norm of card games, being divided into light and dark side cards with different backings, with light and dark always playing against each other. For tournament play a player would need both a light and dark deck.
Obviously, nobody is capable of creating a Star Wars card game with an interesting name.
Aside from the real, physical, games there was also Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game. It was a real, functioning, card game within the MMO that used all virtual cards. Unfortunately no server emulators have implemented it yet.
Wizards of the Coast did a tabletop battles game imaginatively called Star Wars: Miniatures, based on an extremely dumbed down version of the D&D ruleset. The figures were meant to tie in with the Saga edition RPG, it wasn't terrible on its own, just impossible to collect for competitive play since figures came in random booster packs so you never know what you were getting for what faction. Who could possibly stand for that?
Fantasy Flight Games is producing the X-Wing miniatures game based on individual starfighter combat (because, let's be honest, that's what Star Wars is all about). They have also released Star Wars: Armada which is a larger scale "fleet" combat simulator, using capital ships and squadrons of starfighters.
Star Wars: Imperial Assault
The latest Fantasy Flight Games addition to its Star Wars related games is a mix between a miniature board game and a skirmish wargame. It has two play modes:
One for campaign play where 1-4 players control a team of Rebel heroes and another player has the role of the DM, who controls the Imperial forces. The campaign, as the name suggests, focuses on character personalization, xp gain and the like, which you can find in any light RPG-esque (board)game. The main goal is to get a few friends together and casually play through the missions. Think of it as a Star Wars version of the original Hero Quest.
The other play mode is skirmish play, where two players each get to assemble a team of miniatures plus a command deck (cards that have specific effects when played) and play against each other in an open-play scenario. The play area is still very limited to a few game tiles (as in a campaign mission) but players are free to bring whatever they want (with a few limitations of course). The skirmish part of Imperial assault is as close as you can get to an actual Star Wars skirmish wargame, but it is a missed opportunity from Fantasy Flight to create a true skirmish wargame (ala Infinity), not based on tiles and so confined spaces. Who knows what they have plans for though...
Star Wars Legion
And Fantasy Flight have now given us a fully fledged wargame, complete with AT-ST in the first wave. (They're 32mm scale, which means no reusing your Imperial Assault miniatures.) Legion has an integrated turn system, and the usual FF custom dice and forest worth of dead trees in cards and tokens that will be familiar to X-Wing and Armada players. The miniatures are PVC, reasonably detailed, easy to assemble pieces. A standard battle is 800 points, which could be anywhere from half a dozen to 16 units on the field, with an average army fielding 8-12 units comprising 30-ish models.
Card Miniature Games
In the late 00's, WizKids produced a short lived construct-able miniatures Star Wars game based on their styrene card system for Pirates of the Spanish Main. Although the game sold well, when NECA bought WizKids from Topps the rights did not transfer and it went out of print.
Video games for Star Wars
To put it bluntly, every game which could possibly have Star Wars slapped onto it, exists. Flight simulators. Racers. Rail shooters. Doom clones. MMOs. Age of Empires reskins. Hell, there's even a Kinect dance game. Here's a few standouts...
- Knights of the Old Republic: A pair of single player RPGs depicting a Sith war several thousand years before A New Hope. KotOR is widely regarded as the best Star Wars video game ever, and was the framework for BioWare's Mass Effect series. Of all the Legacy stuff, KotOR appears to still be in good standing with Disney since they continue to borrow from it. The sequel by obsidian was the original skubtastic take on the franchise TLJ wanted to be but failed miserably. Got an MMO simply called "Old Republic" (since you can play as things other than Jedi and Sith) that is the sequel, which had a very rough start but stabilized enough to still survive to this day somehow. Possibly still canon in the Disney continuity since a lot of things get borrowed or referenced from it.
- Star Wars Galaxies: An early MMO, launched after Everquest but before WoW. Galaxies is noteworthy for making force powers a prestige achievement requiring enormous in-game effort to unlock. The first expansion pack added a subgame that's a pretty solid flight game in its own right and the game eventually added an original, fully playable, trading card game that sadly has not yet been implemented in any simulator. Then World of Warcraft hit, Sony panicked and made Jedi a starting class and replaced the skill system with massive level grind, and offered refunds to the raging army of neckbeards. Subscription numbers tanked and never recovered. Like most "dead" MMOs that people loved it still lives on through illegal private servers (don't worry, the guys providing it would get busted, not people playing on it).
- X-Wing: A series of Wing Commander clones released in the 90's. While badly dated today, they were the best fighter sims of their time, and if you can get past the highly primitive graphics some people still consider them to be the best to this day. Interestingly, TIE Fighter is largely seen as the best of the series while the N64 era Rogue Squadron and Shadows Of The Empire games are seen as being far more visually modern but largely inferior sequels. Did we mention you had to use a flight stick controller basically made for these games to really do well at these?
- Star Wars Battlefront II: Not to be confused with that "game" released by EA in 2017. Solid game from the new-defunct Pandemic studio (fuck you, EA) in 2005 told from the perspective of a clone trooper that survived all the way up to the battle of Hoth, with a very down to earth boots on the ground approach. Also, just being thrown into random matches as a soldier because fun. Despite some issues, it remains the high point of the Battlefront series as well as the entire PS2 era, and on PC still has fans via an active modding community to this day.
- Monopoly Star Wars: Its Star Wars Monopoly. With 90's FMV that plays for every square you land on. On floppy disks. Considered fucking amazing at the time, its too strange and tabletop to not mention. Also one of the last pre-Prequel things released.
- Super Star Wars: A heavily modified retelling of the original trilogy (what, you don't remember how Luke chased down the Sandcrawler and murdered all the Jawas as well as their giant rat god in order to rescue R2-D2?) that was one of the ways to say "hard as fuck" by namedropping a game prior to Dark Souls existing. Amusing for the insanity of the added content in order to make a platformer sidescrolling beat'em'up as well as how neckbeardy you have to be to punish yourself trying to beat it without cheating.
- Star Wars: Yoda Stories: A game geared for kids, released the same year as Monopoly above. Players play as Luke sometime after Empire Strikes Back, although an odd alternate version where Han sometimes is free from carbonite and Boba Fett and sometimes is not. They are assigned a quest by Yoda which requires them to traverse one or more procedurally generated planets doing whatever odd crap Yoda felt was necessary, including sometimes fighting Vader. Recieved middling scores as a PC release, with some individuals HATING the game and using it as a benchmark for how much they hate something when comparing the two, although to be fair that is because distributors tried to sell it like a full game when in reality its supposed to just be freebie software that came with other purchases and was meant to go with Solitaire and space pinball as default games on a computer to waste time with. It has lapsed into obscurity thanks to even those reviewers largely being forgotten on the modern internet. Noteworthy for being played on a grid with simultaneous turn-based movement with all enemies and NPCs on a screen, feeling very much like a tabletop game at times. A simple puzzle game, where getting blocked in a corner without enough space to pass the time by an idiot NPC is more dangerous than any foe.
Assorted list of Awesome From Star Wars
- What is likely the greatest duel in cinematic history, that takes place on a lava planet.
- Clone Troopers
- Darth Vader whenever he gets a speaking line or to murder rebel scum
- Darth Maul in both The Phantom Menace and TCW.
- Lightsaber Rifles
- The entirety of the Umbara campaign, where
Imperial GuardsmenClone Troopers die in the dozens attempting to win some godforsaken planet, earning them balls of titanium that make the guard look ba- *BLAM* Heresy!
- 98% of the Starfighter designs.
- Boba and Jango Fett
- Obi-Wan Kenobi
- TIE fighters. They have the most distinctive scream of any fighter in cinematic history that just yells "I'm evil!". Tell me I'm wrong. I'll wait.
- The fact that they managed to do that using what is essentially a shitty visual pun.
- Most of Episode 3.
- The entirety of Anakin's story, especially when you add the Clone Wars and prequels. While you're at it, watch CinemaWins' perspective on it the series.
- Admiral Ackbar
- Palpatine getting into some Tzeentchian-level scheming and backstabbing in order to overthrow the Jedi and the Republic.
- Grand Admiral Thrawn: So awesome that he rose to a high rank in the anthropocentric Empire despite being an alien and was one of the first (and rare few) things to be imported straight from Legends to Disney.
- Imperial Pilots get a mention, seeing as they fly literal garbage fighters against superior rebel fighters. By garbage, we mean that even the Imperium have better fighter designs than these guys. At least Imperial fighters conserve the life of the fucking pilot.
- Darths & Droids: A webcomic, made using photo-stills of the Star Wars movies to tell a story about gamers blundering through each of the six movies in sequence... though not quite exactly how you might expect. Think DM of the Rings in overall visual style, though unlike DM of the Rings, Darths & Droids features several heavy twists on the actual events of the films, subplots about the players and their lives outside the game alongside the campaign, and a better overall quality of gamer.
- "Endor Holocaust": An excellent example of the skub Star Wars can create. Rebuttal: "Endor Rebuttal"
- Timothy Zahn
- Star Wars:The Clone Wars
- Star Wars:Rebels
- Star Wars:Resistance