"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 Setting
- 4 The rise of the original trilogy
- 5 The coming of the prequel trilogy
- 6 Disney and the sequel trilogy
- 7 Expanded Universe
- 8 Disney Canon
- 9 Star Wars:The Television Shows
- 10 Wookieepedia
- 11 Impact on 1d4chan and associated games etc
- 12 Sabacc and Pazaak
- 13 Tabletop games for Star Wars
- 14 Video Games for Star Wars
- 15 Assorted list of Awesome From Star Wars
- 16 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 Rian 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, 6 of the 9 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.
Due to article bloat, Star Wars Setting is now its own page.
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 fandoms opinion on the matter however, remains a very heated debate.)
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.
Expectations were almost as high as the private fears of the fans. Bringing on the creative talent behind the skubtastic Star Trek reboot was equally... well, take a wild guess. The end result saw millions of voices cry out in terror, and were suddenly subsumed into hitherto unseen levels of Skub. Tellingly, even SEVERAL OF THE LEAD ACTORS THEMSELVES have criticized the filmmakers or how the film was made, including John Boyega, Daisy Ridley and Luke Skywalker himself - Mark Hamill.
For sake of sanity, these section have been condensed. Read at your own peril.
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 (at the time), 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 claim the lead doesn't outdo any of the previous main characters.
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.
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.
Star Wars Rebels
Disney also released their own CGI series: Star Wars: Rebels, which is actually pretty good (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, with season 4 often rivalling the very best Clone Wars arcs for quality of storytelling.
The Rebel movement starts to grow, several characters return from The Clone Wars, and the enemies the main characters have to face steadily get darker and more dangerous as more of the Empire’s attention gets 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. Things get worse for the Rebels when Grand Admiral Thrawn gets involved, especially since he's developing better ships for the Empire. 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 a dark ending. Which, to a degree, it did. An important character dies, and another is left stranded in the unknown regions while stopping the villains, 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.
Star Wars: Rogue One
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" can be justly criticized for lacking in character development, that was basically mandated by being set just before another movie whose actors were now decades too old (or, in the case of Peter Cushing, too dead) to reprise their previous roles. The cast of the movie includes almost no one who appears in Episode IV, and the few familiar faces who do appear show up as cameos. (Fair warning: spoilers)
Accordingly, every main character dies by the end. It still manages to pack quite a lot 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 distinctions of being the only Star Wars movie to focus on regular soldiers instead of Jedi, and being more like the original Star Wars than any of the sequels, including the other two of the main trilogy. (The original, back before it was "A New Hope", was a genre mashup of samurai + gunslinger rescue princess from space Nazis, then team up for a World War II dogfight. This one is wuxia cast + heist crew do a heist in a WWII trench warfare war zone. There's surprisingly little 'War' in Star Wars.) Much, much Skub still exists of course, since no Star Wars movie will ever please all the neckbeards but out of the five 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 lightsaber battles of the franchise, you WILL be pleased. 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 or RW 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 Donald 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 Plan Palpa-Nine from Outer Space)
Your opinion of this movie is very easy to predict based on what you thought of the others; if you found The Last Jedi to be "refreshing", you'll absolutely HATE this one. If you hate all Disney content aside from maybe The Mandalorian, you'll hate this one as much as the others. If you absolutely detested The Last Jedi but have mixed opinions of the rest, you'll probably consider this to be the best of the new movies to varying degrees of actual enthusiasm. The movie largely undoes or ignores swathes of the previous one.
After finishing shooting, the film was shown to test audiences (which JJ Abrams lied never happened). The film was extremely poorly received, one of many reasons being because it had Rey curb-stomping Palpatine by herself in the final battle (test audiences reportedly either laughed at the film or had to be stopped from walking out of the test screenings). The poor showing made Disney CEO Bob Iger - who was overseeing the screening - furious, and he immediately ordered the film to be reshot. The resulting reshoots were so extensive, they spanned months and the film didn't have a final edit till December 2019, the month of release, causing trailers to be so desperate for footage that wouldn't be cut they had to fill half the length with footage from prior films and stuff used in prior trailers. To make matters worse for Disney, the plot was leaked months before release, and said plot turned out to be very stupid. Despite Disney spokespeople and media outlets extensively denying the leaks, the leaks were proven correct by getting then unrevealed names and plot objects right. Camera leaks the week before release showed very little of the fantastically stupid content leaked months beforehand was changed, only minor details.
Before reading on, be aware that Rey and Kylo are no longer movie-type Force users, they have been changed to video game characters. Like KOTOR and Jedi Academy type where you just get powers by killing enough dudes. None of the powers are new to the franchise, but have been rarely seen and in some cases never before have in movies. You should also know that unlike the first Visual Dictionary that mostly just gave little prop trivia and plot hooks for other works, and the second which was mostly irrelevant until it gets referenced in a decade or two, the final Visual Dictionary is damn near required reading (this shit will get a "VD" to indicate it) since a lot of explanations were cut in the reshoots and recuts. Like for example the connection between Rey and Kylo is a "Force Dyad", basically one soul in the Force that inhabits two bodies (setting up a bit of a snarl what happens when one dies and not the other, and implying the personality is mostly in the brain which is why they can have unique experiences, but whatever) and warps space/time. This is why Rey was inexplicably powerful and knew how to do shit instinctively, because Kylo's training passed onto her, and likewise her nonstop playing with X-Wing training sims as a child made him a badass pilot. Dyads used to be far more common in the KOTOR era, and were apparently the inspiration for the Sith Rule Of Two. This is never mentioned in the final cut of the film, but leaks show it was in one of the earlier ones.
The movie pressed on with breakneck speed that doesn't have time for musical interludes or wipe transitions, the opening crawl informing you that Palpatine has somehow returned and sent a message to the galaxy with the Resistance trying to rebuild and gather information, Rey being trained by Leia on the planet Ajan Kloss (AKA not!Yavin #2, VD) after repairing Anakin's lightsaber (VD) who had received partial training from Luke before stopping for reasons explained later in the movie and supplementing the rest with her pouring over the Jedi texts, and Kylo Ren trying to find Palpatine because his existence is a threat to his rule. The movie takes a lot of inspiration from KOTOR era lore with Ren finding a Sith McGuffin Holocron-type navigation device on Mustafar (VD) showing him the secret planet of the Sith (not Korriban/Pesegam/Moraband, this one is a planet in a red nebula that is under constant lightning storms called Exegol). There he finds a MASSIVE Sith cult that has kept itself secret and managed to not only build a fucking massive fleet of Star Destroyers equipped with planetkiller guns like something straight out of the old canon, but divisions of Stormtroopers, technicians, and officers to fill them along with the typical cultists in robes who administer to keeping Palpatine alive and seeing to his Sith alchemy shit...which includes tanks containing multiple clones of Snoke, revealing the guy was literally born looking like that with a manufactured backstory all so Palpatine could use him as a puppet to create the First Order (which is almost a meta commentary about the backstory controversy).
Kylo is offered the chance to be the new Emperor by Palpatine, who is a corpse kept barely alive through methods some would consider... Unnatural, while strapped to a machine with his spirit sticking nearby (the filmmakers zig-zagged on the nature of this; first it was the original Palpatine who had somehow duped everyone in Return of the Jedi with a clone stand in, then the reshoots changed it to the original's zombie-like rotting corpse animated by his lingering spirit and Lucasfilm later retconned him to be a zombie-like clone of Palpatine after the film's release). The only requirement for Palps to pass him Emperorship is killing Rey, although Ren is immediately suspicious of the other strings attached (including choking a guy in a hissyfit when that concern is voiced) and decides instead to recruit Rey again, this time as a co-Emperor.
Finn and Poe obtain information about a spy within the First Order (yeah, you know its fucking Hux even before they say there is a spy at all) while Rey gets visions during her training with Leia. The spy confirms that Palpatine is legit and the info about the fuckmassive deathfleet is legit, and Rey finds the Jedi texts contain notes from Luke about his search for that planet. They go to his last clue, a desert planet that isn't Tatooine and is the middle of a festival where they find Lando has been holed up enjoying himself since him and Luke traveled there. They are immediately spotted by the First Order and escape from them to find the ship of one of Palpatine's servants who had last been seen there. They fall into sinkholes around the ship created by giant tunneling worms, and find the skeleton of Sheev's boy as well as a Sith dagger. 3PO is programmed with the Sith language, but his programming from the Old Republic era forbids him from giving the translation to civilians. Rey manages to get the sand worms to leave them alone by using Force powers to heal one's wound, and they attempt to get the Sheev's servant's ship up and running before they are attacked by the First Order. Chewie is taken prisoner and Rey wrecks Kylo's TIE Fighter before the two engage in a Force tug of war to pull the transport Chewie is on, which ends in Rey accidentally Force Lightning it and causing it to explode when she becomes frustrated with the stalemate. Chewie is revealed to have been on another transport and is taken to Ren's flagship Star Destroyer while the heroes, instead of do something sensible like seek a Rebel leader who can give security clearance for 3PO's protocol (Leia's the obvious choice), they head to a planet under VERY Nazi-like occupation to find a droid technician who can hack 3PO's memory. They encounter a woman from Poe's past, revealing he was a former spice smuggler like Han until abandoning his crew (causing them to fall into debt and become bitter at him) to join the Resistance. She threatens to turn the group in to pay off their debt but Rey kicks her ass, earning her respect and she takes them to the technician without further incident. The technician unlocks 3PO's memory at the cost of wiping him. The translation reveals the dagger is the key to finding the Sith navigation McGuffin they are looking for. During this BB-8 reactivates Sheev's servant's old droid, who doesn't do much.
The heroes proceed to board Ren's flagship with the help of a First Order officer's badge, and shoot their way through as they free Chewie. Rey and Ren have another linked vision where her parents are revealed to have attempted to hide her from her grandfather Palpatine, who wanted to merge the souls of himself and ALL other preceding Sith (presumably not Revan, since his redemption is canon) while he discovers they are on his ship and orders it put on lockdown. Rey is confronted in the hangar by Ren, who offers her to join him again. She refuses and the Falcon appears, the engines blowing away the Stormtroopers while Rey jumps aboard. The crew head to Endor after finding out from Sheev's servant's old droid that it was where he was going to go next (this is the only thing the droid does other than serve as a "pet the dog moment" for the cast a few times) where the Death Star wreckage of the disk and throne room landed, encountering a division of former child-soldier Stormtroopers like Finn who went AWOL. The dagger has a slide-out metal prong from the handle which perfectly lines up with the corridor leading to Sheev's throne room. The team work on repairing the Falcon while Rey presses on ahead, alone, to the Death Star wreckage. Once in the throne room a hidden door opens, revealing a sanctum full of crystal mirrors that are the same as the ones she saw in her vision in Force Awakens (the scene where she snaps her fingers and all the mirrored ones do as well). There she finds the Sith McGuffin and gets a "The Cave" vision of herself as a Sith with a red double-bladed lightsaber which she fights. Kylo is waiting for her in the throne room, and crushes the Sith McGuffin in his hand before informing her they are linked in the Force as one soul inhabiting two bodies and offering her again to be the Vader to her Palpatine which she again refuses. The two fight while Finn and one of the Stormtroopers try to rescue her. They fight their way onto the remnants of the Death Star hangar, reminiscent of Anakin and Obi-wan in Revenge Of The Sith with water instead of lava, before Ren freezes as he senses his mother start to die. This pause gives Rey time to grab his lightsaber and stab him before she freezes sensing Leia actually pass away. Rey uses the Force to heal him, then steals his TIE Fighter while Poe and Finn return to the Resistance base. Rey initially attempts to hide on Luke's monastery to let Palpatine's bloodline die with her, but after lighting Kylo's TIE on fire (so she's destroyed 2 of his personal TIE at this point) Luke appears as a Force ghost to tell her
Rian Johnson he was wrong, and was motivated by fear when he tried to hide. He reveals that all the Jedi who came before are rooting for her, and tells her where Leia's lightsaber is hidden. He reveals she stopped her training because in a vision she saw that her son would be destroyed by the Dark Side, and a Light Side counterpart would take up her blade instead. Meanwhile, Kylo is visited by the memory of Han. The two reenact the scene from Force Awakens, only this time Kylo throws his lightsaber into the sea and renounces the name Kylo Ren to become simply Ben again. Meanwhile the First Order blow up Poe's home planet where the droid technician and Poe's old crew were, although they had managed to get offworld by that point. Also, R2-D2 restores C-3PO's memory wipe by finding a backup which contains everything from before the mission.
Luke lifts his X-Wing from the waves and Rey scavenges the Sith McGuffin from the flaming wreck of Kylo's ship. As she proceeds to the Sith planet she sends out a beacon to track her progress, giving the entire galaxy a map to the Sith fleet. Poe, now leader of the Resistance, sends Lando with the Falcon and Nien Nunb to gather any forces they can, all the ones who refused to aid them in The Last Jedi, while the rest of the Resistance gears up to attack Sheev's fleet before they can leave the storm cloud. The initial plan is to destroy the navigation device which orients them to the rest of the galaxy without which the fleet cannot leave, until the commander of the flagship (a former Imperial officer) realizes what they are doing and orders it to be shut down so his own ship could serve as the navigation for the rest. Rey confronts Sheev in a coliseum/throne room full of the Cultist parents of the personnel of the fleet (VD) and is informed of his plan to have her kill him so all the Sith could merge with her and rule as basically the God Emperor of Star Wars. She raises her lightsaber before using the strange wormhole Force connection thing they have to pass it to Ben, who had gotten there with a salvaged TIE from the Death Star wreckage and was being beaten by his former servants, the Knights Of Ren. Armed with Luke's old lightsaber he kills them and proceeds to the throne room. Ben arrives and the two attempt to fight him. He simply Force Pushes them back and forces them to kneel before draining a portion of their souls, the "two bodies one soul" thing apparently being a massive source of Force power he can heal himself with to rule in his own rejuvenated body again (but with Darth Maul eyes) rather than Rey's. Meanwhile, the ex-Stormtroopers and Resistance ground personnel lead by Finn land on the flagship Star Destroyer (its still in the atmosphere of the Sith planet, thus gravity and breathable air applies) and due to bringing goat-horse things from Endor are not affected by onboard EMP that would otherwise short out speeders and tanks (which is a thing from past canon, mostly comics and novels, which they use to explain why such a thing doesn't happen more often). Meanwhile, Lando appears with a fucking enormous fleet (remember the backstory that the New Republic didn't have a fleet, instead paying for every planet to have a militia of their own which would unite when there was a big enough threat? Well, JJ finally remembered because all those fucks show up alongside a neat little game of "spot that ship from the series you know" in a few shots). They begin attacking the superweapons underneath the Star Destroyers directly, causing chain reactions that blow the entire ship.
Ben is Force-pushed by Sheev into a pit as revenge for how Vader did the same thing to him before taunting the dying Rey and unleashing a MASSIVE Force Lightning storm which shorts out the fleet. While this is going on the spirits of all the dead Jedi (like pretty much anyone they could find to record a line from any of the past movies or shows, including Ahsoka; which is pretty lame since it means she was killed off-screen, with natural causes being unlikely since Ahsoka wouldn't have been 80 yet, and even that's below the average Togruta life expectancy, though this may not necessarily be the case according to Filoni) who inhabit her body the same way that Palpatine is currently full of all the Sith. Rey manages to stand and deflects his Force Lightning with Leia's lightsaber, which isn't enough until Ben manages to climb out of the pit and throw her Luke's lightsaber; with the two together she's able to walk close enough to Sheev for his Force Lightning to burn him, and despite this being the third fucking time this has happened he does not turn off the lightning and instead Raiders Of The Lost Ark's himself into a skeleton before blowing up and destroying not only himself but the spirits of all the past Sith. Despite Palpatine's plan being to possess Rey when she kills him, for some reason he doesn't do so. The Jedi spirits leave Rey and she dies, with the barely lingering on Ben healing her. They share a kiss (reminder that since Sheev created Anakin, they're basically cousins, and their relationship is so adversarial it makes Edward and Bella's from Twilight look healthy, something the novelization tries to claim is "purely platonic") before Ben dies. His body vanishes, as does Leia's. The Resistance/Militia fleet destroy all the Star Destroyers after Finn's ground crew hijacks one of the cannons of the flagship to shoot at the ship bridge, killing the last of the old Empire and First Order leadership.
The heroes return to the Resistance planet where they celebrate, scenes showing the rest of the galaxy shooting the last of the First Order Star Destroyers play, Chewie is given Han's old medal from A New Hope, and the ex-Stormtrooper leader is hinted to be Lando's daughter or grandaughter implying a spinoff with the two (also shares a gay kiss with another woman... which was cut to appease China's and Singapore's media watchdogs). After the celebrations Rey returns to Luke's old home on Tatooine where she buries Anakin and Leia's lightsabers, revealing she built her own from her Force vision only with yellow blades instead of red ones. An old woman who was a neighbor of Owen and Beru comments nobody had been to that place in years and asks Rey's name. Seeing the Force Ghosts of Luke and Leia, she tells the woman her name is Rey Skywalker. The End.
Because the fandom has become fractured like never before, there was immediately fan wars going on everywhere Star Wars fans are found. Fans accused haters of review bombing, those who hated the movie claimed the critic score (which, if you recall, is mostly people who liked The Last Jedi and hate this movie for doing a U-turn on it) vindicates them. The fan fighting probably won't ever end, since now we apparently have to reevaluate if A New Hope and the Kenner Star Wars toys were ever good in the first place because some contrarians now claim the prequels are the pinnacle of Star Wars. Whatever the case, Disney CEO Bob Iger resigned in the middle of the work week in late February 2020, before coming a couple of months later, with insiders saying he's "livid" over certain changes.
For anyone interested, here is a video explaining why the Rise of Skywalker failed musically. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_8-dWSLDWI
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 original EU/Star Wars "Legends"
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. One thing that greatly helps is continuity books and articles aren't afraid to make small retcons to make even the most obscure and shitty sources (like that terrible PS1 fighting game) seem like part of an organized plot. 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 (pictured right, a Force-using former agent of Emperor Palpatine who later turned good, became a Jedi Master, 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.
Another problem was that Disney is mostly family-friendly, and some of the Star Wars EU could get really dark. As in Warhammer 40k levels of grimdark. Examples of this are the 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, 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 more like something 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.
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. Hit store shelves before Empire Strikes Back was even in theaters. Han and Chewie are trying to get some work done on the Falcon and wind up having to bust out some political prisoners to pay for it. The Z-95 Headhunter fighter comes from this 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.
- The Darth Bane Trilogy: The origin of the Rule of Two for the Sith, along with a compelling protagonist and his apprentice.
- 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 influence 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 - invade to take over the Star Wars Galaxy. Chewie dies Majora's Mask style, Mara's illness is cured and she gives birth to Ben Skywalker, the Vong take over Coruscant, lots is learned about the Force and the bodycount goes so high it could give Warhammer 40k a run for its money (365 TRILLION; only the War in Heaven or the Fall of the Eldar had anywhere near that many deaths in one event). 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. He even uses clone bodies to do so (but unlike Disney, Dark Horse didn't flip-flop on the lore), wrecks a fleet of enemy ships using the Force and at some point has his power reflected back at him. 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, where a Queen who could be potential ally against the Imperials offers a deal which hinges on Leia marrying her son. Meanwhile Luke and R2-D2 are working with a prince who was the original recipient of the offer. This one has force witches, who are encountered when Han tricked Leia into in an attempt to win her heart... it is really silly. If you like that, raise this higher. If not, it might even drop lower.
- Fate of the Jedi: Want some Cthulhu with your Star Wars? People are growing dissatisfied with the Jedi Order following LotF. Luke, Ben and the remaining Jedi are trying to keep the Jedi Order in check while several Jedi are wracked with a mysterious psychosis and a ancient Sith Tribe emerges from hiding. Han and Leia are looking after the political side of things while also becoming grandparents. Things take a turn for cosmic horror when a yandere, Force-using eldritch abomination who could doom the galaxy escapes her prison. During the conflict, Sith apprentice Vestara 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.
It's still debatable whether or not the new Canon holds up to the old EU, or learns to fix the problems that plagued it. We probably won't see what comes of it for decades to come. Disney Canon, as of 2020, seems to largely be built around the nine main movies (of course), with shows like Rebels and Clone Wars alongside anthology movies fleshing out stories that had been told in comics and books back before the Disney buy-up, but can now be seen on film.
A curious thing that has begun happening: Certain elements of the old EU is slipping into the Disney Canon. Plotlines like the Emperor returning, the Death Star plans heist and Han's path to become the smuggler we know him as all have bits and pieces from EU canon in them. In some cases, whole characters are ported in; the best example is Admiral Thrawn, who appears in Rebels. Other times, popular characters has their traits or stories ported into new ones (Finn and Cassian are both expies of Kyle Katarn, for example). This gives some credence to the argument that Lucasfilms and Disney wanted to wipe the slate with all the stories that had been told in the EU, so they could create their own, fully realized canon Star Wars setting that one could make movies - many movies - from. Considering the amount of shitty fan-fiction-esque stories the EU had, this may be for the best, but of course, storylines that people have loved for ages are also thrown out with the bathwater.
Detractors of Disney-era Star Wars often talk loads about how the sequel trilogy invalidates the original trilogy. Other complaints raised are how Disney screwed over Luke and how many cool characters are either cannibalized for story elements (like Kyle Katarn) or completely removed from canon (like Mara Jade). These are semi-valid arguments of course, but they ignore some of the biggest issues with the EU originally - it wasn't sponsored by George Lucas and Lucasfilms. They were sponsored fan-fiction in a sense, semi-canon from the outset and not really something that could be considered a part of the Star Wars setting, though George Lucas did work with the writers to a point, such as with the New Jedi Order book series (he gave them permission to kill off Chewbacca in the story). In fact, George never really considered them real stories; more like a parallel universe of his own Star Wars works. He accepted it because they bring in the big bucks when people would beg to have the official Star Wars logo on anything they produced.
That, and the sequel trilogy, underwhelming as it may be, was George's idea in broad strokes. The series was always going to have a sequel trilogy, and while the outcome isn't exactly what he (or we) wanted, quite a lot of it is. Luke being an exile on a far-away planet, who has to be roused to fight by a new, female Jedi? George's idea, not Disney's. A son of Han and Leia struggling with the Dark Side? Also George's idea (though Disney lifted a lot form the original version - Jacen Solo - for Kylo Ren). If anything, much of the direction comes from Lucasfilms; Disney just wants the movie to sell well. It's similar with Marvel nowadays.
So for better or worse, the Disney Canon is the first time the wider setting of Star Wars beyond the series and movies have become irrevocably canon, rather than "kinda-sorta-canon". Much of what we've gotten that is new is based roughly on George's own work as well. Remember this when discussing EU vs Disney in Star Wars - Either setting is cool for their own reasons, but the Mouse got little to do with it - and if you don't like it, bring it up with big man Lucas. Whatever the case, CEO Big Iger briefly resigned in 2019... before being brought back in 2020 following severe financial and PR losses for Disney due to comparatively poor reception of the Disney canon, controversial statements from Disney staff against fans and shutdowns related to the global coronavirus pandemic. There have been large rumblings of change in Disney Star Wars, for better or worse.
It should be noted that the TV shows below are either now part of the Disney canon (such as the 2008 Clone Wars series), or made by Disney. There is also a major Star Wars project in the works called Star Wars: The High Republic. It's an upcoming multimedia project spanning books and comics worked on by various writers including Claudia Gray and Cavan Scott (yes, that Cavan Scott). The stated goal is to tell one cohesive story set in the High Republic Era, two centuries prior to Phantom Menace. It was slated for a 2020 release but was pushed back to 2021, purportedly due to the COVID-19 pandemic (purportedly because they could still work on the story from home in this day and age but have chosen to extend the deadline).
Star Wars:The Television Shows
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Technically, there are two series called similar titles. The first was 2003's Star Wars: Clone Wars, an animated miniseries made by Genndy Tartakovsky (He of Dexter's Lab and Samurai Jack fame) chronicling, among other things, the titular Clone Wars and introducing a much more sinister General Grievous to the world.
But then we have The Clone Wars, a CGI animated series (and tie-in movie) that we'll be talking about more and contributed more to the EU. 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 bad-cop “it was him or me” murder to get there.
- Introduces Ahsoka Tano, a major character who's a female Togruta Jedi that's well-written, non-OP, non-Mary Sue and doesn't invalidate characters from the movies. Starts off a bit annoying in the Clone Wars movie, but manages to do something truly special: she learns. Over the course of Clone Wars and Rebels, Ahsoka probably has the most character development out of any other Star Wars character.
- 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/movie.
- D-squad, where a bunch of droids become heroes of the Republic.
- Mandalore and how its fluff was basically screwed 180 degrees, and then some.
- Droids were comic relief of the first and second seasons. It was annoying.
All in all, it was a good show that took some time to find its feet.
After many years, a seventh season was announced in an attempt to take away from The Last Jedi being shit and add something to the empty Disney Plus lineup. At least some of the episodes will be ones that were in production when the show ended. It promptly disappeared after that announcement for a couple years till it was announced it was going to come out in 2019. And when it did, it blew pretty much everyone away, with fantastic animation, great storytelling, and a harrowing final few episodes. Maul's speech to Ahsoka in particular is downright chilling when you realize he's 100% sincere, is afraid of what's coming, and genuinely wants to try and stop it.
Star Wars: Rebels
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. Much like the Clone Wars, it starts off weakly with slow pacing and erroneous animation, but gets better as the seasons and storyline progress, with season 4 often equalling the very best Clone Wars arcs for quality and storytelling. 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?
- All the main characters are well-written, fleshed out, with reasonable, sympathetic backstories and significant character arcs, along with different enough skill sets that they don't step on each others' toes. Each one feels like an integral part of the team; the pilot, the gunner, the muscle, the tech, the swordsman and the hot-shot rookie.
- Seriously, you'd think that with two jedi in a 6-man crew you'd get some overlap, but they feel like very different characters, both in personality and powers. Kanan is very much the quintessential combat jedi (as is to be expected as he was trained during the Clone Wars), while Ezra's signature ability to connect with the galaxy around him and especially its wildlife marks him out not only from the rest of the Ghost crew, but from every other force user we've seen on the screen.
- 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).
- Imperial Inquisitors. Sure they don’t last long, but they were intimidating while they were, and it planted the seed that was used elsewhere.
- Good appearances by Vader and Sheev.
- The Maul vs Obi-wan decades-long duel finally comes to an end... and what an end it is.
- The season finales are, invariably, fantastic.
- Animation gets better as the show goes on.
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 spend a large amount of their on-screen time (though not all, mind you) losing. This changes the Imperials (other than Thrawn and Vader) from an imposing force to cartoon villains, although Rebels villains manage to stay intimidating more than Grievous did in Clone Wars. Compared to Clone Wars, Rebels villains probably win just as often (though, given how the clone wars ends with Order 66 and Rebels ends with the Battle of Endor, Clone Wars has a much more downbeat ending).
- Battles slower paced than a Death Guard movement phase. Enjoy characters having conversations in cover-based shooting when everyone has Stormtrooper aim (which, admittedly, has been a feature often present in Star Wars from the very start).
- Helicopter lightsabers. Thankfully this was only present for one episode.
- 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. Even more thankfully, they too were only present for one episode.
- Star Destroyers take some getting used to, mostly due to their bridge towers being way taller than they should be.
- Space Squid-whales annihilating a maximum strength Imperial Blockade in under 30 seconds.
- The changes to Hondo Ohnaka's character.
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.
Star Wars: Resistance
Annnd they had to go and change things again. 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, half Avatar: The Last Airbender and all RWBY.
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 TOP SUE without having to share a screen with Rey. Captain Phasma plays the show's big bad and yet stays true to form in doing absolutely nothing. 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. And some instances of institutionalized racism and the occasional genocide on a planetary scale. Y'know. Empire Stuff. 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.
Star Wars: The Mandalorian
Because Disney didn't have enough money, they decided to try their hand at streaming services (despite already owning Hulu), and created Disney+ as a collection of their shows and movies. And with any streaming service, you need a flagship title. Thus, The Mandalorian, the first live action Star Wars television series.
The show itself lives and breaths off your nostalgia for the Fetts, giving you a new lead character wearing the cool ass armor, bounty hunting, getting in gunfights, et cetera. The show's set five years after Return of the Jedi, and leans into spaghetti western's so hard you wonder why Clint Eastwood hasn't shown up (John Wayne's grandson does do much of the stunt work for the titular character). Whether you like this show pretty much comes down to the question of can you accept a show where the main character's face is never seen and whose name is almost never spoken (probably, considering this site's demographics), and can you stand a story wrapped entirely around the finger of a baby yoda who is the most well know spoiler since (joke.exe).
If you like the 2012 Judge Dredd movie you will like the show. It also might be one of the closest depictions of a Space Marine we are going to get for the foreseeable future on the "big screen". The Mandalorians (this group at least) have become almost a cult regarding "The Way" their warrior code. Highlights include a Looted AT-ST, getting to watch a IG-11 aimbot entire groups of hostiles multiple times (hell just watching IG-11 move is amazing), and an episode shot like a horror film except that the protagonist is the hunter. The final two episodes are a callback to almost every episode except "The Prisoner" & "The Gunslinger" and numerous characters return and get to be their own brand of awesome. The show also brought back the old style Mandalorians - it's a creed and a way of life, not a species or race. You are a Mandalorian because you chose to be, and because you follow the Mandalorian code, not because you're born that way.
There are several hiccups in writing but those might be smoothed out later, or can just be written off as the galaxy being just that big and individuals not having the same info as the audience. Overall it is the most well received addition to Star Wars since Empire. With the show actually understanding why and how certain reveals should work, ie. not making there be anything special to us (the audience) about the Mandalorian's face/name, it is special because of his code not because he has laser eyes or something.
A second season (it was inevitable) was announced in November 2019, finished filming in March 2020 and is set to arrive on Disney+ in October 2020. Several characters from elsewhere in the franchise such as Boba Fett, Bo-Katan (Duchess Satine’s redhead sister from the Clone Wars, who also happens to be the last known wielder of the Darksaber before Moff Gideon turned up with it in the final episode of season 1), Sabine Wren and Ahsoka Tano are rumoured to be appearing in season 2.
One of the largest fan wikis ever created, this bad boy is extensively cited, has enormous variety, and has page upon page of talk. It was if Lexicanum, the 40k fan wiki, and our own glorious site were fused into a terrible beast.
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 (Pure Sabacc) which could only be beaten by an Idiot's Array (one Idiot, a Two and a Three, thus 23). In case of a draw, new cards are drawn. 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.)
In universe, Han Solo won the Millenium Falcon off Lando in a game of Sabacc.
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, each one focusing on a specific style of play. You want to play a bunch of scruffy space outlaws (Edge of the Empire), members of the nascent Rebellion (Age of Rebellion), or exiled Jedi Knights (Force and Destiny), then they got you covered. 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. The gameplay was also radically different from most CCGs; in Magic terms the closest analog would be that every SWCCG deck was fundamentally a mill deck, with some hard to assemble insta-win combos themed to the plots of the movies.
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.
The most famous and arguably best one is Star Wars: Rebellion, an asymmetric two-player game that plays through the Original Trilogy in a wargame/worker placement-esque game. The Empire player must expand their already huge military base over the galaxy to build more ships and huge superweapons while searching for the Rebel Base, while the Rebels do their best to bite them in their heel, obscuring their movements and annoying the Empire until they have enough support to overthrow the Empire. As a FFG boardgame, it's filled with a ludicrous amount of bits and pieces (including sweet models of Star Destroyers, Death Stars and Calamari Cruisers), as well as the trademark filled-with-small-exceptions ruleset. It's pretty sweet and still considered one of the best board games of its kind.
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 variety 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 Legends 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. Also the only thing in the EU to still receive new content.
- Jedi Knight: A series that started of as an early FPS named Dark Forces (so early that it was the time when FPS games were still known as Doom-clones) but Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight had the protagonist become a Jedi. The Dark Forces name was dropped in favor of Jedi Knight after this. The series combines surprisingly deep lightsaber combat with standard shooting, though the levels can get very mazy at times. Introduced Kyle Katarn, one of the most popular characters from EU. Unfortunately, there has not been a new game since 2003's Jedi Academy and likely will never be thanks to Disney.
- Republic Commando: An FPS that has the player command a squad of commandos. Its a great shooter but unfortunately, it never received a sequel and to make things worse, ended on a cliffhanger. The second act of the game, set entirely on a drifting Acclamator-class assault ship is particularly memorable and highly atmospheric. If one can look past outdated graphics, its worth trying out for anyone who wants a good FPS experience.
- Empire at War: Made by the original developers of Command and Conquer, it is the most notable strategy game to have come out of Star Wars. Notable for featuring three different modes of play: ground battles, space battles and galactic conquest map. Though ground battles are a bit meh, the space battles are great and the galactic conquest is certainly more interesting than only playing random skirmish matches. Even though its over 10 years old, it has a very active modding community. Republic at War, which changes the games Galactic Civil War setting to Clone Wars and Thrawns Revenge, set much further into the Galactic Civil War than portrayed in the films, are particularly great. There is also a remake mod in the works, aiming to bring the game up to modern standards in terms of visuals, sound and UI and the results do look good. Unfortunately, no great 40k mod.
- 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. It would effectively be replaced by The Old Republic, an MMO using the acclaimed KotOR setting. 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 (and TIE Fighter): 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. Why? The mission scripting and AI are top notch for the genre and absolutely brutal to fight against; on all but the simplest missions you're almost guaranteed to fail the first time and eventually develop a sixth sense about the fighters threatening your objective vs the fighters just there to kill you (ignore those, learn to be hard to hit). 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 (2005): Not to be confused with the one 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. There is of course also the original one but the second one pretty much completely overshadowed it.
- Star Wars Battlefront II (2017): The one by EA. You've probably heard everything important. An absolute mess at launch due to its lootbox-heavy progression system, so much so that it started discussion even on government level about lootboxes that continues to this day. A comment by EA that became the most downvoted comment in Reddit history. Yet despite all this, two years later, the game is arguably one of the best Star Wars experiences one can have and an Anakin-level redemption story. Like the previous Battlefront II, it completely overshadowed its predecessor.
- Jedi: Fallen Order: It took them years but finally, EA managed to deliver a Star Wars game that is great on launch without cramming it with e-transactions. Its plot focuses on an unfortunate Jedi renegade between Revenge and A New Hope who's on the hunt for a hidden database that might document all the Force-sensitive individuals in the galaxy. A game inspired primarily by games such as Dark Souls and Uncharted, its a great action-adventure game in its own right and a must-play for any Star Wars fan. Also notable for making Darth Vader really FUCKING SCARY. As he should be.
- 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. Sequels were made for Empire and Jedi, which slightly dialed back the difficulty.
- 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.
- Shadows of the Empire: Made on the Nintendo 64 and Windows PC, you play as Dash Rendar, a scoundrel in a ship like Han Solo working for the Rebellion. Takes place during Episode V as a side story. Despite being much beloved by fans for years and years, it's sadly not aged well thanks to the rather peculiar control scheme of the N64 and the graphics not having aged like cheap cheese in the sun. Main enemy of the game is a xeno named Xisor who is just a real uppity crime boss (and apparently a prince). This game has an absolute great opening first part where you're flying in a Snowspeeder on Hoth killing Imperials left and right while trying to use the cables to crash the AT-ATs like in the movie. After that the game begins to kinda just carry on with awkward controls.
Assorted list of Awesome From Star Wars
- Fucking Lightsabers!
- The fucking OST
- What is likely the greatest duel in cinematic history, that takes place on a lava planet.
- Deathly Stormtroopers, heroic Clonetroopers or sinister First Order troopers; whatever they're called, stormtroopers are awesome! Contrary to popular belief, shot counts have proven they have ridiculously good aim.
- Darth Vader whenever he gets a speaking line or to murder rebel scum - that is to say, all the time.
- Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace, TCW and Rebels.
- 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!
- 97% of the Creatures.
- 98% of the Starfighter designs.
- Costumes that mix about every possible inspiration, Chinese, Mongolian, Japanese, Ancient Greece and Rome, Elizabethan, Moebius or Pulp Sci-Fi from the 60's, giving the whole series a distinctive style and gives Padme Amidala an excuse to show off with all her dresses.
- Boba and Jango Fett and the rest of the Mandalorians.
- KOTOR (both games) plot making you think this shit is actually logical and has so much philosophical background. One of the creepiest depictions of the Universe. Everything is brutal, with big vibrating knives, blood, those machines for Sith snuff movies, more blood, bastards, badass bastards and so on. Everything while somebody is talking with you about existence.
- Our saviour Lord Revan. He's like if fucking Horus just became fucking bad (but not that bad) to fucking destroy the Dark Gods so he can solve his daddy issues.
- but he's more virile, deadly, powerful, charismatic and cool.
- Obi-Wan Kenobi.
- The High Ground.
- 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 the Memeable!
- 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. Yes, we are talking about the the same TIE Fighters we mentioned before. By garbage, we mean despite how cool looking and sounding TIE Fighters are, they are actually a ridiculously impractical design and the standard TIE Fighters are mass produced extremely cheaply even if they don't look like it. Even 40k's Imperium has better fighter designs. At least the Imperium's fighters conserve the life of the fucking pilot. Also, clearly super skilled since they have roughly an equal kill-death ratio with the Rebels in the movie battles.
- Obi-Wan Kenobi again.
- Princess, later Senator Leia Organa; the original badass-yet-hot boss lady in space. Ends up leading two separate, successful underground freedom movements against impossible odds. Did we mention she's a Jedi in both canons?
- Han Solo, who is so badass that hot Leia falls in love. He has the smuggler's best friend, a Wookie, who is also the worst opponent you can face in a Dejarik match.
- Just... Star Destroyers. When you see a huge, imposing warship from an evil Empire, this is the granddaddy they all look up to.
- Oh, did we mention the lightsabers?
- 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. Whereas DM of the Rings features a railroading DM and players who are therefore somewhat antagonistic to him, Darths & Droids has a GM who adjusts his game to his players' actions and players who generally get along with both him and each other. The plot of DMotR is very similar to that of the movies (but avoids a few plot elements), but the plot (and, indeed, the universe) of Darths & Droids is only very loosely based on the Star Wars films. (For a somewhat spoilery example: "Darth" is a courtesy title for retired Jedi, such as Chancellor Palpatine.)
- "Endor Holocaust": An excellent example of the skub Star Wars can create. Rebuttal: " Endor Rebuttal"