Star Wars Is Not The Only Universe That Needs Video Games

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There are many Star Wars games. Some are good, some are bad, some are okay. The most important thing is that there are many of them. Many. A lot. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor has just faded from view, and Star Wars: Outlaws is fast approaching on the horizon. Star Wars has a prolific relationship with video games that shows no signs of slowing down, and it seems like a lot of other movies could learn from how Star Wars has expanded its world.



I’m not much of an IP fan. Besides Spider-Man 2, all of my most anticipated upcoming games are fresh ideas like Goodbye Volcano High, Helskate, and Venba. In the triple A scene, Starfield is up there with Spidey for me. New concepts are the lifeblood of our industry and more important than ever in the landscape of sequels and remakes. I will always tell people to seek out new experiences, and until halfway through 2023, my game of the year right now is Paranormasight. Still, it’s hard not to look at what Star Wars is doing and see the potential.

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Movie games used to be quite common. As game development cycles have increased, games can no longer be developed at the speed of movies released at the same time, so the trend has died out. Star Wars is so smart that these games don’t follow the movies. There’s a mix in how Star Wars approaches the realm of video game adaptations, and it’s outside the box to think that others can benefit.

Han Solo Lego Star Wars Skywalker Saga

There are some pure adaptations, with Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga retelling the nine main films in brick form. Then you have online multiplayer games like Battlefront, which allow you to play as classic heroes, but without the commitment of recreating the plot. But mostly, the Star Wars games have given us origin stories that expand the world. They don’t have to worry about canon, and that’s a secret that the other movies haven’t always picked up on. We don’t really want to play through the movies, we want to experience the world.

We’re already seeing this with Marvel, probably in large part because Disney owns them both and sees the money they’re making. While Marvel’s Avengers was overly faithful to Joss Whedon’s film, games like Guardians of the Galaxy and the upcoming Iron Man, Captain America, and Black Panther games all take the general mythos of the characters instead of recreating them scene-by-scene. films. Indiana Jones, another Disney property, also gets the treatment. Also far from Disney is James Bond, who has enjoyed a mixed video game history with a heavy reliance on adaptations.

A screenshot showing Star-Lord in the middle of a battle in Square Enix's new Guardians of the Galaxy game

The trick is to take the world we want to live in instead of the story we want to experience. Cal Kestis doesn’t exist in the movies. It was created entirely for video games. But we still go along for the ride because we want to be Jedi in this world. Not any Jedi in particular, just the idea of ​​being a Jedi. And then with Outlaws, we’ve had a Jedi fantasy so often that being offered the opportunity to explore the galaxy with a fresh perspective is now a welcome charm.

Cal Kestis, Darth Revan, Dash Rendar and now Kay Vess are all original characters that we can create ourselves however we want. Films like John Wick have a very obvious path to games, but I’d rather play as a fresh character than have a new story wedged into Wick’s very tight and personal narrative. Shadow of Mordor understood this for Lord of the Rings as well. Like Marvel and DC, worlds like The Hunger Games, Transformers, Max Max, and Alien have more potential than has currently been explored.

Cal Kestis uses the Blaster in Jedi: Survivor.

They don’t even have to be long-running franchises, although they would naturally be the ones most likely to get the treatment for obvious marketing purposes. Who would say that the gameplay in the world of My Neighbor Totoro is completely separate from the story of the movie? A game set in the world of A Quiet Place has been in development recently, so we may see this path taken more often.

The best thing to play are completely original concepts that push creative boundaries and take artistic risks. But executives mostly care about making money, and the Star Wars method seems like a good attempt at both. If we’re doomed for the future of a recognizable IP brand, at least we can hope to throw some original stories into the mix.

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