When it comes to Star Wars, the movies may have launched the franchise into the stratosphere, but it’s the games that have kept the adventure going for fans. From exploring Luke’s real legacy in the Jedi Knight series to commanding elite clone troopers in Republic Commando, Star Wars games have been delivering thrills and progressive storytelling that often outshine the movies.
The secret to their success lies in their interactivity – being able to wield a lightsaber, pilot iconic ships, and make choices that shape the story. By letting players actively participate in the Star Wars universe, the games tap into our imagination in a way that passive media like the film simply can’t match.
That said – is that really all there is to it when it comes to how influential Star Wars games have been? Even now, die-hard fans are clamouring for Kyle Katarn or Dash Rendar to return to the mainline Star Wars universe. How could these characters, which appeared in pieces of media from decades ago, still hold so much cultural relevance?
Exploring the Galaxy
A vital part of what makes Star Wars games special is the way they take us to places the movies can’t. With so much story to cover in just a few hours, the films really only have time to explore the Jedi perspective and the political undercurrents of the Galactic Civil War.
On the other hand, the games enrich the saga by bringing us into the boots of clones, bounty hunters, smugglers, scoundrels, and more. Republic Commando does this brilliantly by following an elite squad of clone troopers – characters we never see in the movies beyond generic cannon fodder. Just imagine how amazing it would have been to see RC-1138, aka Boss, in a live-action flick.
By branching out to lesser-known characters and perspectives, Star Wars games offer new insights, emotional depth, and opportunities for progressive storytelling that enrich the universe in ways no movie trilogy possibly could. They allow us to experience Star Wars from the ground level up rather than through the narrow focus of the Chosen One’s journey.
More than any other element, the ability to wield the Force and live out your Jedi fantasies is what sets Star Wars games apart. From Jedi Knight and Jedi Academy to Fallen Order and The Force Unleashed, these titles allow fans to indulge their ultimate escapist dreams by becoming Jedi masters themselves.
Being able to wield a lightsaber and the full spectrum of Force powers yourself gives these games an experiential edge that transcends even the most epic lightsaber duels in the movies. You don’t just watch the story of a Jedi; you become the Jedi. The operatic narratives of the films simply cannot compete with the thrill of directly participating in the action as a formidable Force wielder yourself.
There’s also the fact that video games, as a whole, rely more on bombastic entertainment than movies do. That’s the reason why we have those amazing moments in games like The Force Unleashed where Starkiller brings down a Star Destroyer with the Force and even kills Force ghosts using his Dark Side powers. That’s just the right amount of campy action that would make any serious film critics roll their eyes in disappointment – but it’s just what video game – and Star Wars – fans love to see.
Born in Venezuela – and still living there – Tito Pernalete loves all things geeky and sci-fi. He studied Social Communications in college: an odd career choice for a confessed introvert. Though he has experience as a director of photography for some short films, Tito has been a writer for most of his adult life, with a particular interest in movies/TV and tech in general. When he's not playing Elden Ring or binge-watching a horror movie marathon, you can find him planning his dream trip to Japan. His favourite film is RoboCop, but he also has a soft spot for cheesy 80s horror flicks and anything made by Wes Anderson.