Like every year, May the Fourth is the perfect time to celebrate all things Star Wars and bask in our dearest memories from the sci-fi franchise, many of which come from the games we’ve played based on the space epic. Those games allowed us to live out our greatest Star Wars fantasies and let us participate in the most fantastic moments of the Star Wars universe. Some let us clash lightsabers in heart-pounding duels, make a desperate stand against the empire with a scrappy group of rebels, or even choose between the dark and the light sides of The Force. The prolific nature of Star Wars in games has produced countless exciting scenarios and compelling stories, though some of the best moments happen to have existed outside of the game.
Many of us at Game Informer are fond of our time with various Star Wars titles and want to share some of our favorite stories surrounding them in honor of the occasion. We hope you’ll do the same with your favorite memories in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Marcus Stewart – Keep your KOTORs, Battlefronts, and Fallen Orders. Before all of that, my little brother and I had Star Wars Episode I: Jedi Power Battles on PlayStation 1. If you’re unfamiliar, the game is essentially a 3D Star Wars beat ‘em up set during the events of The Phantom Menace. As Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, my brother and I madly flailed our lightsabers to cut down through waves of droids until we took on Darth Maul himself. It was the first game that truly made me feel like a badass Jedi, and visiting locations from the film like Naboo was an added perk. Jedi Power Battles is one of my favorite co-op games on the PS1 and rivals the pod racing game as the best thing to come out of Episode I.
Matt Miller – I have fond memories of the earliest days of Star Wars Galaxies in 2003, which gave me a chance to share my love of that most famous of fictional universes with other fans in a way that would have seemed impossible only years before. I explored planets, visited cantinas, and fired blasters at womp rats for some months before falling away to other gaming pursuits. In the meantime, the most devoted of fans persisted in the game for the years that followed, creating entire communities and long-running friendships in the MMO.
I returned to the game in 2011, in the final week of the game’s official existence, to chronicle its concluding events. I was an outsider by that time, observing longtime players say goodbye even as the final fate of the Galactic Civil War played out differently on each server. I remember the palpable sense of sadness many of the players emoted in the last minutes before the game world came to an end. Players were saying farewell to an experience they had cherished for many years as a point of connection to both each other and a fiction they adored. It was a potent reminder for me of the way storytelling can bring us together and how some games can transcend the sum of their parts to become something quite special to those involved in playing them.
Andrew Reiner – I had no idea Super Star Wars was in development until I went to my nearby EB Games and heard the store clerk talking about it with a customer. When their conversation concluded, I asked the clerk what Star Wars game they were talking about. He said it was a Super Nintendo game that was coming soon, and it would be exactly like “playing through the movie.” My excitement grew, and I had to know when it would be releasing. He said, “Tomorrow!” I bolted out of the store, tracked my parents down at Sears, and begged them to bring me back to the mall tomorrow (and to give me $70) to get the game. They did! I played that game for weeks on end and loved every second of it.
Wesley LeBlanc – I have many memories related to Star Wars video games, but none currently overtake that of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith’s (the game) alternate ending. Back then – 2005 – I didn’t even know alternate endings were a thing in video games, let alone one based on a movie with a definitive ending. But alas, Revenge of the Sith has one, and it’s for all the Anakin fans out there. Revenge of the Sith ends with Obi-Wan Kenobi defeating Anakin on Mustafar (best believe this fight had me crying in the theater). He’s basically burned alive, only to barely survive, at which point, Emperor Palpatine turns him into Darth Vader. However, in the alternate ending, Anakin defeats Obi-Wan, and while Palpatine congratulates him on the win, Anakin betrays him, thrusting his lightsaber right through his torso. Watching this unfold on screen blew my mind, and still today, it stands out as the kind of big moves I wish more Star Wars games would make.
John Carson – Star Wars games rarely stuck for me as a kid. I played each entry of the Super Star Wars trilogy multiple times with friends and had a great time with them, but they were far from my favorite games to rent and go back to time after time. What does stick in my memory is the first time I got my hands on a Gamecube controller at an EB Games and fired up the demo for Star Wars: Rogue Squadron. I had never seen something so real from a game at that time; it looked like a spot-on recreation of the trench run from A New Hope. You couldn’t tear that controller from me until the Death Star was destroyed, and even then, I was begging to stay for one more run. Not only did that little slice of Rogue Squadron sell me on its tactical space dogfights as well as Nintendo’s behandled box, but it rekindled my excitement for the original film trilogy, urging me to go back and compare how both versions played out, and if the visuals were as close as I convinced myself they were.
What are some of your favorite Star Wars gaming memories? Do you have a certain game that shaped your fandom for the series, or was there one that changed your life in some way? Is there just a funny story you have about a Star Wars game that you’d like to share? Scroll down to the comments and tell us all about your favorite memories!
Source: Game Informer Reader Discussion – Our Favorite Star Wars Gaming Memories