Could Star Wars: The Last Jedi Bring Star Wars Video Games Back Into The Frame?
Whoever the last Jedi is, let's hope that they're not ruined the way Yoda in the prequels was.
In the midst of talk about the Super Bowl (give me New England by a 31-23 score, for what it's worth) and Sean Spicer cooking up controversy, Disney stole the show on Monday after announcing the title and release date for the next Star Wars movie.
Thankfully, the title is as mysterious and, in its own way, ominous as The Force Awakens was.
The wait for VIII begins... pic.twitter.com/2X6AXnz9yx— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) January 23, 2017
Hopefully, the fact we're getting another new Star Wars movie means that we'll get another product from the sci-fi franchise; video games. Once releasing multiple games a year under the LucasArts name, the amount of Star Wars games that have come out for consoles and PC gamers since Disney bought the franchise in 2012 can be counted on one hand.
Seriously. It's two games. We had EA's Battlefront in 2015 and last year's Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens. That's it. Obviously, that's not counting any mobile games or pre-existing games that still have a heavy modding fan base (i.e. Battlefront), but two... main... console... games. That's all!
There's been no Han Solo standalone game where, along with Chewbacca, you smuggle products during the day and fly the Millennium Falcon at night. We haven't gotten a first-person shooter game with a story a la Call of Duty: Modern Warfare where you realize that war isn't what it's cracked up to be.
Even 1313, the Boba Fett-esque project that would have sparked internet arguments about the use of Temuera Morrison as Boba's voice actor, was canned. I don't get it; with Disney being the powerhouse that they are, and companies wanting to cash in on the franchise's license, where are all the Star Wars games?
While Battlefront was unplayable offline and the biggest disappointment since... well, probably The Phantom Menace, Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens was pretty damn good in its own right. But who can pass up building Legos?
The best part about Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens, though, was that it did what Star Wars games of the past did; bridged the gap. Between missions that gave more character development to Poe Dameron, finding out how C-3PO got a brand new red arm, and more Han Solo action.
Hopefully, The Last Jedi can not only bring more Star Wars games into the fray, but can inspire different development companies to return to the days of producing games that had a form of meaningfulness to them.
What do I mean by bridging the gap, you ask? Well, when LucasArts was mass producing Star Wars games in the late 1990's to mid 2000's, most of the games were intended to add a form of mythos or an extra legend to the sci-fi universe. Ironically, their strategy was similar to how Disney tried to find out whatever happened after 'happily ever after.'
From the dog days of the Clone Wars -- and giving more character development to Anakin Skywalker in a way that explained why he turned to the dark side -- to the beginning days of the Rebellion, we were getting at times sometimes five games a year. Once the news came in 2012 that Disney was buying Star Wars from a man addicted to special effects, it only made sense to think that they'd take advantage of the fact that a Star Wars game is an easy cash grab.
LucasArts pulled this off perfectly during the Clone Wars multimedia project with games like Bounty Hunter, The Clone Wars, and Republic Commando. Though not all of the games they released from 2002-05 had the magical quality to it that Knights of the Old Republic or the original Battlefront series had, these games at least were able to add something to the Star Wars mythos to make it more of a mythos.
But since Disney came into the picture, there's been next to nothing. Why haven't we gotten that Han Solo standalone game? What about the Rogue Squadron sequel that adds some lore to Poe Dameron's so-called greatness as the best pilot of the Resistance?
And, for those who may want to make the argument that The Force Awakens was in development during 2013 and 2014 so details were still being ironed out, I get it. Details were being ironed out and developing a game that stars Poe Dameron would have spoiled too much about the movie ahead.
At the same time, though, The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels were airing on TV, so why not give us a game that ties into one of those series? Why not an original game that helps set up at least some events of The Force Awakens like a Han Solo game?
It may be asking too much of Disney when I request we get some more Star Wars games because they can only do so much, but come on. Whether it's from EA, TellTale, or Activision, let's at least try to bring some balance back to the gaming side of the Force.
What Star Wars games would you like to see Disney and other developers try to make in the near-future? Let us know in the comment section below!