6 Star Wars video game experiences to remember heading into the new films

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The force is strong with us. The time is almost here. We have a hard time even saying it without bursting with excitement: we get to see more Star Wars films. While most of the various games and other Star Wars media have been dismissed as "Legends" from our new Disney overlords, Star Wars has had many wonderful video game stories and experiences that will not leave the minds of fans even if they are no longer canon.

With new Star Wars stories on the horizon via new films, games, books, comics, and more, this is a very unique chance to reflect on which experiences offered stellar Star Wars moments that were outside of the main film saga. Here are our six choices. 

Star Wars: Republic Commando - Introductions

Before television offered us a deeper insight into the training of clone troopers in The Clone Wars episode Clone Cadets, we had the excellent introductory mission within Star Wars: Republic Commando that finally shed a light on the intensity of clone training and the bond of brotherhood within the horde of soldiers. 

Learning the origins of your squad while simultaneously building a bond before the true game even begins was a very impressive design and story choice that continued to grow throughout the game until its climactic ending.

Although unlikely, maybe an invigorated Star Wars universe can lead to a well-deserved sequel to this excellent squad based first person shooter. 

Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords - Kreia's Lessons

Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords is like a fine wine. It gets better as it ages. Living in the shadow of its critically acclaimed predecessor Knights of the Old Republic, all eyes were on its sequel. While it was not a success critically, Knights of the Old Republic 2 offered one of the greatest Star Wars characters to grace the universe: Kreia. 

Outside of the novels, Kreia was one of the first characters to preach the morally grey area that is The Force to a large audience. Her approach to breaking down the binary assumptions of the light and dark side are some of the most compelling conversations in gaming and gives Kreia a permanent position on anyone's favorite Star Wars characters. 

Star Wars Battlefront 2 - Hero Assault on Mos Eisley

Who said anything about this list being only story elements? The Hero Assault mode in Star Wars Battlefront 2 offered some of the most fun battles in any Star Wars game that has been released. Players joined either the lights side or the dark side and had a sample of the many characters that occupied those roles throughout the saga.

Then, as you would expect, you do battle even if the various match-ups and situations are a little outside of canon. Clashing with General Grievous as Princess Leia while your friends are screaming at an enemy Boba Fett over Xbox Live was great fun and a great platform for enjoying the Star Wars experience. 

Knights of the Old Republic - Crafting your Lightsaber

An elegant weapon for a more civilized age, building a lightsaber is one of the initiatory moments in a Jedi's training and players waiting an entire act to be able to do so was torture. From the outset, the player knows the protagonist is strong in the force, yet we are not permitted to its use for the first several hours of gameplay.

Arriving at the Jedi temple after many hours finally gave players the opportunity to do what every Star Wars fan has ached to do since childhood: Become a Jedi and craft a lightsaber. An excellent moment that feels completely earned after the harrowing survival of the first chapter.    

Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast - Retrieving your Lightsaber

Kyle Katarn is one of the more tragic characters in the now "Legends" Star Wars story. Always struggling between the light and dark side, the protagonist of Jedi Outcast has forsaken the force and the ways of the Jedi to further his life. However, the player soon finds Katarn in a quest that requires his reconnection with the force. 

Going through Luke Skywalker's trial to redeem your lightsaber is a critical moment for Katarn and a great moment for the story of Star Wars. Gameplay wise, acquiring your lightsaber and your connection to The Force turns you back into the master of combat you expect from a Jedi making for some great encounters in later missions. 

Shadows of the Empire - Skyhook Battle

Now look! This may be a bit of a niche choice, but this mission was the closest thing to the feeling of excitement during the Death Star battle in Return of the Jedi. The dog-fighting, the massive scale of the Skyhook, and the tunnel assault to blow up the reactor had our hearts racing to the very end. 

While the main story of the game was a bit flat, the situations presented to the player offered wonderful Star Wars moments with wonderful replay ability. Escaping from Hoth, riding the train on Ord Mantel, inflitrating Xizor's Palace, and the final space battle rounded out a great Star Wars experience that graced the Nintendo 64 in 1996. 

Published Sep. 18th 2015

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I am literate, a Jedi, have opposable thumbs, and a fellow of infinite jest. I blow bubbles in your milk when you're not looking.

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