Star Wars Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Star Wars RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Update Introduces Brand-New Content Mon, 04 May 2020 13:52:29 -0400 Daniel Hollis

EA has announced a slew of new features coming in a free content update for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. The news comes via a blog post on perhaps Star Wars' most sacred day, May the 4th, better known as Star Wars Day. 

The update is available now across all platforms and introduces a new hub area, game modes, new game plus (called New Journey +), and a host of new cosmetic rewards.

Meditation Training

First up we have the inclusion of Meditation Training, which is broken up into two sub-modes:

Combat Challenges

These challenge rooms will see you traversing multiple planets, fighting a plethora of enemies across numerous waves. They're aimed for the experienced players who have reached the end-game and have maxed out their skills. Unlocking stars for each challenge also rewards new BD-1 customizable options.

You can see those over at the official announcement linked at the top of this article. 

Battle Grid

This is a sandbox mode in which players will be able to customize battles to their liking by choosing enemy variations, difficulty settings, and various other modifiers. 

New Journey +

This mode allows players to experience the Jedi Fallen Order adventure again  right from the beginning  with all their upgrades, unlocks, and the ability to unlock chests or collectibles they may have missed in their first playthrough. 

There's also an array of unique customization options for this mode which consist of:

  • A Call Kestis Inquisitor uniform
  • Protection and Defence I & II lightsaber parts
  • Red kyber crystal for your lightsaber

Other New Additions

Alongside all of this, there's also been some quality of life improvements added to enhance the experience:

  • Quick time events can now be skipped
  • You can turn off the option to hold the climb button, as well as with interactions
  • A variety of text scaling options

This is on top of a range of bug fixes and tweaks that have been made to the game, which you can see below via the official announcement: 

Bug Fixes and Tweaks
  • Improved transitions between parry and block animations
  • The Bog Rats on Bogano were sometimes floating. They should now be more grounded
  • Improved the transitions into and out of jumping and double jumping
  • Fixed the issue where Cal could get stuck in an endless falling loop during air attacks
  • Fixed the issue that would prevent Cal from progressing his journey when a Bounty Hunter would show up
  • Improved overall responsiveness of gameplay and the reliability of actions based on player feedback

Be sure to check out our Fallen Order review, in which we said that, "Despite some technical and pacing issues, the final product is still the best Star Wars game we’ve seen for years. It’s particularly impressive, given the current gaming landscape, where live service titles are more prevalent than ever, and real singleplayer epics are falling by the wayside."

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more on Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, as well as the other games in the Star Wars universe, including LEGO Star Wars The Skywalker Saga

Lucasfilm, Disney Reveal Star Wars: The High Republic Tue, 25 Feb 2020 13:28:12 -0500 GS_Staff

Star Wars is entering a new era.

Lucasfilm and Disney have announced Star Wars: The High Republic, a set of stories set 200 years before Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. The initial series will consist of books and comics and is part of the oft-rumored Project Luminous, a campaign meant to enlarge the Star Wars expanded universe under Disney.

That new EU will kick-off with Star Wars: The High Republic: Light of the Jedi, and will be the first arc in the continued High Republic series. According to, the arc will consist of two adult novels, one YA novel, one comic book series from IDW, and another comic series from Marvel.

Veteran Star Wars writers Charles Soule and Claudia Grey will lend their talents alongside Justina Ireland, Daniel Jose Older, and Cavan Scott.

While it's not clear what The High Republic will look like in this new version of the Star Wars EU, we do know that it will show the Jedi in their prime, as well as galactic expansion into the Outer Rim territories. 

Lucasfilm Vice President of Franchise Content and Strategy James Waugh said: 

This was a golden age for the Jedi, and also a time of galactic expansion in the Outer Rim. So expect there to be rich tales of exploration; charting out the galaxy, meeting new cultures, and discovering what pioneer life in the Outer Rim was like. This is an incredible sandbox for our storytellers to play in, both within publishing and beyond, and we can’t wait to see the great fiction they build within it.

Star Wars: The High Republic Artwork.

As of writing, Disney says that The High Republic era will not overlap with other Star Wars films or television shows, including those on Disney Plus. It will act on its own and usher in a new prequel era, inflating the current expanded universe to heights not seen since the golden age of Timothy Zahn and Kevin J. Anderson.

The High Republic is also reportedly separate from the rumored Rian Johson Star Wars trilogy, as well as the trilogy that was being worked on by former Game of Thrones showrunners, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

Outside of a generic 2020 release window, there is no word on when the first issues of Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures (IDW) and Star Wars: The High Republic (Marvel) will hit shelves. Into the Dark (Grey), A Test of Courage (Ireland), and Light of the Jedi (Soule) are now available for pre-order from various retailers. 

In other Star Wars news, The Rise of Skywalker will release on Blu-ray and digital in March

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Digital and Bluray Release Dates Confirmed Thu, 20 Feb 2020 14:03:50 -0500 GS_Staff

Fans won't have to wait much longer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to release on home digital and Blu-ray. Episode 9 of the Skywalker Saga is due to drop out of lightspeed March 17 on digital and March 31 on Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD, and DVD.

The release will include a treasure trove of extras and goodies, including behind-the-scenes footage and documentaries. Individual retailers will, of course, have exclusive packaging as well. Best Buy (seen above) will have a beautiful steelcase depicting Rey and Kylo Ren's battle on Ker Bir, while Target (below) will have a special art book. 

Alongside the film itself, fans can expect "a feature-length, making-of documentary, which goes behind the scenes with the cast and filmmakers from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and explores the legacy of the Skywalker saga."

The home release of TRoS will also feature footage detailing how the film's desert scenes were shot, as well as the process behind creating Episode 9's creatures and droids. A featurette exclusive to the digital version will explore the process behind the film's score, orchestrated by legendary composer John Williams. 

Target's special edition Bluray for The Rise of Skywalker home release.

Specific details about the movie's home release can be found over on Currently, there is no word on when the film will release on Disney Plus, though a summer timeframe seems logical.

Considering Disney's streaming service has been slowly regaining exclusivity rights to Disney films and television shows, it's unlikely The Rise of Skywalker will release on other streaming platforms such as Netflix or Hulu.

Directed by J.J. Abrams, The Rise of Skywalker was a divisive conclusion to the storied Skywalker Saga. The film stars Daisey Ridley as Rey, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, John Boyega as Finn, and Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron.

The film released in theaters on December 20, 2019, and grossed more than $1 billion at the box office, splitting its total between both domestic and international audiences. Currently, it is is the 17th highest-grossing Disney film of all time, falling behind both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi

5 Star Wars Legends Video Game Characters Disney Can Make Canon Thu, 17 Oct 2019 16:08:31 -0400 The Uncanny Fox

Ah, Star Wars. The definitive sci-fi/fantasy franchise of our time. Everyone has an opinion on the direction of the series, but no one can deny that it’s been an exciting ride since Disney bought the franchise from George Lucas.

One issue of contention was Disney’s decision in 2014 to declare the old Expanded Universe of books, games, and other assorted media null and void, electing to wipe the slate clean for the franchise going forward. I’m not here to argue whether or not that was the right decision. Personally, I think it was for the best given the tangled mess the continuity became, but that's a debate that has been done to death already. It’s not as if Disney’s going to reverse its decision any time soon.

Instead, I'm here to take a look at some of the best video game characters from the old “Legends” timeline. I want to see if any can be incorporated into the new EU in a future game or another piece of associated media.

It’s no secret that the Star Wars video games, as with the rest of the “Legends” universe, have given us plenty of interesting characters. It’s also no secret that the creators of the new EU have proven willing and able to adapt old characters into their works like they did with Grand Admiral Thrawn in Rebels and the Clone Commando Delta Squad in The Clone Wars. I mean heck: they actually slipped a reference to that terrible Star Wars fighting game in Solo, so anything can happen. 

In preparation for the upcoming release of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, I’ve decided to make this list of characters, and ponder how they can be brought into official canon via a Disney Plus series like The Mandalorian — or whatever Rian Johnson, Kevin Feige, or the Game Of Thrones guys are doing.   

Prince Xizor (Shadows Of The Empire)

Now, this one’s more of a boss than a playable character, and he’s more well-known for the book and comic adaptations of the game he’s in, but he still counts.

The leader of the infamous Black Sun crime ring, Falleen warlord Prince Xizor makes his mark on the Star Wars universe as one of the most influential beings in the galaxy — aside from the Emperor himself.

Commanding a massive criminal empire and adorning himself in all the finest riches, Xizor sets out to get revenge on Darth Vader for killing his family by supplanting Vader as Palpatine’s right-hand man. To this end, Xizor plans to humiliate the Dark Lord by killing Luke, thus ruining his and the Emperor’s plot to turn Luke to the Dark Side.

During this scheme, Xizor proves an influential figure, hiring all manner of bounty hunters to claim young Skywalker’s life, and Xizor even attempts to worm his way into the Rebellion’s good graces by using his species’ natural pheromone abilities to seduce Leia. But in the end, his ambitions get the better of him, as Vader catches wind of his plot and settles it the way Vader always does this sort of thing.

Admittedly, I’m not as familiar with Xizor as I am with others on this list (I’ve never really played Shadows Of The Empire that much), but Xizor would make for an interesting foe in a Disney Plus series or TV show. He was kind of a big deal back when the game and connecting multimedia “movie without a movie” project came out in 1997. And no, his figure being used as a reference for the crowd scene in The Phantom Menace doesn’t count!

How To Make Xizor Canon

This is an easy one since the Black Sun itself was already brought into the lore proper during the Maul arc of The Clone Wars Season 5. There, it is one of the many criminal groups the former Sith allies himself with to help take over Mandalore.

So, with a few tweaks, it’s well within reason that Luke and company could come across Xizor in the year between Empire and Jedi.   

The Zann Consortium (Empire At War: Forces Of Corruption)


I have a confession to make: when I’m playing Empire At War’s Galactic Conquest mode with the Zann Consortium, my primary army for attacking enemy planets usually consists of Hero units and a couple of Defilers. That’s it. No soldiers, no tanks, nothing else. Why? Because the Consortium’s Hero units are all the army you need.

These guys are awesome, from the Nightsister Silri to the samurai-like Urai Fenn and the mastermind himself, Tyber Zann. The way the Consortium operates in the game is far more subtle than the raid-focused Rebellion or strong-arm Empire; the Consortium first “corrupts” planets with the use of a Defiler, setting up some sort of criminal operation on the world. Then, if need be, they send their minions down to the surface to conquer the planet. Such a strategy might employ Urai’s blades and stealth abilities, Silri’s Dark Side powers, or even the bio-weaponry of IG-88.

With such a deadly cast of outlaws in their ranks, this band of cutthroats lays waste to anything that stands in their way, making them one E.U. faction that’s begging to be put on the big screen.

How To Make Zann Consortium Canon

Another easy one: just have Tyber and crew show up after either the Empire falls or the end of the Sequel Trilogy. Nightsisters already exist due to Mother Talzin and her clan, so Silri can be a descendant of one of them that survived Grievous’ purge back in The Clone Wars.

Neither Bossk nor IG-88 have died in the new canon to my knowledge, and Tyber himself can battle the First Order instead of the Empire. As for Urai, he can be a reject from the old Jedi Order or something. I can see him handling any Order 66 business that would come his way.  

Starkiller (The Force Unleashed)

A bit of a controversial choice here, but I think this guy is pretty awesome.

The secret apprentice to Darth Vader, Starkiller personifies the power of the Force like few others. We witness him take down some of the strongest Jedi in the Order (Shakk Ti, anyone?), tear down with his mind everything up to and including a Star Destroyer, generally reduce the population of a given level to “one”, and, in the finale of the game, defeat not one, but two Sith Lords.

In addition to being a Force-enabled juggernaut, Starkiller has a great story, harkening back to Star Wars’ classic theme of redemption as he abandons his master’s teachings and plays a crucial role in the Empire’s eventual destruction.

Say what you will about the game he appears in (I like it, by the way), but Starkiller is the real deal. Plus, bonus points for Sam Witwer. That guy can sound evil like nobody’s business.

How To Make Starkiller Canon

Okay, here’s where things get tricky. It’s entirely possible for Vader to have taken on a secret apprentice without Palpatine’s knowledge  even in the new canon (although the existence of the Inquisitors puts doubt on why Vader would bother to hide him). We could still have him gathering the Rebel leaders in an attempt to distract Palps from Vader’s efforts to overthrow him.

The problem lies in how his story ends, and I doubt the First Order would name their superweapon after a guy that almost destroyed their dear Empire, so his name might have to be changed. And there’s the issue of whether or not he killed Shaak Ti; it was officially confirmed that Vader did back at the Temple during Order 66, so she couldn’t be in exile on Felucia.

That plays into Mariss Brood’s plot as well. So, Disney will probably have to replace Shaak Ti with a new Jedi  or at least someone who’s death hasn’t been confirmed in an official source.

But everything else could fit in the canon nicely with a few tweaks here and there. I’d just stick with material from the first game, though; the end of The Force Unleashed II just leaves a massive plot hole, and the whole “clone Starkiller” thing is dumb anyway.

Kyle Katarn (Jedi Knight Series)

Hyperspace exists because it doesn’t want to be in the same universe as Kyle Katarn. For a while, Kyle Katarn was jokingly nicknamed “the Chuck Norris of Star Wars.” It’s easy to see why given his backstory and exploits across the Jedi Knight series.

Kyle starts out as an Imperial Stormtrooper (one of the few who could actually shoot), but he defects to the Alliance when he finds out the Empire killed his father. He then:

  • Single-handedly steals the plans to the Death Star
  • Thwarts an evil plot by the Empire involving Dark troopers
  • Teaches himself how to be a Jedi
  • Defeats a whopping eight Darksiders (by my count, at least; I could be wrong)
  • Becomes the top Battlemaster of the Jedi Order
  • Takes part in defeating every E.U. threat from the Yuuzhan Vong to the Dark Side-turned son of Han and Leia (a concept that’s already been adapted into the new movies).

His life story alone is awesome, but what makes Katarn an excellent video game character is how much fun he is to play as. Whether he’s using blasters or his trusty lightsaber, there’s rarely a dull moment behind the beard of Kyle. Plus, has any other Jedi sabered a not-Sith so hard time slowed to a Matrix-style crawl as the baddie fell? Didn’t think so.

How To Make Kyle Canon

Obliviously, Kyle wouldn’t have stolen the Death Star plans given Rogue One already told that story with someone else, but there’s still plenty of room for him to do awesome stuff post-Jedi.

I would have him be one of the new recruits Rey gets for whatever new order of Force Users she sets up after The Rise Of Skywalker (if he were a part of Luke’s order from after Return Of The Jedi, he would have to die in order for the story to work, and I don’t want that any more than you do).

I would then adapt the games from Jedi Knight onward as necessary. Maybe have Dessan and company be some kind of splinter group from the Knights Of Ren or something. Of course, this would all depend on how The Rise Of Skywalker plays out…

Revan (Knights Of The Old Republic)    


Hailed by the Jedi as “The Prodigal Knight,” feared by the galaxy as “The Dark Lord,” and widely regarded by the fandom for his sweet battle attire, Revan could quite possibly be the most refreshing Star Wars character to never appear in a movie.

Depending on your choices in Knights of the Old Republic, Revan’s story could be one of redemption or destruction, they could be male or female, and they could be of any ethnicity or skill-set. But regardless, it's clear that Revan has made a permanent impression on the galaxy. Just mention him to any character in the game: they will either react in fear to the thought of the Dark Lord or display reverence to the most powerful warrior in the galaxy.

Revan’s reputation proceeds them everywhere they go: providing both a warning to aspiring Jedi about how even the Order’s mightiest can fall to the Dark Side and a tale of how even the darkest of enemies can find salvation. This, combined with their incredible mastery of the Force and their impressive appearance, make them one of the greatest Jedi who have ever lived in the galaxy far, far away. 

How To Make Revan Canon

This is another easy one; in fact, it’s already been attempted in an episode of The Clone Wars before the scene featuring Revan was cut for time.

The KOTOR period is quite far removed from anything we’ve seen in the movies already, so incorporating it, and by extension, Revan, into the current canon is just a simple matter of making a new show/movie/game/book/whatever featuring it.

The only real point of contention that I see happening is what Revan looks like, since the character was customizable in the game. But that’s a discussion for another day.


And there you have it, the the Star Wars Legends characters that I think can make it into the new canon. With the upcoming release of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, it will be exciting to see if any of these characters make the cut in future Star Wars media, be that in another game, comic or even an appearance in a Disney Plus show. Until then, May The Force Be With You.

Classic Galactic Conquest Could Revitalize EA's Modern Battlefront Series Wed, 17 Apr 2019 17:11:18 -0400 Miles T

One of the defining features of 2004's Star Wars: Battlefront and 2005's Star Wars: Battlefront II was Galactic Conquest, a turn-based strategy mode that thrust players into the heart of an expansive conflict. In the mode, players sought to systematically gain an edge against the A.I. to dominate planets on both the ground and in space. 

For many, Galactic Conquest allowed players to create their own narrative campaigns that could have circumvented the relative dearth of single-player content in both the modern Battlefront and Battlefront 2. Like many of my friends at the time, I spent many hours role-playing, tinkering with the various classes and options that the mode provided.

It came as a surprise — and a mighty disappointment — for me and many other fans when 2015’s Battlefront reboot was released with nary a hint of the beloved mode. 2017's Battlefront 2 featured a mode with a similar name, Galactic Assault, but one that reflected very little about what made the original mode so strong. 

The Loss of Individual Tales

While 2015’s Battlefront launched without a single-player campaign and 2017’s outing was bland, uninspired, and short, the freedom afforded in Galactic Conquest allowed players to build their own Star Wars stories and narratives to enhance the gameplay experience, creating moments of nostalgia that many still reminisce about today.

I still remember the first time I throttled into an opposing capital ship in a troop transport filled with my allies, storming the control room, sabotaging the shield generator, and destroying the engines before being mowed down by defending pilots.

It was invigorating stuff. 

The inclusion of multiple planets and expansive lore from the movies allowed the gameplay to feel as though real stakes were involved. Battling on Hoth and Kamino felt awesome because it felt like something was being won or lost. These would be the rebels' or the clones' last stronghold, the last line of defense keeping you from fully realizing your stranglehold on the galaxy.

Even innocuous planets like Utapau or Mygeeto made battles feel intense if you had just started your campaign as a particular side, up against the enemy force which controlled the majority of the planets you hoped to liberate.

The newer Battlefront games feel distinctly lacking in comparison. When online matches are contested, there isn’t an overarching conflict driving you forward — something to make victory more rewarding or defeat more devastating.

In the newest games, battles are simply maps that host tug of war gameplay, with little purpose outside of servicing that small lobby of players. 

A Galaxy In Battle, But Not At War

In its design, Galactic Conquest allowed for variety in gameplay options, something that simply isn’t available in traditional linear campaigns or multiplayer modes, and which is largely absent in modern Battlefront’s single-player offerings.

The skirmishes in the original Battlefront featured ebbs and flows which would change based on bonuses that could be purchased with credits. Strategic use of these bonuses could swing battles wildly in favor of one side or the other.

Couple this with opportunities to purchase new classes of troopers during your conquest, as well as being able to call upon a faction hero (which would vary per map, adding even more variety), and there was a wealth of opportunity in Galactic Conquest on a large scale. 

The offerings in the modern Battlefront series could have expanded on this RTS-lite mechanic. 

Increasing options for attacking and defending, placing more emphasis on the use of building and managing space fleets, utilizing modern class customization, all of it could have gone a long way to creating engaging content to which players could continuously return. 

For multiplayer, expanding the gameplay beyond the simple team deathmatch or planetary assault to a wider strategic element would have given the modern Battlefront games more scope. The recent addition of the Geonosis Galactic Assault to 2017's Battlefront 2 was a step in the right direction but had it been part of a wider Galactic Conquest mode, it could have captured the feeling from those previous games.

Faction Options Are Endless

Most disappointingly for me, however, was how DICE and EA failed to maximize the potential of the new factions introduced into Star Wars lore with the new Star Wars trilogy, namely The First Order and The Resistance.

The original titles made phenomenal use of the source material, with multiple scenarios for Galactic Conquest featuring various factions, the 501st battalion campaign, and a wealth of instant-action variables with which to tinker and experiment. With all-new planets, heroes, units, weapons, and story beats to work from, a Galactic Conquest mode would be ripe for development from the newest trilogy of movies.

Leading First Order troopers with Kylo Ren or Captain Phasma, resisting the onslaught of troopers as Rey or battling in space as Poe was a missed opportunity in the newest Battlefront games. DICE did well to replicate some of those nostalgic moments in 2017’s Battlefront 2, but it would have been all the more enthralling had those experiences played out across a series of battles, conflicts, and tugs-of-war to gain supremacy.

The Past Will Have To Do

The modern Battlefront games are fun. 

While they provided some solid gameplay experiences and multiplayer action, I feel the exclusion of the Galactic Conquest mode, and to a lesser extent the instant-action offering, proved to significantly depreciate the value of the titles, rendering much of their potential null.

Galactic Conquest helped fans establish their own stories, engage with unique gameplay mechanics, and develop their knowledge and understanding of the factions and overall lore. The mode's inclusion wouldn't have fixed everything "wrong" with EA's efforts, but it would have made things more exciting. 

I still revisit 2005’s Battlefront 2 on Steam, diving straight into a new galactic conquest readily. Despite its age and rust, it still provides the same undying thrill of being part of a large-scale conflict in a galaxy far, far away.

Perhaps there’s hope for the future, that EA and DICE may come to the light side and provide the long lost Galactic Conquest mode. Though it’s more likely it will be relegated to Boba Fett’s fate — lost to a Sarlaac Pit with little chance to escape.

Lucasfilm Instructs Poem Studios to Stop Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Overhaul Thu, 11 Oct 2018 17:01:50 -0400 William R. Parks

In 2015, Poem Studios began using Unreal Engine 4 to overhaul BioWare's revered Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Today, via the Apeiron Game Twitter account, they have posted a cease and desist received from Lucasfilm.

Led by Taylor Trotter, a self-taught game designer, Apeiron was being built entirely by volunteers -- modelers, UI artists, and programmers bringing an updated touch to the RPG. The goal was exciting and ambitious, including a new way to approach combat alongside the game's original implementation.

In response to the cease and desist, Trotter said via Twitter, "After a few days, I've exhausted my options to keep it afloat. I'm sorry and may the force be with you."

When questioned previously about legality, the team pointed to Black Mesa, a fan-made remake of Half-Life that has been available on Steam since 2015. Apparently, Lucasfilm disagrees that this type of overhaul is not infringing on its intellectual property.

While players would need to own an original copy of Knights to play the overhaul, Apeiron was to be made freely available to the public upon release.

A long time ago, a dev stream for the game used to occur on TheDigitalCowboy's Twitch. However, all videos from past broadcasts now appear to be removed.

What do you think of the cease and desist? Should Apeiron be allowed to move forward? Let us know in the comments below.

And may the Force be with you. 

Going Solo: Best Scoundrels Smuggled Into Star Wars Games Tue, 22 May 2018 14:31:25 -0400 Anthony Merklinger


Han Solo

Lots of Star Wars Games ... He's Been in Lots ... 

A common trend in Star Wars video games is the use of heroes to tell engaging stories. These characters not only act as narrative vehicles that give players the opportunity to discover unexplored elements of the franchise’s current nine feature films, but they arguably serve as the template for character development as a discipline. In this regard, Han Solo is the scoundrel prototype by which all Star Wars scoundrels have evolved, and the Star Wars story would not be the same without him.


Undeniably, Han Solo is more than just a character, but the symbolic manifestation of the franchise’s “third estate” -- the independent space privateer clinging to high-risk, high-reward opportunities with little to no regard for moral rights or wrongs.


Scoundrels as playable classes offer a degree of emotional excitement unfound in Jedi or Sith paths, which can be attributed to the epic, fluid, and fate-defining adventurers of characters like Han Solo. Scoundrels, like Solo, act as free agents and can participate in a stronger and more satisfying character arc -- typically.




Is there a Star Wars scoundrel you believe helped elevate the franchise that's not on this list? Let us know in the comments below! As always, be sure to check back with GameSkinny for more on Star Wars and the galaxy far, far away.


Oh, yeah, and check Solo: A Star Wars Story. We've heard it might be pretty good. 


Image courtesy of Wookieepedia



Battlefront, Battlefront II, Masters of Teras Kasi

Brute strength is not a trait one commonly associates with scoundrels featured in Star Wars video games, particularly characters who find themselves on the losing end of a Dejarik game; however, players have undoubtedly come to enjoy the piercing amicability and resourcefulness of the Wookie warrior Chewbacca -- the longtime friend of Han Solo and co-pilot of the infamous Millennium Falcon.


What about this versatile character has enamored audiences throughout the franchise’s gaming history? Chewbacca remains an underdog, a hero of war-torn Kashyyyk, and a champion of an oppressed race. His ability to dispatch enemies with an array of explosives and the exceptionally accurate bowcaster has made him a standout powerhouse among blaster-wielding characters and even revered Force-users.


Though Chewbacca’s gaming presence is limited compared to other heroes borrowed from the film series, his usefulness is no less prominent. From the Battlefront series to Disney Infinity 3.0, Chewbacca continues to be a vibrant Star Wars character that reminds players of the significance of camaraderie.


Image courtesy of Wookieepedia


Dash Rendar

Shadows of the Empire

Born to a Corellian family, Dash Rendar -- the Imperial turned mercenary -- is one of the franchise’s early examples of developers breaking from established characters to create a story associated with the films. LucasArts’ 1996 third-person shooter, Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, flexed Rendar’s rudimentary scoundrel abilities across 10 levels to defeat Prince Xizor, the leader of the Black Sun Syndicate.


The Outrider captain’s limited video game presence underscores the archetype’s effectiveness in manipulating galactic events. Certainly, the Republic-Imperial struggle dominates the political atmosphere of the Star Wars saga, but Rendar and his scoundrel counterparts denote the underlying ebb and flow ultimately contributing to that conflict.


Shadows of the Empire succeeded in crafting a believable Star Wars experience wherein the player had a direct hand in shaping the events surrounding the film series. With each new game title released, however, the scoundrel’s sophistication evolved to include grenades, flashbangs, self-healing abilities, and even protective barriers. Rendar’s inclusion in the franchise's gaming portfolio helped set the stage for future scoundrel player engagement.


Image courtesy of Wookieepedia


Nico Okarr

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Captain of the XS stock light freighter Redshifter, Nico Okarr is a legendary scoundrel and master escapist whose exploits rival those of Han Solo. His experience in the Outer Rim led to a successful flight from an embattled space station above Korriban -- a feat that would prove singularly responsible for preserving the Republic against a resurgent Sith Empire in the Great Galactic War.


Scoundrels in Star Wars video games are indeed ubiquitous, but few champions rise to galactic stardom like Okarr. His actions, abilities, and general demeanor are consistent when compared to criminals from other franchise IPs; however, Okarr subverts the scoundrel tropes by displaying an uncharacteristic heroism in dangerous situations. Many scoundrel characters -- particularly enemy NPCs -- use exaggerated reputations to buffer or intimidate for self-preservation, whereas Okarr boasts pragmatism and skill over ego.


Image courtesy of Wookieepedia


Hylo Visz

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Considered to be one of the most prominent scoundrels from the Old Republic era, Hylo Visz is a female Mirialan responsible for breaking the Mandalorian blockade of the Hydian Way: a major hyper-trade route between the Outer Rim and Core Worlds heavily used by the Republic.


As each new Star Wars title seeks to achieve singularity in an overtly saturated franchise, Visz’s character is a sobering reminder that Force-users are not the be-all and end-all in the galaxy. In fact, Visz is perhaps one of the earliest examples of an independent actor to dramatically shift a major military power’s ability to wage war without using the Force. She is the paragon of adventure and glory, predating Han Solo by some 3,000 years.


Her legacy in galactic history stresses the point that Star Wars games simply do not represent scoundrels to the degree to which Jedi and Sith are portrayed. Scoundrels represent the middle ground between the Light and Dark Sides of the Force, serving as ancillary vehicles to move a plot forward -- often in isolated incidents. Indeed, performing heroic actions for the purpose of earning cash loses its luster in the face of preserving millennia-held traditions.


Image courtesy of Wookieepedia


Canderous Ordo

Knights of the Old Republic

Canderous Ordo, the battle-hardened Mandalorian from Knights of the Old Republic, invigorates the Star Wars scoundrel archetype by imbuing the role with ceaseless commitment to self-evolution. As a man of challenge, the champion of Clan Ordo shies from the scoundrel’s distinctive charm, bringing a more aggressive, militaristic stance to the table that other scoundrel characters simply don’t.

In fact, Ordo’s single-minded Mandalorian philosophy dictates his motivation: resolution by combat.


Ordo’s inclusion in the Star Wars gaming portfolio paves the way for future characters that wield strength over reason, such as Khomo Fett and Skadge, featured in Star Wars: The Old Republic; however, as many scoundrels will operate for the purposes of acquiring credits, Ordo, as a Mandalorian, seeks sport -- a quality that may perhaps blind him in regard to a character’s moral alignment.


The antithesis of the famous quip “I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” Canderous Ordo is a seasoned gunslinger and an even more dangerous opponent.


Image courtesy of Wookieepedia


Mission Vao

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Many scoundrels in the Star Wars franchise have emerged from difficult situations with a few well-aimed blaster shots or by the sheer convenience of astromech droids. In the case of Mission Vao, however, cunning and intellect proved to be equally effective.


From the thralls of desperation, the young Twi’lek girl forged a life in the slums of Lower Taris, capturing the scoundrel archetype’s instinctive motivation to survive and the unfortunate circumstances by which characters ultimately fall victim to the criminal lifestyle in the Star Wars universe. Where other scoundrels may succeed in brashness, Mission Vao retains interesting and unique mechanics that set her apart from other NPCs, particularly her uncannily optimistic disposition.


Still, Vao’s character shows that even scoundrels who suffer loss and betrayal can be loyal to a fault, as exemplified by her actions in Knights of the Old Republic. More importantly, she adds credence to the efforts of female and alien characters in preserving the integrity of the galaxy.


Image courtesy of Wookieepedia


For more than 40 years, the epic space opera Star Wars has dominated the mainstream, weaving its influence across the global tapestry as a cultural adhesive. With three film trilogies, two independent anthologies (including the yet-to-release Solo: A Star Wars Story), and countless television series, comics, parodies, musical performances, and video games, Star Wars and its respective worlds from galaxies far, far away have become deeply embedded in the cultural lexicon.  


To say Star Wars would not be the same without its eclectic roster of scoundrels, however, is a gross understatement. Indeed, as scoundrels have shaped the political, economic, and social tones of the galaxy, we look back on some of the most influential scoundrels smuggled into Star Wars video games.

An Updated Beginner's Guide to Planetary Conquest in The Old Republic Wed, 21 Mar 2018 11:23:28 -0400 Anthony Merklinger

On Tuesday, March 20, BioWare introduced game update 5.8: Command Authority for Star Wars: The Old Republic and brought massive changes to its Planetary Conquest system that was first introduced with 2.9: Galactic Strongholds in 2014. Among a new interface design, players can enjoy increased challenges, opportunities, and rewards for their participation.

New interface for SWTOR 5.8 patch

Getting Started

Planetary Conquest is an in-game event that allows guilds to compete for control over sectors, or planets, by acquiring points through objective completion. The event resets weekly on Tuesday afternoon. Players can participate by opening their Mission Log (hotkey “L”), selecting the Conquest tab from the menu, and completing the objectives on the left. While some can be performed individually, others require group settings. Objectives have been rebalanced to yield points appropriate to their respective difficulty and now offer credits, experience, and Command Experience upon completion.

There are 13 unique Planetary Conquest events with 19 conquerable planets. Prior to 5.8, cycles operated on a fixed schedule, which gave players and guilds the opportunity to strategize and take proactive measures to build significant points at the start of the event; however, Command Authority has made the Planetary Conquest schedule obsolete, and cycles are now chosen at random (unless one coincides with another recurring in-game event, such as Relics of the Gree or Rakghoul Resurgence).

Meeting Personal Goals

Planetary Conquest’s new interface design separates personal contribution from guild invasions. To be eligible for the personal rewards, players must accumulate enough points to meet the event’s designated goal, which is usually 20,000. While the planetary bonuses for objectives have been removed, update 5.8 introduces daily objectives to supplement the one-time and repeatable tasks. One-time objective completion is now indicated by a “complete” or “incomplete" status, whereas the lemniscate that accompanied repeatable missions has been replaced with a variant of the universal recycling symbol. For additional clarity, players can filter objectives by points, name, repeatable eligibility, and percent complete.

Note: War Supplies: Invasion Force, which previously served as the “toxic waste” of Planetary Conquest, can be combined into ten stacks and donated to the guild for conquest points. Crafting War Supplies now requires additional materials.

a well-decorated stronghold in SWTOR

Applying a Stronghold Bonus

A well-received change with Command Authority is how stronghold bonuses affect player scores. Prior to update 5.8, a player could achieve a 150% stronghold bonus by unlocking several strongholds and filling their rooms with decorations. Strongholds retained a 100% decoration completion that could be satisfied by filling out the maximum allotment of decoration hooks, which contributed a 25% stronghold bonus toward the overall 150%. Players took advantage of this feature by purchasing cheap decorations, such as Basic Metal Chairs and Basic Junker’s Lights, from the decoration merchants; however, update 5.8 has removed decoration hook requirements and instead bases a player’s stronghold bonus on the number of strongholds and rooms unlocked. The Coruscant Apartment, Kaas City Apartment, and Umbaran Mobile Base are the cheapest and easiest to fully unlock (granting a 75% stronghold bonus).

A 150% stronghold bonus makes achieving personal conquest goals relatively easy. For instance, completing an operation through Group Finder, prior to 5.8, would typically yield 3,000 points. With the bonus applied, a player could earn 7,500 points for completing the same objective. Stronghold bonuses are now reflected in the Conquest interface.

Conquest interface in Star Wars The Old Republic

Guild Invasions

A new panel has been introduced to reflect a guild’s progress in Planetary Conquest called “guild invasions.” Update 5.8 categorized conquerable planets into three planetary invasion targets, each with unique reward yields: planets with the highest invasion target require the most participation points and offer the strongest rewards, whereas planets with the weakest invasion target offer the smallest rewards.

Guild leaders or officers with invasion privileges can commit a guild’s flagship to a planet, which will lock the guild into that planet’s leaderboard for the duration of the event; however, guild rewards are no longer tied to placing on the leaderboards’ top ten. Instead, guilds that meet their point goal, which corresponds to the sum of the guild’s members’ scores, will be eligible for receiving the invaded planet’s yield. Guilds that take first place still acquire the achievement: “Conqueror of...,” which can be found under Strongholds in a player’s legacy (hotkey “Y”).

More new features introduced with Command Authority are the top five guild member participation panel, where guild members can see who their highest contributors are, and the Current Conquerors panel, which shows planets that have been last conquered by an invading guild.

the current conquerors panel


Players who complete their personal conquest goal will receive the following rewards:

  • Gathering Lockbox (Universal): “Contains [three] material gathering decorations for your stronghold, which can be harvested for crafting materials.”
  • 25k Credit Certificate
  • 2x Superior Resource Matrix
  • 10x Scrap: Assorted Droid Parts
  • 15x Scrap: Scavenged Scrap

Guilds that meet their planetary invasion target will receive the following rewards:

Small Yield:
  • Gathering Lockbox (Universal)
  • 50k Credit Certificate
  • 2x Superior Resource Matrix
  • 10x Scrap: Jawa Junk
  • 1x Command, Engineering, or Logistical Encryption
Medium Yield:
  • Gathering Lockbox (Universal)
  • 2x 50k Credit Certificate
  • 3x Superior Resource Matrix
  • 15x Scrap: Jawa Junk
  • 1x Command, Engineering, or Logistical Encryption
Large Yield:
  • 2x Gathering Lockbox (Universal)
  • 3x 50k Credit Certificate
  • 4x Superior Resource Matrix
  • 20x Scrap: Jawa Junk
  • 1x Command, Engineering, or Logistical Encryption

lots of items available from a vendor in SWTOR

Note: When a player meets their planetary conquest goal, a new vendor will appear in the Strongholds and Crew Skills section of the Republic and Imperial Fleets. Players can exchange five War Supplies: Invasion Force and 100,000 credits for new stronghold decorations. Additionally, players can purchase the new Commander’s Compendium for three Dark Projects and 4.5 million credits -- an item that instantly brings a companion’s influence level to 50 (with the exception of temporary companions).


Following these strategies can help you and your guild obtain more favorable and substantial results in Planetary Conquest with the SWTOR 5.8 update. Be sure to check back with GameSkinny for more on Star Wars: The Old Republic!

More Updates on the Horizon for Star Wars Battlefront 2 Fri, 26 Jan 2018 15:11:17 -0500 Nicolas Entrabartolo

Time for advances from a galaxy far, far away. With The Last Jedi season well underway, and with battles for space and resources raging between the First Order and the Resistance, Star Wars: Battlefront 2 has released some information that any soldier should catch up on. Here are the updates from the EA blog:

  • We're working on a revamped progression system. Your feedback has been essential here, and we are preparing significant changes to progression that will address many of the things we've seen players asking for. We'll be sharing more details about these changes in March.  
  • A game mode called Jetpack Cargo is coming in February. Two teams of eight players equipped with jet packs compete in Jetpack Cargo, a frantic, fast-paced way to play. This mode will only be available for a limited time, so don’t miss it.
  • A new Season is coming soon. We’ve learned a lot from the first season of content for Star Wars Battlefront II, and we're integrating those insights into our plans moving forward. We know you’re waiting for details on what’s coming in the next season, and we’ll have more to tell you soon.

If you want more statistics on The Last Jedi season, check out the Battlefront 2 blog on EA's website. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Star Wars: Battlefront 2 news!

EA Apologizes For Microtransactions In Battlefront II; Will Temporarily Revoke It Fri, 17 Nov 2017 10:39:30 -0500 Greyson Ditzler

The recently released Star Wars Battlefront 2 has been receiving a great deal of backlash from fans regarding its extensive microtransactions and loot box system. It has been well documented at this point that the game's credit and reward system seems to be skewed against the playerbase in order to encourage further spending following the initial $60-$80 investment.

Many fans have discovered that in order to unlock and play as even one of the games "heroes" -- one of several major characters from the Star Wars franchise -- one would have to play for upwards of 40 hours. And if someone were to attempt to unlock all of the content available in the game, they would either have to earn credits naturally at a total time roughly equivalent to six months, or skip the whole process by paying a grand total of $2,100 to unlock things right away. 

Naturally, most players of Battlefront II were unhappy with this model, and they weren't afraid to let EA hear their complaints. In response to the backlash, EA has duly responded to the overall negative reaction to the game's progression model. On EA's official Star Wars-related Twitter, developer DICE's General Manager Oskar Gabrielson had this to say:

It's important to note that they did not say they would be removing the loot box and micropayment transaction model from the game forever, but rather until they can make changes to the game that better accommodate the system, downplay its importance, or generally adjust the game's progression. How this will effect the game overall is yet to be seen, and the date when the micro-transactions will return is unknown, but hopefully whatever changes are made are done for the sake of the game and the player.  

Star Wars Battlefront II is available now for PC, Xbox One, and PS4. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news on Battlefront II as it develops!



11 Force Sensitive Star Wars Gifts for Every Christmas Thu, 02 Nov 2017 11:53:01 -0400 Jonathan Moore


X-Wing Miniatures Game


Price: $24.99
Buy it on: Amazon


When it comes to Star Wars gifts, Fantasy Flight Games’ X-Wing Miniatures tabletop experience might just be the most involved -- and ultimately, the most expensive. If your favorite Star Wars fanatic is a tactician and strategist alongside a connoisseur of all things science-fantasy, you can’t do much better than this in-depth tabletop experience.


This starter set will get you two Tie-Fighters and an X-Wing, as well as the necessary cutouts and dice needed to get your first matches off the ground. And don’t think that aerial combat in a tabletop setting isn’t frenetic and stressful; X-Wing Miniatures is one the most fun, yet most strategic tabletop games currently on the market. Games can be lightning fast or develop over the span of an hour. Sure, there are tons of (worthwhile) expansions that can get relatively pricey, but the rush of commanding your fleet in galactic combat or running missions as Han Solo or Poe Dameron more than make up for it.  




While this definitely doesn't cover the gamut of Star Wars gifts that you can get your special someone this holiday season, these are some of the most unique and interesting ones they'll see all year. 


Which one do you plan on picking up? Let us know in the comments below! 


Star Wars: Darth Vader Volume 1


Price: $13.59
Buy it on: Amazon


When Disney bought Lucasfilm and did away with the old Expanded Universe, millions of Star Wars fans cried out in terror. Countless critically acclaimed stories were seemingly struck from the record and banished into the unknown regions of space. But then something somewhat unexpected happened: Marvel started producing new Star Wars comics. Good Star Wars comics. And one of the best of that initial lot is Star Wars: Darth Vader.


Taking place between the events of Episode IV: A New Hope and Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Darth Vader Volume 1 finds Vader in a peculiar place following the events of A New Hope. On a solo mission to defeat the Alliance, Vader finds himself in the company of new companions on a very dangerous mission. Collecting issue 1-6 of the eponymous Marvel comic, Vader Volume 1 comes in at 160 pages and shows Vader in all of his dark power. This collection shows Vader for the menacing Sith he truly is.


Star Wars Battlefront 2


Price: $59.99 (Standard Edition)
Systems: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Buy it on: Amazon


Star Wars Battlefront 2 is one of the most-anticipated first-/third-person shooters of 2017. Developed by DICE and published by Electronic Arts, BF2 expands on the formula of 2016’s Battlefront, letting players experience all current Star Wars eras. From the Clone Wars to the Galactic Civil War and the struggle between the Resistance and The First Order, players will fight for the future of the galaxy on an unprecedented scale.


On the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, Star Wars Battlefront 2 is available is two separate editions. The Standard Edition will get you the base game … and that’s about it. But the $79 Deluxe Edition will get you the base game plus exclusive skins and powerful unlockables for weapons and more. What Star Wars fan doesn’t want be a stormtrooper on the forefront of a 40-man skirmish, pit Rey against Darth Maul, or pilot a Trade Federation Droid Fighter?


Star Wars Crochet (Crochet Kits)


Price: $19.96
Buy it on: Amazon


The Star Wars franchise is one of the most robustly creative and imaginative franchises on the planet. Outside of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, you’d be hardpressed to find another mythos so full of life and color.


This Star Wars crochet kit is one of the more unique gifts on this list, but it’s also one of the more creatively challenging gifts you might buy this holiday season. This full-color paperback comes with everything you need to get started crocheting, from in-depth instructions and patterns to yarn, a needle, stuffing, and more. With a dozen Star Wars characters to create, this gift is sure to keep giving well after its been gifted.


Millenium Falcon Decorative Night Light


Price: $18.00
Buy it on: Amazon


What Star Wars fan hasn’t dreamt of piloting the Millenium Falcon? Sure, she’s a hunk of junk, but that didn’t stop Han from outrunning dozens of Imperial frigates and completing the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs. And although this night light won’t technically get you into the pilot’s chair, it is a sleek accent piece for work or home.


Powered by a USB cable, this night light is capable of illuminating in seven different colors and alternating between single color mode and multi-color mode. The best part is that it won’t take up too much room no matter where you put it: measuring in at 12” tall and 3” wide, you’ll be able to fit this between your Chewbacca coffee mug and Luke Skywalker bobblehead without a problem.


Air Hogs -- Star Wars X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter Drone Battle Set


Price: $84.85
Buy it on: Amazon


There’s something that doesn’t get enough attention when people talk about Star Wars -- the franchise’s epic dogfights. George Lucas studied the devastating aerial combat of the Second World War to construct some of the most exhilarating space battles the movie world has ever seen. Up until now, fans of those epic Rebel and Imperial naval conflagrations had to get their fix through video games such as EA’s Star War: Battlefront II and LucasArts’ X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter. And although those games are heralded as some of the best Star Wars games of all time, nothing compares to getting that rush in the flesh.


While you may not be in the cockpit, this Air Hogs Star Wars set is one of the only ways to experience a true Star Wars dogfight IRL. Sporting (mostly) authentic SW detailing, this drone set uses 12 AA batteries, an infrared tracking system (which helps you keep track of your hit tally), and state-of-the-art gyro stabilization. And the best part is that this set has crazy-good range: you can take your battle up to 200ft in the sky. That’s ⅔ of a football field of tactical aerial combat.


Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View


Price: $24.48
Buy it on: Amazon


Forty years ago, Star Wars: Episode IV -- A New Hope revolutionized film and storytelling for a generation of moviegoers. Over the years, that mythos has grown to encompass some of the very best fantasy stories ever told -- and it only helps that the lore surrounding Star Wars is full of memorable, endearing, and tragic characters. But until now, audiences and readers have predominantly seen the Star Wars universe through the eyes of its primary heroes and villains.


Enter From a Certain Point of View, a new Star Wars anthology that brings some of the very best science fiction and fantasy writers together for a celebration of A New Hope. Told through the eyes of supporting characters such as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Greedo, Aunt Beru, and even a stormtrooper, From a Certain Point of View retells key moments from Episode IV in new and sometimes poignant ways. This anthology is a must-have for any Star Wars fan, and just as the original film reshaped the way we tell stories, From a Certain Point of View reimagines everything we already thought we knew about this watershed film.


Vinyl Star Wars Clock


Price: $22.00
Buy it on: Etsy


Coming in on the cheaper side of things, this Star Wars vinyl wall clock is the perfect gift for that special someone who loves music and a galaxy far, far away. Understated, yet elegant, each of these clocks is handmade from a discarded record, measures 12” in diameter, and runs off a single AA battery.


The perfect home or office accent, this unique clock will help you keep track of the parsecs, err, hours, in style.


Prodigal Son Lightsaber


Price: $199.00
Buy it on: Saberforge


There’s no other way to say it: If you’re looking for an authentic lightsaber, you want to shop Saberforge. Since 2008, their engineers have been manufacturing some of the best, most realistic lightsabers on the market. And this particular model is, of course, a replica of Luke’s saber from The Return of the Jedi.


Made with meticulous detail, Saberforge’s lightsabers make perfect display pieces -- and are sturdy enough to wield, too. The Prodigal Son lightsaber is only one of over 60 different models you can purchase from Saberforge’s eclectic catalog that has many of the blades found in world of Star Wars, as well as those fashioned after real-life weapons such as katanas, broadswords, and battleaxes. And the best part for Star Wars lovers? You can customize everything from the hilt to the blade length and the blade color. Give your chosen one an elegant gift from a more civilized age this holiday.  


A Dark Jedi and a Renegade Princess Digital Print


Price: $30
Buy it on: Etsy


Etsy has some of the best Star Wars art on the planet. I can attest to that because I’ve spent more time than Grand Admiral Thrawn staring at pages and pages of dazzling, awe-inspiring Star Wars prints. But in all my ogling, I’ve not seen a print more entrancing than A Dark Jedi and a Renegade Princess by ArtofJeronimoGomez.


The colors and lighting are absolutely spectacular and exude a seedy vibe not often seen in the mainline Star Wars films -- especially for characters like Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, C-3PO, and R2-D2. But what is particularly stunning about this Star Wars print is that it’s the perfect melding of two sci-fi/fantasy powerhouses: Blade Runner and Star Wars. Not only is it reminiscent of the neo-noir fluorescence of Ridley Scott’s seminal sci-fi drama, but it makes you wonder if Han Solo was really Rick Deckard all along.


Star Wars: The Complete Saga Episodes I-VI


Price: $87.00
Buy it on: Amazon


Sure, this is an obvious choice for any Star Wars fan, but no Star Wars gift list would be complete without the films that started it all. You won’t get The Force Awakens or Rogue One in this package, but you’ll get Episodes I-VI, as well as a menagerie of extra goodies, including documentaries, deleted and extended scenes, Star Wars spoofs, and 40 hours of special features.


Coming in at nine discs and 805 minutes, this Blu-ray set is the penultimate theatrical Star Wars experience. Even better, some of George Lucas’ most derided changes to the franchise don’t make an appearance here -- including Vader’s infamous (and objectively chuckle-worthy) “Noooo” from Revenge of the Sith. That in and of itself is a gift to any true Star Wars fan.


It’s not quite the holidays yet, but as Black Friday and Cyber Monday quickly approach, it’s the perfect time of year to snag the perfect gift for the scruffy-lookin’ nerf herder or rebellious princess in your life. Although these gifts come from a galaxy far, far away, picking them up just in time for Christmas, a holiday birthday, or that much-anticipated midnight showing of The Last Jedi is no more than a click away.


From lightsabers and air hogs to books and art, this list of stellar Star Wars gifts is strong with the force, whether that special someone is a fan of the original trilogy, the new trilogy, or even the prequel trilogy. Strap in, kid, we’re going to light speed.

X Wing Miniatures: Exciting, But Hard to Collect Fri, 06 Oct 2017 14:03:26 -0400 LuckyJorael

When I started working at a mom-and-pop gaming store six months ago, I already had a love for tabletop gaming. I played Dungeons and Dragons on a near weekly basis for years, and I played tons of board games with friends and family -- everything from Risk to Lords of Waterdeep to Exploding Kittens.

What I hadn't played, however, was a game connected closely to the universe I grew up on: Star Wars. I figured that since I worked in a game store, I might as well start playing the game that seemed to be wildly popular among Star Wars fans -- X-Wing Miniatures. I don't regret my decision one bit, but it has been... interesting coming into the game late.

Fantasy Flight Games publishes lots of insanely good games, and the X-Wing Miniatures Game is definitely one of them. At its core, X-Wing is a space combat strategy game. You take your TIE Fighters or X-Wings -- or a few dozen other famous Star Wars ships -- plot out where you want them to go, and shoot your opponent's ships down. You plot movement using maneuver dials associated with each ship and movement templates and shoot using attack and defense dice.

Some B-Wings take shots at a Lambda Shuttle and its Interceptor escorts.

X-Wing is devilishly simple to learn -- move, shoot, repeat -- but the different ships, pilots, and upgrades make tactical and strategic choices complex and varied. I love nothing more than flying a TIE Interceptor into the teeth of an opponent's ship and then barrel-rolling out of their line of fire, narrowly escaping certain death by laser.

That said, getting my hands on the ships I currently have was difficult.

X-Wing started out with a Core Set of two TIE Fighters and an X-Wing. It has since expanded to another Core Set -- with two First Order TIE Fighters and a T-70 X-Wing from The Force Awakens -- and 53 additional expansions to date. Y-Wings, Vader's TIE Advanced, the Millennium Falcon, Slave I, Lambda Shuttles, the Ghost from Star Wars Rebels, the U-Wing from Rogue One, Kylo Ren's Shuttle, and even ships from Star Wars Legends (what used to be called the Expanded Universe). This list also includes what X-Wing calls "Epic" ships: the Tantive IV (Leia's ship at the beginning of A New Hope) and the Imperial Raider (kind of a mini Star Destroyer), among others.

The Millenium Falcon and A-Wings take on Boba Fett and TIE Fighters.

If you're a collector, this is wonderful and terrible news. It's wonderful because there are a ton of cool ships to collect. It's terrible because a lot of the older ships haven't been reprinted. Fantasy Flight Games isn't the best company when it comes to distributing their products and making sure there's enough to go around -- they're kind of like the Nintendo of the tabletop gaming world; lots of amazing new products, but never enough to fill demand.

There are a few ships older players consider "essential" -- whether because of the ship itself or the upgrade cards that come in the expansion pack -- that are simply out of stock everywhere. The K-Wing, a Rebel bomber, is probably the most infamous at this point. Go on eBay and you can find a few, with starting bids of at least $25. Most of them will cost upwards of $60, for what is normally a $20 expansion.

Fantasy Flight Games has confirmed that they're going to reprint the K-Wing, as well as all the other ships currently out of stock, but if the popularity of the game increases, they still might not make enough. Wanting an older ship that is pretty powerful, like the K-Wing -- it still sees play in national championships -- can be pretty frustrating, but the plethora of other ships make up for it.

Despite the setback of not collecting all the ships, X-Wing is an incredibly fun game and some of the most fun I've had is flying ships against friends at my local gaming store. Trying to predict what your opponent is doing while remaining unpredictable yourself, maneuvering to get the perfect shot on another ship, and rolling the dice to break past their defenses is tense and exciting in all the right ways.

The Ghost maneuvers away from Imperial ships; A-Wings circle around.

And while some ships won't be readily available, there are always different ships to buy to fit your personal style; Imperials are all about flying fast and evading fire, Rebels are good at weathering fire and keeping the pressure on, and Scum and Villainy have some of the most underhanded tricks in the game. Ships have everything from lasers and torpedoes to bombs and ion cannons, and plenty of named crew members to help out; Vader, Chewbacca, Boba Fett, Rey, Asajj Ventress, and the Emperor all make appearances, as well as everyone's favorite droids: BB-8, R2-D2, and C-3PO.

If you're a Star Wars fan and like strategy games, getting into X-Wing Miniatures Game is probably a good choice, even if you can't get everything all at once.