Star Wars has had a presence in the history of video games, benefiting from advancements in computer technology and the growing global audience of science fiction enthusiasts. The visual and narrative language created by George Lucas for these films has become the standard for games, even those not directly affiliated with Lucasfilm.
The game design concept of rebel fighters challenging extraterrestrial empires originated from Star Wars rather than ancient storytelling themes. The immense success of the original movie inspired designer Tomohiro Nishikado to incorporate aliens into Space Invaders, his influential shooter game released in 1978. This effectively established the blueprint for the entire shooter genre. Star Wars games like TIE Fighter and Dark Forces also popularized the idea of playing as the antagonists in a cinematic tie-in. For those who secretly admired the Empire’s fighter craft and considered stormtroopers as style icons, games provided an opportunity to indulge in these slightly rebellious fantasies.
With that said, Star Wars and its impact on the video gaming world isn’t restricted to the past. With more than 100 titles video game titles released dating back to the Atari 2600, the SW franchise has dominated pop culture since its birth, side-by-side with the evolution of gaming, and modern titles such as EA’s Battlefront have captured a new audience while assisting new concepts in gaming.
Join us in our exploration of Star Wars characters in video games and be reminded how the force can be with you right in the palm of your hands.
Star Wars games rely heavily on their diverse and memorable main characters. With rich lore and storytelling elements, these characters must be intriguing and possess distinct personalities. The success of a game often hinges on how well players can connect with and relate to the main character, as they will be controlling them throughout the game.
Luke Skywalker is deeply intertwined with the Star Wars universe. While his adventures extend beyond the movies, many games have highlighted his most famous exploits across the galaxy. These include his legendary Death Star canyon run, the battle on Hoth, and his climactic confrontation with Darth Vader on the second Death Star. Luke is widely recognized as one of the most renowned Jedi Masters, boasting unrivaled knowledge of the Force. He has demonstrated this prowess numerous times, and when combined with his exceptional lightsaber skills, few adversaries can match him in combat.
Noteworthy video game appearances: Super Star Wars Series, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron Series, Battlefront, LEGO Star Wars Series
The Star Wars Jedi series is unquestionably one of the greatest Star Wars games ever created. Unlike many other characters in this lineup, Cal Kestis has never been affiliated with the empire. In fact, his journey closely resembles the storyline of Obi-wan’s Disney Plus series, where they both emerge from hiding as surviving Jedi to rescue young individuals with a strong connection to the Force from the clutches of the inquisitors.
Cal stands out as the archetypal Jedi character exclusive to the extensive collection of Star Wars video games. His narrative has made a profound impact on the overall Star Wars canon. Moreover, in the first game, players could explore regions such as Dathomir and Kasyyk, which added intricate layers to the already rich lore of the Star Wars universe.
With his classic background story and the significant influence he has had on the existing Star Wars universe, Cal is indisputably one of the greatest protagonists to have ever wielded a lightsaber under player control.
Noteworthy video game appearances: Jedi: Fallen Order, Jedi Survivor
An entire cantina could be filled with incredible characters from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, released in 2003. Although this role-playing game introduced numerous unforgettable Jedi and Sith, only a handful of KOTOR characters possess such an iconic appearance and leave such a lasting impact on gamers as Revan.
Renowned as one of the most formidable Sith leaders in the Old Republic, few individuals could confront Revan in battle and emerge victorious.
Video game appearances: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic/Knights of the Old Republic II, Star Wars: The Old Republic
Star Wars Influence on iGaming and Online Slots
Star Wars has had a significant impact on casino gambling in various ways. One noticeable influence is the introduction of themed slot machines in numerous casinos. These machines incorporate characters, settings, and visuals from the Star Wars universe, providing players with an immersive experience while they enjoy the thrill of gambling. Additionally, these machines can attract Star Wars fans who may not have otherwise visited a casino.
Another way Star Wars has influenced casino gambling is by introducing themed table games. Casinos have implemented games like Star Wars blackjack, which utilizes cards featuring characters and symbols from the movies. These unique table games allow franchise fans to engage in an immersive gambling experience exclusive to the casino setting.
Furthermore, the impact of Star Wars can be observed in the marketing strategies casinos employ. Many establishments have capitalized on the franchise’s popularity by offering Star Wars-themed promotions and events, such as generous casino bonuses for NZ players. We’ve also witnessed the inclusion of Star Wars-themed poker tournaments and offering special hotel packages with a Star Wars theme. These promotions not only allow franchise fans to indulge in their passion for Star Wars but also provide an exciting gambling experience.
Star Wars Universe in Games
The initial Star Wars games were launched in the late 1970s, shortly after the release of the first Star Wars film, Episode IV – A New Hope. However, it’s unlikely that anyone would have the desire or even the opportunity to play these games now, considering they were released almost 50 years ago on obsolete systems.
Moving on to what is widely regarded as the “golden era” of Star Wars video games, we have the LucasArts era. This period spanned from the 1990s until 2013, when LucasArts, the studio established by George Lucas, was abruptly shut down following the acquisition of LucasFilm by the Walt Disney Company.
In early 2021, Lucasfilm brought back the Lucasfilm Games label as the licensing brand for all its intellectual properties, including Star Wars. As a result, the era of EA’s monopoly on Star Wars games has ended, allowing other studios to develop games within the Star Wars universe.
Below, we’ve listed some of the best Star Wars games released since the late nineties:
- Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II (1997, PC)
- Star Wars Episode I: Racer (1999, re-released on PS4, Xbox One, and Switch)
- Star Wars: Bounty Hunter (2002, PS2, Gamecube)
- Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast (2002, PC, re-released on PS4, Switch)
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (2003, PC, Xbox)
- Star Wars: Battlefront & Battlefront II (2004 & ‘05, Xbox One, PS4, PC)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic (2011, PC)
- Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (2019, PC, Xbox, PlayStation)
- Star Wars Jedi: Survivor (2023, PC, Xbox, PlayStation)
Future Star Wars Games
Games are undeniably one of the most enjoyable methods to engage in this grand space saga fully, and there are presently numerous games in progress across multiple studios. Below is a summary of all the Star Wars video games currently being developed in 2023:
- Star Wars: Hunters (Switch, Ios, Android)
- Star Wars Outlaws (PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S
- Knights of the Old Republic Remake (TBC)
- Star Wars Eclipse (TBC)
- Untitled Star Wars FPS (TBC)
- Untitled Star Wars strategy game (TBC)
- Untitled Star Wars action-adventure game (TBC)