Star Wars Games Have Always Been Better than the Movies

Star Wars has a long history in both games and film, but the games have often been a lot better than the movies.

By LCLupus, Posted 25 Nov 2022

Star Wars has been in the news a lot more in recent months and years because of the increase in Disney Plus shows that appear to be very well received. Things like The Mandalorian and the recent Andor, but this article was inspired by something different. Star Wars is a cultural juggernaut, but aren’t the games way better than most of the movies?

So, firstly, what prompted this particular line of thought? Well, upon rewatching the entire franchise, from the Prequels to the Original Trilogy to the Sequel Trilogy, it got this reviewer thinking because the movies are not universally loved, but many of the games definitely are.

Let’s look at the movies to explain this. However, let’s preface this by saying that everything in the next section has nothing to do with personal taste. If you personally enjoy any of the movies, then that’s your personal taste. Let’s instead look at how people in general look at these things, because common audience and critical consensus tends to vary quite significantly from what the individual may think.

Star Wars, LucasArts, Star Wars Episode I: Podrace, Knights of the Old Republic, Star Wars: Fallen Order, Star Wars: Force Unleashed, Disney, Latest, News

The Prequel Trilogy is almost universally reviled for some reason. Perhaps the inclusion of Jar Jar Binks, the silly tone droids, even though people appear to have simply forgotten that silliness was always a part of Star Wars, but it could also be because the Prequel Trilogy was heavily focused on political bureaucracy rather than going on a grand adventure. There are many reasons that people appear to hate these late-1990s to early-2000s interpretations of the Star Wars universe. It could also be that the Original Trilogy focused on practical effects and the Prequels loved to use really bad CGI. There are many possible reasons!

Then there’s the Sequel Trilogy. It can be difficult to separate genuine criticisms from misogyny in this particular case, but there are many reasons that loads of fans dislike these. The Force Awakens was, in many ways, a rewrite of A New Hope with some silly additions, the second one tried to do something different with the franchise and got attacked because of it, and then there’s The Rise of Skywalker… that one’s just terrible and cowardly throws away everything unique about the previous one, and makes you wonder how the writers ever got their jobs. So, there are various reasons why people dislike the Sequel Trilogy.

So, then we get the Original Trilogy. The original movie, later renamed Episode IV: A New Hope, is a piece of pop culture history and single-handedly launched the Star Wars brand. Then, the sequel came out and was universally adored, often even more than the first. Then Return of the Jedi was released, and people were mostly just fine with it. There was a lot of hate aimed at Ewoks. They were the Jar Jar Binks of the eighties. However, people tended to love the end of the movie because it’s poignant and powerful, but the movie as a whole has more of a mixed reception.

Do you know what this actually means? This means that there actually only two Star Wars movies, released in 1977 and 1980, that are universally loved. The rest have received all sorts of responses from fans and critics, but none have received the real power of the first two films. Once again, you, as an individual, may love some of these movies, but they’re not universally adored.   

The same cannot be said of the games. You can even look at games that were based on the movies in some way. People may have hated Jar Jar Binks and various aspects of The Phantom Menace, but do you know what practically everyone loved in that movie? The podrace. So, they made Star Wars Episode I: Racer. It’s a great racing game set in the Star Wars universe, and it probably received more fan love than the movie it was based on.

Star Wars, LucasArts, Star Wars Episode I: Podrace, Knights of the Old Republic, Star Wars: Fallen Order, Star Wars: Force Unleashed, Disney, Latest, News

Then, you get games like Knights of the Old Republic, which is often considered to be one of the best RPGs of all time. Not just one of the best Star Wars RPGs, but just RPGs in general. The first one was by BioWare, before they went on to make Mass Effect, and the second one was made by Obsidian Entertainment, before they went on to make Fallout: New Vegas. These games are great, and they expanded on the Star Wars universe with some great characters that fans adore to this day.

Many people criticized the Sequels and also, to a lesser extent, the Prequels for making the Force way more powerful than it was ever depicted before. In the Original Trilogy, Luke struggles to get a lightsaber to fly to him at one point, but in the opening scene of the first Sequel movie, Kylo Ren stops a laser blast in midair and holds it there without focusing on it. The Force was never like that before, but do you know which game made the Force even more powerful, yet many people loved it, albeit not as universally as Knights of the Old Republic: Force Unleashed.

That game may not have been universally loved, but it was more loved than the Prequels were, and it became big enough to get a bad sequel that people really didn’t like. What’s more Star Wars than that?

However, other games with lightsaber combat were universally adored, like the Jedi Knight games and the more recent Fallen Order. These games became beloved entries to the point where, when Disney bought Star Wars and effectively deleted the old canon, a lot of people were angry about Kyle Katarn being retconned from the franchise. He’s a beloved video game character who now, supposedly, doesn’t count.

You also can’t forget the various shooters, like Republic Commando, the original Battlefront games, and things like Dark Forces, which continue to be beloved. These things expanded on the lore and became major, influential games in their own right.

Star Wars, LucasArts, Star Wars Episode I: Podrace, Knights of the Old Republic, Star Wars: Fallen Order, Star Wars: Force Unleashed, Disney, Latest, News

People loved the first two Star Wars movies, but the rest of them have received a wide array of responses, and those responses have typically been far from universal acclaim. They also don’t have the same kind of cultural power as the first two. Kylo Ren will never be as iconic as Darth Vader. Maybe that was why they stupidly brought Darth Sidious back for The Rise of Skywalker. A terrible idea, but the Sequels were definitely missing a strong villain, so maybe they thought they had to. They were wrong though.

So, sure, two of the movies are absolutely beloved, but many of them just aren’t. They’re often considered to be very fine and sometimes even bad, to the point where tie-in games, which are supposed to be bad games in other instances, are actually better than the movies. The first LEGO Star Wars game made the Prequels far more enjoyable than the Prequels themselves were, and the later LEGO games were also loved. So, the movies just aren’t as great as the games except in two universally acclaimed instances. But do you agree with that assessment?

Justin van Huyssteen (@LC_Lupus)
Senior Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): EA
Developer(s): Respawn Entertainment
Genres: Action-Adventure
Themes: Science-Fiction
Release Date: 2019-11-15

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