The lights are on
To the anger of some and the delight of others, Lucasfilm recently clarified that Expanded Universe Star Wars fiction – video games included – is no longer considered canon. There are some fantastic novels, comics, and video games where seeing them no longer considered canon is a disappointment. Some games, however, we are more than happy to see them no longer be considered canon to the Star Wars universe.
The general consensus on many of these games is that they are not and never were canon and we didn’t need Lucasfilm to let us know. That being said, to be able to unequivocally say without any debate that Han Solo definitely never danced to a song about himself at an alien dance club is comforting.
Kinect Star WarsReview score: 5.5
Kinect Star Wars has a few modes, many of which turned out to be fairly entertaining. Pantomiming lightsaber actions to fight the dark side, or flailing your arms like a rancor to destroy a small city is pretty fun. The big element of the game that many Star Wars fans took issue with, was the game’s Dance Central-inspired, Star Wars-themed dance mode. It was included to be a humorous additional mode designed to be intentionally goofy, but it doesn’t change the fact the it is full of embarrassing parodies of modern songs changed to have Star Wars lyrics. You can also dance as Han Solo, which is unsettling.
Star Wars: Super Bombad RacingReview score: 2.5
Partially playing off the popularity of the excellent podracing video game that coincided with the release of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, Bombad Racing was a much goofier take on the high speed racing. Familiar Star Wars characters with gigantic heads rode kart-sized racing pods to collect power-ups in an attempt to grab first place. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a competent kart racer, making it not very much fun to play. Thankfully, with Lucasfilm’s announcement, we now know this definitely didn’t happen.
Star Wars: Masters of Teräs KäsiReview score: 6.75
Star Wars characters were successfully integrated into Soulcalibur IV, proving they could function well in the fighting genre, but its first stab is best forgotten. With two unnecessary umlauts in its title, a generally bad fighting engine, and unbalanced characters, Teräs Käsi is consistently brought up when talking about bad Star Wars games. I’d like to say we’ll miss Arden Lyn and her robot arm in Star Wars canon, but I would be lying.
Star Wars: Flight of the FalconReview score: 2.25
Flight of the Falcon for the Game Boy Advance puts players in the role of Han Solo piloting the Miliennium Falcon, a role that surprisingly rarely appears in Star Wars video games. The game’s plot weaves through the original trilogy’s storyline expanding and even twisting it some small ways. Unfortunately, the game is nearly unplayable. With a framerate approaching single-digits, the game was far too ambitious for the Game Boy Advance. You can see the review score we awarded the game above – a number typically reserved for interactive experiences that very nearly don’t qualify as legitimate video games.
Star Wars DemolitionReview score: 7
Released alongside the popularity of games like Twisted Metal, Star Wars Demolition puts players behind the wheel of an assortment of Star Wars vehicles as they try to destroy one another to techno remixes of familiar Star Wars musical themes. You could also play as Boba Fett as he awkwardly floats around on his jetpack somehow staying alive against podracers and AT-AT bipedal robots. It was all for Jabba the Hutt’s enjoyment, and I’m glad in the now accepted Star Wars canon, he found better ways to entertain himself.
Star Wars: Force Unleashed IIReview score: 7.75
The first Force Unleashed offered an interesting story that I don’t think many would be disappointed in seeing become canonical – even if it was a little farfetched. In that story, the game’s protagonist – Darth Vader’s secret apprentice – is largely responsible for the creation of the rebellion. The sequel, however, throws away all that interesting groundwork, and features a cloned Starkiller trying to figure out his past with clearly forced cameos from Yoda and Boba Fett. Starkiller may have started out strong, but he ended poorly, and we have no problem seeing his story removed from canon.
What Star Wars games are you happy to see no longer really count amongst Star Wars canon? Which games do you wish could have stayed in the loop?
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