The lights are on
The Star Wars franchise has had a tremendous influence on pop culture, and games are no exception. Game developers have been inserting references including character nods and memorable lines from the movies over the past several decades. Here are a few of our favorite Star Wars references in video games.
Dr. Eggman's Death Egg – Sonic and Knuckles
The Death Star is one of pop culture's most iconic space stations, and it's a go-to base design for bad guys. In addition to serving as a template for Sonic's arch-nemesis, Dr. Wily constructed the Wily Star in Mega Man V. Both stations feature mustaches. Coincidence?
JFK on Wampas Zombies – Call of Duty: Black Ops
Black Ops put Call of Duty's zombies in the West Wing, where they faced off against John F. Kennedy, Fidel Castro, Robert McNamara, and Richard Nixon. Why not? Kennedy comments on the action, with one of his quips sounding awfully familiar. "I thought they smelled bad on the outside," he'll occasionally remark, which is what Han said after slicing open a wampa in The Empire Strikes Back. (Check out the 7:24 mark on this video to hear it for yourself.)
Shredding Maul – Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3
Tony Hawk hung out with some pretty famous faces, if his Pro Skater series of games was any indication. In addition to being able to skate as comic-book icons Spider-Man and Wolverine, players could also tear up the streets as Darth Maul. Nobody seemed to pay him any attention, either. Apparently, skateboarding and Sith lording aren't crimes.
Zero Mission – Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
The RC plane sections in GTA: San Andreas are the Jar Jar Binks of missions. Fortunately, you don't always have to pilot the stupid little things. In one mission, CJ has to take down an onslaught of tiny incoming planes with a minigun. After taking down a few, the character Zero (played by David Cross) tells the player "Great kid, don't get cocky," channeling the perpetually quotable Han Solo from A New Hope. (Check it out here at the 2:07 mark.)
Light Savers – Dead Rising Series
Lightsabers are one of the best weapons devised. They're shiny, they make amazing "Whoosh" sounds, and they're available in a variety of colors. They're also technically the property of Lucasfilm. That hasn't stopped a variety of games from creating homages to the energy blades, including Super Smash Bros., No More Heroes, and the Dead Rising series. Dead Rising earns extra points for showing a degree of dismemberment that even official Star Wars games have shied away from. (It's OK; they're already dead.)
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