We don’t need more Star Wars games set between Episodes III and IV – Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

Recently we just saw the release of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, and while it was great to return to the story of Cal Kestis and I’m curious to see where it goes for Respawn to complete this trilogy, the Star Wars Jedi games still follow a dangerous trend among Star Wars games and media to be set between Episode III and IV in the movie saga.

There’s a lot, and I mean a lot Star Wars media set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. Don’t get me wrong, there are interesting avenues to explore there. We can see more of Darth Vader’s fall into darkness, how the remaining Jedi were culled after Order 66, and how the galaxy began its resistance to the Empire’s new authoritarian regime. At this point, however, that 20-year period is largely exhausted.

We have seen most if not all of the stories that can be told during that period. The Jedi finding his way through a galaxy without his people, the clone troopers being replaced after years of dutiful service to the Republic, and the politicians finding themselves rebels where they once were senators. We have seen that in our games, books and other media. Now I believe it is time to move on, so that games can explore the vast timeline of Star Wars and avoid this 20-year space that only provides a safe haven for Star Wars storytellers who want to lean on the iconic images of Stormtroopers, Darth Vader and the Empire as an overarching villain.

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Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

It would be great to see Star Wars games with mainstream appeal that instead explore other key events and periods in the lore as a whole. We will hopefully still get a Knights of the Old Republic remake, even though the latest news about that game didn’t look good. Hopefully this can spark more interest in the Old Republic era, so we can see more than just a remake of BioWare’s acclaimed RPG and the MMO set in that era. There is a lot of potential in the Old Republic for all kinds of games, and while the most dedicated fans will know much of the lore and how it ends, that hasn’t stopped game developers from creating their own stories that have serious weight to them. One of the biggest problems with stories set between Episodes III and IV is that they can’t accomplish anything. Sure, you can say that a character secretly helped the Rebellion in an important way, but at the end of the day we know that Luke was the protagonist of that story, and that no matter what X character did on Y planet, they won’t stop the Emperor.

This can work to the advantage of some stories, as it makes Starkiller’s journey much more tragic in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, but mostly it can make the overarching story feel rather hollow because characters have to play by certain rules, meaning you’ll already know the outcome before the ending occurs. Other eras in Star Wars history would offer us a less formulaic experience, as we can truly experience galaxy-changing events without feeling like we’re just playing a lesser role in an already completed story.

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Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

Besides seeing Star Wars games go back in time to the Old Republic period, the Mandalorian Wars and a host of other interesting times in the lore, it would be interesting to see some titles follow Return of the Jedi or even Rise of Skywalker. The latter is much less likely because Disney almost certainly has a vice grip on what happens to the lore after the sequel trilogy, but it feels like many questions remain unanswered in the time between Episodes VI and VII. Something the films don’t really answer, for example, is how the First Order actually grows into the Empire version 2.0, even with the Republic returning to prominence in the galaxy.

In short, there is a whole timeline of stories and periods to explore further in Star Wars games, and so it would be nice to see developers begin to deviate from the time between Episodes III and IV. It would also make games like Star Wars Jedi: Survivor a touch more special and interesting than they already are. We’ve certainly explored the rise of the Empire enough in Star Wars games and other media, and so now seems like the time to step back and see where we can find more iconic characters and moments in Star Wars lore. I’m sure developers will find no shortage of either.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

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