Quest Updated: Star Wars Amnesia
My laptop is a lot like the Death Star. It looks good on paper, is big and impressive, yet fails due to a critical oversight about thermal exhausts. It is also getting on in age, and despite my continued efforts, I think it is reaching the beginning of the end of its life. The first thing to go has been its ability to play even mid-level games for extended periods of time. And when, earlier this week, it decided that it needn’t boot up any more, I was faced with a prospect that blew my mind. I could be going home to a long holiday with no games. But, with much help and a lot of driver-downloading, it is alive again.
I had intended, after this throw-away allusion to Star Wars, to continue with a rant about PCs and how they break a lot and stuff that has already been covered by the debates over on ImRage. Thanks, Friday column slot, for letting everyone else talk about what I want…
However, the internet has brought something to my attention, which does make my lead somewhat relevant. Like my resuscitated computer, Star Wars as a film franchise is coming back, for better or worse. Along with that, there has been much complaining and whining across the internet about Disney owning Star Wars. And, just like Rudolf, I am now talking about a movie on a gaming site. It will all come together shortly.
With the Star Wars, fans of the franchise (i.e. my entire Facebook and Twitter feeds it seems) are suffering from a common condition we see in the gaming world: Fan Amnesia (Famnesia?). We see it all the time with big franchises where everyone goes mental about pretty much any announcement on a rollercoaster of ecstatic excitement and frenzied dread about the prospects. Case in point: the to-ing and fro-ing over Assassin’s Creed in the build-up to AC3.
The fans forget key things. Like the abomination BluRay Star Wars with the horrendously unnecessary “NOOOOOOOOOOO”. And Jar-Jar Binks. And every line of Hayden Christensen’s dialogue. They also forget the amazing Genndy Tartakovsky short series on Cartoon Network.
Not to mention the most Star Wars-y experience I have ever had: KOTOR. There’s the tie-in to gaming!
We have all got a bit tired of praying that George Lucas will not alter the films further. Yet, when a new team takes over people whine and complain. Yes, Disney is acting a bit EA-ish and buying ALL the things, but it is also a chance for a fresh team to explore a setting that is certainly ripe for doing so. This is what KOTOR showed me. By taking the whole setting far, far away from Vader and Luke and bringing balance to the force, and onto new planets with new villains and heroes, KOTOR shows just how Star-Wars Star Wars can be.
I am actually excited by the news, in the same way I’m quite excited for Star Wars 1313. It’s a new direction in a franchise that is full of potential for going in all kinds of directions. Yes, Disney might see it as a cash cow, but in order to milk it efficiently, they’ll have to deliver something better than the prequels. If the team is clever, they’ll take a leaf out of the excellent Star Wars games (of which there are a few) and learn from the mistakes of others. I hope they bring in new planets, new species, new uses of the force (because lightning is so passée). And lots of lightsaber duels.
And if it is as rubbish as everyone expects, we can pretend it didn’t happen – like how they never made any more Indiana Jones after the Last Crusade.
PS: for further reading: Empire Magazine (what a wonderful unintentional pun, Empire Magazine).