Top 12 Moments in Star Wars Gaming

written by Jas Kao on May 17, 2012 in Classic Posts and Special Feature

May is basically Star Wars month if you really think about it.

Every single one of the Star Wars movies were released in the month of May. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope was released on May 25, 1977; Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back was released on May 21, 1980; Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi was released on May 25, 1983.

I’m excluding the prequels because in my mind, they don’t exist. But all of those movies were also released in the month of May in 3 year intervals if you wanted to know.

From this awesome franchise exploded forth a plethora of video games of all sorts of different genres that gave us unique moments that will always stay with us till the ends of time. Here, on this month, we pay homage to some of the top moments that gave us chills, blew our minds, fueled us with excitement in Star Wars gaming.

12. Starting out in Star Wars Galaxies

Being the first Star Wars MMO, setting foot in a recreated Star Wars universe after creating your character was something to be held in reverence. Sure it had a complicated level and class system at first and you started off barely able to kill anything but this was the start.

This was the start of YOUR story in the Star War universe and that was magical.

11. Bringing down a Star Destroyer in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

You brought down a Star Destroyer (the most powerful warship in the Empire’s arsenal, excluding super weapons). With just your mind. Enough said.

10. Pod-racing in Star Wars Episode I: Racer

While I vehemently deny the existence of the prequels, some good did come out of it in the form of games. Heck, one of the best sci-fi racing games to date came out of the mess that was the prequels selling 3.12 million copies.

Pod-racing’s transition into the gaming environment was a glorious one. This game not only captured the high speed adrenalined rush action that pod-racing encompasses but had a bunch of cool and novel tracks to race one. I played this game for countless hours and I hate racing games.

9. The Battle of Hoth in Shadows of the Empire

The battle of Hoth has been recreated an untold amount of times and eventually it does make the largest land engagement in the Star Wars universe seem rather tame. However, I still fondly remember the version portrayed in Shadows of the Empire.

The game itself was unforgiving and some what of a alright game, but roping up your first AT-AT really gave you a sense of pride after smashing into the legs of the damn thing a billion times. The sound and the music really lent itself to make it an intense battle and this may be just my nostalgia talking but this was the best “Battle of Hoth” out of all of them.

8. Driving an AT-AT in Star Wars Battlefront 1 & 2

Driving the biggest, baddest land vehicle in the Galactic Empire is a huge rush.

The behemoth of laser-y death may move slower than Jabba the Hutt but sitting in the cockpit of one of these things raining fire down on unsuspecting Rebels as they run for cover really gives you sense of satisfaction.

7. Leaving behind Sev in Star Wars: Republic Commando

You fought together as a squad. You and your squad faced impossible odds and succeeded.

Scorch, Fixer, Sev.

These were your squad mates and they had your back for the entire game as you made your way through all the spec ops missions. And then to have to leave one behind. Unthinkable but necessary. It was quite an emotional moment for me. Especially since Sev was my favorite.

6. Commanding fleets in Star Wars: Empire at War

While there was a previous RTS Star Wars game (Star Wars: Rebellion) that tried its hand at space battles, the pinnacle of starship battles in the Star Wars universe lies with Star Wars: Empire at War.

Seeing Mon Calamari Cruisers and Star Destroyers exchange broadsides with a bunch of fighters in between in dog fights was quite the spectacle to behold. Even more awesome was the look on your buddy’s face when you hyperspace in more  reinforcements that he thought you didn’t have.

5. The Live Action Segments in Star Wars Rebel Assault II: The Hidden Empire

Many of you might not have even heard of this game but it was an on-rails shooter PC game released in 1995 that was a the sequel to Star Wars Rebel Assault (duh). What made this game special was the live action bits and why you might ask when live action nowadays is a silly thing?

It’s because this game was the first media to incorporate live-action actors and footage in the Star Wars universe since Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Seeing new Star Wars footage after so many years is truly a memorable experience.

4. Participating in the Battle of Endor in Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader

Seeing this battle in Return of the Jedi was an experience all in itself but to be able to take part of it has one of the elite members of Rogue Squadron was another thing all together. Seeing all those TIE fighters fly at you at the beginning of the battle made you gawk in wonder at how large of a battle this really was with. You went from defending your own captial ships from wave after wave of TIE fighter and TIE bombers to taking down 2 Star Destroyers with only you and your two wingman.

At the end of that mission, you definitely felt like a true member of Rogue Squadron. (Granted, if you made it through on one life)

3. Wielding the Force in Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast

Don’t get me wrong. Shooting everything in Jedi Outcast was fun, but when Kyle made the decision to go to the Valley of the Jedi and get back his Force powers after the his dance with the Darkside in the previous game,  it became a whole other animal. No game did it better than Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast when it comes to being a Jedi. Not even Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.

2. Coop gaming in Star Wars Jedi Power Battles

Being a Jedi was nothing new at this point, it was still plain awesome. But being able to be a Jedi with a friend. Well that changes things completely. Hacking my way through droids and bounty hunters with my best friend by myself are times that I’ll never forget.

Although the setting could’ve been better since the game follows the plot of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. (blech)

1. The Big Reveal in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

If you haven’t played this game yet after this many years since it’s been out, you owe it to yourself to do so. This is the story template that all Star Wars games should take note and inspiration from because no other Star Wars game story could match it.

I won’t go into any details (although the game has been out for so long it’s inconceivable that you don’t already know) about the big reveal that shattered your world in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic but it surpassed any twist that M. Night Shyamalan could come up with and I’ll leave it at that.

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So these are the top 12 moments in Star Wars gaming history. What are yours?

Share them with me in the comments!

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