To say Star Wars has jumped the shark lately wouldn’t really be fair, insofar as Luke Skywalker leaped over a Sarlaac pit and into a mountain of cute teddy bears way back in 1983. But one has to admit things have gotten a little creepy lately, to the point where the images, situations, and characters from Star Wars are so endlessly appropriated that a newcomer might not understand the context at all. Should Anakin be re-branded as a hero to young children in The Clone Wars? Does The Old Republic encourage the notions of slavery and brutality towards women when the player decides to become a Sith? And then there’s that commercial for Episode I.
But the most recent and damning misstep of poor taste from the Star Wars camp can be found in a feature of the forthcoming Star Wars Kinect game in which players do a sort of Dance-Dance Revolution thing with some of Jabba’s harem slaves, and even the enslaved Leia herself, above the rancor pit gate. Probably most alarming is the fact that Leia is grinning while she is bumping and grinding, adding a new deranged dimension to her exploitation at the hands of Jabba.
Just because you can make a game out of an aspect of the original trilogy doesn’t mean you should, and one could really go crazy with this aspect of the Star Wars films. Below, we imagine five possibilities for even more insulting/disturbing Star Wars games.
Similar to the popular computer game Lemmings, Bothan Spies puts you at the center of the Rebellion’s information gathering network. How many Bothan spies will you need to sacrifice in order to get the information you need about the new Death Star? Many. The good news is, there is an unlimited supply of them. The main problem players face in this game is “guilt” points from Mon Mothma in which she tries to make you feel bad about sending so many of these guys to their deaths. Most players use a cheat code called “Muzzle Mothma” which temporarily suspends this feature and allows for more enjoyable and fluid gameplay. Ages 7+
Tusken Raider Raiding Party
Ever wanted to know what it would be like to be a Tusken Raider rolling through the dunes of Tatooine, stealing, murdering, and kidnapping people’s mothers? This game puts you in the saddle of a Bantha, and in the middle of all the raiding party hijinks you can possibly handle. Beating up Anakin’s mom is only the beginning for these zany Raiders; the kinds of things you have to steal and the people you have to torment increase in complexity as the game goes on. But watch out for Anakin! If he kills too many of your “women” and “children” — you lose! Ages 4+
This is a strategy game in which Darth Vader is a sleuth looking for clues to find the stolen Death Star plans, the hidden rebel base, and the location of Luke Skywalker. Though intellectually a pretty sharp detective, Vader’s primary mode of gathering clues is to torture people. The first level is, of course, aboard Leia’s ship, with Captain Antilles serving as Vader’s first “clue.” The more “clues” you torture, the more points you get to eventually solve the various mysteries presented to you. The hardest level is easily the Han Solo clue, in which the player has to figure out just what he is saying through all that screaming! Ages 7+
In this first person shooter, players hunt down and kill the Jedi Knights. The “boss” at the end of every level is a well-known Jedi that most children will recognize, like Ki-Adi Mundi or Mace Windu. However, the majority of your enemies in this game are Jedi younglings, who are the easiest to knock off. If you get through all the younglings, then you fight the boss. This game also features Anakin as an unlockable secret character, and a special “Jedi Temple Massacre” level in which multiple children ask you for help before you mercilessly kill them. Age Everyone
Tatooineville: Featuring Watto & Jabba
This is a mob game where players build petty criminal empires through intimidation and actions devoid of any conscience. It is more of a Farmville-type deal where the more money you swindle increases your overall score. Also, enslaving families can be a huge boost to your efforts. If you play online with your friends and link the monetary values to your actual bank account, you can literally steal money from people that you know. You can also come up with fun rules like “U.S. dollars are no good here, I need something more real” which forces your friends to go to pawn shops and bring you gold. Ages 9+ (Some depictions of tax evasion might be unsuitable for younger players)
Stubby the Rocket is the voice and mascot of Tor.com. Stubby’s always gets annoyed when driving through the Alderaan system. So messy!