Feb 27 2012 4:30pm

5 Imagined Star Wars Games More Offensive Than Making Slave Leia Dance or Die

Slave Leia in Dance-Dance Revolution Star Wars Kinnect Game

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.


Bothan Spies

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

Star Wars Tusken Raider familyEver 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+


Detective Vader

Darth Vader and Princess Leia interrogation in Star WarsThis 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+


Order 66

Clone trooper firing a blasterIn 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

Watto in Episode IThis 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 Stubby’s always gets annoyed when driving through the Alderaan system. So messy!

Craig Ranapia
1. Craig Ranapia
OK, George, recently you've had a big whine about nasty people being mean to you on the internet.

I'm sick of your company feeding the stereotype of SF being a misogynistic Sarlac pit filled with pathetic, poorly-socialized man-children who have problems relating appropriately to real, live non-pron women.

You shot first, dude.
Craig Ranapia
2. John R. Ellis
" Should Anakin be re-branded as a hero to young children in The Clone Wars?"

Funny how these sorts of articles never point out that Luke ended the first film destroying a base chock full of countless men (many of which were no doubt just maintenance, tech, medical, etc), but his heroism was never questioned in the slightest. After all, every single person on board was just as evil and worthy of death as Tarkin, right? Right?

And I'm now curious as to how much of The Clone Wars y'all have actually watched. It's definitely -not- a case of "Anakin was totally a pure and noble hero who did everything right and should be emulated, kiddies!"
Craig Ranapia
3. Mouette
Funny how these sorts of articles never point out that Luke ended the
first film destroying a base chock full of countless men (many of which
were no doubt just maintenance, tech, medical, etc), but his heroism was never questioned in the slightest. After all, every single person on
board was just as evil and worthy of death as Tarkin, right? Right?

What was he supposed to do? Wait for the Empire to nicely evacuate all of the DS personnel before blowing it up? The death count is atrocious and horrific and certainly one of Jedi Master Skywalker's deep regrets, but I honestly don't know how else he was suppose to stop the DS in the circumstances he encountered it under - as an unsophisticated farmboy pilot, no less.

This is not an every day space station that happened to be turned against the populace. The sole point and purpose of the DS was to destroy *planets*. Sure, they signed off on the R&D for it by saying that it would be used for mining and breaking up troublesome, unpopulated worlds, but that kind of power is too vast and too tempting to remain extant in the universe. Someone, someday will use it against a populated planet (again), and then it is billions and billions of people dead with every fire of that laser.

Many people on board were doubtless just doing their jobs, just taking their military assignment, just following orders, just trying to earn a living. The Empire was the only game in town for most folk, and no, they didn't deserve to die just for being on the wrong evil superweapon at the wrong time.

But however high that death count was, it doesn't match the death count of Alderaan alone, not to mention however many other planets the DS would have been used against before someone, somewhere, finally destroyed the damn thing. It was a weapon that could not be left lying around, could not even be left hidden and abandoned, because the potential for the havoc it could cause was too great. It *had* to be destroyed. If you want to blame someone for the deaths of the people on board, blame the Empire. They built and populated the DS, used it against a planet, and sent it into battle. Destroying the DS was an act of self-defense on the part of the Rebels. Self defense that caused a terrible number of semi-innocent bystander deaths, but self-defense nonetheless.

I don't see a way for Luke and company to have prevented the support staff deaths while still destroying the DS, preserving their own lives, and getting only the 'bad guys'.
TW Grace
4. TWGrace
The movies make much more sense once you come to realize that Lucas is the Leni Riefenstahl of the Star Wars Universe...
Martin Jarvis
5. Boscot
I don't know, I kind of want to play Bothan Spies now...
Sara H
6. LadyBelaine

"The movies make much more sense once you come to realize that Lucas is the Leni Riefenstahl of the Star Wars Universe..."

Oh, TWGrace, marry me. Male or female, whatever you are, marry me. There are several states that will except our union, either way.....
Michael Burke
7. Ludon
How about the Star Wars Creator game in which you get to keep going back and changing your creations, making more money off your fans and confusing them until they get fed-up and walk away. Everyone will love it - seeing just how bad you can be before you lose. Just the way everyone approached the old Hammurabi BASIC computer game back in the 70s.
Craig Ranapia
8. John R. Ellis
Mouette, you got my point exactly: It's mighty odd to question branding Anakin a hero because of acts he hasn't commited yet in-story. That's only possible by taking his acts out of context and trying to force them all into his Vader-actions. It makes as much sense as trying to spin Luke into a terrorist/mass murderer, but one could try and make a case for it. (And these Tor articles that question the Clone Wars expanded universe tales very often try to do just that. Claim that every act of good Anakin does before his fall somehow glorifies Vader's evil actions. Ooookay.)

It doesn't help that the in-story reason for Anakin becoming Vader (at least as depicted in the prequels) makes no sense at all as a "fall from good to evil" tale. He's a dimwit with no impulse control who doesn't want his wife to die.

So THAT makes him willing to murder little jedi tykes? Uh....
Ryan Britt
9. ryancbritt
I've actually watched most of the Clone Wars at this point. Of course, I see your point, and you're rigth, Luke is a murderer too. But that's how these sorts of stories go; the hero kills the bad guy. However, the deal is that the aesthetic of Star Wars makes us feel like it's okay that Luke kills all the guys on the Death Star, because it's war. Sure, it's dicey, but it is different. Nowhere in Episode 3 do we feel like it's okay or good that Anakin kills all those kids.

The story is telling us Anakin turns really bad. I suppose you're right I am judging the character by the actions that haven't happened, but that's how fictional characters work- we often see them in the whole context of their lives. In this way, Anakin Skywalker is the most inconsistent character ever depicted. From incarnation to incarnation he never seems like the same person. One could say that this is the charater's "evolution" but to me it's just a re-branding of him for whatever is convenient for the marketing.

The Anakin of the Clone Wars cartoon is very likeable (as is
Ahsoka!) but he's nothing like the "real" Anakin of Attack of the Clones or Revenge of the Sith. In short, he's a watered down version of the character from the films, designed to be more acceptable for children. Which begs the question- why not just make a cartoon for children about characters who don't have these biographical troubles?

Anakin straight up commits unprovoked genocide for selfish gain. Luke's killing results from fighting in a war. I'd choose the latter for the focus of my children's program.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
10. Lisamarie
I just want to say thank you for this article.

I am a big Star Wars fan (Anakin inconsistentcies and GL meddling nonwithstanding) but I have always found the glorification of slave Leia rather disturbing. Especially given how many women seem to embrace the role and make a big thing out of dressing up like her at a convention. I guess I can kind of understand the appeal in that she was still able to fight back even while being demoralized but...

Yes, I am a little stodgy, but the whole thing gives me the creeps a little.

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