The Star Wars Games We Want to See Out of Lucasfilm's New Era

The Star Wars Games We Want to See Out of Lucasfilm's New Era

Lookin’ for nub.
Lookin’ for nub.
Illustration: Angelica Alzona/G/O Media

Earlier this month, Lucasfilm announced something of a pivot in its video game licensing. Rebranding its outreach as Lucasfilm Games, it looked toward a future where studios outside of EA, which currently holds an exclusivity deal until 2023, could make Star Wars games. Naturally, that led to us inevitably making a wishlist of games that will...likely never see the light of day. But we’d love them to.

James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!

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A 4X Star Wars Strategy Epic

A 4X Star Wars Strategy Epic

Illustration for article titled The Star Wars Games We Want to See Out of Lucasfilm's New Era
Screenshot: Lucasfilm

Star Wars and strategy games go together like peanut butter and jelly—as previous excellent RTS games like Commander, Battlegrounds, and Empire at War can attest. But what about something that goes even grander than those games and pulls you back out to a truly intergalactic scale, managing the Republic (New, High, Old, or otherwise—or the Empire, or the CIS, or carving out your own imagined intergalactic faction) on the scope of star systems, instead of right on the ground? The tenets of a “4X” strategy game—Explore, Expand, Exploit, Exterminate—can make for grand storytelling opportunities that you can’t just get out of the kinds of strategy games Star Wars has done in the past. That said, we wouldn’t mind a few of those, either.






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A Dating Sim

A Dating Sim

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Image: Lucasfilm

Ah yes, the Star Wars game that’s not about fighting what we hate, but saving what we love. And what we love is the opportunity to smooch up the galaxy far, far away. This could, of course, be very tongue-in-cheek as you romance your way through the Outer Rim like a person possessed, but Star Wars as a franchise, as much as some would like to deny it, is about love and intimacy as much as it is the story of light and dark. Hell, Light of the Jedi just gave us the idea of fantastical Jedi romance holonovels—turn one of those into a text-based dating sim!

Plus, for once in this damn franchise’s life, maybe this is the kind of game that’d give you the opportunity to be queer as hell without having to wait for them to do that in one of the movies or shows for more than an instant.

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City Management, But for Your Own Star Wars Outpost

City Management, But for Your Own Star Wars Outpost

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Screenshot: Lucasfilm

From Mos Eisley Spaceport to Black Spire Outpost, Star Wars loves itself a small, independent commune of explorers and settlers looking to eke out a living on the galaxy’s edge. So why not take the trappings of city-builder simulators, and instead of tasking you with building the next Coruscant, ask you to build out a little pocket of Star Wars livelihood on some far-off world in the Outer Rim, trading with other worlds and settlements, occasionally having to defend it from pirates or other external forces?

The fun here is that the setting can be so flexible—it could be any kind of biome, it could be any period of Star Wars, a time of conflict or a time of peace. There’s always going to be people in Star Wars just trying to live a life for themselves outside of its galaxy-spanning conflicts.

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A Spaceflight Game Where Combat Isn’t the Only Answer

A Spaceflight Game Where Combat Isn’t the Only Answer

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Image: Lucasfilm

Star Wars is built off the backs of interstellar traders, wheelers and dealers, and on the seedier side of things, smugglers. So why not get a starship game that reflects that instead of one that’s simply about pitting starfighter squadrons against each other? Think Elite: Dangerous or Rebel Galaxy, space games that are about taking on missions about getting cargo or people from place to place. Sure there can be combat, but only if you choose to have it—a good smuggler knows how to get out of a dodgy situation with a charming tone or engines that’ll let you outrun your opponents as much as they do just blasting away.

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A Restaurant Management Game About Dexter Jettster’s Diner

A Restaurant Management Game About Dexter Jettster’s Diner





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Screenshot: Lucasfilm

Star Wars has weird food. Star Wars also has weird eateries, like Dexter’s completely-out there ‘50s diner just sitting smack bang in the middle of Corsucant apparently. So getting to explore that eclectic side of Star Wars through the medium of cooking meals for customers could be a neat way to tell more smaller-scaled stories of the world and people that inhabit it. It’s not every day a Jedi shows up and asks you to stop flipping ronto steaks to check on an assassin dart, but I dunno, maybe every once in a while that’d be a fun distraction?

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Literally Anything by a Non-Western Development Studio

Literally Anything by a Non-Western Development Studio






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Image: Lucasfilm

Lucasfilm’s new approach to licensing is already giving us some interesting first steps in its deals with Ubisoft and MachineGames to make games set in the Star Wars and Indiana Jones universes, respectively. But hopefully this leads to a diversity not just in the kinds of games being made with these licenses, but the people who are making them, too. Outside of the big-name developers in Western circles getting their hands on these licenses, why not reach out to see what developers across the world would do given the keys to the Star Wars kingdom?

And this doesn’t just necessarily have to be strictly Japanese studios or something—Platinum Games’ High Republic Jedi game when, though?—but given Lucasfilm has recently expressed interest in having creatives from outside its typical pool come together to explore Star Wars in things like Disney+’s upcoming Star Wars Visions, why not apply that train of thought to games too?

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A Bothan Spy Roguelike

A Bothan Spy Roguelike





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Image: Darren Tan/Lucasfilm

Roguelikes—run-based games with elements of procedurally generated randomness where failure requires restarting from the ground up—are all abuzz, even moreso than usual in a post-Hades world. So why not let Star Wars in on it? You’re a Bothan spy, tasked with completing a dangerous mission on behalf of the Rebel Alliance. You have to slice networks, stealth and shoot your way through Imperial facilities, get in, and get out alive...and if you don’t? Well, the Alliance just returns to the SpyNet and recruits another Bothan agent for the cause, one with different gear or skills, an entirely new personaility. How many sons and daughters of Bothawui will you expend to complete the mission? Star Wars: Any Bothans Died. C’monnnn, that’d be great.

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Dialogue-Driven Adventure Games

Dialogue-Driven Adventure Games





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Screenshot: Lucasfilm

Not every new Star Wars game has to be a gabillion dollar, AAA action-adventure epic of blaster explosions and lightsaber-swinging calamity. Star Wars might be called Star Wars, but some of its most fascinating moments of character and heart, some of its most intimate stories, are the ones told when our heroes cast their weapons aside to find alternative solutions to their problems. So why not have games that celebrate that side of it, where character action is driven by choice of dialogue, or there’s puzzles to solve and mysteries to uncover that don’t necessarily need you to roll up to some conveniently placed chest-high cover and pull out a blaster pistol.

Plus: Lucasfilm has a pretty rich legacy in adventure game formats, and also loves endlessly reconnecting with its past successes. They can have a little Star Wars but it’s Monkey Island, as a treat.

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Small-Scale Tactical Star Wars Action

Small-Scale Tactical Star Wars Action

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Image: Lucasfilm

We’ve had mid-scale Star Wars tactics. I already pitched huge-scale Star Wars tactics. So what about going even more tightly focused? Something that is about small combat missions with a squad of just a handful of participants, where the stakes are high—every action, every blaster bolt, every dash to cover, is the decision between life and death, victory and failure. Think The Bad Batch meets X-COM.

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Masters of Teräs Käsi 2, Dammit

Masters of Teräs Käsi 2, Dammit





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Screenshot: Lucasfilm

It’s an anime fighter by Arc Systems Works. Arden Lyn and Hoar get recanonized. You can thank me later.


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James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!

DISCUSSION