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May the Fourth Be With You

Happy Star Wars Day, everyone!

In honor of this holiday, we’re going to talk about different games inspired by Star Wars.  Unfortunately, I haven’t played most of these games, so most of this post will just be about what games are out there.

Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game


This d6-based Star Wars game was published between 1987 and 1999 by West End Games.  The first year the RPG was out, they won the Origins Award for “Best Roleplaying Rules of 1987.”  West End Games also published a Ghost Busters RPG around the same time.  Despite publishing RPG versions of two popular franchises, the company gave up the right to publish Star Wars games when it declared bankruptcy in 1998.

Star Wars Roleplaying Game

Despite its similar name, this is actually a different system.  Wizards of the Coast (publishers ofDungeons & Dragons) published this game in 2000 and released the revised edition in 2002 and released the Saga Edition in 2007.  Star Wars Roleplaying Game uses the d20 system to help the player navigate through three major eras of the Star Wars universe: the Rise of the Empire, the Galactic Civil War, and the New Jedi Order.  This game is now out of print.

Star Wars Roleplaying Game

This is not a duplicate post.  Fantasy Flight just used the same name when they published their Star Wars game in 2012.  Within this game are three different games: Star Wars: Edge of the Empire, Star Wars: Age of Rebellion, and Star Wars: Force and Destiny.  Each game requires players to play different classes with different motivations.  My favorite part about this game is that it requires special dice to play.

This is the general history of Star Wars RPGs.  I’m sure there are more out there, but these were the most popular ones that I could find.  I believe that I played Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game one year at Gencon (I know it was in the room where they always do the Star Wars games.  If anyone knows that it isn’t that system and knows what the name actually is, please let me know).  Overall, it was a decent system, but the main problem was we went in for one game, which was not the brightest idea.

Most of the players spend all of Gencon leveling up their characters so, by the time we went that Friday, our measly level 1 characters were crushed by the enemies and the rest of our party, who had been playing for days and were much higher level, basically did everything.  What also annoyed me was our GM.  The game had been advertised as having 6 players, but we ended up having 12.  Also, all of the roleplaying was read from a script, which, to me, took all of the fun out of developing the character (which we still had to make ourselves).  1/10, would not attempt at a convention again.

What makes Star Wars so cool is how much its ingrained into our culture.  One of the worst kept secrets of all time is that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father.  I don’t know who exactly told me, but I, like everyone else, knew it long before I ever watched the movies (which I didn’t even see until I was 20).  Now, years later, we have a fourth (yes, fourth) Star Wars movie coming out, which is as much of a testament to the fandom as it is to Lucas’s ability to create cultural icons which can span time and even entire galaxies.

Fiona L.F. Kelly (@FionaLFKelly)
Fiona L.F. Kelly is a writer, editor, and podcaster. She has published numerous articles about all things gaming and pop culture on websites all across the internet, was also a writer for Trinity Continuum: Aberrant 2e, and has been published in books and magazines. She is an editor for the pop culture and media website GeekGals.co. In addition to her writing and editing, she has also been a guest and host on several podcasts. She hosts the Project Derailed podcast Big Streaming Pile, produces and performs on Fables Around the Table, and plays the githyanki pirate Rav’nys on Tales of the Voidfarer. Buy her a coffee: ko-fi.com/fionalfkelly

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