Many Star Wars video games have been released over the past forty years, but few have revolved around a single character. Games like Battlefront, Rogue Squadron, and Lego include a large cast from Star Wars in a combat-centric setting. Through stories about individuals, Disney could have not only action-packed games but also narrative-driven games.
The characters of Star Wars make up one of the best elements of the films, which is why Disney needs to expand the Star Wars franchise to include games focused on individuals. Such stories would benefit both the characters and the universe they live in, with good and evil characters offering different perspectives of the Force.
Although exploring all aspects of Star Wars would be fun, numerous characters work only as minor characters. If included as a primary protagonist, such characters would harm their games as well as their own reputation. Other characters might do well in games but would sacrifice their status in the films in the process.
Thanks to the upcoming movies centered on single characters, such as the 2018 origin film for Han Solo and 2020 film for Boba Fett, now may be a better time than any for Disney to produce character-driven games. With films, books, comics, and games supporting the Star Wars franchise, Disney has an expansive cast from which they may tell excellent stories. Here’s 8 characters in the Star Wars universe that deserve their own video game and 7 who should never star in a game.
15 Should: Qui-Gon Jinn
The Jedi Apprentice books brilliantly explore the adventures of Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon before the prequel trilogy and those adventures would be perfect for a video game. Combine those with The Phantom Menace and you’d get a fascinating story with an underutilized character. A game showing Qui-Gon teach Obi-Wan, protect Anakin, and ask Obi-Wan to mentor Anakin would add to all three characters’ stories.
Regardless of the contents of his game, Qui-Gon deserves more time in the Star Wars universe. As one of the most disciplined Jedi ever seen, Qui-Gon would offer a closer look into Jedi culture and how the Jedi lived prior to the Invasion of Naboo and the Clone Wars. Plus he’s a talented fighter who would fit perfectly into any action-oriented game.
14 Shouldn't: Jabba the Hutt
Jabba would be uninteresting in every aspect of a video game. He can’t move, except at a slug’s pace, he appears to sleep often, and he lacks weapons or any combat-related skills.
Gameplay aside, Jabba should never star in a game because he’s completely evil. As a one-dimensional antagonist meant to threaten protagonists with little to no reasoning, Jabba could never function as anything more than a minor character. The only game that could support Jabba is one which explains his history with Han Solo and that would only work well in a game centered on Han rather than one played by Jabba. While seeing Jabba’s life before the original trilogy would be interesting, he should forever remain a minor character.
13 Should: Darth Maul
While I feel Darth Maul’s scenes in the animated TV shows The Clone Wars and Rebels are painful to watch and detrimental to the character, a video game would benefit Darth Maul because it doesn’t require dialogue. One of Darth Maul’s best traits is his terse intensity, which perfectly fits a playable character. Silence would force players to interpret Darth Maul’s emotions and sympathize with him. His quiet nature could also lead to interesting interactions with other characters. Darth Maul would be the perfect protagonist for a game because a large number of backstories can fit him—he could be a purely evil character, he might desire power like Anakin, or he may seek revenge on the Jedi for purely justifiable reasons.
12 Shouldn't: Chewbacca
Though adorable and amusing, Chewbacca could not function as the primary protagonist of a game. His “lines” rely on his role as a minor character—you’re not supposed to understand his words but rather his emotions, and those emotions are designed to advance jokes and storylines rather than his character. Whether he’s sad, angry, or funny, Chewbacca supports scenes and sadly would be incapable of leading an entire game.
Only an older Lego video game could have properly supported the Wookie. With an excellent blend of combat and silliness and—most importantly—without dialogue, a Lego game could have replaced Chewbacca’s signature yell with body gestures and facial expression. Any other game would spend too much time focusing on what we know about Chewbacca rather than adding to the character.
11 Should: R2-D2
While R2-D2 may be too silly to be in a dark Star Wars game, he’d be the perfect protagonist for kids. If Disney ever wants a platformer or puzzle adventure Star Wars game that’s as successful as Mario and Zelda, R2-D2 could be the place to start. With a wide number of abilities and items including a jetpack and flamethrower, as well as an entertaining variety of sound bites, R2-D2 is ready to star in a game of his own. Whether he’s helping others or adventuring alone, the droid has the abilities and mechanics required for fun gameplay.
Metroid games might be a better inspiration for an R2-D2 game—by gradually acquiring upgrades throughout the game, R2-D2 could access new areas, combat enemies, and do just about anything you want by the end of the game.
10 Shouldn't: C-3PO
A kid’s game for C-3PO, on the other hand, might sound like a good idea but would actually be disastrous. Without weapons or a particularly wide knowledge of machines, C-3PO would fall apart in any action- or puzzle-based game.
C-3PO also could never work visually. He’s too slow to be a good video game character; if he moved quickly, the droid’s awkward walk would be escalated to a terrifying degree. If controlling C-3PO, players would never have the ability or incentive to explore the Star Wars universe.
Perhaps a tower defense game could feature the meandering droid. Unfortunately, any game starring C-3PO would display his long list of sarcastic and cowardly sound bites, which would have players muting their device in a matter of minutes.
9 Should: Han Solo
With his own movie coming out, a video game for Han Solo seems inevitable—which isn’t a bad thing! As the wittiest character in the Star Wars films apart from maybe K-2SO, Han brings wonderful personality to the series. His mix of selfishness, selflessness, arrogance, and charm make Han fun to watch. Han’s illegal background, his long list of “friends” and enemies, and his skills as a shooter and pilot would lead to some excellent gameplay.
A new Star Wars game being developed by Visceral—planned for release in 2018—may feature Han Solo, but the details of the game remain unknown. We can only hope they’ll give Han the attention he deserves; it would be a mistake to pass him up.
8 Shouldn't: Padmé Amidala
Padmé is sadly designed to be a minor character and it’s almost impossible to imagine her as a leading protagonist in a game. She starts out strong in The Phantom Menace, combining political manipulation with excellent sharpshooting to take back her homeland. Her prowess dissipates, however, as the films instead focus on Anakin’s attraction to her. Changing from a powerful leader to a tool of storytelling, Padmé merely sits back and watches as the Senate becomes the Empire and her husband turns to the dark side.
While Padmé would have been a great protagonist in a 1999 game, her character has been too badly damaged to support a game today. She also functions as a less original, less witty, and less impactful version of Leia, making her a sadly forgettable character who will always be overshadowed by other characters.
7 Should: Leia Organa
Unlike Padmé, Leia’s role in the Star Wars films has only grown. As the head of The Resistance and one of the three leading protagonists of the original cinematic trilogy, Leia dominates the Star Wars universe, yet surprisingly has never had a game of her own.
Leia would work well in a variety of game genres and she’s one of the few Star Wars characters who would excel in a choice-based game. With a blaster, a connection to the Force, a quick wit, and significant influence in both the Rebel Alliance and Resistance, Leia would offer the perfect balance of combat and strategy. While other games have explored the beginning of the Empire, a game focused on Leia could show the end of the Empire as Leia negotiates with planets and decides when to destroy or spare allies of the Empire.
6 Shouldn't: Emperor Palpatine
Like Jabba the Hut, Emperor Palpatine is completely evil. His past should be concealed for a very different reason, however—while explaining Jabba’s motives would be a waste of time, Palpatine is so major that detailing his background would remove the most thrilling mystery in the Star Wars universe.
Representing the dark side itself, Palpatine reflects all that we associate with evil: greed, apathy, and even sadism. A game that stars Palpatine would play poorly if he was completely evil, but if he wasn’t completely evil, the game would detract from his character. Palpatine’s evil nature works well for a minor antagonist—as a protagonist, however, Palpatine’s character would suffer. To preserve the high stakes of the original trilogy and the Skywalkers’ struggle against the dark side, Palpatine must be left exactly as he is.
5 Should: Boba Fett
Star Wars: Bounty Hunter was an excellent game starring Jango Fett. A spiritual successor with Boba Fett would be terrific, for it would not only build off of Bounty Hunter but would also give Boba the game he’s always needed.
Bounty Hunter is a dark game involving backstabbing and revenge, with Jango losing his only friend and avenging her death. Jango’s death in Attack of the Clones would be the perfect setup for Bounty Hunter 2, as Boba learns to hate Jedi and captures any Jedi who managed to evade the Empire.
As a quiet bounty hunter with a deadly arsenal, Boba Fett remains one of the most intimidating characters in Star Wars. His cold personality and extensive weapons would make a great addition to the current lineup of Star Wars video games.
4 Shouldn't: Yoda
As a wise and lovable character who turns almost every sentence into an anastrophe, Yoda remains one of the most quoted characters in the Star Wars series. That’s exactly why he can’t have his own game—he’d be saying confusing lines so often he’d instantly get on your nerves. The Yoda Chronicles demonstrates how easily moviemakers can turn Yoda into a silly character; a video game would be no different. Although Yoda seems silly when first introduced in The Empire Strikes Back, his amusing actions hide great wisdom and understanding of the world. Unfortunately, few creators can incorporate Yoda without playing with his funny dialogue—even the dark atmosphere of the prequel trilogy couldn’t stop Yoda from behaving like a cultural joke. To preserve Yoda’s memory, video games should generally avoid using him and may never star him.
3 Should: Finn
Finn presents one of the most complicated stories in Star Wars—a stormtrooper turns rogue and fights against other stormtroopers. Instead of showing guilt or remorse for killing his former comrades, however, Finn murders without a second thought. Finn maintains the simple, black-and-white tone of Star Wars by abandoning his origins.
Not much is actually known about his origins, though. He switches sides at the beginning of The Force Awakens, preventing us from understanding where he comes from. To justify Finn’s actions and explore his character, Disney ought to make a game for him. Since most Star Wars games require combat, the game could include two timelines: one in which Finn aids The Resistance and another (presented through flashbacks) in which he trains with The First Order. A game like that would reveal more about Finn, offer a closer look at The First Order, and wonderfully complicate Star Wars through sympathy for stormtroopers.
2 Shouldn't: Jar Jar Binks
Jar Jar already receives universal criticism in the films, but this ridicule would only worsen in a video game. The bumbling fool is occasionally adorable but usually too annoying to endure. Acting more like an unintentional clown than a person, Jar Jar would ruin a game with both his physical actions and his voice.
The only game that could possibly support Jar Jar Binks is a tremendously over-the-top comedic action game where Jar Jar kills enemies by tripping into them and accidentally tossing objects at them. Unfortunately, I can’t see a Star Wars game building an entire story off of Jar Jar’s antics. Even though children might enjoy Jar Jar, no game could star Jar Jar without angering fans and hurting Disney’s reputation.
1 Should: Rey
Disney Infinity 3.0 offered a great glimpse at how amazing Rey would be in a video game. With a blaster, a bowstaff, a lightsaber, piloting capability, and all kinds of Jedi tricks, Rey provides wonderful versatility that allows her to function in almost any action-based game.
Daisy Ridley brings a lot of energy and fun into Rey’s character, both in The Force Awakens and Disney Infinity 3.0. A whole game centered on Rey and her voice actress would make a tremendous adventure. Whether it’s a successor to Rebel Strike or an action-adventure game exploring the worlds of Star Wars, any game would benefit from including Rey and would be that much more outstanding if it featured her as the playable protagonist.