Star Wars is widely loved for many reasons. The stories are unique, the characters are interesting, and the designs are unlike any other franchise. But the aspect that truly sets Star Wars apart, I think, is the sheer amount of content available. Not many franchises span 1000 years!
The 'Old Republic' era has become a Star Wars fan favorite. Countless novels, and comics have detailed the heroes that shaped the galaxy long before and Skywalkers were ever heard of. The most notable creations to come from the 'Old Republic' though, are the video games.
In the early 2000's, BioWare began developing a revolutionary new Star Wars experience which has managed to hold its popularity even today. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is hailed for its revolutionary style and story, which contained one of the greatest plot twists in gaming history. If you haven't played KotOR, I HIGHLY suggest picking it up on the App Store! It's one of the best games ever made, and its popularity is unlikely to dwindle.
If you're looking for an experience that's a little more modern, BioWare has something for you as well! In 2011, they released Star Wars: The Old Republic, an MMO that gives each player their own Star Wars story, and ties back in to its infamous predecessor.
BioWare has quite a history with Star Wars. Now, the team behind KotOR and SW:tOR have made a nice little 20 minute documentary all about the team-up between BioWare and Star Wars. Any Star Wars or KotOR fans are sure to find it interesting:
Why should I play Star Wars: The Old Republic?
For one simple reason: the story. Like the video brought out, BioWare is famous for its stories. When BioWare and Star Wars have come together in the past, they've generated some of the best story moments in gaming and in Star Wars. Here are the top 5 moments in BioWare's Star Wars history:
WARNING: THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC and STAR WARS: THE OLD REPUBLIC ALONG WITH THEIR EXPANSIONS.
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5: Revan's Ghost
During the Shadow of Revan expansion in SWTOR, you face off against Revan and his Revanites, who are trying to bring back the Immortal Emperor, and destroy him once and for all. Towards the end of the story-line, while on familiar Star Wars local Yavin 4, the player encounters a force ghost. Later you find out that this ghost is actually Revan, specifically his light-side. You must then defeat his dark-side and reunite the two, so that Revan can finally become one with the force.
This story-line is not only a great callback to the original KOTOR, but serves a much larger purpose in the story as a whole. Revan's actions, due to his duel personalities, lead into the next expansion: Knights of the Fallen Empire.
4: HK-55's Death
Knights of the Fallen Empire (or KOTFE) introduces several great new characters. The fan favorite of these new characters is hands down the sassy droid, HK-55. The player become attached to this character almost immediately because of his take on what's going on. His endearing story arc leads up to his heroic demise, as he sacrifices himself to save the player.
HK's death is, for the most part, a huge surprise. You don't tend to view him as a character who would do something so unselfish. When he gives himself up to save you, you really begin to see just how important your character is, to the galaxy, and to your companions.
The ninth chapter of KOTFE takes your character's story to new levels. You become the leader of a rebel alliance. You must search out new recruits and build it up in order to fight off the Eternal Empire.
This whole dynamic is both classic and new to Star Wars. Obviously, rebel alliances are pretty easy to come by in the galaxy far far away, but the make-up of this story is different. You are the hero. You are the leader. You are the rogue. You are the master. Your character serves the roles of the Skywalker Twins, Yoda, Han Solo, and Admiral Ackbar all wrapped into one. This game allows you to have the unique experience of running every aspect of a rebellion. The entire galaxy rests on your shoulders.
In KOTFE your character is quickly defeated and enters a dream state. After waking up, you discover that your character has been frozen in carbonite for five years. Everything your character fought for is crumbling, due to their absence for so long. Their friends have scattered across the galaxy and are in danger due to the threat posed by the Eternal Empire.
After 60 levels worth of time, saving the galaxy from the most dangerous threats, your character is finally taken down. Not many games put the fate of an entire galaxy in the player's hands. Even fewer do this, after having the player believe that they've saved it. The five year gap allows the player to feel the impact of their actions. Without their character, the entire galaxy is in peril.
KOTOR created one of the most famous revelations in gaming history. After hearing about the evil and foreboding Darth Revan, the player discovers that they themselves are Revan!
I have played many games that involve revelations about the player's character, but never before have I played a game and learned that I am the villain! KOTOR is about cleaning up after the misdeeds of Revan. Then you find out that you caused the problems that you're working to fix! This leads to the ultimate choice of following the path to darkness, or to light. You can become the greatest hero, or darkest villain, the galaxy has ever seen. I don't believe any other game will ever be able to surprise players in that manner. That's why KOTOR is praised, remembered, and played today, even though it's been out for 13 years.
BioWare and Star Wars: The Perfect Team
BioWare has been delivering quality Star Wars content for years and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future. Their history and track record shows the amount of work and thought they put into their stories. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's grateful for the work they've done in the past and what BioWare continues to do today!
KOTFE and SWTOR have been releasing monthly updates for subscribers since the beginning of the year, and will continue to do so through August. Make sure and check out their website for more info!
What is your favorite story moment from a BioWare Star Wars game? What's your favorite aspect of BioWare Star Wars games? Tell me in the comments!