A History of Star Wars RPGs
It's not uncommon for a sci/fi movie or TV show to develop a following in the gamer communities, it's only natural that some of these phenomenon spawn RPGs.
Star Wars in the Gamer Community
In 1977 the epic media phenomenon know as the Star Wars Saga hit the screens for the first time with "Episode 4: A New Hope ". The Franchise now consists of a total of 6 movies, and can be found in the DVD flip books of just about every geek in the known world.
You can rest assured, Star Wars references and quotes will be thrown around your gaming table, regardless of age, sex, creed, or color of your players.These films struck such a chord with the fantasy / role playing communities that there isn't a RPG gamer alive that won't recognize quotes like "May the force be with you", "Do or do not. There is no try.", "Luke, I am your father.", "These aren't the droids you're looking for.", "Stay on target!" "Let the Wookie win.", and "Han, ma bukee. Bargon yanah coto da eetha." as well as countless others.
Of Course There's a Star Wars RPG!
Star Wars is the story of conflict in another galaxy where nature and reality are bound by laws different from our own. A small group of unlikely heroes against insurmountable odds for the greater good.
Role playing games allow players to obtain the otherwise unobtainable, reach the intangible, and cause the unthinkable. It's only natural that this movie franchise spawned an RPG!
Who wouldn't want to role-play as Luke Skywalker? ...or someone cooler... Like Han! or... Porkins?Any red-blooded male geek over the age of 25 has had or wanted posters of Princess Leia in Return of the Jedi at Jabba's place in her golden metal bikini.
Star Wars RPGs
West End Games released the first edition of the first official Star Wars RPG in 1988, followed by a second edition in 1992, and a revised and expanded 2nd edition (why they didn't call it a 3rd edition, I don't understand...) in 1996. This Star Wars RPG was based on the D6 System.
In 2000, one of the designers of this Star Wars RPG, Bill Slavicsek took part in the design of another Star Wars RPG. Wizards of the Coast, not to be left out published a D20-based Star Wars RPG. It was followed by a revised edition in 2002, and "The Saga Edition" in 2007.
The D20 Star Wars RPG came out around the same time as Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, and included stats and abilities of characters from the movie. The revised edition included content from Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones. The Saga edition was a major revision to the old system, making it much more similar to D20 Modern. With the Saga Edition, the D20 rules began to really become more prevalent, standard hit points replacing the original damage system, and a greater emphasis was placed on the use of miniatures.
Wizards of the Coast announced in January of 2010 that they would no longer be producing Star Wars RPG materials, and allowed their license to do so to expire in the following May.
Your Turn - Star Wars RPG Downloads
Although there's to be no new content published by Wizards of the Coast, you can still buy the books and supplements online at GatorGames.com.
As always, if you've played any or all of these systems and want to weigh in, or have a funny story about a campaign you've played please comment below!
Remember to check back here and watch for the next few articles about various Star Wars RPG Downloads.