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Star Wars has been a fixture of video video games for many years, and spanned nearly each potential style and platform you may moderately consider. There are particular ones which have resonated with audiences over time, like the present Jedi video games from Respawn Leisure and the Knights of the Previous Republic collection from BioWare and Obsidian.

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Amongst that pedigree of well-liked titles is the short-lived Drive Unleashed video games. Its first installment is now 15 years outdated, and its large promoting level was proper there within the title. Removed from the primary sport within the franchise to let gamers wield the Drive, its novelty got here from giving gamers the possibility to make use of it at what was then its fullest, most violent potential with telekinetic blasts, thoughts management, and simply straight up cooking dudes with Drive lightning. Narratively, its purpose was one thing a bit extra grander because it tried to tie the Prequel and Authentic trilogies collectively via an unique story and model new character by way of Starkiller, who Vader kidnapped as a baby and groomed int turning into o his secret apprentice to seek out Jedi survivors of Order 66.

For a franchise with quite a few characters who really feel like somebody’s enjoying favorites for particularly them (generally to mentioned character’s detriment), Starkiller is probably the most OC to ever OC in all of Star Wars. Over the course of the unique sport, he finally ends up brushing shoulders with quite a few Expanded Universe and mainline characters, helps kickstart the Insurgent Alliance, and manages to outlive going through off towards each Vader and Palpatine regardless of each males being the perfect swordfighters of their time. Amongst his supporting solid are a love curiosity who serves because the pilot of his ship, and a droid who takes on the type of earlier lightsaber customers to coach his grasp within the methods of fight.

Picture: Lucasfilm Video games

It’s all very foolish in the way in which that this franchise can typically be, even now, but it surely was additionally simply as endearing. On the time, Lucasfilm wished to actually promote the concept that Drive Unleashed was an necessary piece of Star Wars media on par with the movies, therefore its opening crawl and transition wipes pulled proper from the movies. Nevertheless it additionally wished to be its personal factor, which it did by placing a spin on the Drive’s capabilities. The prologue set on Kashyyyk had Vader slaughter his means via so many Wookies like they’re principally nothing because the Imperial March performs. Starkiller may blast enemies to the opposite aspect of the sector, catch TIE fighters mid-flight, and even carry down a Star Destroyer, the latter of which was a promoting level in its personal proper. As a 14 occurring 15-year-old again then, this was the right type of energy fantasy sport: lightsabers, like all swords, are superior, and utilizing them in tandem with telekinesis and lightning to slice up monstrs and woefully underprepared troopers was the best factor ever.

The unique Drive Unleashed was only a bestseller on the time, and spawned a sequel in 2010 that wasn’t fairly as well-liked as its predecessor. Even with that, and after the video games had been subsequently declared non-canon, each titles made an necessary mark on Star Wars followers. For a lot of, the Drive Unleashed video games grew to become a semi-definitive textual content for the way they considered the franchise. If the Prequel trilogy made the Jedi into superheroes with their backflips and lightsaber twirls, Starkiller was the newcomer billed as large sport changer who a writer would construct a whole occasion miniseries round earlier than he will get a stable run of solo books of fluctuating high quality. Nonetheless, followers love themselves some Starkiller, and have hoped he’ll make his strategy to the official canon as soon as once more in some type or one other. (Many put their hopes on Marrok, a current Inquisitor-looking character on Star Wars Ahsoka, being a brand new model of Starkiller, which…didn’t pan out.)

For the bigger Star Wars franchise, it wouldn’t be flawed to say Lucasfilm paring down the Drive’s capabilities was partially in response to Unleashed and totally damaged characters like Starkiller. Usually, you may see how the 2 video games have knowledgeable the franchise going ahead: Respawn’s Jedi video games have the same dedication to feeling as Star Wars as potential, fairly nice moments of energy fantasy, whereas additionally being significantly higher at when and the way it makes use of pre-existing characters. And with out the video games, Starkiller’s voice actor Sam Witwer in all probability wouldn’t have gone on to voice Darth Maul in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Rebels.

Picture: Lucasfilm Video games

The Drive Unleashed is totally ridiculous, however that offers it a sure appeal that’s clearly let it endure over the previous decade and a half. It’s the kind of sport that may’t actually get made anymore—video video games primarily based on necessary manufacturers like Star Wars both have to stick to bigger canon or have their very own sturdy sufficient spin on issues to face on their very own. However generally, you simply want a sport like Drive Unleashed to exist, if solely as a result of the galaxy’s extra enjoyable when it breaks its personal guidelines in a gleefully silly method like these video games did.

Star Wars: The Drive Unleashed is playable on the Nintendo Swap, PC, PlayStation Plus’ Premium tier, and Xbox Collection X|S by way of backwards compatibility. At time of writing, The Drive Unleashed II shouldn’t be on the Swap, however it’s on the 2 aforementioned platforms.

Need extra io9 information? Take a look at when to anticipate the newest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s subsequent for the DC Universe on movie and TV, and the whole lot it’s worthwhile to learn about the way forward for Physician Who.

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