Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Those of you who recall the days when Twilight and I would quiz each other on the model numbers of Star Wars starship components may find this hard to believe, but there was a time when I was not a Star Wars fan. Those of you who recall the great TIE Fighter narrative may find it even harder to believe. But it is true. In fact I became a Star Wars fan not as a result of the movies but as a result of X-Wing. That's what sold me on the universe: somebody taking the military aspect of Star Wars seriously. Once I had that to latch onto I could buy into the rest of it.

Now of course X-Wing doesn't take the military aspect of Star Wars as seriously as it could, which is a gripe that I've harped on at length in various contexts and shall not repeat here. The point is that what made Star Wars cool to me was the military treatment. Which is why I have such high hopes for Republic Commando.

I've played the demo backwards and forwards, and I like what I've seen so far. It's not the most serious infantry sim that I know of but as a sim it's about as serious as X-Wing and it seems like it has some really engaging characters. I'm really hoping it will sell me on the late Republic setting just as X-Wing sold me on the Galactic Civil War setting. 'Cause the movies sure haven't done so, and I really doubt that they ever will. I can expound on them at length of course, and I enjoy doing so (best memory I have of Episode I was explaining it to Princess) but at the end of the day they're telling the wrong story and they're telling it badly. And that doesn't sell me on Star Wars.

And, for better or worse, I have to be sold on Star Wars. Because somewhere in that great field of Star Wars dreck there's something magical. Han and Leia. A guy with a lightsaber. Good men stuck between an evil empire and a violent terrorist movement. Good men accepting a losing proposition because it's the right thing to do. Love conquering all obstacles. The courage to believe.

There's something thrilling, something magical, about Star Wars at its best. Only certain Star Wars products have it. Empire Strikes Back had it. TIE Fighter had it. Knights of the Old Republic had it. Hopefully, Republic Commando will too.

No comments: