The world can’t get enough of Star Wars thanks to the hype and success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Disney and Lucasfilms knows this all too well: we’re going to have mothership films and spin-off onslaughts bombarding us for the next few years, for good or ill.
With the most recent spin-off film Rogue One hitting theatres tomorrow, it’s easy to forget that there are many other spin-offs in that particular universe that were released many shapes and sizes. From video games to comics, it’s time to decide which are the best Star Wars spin-offs and tie-ins the franchise has to offer since a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...
Star Wars Dark Forces
Year Released: 1995
So Rogue One’s story is about a ragtag group stealing the Death Star plans. Well guess what? Dark Forces did that first, and only needed one badass protagonist: Kyle Katarn. Going beyond that plot point, Kyle Katarn also has to uncover a new Imperial plan involving newly-improved Storm Troopers that are part Terminator and part Gundam; all-challenging to fight if we do say so ourselves.
This was Star Wars’ answer to Doom and Wolfenstein back in the late 90s. And boy, it rocked everyone’s world with its great first-person shoot-em-up action, lovely level design that takes advantage of vertical spaces, and a rocking symphonic soundtrack that is as grandeur as the original films. Star Wars fans can relive the glory days either on Steam or on Good Old Games.
Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
Year Released: 2002
How does one make a great classic shooter like Dark Forces better? Simple: make it 3D and turn protagonist Kyle Katarn into a Jedi. The Jedi Knight series made every Star Wars fan dream come true: wield lightsabers and use Force powers to kick ass first-person style, while also using famous Star Wars weapons. Jedi Knight II blends in the great storytelling moments with lovely lightsaber and first-person action with a plethora of Dark Jedi bosses.
As if that wasn’t enough, multiplayer mode let you and a bunch of friends duke it out with Force powers as the norm way before Star Wars Battlefront made that concept a special powerup. You can buy this game on Good Old Games and on Steam.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Year Aired: 2009
Let’s face it: Episodes I to III aren’t as cracked up as they should be. Still, there were some good spin-offs, case in point the Star Wars: Clone Wars film and 3D TV series. The films fill up the gaps between Episode II and III, while the TV series expanded upon the lore and focuses on the trio of Obi Wan Kenobi, Anakin, and Jedi-in-training Ahsoka. There were just a lot of cool moments in the later seasons, like the return of Darth Maul and how Ahsoka came to be the Jedi she was.
Whether it’s in 2D or 3D, you can’t deny the love and care the Lucasfilm team gave to make this an enthralling kid’s show to watch and care about. Get the Season 1 to 5 boxset from online stores like Amazon if you can: they’re worth binging regardless of age.