|Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire. Not pictured -- DASH RENDAR|
And so many more!
It seems that each generation is treated to a host of new opportunities to experience the Star Wars magic. If you grew up in the 1970's or 80's, you had the films (not to mention the Life Day propaganda holiday special), but if you grew up in the 90's you had Star Wars collectible cards, Star Wars re-releases, and most vitally, a host of memorable Star Wars video games.
Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire was an early example of the N64's console gaming capabilities. It also expanded this beloved franchise, and in so doing, allowed even more room for eager young minds to be influenced by the wisdom of the Jedis / the coolness of bounty hunters.
1.) Archetypes are archetypes.
Pictured: DASH GOD DAMN RENDAR
Han Solo is a straight-up wild card. He makes the galaxy a little more interesting. He forces the other characters to laugh, to cry, to scream at God in Wookiee-speak. So the fact that Shadows of the Empire is set mainly during the period where Han Solo is encased in carbonite poses kind of a problem, I mean, who wants to play a Star Wars game without some kind of cocky, off-beat human element to give the thing some range-
Enter Dash Rendar, your player character! He's a rugged, sassy rogue with a blaster and a cool ship! And don't worry, he'll get out of your hair once Han is back!
2.) Unleash the beast.
Too awesome not to watch.
However the player can choose to suspend his or her suspension of disbelief for long enough to realize that while Dash is probably in a hurry to escape, he probably has a little time, at least, to do some social experiments on wampas.
The rebels have imprisoned several wampas, probably to test wookiee shampoo on or something. In any case, Dash can take a minute (or several minutes) out of his desperate rush for freedom to let the wampas out of their cages and watch them battle imperial forces, fight each other, just walk around, whatever. A possibility that entertaining, it doesn't matter what you're in the middle of -- you have to see where it leads.
3.) Even dead ends can be worthwhile.
Rendar fails to recapture Han Solo's frozen body. He is almost killed. He decides to pursue an entirely different avenue of investigation involving a big green crimelord guy. So was this whole part of the game kind of just a waste of time?
DID YOU HEAR WHAT WE SAID ABOUT THE JETPACK BATTLE
4.) A good story can be embellished...
If you play some John Williams over this we just might cry.
The foundation of Star Wars has so much of that universal flavor of fantasy and heroism to it that it's no wonder new generations flock to it just as their parents did. It's difficult to imagine a time when kids don't think of Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker as some of their elementary symbols for evil and good, and it seems LucasArts has no intention of slowing down -- at least not on the video game end. Shadows of the Empire takes the franchise and extends its lore -- and why not? When a saga emerges that taps the imaginations of so many with such potency, that impact is worth tending to, worth sharing, worth preserving. And as long as we have space to imagine, we have space to add new battles, new adventures, new stories to this galaxy far, far away that we've come to love so dearly.
5.) ... to a point.
This might make us cry for different reasons.