Star Wars is one of the most influential franchises in Western entertainment. It rakes in millions, probably billions, of dollars and captures countless fans through all forms of storytelling. After the release of the latest trilogy, which faced both valid criticism and the predictable misogyny, there’s been great concern about the harm done to the ‘precious’ brand. However, the beauty of Star Wars is that the transmedia storytelling gives everyone a different instalment to define the brand by.
My first ever exposure to that galaxy far, far away came in the form of a Playstation 2 game. In my childhood brain, Jar Jar Binks was everyone’s favourite character (he had a sick double jump) and the prequels were the Bible for Star Wars lore. The game itself was such an immersive experience and I remember sitting down for hours in that world, only pulling my eyes away from the screen when they started to ache. Having your childhood scored by John Williams is also pretty cool. One of my core memories is less pleasant. There were 59 playable characters, which felt like endless choice in 2005, and only two of them were recognisable women. Of course, I was happy to play as Yoda, Boba Fett or Mace Windu, using the force, flying, or swinging around a purple lightsaber. But, comparatively, it felt pretty pathetic to run around as delicate Padmé holding a lousy blaster. On the whole though, video games like Star Wars hold a fond place in my memory.
“I just wish Padmé had a lightsaber.”