Thursday, September 1, 2011

Maybe...Maybe It's A Joke? (Please Be A Joke)

Apparently, fans of Lando Calrissian are feeling really jilted that their favorite Star Wars character hasn't been included in Bioware's forthcoming MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic.

At a PAX last weekend a group from The Lando Society even showed up to protest the game's perceived lack. Club Jade has a short video up if you want to see what that kind of thing looks like.

Now. Let's just stop for a moment and reflect upon one fact, shall we?

Star Wars: The Old Republic is set about three and a half thousand years before the events of the original trilogy, in which Lando appears. I'll say that one more time, just to be clear: Three and a half thousand years.

Um, yeah.

Even in the Star Wars universe, that is a looooooooooooooooooooooooooong time, folks. Sure, some Jedi live for centuries, but not millennia. SWTOR follows from the events of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and its sequel. Neither of those even pretended to have Jedi from the original trilogy or prequels running around. Planets and cultures? Sure. But actual individuals? Nope. Heck, even R2-D2, who was around for all six movies and, as the EU would have it, well beyond that, doesn't make an appearance back in the days of the Old Republic. We have droids that are certainly a tribute to him, suggesting he comes from a long line of completely awesome astromechs. But I can't think of any actual character from the original trilogy or prequels who made an appearance in the Old Republic.

So where the heck is Lando supposed to fit in? Even family names, after such a long time, would have likely petered out, or would come from ancestors completely unrecognizable as being related to those characters we know and love. To just throw in a random Calrissian would seem to me (and to a lot of people, I suspect) like pandering. To actually somehow smush Lando into the game? That would be so much worse. Lucas might not be above that kind of behavior, but Bioware certainly is.

The important thing to remember about the folks at Bioware is that they are dedicated to the worlds that they create (or play in) and that most of the staff working on this game are fans. Trust me when I say that the odds are high that one of the developers is a huge fan of Lando and found some way to evoke his spirit in the game, subtle enough to not throw us out of the experience, but a nice payoff for fans nonetheless.

I can't tell from this group's site if they are actually serious about this. I mean, the story popped up on several sites I follow after it happened, so if they were trying to just bring attention to their group, they certainly succeeded. But I can't figure out what the level of expectation would be beyond that. Because seriously? The game comes out in December and is likely way too far along in development (if it is even still in actual development) to be adding new characters. The best they could be hoping for would be inclusion in an expansion pack down the road, I guess.

If Lando was my favorite Star Wars character? I'd be hoping for an NPC in the game (maybe even a companion) who seemed to have Lando's spirit or attitude, maybe some weapons and armor resembling his. Possibly even a mention of (or visit to) Cloud City. But anything more than that and it wouldn't be the Old Republic anymore, would it? Dear Lando Society: There is no "wibbly wobbly timey-wimey" in Star Wars. (Watch, now I'll stumble across an EU book that is all about time travel, won't I?)

Besides, if Lando was around during the Old Republic, he probably wouldn't be a good guy anyway. He'd be working for the Empire, and no one wants to see that, do they?


  1. any word from the house of valorum society?

  2. Not that I've heard as of yet. I hadn't realized that family was around in existing EU. I don't recall it from the games or the bits in that era I've read, but I know I definitely haven't read it all! There is so much out there.

    I guess it's too much to expect that with the Old Republic itself so resembling the original trilogy era despite the vast amount of time lapsed, we would get a realistic approach to genealogy. I've justified the stagnancy of the culture to myself though. Maybe that's just what the Lando Society is doing...