Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Blog Carnival May 2014 What does Star Wars mean to you?

      The RPG Blog Alliance sponsors Blog Carnivals, where all of their members are encouraged to write a post on a particular topic, cross-post and discuss. Since I've recently joined RPGBA, I decided to jump right in an participate. 

General Tangent is hosting this month's carnival and his topic is:

What does Star Wars mean to you?

Well, that depends. The Trilogy or the Prequels?

      The Trilogy was part of my sci-fi upbringing, but not a big part. I only saw Return of the Jedi in the theater; it wasn't until later that I saw Star Wars and Empire on TV.

      I remember while watching Star Wars on TV once that I got out my Traveller books and started working up a much smaller galactic Empire that I could play in. My game group and I never used it. We played WEG's Star Wars rpg when it came out in 1987, but we didn't stick with it. I've still got the 2nd edition core rulebook up in my attic, but haven't touched it in a long time. The most memorable event in a Star Wars game was actually a quote lifted from Blake's 7. Our GM was trying to railroad us into a commando raid on this Imperial space station. My character, not the most heroic type, refused stating “No I'm not. I'm not expendable, I'm not stupid and I'm not going.” It kind of derailed the adventure, because the GM didn't know what to do.

      As far as my current gaming goes, I am now quite happily settled in my small-ship Classic Traveller universe, with no aliens and only rare psionic (aka “Force”) powers. My TU has an Empire (The Talaveran Empire) which is one of the competing Big Four powers in my setting, not the overwhelming powerhouse like Star Wars.

     I will NOT have anything relating to the Prequel Trilogy in any game I'm running, because I think the Prequel films were rubbish. Don't get me started on the whole “Episode 1” alternate titles either. A complete rant on that I'll save for another day. Let's leave it at I don't see anything unique to the Prequels that I'd want to add to my game setting.

      I know that Star Wars had an influence on Classic Traveller. Traveller was the biggest sci-fi RPG going during the time the Trilogy was in theaters, so lots of Traveller players watched and loved the movies. Book 5, High Guard, was clearly an attempt to bring the Star Wars sized big ships into the Traveller 'verse. I've played High Guard a lot, but never with Star Wars in mind. High Guard makes me think more of Honor Harrington or her source material Horatio Hornblower than Skywalker and Solo.

      To sum up, I enjoy the Star Wars Trilogy and recognize the films as a major landmark on the terrain of sci-fi. But my inspiration for Traveller has always been literary rather than visual. Give me Heinlein, Piper or Asimov over Lucas any day.


  1. Thank you for an excellent and enlightening post, which mentions several of my favourite SF references.

    Have you ever thought about using Traveller to model Blakes 7?

  2. Traveller IMHO is more Alien(s) or Firefly or Dune than Star Wars: the Damn Big Heroes are never larger-than-life; when imperial marines shoot at you, they usually hit and you probably die; convolved corporate and noble-house politics dominate rather than black vs. white morality.