Monday, October 25, 2010

Fair Game

I am a huge Star Wars fan. I know. This may come as a surprise. While this began with the original movie trilogy, my love for the setting has branched off into various aspects of the Expanded Universe. In fact, I would classify myself as something of an 'expert' on a lot of Star Wars trivia (though I am admittedly lacking on many of the more recent novels). But even though I know quite a bit about Star Wars 'canon', I would not (in any way, shape or form) call myself a 'stickler'—especially when it comes to the Expanded Universe. Nope. To me, anything NOT shown in the Original or Prequel trilogies is Fair Game to use, alter or omit as I see fit.

To some folks I'm sure this would be a big no-no. But having grown up with the movies I feel a strange sense of entitlement. Especially when you consider the length of time in which the saga was just...dormant. From 1983 to 1991 there was pretty much nothing 'official'- unless you count the D6 game which began in 1987. And even that, as an RPG, was at least partially malleable to a GMs particular campaign. So quite simply, by the time the Expanded Universe really took off I had already developed my own 'Expanded Universe'. And you know what? I still like it a lot more than most of the 'official' stuff that came later. Simply speaking— I feel that my own concepts of the universe are just as valid as other folks'.

So in gaming terms, what does this mean? Well, it means that anything you don't see in the movies— and anything outside the movies that doesn't specifically contradict what you SEE in the movies— is fair game for me to do with as I please. In fact, for any Star Wars gaming group I would suggest the same. To do otherwise (for me at least) would be to to live within so many 'constraints' as to make the setting unplayable. I would say the same thing about any setting that becomes 'over canonized'.

Battletech, for instance, was an awesome setting until EVERY single battle became set down in writing. For a 'wargame' that meant you couldn't really determine the course of the war through playing. It was already set in stone— in fact, they published books detailing how just about every single battle in the wars played out. You could say the same thing about the Star Wars movies- that you know the rebels will win in the end. But there are YEARS of adventure we don't even see (like the 3 years between Episode IV and V and the 20 years between Episode III and IV). Plus you have the entire era AFTER Return of the Jedi to play with.

But anyway, before I ramble further...I'm stating my personal preference here, and I've probably said it before. Make Star Wars yours. I have set the movies as my only 'canon' (and even then, I've made some exceptions for midichlorians- stupid). Find what works for you and the rest is all fair game (though I get the feeling a lot of them are already).

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