The 5 best Star Wars video game characters

The Star Wars Expanded Universe has “turned a new page,” revoking canon-status from the majority of the universe’s fiction. That includes most Star Wars video games. We may see remakes or revisits of certain games, but it’s possible we’ve seen the last of some memorable characters.

Here are five of the best Star Wars characters that will be greatly missed in future games:

StarWars_Nym

5. Nym (Star Wars: Starfighter, Jedi Starfighter)

Part of a long line of lovable Star Wars mercenaries, Nym was introduced in Star Wars: Starfighter. He led the Lok Revenants, a group of pirates, as they raided and eventually waged war with the Trade Federation. He was known for his theft and use of a prototype bomber he called the Havoc, which he used to destroy a major droid production facility on Eos.

He returned for Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter, which saw him continue the fight against the Trade Federation alongside Jedi Master Adi Gallia. In that game, he helped destroy a biological weapon called trihexalon and regained control of his base on the planet Lok, which had been overrun years before.

Nym was essentially Vin Diesel in an alien suit, and that contributed to his appeal. It’s unlikely we’ll see the character again, as he played a minor role in a lesser-known game series. But his gravelly voice, gruff demeanor and lovable group of pirates won’t be forgotten by the dedicated LucasArts gamer.

StarWars_DashRendar

4. Dash Rendar (Shadows of the Empire)

Another mercenary, Dash Rendar was the star of Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, the third top-selling N64 game for 1997. Rendar is a smuggler with a vendetta against Black Sun Syndicate head Prince Xizor, who was responsible for the death of Rendar’s older brother and his family’s exile.

Rendar played a key role in the Rebellion, helping to evacuate Hoth, hunt down Boba Fett and rescue Princess Leia. He was also instrumental in defeating Prince Xizor, another memorable character from the Expanded Universe. And he did it all at the helm of the Outrider, a heavily modified Corellian cruiser.

Anything sound familiar? Yes, Rendar is an obvious mirror for Han Solo, but it’s conceivable that more than one rugged smuggler aided the Rebel cause. And his history and characterization did enough to separate him as a memorable merc who will be missed.

StarWars_DeltaSquad

3. Delta Squad (Republic Commando)

In a universe saturated by Jedi and lightsaber combat, Star Wars: Republic Commando was unique among Star Wars video games. Its squad-based combat, first-person perspective and notable lack of Jedi separated it from its peers, as did Delta Squad members Boss, Scorch, Fixer and Sev.

The members of Delta Squad stuck out because  clone troopers had previously been just that – indistinguishable and bland. But Delta Squad had distinct personalities and an established camaraderie, which just made the game’s final act that much more meaningful.

Delta Squad showed us a grittier side of Star Wars – one that new installments to the series would do well to revisit. It’s probably best to put the prequel universe behind us for now, but it wasn’t all bad. Among desired Star Wars sequels, another Republic Commando comes in just behind a Battlefront one, which is a testament to the appeal of the Delta Squad.

StarWars_KyleKatarn

2. Kyle Katarn (Dark Forces, Dark Forces II, Jedi Outcast, Jedi Academy, etc.)

Kyle Katarn is the most prolific non-movie character in Star Wars video games. He thrived in the golden age of Star Wars video games before the start of LucasArts’ downfall.

A former Stormtrooper, Katarn began his Rebel career as (you guessed it) a mercenary. He helped sabotage the Dark Trooper Project and carried out several other covert missions before learning of his force sensitivity. He went on to become a leading Jedi Master behind Luke Skywalker in the New Jedi Order.

Katarn presented a new type of Jedi to gamers. The fact that he spent time as a mercenary and didn’t become a Jedi until late in life made him an interesting character in early Star Wars games. He was the prototype for the new Jedi Master that would populate the New Republic. His story has been told, so it’s doubtful he’s seen again, but he’ll live on in the many fantastic games in which he’s starred.

StarWars_Revan

1. Revan (Knights of the Old Republic)

Easily the most memorable character in Star Wars video games, Revan, the main character of Knights of the Old Republic, spends the entire game hunting a Dark Lord of the Sith only to learn – spoiler warning – that he was an even more powerful Sith who suffered from amnesia.

Beyond the shock factor of his reveal, Revan’s character posed a poignant philosophical question: if given the clean slate of a wiped memory, is a former Sith lord still evil?  The game leaves this question for the player to answer, although the canon version has Revan returning to the light side in a tale of redemption markedly more complex than Anakin Skywalker’s.

It wasn’t just a great Star Wars game – it was a great roleplaying game and rivaled the best of its time.  The character was revisited somewhat in The Old Republic, but if any Star Wars game deserves a sequel it’s Knights of the Old Republic. And while the twist of Revan will be hard to top, the character is certainly worthy of a next-gen revival.

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