Filing the serial numbers off Star Wars has long been a pastime I’ve looked down upon, but a few things happened to change my mind.
Star Wars Filled Up
I will always love this venerable setting, but as far as a background for TTRPGs goes, Star Wars goes through a lot of peaks and valleys with how expansive it feels. The Mandalorian drops and suddenly the Outer Rim is full of possibilities again, but because Star Wars exists to make money, not to necessarily provide a background for gaming, the plotlines start looping back around towards all the stuff they’ve established and Star Wars once again feels constrained.
At the same time, it’s always expanding, and it can become onerous to sit down with a gaming group and hash out exactly what flavor of Star Wars this particular game needs. Currently, it feels easier to use Star Wars as a touchstone without inhabiting the specific setting.
Spelljammer’s Back, Baby
Several years ago I wrote about D&D in Space, and with Spelljammer back in the ttrpg zeitgeist I was reminded that spaceships and blasters fit just fine in fantasy games. In fact, I prefer a good Krull or He-Man to Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings.
My Kids Like Guardians of the Galaxy Better
I can’t really argue against that. “Space MCU” is rad, wide-open and permissive, and more importantly it feels like there are far more stories to tell in a setting like that than Star Wars itself, which never strays that far from the Skywalkers.
Plus you can play a talking animal or even fly a spelljammer and nobody’s going to bat an eyestalk.
So yeah, let’s go plasma shotgun a beholder for the bounty on it, hop in our spaceship, and plot a course for the dark side of the Vampire Moon.