I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened. – Obi-Wan Kenobi
Something terrible has happened, Obi-Wan. Those cries are all the fanboys Wizards of the Coast disheartened when they announced they are not renewing their license for Star Wars. Once they release the next few books and miniature sets , there will be nothing new after the spring. This is the end of a deal that has been in place since the early 2000’s.
I’m a huge Star Wars fan, and I thought Wizards did an excellent job with their roleplaying game and their miniatures. It’s a shame to see it end. I think the roleplaying game is one of the most well produced series of books, even surpassing the quality of Wizard’s own D&D books. The miniatures game did more to stoke my love of gaming than any other game save Risk, so I find that news personally disappointing.
All things must come to an end however, and this reminds me of when third edition Dungeons and Dragons wrapped up. Players cried foul when 4E released, but I knew the old books hadn’t crumbled to dust. Looking back at my collection, I have enough books to keep playing D20 Star Wars forever (well, at least until they crumble to dust). By itself, the core book has enough material to recreate most of the action you have seen in the movies.
The supplements for Saga Edition have been amazing; I love my Clone Wars and KOTOR campaign guides. It’s sad that we won’t see more books like these, but Wizards has released over a dozen books already. The last source book, coming this spring, will be the Unknown Regions. Its going to cover new worlds and adventures. As a source book of planets, I think it finishes the last pillar of essential books that the game needed next to Starships of the Galaxy and Threats of the Galaxy. There will also be a new book focusing on the intrigue of Star Wars, and a book on droids recently released. With this in mind, its easy to consider that the game is simply finished. WOTC ignored few of Star War’s classic eras, and there isn’t much more equipment that they could make up wholesale. Perhaps Wizards hasn’t renewed the game because there isn’t anything left to do.
I have a massive collection of Star Wars miniatures, yet my collection is not nearly complete. I haven’t purchased a set in months because I just don’t play the game anymore. Considering that Wizards had put an end to their war game aspects of their D&D miniatures, I imagine there are not many people left playing Star Wars minis. Older sets of the Star Wars minis get discounted enough, so I imagine this news will began to make boosters even cheaper. It will be a great time to supplement your collection if you plan to continue playing the RPG.
Now that Wizards is done with Star Wars, who is going to pick up the license? With a successful animated series on Cartoon Network and a live action series in the works, the license isn’t a lame horse. West End Games is unlikely to be in a position to afford the license again, although they are out of debt now. Fantasy Flight just had a big roleplaying release with Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, or maybe some one like Green Ronin will find a good opportunity here. Now that WizKids is alive and kicking again, will we be seeing Star Wars Heroclix? It’s going to be a while until we see or hear anything new about Star Wars and tabletop games, but it’s always fun to speculate.