When Disney announced that EA had won the exclusive rights to make Star Wars video games for the foreseeable future, it created a vast disruption, as if a bunch of folks immediately yelled out in fear and were quickly quieted, or something like that. But EA’s executives want to reassure fans who are concerned that the studio will strip-mine Star Wars for a quick buck. So this week, EA’s chief financial officer took the unusual step of announcing games that his company definitely won’t make—namely, tie-in games based directly on the films. “We’ve done movie games over the years, and we wanted to make sure that we weren’t doing a movie game—i.e., a game based on the movie,” EA CFO Blake Jorgensen said at an investor briefing. It’s a new Prime Directive for the company, so to speak, one that respectfully treats the new films as the One True Rings that they undoubtedly will be.
EA made the announcement because game adaptations of films are almost always terrible. But as it happens, the Super Star Wars platformers for the Super NES were among the exceptions to that rule. Released in the early 1990s—a relatively quiet point in our culture’s eternal Star Wars frenzy—the games take liberties with the plot of the original-trilogy movies, but they do capture the series’ thrilling kinetic energy. It’s a delight to fight and move around in the Super Star Wars games; you could say they are a veritable TARDIS of fun. All three were re-released on the Wii’s Virtual Console in 2009, but there has been no word on any further revivals. So if your Super NES is no longer hooked up and your Wii is gathering dust under a couch somewhere, you’ll have to resort to other means (read: an emulator) to play these gems.