Random Campaign Idea: Marvel Star Wars

Sure, Star Wars campaigns have been common since 1977, with many a version of Traveller twisted to fit the first episode of Lucas’s space epic (or vice versa). Since the late 80s with the first (of 2-4 depending on how you count them) official Star Wars game, a ton of novels, the prequels, and expanded universe (which the original WEG version helped create) it’s hard to not see Star Wars as a fully developed setting with fairly known eras, places, and plots.

But as Space:1970 recently reminded me there is a cannon that you can build on that is mostly superseded. Marvel had a long running Star Wars comic. While the original Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back were both in the mainline of the series The Return of the Jedi was not, being relegated to its own miniseries. I’m not sure why, but given the dates I suspect it was simply a product of the comics industry at the time. Dark Horse has republished all these issues. That said, Wookiepedia reports the comics are marginal at best in terms of continuity. To me that spells opportunity.

So, the second Star Wars idea to make it to PtG,PtB (the first was my take on an old RPG.net thread) is to use this simpler Star Wars. Much like a Brian Daley oriented corporate sector game this would be more a classic space opera game set against the back drop of the first two movies (you know, the good ones). The cannon would be Star Wars, The Empire Strikes back, their novelizations, and the Marvel comic up to issue 80. For a system I’d hunt down the old WEG Star Wars (any edition) and the free version of D6 Space.

While not a campaign for the hard core Star Wars fan for a GM looking for an easily explained universe for space opera in either the heroic or scoundrel mode this is a fine background. Plus, the research: reading some cool if obscure comics and watching the best two Star Wars movies, would be great fun.

2 thoughts on “Random Campaign Idea: Marvel Star Wars

  1. I had the some of the initial run of the Star Wars comics and later had a subscription that included the The Empire Strikes Back. The “course correction” issue just before ESB was hilarious. (If for no other reason than they crammed it all into a single issue.) I liked it. If I recall correctly, the original edition of the WEG SW RPG included a number of elements from the comics.

    I’ve often been tempted to run a campaign that only treated the first two movies as canon.

    I’ve also been tempted to run a campaign inspired by SW yet different. Especially whenever I look at The Art of Star Wars and such and think about the different directions they could have gone. (Same thing with Star Trek too.)

  2. I had quit the comic before Empire came about so I missed that (truth be told I didn't regular read comics until the early 80s and that's a long story that starts with Champions).

    The first two movies as canon is also an interesting idea…actually, pretty close to what is here. After writing this I thought of adding the Han Solo trilogy and the Corporate Sector trilogy as well. Even Splinter of the Mind's Eye could be a fun addition.

    As for your inspired by Star Wars yet different there are lots of directions for that. Imagine one inspired by the list here but with just enough changed to not be Star Wars.

    One interesting element would to have had Vader succeed in eliminating the Jedi and then be executed by the (non-Sith) Emperor. The first movie and especially the prologue to its novelization gave the impression of an isolated Emperor whose governors ruled more in his name than by his direction. Rumors of Jedi, efforts to reach an isolated Emperor with the reality of the oppression in his name, and governors who alternately aid rebels fighting their rivals and hunting rebels who threaten them could be a wild ride.

    In fact, sounds like another random campaign idea.

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