For those of you who haven’t heard, Wizards of the Coast officially announced that they would not be renewing their Star Wars license with Lucas Arts when it runs out this May. This gives them one more major release for both of their Star Wars lines: Champions of the Force for the Star Wars Miniatures line and The Unknown Regions for the Star Wars Saga Edition line.
While I’m sad to have heard the official announcement, it really doesn’t come as a surprise to me. We’ve had lack of official word for months now, despite numerous questions, and no announcements in the product catalogue after April, they had done nothing to quell the rumor mill that had started, and that had gotten me worried.
However, I have to say, that I can’t be too disappointed to see the Saga Edition line end. The game will have had a three year development cycle by the time the license runs out in May (it was originally released in May, 2007). We will have a total of 15 products by the time The Unknown Regions is released and we’ve watched the game mature into a very well rounded, very robust tabletop engine. It’s about time that it ends it’s natural development cycle. If it had gone any longer, I fear it would have gone the way of Dungeons and Dragons 3.5, which started to become bloated towards the end of it’s development cycle, and really started having the rules rewritten out of necessity with each release towards the end so the game wouldn’t simply collapse under the sheer weight of the rules.
I’ve been playing Star Wars since the WEG days. In fact, it was the first roleplaying game that I even played, and opened the door to Dungeons and Dragons when I was a little older. I didn’t play much of the OCR/RCR days, at least not rules as written, but I ran a few sessions there, quickly converting everything back to the WEG rules a few sessions in. When they released the Saga Edition rules, it was a godsend. I never was a fan of the original d20 rules, and WEG just got clunky after a certain power level, so this was a wonderful thing. I played and ran a little Saga and then kind of fell out of it when I moved away from my regular gaming group.
Then last year I discovered the Order 66 Podcast, which kick-started my interested in the system once again. As soon as I found the cast, and found out about their community, I immediately signed up, and it has been one of the best decisions of my life. Through this site, and by extension, this game, I have met some amazing people who I would have never gotten to know. I’ve been able to flex my gaming muscles and really begin to understand a system at it’s most basic level, restarting my desire to become a game designer. I’ve become Facebook friends with several of the game designers, and been able to rub virtual elbows with celebrities the likes of Sam Witwer.
Though this isn’t the death of Saga Edition. Not by a long shot. Already, those of us over at the d20 Radio Forums are already mobilizing to fill in the holes that they seemed to have missed. And I for certain won’t be stopping running this game or posting on this blog (which I’ll get caught up on here now that I’m over the migraine I had for about a day and a half). Saga Edition will continue to live on through the adventures and characters of all the GMs and players who have ever watched the Star Wars movies or read a Star Wars book and had their imaginations run away with them.
So a big round of applause to Rodney and Co. for creating a game that is definitely going to be one that stands the test of time. Bravo Rodney, Sterling, both Garys, Patrick, and Jonathon, and good luck in whatever other pursuits you find yourselves in in the future. Clear skies, my friends, and may the Force be with you all.