Can you believe that Star Wars is over forty years old and is still as relevant as it was back in 1977? Scratch that. Star Wars is more important in the realm of media now more than ever. There are video games, movies, TV shows, comics, and so much more. Whether you're tired of it yet, or not, Star Wars is here to stay if Disney has anything to say about it. With Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Episode IX coming out this fall, I couldn't be any more excited to be a fan right now. Speaking of video games and how they relate to Star Wars, it is undeniable that a lot them have been influenced over the years. The most striking thing, as you'll see below, is the invention of the lightsaber.
As I will say more times than I can count below, no, Star Wars did not invent the concept of swords made out of energy, or light. It's hard to deny that they popularized the idea though. No one is going around wishing they could have a laser sword. No. They want the genuine deal: a lightsaber. That's the example I'll bring up a lot in my entries, but they all come from a place of love. I'm not really condemning these games for copying Star Wars in any regard. It is funny to point out though especially the more blatant ones. Without further ado, let's check out what video games “stole” from the ever-encompassing Star Wars franchise.
25 Balthier And Fran Are Han And Chewie
The Final Fantasy series is filled with references to Star Wars so it was hard to narrow it down to one game. Since I recently replayed Final Fantasy XII via the PS4 port last year, I decided to go with that one. I could say the Judges are reminiscent of Darth Vader, which they are, but the more egregious thing I want to talk about is Balthier and Fran. They are just stand-ins for Han Solo and Chewbacca, but in this case, Chewie is a bunny lady. I mean she lives in a tree village for crying out loud!
24 Everything About Mass Effect
BioWare made some of the best Star Wars games ever with Knights of the Old Republic. Because they lost the license, they sort of had to make their own Star Wars game since you could tell they weren’t through telling their space story. And thus Mass Effect was born. Truthfully it’s more like a combination of Star Trek with light touches of Star Wars, but that’s beside the point. It’s hard to nod to just one thing, but this example is obvious, right? Thankfully, copy or not, I can forgive it because that trilogy was awesome.
23 Destiny Sparrows Are Speeder Bikes
There are a couple of things you could say Destiny borrowed from Star Wars. Is the Traveler some kind of sentient form of Death Star? Who is to say? My real beef is with your trusty speeder bike, uh, I mean Sparrow. Whenever I play with my friends I always just call it a speeder bike because that’s what it is. A Sparrow is a dumb knock-off name. Get out of here with that Bungie. Embrace the homages and bring back the races while you are at it!
22 Gundam’s Beam Saber Is A Giant Lightsaber
Mobile Suit Gundam premiered in Japan on April 7, 1979. This was two years after Star Wars debuted in theaters and perfected the space opera epic. It also gave us the lightsaber. Now I could have picked any game based on the Gundam franchise, but I absolutely love this short-lived side series in the Dynasty Warriors series. You do a lot of destruction with “beam sabers” in them. They’re basically just giant lightsabers. You could also say the narrative tone from Gundam is influenced by Star Wars too. It may be forty years old, but that narrative still kicks behind.
21 Kingdom Hearts Uses The Force
Kingdom Hearts III was the first game Square Enix could have directly put Star Wars in since Disney now owns the property. Sadly not a single note was found. Prior to this, you could say the series drew heavily from Star Wars in some regard. The franchise is all about using your heart to the best of your abilities, but a heart is not a heart that beats in your chest. That is to say, the heart is like a metaphysical aura, or you know, a Force. Kingdom Force doesn’t have the same ring though does it?
20 No Man’s Sky Ships
When designing the ships in No Man’s Sky, you know the team had to have been drawing from Star Wars. Yes, the brightly colored worlds are more reminiscent of lame sci-fi novel covers from the 70s, but a lot of those ships look like X-Wings too as just one example. Speaking of, I would love to see an actual game in this genre. Can you imagine being a space explorer in the Star Wars galaxy? Now that sounds like a blast and a half.
19 Dead Space Brethren Moon Is The Death Star
Dead Space 3 is...a video game. I’m still at a loss for words on how to describe it because of the end boss. In case you didn’t know the series was about these parasites that come from religious artifacts and they mutate people into creepy monsters. So the final boss is, and I’m just going to say it bluntly, a moon. A moon that has been infected. You fight it. You fight a moon. Besides it being ridiculous, it struck me as being like the Death Star only a lot more unsettling.
18 Beat Sabers Are Lightsabers
I love rhythm games even though I am terrible at them. All except for Just Dance. I’m moderately okay with that series. Anyway, Beat Saber is like Rock Band wherein you follow a track and have to hit boxes in order to keep the flow of the music going. Instead of using an instrument you use two lightsabers, or beat sabers, ha. How can you deny that they look like them? It’s as clear as day and that’s okay with me. It’s an awesome game even if they may be infringing on Disney’s territory.
17 The Halos Are Like The Death Star
There are two things about the Halo series that you could point too as having big similarities with Star Wars. I could go off on the Energy Sword, but because of the shape being so different I’m going to lay off of it. No, the big issue is in the name. Halos are giant rings that were built by an ancient race and have the extreme power to destroy the galaxy if used correctly through a plague basically. Now that’s not how the Death Star works, but Bungie had to have some inspiration from Star Wars when designing the Halos.
16 Metal Gear Solid Clones And Evil Fathers
I could write a thesis paper on how much Metal Gear Solid has borrowed from Star Wars, but the main point I want to bring up today are the clones. Liquid, Solid, and Solidus are all clones from the respected legendary hero, Big Boss. Like Anakin, he was admired for being good and then he was labeled a traitor and took some bad pathways. In the end, he was redeemed and even had a touching moment, reunited with his son, er clone, Solid in Metal Gear Solid 4. That’s a Vader arc if ever I saw one.
15 No More Heroes' Beam Katana
Travis Touchdown, the star of No More Heroes, is a giant nerd that wants to end up with a lady. How does he plan to do that? He becomes an assassin, wielding the beam katana, which I shouldn’t even have to describe what it looks like. It’s a more interactive version of a lightsaber since in order to charge it up you have to shake it around. It’s, uh, very special. It is weird that the laser doesn’t cauterize wounds though like in Star Wars. I approve!
14 Super Smash Bros. Beam Sword
Yes, even Nintendo is guilty of copying other companies. Let’s talk about the beam sword, which is such a rip-off. You would think Nintendo would know where their limits are. They go after people for the dumbest things sometimes. Maybe it’s about time someone taught them a lesson, huh? Do I really mean that? Of course not. If Disney went after Nintendo for a dumb sword they would have to take everyone in. Again, Star Wars didn’t invent the lightsaber either. It merely perfected it.
13 Mega Man Zero’s Z-Saber
Okay yeah I know I’m bringing up lightsabers a lot, but for all intents and purposes that IS Star Wars. That is THE thing you want from Star Wars in real life: a lightsaber. Don’t lie to me and say something dumb like a BB-8 for a pet. Adorable? Yes, but there is no trumping a lightsaber. That’s why it appears so much in games and, in turn, why Zero was always the cooler character in the Mega Man X. Any chance to wield some sort of beam weapon in a game is a treat.
12 Anthem Bootleg AT-ATs
I have to give this entry a quick shout out to Giant Bomb. I didn’t think about this comparison until I listened to their podcast around the time of Anthem’s launch, but they described the transport walkers as Bootleg AT-ATs. Now I can’t look at those things without thinking about that joke. It’s so true! They are indeed a cheap imitation of an AT-AT except weaker because they can’t fight back. And boy do they fall down a lot. Those things need to be retooled.
11 Phantasy Star Online’s Saber
The lightsaber variant in Phantasy Star Online isn’t special. That is to say, you can start out the game with a basic one in your arsenal. That’s pretty awesome considering a lot of games make you work for the lightsaber equivalent. Sure it isn’t that powerful at the start, but you’ll eventually find better versions. Out of all these games, I think these laser swords, or Sabers, are as iconic as the weapons they are mimicking. That is to say in terms of video games they are spectacular.
10 Chrono Trigger Takes Biggs, Wedge, and Piett
Biggs and Wedge are huge names in Square Enix’s games. In the 90s they were almost referenced in every RPG like Final Fantasy III and Chrono Trigger. That game in particular also introduced Piett into the mix. In case you’re out of the loop Biggs Darklighter and Wedge Antilles are Rebel pilots and Admiral Piett is with the Empire. This one is more homage than anything else since that can really claim rights to a name. Although whenever I see my name crop up I get a weird feeling.
9 The Brotherhood Of Steel Look Like Stormtroopers
I must admit that this next one is kind of a stretch. That is to say, I’m sure the Power Armor that the Brotherhood of Steel wears is inspired by a lot of different sources. Throughout the series, they take on many appearances, but something about Fallout 3’s version looks suspiciously like a bulky variation on the Stormtrooper helmet. It’s the big black lenses around the eyes and mouth. Actually, now that I think about it, they look closer to the redesigns introduced in the new trilogy. Did Star Wars copy Fallout 3 instead?
8 Kirby 64’s Dark Star
This may just be a name conincidencee, but the final world in Kirby 64 is called the Dark Star. Death Star? Dark Star? See what I mean? What I will note is that this is a planet and not some technical spaceship globe thing. I’m probably right in my inclination that this is indeed just a coincidence, but Nintendo, as I brought up already, has been proven to borrow from Star Wars. Kirby and the Super Smash Bros. games were all started by the same guy, Masahiro Sakurai. Conspiracy theory formalizing...
7 Mother 3’s Claus Is A Rebel Jedi
How do I know intimate details about Mother 3 since it has never been released outside of Japan? Simple. I played an English rom hack because Nintendo seemingly refuses to localize it. Ahem, so the game follows Lucas who is trying to rescue his brother Claus who he later finds has been brainwashed and transformed into a cyborg. Does that outfit look like a Rebel suit and is that a lightsaber? It’s two rip-offs for the price of one! I guess you could call Claus’ transformation a bit Vader like as well.
6 Sonic’s Death Egg
You can dismiss a lot of my other entries as just coincidences, or tributes, but this, this is clearly plagiarism. In the Sonic the Hedgehog series, this Death Egg has appeared off and on since the 90s. It’s just the Death Star, but with Robotnik’s face on it. Come on! You could have tried a little harder with this one Sega. Death Egg is a little too on the nose too don’t you think? Even though it’s clearly taken, I can’t help but applaud their audacity.
5 Star Fox’s Arwing
Oh, look. It’s another Nintendo property under fire. I mean that quite literally too because this franchise is in dire need of resuscitation, but that story is for a different time. Anyway, the reference to Star Wars is as clear as day. Fox McCloud’s ship is an Arwing, which is just a replacement for an X-Wing really. There’s also an evil emperor threatening the galaxy. I guess you could even say the diverse cast of animal races is a reference, but that is a stretch admittedly.
4 Captain Blue Is Darth Vader
Viewtiful Joe, oh you poor poor franchise. When will we see you again? Ahem, so this one is more homage to something like Power Rangers than anything else, but the Darth Vader themes are strong too. Your idol, Captain Blue, turns out to be a villain. As a washed-up hero, he turned to the dark side. Imagine if Darth Vader put on a Power Rangers uniform and ate a lot of cheese. Space cheese. That is Captain Blue in a nutshell.
3 Too Much In Xenogears
Remember what I said about Square Enix? Well, they went a little too far with Xenogears. This is a prime example of paying too many tributes so much so that it starts to smell hacky. So Fei, the main character, gets literally frozen in Carbonite. His father has an alter ego much like Darth Vader and he follows an evil emperor. There are the Dunemen who are just Tusken Raiders with a different name. Do I need to go on?
2 Yo-kai Watch’s Master Nyada Is Yoda
Yo-kai Watch is an onion of rip-offs. First of all the game is like Pokémon, but with ghosts. There is one ghost, Master Nyada, who is a copy of a copy. He’s a wise old cat in a green robe with a wooden staff instructing you to “use the hose” when in need. If you watch the movie the English actor playing him sounds like Yogurt, the goof on Yoda in Spaceballs. It’s on the nose, or hose in this case, but it’s played for laughs so I dig it.
1 Samus Aran Is Boba Fett
I really don't understand why Boba Fett got so much love. He was cool in Empire Strikes Back, but he was terrible in Revenge of the Jedi. He bought the big one hard. He was like Mr. Magoo out there. What a terrible way to go out. In my mind, I don't think he was as big as his role was for fans. The whole space bounty hunter thing was a craze I could argue he started. Samus Aran from Metroid, in turn, could be a copy of that concept. She's a lot cooler though.