Should the galaxy far, far away adopt the Multiverse approach? Max explores the possibility in Star Wars: The Old Republic
Star Wars: The Old Republic is an MMORPG game based on the ancient eras of Star Wars. Acting as a “sequel” to the legendary Knights of the Old Republic game duology; SWTOR expanded the universe faster than ever when it was released in 2010. You could play as Jedi or a Sith and choose many different destinies in this pseudo-open world platform.
SWTOR was heavily advertised during the teens with tons of accompanying books and “game trailers”, self-contained stories promoting the game with hyper-realistic animation akin to watching a movie or TV show. SWTOR’s storyline was quite extensive, and it received tons and tons of updates for the first 4 years. Then in 2014, Disney (which had acquired Star Wars in late 2012) wiped the slate clean. And SWTOR became non-canon or designated Legends, like the majority of non-main movie Star Wars material.
LEGENDS LIVE ON
It is 2022 (as of this writing) and to my utter amazement, even though everything has shifted to Disney Canon, SWTOR still stubbornly clings to life. Releasing new content and confusing many fans like me who don’t know why it is still active. On February 15, 2022, a trailer was released for a new expansion, Legacy of the Sith. I watched it and found it to be quite good. Yet due to my obsessive nature, I am completely bugged by the fact that the Legends storyline is still being fleshed out. 8 years after Disney rebooted. When will it end? Some of the other expansions even had the gall to “borrow” new canon elements like mentions of Elder-Esperion’s and cross-guard lightsabers.
I remember reaching out to the Lucasfilm Story Group and they just told me to “ignore” SWTOR. Yet I am finding it very odd that it still going strong almost a decade after it was deemed to not be part of the storyline.
Is there a conspiracy worthy of the Kaminoans going on here? Many fans expressed outrage over ‘The Great Legends Purge’ and die-hard fans worshipped Legends’ materials to the point where they liked it better than the Prequel Trilogy! I have accepted the switch as I feel it is the direction Star Wars should go in. But for every one of me, there exists a hundred angry fanboys and girls who want Legends back. Maybe Disney is listening to them and has a plan.
Disney also acquired Marvel and with the new Spider-Man movie and Loki streaming series, Disney has officially established the Marvel multiverse. For those of you not familiar with the term, a multiverse is a seemingly infinite number of universes existing together on a parallel plane. And in the scientific community, it is known as the Many Worlds Theory and is considered to be something that may be possible in the real world. This universe we inhabit may just be one of the quadrillions, and each universe may be very similar to ours and/or drastically different to the point of absurdity. There is no limit on how different a universe can be, and if it is being done for Marvel, why can’t it be done for Star Wars?
It is very easy to introduce multiverses to Sci-fi franchises as it is something explored in most modern media. By establishing a multiverse, Disney gives the fans the best of both worlds (no pun intended) in allowing them to re-canonize Legends as “canon.” But just in a different separate reality. SWTOR could have been the history of another universe, and the Canon-verse does not need to have it included. Yet, there are many reasons I feel that a multiverse is a big mistake for Star Wars. Here are some of the reasons.
Star Wars has always been its own entity and copying Marvel just to settle arguments is not a great way to handle such a beloved and well-organized franchise. The concept of the Force is that everything happens for a reason (it is the will of the Force!) In creating a multiverse, this almost negates the power of the Force by making it not matter. There are tons of realities to choose from. Making the important actions of certain characters not as essential as they should be. In a world where some Luke Skywalker’s embraced the light, and some embraced the dark, it becomes minutia to care about his great emotional progress.
In Star Trek, the universe had one other parallel universe called the Mirrorverse. And while only two is much better than infinity, having two universes that can interact with each other would be a complete disaster for Star Wars. If proven, megalomaniacs like Emperor Palpatine would strive to invade the other universe and take over that as well. More sentients would die because it is likely the Imperial scientists could easily find a way to get to the other universe through wormholes or something. If Canon 35 ABY Luke met Legends 35 ABY Luke, it would be quite a mind-freak as both Luke’s experienced VAST different lives. And it would raise so many questions and resulting problems.
A CONFUSED GALAXY?
You could always have the universes interact, but this is Star Wars and anything is possible down the road. Fans would continue to be confused over which reality is the one that matters, and what they should be following. I am probably jumping the blaster here a little bit with my paranoia as it looks highly unlikely that this is the direction Disney is going. Especially since they spent so much time and effort getting rid of Legends and pressing the reset button. Also, the current Star Wars literature has completely failed to muse about the existence of other realities. Even in passing and usually, Star Wars likes to set up these things. Yet, the presence of SWTOR is an anomaly.
And while normal people can just say it is still around so Disney can make money; it is a splinter in the mind’s eye of super-fans like myself. Who doesn’t have any clue on what is going on? I hope Star Wars adheres to the doctrine that there is only one universe. And everything is of the universe. If scientists prove the existence of more than one universe in the 2030s or ’40s, so be it. But for now, Star Wars should just have one, connected, meaningful storyline.
Do you think Star Wars will branch out into a multiverse? Leave a comment in the section below. I would love to hear your thoughts!
Source: EA Star Wars
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Max Nocerino is a regular Staff Writer for The Future of the Force. He is a passionate Star Wars fan and loves the literature of the galaxy far, far away. Follow him on Twitter where he shares his love of the Force frequently!