After being infected with the nostalgia-fueled Star Wars euphoria that comes from seeing The Force Awakens, many former players have found themselves returning to the always open arms of Star Wars: The Old Republic. I’ve always had a soft spot for the alien worlds inhabited by gritty mobsters, soldiers incapable of aiming, and laser-sword wielding space-wizards in a certain galaxy far, far away, so the game’s recent pivot to focus more heavily on single player storytelling in its Knights of the Fallen Empire expansion was bound to pique my interest, and with the thrills of the movie still fresh in mind, I was in no position to resist the franchise’s allures.
Doing what any sensible Star Wars fan would do, I packed my bags, put on my best gentleman adventurer’s suit, and headed out to explore the brand new story in that oh-so familiar galaxy. For those of you still at home on Earth, here’s a few postcards from my vacation to Star Wars: The Old Republic.
A note on spoilers: while I have endeavored to keep this post as light and spoiler-free as possible, the text does include some allusions to minor events that may occur in the first nine chapters of Knights of the Fallen Empire. If you are the type of player who prefers to know absolutely nothing at all about a story before experiencing it, I’d suggest playing through the story before reading this post.
My journey in Star Wars: The Old Republic began with a trip to Coruscant, the sprawling ecumenopolis capital of the Old Republic. Though the beautiful rooftop garden vista shown on the postcard wouldn’t make you think it, the planet seems to have a serious crime problem, as nearly everywhere I went besides the senate plaza – a bit of a tourist trap if you ask me – seemed to be under the control of gangsters who roamed the streets openly. Frankly, I would have expected better from the planet’s security forces.
After being nearly mugged on Coruscant, I decided to vacation instead on the Sith Empire’s capital of Dromund Kaas. Now these people know how to run a city! I don’t know what they do to keep their criminals under control, but it seems to be working. I know the postcard doesn’t look like an ideal vacation spot, but something about the constant rain and total inability to ever see the sun through the heavy cloud cover makes me feel comfortable. I guess it’s because I live in Portland.
If anyone ever tells you to go to Ziost, walk away immediately! Everything they tell you is a lie. All of the pictures and information I found on the Holonet about the beautiful cities, great night life, and food scene was completely misleading. I came here expecting to find another great city like Dromund Kaas, and instead I just find this barren wasteland. I’ve been over the entire world, and I don’t think I saw a single living thing! Don’t believe the hype. Wish you were, if only because then I wouldn’t be so totally alone while waiting for transport off this rock.
Travel in Star Wars: The Old Republic seems to be a risky business. After leaving Ziost, I booked a room aboard an Imperial battlecruiser I found listed on SpaceBNB (everyone has to make ends meet, I guess) and we actually managed to run into something. In space. You know, the biggest, emptiest place imaginable. I can’t be sure what this is, but I heard blaster fire coming from the hallway nearby shortly after we collided. With any luck, it was the pilot that that managed to run us into this thing getting what he deserved. What a nightmare.
I ended up journeying to the planet of Zakuul, the home of the Eternal Empire, a faction which only recently arrived on the galactic scene in Star Wars: The Old Republic’s most recent expansion. Now at first, I was a little unsure that going here was a good idea, after all, these people did invade and occupy most of Republic and Imperial space. That said, after getting a glimpse of how they live, maybe the Republic and Empire should just let them take over? Things seem pretty good here. I mean really, their worst sin seems to be their art deco style, which, coupled with their authoritarian attempt at a utopian society, does make them seem a little unnecessarily similar to a certain Bioshock game. But hey, there are worse things to be reminded of.
Zakuulan infrastructure seems to be powered primarily by these fusion generators that can be seen from all around the city. I originally thought these were a fantastic and beautiful display of Zakuulan society’s power – they’ve literally harnessed the power of miniature suns! -, but I had the poor timing of being on the planet when some terrorists blew one up! Apparently this is almost unprecedented, but after the serious damage the failing generator inflicted, I can’t help but wonder if these aren’t the safest form of power. I suppose everything comes with its risks, and the benefits do seem to be enormous. You wouldn’t believe how high these towers are built – I’d swear they make it all the way into space! I’ll try to get a better shot of them when I leave the planet.
Just outside of Zakuul’s metropolitan area lies the planet’s so called Endless Swamp. To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure why I came here. What did I expect? It’s a swamp. I doubt it’s endless, but given how boring swamps are, they probably call it that because no one’s been able to find the motivation to actually see how far it goes. I actually bought myself a second copy of this postcard to keep, because if I don’t have something to remember this desolate place by, I’ll probably forget visiting it entirely. On second thought, maybe that wouldn’t be so bad.
I hitched a ride off Zakuul with some folks I ran into in the swamp aboard this rusty old ship they had parked there. The thing looks like it hasn’t been flown in years, but they somehow managed to get it off world. The postcard is from Odessen, which is quite easily one of the most beautiful planets I’ve ever visited. It’s a shame these people won’t let me leave their base here. It seems they’re forming some sort of rag-tag resistance against the Zakuul. They wanted me to sign up, but like I said earlier, it seems like Zakuul is doing much better than the Republic or Empire ever did, so I can’t really see the point. I hope they at least let the Zakuul take care of the crime situation on Coruscant before they drive them out.
At the end of my journey through Star Wars: The Old Republic, I decided to visit Tatooine, as no Star Wars vacation is complete without visiting the iconic desert planet. What you see here is the remains of a once proud Zakuulan shield generator, apparently meant to protect a star fortress they have in orbit around the planet; and when I say once proud, what I really mean was, like, 30 seconds before this picture was taken. Apparently the resistance made it to the planet before me, and they rudely ruined my shot by blowing the place up. I promise it was really pretty at the time.
Related: MMO, MMORPG, Postcards, Screenshots, Star Wars, Star Wars The Old Republic