Why Star Wars Galaxies Was The Ultimate Sci-Fi MMO

ByJose A. York

Feb 2, 2022

As the first MMO based on the expansive and much-loved world of star wars, Star Wars Galaxies not only paved the way for several franchise games to follow, but also helped set the blueprint for what a successful sci-fi MMO looked like. First announced in 2000, Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided was released in 2003 to critical acclaim. It allowed gamers and fans of the series to familiarize themselves with the world of star warsand let them explore planets, races, and professions that were just glimpsed or mentioned in the movies, or only existed in previous movies. star wars expanded universe.

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Unfortunately, after almost a decade, the servers of Star Wars Galaxies were discontinued in 2011, as the game faced an expiring license and the slow rollout of Star Wars: The Old Republic. Star Wars Galaxies faced controversy after its last update in 2005, which left players with the impression that the game had been oversimplified and overhauled beyond recognition and led to refund requests within days after purchasing the latest extension. Despite a slightly sour note towards the end of the game’s life, there is no doubt that Star Wars Galaxies was fundamental to the titles that followed, both in and out of the star wars series.


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The best features of the Star Wars galaxies


Developed by Sony Online Entertainment and published by LucasArts, Star Wars Galaxies took place after the destruction of the Death Star in Episode 4: A New Hope, but before the events of Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back. This gave players a chance to explore the galaxy at a key time in the star wars canon, as well as one of the movies’ most iconic and popular moments. Star Wars Galaxies has perfected the mix between the familiar and the new, allowing players to explore fan-favorite locations like Tatooine and Mos Eisley, as well as branch out into brand-new environments like Corellia and Doaba Guerfel.


As well as the mixture between the old and the new for Star Wars Galaxies‘, the game featured a host of races that players could use in character creation. While star wars has always been a world brimming with a myriad of creatively designed and memorable aliens, movies and games have always had a more human, Jedi-focused arc.

While that’s not necessarily a negative, it’s when games follow a wider variety of characterizations and storytelling that they really play to their strengths. Star Wars Galaxies let players choose between Human, Twi’lek, Wookie, Zabrak, Rodian, Trandoshan, Bothan, Mon Calamari, Sullustan, and Ithorian as the player’s race – a brilliantly diverse grouping that added to the game’s appeal.


For an MMO to thrive, it must offer players a lot. Not just in terms of activities or modes, but also in the nuanced and well-thought-out ways to create the characters and really make them their own. In addition to the variety of races, Star Wars Galaxies offered nine professions, from bounty hunters to artists, with further subdivisions and optional sub-professions like Pilot. This tiered system gave players many creative ways to fully develop their characters, and while some considered it a bit too complex, it’s still an important aspect of any MMORPG.

Star Wars Galaxies provided a depth the movies had barely scratched the surface of and a level of interactivity with the popular franchise that was previously unheard of. It was ambitious, expansive, and community-driven – like any good MMO should be. There were complex social systems in place, player-generated economies and narratives, and at times a thriving and invested playerbase.


What Star Wars Galaxies suffered from persistent balance issues with a forced focus on Jedi elements, and what caused players to abandon the previously nuanced community dynamic was a lack of quest and story content. It lacked the overarching focus that titles like Destiny 2 Where Star Wars: The Old Republic would farm, and that turned out to be its downfall when other MMOs took over. That being said, Star Wars Galaxies provided the building blocks of later MMOs with its creativity, scope, and commitment to giving players freedom in the world.

A model for sci-fi MMOs


EVE online

Although Star Wars Galaxies wasn’t without its flaws, it still managed to create an environment that was immersive and almost entirely player-driven – something that serves an MMO well if it can get it right. With titles like EVE online adopting a similar model, it shows how player-focused content can sometimes be the best thing about a game. Star Wars Galaxies was at its best, it gave players the freedom to completely create and drive its multi-faceted economy. With its array of professions, skills, and player options, Star Wars Galaxies was an example of how future sci-fi MMOs could leverage their own class systems and economies.


With sci-fi settings, giving players multiple planets to explore and plenty of ways to navigate them is a great way to keep them invested and keep the world from feeling stale. With Star Wars Galaxies‘ first expansion, Jump to Lightspeed, the developers added explorable space sections for each home planet, expanding players’ horizons. With a combination of playable and non-playable ships, Star Wars Galaxies gave players the chance to take off and indulge in a full sci-fi experience. Space combat also presented a change of pace for players, with customizable ships and the ability to walk around inside the ship once the pilot profession has been mastered.

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The Resurgence of Star Wars Galaxies


Star Wars Galaxies gameplay screenshot

the original Star Wars Galaxies may have shut down its servers in 2011, but fans of the game didn’t let it die. The sci-fi MMO has spawned community-created rogue servers like Star Wars Galaxies: Legendswhich lets the game live in an adapted form thanks to a source code leak in 2013.Star Wars Galaxies has even had a recent resurgence, as a free-to-play fan-made project to bring back the popular MMO called Star Wars Galaxies Restoration 3. The development team promised to bring back more classic gameplay elements from the original title and said that 2022 should be a promising year for the game. Star Wars Galaxies emulation.


Star Wars Galaxies stopped subscribing since 2011.

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