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Outlaws Confirms Video Games Exist In The Universe


A screenshot shows an arcade machine in Star Wars.

Screenshot: Ubisoft / Lucasfilm / Kotaku

Ubisoft says Star Wars Outlaws is the first open-world video game based on the popular sci-fi franchise. But it also offers another first: In a new trailer for Outlaws that debuted at Ubisoft Forward 2024, we see our first canonical example of an in-universe video game in Star Wars.

Star Wars Outlaws was first shown by Ubisoft in 2023. The open-world action game stars scoundrel Kay Vess and her sexy robot friend ND-5 as they try to put together a crew for a large heist while also dodging the Empire and working with criminal syndicates to make some credits. The game is set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, during a time when the Galactic Empire is at its strongest and most spread out. But who cares about all that? What I want to discuss is the big reveal that arcade games exist in the Star Wars universe.

The history of video games in Star Wars

It’s weird to think about, but even though there have been hundreds of Star Wars games released over the last few decades, we’ve never seen a canonical depiction of a video game in the universe itself.

The Wookieepedia entry for “in-universe video games” is incredibly short and small. In a franchise where “Ducks” have a few paragraphs and pictures in their wiki entry, it stands out that games are so underrepresented in the universe.

Technically, video games were mentioned once in Legends (the old canon from before Disney bought the franchise), in the 1993 Choose Your Own Adventure novel “Jedi Dawn.” They later showed up in two non-canon books for kids. And…that’s it. I guess you could say Dejarik, aka the holo-chess game seen in the Milennium Falcon is sort of a video game, but I consider that more an electronic tabletop thing. I don’t care if you use an iPad when you play Dungeons & Dragons, it’s not a video game.

Gif: Ubisoft / Lucasfilm / Kotaku

So that means that the arcade machine we saw in the Star Wars Outlaws gameplay video on June 10 is the first canonical depiction of a video game on screen in the franchise’s nearly 50-year history. That’s pretty wizard!

In a different video, Ubisoft says the arcade machine we see in Outlaws is Raven 6 and the devs described it as “a space shooter” that Kay Vess has played “for years.” Even more exciting, Ubisoft says you’ll be able to find other arcade games around the galaxy and they are all playable, too.

And…wait. Oh, no. Now I’m realizing that if video games exist in Star Wars, that probably means annoying chuds who take them too seriously probably exist as well. Oh no. Star Wars contains gamers. Fuck. Shit. Welp, we had a good run, everyone.

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