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How did you get into Star Wars?
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Mikael Hasselstein
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 5:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was exposed to it back asswards - through the toys. My parents were (and are) no fans of sci-fi. However, I'm not sure how, but when I was four years old (1979 or 1980) I somehow wound up with the Kenner Luke Skywalker X-Wing pilot and R2-D2 action figures. But I had no idea what they represented.

They were given to me at about the time that my mother and I (leaving my dad) moved to the Netherlands.

A few years later my mother and I went on a road trip through southern England. We stayed at a B&B where the son of the B&B-keeper had this amazing collection of toys which looked a lot like my action figures. (Honestly, I thought that R2-D2 was a bizarre form of cannon).

It wasn't until I moved back to the United States in '84 that my young aunt and uncle (who were in their young 20s at that point) got a hold of me and in order to spoil me bought a bunch of the toys (partially so they could play with them themselves). At some point I was put in front of a television on which ANH was playing. It was at that point that things started to make a lot more sense to me.

Not having VHS or anything, my only avenue to learn more was through books available here and there, or from the school library. I once even found a stack of newspapers with color-printed front-page stories of Star Wars somewhere in the woods. It wasn't until later still that I was able to watch RotJ on VHS at a friend's house, and I don't know how long it took for me to see ESB for the first time.

In all, I blame my parents, and will never forgive* them for the perverse way in which I had to be exposed to one of the greatest stories of all time. They just don't get it.

*not that this is a major thing.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 1:28 pm    Post subject: Re: How Whill got into Star Wars Reply with quote

Whill wrote:
I am a child of the early 70s, born to a father who loved watching movies. Action, adventure, historical, horror, comedy - probably about anything except straight-out "chick flicks". In the late 70s, we still didn't have home video or even cable TV. Besides whatever movies that were broadcast on the three TV channels we had, my dad went to the theater whenever he could. He had no qualms about going to movies by himself and did so. He also had no qualms about going to the theater for half a movie until he had to go to work, and then going back to the theater with his ticket stub another day and talking the manager into letting him back into the same movie without paying for a second ticket, to finish watching it where he had left off. But on occasion he would take the family to the theater for family-suitable films. Those were always special occasions to me.

In 1977, my dad, brother and I all wanted to see Star Wars (what A New Hope was known as in those days). My mom had no interest in it because it has "space" in it (She is biased against sci-fi after going on a bad date with a guy to see 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968). When Star Wars came to our local theater, the three of us guys went to see it. The theater wasn't quite packed to capacity, but it was mostly full.

We were all completely enthralled with the opening sequence, and I remember hearing whoas, oohs and ahs from the surrounding audience showing how much we were all just blown away. When the droids walked through the blaster shoot-out unscathed, the entire audience erupted into laughter like it was the funniest thing we had ever seen. Then all sound from the audience was suddenly extinguished as Darth Vader came aboard the Rebel vessel. At that moment, I became completely oblivious to my dad, brother and the surrounding audience. The theater faded away and I was magically transported to this far away time and galaxy...

...As Obi-Wan's voice was heard guiding Luke in the final battle, I felt like I was the ghost floating in Luke's X-Wing cockpit... No! Luke's friend from back home is blown up! Death Star in range in 30 seconds. Use the Force, Luke. So many Rebels had been shot down, and Red Leader couldn't make the shot with the targeting computer, but I know Luke can if he can only get to the thermal exhaust port in time before Vader gets him. Oh no! Vader blasts Artoo! Luke is totally alone. The Death Star has cleared the planet! Vader has a target lock! What?! Vader's starboard wingman is blasted! Han came back! Yahoo!! Vader's other wingman veers out of control into Vader which causes him to spin out of the trench! You're all clear, kid! Now let's blow this thing and go home! Luke lets the torpedoes go and releases his held breath. They find their mark. Get out of there!! Death Star goes BOOOOM!!!! Great shot, kid! That was one in a million! The Force will be with you, always. Vader gains control and flies away. Artoo gets fixed, and the Rebels have a celebration ceremony to give Luke and Han awards...

As the Rebels begin to applause, suddenly I am transported back to the theater as my dad, brother and the entire audience is also standing up and applauding with the Rebels... The standing ovation continued into the end credits, and then we walked out of the theater and back to the car, humming the score. On the way home we all said we liked it but were mostly quiet, slowly shaking off the aftershock daze of the most unique and fantastic experience.

When we got home, my brother and I started to be kids again, and commenced running around the house as if we were Han and Luke blasting stormtroopers back on the Death Star. I barely heard my mom complain that it was past our bedtime, and my dad said, "Honey, we're going to have to just let them run around for a while. We just had the greatest adventure of our lives."

THAT is how I originally got into Star Wars! I've become something of a movie fanatic myself, and I have never had a cinematic experience anything like seeing the original Star Wars. Best climax and best overall film of all time! Still to this day, I can't even listen the end of "The Battle of Yavin" on the musical soundtrack without tearing up because it always takes me back the first magical time I saw Star Wars in the theater as a child.

We had some action figures, and some other Star Wars items/media. I remember live-action cops-and-robbers-type role playing Star Wars with my friends in the neighborhood in which we created our own Star Wars stories that were decidedly set in an alternate reality of the film(s). My dad took my brother and me to see the two sequel films in the theater in 80 and 83 (also only seeing them once each). After seeing RotJ, my D&D group and I created a makeshift Star Wars RPG based on the Basic D&D game system which we played several times over the summer, but eventually our RPG interests moved back to D&D and on to other games. The Droids and Ewoks cartoons (and the Ewok TV movies) were "below me" so didn't interest me because by junior high I had stopped watching cartoons/kid shows and playing with toys (but I was still into comic books and RPGs).

And in junior high, I got into Star Trek TOS that I began watching in syndication, and soon got into the ST films of the day and books, so Star Trek actually became my first multi-media franchise I truly geeked out over. Then by 87, I had a high school job and bought my own VCR and little TV so I could own my own copies of the Star Trek films and favorite TOS episodes.

My best friend had the Star Wars trilogy on VHS and brought them over one day the summer of 87. We "trilogized" (watched all three SW films back-to-back in one sitting), and my childhood love of Star Wars was rekindled. I saved up and bought my own copies of the three Star Wars films (SW and Star Trek tapes retailed upwards of $100 each in those days, but I got them wholesale through work.) My love of Star Wars has remained active and only grown ever since.

Bumping this for the 40th anniversary of Star Wars!

How did you get into Star Wars?
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MrNexx
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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tell people that I was born the same year as Star Wars and the Monster Manual. I remember having Empire Strikes Back sheets on my bed, and standing in line to see Return of the Jedi in Manhattan (Kansas). At one point, we had the BIG R2 and the BIG Chewie, but mostly, we had the smaller figures, my brothers and I. My mom stopped buying Star Wars toys because their heads popped off too easily... GI Joes didn't have that problem.

Once home VHS became a thing, we had a bootleg recording of the Trilogy on a single tape.

Star Wars has pretty much always been part of my life.
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RyanDarkstar
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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My mom took me to see Star Wars in 1977 (it may have been my first time at the theater). I was 4 and was amazed by all of the stuff on screen. My biggest takeaway was how cool Han Solo was, and I struggled hard to remember his name. Fortunately, my parents loved the movie, and were avid movie-goers, so we saw the movie many times.

Soon books, comics, and action figures massed around the house. My siblings and I reenacted the movies and comics as well as made up our own stories, foreshadowing my love of roleplaying.

Though I enjoy many other genres and franchises, Star Wars will always hold a special place in my heart.
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Sutehp
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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember seeing the original Star Wars (they hadn't changed the name to ANH yet, obviously) for the first time in a Rockville, MD theater when I five years old back in 1977. The only thing I still remember about seeing it that time was how the movie screen was just a regular sized movie screen but I remember how impossibly immense it looked to me at the time (everything looks immense when you're that young).

The only other thing I remember about seeing the trilogy when it originally came out was being in the Baltimore Harbor mall and seeing one of the early "Revenge of the Jedi" posters at one of the stores there back in early 1983.

I'm STILL regretting not having bought that poster when I had the chance.
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RedKnight
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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I watched i think it was a cinematic re-release in theaters with my dad and my at the time step father (i feel the need to point out the step father was married to my mother. don't know why i feel like i need to say that mind you).

I was a kid, the original trilogy was good but what really got me into star wars was discovering that my middle school library had the X-Wing books. Wraith Squadron got me into star wars because the ones before it were always checked out. i remember many a lunch sitting there after eating reading books and totally missing that lunch was over (going to be honest i may have read through a couple of classes because i had found a great little area to not be bothered while i read but it was an accident!).

Come freshman year in high school i got invited by a friend to a game of RCR Star wars D20....the game was awful because we were in high school and the GM apparently had a habit of running an overly powerful GMPC but i was so happy to finally be able to feel like a little part of me was in the star wars saga even if it....you know....really wasn't all that good.
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Treefrog
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In 1977, I saw Star Wars when I was five years old. Of course, I had to see the follow-ups (I'll tell you, the three year wait after Vader dropped that bombshell in ESB was sheer agony. I remember that I thought Vader was flat-out lying to Luke, and when Yoda confirmed what Vader claimed was true, was a blow unto itself). Luckily, my parents had a VCR, so I was able to while away the years watching, and re-watching the OT.

As the years passed without any new SW material, and shortly after graduating from high school, I made a quick stop in my local Waldenbooks (that's a store that I wish was still around in my area), I was surprised to see the display stack for Timothy Zahn's Heir to the Empire, took a quick glance at the back cover, saw that it was about the continuing adventures of my favorite trio, and made my purchase immediately. I must have read and reread that book about 10 times in the first couple of months. To this day, I compare every Star Wars novel to how that book put me into the Star Wars Universe, and usually I find them all lacking in my enthusiasm.

Jump ahead to 1996, and the first trailer of the ANH Special Edition was released; needless to say, I was thrilled. My goal was to see all three films on opening night, luckily I was able to fulfill that fanboy dream. Shortly thereafter, I was medically released from the Navy. It was after I returned home that I bumped into someone who played the rpg, and I jumped at the chance to experience Star Wars in a way that isn't possible in a novel.

Since then, I have played every new interpretation of the SWRPG (except FFG's version), and I consider the D6 version the most in-tune with the cinematic feel of Star Wars.

P.S. I won't bother expressing my complete disappointment with the PT. Instead, I shall quote Forrest Gump: "That's all I have to say about that."
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Solo4114
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Short version: I was born in '77 and was a small child in the early '80s. Star Wars was unavoidable.

Long version: When I was a little kid, maybe 3 or 4 years old, my family got a VCR. One of the only tapes we owned was a copy of Star Wars that had been recorded by friends of ours off of a broadcast on the old PRISM network (basically HBO from back in the day, but it wound up folding or being bought out by someone, I think). The first time I watched the film with my dad, I remember being absolutely blown away, even on our old 20" Zenith TV.

Immediately after the credits rolled, I grabbed some giant tinkertoys -- two cylinder connectors and a red and blue beam each -- and we had a little lightsabre duel. After that, I was hooked, and Star Wars was EVERYWHERE.

I got the action figures, for Christmas in '82, I got the Hoth and Bespin world playsets from the Kenner Micro Collection (which are still awesome, in my opinion). In '83 I saw ROTJ in the theaters and loved it. I got the Ewok village playset for Christmas that year. I bought the Marvel Star Wars comics at our local drug store.

In the meantime, because nothing was ever on at the hours I usually woke up, every Sunday morning I would pop in our copy of Star Wars and watch it. I learned that movie (or at least that version of the movie...) by heart, from R2's bleeps and boops to the sound of the blaster fire and so on.

When the Star Wars action figure line was discontinued in '85 or so, I had already started playing with G.I. Joe guys, but I still would use the Star Wars vehicles I had, just with G.I. Joes in them. In my early teens, the Star Wars renaissance began, with the publication of the Thrawn trilogy, and LucasArts' launch of the X-wing series and Dark Forces. I loved it all.


...right up until the 1997 Special Edition where Han shot first, at which point, things leveled off, and then took a nose dive in 1999 with The Phantom Menace. I was SO excited for that film, and SO disappointed after it came out. There were a lot of disappointments from that point until...I dunno...maybe 7? 8 years ago? At that point, I just kinda...let go. I still loved Star Wars -- my version of it, anyway -- but I wasn't consuming anywhere near as much of it as I had in the past.

Now that the franchise has relaunched, though, I'm loving most of the new stuff that I've come across!
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Sutehp
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Solo4114 wrote:
In my early teens, the Star Wars renaissance began, with the publication of the Thrawn trilogy, and LucasArts' launch of the X-wing series and Dark Forces. I loved it all.


Steam just finished their big summer sale with most of their games on sale for anywhere from 50% to 75% to 93%(!) off. Among other games like the Thief, Homeworld Remastered Collection, Half-Life, Freespace and Portal games (I bought the complete series of all those games) as well as Master of Orion 1 and 2 (but not 3), I bought a crapton of Star Wars games. I bought all the X-wing/Tie Fighter flight sims, all of the Dark Forces/Jedi Knight games (even including Mysteries of the Sith featuring Mara Jade as Kyle Katarn's apprentice), Republic Commando and both KOTOR games.

For roughly around $110 I managed to get 30 (yes, thirty!) games. I made out like a friggin' bandit. Some of the games on sale were 93+% off their list price. Hell, I bought both Portal games together for less than $5! (I even bought a brand new Logitech Extreme 3D Pro joystick for the occasion. Playing X-wing with a joystick with remappable buttons makes a huge difference.)

I'm having soooo much fun replaying X-wing. And once I finish Tours 4 and 5, I'm going straight to replaying Tie Fighter, then X-wing: Balance of Power after that, then X-wing: Alliance after that. (I hated that in BoP and Alliance, they made maneuverability related to speed, though. Having to shift to 1/3 every time I have to turn is a humongous PITA. I'm going to have to relearn how to play BoP and Alliance all over again. Ah, well.)

I'm going to have so much fun replaying all these games. One word of warning for you if you decide to try to make X-wing and Tie Fighter work on Windows 10: you'll need to find the instructions in the Steam forums for getting the games to work here and getting the in-flight music to work here. You'll need a Hex Editor for the music fix, but that's not a huge deal. Hell, I'm not anything even remotely close to a programmer and I managed to fix these games, so if I can, you can too.

Alternately, if you're not a fan of Steam, you can always try GOG.com. According to some people in the Steam forums, GOG.com has better quality control for their older games. I haven't confirmed this myself, though, so take that with a grain of salt.

My birthday was back on May 1, but I don't really make a big deal of it. However, getting all these thirty games for 75%+ off definitely counts as a great birthday present, even if it is two months late. Mr. Green Cool Mr. Green Cool Mr. Green

EDIT: Oh, and if you do replay X-Wing after a long hiatus, don't forget to back up your .PLT file after every mission. There's nothing more annoying than to finally get past a tough mission, play the next mission and get captured or killed because of that random debris from an Assault Gunboat you just shot down managing to ram your ship. (Seriously, how do those things always manage to fly in just the right direction to destroy your ship? Thank the gawds that only knocks you off course in the later games.)
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Solo4114
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sutehp wrote:
Solo4114 wrote:
In my early teens, the Star Wars renaissance began, with the publication of the Thrawn trilogy, and LucasArts' launch of the X-wing series and Dark Forces. I loved it all.


Steam just finished their big summer sale with most of their games on sale for anywhere from 50% to 75% to 93%(!) off. Among other games like the Thief, Homeworld Remastered Collection, Half-Life, Freespace and Portal games (I bought the complete series of all those games) as well as Master of Orion 1 and 2 (but not 3), I bought a crapton of Star Wars games. I bought all the X-wing/Tie Fighter flight sims, all of the Dark Forces/Jedi Knight games (even including Mysteries of the Sith featuring Mara Jade as Kyle Katarn's apprentice), Republic Commando and both KOTOR games.

For roughly around $110 I managed to get 30 (yes, thirty!) games. I made out like a friggin' bandit. Some of the games on sale were 93+% off their list price. Hell, I bought both Portal games together for less than $5! (I even bought a brand new Logitech Extreme 3D Pro joystick for the occasion. Playing X-wing with a joystick with remappable buttons makes a huge difference.)

I'm having soooo much fun replaying X-wing. And once I finish Tours 4 and 5, I'm going straight to replaying Tie Fighter, then X-wing: Balance of Power after that, then X-wing: Alliance after that. (I hated that in BoP and Alliance, they made maneuverability related to speed, though. Having to shift to 1/3 every time I have to turn is a humongous PITA. I'm going to have to relearn how to play BoP and Alliance all over again. Ah, well.)

I'm going to have so much fun replaying all these games. One word of warning for you if you decide to try to make X-wing and Tie Fighter work on Windows 10: you'll need to find the instructions in the Steam forums for getting the games to work here and getting the in-flight music to work here. You'll need a Hex Editor for the music fix, but that's not a huge deal. Hell, I'm not anything even remotely close to a programmer and I managed to fix these games, so if I can, you can too.

Alternately, if you're not a fan of Steam, you can always try GOG.com. According to some people in the Steam forums, GOG.com has better quality control for their older games. I haven't confirmed this myself, though, so take that with a grain of salt.

My birthday was back on May 1, but I don't really make a big deal of it. However, getting all these thirty games for 75%+ off definitely counts as a great birthday present, even if it is two months late. Mr. Green Cool Mr. Green Cool Mr. Green

EDIT: Oh, and if you do replay X-Wing after a long hiatus, don't forget to back up your .PLT file after every mission. There's nothing more annoying than to finally get past a tough mission, play the next mission and get captured or killed because of that random debris from an Assault Gunboat you just shot down managing to ram your ship. (Seriously, how do those things always manage to fly in just the right direction to destroy your ship? Thank the gawds that only knocks you off course in the later games.)


Yeah, I got all of those games both on Steam and on GOG. GOG's version has the DOS CD-ROM versions of its games, which are (in my opinion) the definitive versions, if not necessarily the prettiest versions.

I'm well aware of backing up the PLT files. Did that plenty of times back in the day. As for the throttle control, I found assigning throttle to the hat functions on a joystick worked pretty well. I didn't really bother with the actual throttle on the joystick unless I wanted to really fine-tune my speed.

What I'd really like to do is play XWA and the X-Wing '95 versions with a Glide wrapper for the graphics.

But anyway, I picked up a ton of those games probably about 2-3 years ago now. I actually haven't played many of them. Played through Empire at War (space is great, management is great, ground battles SUCK). Played a bunch of Rebellion recently (easy to win as Rebels, I found it difficult to win as the Empire).
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Sutehp
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Solo4114 wrote:
Played through Empire at War (space is great, management is great, ground battles SUCK). Played a bunch of Rebellion recently (easy to win as Rebels, I found it difficult to win as the Empire).


I remember enjoying EaW, but I don't remember the ground battles sucking per se, though I did enjoy the space battles much more than the ground battles, but I thought that was just my personal preference, not that the ground battle gameplay was flawed compared to the space battles.

As for Rebellion, I always thought that EaW was the game Rebellion should have been, since Rebellion's management is nice, but its space battles sucked because of its so crappy graphics. Hell, in Rebellion the starfighters were so tiny they looked like fleas.

And as for having an easier time playing as the Rebels than as the Empire in Rebellion, I think you're right. And that's for a very specific reason: the Rebels have a mobile capital that can literally hide anywhere in the galaxy and its destruction is a non-negotiable win requirement, which basically means if you play as the Empire, you pretty much have to explore and/or possess every star system in the galaxy to win. That's really time consuming and annoying. Not to mention that you also need to capture of kill Mon Mothma and Luke Skywalker and finding those two individuals is almost as hard as finding the Rebel base. But if you're the Rebels, you need to capture Coruscant and capture/kill the Emperor and Darth Vader. In some games, you'll find all three in the same place so there's no confusion about where the Rebels need to attack to win. So, yeah, it's no wonder that it's easier to play as the Rebels in Rebellion.
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Just repurchased the X-Wing and Tie Fighter flight sim games. I forgot how much I missed them.
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Solo4114
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sutehp wrote:
Solo4114 wrote:
Played through Empire at War (space is great, management is great, ground battles SUCK). Played a bunch of Rebellion recently (easy to win as Rebels, I found it difficult to win as the Empire).


I remember enjoying EaW, but I don't remember the ground battles sucking per se, though I did enjoy the space battles much more than the ground battles, but I thought that was just my personal preference, not that the ground battle gameplay was flawed compared to the space battles.

As for Rebellion, I always thought that EaW was the game Rebellion should have been, since Rebellion's management is nice, but its space battles sucked because of its so crappy graphics. Hell, in Rebellion the starfighters were so tiny they looked like fleas.

And as for having an easier time playing as the Rebels than as the Empire in Rebellion, I think you're right. And that's for a very specific reason: the Rebels have a mobile capital that can literally hide anywhere in the galaxy and its destruction is a non-negotiable win requirement, which basically means if you play as the Empire, you pretty much have to explore and/or possess every star system in the galaxy to win. That's really time consuming and annoying. Not to mention that you also need to capture of kill Mon Mothma and Luke Skywalker and finding those two individuals is almost as hard as finding the Rebel base. But if you're the Rebels, you need to capture Coruscant and capture/kill the Emperor and Darth Vader. In some games, you'll find all three in the same place so there's no confusion about where the Rebels need to attack to win. So, yeah, it's no wonder that it's easier to play as the Rebels in Rebellion.


I don't know that I'd say EaW's ground battles are fundamentally flawed. They just...aren't fun. It's tough to put my finger on why. It might have something to do with the speed of combat, but also with the relative balance of the units. That and the fact that your movement is curtailed by the terrain, whereas you have more freedom to maneuver in space.

I think the unit balance in space combat is a lot better. The empire has big tough capital ships, but cheap, weak fighters. The Rebels have tough fighters and expensive capital ships, but decent smaller escort vessels. On the ground, it just seemed like the Empire always had the advantage (which makes sense, since that's what you see in the films, and the whole "guerilla raid" thing doesn't really work in the game).

You're right that Rebellion becomes a lot easier with the mobile capitol. Even with the Death Star "cutting down on hiding places" for the Rebellion, it's still a pain. The Rebels can always seem to escape.
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