I can’t believe I’m even writing this article.
I’ve been playing Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes since shortly after it launched, and there’s one thing that hasn’t changed since my first day playing: the number one character I want in-game has been Jedi Luke Skywalker. In fact, nearly two years ago I wrote a list of 25 characters I’d like to see added to the game, and he was the easy choice for number one. Here’s what I wrote then:
“This one is an absolute no-brainer, and I’d guess that those who don’t play the game would be surprised to find out that a Star Wars game that is nearly three years old and that has 161 different characters doesn’t have the most iconic iteration of the most iconic hero in the Star Wars universe. But it’s true: there is no Luke Skywalker in the game with a Jedi tag. This one is the safest bet to be arriving to the game at some point, and this is the one character above all others that I’d guess many people expect to be and hope is O.P. (overpowered). At the time Commander Luke Skywalker (Bespin Luke) was released last year he was the most powerful character the game had ever seen, and they’ll need to top that with Jedi Luke Skywalker. This is the one we’ve been waiting for: the one with the Jedi synergy, with the green lightsaber, with the black ROTJ outfit. It’s kind of crazy he’s not already in the game, but he’ll surely be coming at some point. The only question is when.”
Well, now Jedi Luke Skywalker is coming to the game. So… why does it feel like it doesn’t really matter? Why am I left trying to convince myself to actually care?
- The kit isn’t as elite as we thought. We’ve learned by now that you can’t really judge a character simply by the kit that is released (partly because CG has been known to change things to better suit their wallets), and we need to give it time for playtesting and theory crafting (two things CG seems to be trying to discourage). But the reality is that Luke’s kit is kinda… underwhelming. He looks very good, but not very-top-of-the-meta good. He doesn’t look like he’s going to compete with Galactic Legends Rey and/or Kylo Ren, at least not regularly. HE DOESN’T EVEN HAVE A REBEL TAG, so you won’t be using him with his friends from the film! That makes zero sense. All of this makes me wonder if we’re waiting for something else to complete the picture, but why isn’t that ‘something else’ Luke? Maybe this is just CG’s lazy attempt to earn money, since they know it doesn’t matter how good the character is and that people will pay for Jedi Luke anyway.
- It’s the most obvious cash grab yet – by far. I can’t speak definitively here, but I don’t remember a major event like this (Legendary, Journey, Galactic Legend, etc.) receiving this little advance notice. We got a brief teaser on Friday, and then today they announced that the event will start this Thursday – in three days! And not only that, but the event will require nine different characters to be at least Relic 3, as well as three different ships to 7 stars. The ship requirement is very manageable, but the requirements for the characters is simply insane. THEY GAVE THREE DAYS’ NOTICE TO GET NINE CHARACTERS TO RELIC 3. If that’s not a blatant cash grab, I don’t know what is. Most likely they pushed Jedi Luke into this quarter in an attempt to make their revenue look better after not doing any new content for a while. Why would I spend such huge money on this character?
- If you do pay big money: There’s nothing to do with him. And if you do spend huge money to unlock this character, you won’t have a whole lot to do with him. Maybe you’ll run him in arena, but like I said earlier, if you’re the type of player who unlocks Jedi Luke the first time around you probably already have the Galactic Legends… and they (at least right now) still appear to be much better options. Ok, so maybe Grand Arena Championships? And while it could be useful for guild events, the kind of players unlocking Luke probably don’t need this character for guild events; they’re probably doing ok. So there’s really not a whole lot to do with Jedi Luke other than watch your shiny new toy in your collection.
- If you don’t pay big money: It’ll be a long while before you get him anyway. So why does it matter to you right now? This has been one of the big issues with marquee events – they’re easily accessible for all, but unless you spend on them, you can basically forget about them for several months. It just doesn’t build hype and excitement. There used to be a time where the release of a new character represented an exciting moment in this game; now, the release of a new character means another several months of a long grind. It’s just really hard to get excited about new characters anymore – at least not for a long while.
- The game might be dying anyway. And at the end of the day, why spend huge money on this character, hoping to be able to use him in the future, when the future of this game is as uncertain as it’s ever been? It’s been mentioned before that Jedi Luke’s arrival could signal the end-game for SWGOH, and as fans have been worried about that since the announcement on Friday, we’ve heard nothing from CG. Yeah, the announcement mentions something about a year from now, but they have to do that if they want people to spend. Why would you spend such huge money on a game that might be dying soon? At least why do so until we hear something from CG that acknowledges what’s been going on with the game and not just a new cash grab?
If you’re excited for Jedi Luke, then I’m happy for you! I’ll probably get him eventually, unless the game dies before then, but my overall reaction right now is, “meh.” And considering how much I’ve been anticipating this moment for years, this character release might go down as the most damning indictment of them all for CG and the state of SWGOH.