Whereas The Unhealthy Batch takes the viewers from the perils of The Clone Wars period into the guts of the Galactic Empire, that doesn’t imply that the spinoff sequence is totally ignoring the nostalgia for the Star Wars prequels. One of many chief praises that The Clone Wars acquired throughout its preliminary airing was how the present redeemed, fleshed out, and examined some parts of the prequel trilogy that weren’t initially as well-received. The newest episode of The Unhealthy Batch brings again podracing to the Star Wars franchise. The podracing sequence in The Phantom Menace would be the solely universally beloved facet of the movie, even for religious critics of the prequels. It additionally impressed a captivating subsection of Star Wars gaming that contributed vastly to the movie’s legacy.
The Unhealthy Batch affords only a temporary glimpse of the racing world within the newest installment, “Quicker.” The geeky mechanical genius Tech (Dee Bradley Baker) will get a uncommon likelihood to get into the middle of the motion when he agrees to take part in a race. Podracing wasn’t featured in The Clone Wars or Rebels, so it was enjoyable to see it dropped at life as soon as extra. Whereas the brand new canon hasn’t featured as many podracing-centric tales fairly but, it was continuously a component in older “Legends” content material. The temporary on-line comedian Podracing Tales explored the backstories of some of the completely different racers from the Boonta Eve Traditional in The Phantom Menace, and Anakin Skywalker even bought again within the cockpit within the younger grownup e-book Jedi Quest: The Harmful Video games.
Nonetheless, essentially the most vital impression that the podracing sequence left on the Star Wars franchise was within the gaming world. Whereas Star Wars gaming had superior considerably within the Nineteen Nineties because of the recognition of Shadows of the Empire and the Darkish Forces franchise, the discharge of the primary installment within the prequel trilogy provided a ton of recent environments and set items that had been ready to be explored. Regardless of the divisive response to the movie itself, Lucasfilm doubled down on bringing followers as many various methods of podracing as attainable.
‘The Phantom Menace’ Tie-Ins
The podracing sequence was featured prominently in most of the preliminary video games that immediately adopted the plot of The Phantom Menace. The official sport model of the movie launched for Ps and Home windows featured a sequence set in the course of the Boonta Eve Traditional, however as a substitute of enjoying in the course of the precise podrace, the participant controls Qui-Gon Jinn as he eludes bounty hunters amidst the sector.
The mainstay of the preliminary The Phantom Menace gaming output that some followers may nonetheless be capable to play is the Racer Arcade sport developed by AM5 and LucasArts, which served because the franchise’s last collaboration with SEGA following the Trilogy Arcade and Battle Pod video games. Distributed to many arcades, the Racer Arcade system included the Boonta Eve Traditional, in addition to new tracks set within the Tatooine Bantha Tracks, Etti IV Smuggler’s Cove, and the Malastare Pixelito Problem. Outdoors a younger Anakin Skywalker, gamers may additionally select the opposite racers Ben Quadinaros, Gasgano and Sebulba.
Nonetheless, podracing definitely performed a task in what turned a gaming franchise in its personal proper: LEGO Star Wars. The primary LEGO Star Wars sport was launched in 2005, and featured six ranges for every movie within the prequel trilogy. The “Mos Espa Podrace” degree in The Phantom Menace phase allowed gamers to regulate Anakin’s pod in the course of the sequence; it was a intelligent tie-in to what had turn out to be one of the fashionable LEGO playsets offered on the time. This degree was bundled inside LEGO Star Wars: The Full Saga, and later revamped for final 12 months’s LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga.
The ‘Episode I’ Racer Collection
Star Wars: Episode I Racer is usually cited as one of many best Star Wars video video games of all-time. In response to The Guinness E book of World Data, it’s the highest-selling sci-fi racing sport of all-time, with an estimated 3.12 million gross sales worldwide. Much like the Arcade Sport, Episode I Racer options all of the central tracks from the movie, in addition to a number of new planets and places. Event, Free Race, and Time Assault had been obtainable in single-player mode, however a multiplayer possibility was added for extra platforms.
Initially, the sport was launched on Microsoft Home windows, Nintendo 64, Sport Boy Shade, Mac OS, and Dreamcast, however a PlayStation model was by no means developed. Nostalgia for the sport impressed a latest revamp, because it turned obtainable on Nintendo Change, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in 2000. One of many sport’s novelties was that in contrast to different tie-ins, it really featured voice actors Jake Lloyd and Lewis MacLeod reprising their roles as Anakin and Sebulba, respectively. Along with the racers featured within the movie, together with the fan-favorite Ben Quadrinaros, the sport launched a number of new characters with their very own fictional backstories.
The sport was adopted by the 2002 sequel Racer Revenge, which was developed for PlayStation 2 (though it was obtainable for buy to be added on the PlayStation 3 and 4 platforms as effectively). Not like its predecessor, which repeated the story of The Phantom Menace, Racer Revenge had a totally new story. Eight years after the occasions of The Phantom Menace, Sebulba seeks revenge on the younger force-sensitive boy that bested him within the Boonta Eve Traditional.
The only-player mode included Single Occasion, Apply, and Time Trial choices, and in contrast to its predecessor, it featured a everlasting dying function that prevented opponents from responding. Whereas Racer’s Revenge elevated the variety of playable species and podracer choices, it wasn’t as tactile and simply navigable as its predecessor, and thus turned far much less fashionable.
Nonetheless, there’s a sturdy sense of nostalgia for the whole thing of Star Wars’ podracing-centric video games, and the enjoyable sequence in The Unhealthy Batch serves as an homage of types to the recollections that followers have of racing one another within the sci-fi competitors. The sequence in The Phantom Menace nonetheless holds up by at present’s requirements of CGI, and anybody who noticed the 2012 re-release in 3D on the massive display can assure that it’s simply as exhilarating as ever. Hopefully, we’ll see new podracing tales within the Star Wars franchise once more within the close to future.