This is a chronicle of our absurd, canon-destroying playthrough of Star Wars Conquest, a mod for sandbox RPG Mount & Blade, originally published in 2014. We brought it back for the holidays.
Twenty hours into my Star Wars Conquest campaign, I realize that I have no idea what the game's win state is. Is there one? Am I meant to crawl the galaxy until the end of time, endlessly gutting Stormtroopers, endlessly pillaging space farms, endlessly watching planets trade hands like used Toyotas between the immortal commanders of the Star Wars universe? By now, I'm positive that it's impossible to actually kill off any of the game's main figures—defeating a commander in combat results in either them escaping or being captured and eventually escaping. Hmmph.
But then again, of the main figures in the Empire, I've only crossed laser swords with Emperor Palpatine and Grand Moff Tarkin, and I defeated neither. Maybe hunting them down will result in some sort of meaningful change in the state of the war.
I continue to roll with the main Rebel fleet, led by Mon Mothma and Han Solo's ships, with the hope that our hilarious swarm of 500-some troops will be able to bulldoze through anything that gets in our way.
Our first fight is on Endor, where I notice a familiar hairstyle fighting bravely alongside me.
Jesus, Leia is vicious. She wades in with a knife, gutting any Stormtrooper in reach. Go Leia! Stab! We're right behind you! Your reckless, unprofessional violence inspires us all.
Well, damn. Leia takes one too many blaster shots (about seven, for the record) to the gown and crumples into the ferns of Endor. She's fine—just wounded—and rejoins the war effort after our victory. This battle sparks a full-on rampage of defeating and capturing mid-level Imperial commanders. I get my hands dirty.
I stop to chat up Mon Mothma in between all the victory and killing and glory, hoping she has a high-level assignment for me.
Likewise, Commandress. Oh, what a battle that was! I remember it well. I liked the part where I cut 78 Scout Troopers in half and your army mostly stood around and got shot.
So, do you have any dangerous, tide-turning special operations for me to go on? Kidnappings? Assassinations? Any suicide missions for which I'll be celebrated for bravely completing?
Let me make sure I've got this: you want me, the badass Jedi robot who captured the Death Star to shake down your own citizens for money. Does the Rebel Alliance not have TurboTax? Have you heard of direct deposit? It's very convenient.
I run the mundane credit-collection mission for Mon Mothma, then return to the crowd of ships to resume our work of sieging battlestations and minor planets. Everything is going smoothly until a certain, shadowy Sith Lord interrupts our conquest.
Oh my god! You probably get this a lot, but biggest. fan. ever. I mean, my mom named me after you, even despite us being loyal servants of the Rebellion. I'm so flattered, Vader.
Well alright then. Let me get my Rancors, we'll be right with you.
I charge Vader's army with my weird menagerie of Baby Rancors and mercenaries. Ever the tactical mastermind, he sits on a ledge in the corner of the map—the high ground.
I cut my way through his mob of bodyguards, expecting a tough fight at the edge of the map.
But I slash at his legs twice, and Vader falls easily and clumsily to the ground. Mon Mothma sends her regards, Darth.
Everyone is pleased, particularly the Rancors.
Good work, everyone. Vader escapes captivity, of course, but I chug along anyway, looking for more high-level Imperials to shine my weaponized flashlight at.
In the meantime, remember my name (and my fearsome Ewok skin hat).