Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game (1992)

If there was one game that rivaled affection of my group for D&D back in the day, it was the Star Wars RPG from West End Games.

This is the rulebook for the second edition that came out in 1992. Prior to the release of Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire novel in 1991, Star Wars was kind of a dead property aside of the comics and the occasional Ewok TV movie (hard to imagine now that we live in an age of Star Wars oversaturation). The second edition pushed the concept of the Expanded Universe and saw the RPG really come into its own as a setting, rather than a method to re-enact the movies. (Fun fact: Zahn was given a box of Star Wars RPG books as research material for the Thawn Trilogy)

You can see this in the art. Gone are the poorly reprinted movie still of the first edition. Instead, we get tons of exciting, original illustrations. Remember: at this point, the only visuals fans knew were those of the movies and the Marvel comics line. These illustrations were key to breathing vivid new life into Star Wars, simply by taking familiar subjects and recontectualizing them (why is Vader hanging out with a wizard? I dunno, better write a scenario about that!). It got the imagination going – the most important goal of any RPG.

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