A few days ago, video from Kinect Star Wars leaked onto the web, showing a grinning Han Solo dancing to a song aptly titled “I’m Han Solo.” It was embarrassing. It was horrific. The music was incredibly tacky, the Han Solo character model’s moves made us uncomfortable, and the entire thing felt like an April Fool’s joke. But it wasn’t. It was real. And though at first, we were weirdly insulted by this inclusion, we’ve actually completely reversed our opinion on the matter.
We’ve been charmed by how intentionally awful it is. It seriously couldn't be any worse, and that's why it's amazing.
Above: He's Han Solo, Han Solo, Han Solo, Han Solo
Kinect Star Wars is already a robust mini-game compilation for the Kinect, all tied together nicely by a neat force-sensitive bow. There’s a story mode of sorts, but a majority of the replayability is in the side-games. There’s a mode where you swing your arms around to podrace, and a mode where you swing your arms around to stomp stuff as a Rancor. It was going to be silly no matter what – this isn’t Knights of the Old Republic, it’s a family game for Star Wars fans, and seeing as Dance Central is the biggest thing using Kinect it made sense that Kinect Star Wars would need to include some sort of dancing game.
So, yeah, we understand why Kinect Star Wars needed dancing. It had to happen – it just did – and there were two roads that could be taken with it. The first was trying (and failing) to make it tasteful. LucasArts could have made sure that you were playing as nameless, faceless characters in Jabba’s palace and in Cantina’s to Star Wars songs. It wouldn’t have been very good, and, in general, wouldn’t have been enough to get people interested in the title. People would still be angry, because people love being angry, no matter what.
Above: It makes it even better if you imagine that it is canon
The other option was to acknowledge that, no matter what they did, they were going to cross a line, and to blow past that line gloriously. This is the path that was taken, and we couldn’t be happier that they took it. In making the dancing levels silly, over-the-top, and downright blasphemously hilarious, LucasArts made sure that no one could ever take them seriously. Adding in a Death Star-shaped disco ball? Having Princess Lea dance to “Stronger” by Britney Spears (with random lyrical changes to add in Star Wars references) while dressed like a slave girl? This is legendarily awful in such a way that it screams past “bad” and skids firmly into “so bad that it’s good” territory.
This isn’t young Anakin Skywalker blasting apart Separatists. This isn’t Jar Jar being weirdly racist. This isn’t even pretending to be anything close to canon. It’s a silly, jokey mini-game meant to shine a spotlight on just how silly Star Wars can get – and the answer is extremely silly.
Above: Seriously - how can you not love this?
And as you can read in our Kinect Star Wars review the mini-game actually works pretty well, too. So that doesn’t hurt.