It's Time To Save Star Wars: Obi-Wan From Being Stuck On Xbox

Image: Lucasfilm / Disney / Kotaku
Image: Lucasfilm / Disney / Kotaku

There’s a Star Wars game out there that is hard to play in 2024 because, for whatever reason, it remains trapped on the hard-to-emulate OG Xbox without any official remakes, remasters, or backward compatibility support. That game is Star Wars: Obi-Wan.

Last week, Lucasfilm Games and Aspyr announced a remastered version of 2002's Star Wars: Bounty Hunter, a game that first launched on PlayStation 2 and GameCube. The new remaster is set to update some of the textures, improve the lighting, and even add a new flashlight option, too. That all sounds good, and I’m excited to see yet another old Star Wars game brought to more modern platforms. However, seeing Bounty Hunter get the remaster treatment made me think about Obi-Wan on Xbox, a game that launched just a year before Bounty Hunter that’s still trapped on the original Xbox console over 20 years after its release.

In 2001, two years after the release of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Lucasarts released Star Wars: Obi-Wan as an exclusive game for the Xbox. This third-person action game starred, you guessed it, Obi-Wan Kenobi and was both a prequel to and retelling of the Phantom Menace film.

It’s not a great game, to be clear. But it featured some interesting ideas—like using the right stick for lightsaber combat—and offered a fun way to experience the first Star Wars prequel before Attack of the Clones hit theaters in 2002. Besides, it’s not like Bounty Hunter is an incredible video game, either. Yet it’s getting a new remaster (after being released on PS4 as a PS2 classic already), while Obi-Wan on Xbox is left behind.

How to play Star Wars: Obi-Wan in 2024

Star Wars: Obi-Wan never got a PC port, was never released on PS2, and has never been updated to support backward compatibility on Xbox One or Series X/S. If you want to play Obi-Wan you have one good option and one bad option.

The good option: You go buy an OG Xbox and a copy of Obi-Wan. Set it up and there you go, you’re playing Star Wars: Obi-Wan. Well, that’s assuming the Xbox you bought works properly and the copy of the game you got isn’t too damaged. (Luckily pre-owned copies of the game aren’t very expensive, so if you have to buy two of them it won’t break the bank.)

The bad option is emulation. I love emulating games! I’m not against it at all and I think fan-developed emulators are an important part of game preservation. So when I say emulating Obi-Wan is bad, I want to be clear that it’s not because I’m against playing old games using third-party software. No, playing Obi-Wan on an Xbox emulator is bad because it sucks and is (as of this writing) not a great experience.

If you play on CXBX-Reloaded, a fan-made Xbox emulator, you might be able to make it through the game, but many players have reported crashes, graphical bugs, and other problems that spoil the experience. I’ve also tried to play Obi-Wan on XEMU, a different Xbox emulator, and had even worse luck—I couldn’t get past the second level. While some players have been able to tinker enough to get Obi-Wan running well on CXBX, it’s still not an ideal way to play the game.

Help me Lucasfilm Games, you’re my only hope

So now, here’s my plea: Someone at Lucasfilm Games, please contact Nightdive Studios, Aspyr, or another developer that’s good at reviving old games and pay them the money to bring Star Wars: Obi-Wan to more platforms.

Cleaned up and running at 60FPS, Obi-Wan would be a solid hit on consoles like the Switch. Plus the Star Wars prequels are currently experiencing a renaissance among fans who grew up watching the films. Excitement for prequel-era content is at an all-time high in 2024 and I think a well-done Obi-Wan port or remaster would be a slam dunk.

And if that’s not possible, at the very least it would be nice to get the game ported to PC so fans can keep updating it and modding it easily for years to come. Or someone at Xbox flip the switch and make this thing backwards compatible on Xbox One and Series X/S consoles. I’d take that at this point!

But what I really want is a nice remaster. It would save a part of video game history and rescue a Star Wars game from being forgotten. It’s really a win-win situation and it’s about time Obi-Wan gets the remaster he deserves.


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