Game masters are (or should) always be on the lookout for inspiration for new material, or, rather more often, using ideas directly from other stories, movies, and more. For players, their characters may not-so-subtly replicate a favorite hero. Inspiration has to come from somewhere, so this week, there are a few suggestions.
First, the new sources. FFG posted an article featuring the upcoming Dangerous Covenants, the Hired Gun Handbook today. I had a hand in this one, but it isn't the subject of the article. However...the speeder(s) shown in the artwork was one of my contributions. It should provide a few surprises and be a lot of fun in play.
Also, I'm fairly certain I've mentioned this before, but just in case, FFG announced the next Edge of the Empire adventure, The Jewel of Yavin, or rather, "Ocean's 11 meets Star Wars."
Now, some older sources. The first is Ed Erdelac's installment of Slugthrowers: An Overview of Popular Music and Musicians in a Galaxy Far, Far Away, Part 2 on the starwars.com blog. There are a lot of music ideas here, along with a lengthy list of sources - novels, games, etc. Music? What do you do with that? Well, as a bit of atmosphere and interesting detail, music ideas gives the GM more songs than the few from the movies to insert into the game - by name, anyway.
However, it can have a more direct influence on the game. Some of the music, and the art, featured in the post is from the often-referenced Galaxy Guide 9: Fragments from the Rim from the West End Games days. I once ambushed the players with a group of actual bounty hunters posing as the band Boba Fett and the Assassin Droids. Its been awhile, but as I recall, the adventure featured the band on a "in the round" stage, set in a bowl shaped auditorium, over which the patrons would dance through the air, thanks to some fancy gravity manipulation. It was rather like Logan's Run's carousel scenes, without the lethal ending... well, aside from the bounty hunters, of course. I'm pretty sure I used Jodo Kast in "Boba Fett's" role.
Moving beyond music, Bryan Young provided the next installment of The Cinema Behind Star Wars: Battle of the Bulge. A number of Star Wars related game designers seemed to have discussedthe known relationships between World War II movies and Star Wars. I spent a fair amount of time reading World War II histories and stories growing up - at least as much as science fiction/fantasy, and wisely used that knowledge in a college course on the subject. The movie mentioned here, the Battle of the Bulge, is a classic WWII movie in the style of the time of its release.
GMs might get game ideas from history, but the style of these movies - and their often semi-fictional accounts - probably make them a better fit for game play. Other possibilities include Midway (with a heck of a cast), Wake Island, Battle of Britan, Sink the Bismark, and The Dambusters. There are a host of D-Day movies, and many more. The key here is to find films that work well with the game and your play style.
For a more direct comparison check out these Star Wars/WWII movie mashups:
While these movies are often combat heavy, character development away from the battlefield can be equally good sources of inspiration. Every combatant and many other characters have their own, private situation that doesn't quite apply to others in the same squadron or unit. Those differences are often played up to add drama and tension to the movies. GMs can use some of the same methods to improve their games.