Star Wars Episode I: Racer needs a VR capable remake

Photo: Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999).. © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999).. © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. /

With the news Star Wars: Squadrons will have virtual reality support, the remake of Star Wars Episode I: Racer should be the next step in VR.

The fandom is buzzing after EA confirmed the upcoming Star Wars: Squadrons will indeed have virtual reality (VR) support on both the PC and PS4 releases. The thought of getting to pop on a VR headset and sit in the cockpit of an X-Wing for massive multiplayer dogfights is truly a dream come true, but it also opens up the possibility of a new VR frontier with the remake of Star Wars Episode I: Racer.

For as many spectacular Star Wars games as there are, Star Wars Episode I: Racer seems to hold a uniquely special place in the hearts of those who got to play it when the game originally released in 1999. While it was also available on PC, Macintosh, and Game Boy Color, it was the Nintendo 64 edition that receives the most love and sold over 3 million units.

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Last year, an unauthorized fan remake using Unreal Engine 4 of Star Wars Episode I: Racer got a ton of buzz, but understandably disappeared about as quickly as it appeared because of its unauthorized status. There was even a virtual reality mod added to the game by some users, which by itself illustrates the desire for this kind of experience.

The quick disappearance of the fan remake likely had something to do with the authorized remake of the game that was eventually set to release on Nintendo Switch and PS4 just last month. Unfortunately, Aspyr announced that both versions were indefinitely delayed due to the ongoing global pandemic.

It was a disappointing development, but honestly one that’s completely understandable. As they finish up the remake for Switch and PS4, the next step for Aspyr should be adapting the PS4 remake to work with PS VR. For a game of its age, there’s no need to try and push to next-generation consoles like the upcoming PS5.

Considering Aspyr waited until hours before the release of the remake to announce the delay, we can hope that there isn’t a significant amount of work left to be done. It’s been just over a month and we’re still without an update, but I don’t imagine we’ll still be without the release on Nintendo Switch and PS4 come this fall.

The perfect addendum to that release would be the additional announcement of an upcoming PS VR release of the game. While pod racing only existed in one of the now nine core films, it remains one of the most intriguing additions to the prequels.

Getting to race around various environments in the Star Wars universe in a customizable pod racer, potentially with notable characters like Anakin Skywalker or Sebulba at the helm, is already an enticing opportunity. Add to that the option of sitting right in the cockpit while you’re racing and seeing things just how Anakin would’ve seen them in Episode I, and it’s a recipe for pure enjoyment.

Next. EA announces Squadrons video game. dark

What games would you like to see come back?