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It’s official, Stellaris wants to be the best Star Wars game


the death star hanging in space

If you read my stuff a lot, you might notice that I like a good chuckle. Last week we were looking at the (then) recent Stellaris dev diary that was talking about features and mechanics in the upcoming Nemesis expansion for the space opera grand strategy game.

The headline feature is that you can become the endgame crisis yourself, but last week the team were looking at how you can also take charge of the galaxy’s defences as the ‘custodian’. I made a Revenge of the Sith-style “I am the senate” joke, we all had a laugh, and life moved on… except I seem to have severely underestimated how committed Paradox is to this bit.

In this week’s dev diary – titled ‘Galactic Imperium’ – the developers talk about how the custodian, once they’ve heroically defeated the crisis using all of these convenient emergency powers they lobbied for,  actually can just declare a galaxy-spanning empire. You might say you’ll be able to reorganise it into the first galactic empire. Well played.

I’ll give it to the team, this diary is 100% serious and in no way attempts to wink at the reader regarding what it details, but we’re definitely talking about Star Wars now. All we’re missing is Jedi.

the galactic imperium screen in stellaris

Your faction’s leader – who would have been the custodian – is now proclaimed the Emperor. The ‘Galactic Community’ feature is replaced by an imperial-slanted version of the same thing. The Emperor has access to their own unique set of resolutions, and the main thing you’ll want to take note of is your imperial authority. If there was a Galactic Defence Force, it now becomes the ‘Imperial Armada’.

And it gets better! There’s an official ‘Rebellion’ system as well, which can be triggered if imperial authority falls below 50. While the new espionage features are meant to try and replicate shadow wars to an extent, Stellaris is not directly capable of supporting a stateless entity like the Rebellion from the Star Wars universe.

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That said, those who want to oppose the Empire will join a new temporary federation aimed at restoring the previous status quo, while everyone else will be part of a loyalist federation. You can read the dev diary in full to find out more about the potential outcomes here.

So there you have it. Stellaris is now the best Star Wars game. I’m half-expecting an actual Death Star superweapon announcement in the coming weeks, although from a certain point of view the already-shown ‘Star Eater’ is basically a Death Star, so there you go.

Related: A complete guide to Stellaris DLC

At the time of writing, there’s no release window for Stellaris: Nemesis and it’s not available for pre-order yet.

Image credit: the SW Fallen Republic team again, because it’s an awesome Stellaris mod and I can’t wait to see what they do with these mechanics.