The (un)told story of how Disney decided that Star Wars Slot Machines weren’t family-friendly enough and the Force lost the casino battle
Two major celebrations are in the air. First, it is the fourth anniversary for SWTOR! Congrats all around and hope for many, many more anniversaries ahead. The second, needless to say, is that the Force Awakens, once again.
It is no small wonder. After the last reboot (1999-2005) there was a heavy feeling in the air that it might just have been the last one. Many even pondered that it might be for the best. But not really. Because the question must be asked – would you rather live in a galaxy that stars don’t war, or in one that they do?
Don’t even bother to answer that.
So spirits are high, and lines outside movie theatres are long. And not to spoil the fun, but it is time to touch on an unfortunate tale that left many, in our part of the galaxy, deeply disappointed.
Once Upon A Time, In A Casino Not So Far Away
For this tale we must delve deep into the past, to the year two-thousand and thirteen. Some of our older readers might remember that long-forgotten era when chats didn’t snap, when sticks weren’t all selfish.
It was an era with unbounded possibilities, an era that had Star Wars Slot Machines. Now it might sound like a minor thing, but it fierce as hail wasn’t. Vegas casinos, as well as online gaming sites, were proud and jolly to have those awesome machines.
The gamers, tourists, and slot spinners all together were around the strip waiting in lines to have a go at them. It was a chance to combine two great American traditions – playing slot machines and marveling the history of a faraway galaxy. The popularity of the Star Wars slot machines, in casinos and online, was at an all time high.
Not many knew (actually everyone knew, it made huge headlines all over the world) that a mere few months earlier, the grandest deal of all was signed – on October 30, 2012, Walt Disney acquired Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion. The vibrations were felt all around the world and the question on everyone’s mind was: what’s the story with the point-oh-five? Was a cool four billion really not enough?
In fact, the real question was: Disney – really? It was a terribly phrased question, but emotions were high and no one had the grammar-chops to phrase it properly. If you do a Google Image search for “Star Wars Disney” you’ll be able to grasp to general mood that prevailed after the deal was announced.
Attention Disney – Slot Machines Are Very Friendly
The fears of the fans indeed turned to be justified. The first Star Wars victims to bite the dust were the much-loved slot machines. You see, Disney is a ‘family-friendly’ thingy (the word ‘company’ doesn’t quite capture the truly scary massiveness of this behemoth, hence, thingy.) And as one, it first order of business as the minted owners of the Star Wars franchise was to deem the themed-slot machines as un-family-friendly.
Which is odd. Dad is part of the family. So are aunt Meredith and granny Eleanor. When we visited Vegas last spring, they were glued to the slot machines like a gum to the underside of a diner table. So why they are excluded from the family in Disney’s eyes? For some strange reason, for Disney, the family is just the kids. Well, last time we checked, kids come from somewhere, they don’t just materialize out of thin air.
So casinos everywhere, and online gaming sites that feature slot machines, lowered their heads and bid a farewell to beloved spinning reels in space. No more young Harrison Ford and Carry Fisher smiled at us gracefully from the screen when we landed a bonus round or when we hit a super juicy pay line. Star Troopers didn’t march no more from reel to reel dropping Wild and Scatter symbols everywhere they turned (if you’re not sure what this last sentence means, you can easily learn how to play online slot machines.)
The Star War franchise wasn’t the only larger-than-life universe to suffer at the hands of Disney. A few years earlier, in 2009, Disney bought Marvel for $4.24 billion. The Marvel slot machines, which included Iron Man (oh boy, that was one slot machine for the books!), The Avengers and The Hulk were also discontinued during the same time as the Star Wars ones. It was a painful defeat for the Force, and a skewed victory for the forces of twinkle and sparkle.
We wish we could finish this article with a quote from George Lucas saying how much he was disappointed by the discontinuation of the Star Wars slot machines. But sadly, we couldn’t find such a quote. But we did manage to get a hold of Chewbacca. He had this to say: “RWGWGWARAHHHHWWRGGWRWRW!”