It's the end of an era. Somewhere in the digital hivemind of SOE, a single tear is being shed for Star Wars Galaxies - an MMO heading to the chopping block in roughly 30 days, all thanks to a dark cloud that's been hanging overhead for far too long. Ever since BioWare showed up to the party looking younger, exceptionally more attractive, and wearing what had been SWG's George Lucas frock, it's been a process of waiting for the inevitable to happen: Now, after eight years, Galaxies is packing up. By December 15 Star Wars Galaxies will cease to exist, and this is my diary of its final month, the last death rattle.
Day One: I've made my character.
It's a story as old as time itself. Girl becomes dancer on Corellia. Girl's engorged compound-eyes prevent her from moving up in the ranks. My character is a young Sullustan from the planet Sullust, whose pre-set pink gown is only outdone by the striking richness of her wizened good looks. Her multiple cheek sacs hang down loosely, her bald head is sickly and grey.
A flash of light! Yellow rain! Sullustan! Sullustan!
Sullustans function in Star Wars lore as exceptional pilots and space navigators, known for their "layered jowls and mouse-like ears", but from most angles the pre-set Sullustan female begins the character creation process looking more like a potato that's been left under a fridge and then piled into a gown in a moment of disconcerting romance. Her cheeks droop like wet socks, and when she smiles they peel up in pointed ridged way, like an "M" drawn across her face. Her pupils are the size of apples that have been covered in a black matte finish and anchored on top of those cheeks.
After choosing my race, it was time to commence complete facial reconstruction.
SWG allows users to select from nine different classes, including everything from Jedi to Bounty Hunter to Entertainer – essentially the Twi'Lek showgirl class - so naturally I took the latter route. I named her GIRLOFYRDREAMS to begin her transformation into the world of show business.
SWG's character creation system allows for some experimentation in looks. Jowls are given their own slider in the Creation tool, so I began by minimising them to create the perfect elfin Sinead O'Connor face to compliment my girl's balding head. I tuned her skin tone to its nearly-translucent setting, then applied makeup with a shovel.
I brought up her cheek bones in an attempt to counter the weight of her jowl sacs. Now her face looked like a mountain range of lumps. Eye shadow was added to compliment her giant, unmoving black eyes, using a shade of bright pink and then a thick chalk outline of white eyeliner which made her look as if her stare was perpetually fixed upon the ceiling. Bright pink lipstick was drawing attention away from the remaining cheek sacs, which by this point looked like gills.
When it was clear my Sinead O'Sullastan was not to be, I decided to work with the dead-eyed resignation in her face, her puckered catcher's mitt skin, and simply have her take her first fledgling steps into the universe of Star Wars. So welcome into the world, GIRLOFYRDREAMS. You have one month to survive, let us see where your story goes.