Board games have been a big part of the Star Wars experience since the Escape from the Death Star game was released in 1977. While there have been Star Wars editions of popular games like Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit, the real shining stars were the original games that focused exclusively on Star Wars characters and scenarios.
Now, a new Star Wars board game is on the way in the form of Star Wars: Rebellion. Published by Fantasy Flight Games, the current holder of the Star Wars tabletop game license (and the publisher of role-playing games such as Edge of the Empire and Force and Destiny), the board game will focus on the conflict between the Empire and the Rebellion during the Original Star Wars Movie Trilogy era.
The scope of Rebellion is impressive, with the game box containing over 150 miniatures and two separate game boards that feature a total of 32 different star systems. It's designed for two to four players, pitting them against each other so that one team controls the Rebels while the other manages the Empire. Individual characters from the Star Wars movies are also represented, allowing you to send characters such as Luke Skywalker or Boba Fett on specific missions - even as fleets of ships move throughout the galaxy. You're even able to establish trade routes, craft alliances, and destroy planets with the Death Star during the course of the game.
As mentioned, this isn't the first time that Fantasy Flight Games has worked on Star Wars products. In addition to the role-playing games mentioned above, FFG produces two Star Wars card games, two tactical games, and a miniatures game centered around X-Wings and TIE Fighters. The company also holds licenses for Warhammer and Warhammer 40k games, Lord of the Rings games, and Game of Thrones card and board games, so it is very familiar with how to handle large franchise brands.
From the look of it, Rebellion should play as a mix between Risk and more traditional board games. It seems to have a strong tactical element, but you have more power plays than you would during a Risk game through the use of special characters and ability cards. It seems like there's a lot to manage in the game given the scale, but Fantasy Flight Games has made complex games before that are still fun to play. Even those of their games with rules that seem weird at first tend to be fairly easy to understand - once you really get into them and start playing.
Star Wars: Rebellion has a lot going for it, but some fans may balk at the price. With an MSRP of $99.95, the game has a pretty steep entry barrier compared to past Star Wars games. This may cost the company some sales, though it's doubtful that a game this complex could be produced for much less.
Star Wars: Rebellion is currently in development and is anticipated for release in the first quarter of 2016.
Source: Fantasy Flight Games