An Overdue Perspective on... The End in the Stars

One of the things which has both surprised and impressed me about The Old Republic compared to the other MMOs I have dabbled in is its consistency with its main menu music. It is not unusual for an MMO to change the music with each major expansion or update, and yet SWTOR maintained Clash of Destiny for almost a whopping eight years.

The reason why this surprises me particularly so is because BioWare had previously given themselves a very appropriate expansion to update the menu music alongside everything else. Knights of the Fallen Empire just changed so much of the game, for better or worse, and it was the first time that they were properly promoting the game’s storyline since launch. It would not have been too surprising to learn that the menu music would be updated as one of the many changes.

Not that I minded the piece remaining in situ for so long. It's a great piece of music, and I am such a fan of it that I am currently using a segment from it as my ringtone. 

With Onslaught, BioWare decided that the time was ripe to replace Clash with a new piece of music. Even while it was on the PTS, the new composition received a markedly lukewarm reception for a couple of reasons. One of the most notable issues people had with it was its lack of a slow build-up meaning that the piece opens immediately with a loud choral chant. Since Onslaught's release, more than a few people have been asking for it to be removed and Clash of Destiny reinstated.

The thing which I always found rather irritating about it was that for quite a long time we did not know its name. It was just “the new menu music” or “the Onslaught music” or some other generic description. Identifying pieces of music is something which SWTOR has struggled with for some time as pretty much every single orchestration bar the ones included as free downloads or on the Collector’s Edition CD have been released months if not years after they were first heard in-game.

Music from expansions has pretty much exclusively been released to celebrate something to do with The Old Republic or Star Wars in general. Five pieces including the Oricon and Yavin themes were released in 2016 as part of the #SWTOR5 celebrations. Pieces of music from Fallen Empire were released in the build-up to Eternal Throne, while pieces of music from throughout 5.0 and Onslaught were released on May 4th this year.

So, seven months after it made its way onto the menu, we learned what this replacement for Clash of Destiny is called. The End in the Stars.

I am absolutely baffled by this name. While it may yet have some connection to SWTOR's current storyline (possibly 6.2's final (final) end to Vitiate's schemes?), it is too specific to really work for future expansions. Clash of Destiny at least is a practical enough name to work for any period of the game's lifespan. Who knows? Maybe The End in the Stars is intended to be the first of a number of different menu themes, in which case it would only apply to Onslaught

I do not really have a lot to say about the actual piece. I think it is decent as a composition and I do quite like its melody, but even I must agree that it is not as satisfactory as hearing Clash of Destiny was. Then again, Clash has had the advantage pretty much since day one. Its numerous variations can still be heard in-game at various points in cutscenes, including in Eternal Throne and at the end of the Republic Onslaught storyline. As such, it has made itself known in more ways than just being “the menu music”. The End in the Stars is so far “just” the menu music, and it has yet to become more than that.

I would certainly not be opposed to hearing it in a different setting. Sometimes even a mediocre piece of music can become “great” in the right environment, and SWTOR’s menu is just not that environment right now. This is primarily just because the player-base is so used to its predecessor that several pieces of music would likely have struggled to suit in its place.


SWTOR has given us a few pieces of music which I believe will be remembered as part of the legacy of original Star Wars video game music. Chief among these is Clash of Destiny. I do not get the impression right now that The End in the Stars will be remembered anywhere near as fondly in the years to come. Maybe things will change, and it will indeed evolve to become as iconic for SWTOR as its predecessor was. 

I sadly doubt it.

For now, though, this is what we have. Whether or not we will see it changed again any time soon is anyone's guess.


An Overdue Perspective on... The All Worlds Ultimate Swoop Rally

"An Overdue Perspective on..." is a new post series intended to allow me to explore the various updates and activities for SWTOR which I had not commented on prior to the blog's face-lift. While a couple of these will be based on post-6.0 updates, this will also enable me to focus on some of the topics which I had originally intended to cover as part of my Thoughts on 6.0 series.

Swoop biking has been a common request among SWTOR’s player base. It is easy enough to see why, as both KOTOR games featured the sport as a minigame and podracing remains to this day one of the most popular and memorable additions to the franchise from the prequel era.

Nine years after SWTOR launched, BioWare created their fifth "traditional" recurring event which was themed all around swoop bikes: The All Worlds Ultimate Swoop Rally, hereafter AWUSR. Its title is a bit of a misnomer, as rather than being on “all worlds”, it is only available on three: Dantooine, Onderon, and Tatooine.

The event itself takes the form of obstacle and time trial tracks on each of the planets, with three swoop gangs asking the player to do different things. As the player gains reputation with them, three story missions per gang will gradually make themselves available.

This event apparently has a fascination with the number three…


Looking Forward to Star Wars: Squadrons

Star Wars features many things which speak to its audience in different ways. Whether it is the characters, the duels, the lore, the settings, the stories, or the weapons, there will be something that everybody will cling to as what “defines” Star Wars for them. For me, this must be the starfighter battles. Growing up, I absolutely loved the space battles at the end of A New Hope and Return of the Jedi and in games such as Activision's Battlefront II I spent so much more time in the space modes than in any ground battles. 

Indeed, long-term readers will have noticed this bias seep through a couple of times in the past. When discussing EA’s take on Battlefront II, I wrote exclusively about its mode Starfighter Assault and compared it to Star Wars: The Old Republic’s own space Player-vs-Player mode Galactic Starfighter. While I have rarely written about GSF itself on the blog, it remains one of my favourite activities in SWTOR to this day.

When news about a starfighter game being published by EA were leaked a few months ago, I was immediately hooked by the idea. It has been an awfully long time since we have had a game focus exclusively on starfighters, the last one being (according to Wookieepedia) Flight of the Falcon in 2003. That said, prior to this point there were quite a few games which were dedicated purely to space and low-atmosphere combat: X-Wing and TIE Fighter games, the first two Rogue Squadron games, and Starfighter and its sequel Jedi Starfighter.

Point being, it has been almost two decades since a game dedicated purely to starfighters has been released. Yet here we are, less than a month away from the release of the newest addition to that line-up, Star Wars: Squadrons. While I can never claim to have had a lot of experience in its spiritual predecessors such as X-Wing, I have at least played them. I was, I feel, too young to have properly appreciated them at the time (7 or 8), and I haven't got around to playing them since. I really should do that.

There are numerous things which have me interested in Squadrons as a game beyond its base principle, so I would like to use today’s post to demonstrate just what I am looking forward to.


Things Left Unsaid

Things Left Unsaid is a story mission in SWTOR which players will only access in one specific circumstance. They have initiated a romance with Koth Vortena, Lana Beniko, or Theron Shan at the end of Chapter IX: The Alliance of Fallen Empire and then a companion who they were in love with beforehand comes back. Reinitiating the romance with them unlocks this mission, which is essentially the “break-up” conversation.

It is something which I have often seen people regard as “heart-breaking”, as this is one of the few times when any of these characters – two of whom have apparently been beloved for years – are genuinely upset.

I have only one experience with this mission myself, but not in the way you might expect.


Fully Operational Again

The face-lift is finished, and so Galactic Antics lives and breathes fully once more. Huge thanks to Shintar of Going Commando for being kind enough to review the changes before they went live.

I hope you like the blog's updated look. I decided that, as I was no longer going to have an official primary focus, the blog’s theme should be similarly generic to match. Besides, as much as I loved the old Defender class corvette header, I cannot deny that it could be deemed a tad “too busy”.

I do of course appreciate that the whole “trying to emulate the series’ main titles” theme has been done to death already, but I couldn’t really think of much else which would be generic and yet undeniably Star Wars.

So, what specifically has been updated as part of the overhaul?