Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Fantasy Star II: The Emergence of Heroes

Fantasy Star is a 12-part analysis of the similarities between Final Fantasy XII and the Star Wars trilogies.


Vaan resembles Luke Skywalker from A New Hope. Both characters are blonde haired orphans of roughly the same age. Vaan and Luke are very na├»ve about the world around them due to their sheltered lifestyles. Vaan lives in Rabanastre’s Lowtown rather than Rabanastre proper, just like how the Skywalker family lives outside of the busy Mos Eisley port city. Both characters dream of possessing flight vehicles in order to leave their homes in the desert. Through a series of events, Vaan finds himself joining up with two criminals, a forgotten knight and a princess, and getting involved in a conflict against an empire. Vaan’s first weapon is a sword, similar to Luke’s use of a lightsaber as his weapon. It’s also interesting to note that one of Vaan’s first missions is to clear a sewer of Dire Rats, earning him the nickname “Vaan Ratsbane.” One of Luke’s pastimes included shooting womp rats with his T-16 Skyhopper.


Balthier is a near match to Han Solo. Both wear similar outfits, consisting of a white long sleeved shirt, vest, dark pants, dark shoes and holsters. His initial weapon is a gun, echoing Han’s use of a blaster as his primary weapon. Beyond superficial similarities, Balthier shares the same cocky attitude as Han, as well as the tendency to use a reward to mask acts of altruism. He demands Princess Ashe to give him her ring as payment for escorting her to the Garif village but he eventually gives the ring back. This mirrors Han’s demand for a reward for rescuing Leia and later coming back to help the rebels despite having already been paid for his service. Balthier is a sky pirate with his own ship, the Strahl, just like how Han is a smuggler operating via his Millennium Falcon. Both characters have become notorious enough to have prices on their heads, causing ruthless bounty hunters to chase them.

Gideon Emery, Balthier’s American voice actor, has done work in Star Wars: Empire at War and Star Wars: Battlefront.


Fran serves as the Chewbacca to Balthier’s Han Solo. On top of the animalistic traits, Fran also shares Chewie’s minimalist approach to clothing. The two characters are adept mechanics and are extremely loyal to their respective partners in crime. Both are capable of dealing great amounts of physical damage during fits of berserker rage. Fran is also introduced in the game with a bow and arrows as her weapon. Chewbacca uses a bowcaster, a traditional Wookie crossbow, as his weapon. She is significantly older than the other members of the party. Fran is a Viera, and like Wookies, means she naturally has a longer lifespan than humans.

Nicole Fantl, Fran’s American voice actor, appeared in Attack of the Clones as Senator Lexi Dio.


Like Obi-Wan, Basch is a former knight of an overthrown government and is long thought dead by the public. Basch’s initial weapon is a sword, like Obi-Wan’s choice of a lightsaber for his weapon. Both characters adhere strongly to a code of honor, willing to dedicate themselves to a cause greater than personal gain. Basch has a personal connection to Judge Magister Gabranth in the same way Obi-Wan Kenobi is connected to Darth Vader, destined to meet each other for one final battle.

Keith Ferguson, Basch’s American voice actor, played Han Solo in Robot Chicken.


Princess Ashe is very much like the amalgamation of the political aspects of Princess Leia and Queen/Senator Padme Amidala. She shares their dedication to the citizens. Ashe is fighting to liberate her people from the corrupt Imperial rule. To do so, she joined the underground resistance and became an important figure within the group. She values peace but also does not shy away from physical combat. Ashe is descended from the Dynast-King and therefore able to use Nethicite much like how Leia is Force sensitive due to her being Darth Vader’s daughter.

Kari Wahlgren, Ashe’s American voice actor, has done work for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Star Wars: Empire at War and the Revenge of the Sith game.


Penelo is an amalgamation of the nonpolitical characteristics of Leia and Padme. Penelo is the most emotional and most passive member of the party. Penelo parallels Leia in the sense that she is simultaneously like a sibling and an ambiguous romantic possibility for Vaan. She also develops a friendship with the young Larsa, similar to Padme’s connection to the young Anakin in The Phantom Menace.

Cat Taber, Penelo’s American voice actor, voiced Mission Vao in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and plays Princess Leia in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.


count amwras said...

i found the picture of balthier and han solo on google and just started reading the article
i had also a familair feeling about the game but i didn't see the links
thanks for pointing this out

greetzzz count amwras ( isla nova )

Leara said...

heheh... u r awesome!

Anonymous said...

Oh my GOD!!! FFXII is a plage T__T

countdwyer said...

Anonymous said...

Gideon Emery is not an American Actor, He was born in England, Then moved to south Africa.

Batalla said...

What I mean to say is that Gideon Emery is the voice actor for the American localization of the game.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's fair comparing Final Fantasy XII with such vagueness as the Star Wars series. Balthier has more class than Han Solo, plus he -never- got caught, unlike Han. I find the Star Wars series to be seriously over-rated. Comparing Fran to some garbling hairball is an insult. It's as if you're saying the Viera do not speak clearly enough to be heard. I see Final Fantasy XII as the first chapter in the Ivalice history, not some mockery of Star Wars.

Anonymous said...

FFXII as the first chapter in Ivalice history? I kinda get the feeling that FFT took place before the events of FFXII

Anonymous said...

i thought the entire game was very star wars like. i loved it, its my second favourite ff, after 8, and one of the things i felt like was really star-wars like was the masks the judges use. from all the pictures you show, i think only the balthier one has similarities. but its a nice comparison

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IisTheO said...

dude your the man. And FF12 is A LOT like Star Wars, but unlike the fanboys of each series, I consider this a good thing. People complain but I love each series dearly and the blend of that traditional tale of star wars with the ever changing world of final fantasy is a dream come true. And one can't say that square enix is unoriginal for doing this because the amount of thought put into the similarities makes it more like a tribute rather then a copy. (For example little things like Vann killing the dire rats in contrast to the wamp rats. Little things that aren't influential to the over all plot.)

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