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Do you remember Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy? A distant relative to the groundbreaking Dark Forces, the followup to the incredible Jedi Outcast, and the Star Wars game that's perhaps most in need of a modern sequel (well, it's between this and KOTOR).

More than a decade after the Jedi Academy's 2003 release, we take a look at the game and its players today in a guest article written in cooperation with

Stab your friends with laser swords.
Jedi Academy is a game in which you stab your friends with lightsabers. It's a superbly enjoyable single-player trek across recognizable Star Wars locations, it gives you the chance to master the Force, along with the chance to fall to its dark side. But for its several-hundred players today, it's the multiplayer that remains compelling to this day. Well, that and the mods.

Giant, lightsaber wielding duck? There's a mod for that.
Deep down, have you ever wanted to play as a giant, lightsaber wielding duck? We have a mod for that. [url=" target="_blank]Really.[/url]

In Jedi Academy, there are thousands of mods for just about anything you could imagine. Some of them are total overhauls: take [url=" target="_blank]Movie Battles II[/url], an astoundingly large multiplayer total conversion which completely revamps nearly all gameplay mechanics – introducing a more in-depth lightsaber combat system, new battlefields, characters, weapons, classes, Force powers and more. There are also others, like the ubiquitous [url=" target="_blank]JA++[/url] mod, which add a variety of much subtler tweaks and tools perfect for server owners. Both mods have an active and dedicated community playing every day.

But there is more: [url=" target="_blank] custom [/url] [url=" target="_blank] weapons [/url], playable models for [url=" target="_blank] just [/url] [url=" target="_blank] about [/url] [url=" target="_blank] any [/url] [url=" target="_blank] character [/url] in and [url=" target="_blank] outside [/url] of Star Wars lore, and [url=" target="_blank] some [/url] [url=" target="_blank] amazingly [/url] [url=" target="_blank] detailed [/url] [url=" target="_blank] maps [/url] to play on. [url=" target="_blank] Graphical [/url] [url=" target="_blank] upgrades [/url] are popular too, with a little effort you can make the game look much more modern than it does out of the box. And although multiplayer is the community's biggest focus by far, there are also mods [url=" target="_blank] intended for [/url] [url=" target="_blank] singleplayer [/url]. Like Survival Mod 2, which completely replaces the singleplayer campaign with a series of levels designed to be a harrowing test of your Jedi powers.

One modification especially worth highlighting is [url=" target="_blank]OpenJK[/url]. In 2013, the source code for Jedi Academy was released and OpenJK quickly followed: an open source version of Jedi Academy which preserves the existing gameplay, but fixes countless bugs and problems in the vanilla game, as well as introducing native Linux support. OpenJK has played a significant role in keeping the game alive, serving as a kind of unofficial community patch.

For many players, mods are one of the main things keeping the game interesting despite its age, and new mods are still being released every week.

Jedi Knight: Jedi Chatroom?
Variety is the name of this game. On many servers, simply anything goes. But there are also several active roleplaying communities, mostly hanging out on heavily modded and customised servers. <img src="" style="float:left; margin:4%" width="50%"> Others are home to a community playing Jedi Academy as a kind of chat room with lightsabers, spending much of their ingame time simply socializing. Many server owners outright forbid attacking another player whose saber is not ignited.
[Ed: No, breaking those rules doesn't make you a Sith]

But, there's also an active competitive community in the midst of it all. Saber combat in Jedi Academy has a pretty steep learning curve, giving rise to a tradition of experienced players mentoring newbies one-on-one, mimicking Jedi-Padawan relations in Star Wars lore. This is especially popular in clans and guilds, of which there are many. Joining a clan or team you like can be one of the fastest ways to learn more about the game, as well as simply being fun. Many clans organize regular events, such as lightsaber tournaments, racing, or roleplaying adventures.

Not a Force-ghost town.
Over the years, Jedi Academy's playerbase has stabilized with a consistent several-hundred active players spread across different servers, mods, and play styles. If you've never played Jedi Academy, it's definitely not too late. If you have played it in the past, it may be worth revisiting if only to check out all the new mods (and maybe meet some old friends).

For mods, tutorials, help getting started, and assorted Jedi Knight discussion, [url=" target="_blank][/url] is the place to be. We're a Jedi Academy community active for 5 years and managed entirely by volunteers. We also host the largest active repository of Jedi Academy mods on the internet, at almost 3,000 mods. If you're a new player, we have [url=" target="_blank]a concise guide to getting started with Jedi Academy multiplayer here[/url].

Finally, I'd like to give a shout-out to for inviting us to write this guest article about our favorite Star Wars game. Happy Star Wars Day to you all, and May the 4th be with you!

This article was brought to you in cooperation with [url=" target="_blank][/url]
Post edited June 27, 2017 by maladr0Id
Loved the game back in the day. Spent my time mostly on siege maps but also dabbled a bit in duels which was pretty fun.
I spent most of my multiplayer time with Jedi Outcast rather than Academy, but combat was certainly more diverse in Academy. Batman: Arkham Asylum, made you feel like Batman and games like Jedi Outcast and Academy were the first games where I felt like I was a Jedi. (Kotor I & II were great in that area too.)
Awesome I didn't know about openjk and now I'm really anxious to check it out!
Thanks for mentioning OpenJK. You missed the link to their github repo:
Post edited May 05, 2017 by shmerl
I also didn't know about openJK! I already own Jedi Academy, and I've never played it. I think it's time to rectify that...
hummer010: I also didn't know about openJK! I already own Jedi Academy, and I've never played it. I think it's time to rectify that...
See Linux FAQ thread about it too.
Post edited May 05, 2017 by shmerl
hummer010: I also didn't know about openJK! I already own Jedi Academy, and I've never played it. I think it's time to rectify that...
shmerl: See Linux FAQ thread about it too.
openJK works fantastic; one of the best open source re-implementations I've seen, pretty close to openTTD ;)
Wow this was great article and I love that GOG is doing stuff like this. Jedi Knight 1, Outcast and Academy are still the best Star Wars game ever right next to KOTOR 1/2, it boggles my mind that instead of continuing those, LucasArts created that shitty Force Unleashed nonsense. And now EA also apparently seems disinterested in continuing this brilliance, shame. Although I hope BF2 campaign will be good at least.
Very cool! I spent my time with outcast, but it looks like I need to check out academy!

|NJS| Neo Jedi Samurai
Post edited May 05, 2017 by Celton88
I first played Jedi Academy on my brother's Xbox. Loved it. Learned to love it even more on PC.

Today I still play Jedi Academy on my ThinkPad T410 on Windows 7 (dual-booted alongside Linux Mint 17.3).

The very modest hardware requirements keep Jedi Academy playable even on low-end graphics cards and old single core CPUs.
Adored the campaign actually. It was fun being a jedi doing jedi things. A shame it was so short, had some inventive scenarios, like that rancor in the spaceport.
*Sees mod to play as a duck*

*Clicks "This is my favourite topic"*
Jedi Academy never loses its lustre. Every couple of years I leave a deep meditative trance to come back and chop a couple of newbies into hamburger.
I've been having tons of fun with this since I picked it up at the start of the sale. Except for a decently major bug in OpenJK on Linux that's easily worked around that I've posted about on the game's forum, it's been running great, widescreen and all.