The Rebel Bass
by Paul Semel


You might think that owning a Chewbacca action figure, still in its original packaging, makes you a Star Wars superfan. But that doesnít come close to nine inch nails bassist Jeordie White, who can recite all of "Episode IV Ė A New Hope" from memory, complete with sound effects. Usually.

"I can do it if Iím in one of my phases where I watching the movie every day," he clarifies, calling in from his home in Los Angeles, "but I can always get through the first ten, fifteen minutes for sure." Such dedication hasnít just meant that White has made certain concessions in his life ó ďI had to get a storage space to put all my Star Wars toys. My collection was taking over my life...Ē ó but also that the artist formerly known as Marilyn Manson bassist Twiggy Ramirez is into Star Wars video games as well. Which is why we enlisted him for a celebrity review of the newest one, Star Wars Battlefront II.

When did you get into Star Wars? When the first movie came out in 1977. I have most of the toys and even have a couple wearable Stormtrooper outfits. Itís a little bit of an obsession.

Do you also read all the books and watch the cartons? Iím not really into the expanded universe. I know all the books are Lucas-approved, and I do like to read a lot, but a lot of the Star Wars novels are boring, and unless it comes from George Lucas, Iím not interested. Though I did love the Clone Wars cartoons. Some of the stuff in the Clone Wars was even better, I think, than some stuff in the prequels.

Do you have a favorite movie? I would have to say Empire Strikes Back. I know thatís the popular answer, but thatís the best one.

And do you own a copy of the Christmas special? No, I donít, actually. Iíve seen it a million times, though.

Have you ever met George Lucas? Iíve met him twice, actually. When I was in Marilyn Manson, I invited people from Industrial Light & Magic to come see our show, and in return, they gave me a tour of ILM, and I end up becoming friends with some of the people. So when they had the crew screening for Episode I, someone from ILM brought me as their guest, and I got to watch the movie while sitting right in front of him.

The other time was when I took a tour of Skywalker Ranch, and we were eating in the cafeteria. Youíre not supposed to approach him if you work there, because Iím sure that would get annoying, but I didnít work there, so I just walked over and said hello. When else am I going to be in that position? I better just go for it. Whatís the worst that could happen?

Well, he could have some Stormtroopers escort you outÖ. Yeah, exactly. But he was nice. It was really brief, I just shook his hand and said ďthanks.Ē

When it comes to the Star Wars video games, which ones are your favorites? Lately itís been Lego Star Wars. Of course, on the surface, it looks like a kiddie game, but when you play it, itís a lot of fun. And to be honest, nowadays, I think a lot of games try to look real, and I kind of prefer games that look like games. Like what Nintendo is doing, Mario still looks like Mario.

I have to say, Lego Star Wars is kind of an unusual choice, and I donít just mean because of your public image, but also because most people wouldíve picked a more hardcore Star Wars game such as Knights Of The Old Republic.
Yeah, actually, Knights Of The Old Republic was awesome, too. I finished both of those, Knights I and II, got completely obsessed with them. I also really liked Dark Forces and Republic Commando because I love games like Doom and Quake, and those were like Star Wars versions. But I donít really have an all-time favorite, itís just lately Iíve been really into Lego Star Wars.

Have you played Star Wars Galaxies yet? No, I havenít. Iím going to start playing World Of Warcraft soon, Iíve heard great things about it, and afterwards Iím sure Iíll cross over to Galaxies.

What other non-Star Wars games are you into? I loved the last Doom, Doom 3 was great. But Iíve actually been playing with my Nintendo DS a lot lately. Iíve been playing a lot of Mario Kart DS, and I also got the new Pac-Man.

So how familiar were you with the first Battlefront? I had played it pretty much to the end.

How do you think this one compares? I liked this one more. I liked that you can be a Jedi, and that you can land on a ship and get out and fight on foot. The graphics were also better, obviously, but so were the controls.

What I also liked was that because Revenge Of The Sith was such a cool movie, it gave this game some cooler levels. To be able to play the opening battle from Revenge Of The Sith was great, as was being able to play the battle on the Wookie homeworld, which was really too brief in the movie.

Though, to be honest, I probably wouldnít have liked the game as much if it wasnít Star Wars. Like if it was army men in World War II or Battlestar Galactica, I would still think it was cool, but I probably wouldnít even play it. And thatís not an insult to the game, it would still be an awesome game, but for me, I just love playing as Star Wars characters.

You can play the game from either the first- or third-person perspective. Did you have a preference?
It really depends on what youíre doing. When youíre in a ship, I think itís better to be in first-person, but if youíre walking around Iíd say third-person.

You can also play from both sides of the conflicts. Did you have a preference? That also depends on what setting youíre in. Like if itís a battle from one of the movies, then Iíd be the Empire. Itís always fun to be the bad guy.

Speaking of which, one of the things I love about the Star Wars game is they always throw this Dark Trooper character in. I donít know where they come from, theyíre not in any of the movies, but theyíre cool.

Were there any battles you liked more than others? I liked the classic battles, the ones from the movies.

Did you get to play the game with the other guys in nine inch nails? No, Iím alone in my love of Star Wars.

But youíre not the only gamer in the band. Trent Reznor is a big gamer. Yeah, everyone in this band is. Everybodyís got a PSP, everybodyís got a DS, theyíve got every game system out there. But nobody played with me. Trent thinks Iím crazy with my love of Star Wars.

So if you had to rank this game on a scale of 1-10Ö Iíd give it about an 8. I truly enjoyed it. A 10 to me would be the original Mario Brothers or Pac-Man, but this was definitely awesome.