Hey! Remember Blitzball? It was that weird-looking, but also kind of cool underwater sport from Final Fantasy X? Well, now Blitzball is (sort of) a part of the Star Wars universe thanks to a person who used to write about the NHL and his new book starring Anakin and Obi-Wan.
I’m happy to see 2022 continue to be a year filled with Madlib-like headlines that are both hard to predict and understand.
Released earlier this month, Brotherhood is a new Star Wars book set during the early days of the Clone Wars. Starring Anakin Skywalker and Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, the narrative deals with “that business” on Cato Nemoidia, as referenced in a throwaway line of dialogue between the two characters from the 2005 film, Revenge of the Sith.
Anyway, in the new book are a bunch of Easter eggs and little references to other things, as is common in most Star Wars media. To celebrate the book’s release, Brotherhood author Mike Chen recently created a Twitter thread discussing all these various Easter eggs. And one of them caught the eye of Final Fantasy fans online. According to Chen, the Blitzball sport namedropped in the book during a scene near a lake is a direct reference to Square Enix’s popular 2001 PS2 RPG, Final Fantasy X.
“Blitzball is basically underwater hockey played as a minigame in Final Fantasy X,” tweeted Chen. “As a former NHL writer, I freaking loved Blitzball and spent hours winning leagues.”
A lot to unpack here, not the least of which is someone describing Blitzball as underwater hockey. It’s more like aqua soccer or rugby. This is all very weird!
Now, to be clear: Final Fantasy X, Titus, etc., aren’t suddenly canon in Star Wars. Instead, a sport that plays and looks a lot like Blitzball as seen in the RPG is now canon in Star Wars. As someone who isn’t a big fan of FFX or Blitzball, but is a huge fan of Star Wars, this is a very odd moment, indeed.
And because I have chronic Star Wars brain, I can’t help but think of the infamous scene between Anakin and Palpatine in Star Wars Episode III. Y’know, the one where ol’ Plappy tells Anakin about Darth Plagueis The Wise. In the background of that scene, during that conversation, you can see the Mon Calamari Aquatic Ballet performance of Squid Lake. And what does that all look like? Yup, you guessed it Blitzball from FFX. In the words of George Lucas: “It’s like poetry, they rhyme.”
Speaking of fun Easter eggs in the new book, Chen also confirmed that Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order’s main character, Cal Kestis, has a small cameo in the book as the “red-haired youngling” hanging out with Jedi Master Jaro Tapal. Perhaps Kestis will take a moment to stop in the recently announced sequel, Jedi Survivor, to mention how much he loves Blitzball?