A great video game mystery involving Double Fine founder Tim Schafer and Star Wars Episode I: Racer has been solved. To catch you up to speed, the Star Wars podracer video game was released in 1999 by now-defunct developer LucasArts and quickly became a cult classic. However, those who have reached the credits since its release were left with a bit of a conundrum: Why is Schafer credited as someone who “never actively tried to sabotage the project”? Schafer, who worked as a key member on the LucasArts team, never actually laid a hand on Star Wars Episode I: Racer, so what gives?
Twitter user “Jack | Truckle Chuckle” was one of many asking the right questions. So Tim Schafer finally took the time to address the longtime gaming mystery of his name in the Star Wars credits, and the story is about as funny as you could imagine. He explained that, while it is true that he never helped with the project, he did at that time serve as director on LucasArts’ classic adventure game, Grim Fandango. As it turns out, the Grim Fandango team sat right next to the Star Wars Episode I: Racer team.
So, the conversation began when Schafer jokingly asked the Star Wars team, “What credit are you going to give me on Podracer?” When they responded that there was no reason to credit him for anything on the game, he said, “True, but on the other hand, I did nothing to hurt it.” This joking entry for Tim Schafer in the credits of Star Wars Episode I: Racer was apparently the result of that.
The Podracing team sat right next to the Grim team at LucasArts. Once, hanging out in their office, I asked, "What credit are you going to give me on Podracer?"
"Why would we give you a credit? You didn't do anything to help make this project!"
I said, "True, but on the other… https://t.co/qmZYPtQ3wO
— TimOfLegend (@TimOfLegend) May 18, 2023
Schafer admitted that this explanation is simply how he remembers the interaction, but it still makes for a tickling end to a strange moment in gaming. Funnily enough, Schafer also received a credit as “Motivational Guru” in LucasArts’ Star Wars: Dark Forces. Though the Double Fine lead didn’t share how that mention came about, we can probably assume the story is just as great.