A big Star Guardians event is coming to Riot Games’ League of Legends† wild canyon, and Legends of Runeterra on July 14. A large number of characters from the various rosters are getting new Star Guardian skins and cosmetics, and new knowledge about this alternate universe will appear on two patches over the summer. Riot will also release a Sessions album featuring Star Guardian Taliyah.
The Star Guardians subculture is one of the most popular within the larger League of Legends lore. Star Guardians are high school students entrusted with cosmic powers to protect their homes from terrifying threats.
“The last time we revisited Star Guardian, we really saw that our players loved it and were engaged in it,” said Stephanie Bedford, a narrative producer at Riot Games, in a phone conversation with Polygon. “So we just really wanted to make that happen.”
For those just learning about these adorable skins, Riot has released a “The Story So Far” timeline that covers all the established knowledge about this alternate universe thus far. It is a classic magical girl story, with a power known as the First Star that chooses guards to defend humanity from the cosmos. The Star Guardians are portrayed as high school students, balancing between a dual identity of teenager and hero.
The previous waves of Star Guardians have featured movies, animations, music, a PvE event, and short stories published on the Universe website – but the details of the story have all been rather vague. Players could collect a general setting and a few key events, but no narrative continuous line. What we knew mostly came from the skin biographies and alternate voice lines of legendary skins.
But despite the limited nature of this story, fans still fell in love with the Star Guardians. These alternate characters are very indulgent, with the cute costumes, cute allies, and healthy friendships you’d expect from a magical girl squad.
“This is one of our most popular themes that we have as an alt universe,” said Bedford. “Riot really sees our alt universes as a really great medium for narrative expression and storytelling. So it’s not just cosmetics or a skin tone for us, and we’re trying to create something that has depth, breadth and appeal to players.”
The Star Guardians have an avid fan base who draw fan art of the skins, send them together, ponder where the story might go or what certain clues might mean, and otherwise be excited about the alternate world.
OOOHH~ BUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN
WHAT DOES IT MEET
— Star Guardian Hekatiane | Say Trans rights (@Hekatiane) July 8, 2022
“We are all developers who are definitely lurking and sometimes we can’t always communicate with each other or give things away,” said Bedford with a smile. “But even within Riot, we’re such big fans ourselves that we link it in our off-topic channels and say ‘Look at this amazing art’ and ‘Oh my god, how did they know that?’ or ‘They’ll be so surprised when this happens.’”
in outline League of Legends In lore, champions live in dangerous fantasy environments that demand excellence from them. It’s, well, a class of legends† The Star Guardian versions of these characters aren’t as hardy or world-weary. Kai’Sa and Kassadin in runeterra are a tragic father/daughter duo, who narrowly survive a battle against the Lovecraftian Void. Star Guardian Kai’Sa, on the other hand, tells her teammates not to tell her father about this magical girl business. “He has a lot to do.” (“We love Kassadad,” Bedford laughed.)
Star Guardian is a universe that is “really concerned with the personal aspects of relationships, identity and friendship – things that are all very important to our players in real life,” Bedford said.
More than a dozen developers have all worked on the Star Guardian event this year, including lead concept artist Oscar Vega and lead writer Jared Rosen. There are two Legendary skins, Kai’Sa and Akali, as well as some villainous additions to the cast in Star Nemesis Morgana and Fiddlesticks. The Star Guardian event kicks off at Riot’s on July 14th wild canyon† League of Legendsand Legends of Runeterra.