The Many Incarnations of Star Wars

This article is part of a series I call “The Many Incarnations of… ”, a column which will chronicle the different game titles that have been released over the years featuring a central character or theme. Pac-Man is here to provide “color commentary,” and Professor Pac-Man is on hand with interesting tidbits of trivia about each game!

1980
The Empire Strikes Back



I think Han Solo said it best, “Here's where fun begins!” Wocka! Wocka!

From the desk of Professor Pac-Man: The Empire Strikes Back was the first Star Wars pinball machine ever created. There were only 350 units produced, so they are highly sought-after by collectors.


1983
Star Wars



During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire's ultimate weapon, the Death Star, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet. Now armed with this information you must use this video game to destroy the Death Star and so on and so forth. . . Wocka! Wocka!

From the desk of Professor Pac-Man: Star Wars was the first Atari game to have speech. This game featured several digitized samples of voices from the movie. The most memorable is the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi, who states "The force will be with you--always" after the game is lost. 

1984
Star Wars: Return of The Jedi



I lend myself once again to the wisdom of Han Solo “A Jedi Knight? Jeez, I'm out of it for a little while, everyone gets delusions of grandeur!” Wocka! Wocka!

From the desk of Professor Pac-Man: Return of The Jedi was one of the first games to use a special graphics dithering method to make the graphics look visibly smoother. This was one of the first Atari titles to modify all game options via a setup menu rather than by using dip switches.  


1985
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back



Okay was Atari trying to tell Lucas something? The second movie really should've been the last. . . or at least the third. Wocka! Wocka!

From the desk of Professor Pac-Man: Two interesting bits of trivia on this game: First, despite being based on the SECOND movie in the trilogy, The Empire Strikes Back game was actually the THIRD game of the series, with "Return of the Jedi" being released a year earlier. Second, 'AT-AT' stands for 'All Terrain Armored Transport'.  

1987
Star Wars Pinball



Si puede leer esto usted puede ser que realmente disfrutar de este juego junto con su volante español. Que la Fuerza esté contigo! Wocka! Wocka!

From the desk of Professor Pac-Man: Did you notice this flyer is in Spanish? This pinball machine was manufactured in Spain by Segasa DBA Sonic. It was the first Star Wars pinball machine.

1992
Star Wars Pinball



The Emperor: “Young fool... Only now, at the end, do you understand...”  Hey Old Man, I'm the one writing this article and  if I remember right you're going to have a nice trip. See ya next FAAAALLLLLLLLLLLL! Wocka! Wocka!

From the desk of Professor Pac-Man: This game includes the following unique features: R2-D2 jumps up and down and rotates his head left and right and as your score climbs, R2-D2 gets more and more excited. This game also features an exciting action handle that allows you to raise and lower the Death Star.

Look for Part 2. . . A short time from now in an article not far, far away. . . Wocka! Wocka!

* This article is only a listing of known unique game titles. It does not cover clones of released titles, nor will it list the various platforms the titles have appeared on. It is not meant to be an all-inclusive reference listing, and should be viewed only as the recreational offering it was intended to be. Game descriptions, game titles and registered trademarks mentioned herein are properties of their respective owners.

First Published May 2009