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Star Wars is a first-person shooter based around the final scenes of the original Star Wars film. It first appeared for arcade coin-operated machines and was subsequently converted to other gaming platforms.

You take on the role of Luke Skywalker, aiming to destroy the Death Star. In the first phase you have to pass swarms of TIE Fighters, including dogfighting the one piloted by Darth Vader himself. In the second phase the station's surface is protected by laser towers, third involves attacking its weakest spot - the unprotected exhaust port - with proton torpedos. Your X-Wing starts with six shields, but more can be awarded for good performance. Complete the game and it loops back around at ever-increasing difficulty.

The game uses vector graphics, which allow lots of action at high speed on comparatively slow systems.


Star Wars BBC Micro Menu; set up new keys?
Star Wars DOS Entering the Death Star
Star Wars Commodore 64 The opening story
Star Wars Atari 8-bit Shoot the TIE Fighters. Wave 1. (US cartridge)

Promo Images

Star Wars Magazine Advertisement Back cover


Alternate Titles

  • "Star Wars: The Arcade Game" -- Title used for most console versions

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

A painstaking experience Amiga Lukasz Gorski (13)
Fun little arcade game. DOS Longwalker (768)
The Force arrives on the PC DOS Roedie (5247)
Pure mindless fun.. even tho it doesn't feel like StarWars at all DOS Lukasz Gorski (13)

Critic Reviews

Génération 4 Amiga Jun, 1988 92 out of 100 92
Electric Playground Amiga Feb 28, 1997 9 out of 10 90
Your Computer Atari ST Feb, 1988 78 out of 100 78
Your Commodore Commodore 64 Nov, 1990 76 out of 100 76
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Commodore 64 Sep, 1984 7 out of 10 70
The Atari Times Atari 2600 Feb 18, 2014 70 out of 100 70
The Video Game Critic ColecoVision May 18, 2005 C+ 58
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Commodore 64 Dec, 1990 56 out of 100 56
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) DOS Dec, 1989 6.4 out of 12 53
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Amstrad CPC Feb, 1988 440 out of 1000 44


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1001 Video Games

The Arcade version of Star Wars appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Arcade version

The original coin-op Star Wars game was built using Ed Rotberg's incomplete spaceflight fortress assault game entitled Warp Speed. Add the joystick from his Military Battlezone and some licensed properties, and voila -- Star Wars!

Commodore 64 versions

There were two licensed conversions of Star Wars: The Arcade Game for the Commodore 64. The first was a cartridge by Parker Brothers. This version used simple sprites for the TIE fighters and clusters of dots to represent the fireballs. Several years later, Domark put out a much more faithful conversion which used vector graphics for all the game elements. Unfortunately while it was quite accurate, it suffered from poor frame rates which often made it difficult to play.


My hazy memory recalls: The front of the box contained an embedded LED that blinked slowly, like once every 3 seconds. I believe the LED was part of R2D2's head poking out of the top of the X-Wing.

References to the game

In the 1984 Christmas horror film Gremlins some of the Gremlin's can be seen briefly playing the original Arcade cabinet version of Star Wars.

Rogue Squadron III

In the Gamecube title Star Wars: Rogue Squadron III - Rebel Strike, the full version of Star Wars: The Arcade Game was an unlockable bonus feature.


Resourceful programmer tricks #2: The function keys serve as multiple different functional boss-keys, information about the programmer, and other neat little functions -- way above and beyond a typical boss-key. Poke around the keyboard while the game is running and see what you find!


  • Retro Gamer
    • September 2004 (Issue #8) – #87 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
Information also contributed by Guy Chapman, Pseudo_Intellectual, Rekrul, vedder and FatherJack

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