Ok, ok. I know that a person like me should have talked about this first when I started blogging since I am an avid fan of Star Wars. So much that, as my bio says, I was accepted into the local 501st Central Garrison here in Des Moines. But on October 9, 2017, Star Wars fans all over the world were glued to their computers to watch the latest Star Wars trailer. Jaws were dropped, tears were cried, and pants were peed. Ok, I’ll admit, only the first one happened. But here we are again, getting ready for the latest Star Wars movie and the anticipation can’t get any higher. And that’s where we talk about the first game that started it all.
If you look back, there are times where in a franchise of games, some will suck. I mean, look at ET. But that’s not why I’m here. But there are some that completely surprise anyone who loves to play games.
When the first Star Wars movie came out, the imagination of kids and even adults were kicked into hyperspace. I swear, I even remember the first time I saw it in the theaters. I so looked forward to playing dogfights and lightsabers and even wanted to collect the toys. But I never figured out how I was able to guard an entire Death Star with one Stormtrooper, or even rule the planet Endor with one Ewok.
But in 1983, the arcade lit up with the newest game and franchise that you thought would never get this far. Star Wars was an incredible addition to the movie, even though it was six years later. And this was a time that I never thought vector graphics could look so beautiful. Putting this game right next to Dragon’s Lair at Showbiz pizza would never be heard of. But they did it and it was successful. I can’t remember how many times I play this game in the arcade. In fact, that is always the case when I play games. How much have you spent on video games all of your life? I’ll take a guess, but I’d have to do the math. Average $3.00 x approximately 365 days a year (ballpark figure) times give or take 38 years = a minimum of $41,610. I am pretty sure I have played more than that. Well, there goes my chances for a Prius!
So the game becomes so successful that they decide to do a game for the Empire Strikes Back and also Return of the Jedi. Now granted, it is pretty cool that they used the exact same controllers for all three machines. But the problem was, Empire Strikes Back was kind of an iffy game because they tried to create a game similar but with newer elements. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that great. And then Return of the Jedi was another flop because they got away from the vector graphics and tried to do something different. They tried to go with a top down view at an angle that made it very difficult to play. It was a good attempt but a fail at the same time. Like watching the Matrix trilogy, they should have stopped after the first one.
I do remember how I finally saved money by buying the game for my IBM PC. Yeah that’s right, computer name dropping. I was working at Babbages and got a sweet deal on the game. And even when you bought the Rogue Squadron for the Gamecube, they gave you a free copy of the original. They do that because it really is a great game and you can’t escape your destiny with without the memories of a good game. Like the music of the original trilogy, it is embedded in your head because it is that cool and epic.
For the times, there were other games to play as well. But if you put Star Wars next to something like After Burner or even Renegade, or P.O.W., it is more likely to remember the first game. And that will give you even more reason to…..
Keep Calm and Insert Coin!