Star Wars (1987 video game)

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Star Wars 1987 Famicom cover
Star Wars
Publication information




Release date

December 4, 1987





The Japanese version of the Star Wars video game released in 1987 by Namco (then known as Namcot), was released for the Famicom. This version is a common side-scrolling platformer in which the player controls Luke, as he travels in order to join the Rebellion against the Empire. Hiroyuki Kawada was one of the game's developers.


While the game is based on Episode IV, Namco took several liberties with the its storyline. For instance, Luke must rescue some of the main characters from the movie (R2-D2, C-3PO, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Princess Leia, Chewbacca and Han Solo), who are trapped in distinct planets. As such, Luke travels using the Millennium Falcon (which in the movie was piloted only by Chewie and Han) in order to find them. Also, on each planet, the boss is none other than Darth Vader, who will sometimes transform into a giant scorpion, a Wampa, a shark, or a pterosaur in order to continue attacking. Vader himself is eventually fought for real at the Death Star, just prior to escaping the Death Star upon rescuing Princess Leia, as well as on Yavin 4. As for the planets themselves, some are portrayed very differently than in the mainstream franchise's universe (Kessel contains ruins that resemble that of Ancient Egypt, for example) and some don't appear in the actual film (such as the icy planet, which is most likely Hoth). In addition, Chewbacca in this game has some degree of capability of speaking Galactic Basic Standard, even though neither the films nor the other expanded universe materials even hint at him being capable of speaking anything other than his native tongue.

Other differences include the use of a lightsaber and the Force, the latter of which Luke learned very little until Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. In addition, Luke's in-game appearance is black haired, although he retains his sandy-blond hair color in the instruction manual.

Transforming VaderEdit

According to both "Game On!", an article published in the Star Wars Insider 135, and the game manual, the fake Vaders were said to have been "intended as illusions representing Luke's fears, like the Cave of Evil scene in Empire Strikes Back."[1] However, since those game opponents were able to kidnap Luke Skywalker's allies and hold them prisoner, this article assumes they were real creatures rather than mere illusions.


Luke vs the Ellespad

Gameplay from Star Wars

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