It is really hard to imagine just how much of a popular phenomenon George Lucas’ Star Wars was when it hit cinemas way back in 1977. A craze that swept much of the world, Star Wars was beloved by science fiction and tech aficionados alike for it cutting-edge cinematography and timeless depiction of what is more or less a space-based fairy tale.
Giving the world such iconic heroes like Han Solo and Luke Skywalker as well as villains Darth Vader and Boba Fett, George Lucas’ IP was hot, hot, hot even years after it originally came out in the theaters. That partially explains 1983’s Star Wars for the arcade, an amazing game from Atari that made use of groundbreaking 3D vector graphics and put players in the pilot’s seat to take down the Deathstar in what was then one of the most realistic depictions in the video game space of a Hollywood film.
Coming out at the peak of the Golden Age of the arcades and right before the collapse of the home console market, Atari’s Star Wars was a powerhouse that is even today regarded as one of the best arcade games ever made.
It may be hard to imagine Atari as a big name in video games but back in 1983 their name was so dominant in the arcades that movie studios rarely looked beyond the company when they wanted to bring their IP to the market. Though Atari has built an awful reputation for schlock like ET, few people talk about the epic Star Wars game that arrived in arcades across the world in 1983 and gave fans their most robust simulation yet of their favorite movie.
Broken up into three phases, the game keeps the objective simple and does not seek to recreate the entire film’s saga in an arcade