Based on the original trilogy of Star Wars movies, this pinball revisits key characters and scenes from those films. While the Death Star rotates into position around Yavin, dodge Star Destroyers and enter Hyperspace, then visit Master Yoda and collect a Force award. Enter the Sarlaac pit and collect Jabba's Bounty, then shoot the Death Star and start Tri-Ball for a chance at the Double Jackpot. Go for the ramp to collect more bonuses and awards, but don't get distracted by R2's bouncing and whistling.
General consensus is that Star Wars is a fun and diverse pinball game, though there is too much emphasis on shooting the center ramp. It would eventually become Data East's most popular pinball table, with over 10,000 machines made - if you've seen a Star Wars pinball machine in your time, chances are this is the one.
In December 2012, Stern Pinball (who inherited Data East's pinball assets) released a software update for the game, which made major revisions to the ruleset. The revised software by Chad Hendrickson and other hobbyists fixed bugs, improved game balance, and added various tweaks.
This pinball demonstrates the following tropes:
- The All-Solving Hammer: The ramp shot, which is eventually worth 99 million points if you shoot it enough times. Fixed in the 2012 update.
- Anti-Frustration Feature: The December 2012 update adds a 10-second ball saver.Darth Vader: "Freeze."
- Big "NO!": Luke's only line in the pinball game.
- Cute Machine: R2-D2.
- Dynamic Difficulty/Game-Breaking Bug: Shooting the ramp several times lights the Extra Ball shot. Originally, the default value was only five shots, but it would adjust over time based on how well players did, and eventually increased to an unobtainable amount. The December 2012 upgrade fixed it at 18 shots.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: The Death Star on the playfield spins, even though it has no need to.
- Game Mod
- Match Sequence: Jawas walk up to R2-D2, pulling out numbers from him, until eventually nothing is left but the match score. The implication that they stripped him of all his parts, basically leaving him dead, can be rather unnerving.
- Old Master: Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
- Real Song Theme Tune
- Robot Buddy: R2-D2, who warbles and bounces throughout your game.
- Skill Shot: Combined with Video Mode, as the player must launch the ball in time to hit an on-screen TIE fighter.
- Space Is Noisy
- Spelling Bonus: S-T-A-R-W-A-R-S, what else? The letters are earned by shooting either orbit and a moderate point bonus is earned if it is spelled fully.
- Stab the Sky: Done by Luke on the backglass.
- Sword Fight: Vader and Luke are crossing lightsabers on the playfield, right above the flippers.
- Units Not to Scale: On the playfield, R2-D2 is noticably larger than the Death Star.
- Video Mode: Pull the trigger to shoot on-screen Stormtroopers... while still keeping the ball in play.
- The Speeder Mode is a subversion. It is basically just an Unskippable Cutscene requiring no input which awards points at the end.
- Wizard Mode: While the game doesn't have a Wizard Mode per se, the 2012 update elevated the Double Jackpotnote to this, with a minimum value of 50 million points.Developer Notes for the software update: "Double Jackpot should be the highest award overall. This needs to be the money shot. Nothing in the game should trump it! You are blowing up the Death Star!!!"
- Writing Around Trademarks: The phrase "Tri-Ball" is used to avoid infringing on Williams Electronics' trademark for "multiball."