The game uses the first three films in the Star Wars franchise as its source material, and casts the player in the role of one of their main characters (Luke, Leia, Han Solo, or R2-D2). They then proceed through various modes, re-enacting many of the trilogys most memorable events in the process, in the hopes of ultimately starting Jedi Multiball. Furthermore, there are several bonuses they can obtain, depending on their choices (primarily their character) and skill (primarily various Score Multipliers). Other features of note include models of a TIE fighter and the Millennium Falcon on the playfield, as well as the Death Star. (Premium and Limited Edition games have a moving Death Star, as well as a special hyperloop ramp.)
During San Diego Comic Con in 2019, Stern announced a home version (officially titled Star Wars Pin). It has a different layout (shared by the previous home edition of Spider-Man and the limited-run Supreme) that is more stripped-down and economical. Later that year, they also announced new versions of the Pro and Premium models with comic-styled art by longtime Lucasfilm illustrator Randy Martinez. In late 2020, this was followed by a "Comic Art" version of Star Wars Pin.
Not to be confused with any other pinball machines based on Star Wars.
- Button Mashing: One short mode essentially boils down to mashing the action button repeatedly to destroy TIE fighters (made more difficult by the fact that you have to pay attention to the ball at the same time).
- Character Level: Hitting a specific set of blue targets advances your Jedi rank, from Youngling to Master.
- Context-Sensitive Button: The action button serves as this. Most of the time, it turns the Score Multiplier on and off; one particular mode has the player mash it repeatedly to shoot down TIE fighters; the Video Mode uses it to activate a Nitro Boost; finally, during multiball, completing the FORCE targets will light the button orange, and holding the button in for a second will add a ball to the current multiball.
- Gameplay and Story Integration: Combined with Mythology Gag certain planet modes are already lit and thus skipped over when the player is using a character that logically would not be involved in the events the mode depicts (for example, choosing Luke skips Escape from Cloud City because at that point in the story he was preoccupied fighting Darth Vader).
- Nitro Boost: During the Millennium Falcon-centric Video Mode, the player can hit the action button for a speed boost.
- No-Damage Run: You get a hefty amount of bonus points if you avoid every asteroid in the Video Mode.
- Obvious Rule Patch: Originally, the end-of-ball bonus includes modes that the player automatically gets credit for at the start of the game (which differs by character). This caused end-of-ball bonuses to be disproportionately huge, especially if the player had a poor ball otherwise. Stern fixed this by simply only counting modes that the player actually completed for the bonus.
- Pinball Scoring: The scores are inflated such that 1 billion points is considered a solid game. The many, potentially severe multipliers are the main cause of this.
- Score Multiplier: Several of them for specific shots, activated by hitting 3-bank targets (up to an absolute maximum of 40x). The action button allows them to be toggled on or off; using the flipper buttons in the latter state allows the player to shift which shot is affected by the multiplier.
- Shout-Out: One of the default high scores is "KME", the standard initials used by professional pinball player Keith Elwin (often renowned as one of the best players of all time, and who had just been hired by Stern the year Star Wars came out).
- Skill Shot: Two of them.
- Hitting a flashing drop target straight out of the plunger (or plunging it normally and hitting it with the right flipper) spots an award.
- Similar to Terminator 2: Judgment Day (by the same designer), launching the ball strongly sends it hurtling into a 3-bank target; hitting a specific, constantly shifting target bestows a multiplier.
- Spelling Bonus: F-O-R-C-E bestows one in a progression of awards, culminating in lighting Lightsaber Duel.
- Sword Fight: Lightsaber Duel features this, unsurprisingly.
- Video Mode: One where the player has to steer the Millennium Falcon through an asteroid thicket.
- Wizard Mode: Jedi Multiball, which is lit by finishing Lightsaber Duel and Escape from Boba Fett, shooting down 100 TIE fighters, leveling up to Jedi Master, and starting each of the four planets multiball modes. The player (initially only using one ball) faces off against the Emperor by hitting blue-colored shots the first time, it adds a second ball into play, while the second time finishes the mode. (Taking too long causes more shots to be added, too.)