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Video Game / Super Star Wars

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A long time ago, in a 16-bit system...

Super Star Wars is a series of action-platformer games based on the original Star Wars trilogy, developed for the SNES by Sculptured Software and LucasArts.

The plot of the first game closely follows A New Hope, and consists of 14 levels. The player can control Luke Skywalker (later Han Solo and Chewbacca too), from the Dune Sea of Tatooine, through the Mos Eisley Cantina up until the trench of the first Death Star. The gameplay is essentially this: Luke & Co. are gunning down various Mooks on each level, while fighting their way to the end of the level, where the boss awaits them. In a few of the levels, the player can control vehicles (Luke's speeder, much later his X-Wing); these levels feature and showcase the capabilities of the SNES' then brand new MODE-7 chip, which provides a 3D-like experience. Then the very last level is like an FPS, where the player has to defeat an endless swarm of TIE Fighters by moving a crosshair with a D-Pad and shooting wildly.


The first game came out in 1992, followed by Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in 1993, and Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi in 1994. All three games were re-released on Virtual Console in 2009, and the first one was re-released on the PS4 and Vita in November 2015.

This game provides examples of:

  • Actionized Adaptation: Setpieces visited only briefly in the films where only dialogue scenes took place become levels full of enemies to shoot up and slice up.
  • Action Girl: Leia is a playable character in Super Jedi, and even has a handy charge attack.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Some plots from the movies were either altered or removed altogether.
  • Adaptational Badass: In Super Star Wars, Luke is a far more capable fighter than he is in the movie, gunning down lots of hostile animals and a sandcrawler full of jawas before he even meets Ben Kenobi — when he does, he immediately starts swinging a lightsaber at enemies.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance:
    • The Sarlacc monster from Return of the Jedi appears as the first boss in Super Star Wars.
    • The Mynocks from The Empire Strikes Back become enemies in the Tatoonie levels of Super Star Wars.
  • Adapted Out:
    • The Trash Compactor sequence was dropped from Super Star Wars (but was originally planned to be included).
    • The Sarlacc monster doesn't appear in Super Jedi as it was already in the first game, instead Jabba tries to escape in his sail barge.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • The tractor beam becomes a boss in Super Star Wars.
    • The Jawas also go through this. They may have been pesky scavengers in the movie, but they weren't remotely evil and never tried to harm Luke or the droids. Here, they are out for blood.
    • Oola becomes a recurring enemy in Super Jedi.
  • Ascended Extra: The Kalhar Boss Monster is the Mantellian Savrip dejarik character from the first movie, which only had seconds of screentime.
  • Bag of Spilling: Luke in Return of the Jedi starts with only a handful of his Force powers from the previous game. This was most likely for balancing purposes.
  • Base on Wheels / Bigger on the Inside: The Sandcrawler in Super Star Wars. Already a juggernaut of a machine on the outside, its a downright labyrinth once you fight your way in.
  • Boss-Only Level: The Emperor's Chamber in Return of the Jedi.
  • Bottomless Pit: Frequently on Tatooine levels, but even the Death Star has some of them.
  • Classic Cheat Code: All of the games have some.
  • Continuing Is Painful: With the games being Nintendo Hard, this trope is not surprising. Losing a life means any health extending items and blaster upgrades are all lost.
  • Double Jump: In the sequels.
  • Everything Is Trying to Kill You: The first level, where Sandscorpions, Womprats and Mynocks harass you endlessly. Also in the Cantina level, everyone in the bar is after you, not just Greedo.
  • Game Engine: Sculptured Software tweaked this game engine for the fan favorite Virtual Bart. The similarities to the Super Star Wars games are most noticeable in the "Bart as a pig", "Bart as a dinosaur", and "Bart riding a motorcycle in a post-apocalyptic Springfield" levels.
  • Infinite 1-Ups: There is one on Level 5 (Land of the Sandpeople), where there is a chasm you could fall into, and by keeping left, you get to a secret area where you can pick up 7 lives. You're forced to kill yourself after that, but you can do it over and over again up until you reach 99 lives.
  • Instant Awesome: Just Add Mecha!: Imperial Defense Droid, the boss of the Death Star Hangar Bay level.
  • King Mook:
    • Mutant Womprat in Super Star Wars.
    • Giant Wampa Creature and Giant Probe Droid in Super Empire Strikes Back.
  • The Lava Caves of New York: Not just any lava, but sand lava inside the Sandcrawler of all places! And it's even right at the end of the level for an insta-kill threat when facing the Lava Beast Jawenko.
  • Life Meter: Pictured as a lightsaber. As Game Grumps pointed out, it's depicted as a lightsaber even before Luke knows he's a Jedi, creating a bit of a continuity snarl. Ditto for Luke's Force powers.
  • Mercy Invincibility: Averted. Instead your character turns red and is pushed back when taking a hit, so falling into a crowd of enemies sometimes can have unfortunate consequences...
  • Mini-Boss: Banthas in the Land of the Banthas level in Super Star Wars.
  • Mook Promotion: One of the AT-ST from Level 7: Hoth Battle becomes the boss of Level 12: Echo Base 3 in Super Empire Strikes Back.
  • Nintendo Hard: These games are notoriously difficult, with Super Empire frequently making Top Ten Lists of the most difficult games ever.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Bottomless pits in the Death Star Hangar Bay level without railings.
  • Outrun the Fireball: The final level in Return of the Jedi follows the same scene from the movie where you have to navigate through twisting tunnels and jutting walls while trying to avoid being caught by the fireball from the explosion of the Death Star II. The attack run even impressively recreates the layout of the tunnel as seen in the films. Right down to the narrow section where the Falcon loses her radar dish (complete with a digitized Lando commenting, "That was too close!")!
  • Painfully Slow Projectile: The regular Stormtroopers shoot... laser-ball things which you can avoid by running in the opposite direction, since they are moving with the exact speed your character runs.
  • Password Save: Only the second and third game.
  • Permanently Missable Content: The Force power ups in The Empire Strikes Back game. Most are found on the main path of the level they're in, but the rest are either out of the way or hidden, so it's possible to miss out on these powers if you advance to the next level. Averted in the Return of the Jedi game where Luke starts with a set of Force powers and doesn't need to find more.
  • Recurring Boss: Darth Vader (sans his TIE) returns in both Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.
  • Respawning Enemies: Especially prevalent on the 3rd level, where even the various guns on the side on the Sandcrawler are mysteriously repaired while you were not looking.
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop: While still difficult, Super Jedi is far more forgiving than Super Empire.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back is regarded as one of the hardest, most unforgiving games on the SNES.
  • Spin Attack: Performing a superjump (up+jump) or a Double Jump in the sequels with the lightsaber has Luke spinning and slashing down everything in his way. Leia does the same until she gets a blaster.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Every boss dies with a lot of explosions, even living ones, such as the Sarlacc at the first level. Naturally, the Death Stars in the first and third game go out in grand explosions.
  • Super Title 64 Advance: Every installment always has a "Super" in the titles.
  • Timed Power-Up: Blaster upgrades are lost if you die. The health extending power-ups not only go away if you die, but they also get removed when advancing to the next level.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: You can perform this with Han.


Example of: