ⓘ Super Star Wars

Super Star Wars

ⓘ Super Star Wars

Super Star Wars is a 1992 video game for the Super Nintendo based on the 1977 film Star Wars. It is the SNES equivalent of the Star Wars NES game. Super Star Wars features mostly run and gun gameplay, although it has stages which feature other challenges, such as driving a landspeeder or piloting an X-wing. It also features multiple playable characters with different abilities.

The game was followed by two sequels based on the subsequent Star Wars films, Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back 1993 and Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi 1994.


1. Gameplay

Super Star Wars generally follows the plot of Star Wars, although some allowances were made to adapt the story to suit an action game. For example, instead of simply buying C-3PO and R2-D2 from the Jawas, Luke Skywalker must fight his way to the top of a Jawa sandcrawler while leaping from a series of moving conveyor belts. Brief cutscenes between levels tell an abbreviated version of the films story through written text. Later stages allow the player to control smuggler and pilot Han Solo or Chewbacca the Wookiee. The game also features several vehicle-based levels in which the player takes control of an X-Wing or a landspeeder.

Most of the stages consist of run and gun and platforming gameplay, with several different upgrades available to the standard blaster weapon. Luke can also wield a lightsaber after acquiring it from Obi Wan Kenobi. The end of the game has players reenacting Lukes Death Star trench run to destroy the Death Star, with Darth Vader confronting the player in his TIE Advanced x1.


2. Development

Artist Jon Knoles did the visual designs for the characters, while Harrison Fong drew the backgrounds. Fong recounted that he did very little concept drawing before rendering the characters on the computer "because everybody knew what the Star Wars characters looked like." Originally, the game design was planned to give the characters a dark black outline around their bodies. However, this idea was abandoned, as it was thought to make the characters too cartoonish-looking.

The "Kalhar Boss Monster" is based on one of the chess pieces R2D2 plays with on the Millennium Falcon in the film. There was a trash compactor level that was deleted from the game due to lack of cartridge space. An image was published in an issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly around the time of the games release.

The games audio contains scores from the movie, which were all arranged by Sculptured Softwares in-house musician Paul Webb. According to Webb, he was given the original handwritten scores that John Williams had created. Paul then used the companys in-house music software to convert the scores onto the SNESs 8-channel sound chip. The games instrument samples were taken from the Ensoniq EPS and EPS16 keyboards.

A PC port of Super Star Wars was in the works since 1994, by Danish game company Brain Bug and produced by Softgold. The game was almost completed, and was well into the playtesting phase, but in 1995 LucasArts decided to halt the development and cancel the release. An unfinished version of this port was leaked onto the internet, but as of 2015 LucasArts has not yet released the game into public domain.

A Mega Drive version was in the works by Sega Interactive from late 1992 to some point in 1993, when it was cancelled for unknown reasons. An early prototypes ROM was dumped in 2020.


3. Reception

Entertainment Weekly wrote that "If youve ever fantasized about piloting an X-wing fighter into the heart of the Death Star, now you can do it - in simulated 3-D as well as reenact the movies key plot developments."

Super Star Wars was awarded Best Action/Adventure Game of 1992 by Electronic Gaming Monthly, as well as Best Movie-to-Game.


4. Re-releases

Super Star Wars was re-released in November 1996 as part of Nintendos Players Choice series.

The game was released for the Wii Virtual Console on August 10, 2009.

The game was digitally re-released on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita on November 17, 2015 and in the UK on November 24, 2015. The port features enhanced options for saving, leaderboards and trophies, and modern displays and controllers. The game was also made a part of a bundle with the purchase of Star Wars Battlefront for the PlayStation 4, which included Star Wars: Racer Revenge, Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter and Star Wars Bounty Hunter.