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Star Wars Star Wars - Japanese Logo - Katakana / Kanji

Star Wars - Cabinet - Video Game Marquee


Pilot the X-Wing Fighter in the classic color vector arcade game! Blast away TIE Fighters, zoom across the surface of the Death Star, and roar down the trench with sampled voices and effects from the movie!

Star Wars was produced by Atari in 1983.

Atari released 137 machines in our database under this trade name, starting in 1972. Atari was based in United States.

Other machines made by Atari during the time period Star Wars was produced include: Fast Freddie, Gravitar, Dig Dug, Black Widow, Akka Arrh, Alpha 1, Arabian, Cloak & Dagger, Cloud 9, and Crystal Castles


Name Star Wars
Developer Atari (United States)
Year 1983
Type Videogame
KLOV/MOG # 9773
Class Wide Release
Genre Space
  • Orientation: Horizontal
  • Type: Vector
  • Color: Color
Conversion Class unique
Game Specific Star Wars Pinout
Dipswitch Settings

Star Wars Dipswitch Settings (user contributed)

# Simultaneous Players 1
# Maximum Players 1
Game Play Single
Control Panel Layout Single Player
  • Steering: X/Y-directional yoke with common triggers and thumb buttons - FireFire
Sound Unamplified Stereo (requires two-channel amp)
Cabinet Styles
  • Upright/Standard
  • Environmental/Cockpit - US - dark blue
  • Environmental/Cockpit - UK - light blue
  • Environmental/Cockpit
Bezel Star Wars Bezel Image
Control Panel Star Wars Control Panel Image
Side Art Star Wars Side Art Image
PCB Star Wars PCB Image

Game Introduction

Before the action starts, the player is allowed to choose which level of difficulty to begin at, with compensating bonus scores for each higher level of play. Once the preliminaries are finished with, the battle begins, and the incredibly smooth first person perspective and 3-D effects take over. The steering mechanism and four built-in triggers enable pinpoint shooting and flying accuracy as well as rapid-fire. The four laser-cannons that are located on the sides and bottom of the video monitor hit the "cursor", which is manipulated by the steering mechanism that also controls the direction of your ship. The mechanism is a good copy of the firing triggers in the movie.

There are three chapters in the story of the game. In the first, your X-Wing Fighter dogfights with Imperial TIE Fighters and Darth Vader's ship. In the second, you maneuver past bunkers and deflector towers on the face of the Death Star, blasting them along the way. In the final scenario, you find yourself speeding through the trench of the Death Star, avoiding obstacles and blasting gun turrets then, finally, hopefully time a proton torpedo for a direct hit on the exaust port target. What follows, if you are successful, is the Death Star exploding in a multitude of different colors. Then it is on to do battle again.

Throughout the game, you are bombarded by fireballs and lasers, which you must destroy or avoid. Each hit on your ship destroys one of your shields. Any collision will also lose you a shield and the game ends when you run out of shields and you get hit by anything. You do, however, receive an additional shield every time you destroy the Death Star.

The game features a dramatic state-of-the-art color vector graphics system that produces surprisingly realistic effects. The sound track is laced with the familiar voices of Luke Skywalker "Red Five standing by.", "I cannot shake him!", "This is Red Five. I'm going in!", etc., Obi-Wan Kenobi "Use The Force, Luke!", "Remember, The Force will be with you. Always.", etc., Han Solo "Yahoo! You are all clear, kid!", Darth Vader "I have you now!", "The Force is strong with this one!", etc., Wedge, and even R2D2 various beeps and electronic sounds, documented in the manual as "Yes", "No", "I agree", "Sequence completed", "Ouch!", and "That really hurt.". There are also seven different musical themes from the movie that are played throughout the game including the Star Wars Theme, Ben's Theme and the Mos Eisley Cantina Band's number.

Game Play

The object of the game is to destroy the Death Star. You battle squads of attacking TIE fighters as well as Darth Vader's ship in the attempt to accomplish your goal.
/Beginning with simple vector graphic depictions of a POV flight above the surface of a space station in this case the Death Star, the game progresses to more and more complex architecture to be navigated, and more enemy fire, both from automated gun turrets and, later on, from Tie Fighters as well. Your own guns, controlled by the same control yoke used to fly your X-Wing Fighter, can both neutralize enemy shots and destroy enemy fighters and gun turrets. You have a protective force shield with seven layers each hit from enemy fire, or collision with a structure on the Death Star, destroys one level of your shield. After all seven are destroyed, the next shot or collision destroys your X-Wing Fighter and ends the game. As you progress through the levels, you end up flying first through a swarm of approaching Tie Fighters, then through a dense forest of gun towers that challenges both your aiming and flying skills. Finally, you fly through the Death Star trench, with structures of increasing navigational difficulty, including catwalks, buttresses and gun emplacements that must all be avoided. Each time you are hit from an enemy weapon, and each time you strike a solid portion of the Death Star, you lose a shield level. Each time you complete a round, you get one shield level restored. Lose all seven levels of your shield and then get hit again, and you are destroyed. The first ten levels of the game are of increasing difficulty, with more complex sections of the trench being introduced. Beginning with Level 11, the trench is put together with random sections from earlier levels as you fly through it once you have mastered each type of obstacle you then have to quickly recognize and maneuver through them as they appear. At the end of the trench, on its floor, there is a small ventilation port. You must lock your sights on it and launch a torpedo into it successfully, after which the Death Star explodes and you begin the cycle once more. At the beginning of the trench portion of the game, the voice of Obi-Wan exhorts you to "USE THE FORCE, LUKE!" This actually refers to the ultimate test of skill in the game flying through the trench without using your guns to neutralize enemy fire. Successfully doing this, and then hitting the ventilation port, awards an extra 100,000 points. If you miss the port, you are instantly sent back to the beginning of the trench.

Star Wars KLOV/IAM 5 Point User Score: 4.39 (36 votes)

Fun Factor: 4.36

Overall Like 4.59
Fun (Social) 3.22
Fun (Solo) 4.32
Collector Desire 4.60

Technical Rating: 4.61

Gameplay 4.66
Graphics 4.68
Originality 4.59
Sound/Music 4.85

Personal Impressions and Technical Impressions each account for half of the total score. Within the Personal Impressions category, Like carries a little more weight than the other factors.

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Cheats, Tricks, Bugs, and Easter Eggs

In the tower scene, you can shoot fireballs that are hidden behind the towers. In the trench scene, you can shoot fireballs through the catwalks.

Moving the flight yoke far left and far right during the attract mode will switch between the instructions and the high score list.

In the trench you can "use the force" and get an extra 100,000 points by not shooting anything except the exhaust port. The text "USE THE FORCE" will be at the top of the screen until you shoot. The 100,000 is actually awarded just before you have to shoot the exhaust port, so it's possible to take out some of the gun turrets at the end, too. The bonus is actually lower on the first two waves.

It's rumored that if you shoot Darth Vader more than 30 times, you get 27 shields. It is said you can also get 255 shields, but this is rare.

More pictures


The controller is a derivative of the legendary military Battlezone version.

After fighting the TIE fighters, when you are flying towards the Death Star, the yellow lines on the Death Star spell out either "MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU" odd-numbered waves or peoples' names even numbered waves. The text is faint, but definitely there. It is possible to see this just as the screen zooms into the Death Star at the end of the dogfight sequence. The text is clearly there if the game is paused, either via MAME, or by flipping DIP switch 8 in the options bank on the logic board.

With regards to the order of their release, Star Wars was actually followed by Return Of The Jedi, a raster game that used the same flight controller, then by The Empire Strikes Back, a vector game shipped as a conversion kit for the original Star Wars.

Cabinet Information

Nearly the entire cabinet, except for the back, top, and coin doors, is covered with artwork, including several molded plastic sections.


Conversion kits exist to turn this game into The Empire Strikes Back.


Manufactured in partnership with Lucasfilm Ltd.

VAPS Arcade/Coin-Op Star Wars Census

There are 14,906 members of the Video Arcade Preservation Society / Vintage Arcade Preservation Society, 9,530 whom participate in our arcade census project of games owned, wanted, or for sale. Census data currently includes 165,180 machines (6,929 unique titles).

Very Common - There are 821 known instances of this machine owned by Star Wars collectors who are active members. Of these, 788 of them are original dedicated machines. 5 of them are conversions in which game circuit boards (and possibly cabinet graphics) have been placed in (and on) another game cabinet. 26 of them are only circuit boards which a collector could put into a generic case if desired.

For Sale - There are 26 active VAPS members with a Star Wars machines for sale. There are 2 active VAPS members with a Star Wars circuit boards for sale.

Wanted - Very Popular - There are 104 active VAPS members currently looking for Star Wars.

This game ranks a 95 on a scale out of 100 (100 = most often seen, 1=least common) in popularity based on census ownership records.

This game ranks a 92 on a scale out of 100 (100 = most often seen, 1=least common) in popularity based on census want list records.

Rarity and Popularity independently are not necessarily indications of value. [More Information]



The Wells-Gardner color XY monitor assembly is pin-compatbile with the Amplifone monitor and can be used as a replacement. However, an aftermarket correction kit is desirable.

The Amplifone HV transformers are often suspect and very expensive to replace.

While all four fire buttons have the same function during gameplay, when using the "Freeze Mode" single-step through frames, the triggers are used for firing and the thumb buttons are used to advance frames.


Installing a fan to cool the high voltage section on the monitor is recommended to extend its life. A blue "flare" at the end of the Death Star explosion can be removed by turning down the brightness at the HV.


  1. Star Wars
  2. Return Of The Jedi
  3. Star Wars - Empire Strikes Back


Foto-Finder® (Books)

  1. Arcade Treasures Kurtz (ISBN 088740619X) Page: 112; Color photo
  2. The Encyclopedia of Arcade Video Games Kurtz (ISBN 0764319256) Page: 159; Color photo Price guide: No
  3. The Encyclopedia of Arcade Video Games Kurtz (ISBN 0764319256) Page: 234; Color photo Price guide: No
  4. Arcade Fever Sellers (ISBN 0762409371) Page: 132; Color photo
  5. Encyclopedia of Arcade Video Games Kurtz (ISBN 0764319256) Page: 159; Color photo

Additional References (logged in members often see more)

  1. 3D Model (External): Cockpit (UK)
  2. 3D Model (External): Cockpit (US)
  3. 3D Model (External): Upright

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Auction Results

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Auctions Recap

Year Count Median $ Average $
2015 2 2,702.50 2,702.50
2016 1 2,760.00 2,760.00
2017 2 2,974.50 2,974.50
2018 2 3,565.00 3,565.00
All Years 7 2,760.00 3,034.86


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