Super Star Wars may not be considered the greatest Star Wars video game ever made, but it’s sure as Hell the most insane.
Released in the glory days of Nintendo, Super Star Wars was a side-scrolling platformer that took the oh so familiar story of a Tatooine farm boy’s rise to become the greatest Jedi the galaxy has ever known, put it in a bag of wasps, shook it around a little, and then stuck the resulting chaos into a 16-bit cartridge.
What we’re left with then is a bad ass version of the young Skywalker. The ways of the Jedi are closer to those of the Sith here, with Luke indiscriminately killing anything that moves, repeatedly. The same can be said for Luke’s cohorts Han Solo and Chewbacca, who are just as blood thirsty as he is. You’ve never seen the Rebellion quite like this.
If you’re looking for a faithful retelling of one of your favourite films, then you’re looking in Alderaan places. What you will find is a Star Wars that could easily have been directed by Quentin Tarantino. You see, had this been a movie and not a game, then it would be described as ultra-violent, and no doubt Luke and co. would be dropping enough F-Bombs to blow up the Death Star.
The Sith-like behavior isn’t the only difference here. Sculptured Software, who developed the game alongside LucasArts, have gone to town on rewriting history too. As if the movie plots weren’t action packed enough, we now get to see Luke mercilessly murder a community of Jawas in retaliation for them innocently salvaging the R2 droid. There’s also a level in which he beats down the ferocious Sarlacc monster, just like that one scene in the movie. You know the one. Everyone’s favourite – the one that doesn’t exist.
The controls of the game were likely also founded in an alternative version of the universe, because there’s no way anyone thought they were a good idea. There are a lot of critical jumps in Super Star Wars and you will miss them almost every time because of the stiff mechanics. It’s not quite as horrible as the sewer sequence in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game on the NES, but it isn’t far off. Whoever designed the controls should be encased in carbonite and given to Jabba the Hutt to use as a loofah.
Despite the blatant disregard for “the rules” of the franchise, the fact that it’s aged about as well as Mark Hamill’s beard, and it’s so hard at times that it makes you want to pay a Wookie to pull off your arms, Super Star Wars, and later it’s sequels, remains one of the most beloved entries in the extensive catalog of Star Wars video games.