May 4 was Star Wars Day, born out of the notion that May the Fourth sounds ominously like “May the Force”, the beginning of the most oft quoted line from the classic Star Wars flicks (1977).
George Lucas is often credited as being the godfather of science fiction and epic film because of the original Star Wars trilogy.
In honor of this odd yet awesome “holiday”, let’s take a look back at how George Lucas influenced gaming, as well.
The eighties offered many Star Wars related games, mainly because the movies were hot off the presses, all the rage, and undeniably hot. Capitalizing on this popularity were companies like Atari and Intellevision with titles such as the classic scrolling shooter The Empire Strikes Back from 1982.
A similar version from 1985 made time on archaic home computers, such as the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad and Commodore 64. In 1992, it was ported to Game Boy and NES. The eighties also gave us some dandies such as Death Star Battle on the Atari 2600 and Namco’s platformer Star Wars for the Famicom, among othes.
This decade really expanded on Star Wars games, veering away from simple shooters and platformers to include a greater array of genre. 1994 saw Star Wars Chess primarily for DOS; Star Wars: Rebellion, a real time strategy for Windows; and Star Wars Episode 1: Racer. Of course, there will still plenty of action games, FPS types and rail shooters, but it was evident that the popularity of the movies warranted a bit of branching out.
Probably the most well-known series from this decade was an entire stable of X-Wing fighter games, serving as combat and space flight simulators.
There are too many to list following the turn of the century, but this fact only enforces the idea that Star Wars is here to stay. The reinvention of the movie through the release of a series of prequels obviously contributed to the continued success of Star Wars inspired gaming. Attack of the Clones, the Clone Wars, and Revenge of the Sith all influenced modern gaming mightily, finding games on the Wii, PS3, Xbox 360 and pretty much everything else.
For a complete list of licensed and Lucas’s officially sanctioned Star Wars game, check out this list. It may surprise you just how many there are. Add the hacks, mods and indie games and your computer may overload.
STAR WARS X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter : gameplay