Atari's Star Wars was similar to other outer space shooting games of the early 1980s. However, Star Wars had one significant advantage: the immense popularity of the Star Wars movies. The cult-like fandom of the Star Wars movies gave the arcade game hordes of eager players and instant popularity.
Star Wars is based on the first film in the Star Wars series: Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Players act as Luke Skywalker in an epic intergalactic battle against the TIE Fighters and the Death Star. While avoiding enemy fire, players must navigate a Rebel X-Wing Fighter through the trenches of the Death Star to reach the detonation point. The mission is complete once the Death Star is destroyed. Then the game repeats with increased difficulty.
The stunning full-color vector graphics and audio clips taken directly from the movie immerse players in the complete Star Wars experience. Star Wars was ported to the Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari home computers, the ColecoVision, Commodore 64, Amiga home computers, Apple II, and Apple Macintosh among others. A version can also be unlocked in Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike for Nintendo GameCube.
Star Wars is not only a popular film series, but a legacy in popular culture. The arcade game Star Wars is a part of that legacy. The combination of popular film and popular entertainment made for an undeniable arcade success.