Star Wars … Nothing But Staaaaar Wars

Unlicensed Video Game Goodness From The Seventies

Kyle Silfer
1 min read
Star Wars É Nothing but Staaaaar Wars
[url][/url]Kilobaud magazine, Feb. 1978:[xurl] Robert J. Bishop’s TIE fighter shooting game, written in Apple II BASIC. (Awesome digitized image by “B and J Williams”)
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For a behemoth media franchise that has spawned SO many video games—some good, many wretched—it may perhaps be hard to imagine a time when there were no Star Wars video games at all.

Gamers (who of course didn’t call themselves that back then) had to wait
five whole years after the first film came out before a Star Wars-themed game appeared on the Atari 2600 (and that was for The Empire Strikes Back!). Fortunately, the nascent crop of geeks who endured the electronic-amusement sparseness of the harsh 1970s learned that they had no one to turn to but themselves. And lo, many unlicensed homebrew games flourished—some good, many wretched—but all birthed from a sheer desire to manifest Star Wars on computer screens. Most of them featured TIE fighters, trenches, or both, although there was one Death Star-infiltration text adventure on the Apple II that this guy also remembers. Here are a few examples scraped from the interwebs:

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