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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

"May the Fourth" Week: Star Wars and Atari

Lucasfilm Ltd. was always a tech oriented company. Even though many of the early special effects in the Star Wars films were relatively low-tech, the company was always eager to utilize the latest technology and in the late 1970's/early 1980's, the latest technology was the Atari. Not willing to just release low quality games, Lucasfilm insisted that games based on the movies weren't just thrown together. It could have authorized more games of lesser quality. Instead it only released four titles- 

Star Wars: Jedi Arena

Star Wars: The Arcade Game

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Return of the Jedi: Death Star Battle

A fifth title based on the Ewoks was created, but not released due to the collapse of Atari. While these cartridges were released by Parker Brothers, the company eventually brought video game production in house through LucasArts Software, which produced a variety of titles, many based on original concepts.