Definitive 50 SNES games: #47 Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi takes 47th on the list of Definitive 50 SNES games. The game is part of a trilogy of Super Star Wars releases for the SNES. Although all three are worth playing, I would argue this game is the pinnacle of the series, and it will be the one to represent the three on this list. This run-and-gun action platformer was released in North American on June 22, 1994. The game was also released on the Game Boy and Game Gear. All three Super Star Wars games are available on Wii virtual console.

Super Return of the Jedi allows players to battle their way through the pits of Jabba’s palace, the sands of Tatooine, the forests of Endor, and the halls of the Death Star. Playable characters include Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Princess Leia, and more. Carefully selecting which character to use for what level is a vital part of the strategy in the game. Luke’s light saber skills may be no match for a speedy boss who would be better dealt with by a blaster wielding Chewbacca who can keep his distance.

In addition to the standard 2D platforming levels, Super Return of the Jedi includes Mode 7 powered vehicle sequences which, for example, allow the player to experience the speed of the Endor speeder bike chase.

Star Wars fans will appreciate the locations and characters taken from the Return of the Jedi movie remixed and reformed for use in game. Classic locales like Jabba’s palace are recreated with all the embellishments you would expect an action platformer to make. Background characters are turned into swarming enemies, and single rooms are turned into sprawling halls filled with traps. You might not remember Luke slaughtering the native species of Tatooine en masse in the movie, but it turns out to be a pretty fun thing to do in game.

To further boost the nostalgic appeal, sound clips from the authentic voices of Mark Hamil, Carrie Fisher, and James Earl Jones can be heard in Super Return of the Jedi.

In addition to a life bar, players must pay attention to a force meter which is reduced as special moves are performed. These moves include Luke throwing his lightsaber and Chewbacca spinning violently. As gamers make their way through the levels of the game, they will need to watch out for items like shields, thermal detonators, and 1ups. This is a challenging game which won’t allow lazy gamers to get very far.

The game does not feature full save functionality, but does provide players with passwords as an alternative.

The Super Star Wars trilogy is worth picking up in its entirety for collectors and Star Wars fans, but the similarity between the three games probably doesn’t warrant a pick-up from casual players looking to have some run-and-gun fun. Start with this one if you’re curious about the series.

Check back next week for entry 46 on the Definitive 50 SNES games.