Few arcade games have ever captured the fun of a movie. In my opinion, Star Wars Return of the Jedi was one of them..on one condition though. The arcade had to have the mock up steering grip. The one that allowed you to increase speed by pushing up, slowing down, by pulling back and moving left or right by spinning the handle grips left and right.
Return of the Jedi, movie came out in 1983. Absolutely, by far, my favorite of the Star Wars films. The arcade version (according to the onscreen credits) came out in 1984. If I do the math…that makes me 6 years old when the movie came out. I remember being much older, but the math doesn’t lie. Return of the Jedi for the arcade had three different games, that all revolved around the movie. You could play as Princess Leia flying on a speeder bike towards the Ewok camp while avoiding scout troopers on speeder bikes and traps the Ewoks have laid out in the woods. You could play as Chewbacca in the AT-ST shooting through woods of planet Endore, avoiding Ewok Traps and other AT-ST…and play as Lando flying the Millennium Falcon on a mission to destroy the Death Star (avoiding the Death Star structure and barrage of Tie-Fighters).
When you start the game, you could chose between Easy, Medium, or Hard Difficulty. The game followed pretty simple mechanics, and the more you played the more of the game you memorized. For example, in level one as Princess Leia, you knew where the Ewok traps would be, where the Scout Troopers would appear and in what formations the games obstacles would appear and how many. What made this game so cool, was the digitized renderings of Luke’s, Lando’s, C3-Po’s, Chewbacca’s, and Darth Vader’s voices. This was pretty cool stuff given the time frame.