Star Wars: Jedi Arena

Star Wars: Jedi ArenaThe Game: You weren’t born with a lightsaber in your hands. Even a Jedi Knight must practice his skills. Two Jedi are safely tucked away behind deflector shields, while an automatic seeker ball roams the center of a large chamber. You can use the Force to influence the seeker to attack your opponent, and you can deflect the seeker’s laser bolts when your opponent does the same to you. And every once in a while, the seeker goes into berzerk mode, firing multiple bolts at both contestants, pummeling their shields until one or both are defenseless. (Parker Brothers, 1983)

Memories: Easily the strangest of Parker Bros.Star Wars-inspired games for the 2600, I have to give Jedi Arena full marks for originality – instead of trying to ape a scene from any of the films in a convoluted game structure, Parker Brothers instead opted to create a completely new scenario, based only loosely on Luke’s training scene with the seeker ball in Star Wars.

Star Wars: Jedi ArenaAnd in a strange way, it works. It was the first video game set in the Star Wars universe that didn’t necessarily fit 3 quartersinto one of the movies. Following this game, Parker – whether by choice or due to contractual demands from Lucasfilm – tried desperately to develop further Star Wars games directly related to movie scenes, their later games just didn’t pan out.