STAR WARS SEMINAR

Steve Ritchie spoke recently at the Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show in Tacoma, Washington, where he gave more details about his upcoming Star Wars game.

You can read the full show report in our Shows section, but here’s the relevant part about Star wars.

Steve Ritchie
Steve Ritchie

Steve said he was recovering from some optical treatment and therefore had to avoid the kind of bright light shining through the multiple glass panels in the seminar area.

He then continued by thanking the many people at Stern Pinball who had contributed to his latest game Star Wars which is soon to be released. He said production of the Pro model would begin in about a week.

Although always diplomatic about the details, it was clear from Steve’s talk that his and Stern’s dealings with Lucasfilm on the Star Wars franchise had not been without some difficulties, especially in getting approval for their artwork ideas for the game.

Steve was then joined by Greg Freres who talked further about the artwork approval process.

Steve and Greg
Steve and Greg

Greg showed pictures of the team’s initial ideas, working through the first licensor submissions to the final approved product.

Initial cabinet art ideas
Initial cabinet art ideas Click to expand

Initial backglass art ideas
Initial backglass art ideas Click to expand

Initial playfield art ideas
Initial playfield art ideas Click to expand

After showing a promo video for Star Wars Steve described the gameplay, saying at the start of the game you can choose one of four characters – Luke, Leia, Han or R2-D2. He said they had a lot of fun despite all the grief from the licensor, although they didn’t interfere with the design of the playfield.

Steve said there are nine multiball modes in the game, and when asked how Stern Pinball were able to secure the Star Wars licence said it was simply that they offered more money than anyone else.

We’ll have much more about the new Star Wars Pinball game very soon here at Pinball News.

STAR WARS REVEALED

Star Wars by Stern Pinball

The fact that Steve Ritchie’s next game would be Star Wars had been pretty well-known
for several months, but an official announcement wasn’t expected until June 4th, 2017.

Today though (May 31st), The Star Wars Show let the cat out of the bag with details and pictures of the new game.

As expected, there are the usual three variants – Pro, Premium and Limited Edition, with different art packages for all three. The Pro shows all the characters, while the Premium focuses on the Empire’s forces, and the LE features the rebels.

The Pro edition
The Pro edition

The Premium edition
The Premium edition

The Limited Edition
The Limited Edition

Onto the playfield, and the Pro is lacking a number of features found on the higher models. Here’s the full-featured Premium/LE playfield.

The Premium/LE playfield
The Premium/LE playfield

Balls are locked in the Death Star which breaks open to release them for multiball. A wireform loops around in front of the flippers to provide some additional entertainment when balls are locked or released, while the ball is initially plunged across the playfield at the F-O-R-C-E targets.

There appear to be four sets of three modes, each set represented by a colour and a playfield shot – Hoth (blue, centre lane), Death Star (purple, left lane), Tatooine (red, right scoop) and Endor (green, left ramp).

The Pro playfield
The Pro playfield

The Death Star here appears to be a static toy, with plastic instead of metal ramps, no upper level to the right ramp, no loop-around wireform and no Millennium Falcon toy. The playfield art is very similar though, and all models feature a miniature LCD screen above the Tie-Fighter target bank and back panel artwork.

Stern Pinball will no doubt produce an official press release over the next day or so to bring us full details and prices, and Pinball News will bring you all that information just as soon as it’s available.