Star Wars Pinball Revealed In Detail

arcadehero June 6, 2017 5

Last week saw a ‘sort of’ unveiling of Stern Pinball’s next release, Star Wars Pinball and today, IGN.com received the goods to show the game in higher-res glory (albeit there is still some image compression here…not sure why they can’t do true high quality PNGs for their product). No release date has been announced quite yet but knowing Stern, I am sure that units will begin shipping out by the end of the Summer. MSRP has been unveiled too: $6199 for the Pro, $7899 for the Premium and LEs are $8,999 (plus shipping and tax, of course). You can check out the story here, which includes video of the game in action.

The Star Wars Pinball Models

UPDATE: Stern Pinball has listed the Features Matrix on their website; click here to download or view it (PDF file). All of the models features the original SW music tracks by John Williams; 400 HD scenes from the movies; color changing LED illuminated inserts; the 4.25″ second LCD; high-fidelity stereo sound system and the SPIKE-2 hardware system.

Let’s Start with breaking down the Pro. Personally I find this to have the most appealing backglass for a location but maybe that’s just me. Both sides have different art depicting the iconic space battles; right side has the Battle of Yavin from Episode IV, left side as the Battle of Endor from Episode VI. In addition to the big LCD that will play clips from the movies, the smaller display on the playfield will act as a sort of dynamic virtual target, displaying things like TIE Fighters for you to hit on the targets beneath. The game also uses the redesigned start button that was introduced with Aerosmith:

Stern Star Wars Pinball Pro

Stern Star Wars Pinball Pro

Comparison of the playfields, Pro on the left, Premium/LE on the right. In addition to differences in the ramps (beyond plastic and metal, the Premium/LE has two additional ramps, one coming out of the Death Star that can ‘explode’ open as well as one that goes behind the playfield). The art on top of the pop bumpers in the back-right also have different artwork on them; Admiral ‘It’s A Trap!’ Ackbar on the Pro, Lando Calrissian on the right. The backboard of the playfield also differs in the artwork. Otherwise I am surprised that the playfield art itself is exactly the same although that is something that could always change by release. There is also a light-saber duel mode, Victory multiball and three scenarios with four parts to them (Escape From Hoth, Destroy The Death Star, Escape From Tatooine, Battle above Endor). The Premium/LEs also feature a ball diverter on the lower right near the ball launch. It’s hard to see in the pics but is shown in the video.

The Hyperloop ramp (Premium/LE) that loops above the flippers is a pretty cool idea and without having played the game yet, my favorite feature:

Stern Star Wars Pinball Playfields

From the video, here’s a close-up of the playfield LCD. You’ll notice that there is no magnet on the playfield; I half expected that as a way to “use the force”, much like Ghostbusters LE had the “magnaslings” to create spooky effects. Perhaps that could also come later depending on how far along the prototypes are. There is a magnet used in the “Super Speed Loop” acceleration ramp however since hitting the ball with a coil to do the same effect probably didn’t work out so well:

Star Wars pinball LCD

Close-up of the Death Star toy on the Premium/LE. This would have made it cost a few thousand more probably but I would have liked to see a projection mapped sphere that could make the Death Star look like it’s rotating or animate the explosion…

Death Star Star Wars Pinball

Now for better shots of the Premium & LE, Premium first. This has a little stronger focus on Episodes V & VI and there is a little badge above the left speaker grill. I wonder if this will have the unofficial title of the “Vader Model”:

Stern Star Wars Pinball Premium

Stern Star Wars Pinball Premium

For the Limited Edition (LE), we could unofficially dub it the Millennium Falcon model given its prominence on the cabinet. This is limited to a production run of 800 units, which I imagine will sell quickly since it is Star Wars. Playfield looks the same as Premium, you just get the extra art, extra side blades and higher collectability. I will not be surprised if Stern rolls out various upgrades for these like they did with The Walking Dead:

Stern Star Wars Pinball LE

Stern Star Wars Pinball LE

So given these new revelations, what do you think of the game now?


5 Comments »

  1. neil brimelow June 6, 2017 at 10:51 am - Reply

    It looks like a first gen Stern Pin, albeit with LED lights and a mini-LED screen. The Pro looks really, really barren. I mean, come on, with a million Star Wars toys out there they couldn’t toss on some cheap toys for the Pro version?

    Overall the pin really shows a lack of imagination. They should have done themed pins: One for Star Wars; one for Empire; and one for Jedi.
    They could have done something cool, like made a trash compactor that holds the balls, like the gumball dispenser in “Twilight Zone.” and some cool/funny Ewok traps for Jedi, and Asteroids that break open for Empire.

    I understand the license probably cost an arm and a leg, but given Stern’s quality, and that of their competitors, this pin feels like an early 2000’s Stern.

    • arcadehero June 6, 2017 at 1:10 pm - Reply

      I like that idea of basing them on episodes. That would have been a great idea.

      If it sells well (allegedly pre-orders are through the roof in AUS) then I would not be surprised to see a re-theme down the road based on something like Ep. 7/8.

      That said, it is looking like an earlier Stern model. Really surprised there are no X-Wings on any of the models or a Vader Helmet or Vader’s chamber or a Star Destroyer, etc. then again, I won’t be surprised if we see a bunch of ‘official’ mods from Stern shortly after this ships.

      I wonder if they plan on making up for the barren nature of the field to some degree with the video modes; perhaps if one of the actors is into pinball and wants to do some lines (ala Karl Urban) that would be nice but also something that won’t happen for quite some time.

  2. Isocube Software June 6, 2017 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the write-up. It is weird for me to say, but I am done with Star Wars. I was a huge Star Wars fan, from the beginning and all through the 90s. I was the first in my country to get the Star Wars: Definitive Collection on LaserDisc. Then Phantom Menace came out, didn’t see it for years. I did watch Episode II in the theater, drunk, and only because Natalie Portman was crazy hot in it. I know it shouldn’t be like this, but all these movies has diluted Star Wars for me. Star Trek Voyager and Enterprise never diluted Star Trek for me, netiher did Stargate Universe lessen Stargate SG:1 or Stargate Atlantis.

  3. Todd Thurman June 7, 2017 at 5:23 am - Reply

    Basing the cabs off the movie themes would have been a great idea, ESB would need to be the LE though! 😎

    I love the “Millennium Falcon” edition on these, although all of them seem to be a little disappointing. Perhaps I would feel differently if I played them, but it just seems the AC/DC and Metallica cabs had so much more in the way of game play content, but as already mentioned, most likely due to licensing.

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