Star Wars: Escape from Deathstar Game

Han and Chewbacca sneak into the Death Star’s control room, deftly outmaneuvering Imperial Stormtroopers and remaining undiscovered while they acquire the highly classified Death Star blueprints. The rebel alliance just might have hope against this moon-sized weapon! Suddenly, the intruder alert sounds! Darting through the corridor up ahead they see Luke and Leia being pursued in a firefight with a dozen of the space station’s guards. “C’mon Chewie!” blasts Han, and they take an adjoining hall way to meet up with their friends. Blasting their way to the captured Millennium Falcon, they all are miraculously unharmed by the ‘Troopers’ blaster fire. “We got our half of the plans and deactivated the Tractor Beam! You?” inquires Leia, to which Chewie responds with an affirmative howl. Boarding the Falcon, the rebel heroes launch out of the docking bay and begin preparation for light speed. “Oh, boy”, laments Luke, pointing outside the cockpit window. Everybody’s expression instantly sours as they look up to the sight of a thousand TIE Fighters bearing down on them…

Is this the latest in video game space drama for your XBox 360? No, sir! New, from Kenner, it’s the STAR WARS: Escape from Death Star board game! You and your friends must secure the Death Star plans, escape the Death Star and make it back to rebel forces before it’s too late! Will our rag-tag group of heroes succeed in their mission??!

“Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo and Chewbacca are trapped in the Death Star Trash Compactor. It’s your challenge to help them escape to the freedom of the Rebel Base. R2D2 spins out your moves, but you must decide what passage ways to follow. The safe way is the long way. And time is running out. You must turn off the tractor beam and pick up a pair of secret plans. Will you take short cuts that risk encounters with the Force? You will if you’re daring, and could be the first to board the Millennium Falcon, fight your way through Tie Fighters, and reach the rebel Base to win!” (as described on the game box).

Released in October 1977, this board game was for 2 to 4 players age 7 and up and was based on Episode Four: A New Hope, written and directed by George Lucas. Made of sturdy cardboard and plastic, with colorful images and tokens, this game was manufactured by Australian-based Toltoys and released by Kenner. The object of the game is to move your character tokens (paired up as Luke & Leia or Han & Chewie) from the Death Star’s trash compactor in one diagonal corner of the game board to the other corner, where you must weave your way through TIE Fighters, occasionally win a dogfight, and get home to the Rebel Base. You pick up various FORCE cards along the way, either benefiting from the “good” side or suffering from the “dark” side. It features photo prints from the movie, illustrations in amazing detail and is a played bi-fold with the impressive Death Star in the background. Be the first to arrive back at Rebel Base with the secret Death Star plans and YOU WIN!

SmashHansen

Science hero. Résumé writer. Browncoat. Creator of Smash Tales on the Marvel Noise podcast (Mondays at iTunes). Gimme your comic books.

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13 thoughts on “Star Wars: Escape from Deathstar Game

  1. I believe that this game was actually made by Parker Brothers and then distributed through Kenner Toys. Kenner Toys had their name only on the version of this game sold in the USA, and Parker Brothers had their logo for Canada and elsewhere. This was because Kenner had the toy merchandising contract from LucasFilm, but that contract only applied to the American market. But I could be wrong, as I’m relying on my memory, which, as everyone knows, is in need of an expansion module.

  2. As soon as a I saw this it caused all sorts of memories to surface. I know I played it often, but for the life of me I cannot be sure I was the one who owned it. I would think if I did, I would have held onto it, but it is not in my collection.

    Great writeup.

  3. GREAT write-up! My beat-to-hell copy of this game still holds a place on my toy shelf not six feet from where I’m sitting.

  4. Thanks, guys! I’ve been meaning to post this for weeks now. It’s a really fun game and the FORCE cards and Death Star blueprints really have some fantastic illustrations. I hope those of you who also have a copy dig it out and share it with someone new!

  5. Atari Adventure Square says:

    This board game was the next best thing to the movie itself and the awesome Kenner action-figure toy line.
    And I still have it!
    I hid it under stacks of untouchable comic books and it survived the onslaught of impromptu garage sales, everything-must-go flea markets and needy kids (how parents can decide to give their kid’s toys away and not expect emotional scarring, I’ll never understand. But I digress.).
    Just looking at the fine images here brings a lump in my throat from the numerous sessions of frantic spinning of the Artoo-dial and mad dash for escape with similarly thrilled buddies and slightly bored adults.
    LOVED having an actual Death Star blueprint as a result of owning this wonderful game.
    Great article SmashHansen!

  6. Bull says:

    I have this game, and would love to play with my children, but I have lost the instructions. Any suggestion where to find them?

  7. Drahken says:

    I think this is a game I had when I was 5. I believe it was either this or “destroy the deathstar”, both look very familiar.
    I can’t recall ever actually playing it, and I don’t think I had it out of the box more than a few times. It got lost along the way many many years ago, I don’t even have a clue when or how.

  8. Andrew Johnson says:

    I just gave a copy of this game to my brother for Christmas, then found out he already had it. We began comparing the games to build one perfect set…then stopped when we realized there were distinct differences between the two games. The instructions are in two different fonts, with subtle differences between the rules. Both board games and sets of tokens are identical, BUT the wording on the two different sets of playing cards is different. Ex: “The Force is not with you – you are captured…” vs. “You are captured…” (no mention of not having the Force with you). Finally, the two spinner boxes contain an inner box which holds game pieces or cards. In one version the internal box is the same width of the spinner box. In the second version the inner box is smaller – roughly the width of the playing cards. Both are dated 1977. We can’t find any other distinguishing characteristics between them that would help us identify which one was printed first, from where, and so forth. If you know something about these two versions feel free to let us know. Thanks.

  9. Charlton Hero says:

    I had this board game as a kid and played it often in our camper during the summer. Always loved the character pegs and the game board looked sweet! I don’t think I ever played by the rules however..I remember making them up as I went!

    It also made a cool place for my Star Wars figures to play!

    Great memories on this one!

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