Star Wars (Stern)

Star Wars (Stern)

Pinball / Stern 2017

Star Wars by Stern is a pinball machine released in 2017, inspired by the beloved Star Wars franchise. Designed by Steve Ritchie, the game immerses players in the Star Wars universe, incorporating scenes, characters, and soundtracks from the original trilogy. Players engage in missions to defeat the Empire, battle iconic villains, and use the Force to achieve high scores. The machine is available in several editions, each offering unique features and artwork.

The development of Star Wars by Stern began as a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the original Star Wars film. Stern Pinball, renowned for their detailed and immersive pinball machines, sought to capture the essence of the franchise. Led by veteran designer Steve Ritchie, the team collaborated closely with Lucasfilm to ensure authenticity in every aspect, from the intricate playfield design to the integration of film clips and original sound effects. The development process emphasized both innovation and nostalgia, combining modern pinball technology with the timeless appeal of Star Wars.

Upon its release, Star Wars by Stern received positive reviews from both pinball enthusiasts and Star Wars fans. Critics praised its engaging gameplay, thematic integration, and high-quality construction. The machine’s ability to appeal to a wide range of players, from casual fans to hardcore pinball aficionados, was frequently highlighted. The use of original trilogy elements, including iconic characters and memorable scenes, was particularly well-received. However, some players noted that the complexity of the ruleset could be daunting for beginners.

Star Wars by Stern was released in several editions: Pro, Premium, and Limited Edition (LE). Each edition offered different features and artwork, with the LE being the most exclusive, featuring custom cabinet art, mirrored backglass, and unique gameplay enhancements. Related games include other pinball machines by Stern inspired by different franchises, such as Guardians of the Galaxy and Game of Thrones. Stern Pinball also released a home edition of Star Wars, targeting casual players and home collectors.

The Limited Edition of Star Wars by Stern is the rarest, with only 800 units produced. The Pro and Premium editions were produced in larger quantities, though exact numbers are not publicly disclosed. The value of these machines varies based on condition and edition, with the Limited Edition often fetching higher prices in the collector’s market. As of 2024, a well-maintained Limited Edition can command prices between $8,000 to $10,000, while Pro and Premium editions typically range from $5,000 to $7,000.

Star Wars by Stern features a robust hardware setup designed to deliver a premium pinball experience. Key components include:

CPU: Stern SPIKE 2 system
Display: High-definition LCD display
Sound: High-fidelity stereo sound system
Power: 48V power supply
Lighting: RGB LED lighting system
Playfield Features: Wire ramps, pop bumpers, slingshots, drop targets, spinning targets, and a molded TIE fighter toy
Cabinet: Custom artwork, powder-coated steel side armor (LE edition), mirrored backglass (LE edition)
Relevant Parts for Repairs:
Playfield: Flippers, bumpers, slingshots, targets, ramps
Electronics: CPU board, power supply, sound board, display controller
Lighting: RGB LEDs, LED driver boards
Mechanics: Motors for moving toys, solenoids for flippers and bumpers
Cabinet: Side art decals, backglass, lockdown bar
Maintaining the machine in optimal condition requires periodic servicing of these parts, ensuring a continued immersive experience for players.

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