The Arcade 1UP Star Wars machine is a childhood dream come true for many of us. But they missed an opportunity to throw a whole extra game in there.

Introduced at the end of 2019, the Arcade 1UP Star Wars home arcade machine is something most of us had only dreamed of – our own Star Wars arcade machine! Without having to take out a second mortgage or, you know, cheat Crimson Dawn out of a shipment of hyperfuel and live with a price on our heads for the rest of our (likely now significantly shorter) lives.

Good news! The air has gotten so clear that you can now see the Death Star approaching!

But could it have been even better? The fact that a new edition is coming out – now with an attached bench seat with matching artwork to almost, kind-of, sort-of, maybe not quite recreate the feel of the amazing cockpit version of the arcade game that felt just like flying Luke’s X-Wing – indicates that the makers of the machines felt so.

But they could’ve actually given us a whole extra game if they’d really wanted to. I’ve intercepted some Imperial plans to show you how it could’ve been done. This may well be my last transmission, so make some backup copies of this, okay?

How cool would this have been? Just don’t be that guy who flies into the shield face-first.

Level 1: Scarif Shield Gate
If they can manage to do it under a barrage of seemingly endless incoming waves of TIE Fighters, players must blast all of the yellow triangles on the Scarif shield gate, turning them red. (While the triangles are still yellow, they can fire at the player just like the TIEs can, with a longer delay between shot and impact since the gate is further away.) When all of the triangles have been blasted, the gate opens, and the player descends to the planet for…

Because Baze Malbus can’t fight this whole war by himself.

Level 2: Get That Beach Under Control!
For Jedha! Destroy or delay Imperial Walkers to give Rebel ground forces time to steal the Death Star plans. Once the plans have been stolen…

You might have been Red Five in the original arcade game, but you don’t want to be Rogue One’s Red Five.

Level 3: A Massive Object Has Emerged From Hyperspace
The Death Star begins rising inexorably into view. Destroy all TIE Fighters before the full disk of the Death Star is visible, allowing the fleet to escape. If you don’t survive the level, the mission fails. But even if you do…

Hey, you knew it would end when you put the quarter in.

Game Over: Slice & Dice
…you were expendable the whole time. But hey, the Rebellion lives on, right?

Obviously the above are mash-ups built from screen grabs of Atari’s 1980s Star Wars and Empire vector graphics games…but that doesn’t mean it’s not a really good idea. Come on, Arcade 1UP. Do this before you get around to the inevitable “now it looks just like the arcade cockpit game for a couple hundred bucks more” re-release.

Amateurish game design documents, like rebellions, are built on hope. May the Fourth be with you!

This guy was cool, right? Admit it, it’d be cool to be this guy in a video game.
(That is General Antoc Merrick – who began his career as part of Virujansi’s Rarified Air Calvary. He was very cool. – Vic)

Published by Earl Green

Earl is the webmaster, writer, graphic designer, and podcaster-in-chief at, a site that's been on the internet for 20 years as the extension of a project that has been online for 30-odd years. It's home to the Phosphor Dot Fossils video game history archive, one of the internet's most extensive (and always growing) collections of genre TV episode guides, and retro-fixated podcasts such as Retrogram, Select Game, and's Escape Pod (a bite-sized "today in history" podcast reflecting the geekier side of history). He's written several books on genre TV, and has written for All Game Guide, Classic Gamer Magazine, and the much-missed Retroist site. And now he's here. You can't escape him. I mean, you can try, but why would you?

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