Lost In Translation/Return of the Jedi

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This page is a stub for arcade games that are part of the Lost In Translation series using information based on MAME (version 0.113u2).
For an example of preferred content and layout please refer to Out Run or The Ninja Warriors.

Return of the Jedi
Return of the Jedi marquee.
Return of the Jedi (Atari) title screen.
Return of the Jedi control panel.
Manufacturer Atari
Released 1984
Analog joystick
3 Button(s)
Main CPU M6502 (@ 2.500 MHz)
M6502 (@ 1.512 MHz)
Sound CPU Stereo
(4x) POKEY (@ 1.512 MHz)
TMS5220 (@ 672.000 kHz)
Raster (Horizontal)
296 x 240 pixels
60.00 Hz
1,025 Palette colours
Screens 1
ROM Info 16 ROMs
321,536 bytes (314.00 KiB)
MAME ID jedi

About The Game

Return of the Jedi is an isometric scrolling arcade video game shoot-em-up featuring all "the thrills and excitement of the continuing Star Wars saga". The new split-wave game-play feature cuts back and forth between two simultaneously occurring action scenes, just like the film.

Return of the Jedi is a one-player game. The player controls the actions Of Princess Leia, Chewbacca, and Lando Calrissian via the flight control. The player's main goal is to destroy the Death Star. To do this, the player must travel through a tube in the Death Star and fire a torpedo into the central reactor.

Return of the Jedi picks up the action of the film at the scene where the rebel forces begin their attack on the Imperial Death Star. Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia race toward a pair of speeder bikes. In this first wave, the player controls Leia, guiding her through a forest toward the Ewok village. She is pursued by Imperial Stormtroopers also riding speeder bikes. She defends herself by either bumping them off their bikes, or shooting them. Meanwhile, the Ewoks have set up traps to aid Leia in her flight through the forest of Endor. The traps include ropes stretched between trees that the Ewoks pull tight to upend the riders, and logs that the Ewoks push together to crush the speeder bikes as they pass between them. Leia can either bump off the Stormtroopers or lead them through the traps. The first vehicle through a trap will escape uninjured, but anyone who follows will be destroyed.

Once the player leaves Leia safely at the Ewok village, he moves to another part of the forest. During the second wave, the player controls Chewbacca who is maneuvering a Scout Walker to the bunker where Han Solo is waiting to deactivate the shield protecting the Death Star. Chewbacca must shoot or avoid logs, which roll toward him. At the same time, Chewbacca must avoid rocks catapulted at his Scout Walker. The player can turn the Scout Walker head using the flight control to achieve better aim while firing at the rocks and logs.

The split-wave effect occurs during waves two and three. The player controls Chewbacca in the Scout Walker, and at the same time, controls Lando Calrissian as he flies the Millennium Falcon. At crucial moments, the scene will change from the forest of Endor to the skies around the Death Star.

While Chewbacca is attempting to reach the bunker, Lando Calrissian is flying the Millennium Falcon toward the Death Star. Lando must fight off the Imperial T.I.E. Interceptors, Imperial Star Cruisers, and shuttles. The player maneuvers the Falcon through this traffic, while trying to shoot as many of the Imperial enemies as possible.

As soon as Chewbacca gets to the bunker, Han Solo blows it up, deactivating the protective shield surrounding the Death Star and clearing the path for the Millennium Falcon. The Millennium Falcon must enter the Death Star, travel down a tube toward the reactor, and shoot the central reactor to destroy the Death Star.

The Falcon is pursued by Imperial T.I.E. Fighters while in the tube. Lando must avoid the pipe walls of the tube and watch out for falling pipes, energy gates, and turrets that shoot at the Falcon. Upon reaching the target, the player must shoot the reactor energy field, then immediately turn around and fly back down the tube. The flight must be rapid because the fireball caused by the explosion pursues the Falcon.


Return of the Jedi was the second arcade game based on the 'Star Wars' movie franchise despite it being the thrid film of the trilogy. This Atari title was actually released a full year before 'The Empire Strikes Back'. The films were released in the order; "Star Wars", "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi"; whereas the games were released as "Star Wars", "Return of the Jedi", and "The Empire Strikes Back".

Unlike "Star Wars" and "The Empire Strikes Back" which both used vector graphics, "Return of the Jedi" was sprite-based.

This game is known in Japan as 'Jedi no Fukushuu' (translates from Japanese as 'Revenge of the Jedi').

Return of the Jedi was one of the first games to use a special graphics dithering method to make the graphics look visibly smoother.

This was one of the first Atari titles to modify all game options via a set-up menu, rather than by using dip switches. Since 1984, the industry still hasn't fully converted over to being 'jumper-less'.

All scenes are controlled with a flight yoke that is similar in design to the one used on the vector "Star Wars" game. This is usually the first thing to fail on any given machine. These can be rebuilt fairly easily though, but you may have to do a little bit of hacking to get them to work.

Tips and tricks


  1. Do not allow enemies to tail you too long. This is how they can destroy you.
  2. Lead enemies to the top of the screen, then drop back quickly so you can destroy them.
  3. The player must try to be the first through the Ewok traps in the forest of Endor.
  4. By staying in the centre of the screen, the player has more manoeuvrability.


  1. Star Wars [Cockpit model] (1983)
    Star Wars [Upright model] (1983)
  2. Return of the Jedi (1984)
  3. The Empire Strikes Back (1985)


Designer / Programmer
Dennis Harper
Graphic Designer
Susan G. McBride
Audio Designer
Synthia Petroka
Software Support
Mike Mahar

Cabinet and Artwork


Atari ST (1987)
Amstrad CPC (1987)
Commodore Amiga ("Star Wars - Return of the Jedi, 1988, DoMark)
Commodore C64 (1988)
Sinclair ZX Spectrum (1989)

Sound Comparison

Platform Song Titles Sound Source
Arcade "Start Of Game" "Completed Forest Of Endor" " Shield Generator Destroyed" "Entering The Death Star" " Escaping The Death Star" "Bonus Life Fanfare" " Game Over (No High Score)" "Game Over (High Score List)" M1 v0.7.8a6

External Links

The contents of this page are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
The sources used include MAME (version 0.113u2) and history.dat (revision 1.28 - 2008-10-18).
Please see http://www.arcade-history.com for credits.