Released in1992, 1993, and 1994 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, the Super Star Wars trilogy of games is not known for its strict adherence to the films they are based on. And in many ways, that's a good thing. Straying from the films allows players to do the unimaginable, with fun and exciting results. Did you ever dream what it would be like if Chewbacca squared up against bounty hunter Boba Fett? How about Han Solo defending Princess Leia’s honor by personally taking on Jabba the Hutt? These sort of scenarios are possible in video games. The artwork and run-and-gun style of the three Super Star Wars games for the Super Nintendo have aged surprisingly well, which is why it’s no surprise they were re-released on the Nintendo eShop in 2009. Take a trip with us through the mid-90s as we look at the ten most memorable bosses from the Super Star Wars series.
Habogad (Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back)
Viewers of The Empire Strikes Back never got to see the creature in the swamps of Dagobah that swallowed and regurgitated R2-D2. Thus, the creative team at Sculptured Software had free reign when designing what would become Habogad (Dagobah spelled backwards!), the final boss of the Dagobah stage of Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. This giant monstrosity looks truly alien, with ant-like pinchers, a cephalopod beak, and an amphibious body. We’re glad the game design team went all out and created something completely strange, weird, and different.
Mutant Womp Rat (Super Star Wars)
Mentioned, but never seen in the Star Wars cinematic universe, womp rats were larger and more aggressive versions of what we would categorize as long-tailed rodents. In the Star Wars universe, Luke Skywalker used them as target practice when flying his T-16 Skyhopper on Tatooine. A fun, fan-service nod to his classic line in the original Star Wars film, the Super Star Wars creators made an even larger, mutated version of the ordinary womp rat the boss of the Tatooine stage. The mutant womp rap is appropriately flanked by the smaller versions that Luke so casually bulls-eyed back home on Tatooine.
Kalhar Boss Monster (Super Star Wars)
One of the best things about the Super Star Wars trilogy is the obvious love for the films that the game developer injected into the final product. A great case-in-point is the Kalhar Boss Monster, which is seen in Episode 4, but not in the way you would expect. The Kalhar monster is seen briefly in Star Wars as one of the hologram game pieces on the dejarik table aboard the Millennium Falcon. The game developers took that creature design, blew it up, gave it an extendable neck, and made it a boss (and patron) of the Mos Eisley Cantina.
Bib Fortuna (Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
There isn’t a single person who saw Return of the Jedi and didn’t want to inflict severe bodily harm on Bib Fortuna, the slimy, groveling, major-domo to Jabba the Hutt. You can do just that when you play as Leia in her Boushh the bounty hunter disguise in Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. The version of Bib Fortuna in the game can teleport and shoot fireballs out of his head-tails. Far from canon, but fun for a video game.
Lava Beast Jawenko (Super Star Wars)
This extended universe creature has an interesting backstory. A native to Mustafar (the lava planet where Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi battled in Revenge of the Sith), Jawenko somehow landed on Tatooine. On Tatooine, the beast became known as “Great Jawenko” and worshipped as a deity by the Jawa and Sand People. In Super Star Wars, Jawenko lives as a sort of pet in the furnace of the Jawa sandcrawler. A deity to them, but still no match for Luke Skywalker.
TT-8L Gatekeeper Droid (Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
Little more than a surveillance droid that kept visitors in or out of Jabba the Hutt’s palace, the TT-8L/Y7 gatekeeper droid was an annoyance, but never frightening. In Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, the gatekeeper droid is turned into a giant, worm-like monstrosity. Leia as Boushh must defeat the beefed-up droid as it bounces off the walls and fires beams of electricity.
Esoomian, Tanor Skiff Guard (Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
Jabba the Hutt hired a number of ruthless killers and mercenaries to act as guards and enforcers on his personal sail barge and skiffs. Esoomians where known as reliable bodyguards due to their strength and simple-mindedness, so it wouldn't be far-reaching to assume they would be employed by Jabba. While Tanor and his species are not seen in Return of the Jedi, he is a great addition to the scene in the video game. Luke Skywalker must get past Tanor before he can escape the skiff and rescue his friends. As you can see by Tanor’s hulking frame and ball-and-chain, this is no small task.
Emperor Palpatine (Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
Luke Skywalker vs. Emperor Palpatine—a fight that never happened on screen, but one that many fans likely debated in basements and comic book stores the years after Return of the Jedi was released. There’s no question that the cinematic ending, with Vader finding redemption in his final, heroic act, was a perfect close to the original trilogy. The Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi game posits, what if Darth Vader was defeated by Luke, and Luke had to battle the Emperor alone? It’s an entertaining idea. While completely non-canon, there is no question that going head-to-head with a flying, lightning bolt-spewing Palpatine is a fitting coda to the game trilogy.
Giant Probe Droid (Super Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back)
Han Solo took down the probe droid with a single shot in the Empire Strikes Back, but it was half the size of this boss, and it self-detonated. In Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Luke goes up against a giant version of this spying Imperial droid, all while hopping from icy platform to icy platform. The art design on the probe droid is perfect, with snow dripping off its various sensors and fire shooting from its base, propelling it out of the water and into the air. While not the most unique boss in the series, it was definitely one of the most fun.
Boba Fett (Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back)
Before the epic, three-dimensional fight with Boba Fett in the Shadows of the Empire game for the Nintendo 64, we had this great, fan-service battle between Chewbacca and the infamous bounty hunter in the Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back platform. Who wouldn’t want to see these two battle it out in Cloud City on the planet of Bespin? Finally, we get a version of events where Chewbacca gets revenge on Boba Fett for capturing his partner, Han Solo. Boba’s jetpack and EE-3 carbine rifle are no match for Chewbacca’s bowcaster.
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Did you play any of the Super Star Wars video games on the Super Nintendo? Which was your favorite? We hope we hit on all the best boss fights in the series, but if we missed one that you think deserved a mention, let us know! We are just a few months away from a ridiculous amount of new Star Wars media, including video games, comics, action figures, and of course, the new film. Support your Star Wars fandom with outward pride with an awesome Star Wars t-shirt, tanktop, or hoodie, from our shop.
Text sources: Wookipedia
Image Sources: Youtube playthroughs here, here and here