Star Wars: The Interactive Video Board Game (subtitled Assault on the Death Star) is a 1996 board game released by Hasbro Inc..

Opening crawl[]

The Galactic Empire's second
Death Star is almost complete. The
Emperor, concerned that the Rebels
have discovered the location of his
new weapon, has ordered it to be
moved near the moon of Endor,
where it can be completed in

On board his Star Destroyer, Lord
Vader receives word of a large
Rebel supply base on D'rinba IV
and orders the Death Star, en route
for Endor, to divert there.

The Rebel Alliance intercepts this
transmission and assembles a
small team of Force-sensitive
Rebels. Using a stolen Imperial
Freighter, and cloaked by the
Force, they board the Death Star.
They must disable it before it is
within superlaser range of D'rinba IV.

But, at the start of their mission,
as the Rebels are concealed in the
Shuttle Bays, the Death Star has
another arrival....

Plot summary[]

Following a failed attempt by the Rebel Alliance to destroy the second Death Star, Emperor Palpatine orders Darth Vader to take command of the battlestation and move it to the forest moon of Endor to be completed in secret. Shortly thereafter, he learns of a major Rebel supply base on the planet D'rinba IV and diverts its course to the planet, intending to use the battlestation's superlaser to destroy it. Intercepting this information, the Alliance assembles a team of Force-sensitive individuals to sneak onboard and disable the station. However, Vader soon learns of their presence and has the station put on alert. The situation becomes a race against time for the members of the infiltration party, as they must attempt to succeed in their mission while avoiding the station's stormtrooper contingent and, late in the mission, a party member's fall to the Dark side of the Force.[2]



The game board

The game is based on cards and die, and requires the assembly of various three-dimensional components.[2]

  • 1 60-Minute VHS videotape
  • 1 Game Board
  • 13 Star Wars Figures
  • 36 Cardboard Explosives
  • 6 Force Level Indicators
  • 2 Combat Disks
  • 1 Death Star Reactor Core
  • 80 Cards
  • Die and Instructions


"The photography had to match the original film, but we didn't have the facilities or the money to do it. So I had to get the same results in a different sort of way, with different equipment."
―Gilbert Taylor[3]
Vader video

The shooting of a Vader scene with Director Phil Attfield and DOP Gil Taylor.

The game contains a VHS tape that is played on a television screen as the players play the game. In the tape, Vader arrives onboard the second Death Star to take command of the station to destroy a Rebel Alliance supply base on the planet D'rinba IV. The player characters are tasked with the mission to stop him.

The tape contains scenes from the original trilogy mixed with footage shot specifically for the tape by Gilbert Taylor, cinematographer for A New Hope. The footage, shot over the course of 2 days, features David Prowse and James Earl Jones reprising their roles as the physical presence and voice of Darth Vader respectively. Prowse wore an original Vader costume from the Lucasfilm Archives,[3] and the clients from Hasbro portrayed the stormtroopers.[source?] Production Design was by Frank Walsh (www.fwalsh.com) who later went onto designing sets for the Netflix Sci-fi series Lost in Space. Sets were built by Dick George Productions, who previously worked on some of the sets for A New Hope.[3] On arrival on-set, D.O.P Gil Taylor (who was assisted by his wife) announced that the walls were the wrong shade of grey (too dark) and additional lighting was required.[source?]


This game was referenced in The Dark Forces Saga, a series of online adventure scenarios for the Wizards of the Coast Star Wars RPG line published on their website. Written by Abel G. Peña, this series canonizes four of the VCR game's player characters as Kyle Katarn, (from Star Wars: Dark Forces), Shira Brie (from the Marvel Comics Star Wars series), Corwin Shelvay (from West End Games's Star Wars RPG material), and Erling Tredway (also from West End Games's Star Wars RPG material.)[4]


Chris Bishop of Echo Station reviewed the game positively and noted its high production value, though at first glance finding the game to look intimidatingly complicated and bearing a lot of instructions. He noted that the story sacrificed continuity with the movies, wherein the Death Star's superweapon would not yet be fully operational. He found that James Earl Jones's performance gave an oddly softly spoken Darth Vader character.[5]


By type
Cast Uncredited cast Crew Uncredited crew Special thanks



  • Nelson Hall - Lucasfilm Archivist
  • Gilbert Taylor - Director of Photography
  • Frank Walsh - Production Designer
  • Brian Aherne - dubbing mixer
  • Christian Marnham - script
  • Lance Brinded - editor
  • Martin Collins - producer
  • Phil Attfield - director
  • John Williams - music composer
  • Produced by Communicated Limited for Hasbro
  • Thanks to the creator of the Star Wars trilogy - George Lucas - and to everyone at Lucasfilm Licensing
  • Special thanks to Carol Wisely, Ben Rathbone and Alasdair Dewar
  • Thanks to Richard Ireland and Complete Facilities


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Notes and references[]

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