"Your efforts are pointless."
―Darth Vader, after defeating Yoda in the chess game[4]

Star Wars Chess, also known by its full title The Software Toolworks' Star Wars Chess, is a 1993 PC and 1994 Sega CD chess video game.

Opening crawl[]

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

It is a time of great competition
in the Galaxy. An uneasy state of
peace has been established
between the weakened forces of
the Galactic Empire and the
growing Rebel Alliance.

During this uncertain period of
truce, the old adversaries settle
their differences through the
ancient, eternal game of CHESS.

With their greatest heroes as
champions, the Empire and the
Rebels fight battles of the mind.

It is a new kind of warfare. One
that will decide the fate of
planets, civilizations and the



The starting board layout

The game is heavily inspired by Battle Chess, a popular PC chess game of the era. The characters appear in the places of normal chessmen on an isometric view of a Star-Wars-themed chessboard, with the black pieces portrayed by "The Dark Side" (Empire-affiliated and antagonistic characters) and the white pieces portrayed by "The Rebel Force" (Rebellion-affiliated characters.) The rules of normal chess apply.

When one piece captures another in a chess move, the screen fades to a brief animated battle in which the capturing piece vanquishes the captured one, in an over-the-top cartoonishly-animated style.

The game can also be played in standard computer-chess mode, with normal chessmen icons on a 2D board, without the battle animations.


The characters portray their chessmen as follows:


A scripted battle is shown when one piece takes another.

  • White Pawn (R2-D2)
    • Takes Pawn - The Stormtrooper takes several shots at R2-D2 and misses. R2 extends a small mirror from his body, which the Stormtrooper shoots. The blaster beam reflects off the mirror and hits the stormtrooper, killing him.
    • Takes Knight - The Tusken Raider strikes R2-D2 with his Gaderffii stick. R2 extends a claw from his body and grabs the stick, and sends a jolt of electricity through it to zap the Raider into a pile of ash. (note you can see the Tusken Raider's bones)
    • Takes Rook - The AT-ST takes a few shots at R2-D2, but they bounce off. R2 makes his way behind the AT-ST, and extends a claw to place a small bomb on the back of its "head." The AT-ST explodes, leaving a pair of still-standing legs behind.
    • Takes Bishop - Boba Fett shoots at R2-D2, but the blasts are ineffective. Boba Fett produces a thermal detonator, but before he can use it R2 extends a claw and grabs him, thrashing him about before throwing him to the ground just as the detonator explodes, leaving a pile of ash behind.
    • Takes Queen - Darth Vader slashes at R2 with his lightsaber. R2 dodges the slash and, with a claw, takes the lightsaber from Vader. R2 strikes Vader down, who disappears in a flash leaving his cloak behind.
    • Takes King (Checkmate) - Palpatine blasts R2 with Force lightning. After the shock, R2 fires back at Palpatine with a cloud of gas. Palpatine chokes on the gas, coughing furiously, keels over, and then vanishes.
  • White Knight (Chewbacca)
    • Takes Pawn - The Stormtrooper blasts Chewbacca in the shoulder, making him drop his bowcaster. Chewie, infuriated, grabs the Stormtrooper and thrashes him around above his head for a bit before throwing him to the ground and stomping on his lifeless body.
    • Takes Knight - The Tusken Raider swings at Chewie with his Gaderffii stick, but Chewie grabs it and the two have a brief scuffle. Eventually, Chewie bends the stick and wraps it around the Tusken Raider. He then swings his arms onto the Tusken Raider's head, driving him into the ground.
    • Takes Rook - Chewie pounces on the AT-ST, riding it like a bucking bronco until he tears open its "head" and throws the contents aside. The AT-ST explodes into a heap of parts as Chewie hops off and a large tube descends from above, and vacuums up the destroyed AT-ST.
    • Takes Bishop - Boba Fett threatens Chewie at gunpoint, but Chewie grabs his arm and spins him around. Chewie shoots at his jetpack, setting it on fire, and watches as Boba spins around like a pinwheel before exploding firework-style.
    • Takes Queen - Vader swings his lightsaber at Chewie, who ducks out of the way a number of times before shooting Vader in the abdomen at point-blank range. Vader collapses to the floor.
    • Takes King (Checkmate) - Chewie lifts Palpatine, who retaliates by shocking him. Chewie then throws Palpatine off the platform.
  • White Rook (Yoda)
    • Takes Pawn - The Stormtrooper threatens Yoda at gunpoint, but Yoda uses the Force to point the blaster at the Stormtrooper's head. The blaster fires, blowing the Stormtrooper's head off.
    • Takes Knight - Yoda lifts the Tusken Raider, causing him to float. As the Raider swings his gaderffi stick wildly at Yoda, Yoda throws the Raider off the platform.
    • Takes Rook - Yoda lifts the AT-ST and flips it upside-down. As the AT-ST shoots at Yoda, who blocks its blasts, Yoda slams the AT-ST, destroying it. The large tube descends from above and vacuums up the destroyed AT-ST parts.
    • Takes Bishop - Boba Fett fires at Yoda, who knocks the blast away with his stick. Yoda throws his stick like a boomerang and it hits Boba's jetpack. Boba flies around wildly before crashing, turning into a large pile of ash.
    • Takes Queen - Yoda taps Vader's shoulder with his stick. Vader prepares to strike Yoda with his lightsaber when images of Yoda surround Vader, baffling him. Yoda strikes Vader in the back with his stick, causing Vader to collapse and leave behind his cape and saber.
    • Takes King (Checkmate) - Palpatine attempts to shock Yoda, who blocks his Force lightning with his stick. On the third attempt, Yoda redirects the Force lightning back at Palpatine and throws him off the platform.
  • White Bishop (C-3PO)
    • Takes Pawn - The Stormtrooper blasts C-3PO's hand off. 3PO bends down to pick his hand up as the Stormtrooper approaches. As 3PO stands up straight his head bashes the Stormtrooper's helmet and knocks him out cold.
    • Takes Knight - The Tusken Raider strikes C-3PO with his gaderffi stick, but the impact wobbles the Raider and he drops his weapon. 3PO starts to pick up the stick as the Raider lunges toward him, inadvertently impaling himself on his own weapon. 3PO shrugs.
    • Takes Rook - The AT-ST fires at 3PO, who wildly dodges until he is struck and falls to the ground at the AT-ST's feet. The AT-ST trips over 3PO, and shatters to pieces. The large tube descends from above and vacuums up the destroyed AT-ST parts, and 3PO as well, but stops before 3PO is vaccuumed up. 3PO drops to a standing position, none the worse for wear.
    • Takes Bishop - Boba Fett fires his blaster at C-3PO, who angrily grabs it away from him. "Don't you know how dangerous those can be," scolds 3PO before accidentally dropping the blaster, which goes off as it hits the floor and shoots Boba Fett dead.
    • Takes Queen - Vader swings his saber and slices off 3PO's left arm. 3PO bends down to retrieve it, dodging another swing of Vader's saber. As he brings his severed arm up it knocks Vader's saber away. As Vader bends to retrieve his saber, 3PO knocks him over the head with his severed arm. 3PO kicks at Vader's body, now unresponsive, and noisily screws his arm back into place.
    • Takes King (Checkmate) - Palpatine blasts 3PO with Force lightning, which makes the droid flail wildly but otherwise leaves him unharmed after. Palpatine blasts him again with the same result, but then the circular plate at 3PO's stomach area bounces forward on a long spring and hits Palpatine in the head, knocking him out. "This is very irregular," shrugs 3PO.
  • White Queen (Princess Leia)
    • Takes Pawn - Leia shoots the Stormtrooper in the arm. Injured, the Stormtrooper fires back, but misses. Leia shoots the Stormtrooper again, killing him.
    • Takes Knight - Leia shoots the Tusken Raider's hand off. Enraged, the Raider swings his gaderffi stick at Leia, but she ducks before firing another shot that kills the Raider.
    • Takes Rook - After Leia and the AT-ST exchange shots, the AT-ST steps on Leia's dress, tripping her. Leia throws a bomb that sticks to the AT-ST. Leia rolls away as the bomb explodes, leaving the AT-ST's legs unscathed.
    • Takes Bishop - Leia offers Boba Fett a necklace as a bribe. Boba refuses the bribe, citing loyalty to Darth Vader. With that, Leia throws the necklace at him, blinding him. She then shoots Boba in the gut, killing him.
    • Takes Queen - Leia shoots Darth Vader in the shoulder, but Vader retaliates by Force choking her, bringing her to her knees. She then shoots Vader in the head. She gets up and shoots Vader again, causing him to vanish and leave behind his cloak.
    • Takes King (Checkmate) - Leia shoots at Palpatine, but he knocks the blast away and shocks Leia, collapsing her to the ground. She gets up and shoots Palpatine, leaving his robe behind.
  • White King (Luke Skywalker)
    • Takes Pawn - The Stormtrooper shoots at Luke, but Luke dodges the blast. Luke slices the Stormtrooper's blaster, rendering it useless. He slashes the Stormtrooper, killing him.
    • Takes Knight - After a brief fight with the Tusken Raider, Luke slices off a piece of the gaderffi stick. The Raider attempts to thrust at Luke, who evades the attack and decapitates the Raider. The raider's head falls into a pit, and a tentacled creature living in the pit takes the rest of the Raider's body.
    • Takes Rook - Luke swings at the AT-ST, but it dodges his attack. As the AT-ST fires at him, Luke throws a bola at the AT-ST, entangling it and causing it to fall to the ground. The AT-ST explodes upon impact. A large tube decends from above and vacuums up the destroyed AT-ST pieces.
    • Takes Bishop - Luke strikes Boba Fett's head with his lightsaber, but Boba shoots the saber of Luke's hands. The saber flies back into Luke's hands and he slashes Boba across his abdomen, killing him.
    • Takes Queen - Luke and Vader engage in a duel, which ends with Luke slicing off a part of Vader's head, killing him.
    • Takes King (Checkmate) - Luke swings at Palpatine, who shocks him with his Force lightning and wrests the lightsaber from his hands. Luke retrieves the saber and slashes Palpatine twice, killing him and leaving behind his cloak.
  • Black Pawn (Stormtrooper)
    • Takes Pawn - The Stormtrooper shoots R2, causing him to explode. The large tube descends from above and vacuums up the remains.
    • Takes Knight - Chewbacca shoots at the Stormtrooper in the shoulder, but the shot gets deflected. The Stormtrooper attempts to shoot back, but his blaster keeps misfiring. As Chewie tosses his bowcaster aside and charges at the Stormtrooper to maul him, the Stormtrooper's blaster finally goes off and hits Chewie in the chest, killing him.
    • Takes Rook - A variation of Yoda's victory animation. The Stormtrooper threatens Yoda at gunpoint, but Yoda uses the Force to point the blaster at the Stormtrooper's head. The blaster fires, but it bounces off of the Stormtrooper's helmet. Enraged, the Stormtrooper throws the blaster down, which goes off and fires a blast that hits Yoda in the chest. Yoda vanishes, leaving his cloak and stick, and the Stormtrooper picks up his blaster.
    • Takes Bishop - The Stormtrooper gets increasingly agitated as C-3PO scolds him. Eventually, the Stormtrooper shoots 3PO, who breaks apart and the large tube vacuums up the latter's dismantled body.
    • Takes Queen - The Stormtrooper and Leia exchange fire, with Leia hitting the Stormtrooper in the right shoulder, disabling it. The Stormtrooper tosses the blaster into his left hand and shoots down Leia.
    • Takes King (Checkmate) - The Stormtrooper shoots at Luke, who deflects his shots with his lightsaber. The Stormtrooper then shoots the platform, causing the shots to bounce into Luke's chest, killing him.
  • Black Knight (Tusken Raider)
    • Takes Pawn - R2-D2 attempts to flee from the Tusken Raider, who uses his gaderffi stick to trip R2. The Raider kicks R2 off the platform.
    • Takes Knight - Chewbacca and the Tusken Raider engage in a scuffle, which ends with the Raider throwing Chewie over his head, knocking him out.
    • Takes Rook - The Tusken Raider swings his stick at Yoda, who vanishes before impact. On the third attempt, Yoda vanishes once more, but does not reappear. The Raider briefly looks around in confusion, then shrugs.
    • Takes Bishop - The Tusken Raider swings his stick at C-3PO, obliterating him. The large tube descends from above and vacuums up 3PO's pieces.
    • Takes Queen - The Tusken Raider swings at Leia, but misses and hits the ground, creating a hole. Before Leia could shoot, she falls into the hole.
    • Takes King (Checkmate) - Luke strikes at the Tusken Raider, who blocks his attack and disarms him. The Raider then swings his gaderffi stick at Luke's face, knocking him out cold.
  • Black Rook (AT-ST)
    • Takes Pawn - The AT-ST shoots at R2-D2 twice, causing him to explode. The large tube descends from above and vacuums up R2's remains.
    • Takes Knight - Chewbacca and the AT-ST engage in a brief firefight. As Chewie throttles the AT-ST by the blaster barrel, the AT-ST shoots Chewie in the chest, killing him.
    • Takes Rook - As Yoda lifts the AT-ST, it shoots at Yoda, knocking him off balance. Yoda vanishes, leaving behind his robe before the AT-ST could crush him.
    • Takes Bishop - Before C-3PO could lecture the AT-ST, the AT-ST tramples all over 3PO, destroying him and the large tube vacuums up his remains.
    • Takes Queen - Leia shoots the AT-ST as it approaches her. It steps on her dress before firing at her, killing her.
    • Takes King (Checkmate) - The AT-ST fires at Luke while approaching him, but Luke deflects the AT-ST's shots. The AT-ST eventually fires two shots in rapid succession so that Luke could not deflect both in time.
  • Black Bishop (Boba Fett)
    • Takes Pawn - Boba Fett shoots at R2-D2, who continuously dodges his shots. After a brief pause, Boba shoots R2, disabling him and the large tube vacuums up the latter.
    • Takes Knight - Boba Fett and Chewbacca engage in a firefight. As Boba's blaster begins to misfire, he uses his jetpack as a makeshift flamethrower on Chewie. Chewie collapses into a pile of ash.
    • Takes Rook - Yoda lifts up Boba Fett and spins him around. Boba's jetpack eventually goes off on Yoda, who collapses into a green pile of ash.
    • Takes Bishop - C-3PO scolds Boba Fett, who slaps his head so hard it comes loose. The large tube vacuums up 3PO and his head.
    • Takes Queen - Boba Fett and Leia engage in a brief firefight, ending with Boba shooting Leia's blaster off her hands. Boba grabs Leia, flies upwards, and drops her.
    • Takes King (Checkmate) - Boba Fett fires at Luke, who deflects his shots and slashes him in the abdomen. Unfazed, Boba pulls out a bola and throws it at Luke, entangling him.
  • Black Queen (Darth Vader)
    • Takes Pawn - Darth Vader pulls out his lightsaber, frightening R2-D2. R2 retaliates by shocking him, but it's ineffective. Vader slashes R2 and then stabs him, causing him to explode and the large tube vacuums up the latter's remains.
    • Takes Knight - Chewbacca fires at Darth Vader, who knocks the bolt aside. Chewie shoots Vader in the head, but he knocks the bowcaster off his hands. Chewie lunges at Vader, only to get impaled by his saber.
    • Takes Rook - Darth Vader lifts Yoda and tosses him off the platform. As Vader walks away, Yoda reappears and produces an energy ball that impedes Vader. Vader slashes Yoda with his saber and says, "Your futile efforts are pointless."
    • Takes Bishop - Darth Vader cuts off C-3PO's arms, legs, and head. Vader proceeds to kick C-3PO's head and the large tube vacuums up 3PO's dismantled body.
    • Takes Queen - Leia shoots at Darth Vader, who knocks the shots aside. One of those shots knocks Leia's blaster off her hands. Vader slowly approaches Leia and proceeds to thrash her around.
    • Takes King (Checkmate) - Luke and Darth Vader engage in a brief duel. As Vader strikes Luke down, he vanishes, leaving his clothes behind. Vader kicks his clothes around for a bit.
  • Black King (Palpatine)
    • Takes Pawn - Palpatine shocks R2-D2 with his Force lightning. R2 shocks Palpatine back, but to no avail. Palpatine shocks R2 back, causing him to go around wildly before collapsing and the large tube vacuums up his remains.
    • Takes Knight - After Palpatine shocks him once, Chewbacca shoots at Palpatine, but the shot gets deflected. Palpatine shocks Chewie again, turning him into a large pile of ash.
    • Takes Rook - Palpatine tries to shock Yoda with his Force lightning, but Yoda deflects it with his stick. Palpatine shocks the stick, destroying it, and summons a tornado on Yoda. The tornado vanishes leaving behind Yoda's robe.
    • Takes Bishop - Palpatine shocks C-3PO, who collapses and falls to pieces and the large tube vacuums up the latter.
    • Takes Queen - Leia shoots at Palpatine, who knocks the shot aside. He then shocks Leia until she collapses.
    • Takes King (Checkmate) - Luke swings at Palpatine, who shocks him with his Force lightning and wrests the lightsaber from his hands. Before Luke could retreive his lightsaber, Palpatine shocks Luke until he collapses.


By type
Cast Uncredited cast Crew Uncredited crew Special thanks


  • David K Goodman – additional voices
  • Becca Martinson as Leia Organa
  • Andy Iverson – additional voices
  • Bob Cooper – additional voices


  • Dave Bringhurst – Project Manager
  • Wynn Bailey – Programming Team
  • David Petchey – Programming Team
  • Rey Castro – Additional Programming
  • Rick Hackbarth – Additional Programming
  • Jeff Chasen – Additional Programming
  • Mike Duffy – Additional Programming
  • Don Laabs – Additional Programming
  • Pat McCarthy – Additional Programming
  • Steve Hutchins – Producer
  • David K Goodman – Technical Consultant
  • Vicki Sidley – Art Director
  • Becca Martinson – Production Coordination
  • Kent Patridge – Production Assistant
  • Chris Kosel – Assistant Art Production
  • David K Goodman – Capture Scripts
  • Steve Hutchins – Capture Scripts
  • Don Laabs – Capture Scripts
  • Vicki Sidley – Capture Scripts
  • Erica Benson – Storyboard and Character Art
  • Tansy Brooks – Storyboard and Character Art
  • Cesar de Castro – Storyboard and Character Art
  • Jeff Griffeath – Storyboard and Character Art
  • Dan Guerra – Storyboard and Character Art
  • Dan Guerra – Background Art
  • CARTOONLAND – Principle Animation
  • Kevin Coffey – Animation Director
  • Arnie Wong – Animator
  • Steven Lee – Animator
  • Steward Lee – Animator
  • Mike Smith – Animator
  • J. Garrett Sheldrew – Animator
  • Robbin Atherley – Animator
  • Donna Mankus – Animation Assistant
  • Joanne Hafner – Animation Assistant
  • Leigh Crow – Animation Assistant
  • Kevin Anderson – Animation Assistant
  • Luke Longin – Animation Assistant
  • Gene Hamm – Animation Assistant
  • Beth Segal – Animation Assistant
  • Shawn Murray – Animation Assistant
  • Sidley Wright and Associates – Digital Ink and Paint
  • Peter Davis – EffectsTouch-up Artist
  • David Gale – EffectsTouch-up Artist
  • Duncan Knarr – EffectsTouch-up Artist
  • Armen Petrosian – EffectsTouch-up Artist
  • Wendy Piuck – EffectsTouch-up Artist
  • Brad Reynolds – EffectsTouch-up Artist
  • John Root – EffectsTouch-up Artist
  • Jose A. Scarpitta – EffectsTouch-up Artist
  • Stefanie Smith – EffectsTouch-up Artist
  • David Weisman – EffectsTouch-up Artist
  • Kent Patridge – EffectsTouch-up Artist
  • Don Laabs – Vice President, Software Development
  • Mark Beaumont – Senior Vice President, Marketing
  • Anne Schwimer – Documentation
  • Julie Lippold – Package Design
  • Ruth Weston – Package Design
  • Greno – Installation Program
  • Al Dynarski – Foreign Language Support
  • Benjamin von Nagel – Foreign Language Support
  • Chris Gaffield – Quality Assurance
  • Lisa Carr – Quality Assurance
  • Mason Nugent – Quality Assurance
  • Rob Vance – Quality Assurance
  • Saundra McCall – Quality Assurance
  • Glen Hendrickson – Quality Assurance
  • Raul Chirinos – Quality Assurance
  • Ken Pinckert – Quality Assurance
  • Craig Brisgel – Quality Assurance
  • Peter Stone at Indescribable Creations – Music Arrangement & Original Music
  • John Williams – Principle Music
  • DMP Entertainment – Voice-Over Production
  • David K Goodman – additional sound effects
  • Stephen Hutchins – audio production
  • Julia Russo – Lucasfilm Director of Merchandising
  • Don Laabs – chess consultant

Special thanks

  • Based on Star Wars characters created by George Lucas and licensed from LucasArts
  • Phil Davidson
  • Joyce Domike
  • Dave Grenewetzki
  • David Platshon
  • Stacey Mollema
  • Don Bies
  • Robin Deley



Notes and references[]

External links[]