Ever since I became interested in/liked/loved/been obsessed with Star Wars, my interest has encompassed all manner of Star Wars-related stuff, including things like toys and DVDs and random other things that have drained my bank account.
Well, on our trip last weekend to Las Vegas, I found something else Star Wars-related that is going to further drain my bank account.
Yep, Star Wars slot machines.
Oddly enough, the first place I saw them was at Spacequest, the space-themed casino at the Las Vegas Hilton, home of the Star Trek Experience adventures (Klingon adventure - good; Borg adventure - bad) and Quark's Restaurant (home of the ever popular warp core drink and newest addition to the drink family, James Tea Kirk) and the Promenade shops. (The Spacequest casino is one of our favorites, and we always make a point of spending some time there and browsing around the Promenade when we're in Vegas. It indulges my still-existing Star Trek interest, and I love the Spacequest casino because it's got nice atmosphere and usually fun slots and great music. BTW, they have a Star Trek-themed slot machine too, which the husband played for quite some time and really liked. If he wants to talk about it, he can be guest-blogger for the day sometime. Or if you're interested, just ask him about it.) I thought it was pretty funny that the Star Trek-adjacent casino had Star Wars slots. They had two different ones there, one for Star Wars, and one for the Dark Side. The Star Wars one was based on the first film, and they had the various characters as the wheel entries. If you won a particular bet with a particular character, it would play a little snippet of a scene of them from the film, and during the spins, it would play various themes from the movie. There were also two bonuses, one that was a Death Star Bonus, and if you hit that, then the Death Star above the machine would spin and determine what bonus points you got. There was also this cool lightsabre bonus where if you got both Vader and Ben Kenobi on one of your played lines, it would trigger the lightsabre duel between them from the first film, and you had to pick which one would win. Both times I got it, I picked Ben, and both times, Vader won. I was wondering if it was programmed that way because the film was that way, but I saw other people get the bonus where Ben won.
On the Dark Side one, all the characters were Empire characters and droids and such, and you'd get snippets of those characters if you won with them. They had a bonus where Vader and an Imperial guard were there and you picked planets, but it just gave you points depending on what you picked. I was disappointed - it's the Dark Side - you should be blowing up planets for points! I only got the bonus when I was in a casino that was loud with the machine sounds turned down, so I have no idea what Vader or the guard was saying. I wanted to play it again in a quieter place but didn't get a chance to.
I saw these same slots at New York, New York, but they also had a third one, themed to The Empire Strikes Back. It had characters from the film, and it played scenes from that movie when you hit certain characters. There was a Jedi Training bonus where you were on Dagobah with Yoda, and you picked the various objects that Luke had to levitate, including a rock, R2 and the x-wing. If you picked correctly, you could end up picking all of the objects and really scoring big - I managed to guess correctly once and get all of them. There was also a Bespin free spin bonus that was triggered if you got both Han and Leia on lines that you were playing. Once triggered, you got transported to Bespin with Lando talking to you, and you got as many free spins as you could until both Han and Boba Fett showed up on the same spin. At that point, the wheel Han is on is frozen, with the picture of Han in carbonite, but the entire row becomes wild cards, and then a bonus wheel spins to determine how many free spins you get, and that many free spins goes, and you earn whatever you can. One time, during the free spins, I managed to get Han and Boba Fett again, so I had two wheels that were frozen and all wild cards. I scored really high on that one!
Of all the games, I liked the Empire one best, and it's also the one that paid off the best. The Empire gave me a total of about $30, so I was happy. The Star Wars one was cool because of the lightsabre bonus. I really wanted to like the Dark Side one, but it really needed more extras to make it more fun.
I'm not a big gambling person, and it's not like I couldn't just put my DVDs in and watch the movies themselves, but it was fun playing slot machines themed to Star Wars. I'm hoping they'll do a Jedi one as well.
We had been making annual visits to Las Vegas, but our last trip was in Spring 2004, and I had made a short 24-hour trip in August of 2004 but did very little gambling because of the time constraints. The Star Wars slots apparently came out in 2004, according to this article. Here's a link to a page that has video of the Star Wars and Dark Side machines. You get just a quick glimpse of the Empire one - it's the one with Yoda sitting on top. Here's another article about the machine, with a screen capture shot. And here's a more involved article taking you through the Star Wars machine step by step. I'm going to have to read through that article thoroughly before our next trip.
I could completely see myself playing on those machines for hours, just feeding money in as needed. They're penny machines, but you can bet several dollars at a time, if you play all the lines for the max amount.
Hmmm, wonder when our next Vegas trip will be.