Whether you thought it was triumph or a tragedy, there’s no denying that Star Wars: The Last Jedi was one of the most divisive movies in the Star Wars saga. Thankfully, the same cannot be said about the two tables that comprise the Star Wars Pinball The Last Jedi collection for Pinball FX3 (Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC) and Zen Pinball (iOS, Mac, Android), which will satisfy fans of pinball as well as people who both loved and loathed The Last Jedi.
The Last Jedi
For those unfamiliar with Star Wars Pinball on Pinball FX 3 or Zen Pinball, the basic idea is that they’re original pinball tables that mix realistic physics and sound effects with physically or financially impossible mechanics. In the case of The Last Jedi tables, for instance, that means that while the ball bounces around like it would on a real pinball machine, and the ball sounds like a metal sphere rolling over a wood surface, the “Ahch-To Island” table has Luke doing some spear fishing — something that would require some pretty advanced and expensive animatronics — while squadrons of TIE Fighters fly over “The Last Jedi” one.
The Star Wars Pinball The Last Jedi tables also differ from real pinball tables in being a bit more forgiving. While real pinball machines are designed to take your quarters by, say, spacing the flippers out just far enough that the ball can slip by unnoticed, the flippers on both of the Star Wars Pinball The Last Jedi tables are close enough to make this challenging without being frustrating. Which is part of what makes them as much fun for pinball fans as they are for people into Star Wars.
That said, what makes the Star Wars Pinball The Last Jedi tables extra fun for Star Warsfans is all the fan service. Not only do they feature lots of imagery and iconography from the film, but the real sound effects and musical cues as well. Though it is a bit of bummer that while both have lines of dialog from the movie, it’s not the movie’s real dialog, it’s been rerecorded by a voice actor. Even worse, while the actor doing Rey’s voice sounds so exactly like Daisy Ridley, the one for Luke Skywalker sounds nothing like Mark Hamill.
While both of the tables in the Star Wars Pinball The Last Jedi collection are fun, they’re not the same. In fact, they’re different enough — both in theme and how they play — that they’re more complimentary than redundant.
For starters, “The Last Jedi” table is, fittingly, one of the complex Star Wars Pinball tables that Zen Studios have ever made. Not only does it boast multiple levels, but it also has seven flippers (most of Zen’s tables have two or three), with five in just the upper half. It also has a lot more bumpers than your average Star Wars Pinballtable as well. All of which makes “The Last Jedi” table a bit slower than most of the other Star Wars Pinball tables, though also a bit more strategic, since it makes it that much more important for you to try and line up your shots.
Conversely, the “Ahch-To Island” table is a bit simpler, though it also boasts an unusually high number of flippers, with two of its five being oddly close together. Otherwise, though, it’s largely just a selection of ramps and passageways, and not a lot of bumpers or other mechanics, save for a spinning platform that can fling the ball in unexpected ways. As a result, the ball can really fly on this table, making it more of a reflex challenge than “The Last Jedi” one.
As for how the two tables in Star Wars Pinball The Last Jedi compare to others in the Star Wars Pinballseries, well, while neither the titular one or “Ahch-To Island” are as engaging as “The Return Of The Jedi” table, which remains a high point for this series, both are as much fun as the two for The Force Awakens [my review of which you can read here], which puts it slightly (but only slightly) above those for Rogue One [review here] and Star Wars Rebels [review about here].
In the end, whether you thought The Last Jedi was an epic, an atrocity, or a movie you didn’t see because it’s not about pinball, you’ll have a lot of fun with Star Wars Pinball The Last Jedi. And that you can’t deny.