The latest iteration of the Angry Birds game franchise — Angry Birds Star Wars (ABSW) — has remained at the top of the app charts since its release in November. (ABSW is available on iOS and Android devices, plus Windows and Mac.) The game combines standard features from the original title with the zero-G and orbital physics of Angry Birds Space.
Of course, the game also incorporates characters and story lines from the classic Star Wars films. It's always fun when giant pop culture institutions and cross-marketing opportunities collide. ABSW's many allusions, references and in-jokes bespeak an admirable knowledge of Star Wars lore on the part of the game designers.
In the interest of furthering Star Wars literacy among all peoples of the world — a noble endeavor, surely — we've listed below ABSW's playable birds and their powers, along with bonus reference information and trivia from the films. Only through the sharing of such excruciating minutia can balance be restored to the Force.
Power: Self-destructs into five parts.
Reference: Scene in The Empire Strikes Back in which C-3PO is blasted into parts by stormtroopers.
Double Secret Movie Trivia: Director George Lucas originally planned for Threepio to be a "used-car salesman type."
R2-D2 (Space Egg)
Power: Emits arcs of electricity.
Reference: Artoo's utility device that delivers a short-range electrical arc.
Double Secret Movie Trivia: R2-D2 is one of only four characters to appear in all six Star Wars films, along with C-3PO, Obi-Wan and Anakin/Vader.
Power: Moves objects with telekinesis. Reference: The Jedi "Force Push" power of levitating and flinging objects.
Double Secret Movie Trivia: The role of Obi-Wan in the original trilogy almost went to Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune (Seven Samurai).
Luke Skywalker (Red Bird)
Power: Swings light saber for area damage. Reference: "This is the weapon of a Jedi Knight. Not as clumsy or random as a blaster; an elegant weapon for a more civilized age."
Double Secret Bonus Trivia: In the original trilogy of films, the lightsaber's glow was achieved by the painstaking process of rotoscoping.
Power: Activates a beam that pulls objects out of position.
Reference: The Star Destroyer tractor beam that captures Leia's ship in Star Wars.
Double Secret Bonus Trivia: In the novelizations, Leia marries Han after the events of Return of the Jedi and has three children — Jacen, Jaina, and Anakin.
Han Solo (Yellow Bird)
Power: Fires laser blaster.
Reference: "Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid."
Double Secret Bonus Trivia: Legend has it that Christopher Walken was considered for the Han Solo role, a rumor that inspired this bit of genius.
Power: Topples objects with increased mass ann momentum.
Reference: "Droids don't pull people's arms out of their sockets when they lose. Wookiees are known to do that."
Double Secret Bonus Trivia: Chewbacca is derived from the Russian word for dog — the character was inspired by Lucas' own dog, named Indiana.
Rebel Pilot (Blue Bird)
Power: Can multiply into three smaller birds. Reference: In the Death Star attack, Rebel Alliance ships are grouped into color-coded squadrons.
Note: This was written by Glenn McDonald, a Digital Crave contributor.
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