A prototype of an unreleased Sega Genesis Star Wars game was recently made available to the public thanks to the combined efforts of Hidden Palace and the Cutting Room Floor.
Based on the 1992 Super Nintendo/Famicom game Super Star Wars, the unnamed Genesis game was being developed by Sega Interactive, an in-house studio responsible for titles such as Tale Spin and Eternal Champions. This short lived project started in late 1992 and got abruptly canceled in early 1993. The rom in hand specifically dates back to January 25th 1993.
When booting the game up the player gets immediately directed to a minimalistic menu where he/she gets to pick the playable characters (Player 1: Luke Skywalker, Player 2: Han Solo). 29 different scenes, mostly inspired by the SNES game, can also be selected here although many are missing sprites and in most cases, totally unplayable.
As far as gameplay goes, it is very similar to its SNES counterpart, as the main protagonist takes on hoards of re-spawning enemies using a stun-gun. Luke Skywalker is noticeably wielding the infamous light saber from the get-go here. The graphics on the other hand are lackluster.
In the sound department, the Star Wars main theme is played over the menu screen while most scenes/stages have Cantina Band playing on repeat, except for the first stage and a very few others. The sound effects are completely absent all through the game.
That was an ambitious project and I personally would have loved to experience Star Wars on the Genesis as the SNES version always felt kind of broken to me despite having great music and excellent graphics/animation.
PS: I tested the rom on original hardware using both the Mega Everdrive X7 and the Mega SD and it ran just fine.
For more info, screenshots and download check out Hidden Palace’s dedicated page: https://hiddenpalace.org/Star_Wars_(Jan_25,_1993_prototype)