As we’re getting ready for Solo, the next Star Wars spin-off, Zen Studios revisits The Last Jedi through their excellent pinball platform Pinball FX3.
When we reviewed Pinball FX3 last year, we remarked on how it can be seen as a platform rather than a game and that you can pick and mix from existing content as well as new releases. Buying every table out there is costly, but how worthwhile is the new Last Jedi content?
As a relatively casual pinball player, the enjoyment I get out of a digital table is often directly related to how much I enjoy the source material. Pinball FX3’s launch coincided with the release of Back to the Future, E.T. and Jaws tables and I’ve enjoyed those a lot. I also really enjoyed the first batch of Star Wars tables that Zen Studios released, especially when they related directly to the original movie trilogy. While I enjoyed The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi felt so-so and too much of a break with the original movies, so I was a bit hesitant about the new FX3 tables because of it.
This expansion pack features a duo of tables, and luckily there’s plenty of old school charm in at least one of them – the main table titled The Last Jedi. The other table is named after Ahch-To, or “Luke Skywalker’s hideout island” as most casual fans will remember it, and it’s a much more introverted affair – which kind of resembles the movie.
The Last Jedi table itself quickly became my favorite of the two – there’s a lot of audiovisual Star Wars material included here, much of which has been lifted from the movie though not in the shape of directly sampled voice samples. Some of my favorite aspects about the table are when action sequences start playing out all across the table and outside of it – which can include TIE fighters launching themselves across the playfield. It’s sequences like this that made me think back to the VR edition of their pinball platform that Zen put out a while ago, as it would make for an amazing playground for a Star Wars table. Having these TIE fighters fly around you and into your peripheral vision would certainly be a blast – but I’ll happily take the flat screen version for the time being.
Playing the Ahch-To table feels a bit like Luke’s meditative state of mind in the movie – you keep waiting for him to go into his full jedi mode from the first three movies, but it never really happens. Instead, things play out at a slower pace on this table, which helps make it a good table to pinball novices and newcomers. Perhaps my biggest complaint is that it’s too close to the source material, which shouldn’t really count as a complaint but rather a matter of personal preference. As a pinball table, ignoring the Star Wars coat of paint, Ahch-To is a very well designed table that’s not as long as other tables, making for a relatively wide layout that always keeps the ball in sight pretty well.
Star Wars fans will no doubt want to add these two tables to their FX3 collection, and they’re getting two solid new tables again. The main table should appeal to fans even if they didn’t care for the different tone of the last movie, and those who did will certainly be drawn to the Ahck-To table as well. Can we have a Pinball FX VR Star Wars table, pretty please?