With iPhone, Stars Wars love shines like a light saber

Aug 20, 2009

I am a Star Wars geek. There, I said it. Because thanks to a burgeoning selection of entertaining iPhone apps (and Natalie Portman), it’s finally possible to foster a Star Wars obsession in public without invoking Comic-Con. Whether you’re working on an encyclopedic knowledge of Cloud City architecture or still performing Darth-Maul-inspired stage-fighting sessions in your garage, here are a few apps to help you fuel the fire.

For the Jedi in training

Retire the painted broomstick and try your hand at a few light saber simulation apps like LightSaber Unleashed (free), which lets you customize your own light saber that imitates fighting noises when you swing your iPhone around. Those in need of a more substantial objective should try LightSword Defense (99 cents) and score points with similar phone-wielding chops to block an endless shower of laser bullets. Meager stand-ins for the real thing, perhaps, but both make the classic light saber humming sound for you, which really takes a burden off your mouth.

For dialogue, the Star Wars Sound Board (99 cents) features a bank of one-liners from 16 classic movie characters like Leia’s “You’re my only hope” plea and Jabba the Hutt’s deep, maniacal laugh — perfect for prank phone calls.

By far the best Star Wars app out there is THQ Wireless Inc.’s action game Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. At $5.99 to download, I found it worth every penny, but you should definitely check out the free demo version first. As Darth Vader’s secret assassin, you’ll track down and kill the last remaining Jedi while mastering the Force with a few easy flicks — though it’s a bummer that you rarely get to use your light saber for more than blocking.

For the trivia buff

If you have a knack for Star Wars history, test the depth of your knowledge against Apptia’s Star Wars Trivia (99 cents) and its collection of movie questions on obscure details, characters and special effects that should pose a threat to the ego of any aspiring Star Wars scholar. Another must-have for any collector, Star Wars Books and Timeline (99 cents) catalogs a comprehensive list of Star Wars literature by title, series and publication date, along with a synopsis of each book, its ISBN number and publisher information for easy referencing.

Or start your own digital library with comic books like Dark Horse Comic’s four-part series Star Wars: Empire – Betrayal (99 cents each), which chronicles an internal uprising against Emperor Palpatine and Vader.

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Steven Yaccino

Steven Yaccino has written for Esquire and U.S.News & World Report, among other magazines. He is currently freelancing in Chicago.

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