by Mark Brown
A long time ago in a conference room far, far away, two multimedia titans came together on a shared mission for ultimate brand synergy.
We call this merchandise-spawning monster... Angry Birds Star Wars.
Actually, the game itself is pretty good. It mixes up classic Angry Birds with galactic spin-off Angry Birds Space, and contains some of the most enjoyable and chaotic levels in the franchise's history.
But, the game is not always easy. Chasing high scores is a tough job, and those 120-odd stages are filled to bursting with secrets and bonus levels. So, follow this guide, Padawan, and you'll be a Jedi Master (in the field of pig popping) in no time.
If you've never played an Angry Birds game before, here's the deal. In each level, you use a catapult to launch a pre-set group of birds into the ramshackle fortifications of a pig army. Your goal is to pop every pig before you run out of birds.
To fire the birds, simply touch the slingshot and hold your finger on it, then pull back to ready your shot. You can see the trajectory of the bird by looking at the dotted line. When you've lined up your shot, remove your finger to fire.
Each bird is a different beast, and has its own powers based on the Star Wars character it is portraying. See our bird guide below for more details.
Different materials are more susceptible to breaking than others. Wood and glass shatter easily, while metallic surfaces will take a fair few direct hits before they crumple.
Some levels are set in outer space. In the cold expanse of the universe, gravity has no effect and birds will float in a straight line forever. That is, unless you get stuck in a gravity well - these magnetic bubbles will attract birds, pigs, and materials towards their core.
Your score is based on the amount of destruction you caused, and the number of birds you didn't use. Getting a high score and earning three stars on a given level is a case of mixing deadly efficiency with untold chaos.
Red Bird - Luke Skywalker
The Red Bird is the staple of the Angry Birds franchise, so it's only fitting that he plays the hero of Angry Birds Star Wars, Luke Skywalker. When you first use him, from level 11, the Red Bird simply bowls into buildings like a cannonball.
From level 19, however, this bird is equipped with a lightsaber (a deadly weapon that can cut through near any material, and deflect incoming laser beams). Tap the screen when this bird is in mid-air and he'll spin his saber.
Black Bird - Obi-Wan Kenobi
Black Bird becomes a Jedi Master, capable of force pushing pigs and building blocks with a tap of the screen. Wait until you're up close to something, then tap a location on the screen to create a powerful force field.
This force push - which gets upgraded come level 226 - works through walls, and can deflect laser beams. Handy.
Yellow Bird - Han Solo
This trigger-happy bird carries a pistol, capable of firing three powerful laser beams at whatever you happen to tap on. These beams slice through pigs and most materials, and bounce off of metallic surfaces.
Big Brother Bird - Chewbacca
This bird acts exactly like its Angry Birds cousin - simply a destructive bowling ball that tears through any material like a hot knife through butter - only, with that distinctive Star Wars roar.
Blue Bird - X-Wing Pilot
Much like its Angry Birds equivalent, this blue-hued bird will split into three when you tap the screen. You can use this to fire at three targets at once, or delay the split until just before hitting a wall to really cause some damage.
This bird, which is introduced in the Death Star chapter, is also particularly adept at smashing through glass walls.
White Bird - C3PO
Exclusive to the game's bonus stages, this robotic bird is about as useless as the Star Wars character of the same name.
Tap the screen and the robot will fall to pieces like a frag grenade, sending shards of metal in all directions. Sadly, they don't cause much damage.
Egg - R2-D2
This droid, which you'll find in the game's bonus stages, can electrocute nearby pigs when you tap the screen. That way, you can take out a whole bunch of enemies in one fell swoop by getting in close and then zapping those bacon-flavoured bad guys.
Pink Bird - Princess Leia
The Princess has a handy tractor beam, which can pull on pigs or bits of scenery. Once she's in mid-air, tap on an object to tug it towards you. This is a great way to undermine the foundations of a tower, or kill faraway pigs.
Yellow Bird - Lando
Cheeky chap Lando is a slight twist on the Han Bird. He still fires a laser blaster when you tap the screen, but it now fires three bolts in three different directions. A good way to deal damage to disparate areas on the battlefield.
Much like the Mighty Eagle from Angry Birds, you can call on the Millennium Falcon (officially called the "Mighty Falcon", but I'm a sucker for nostalgia) to swoop in, fire off a few laser beams, and cause untold destruction on any level.
You get access to this spaceship either by waiting until level 126, or by collecting 30 stars.
You can call on the ship by tapping the Falcon icon in the top-left-hand corner. It will turn your current bird into a beacon, which you can fire at the pigs' fortifications. The Falcon will then swoop in and shoot a handful of deadly laser beams.
If you pop all the pigs, you'll be scored on how much destruction you caused, and given a medal (either bronze, silver, or gold). You can use a mixture of birds and Falcons to cause more chaos, but you will also get points for any unused birds.
It costs one token to use the Falcon. You'll get five tokens on level 126, and five free tokens when you unlock certain numbers of stars (including 30, 50, 90, 110, 150, and 170).
You can also buy new tokens using in-app purchases. Here's how much they'll set you back:
20 - £1.49 / $1.99
50 - £2.99 / $4.99
100 - £6.99 / $9.99
200 - £13.99 / $19.99
In version 1.3, Angry Birds Star Wars gained power-ups. These handy boost items will give you a leg-up on the piggies by letting you drop bombs, create clones, fire your catapult farther, and pepper the battlefield with lasers.
They don't come free. Once you've used up the free stock, you'll either have to make do with the daily freebies, or buy more with in-app purchases from the in-game shop.
Here's what each item does...
This very handy item will replicate your current bird, so you'll get to fire the same character twice. Use this on the most powerful birds, like Han and Leia, to do as much damage as possible.
Once you have equipped this, you can tap the screen in mid-air to drop a bomb. It will detonate a few seconds later, and hopefully damage crucial pig infrastructure.
This super-powered captapult enables you to fire a bird much farther than the regular wooden slingshot. Use this one when a nuisance pig is far off in the distance. Remember that this catapult stays out for the duration of the level, so use it on the first bird to get the most use.
Strap this doodad to a bird's noggin, and you'll fire a continuous stream of laser beams for as long as you fly through the air. It's best to use this one early, where you'll catch the maximum number of pigs in the firing line.
Stuck on a specific level? Can't get three stars on a tricky stage? We've collected videos for every stage in the game, showing you the exact shots to make to earn those massive scores. Choose a chapter below to get started:
Tatooine Death Star
Path of the Jedi Hoth
Cloud City Moon of Endor
In Angry Birds Star Wars, you'll unlock bonus stages by earning a certain number of stars. We've collected video guides for these special stages - check them out if you're having trouble acing these bonus levels.
Special Stages S1 to S-9
The game is also chock-full of Golden Droids, which open up more bonus levels. These can be easy to find but difficult to get to. Follow our guide below to find out how to get the Golden Droids, and beat their associated bonus stages.
Golden Droid Stages D1 to D8
A recent updated added ten Boba Fett Missions. You can buy them as a 69p / 99c in-app purchase, or unlock them for free with our handy guide. Then, use the guide below to found out how to beat those special missions.
Boba Fett Missions Stages B1 to B-10
Mark Brown 13 September 2013