Skip to main content

Monkey Island And The Star Wars Connection

monkey island star wars

In the early 90’s Lucasfilm Games, which would eventually become Lucasarts, had it seems the Midas touch with adventure games.  Using their unique SCUMM system, which stood for “Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion” it brought point and click games to a wider audience with classic games such as Monkey Island, Indiana Jones and Sam & Max.

What made these games stand out from the crowd was their graphics, studio quality music and sound effects, their pick up and play feel and most importantly the script.  When it needed to be funny the game was genuinely laugh-out-loud funny, which was and still is rare for a video game.  The creators of the games also had the ability to make you care about the characters in the game and bring them to life with their unique style of writing.

One particular game had this in abundance.  That was of course The Secret of Monkey Island released in 1990.  Designed by Ron Gilbert, with Tim Schafer and Dave Grossman the game set a new bench mark for production values.  The fifth game to use the unique SCUMM interface, Monkey Island centred on a luckless and very loveable wannabe pirate named Guybrush Threepwood.  Set in the Caribbean, the game begins with you being set three challenges by a pirate gang to prove your worth.  Unfortunately the evil ghost Pirate LeChuck has other ideas and has evil eyes for your girlfriend, Elaine.  The game would go on to spawn many sequels and increase in popularity.

But why am I writing about Monkey Island on a Star Wars website I hear you ask?  Well you could tell that many of the game creators for Monkey Island were movie fans, and in particular Star Wars.  Working for Lucasfilm, the material on hand for everyone’s favourite space opera would have been immense but at the same time frustrating.  You see the problem was that in the early days of Lucasfilm Games they were told not to make any Star Wars games.

David Fox who worked for Lucasarts recently explained to that he wanted to make a spaceship game for 8-bit systems but was told it cannot be Star Wars.

"I wanted it to be a Star Wars game originally and we were told right up front, when we asked, that we were not allowed to do Star Wars titles and I was really upset.”  He also said "I joined the company because I wanted to be in Star Wars and that was the closest way I could do it, to create a game and do it that way."

Imagine the frustration having to work at Lucasarts and not being able to make a Star Wars game?  It seems that frustration was vented somewhat in their point and click games and very much in particular, Monkey Island.  There are a galaxy of references to the Star Wars movies and here are just a few examples.
Guybrush asks Wally B. Feed, "Aren't you a little short for a pirate?
The Voodoo Lady explains to Guybrush she can't come with him to Blood Island, he replies with the classic Leia line, "You've got to come! You're my only hope!  The Voodoo Lady replies with “No Guybrush there is another.”

In the Secret of Monkey Island, Guybrush is caught saying "It looks... familiar, somehow. As if I've seen it in a dream... Or maybe it's... I don't know." In The Empire Strikes Back, Luke lands on Dagobah with R2-D2 and says, "It's like something from a dream. Well, I don't know."
Again with Guybrush who says "I can barely see out of that mask." When placing a mask made out of Tofu on his face.
Guybrush can upgrade the Sea Cucumber's cannon to the Destructomatic T-47
In one scene a character shouts at Guybrush “We don’t serve your kind here!” which of course we all know is reference to the bar keeper on Tatooine.
When heading to Skull Island Guybrush tells the Lost Welshman he’s not afraid.  His reply is a reference to Yoda, "You will be, you will be,"
When talking to a cabana boy one of the references when trying to get past without an ID card is "You don't need to see my identification,"
Looking at a Fort on Plunder Island, Guybrush says "Funny, the damage doesn't look as bad from out here.”  A classic C3PO line.
Guybrush finds the model of a "ACME Prosthetic Proboscis" model to be TK-421
On Lucre Island, when travelling through the Mist O' Tyme swamp, in one of the backgrounds is Luke Skywalker's X-Wing
At the end of Monkey Island 2 LeChuck is confronted by Guybrush.  LeChuck says to our hero "I am your brother" Guybrush says "No! No, that's not true!" to which LeChuck replies, "Search your feelings, you KNOW it to be true!"
Popular character Wally is kidnapped to which the voodoo lady says
"I felt a sudden disturbance in the if a tiny voice shouted out and then went silent".
In the end cut scene at the carnival Chucky's shirt has "DARTH" written on it.
Han’s famous line “I have a bad feeling about this” is often quoted throughout the series.

These are just a few of the Star Wars references in the Monkey Island series.  If you haven’t played these classic point and click adventures yet then I highly recommend heading over to Steam and downloading them.  Monkey Island wasn’t the only game to get the Star Wars treatment.  Other Lucasarts games that have a number of references are Sam and Max, Day of the Tentacle and even the Indiana Jones games.

IN 2010, the Star Wars/Monkey Island connection came full circle.  Lucasarts used a Star Wars game to make reference to Monkey Island.  The Force Unleashed Two had an option to unlock a Guybrush Threepwood skin for your character.  So instead of fighting as a Starkiller clone, you could take on Darth Vader as a mighty pirate.  A nice touch.

Monkey Island is an important part of Lucasfilm’s history and should never be forgotten.  I, personally will never forget the first time I played this masterpiece and in particular picking up on the many Star Wars references in the game.  Star Wars memories from deep in the Caribbean.

Rob Wainfur

First published on the Coffee With Kenobi website

The Bearded Trio - The Site For Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and John Williams




Popular posts from this blog

Did Paul Freeman Accidentally Eat A Fly In Raiders of the Lost Ark?

The Famous Indiana Jones Fly In Belloq's Mouth Scene.  Did It Really Happen? I've always wondered if Paul Freeman unintentionally consumed a fly in this scene in  Raiders of the Lost Ark ?  It's the scene where Indiana Jones shouts down to Bellosh...I mean Belloq and threatens to blow up the ark.  Did a fly go in his mouth? I remember watching this scene back in the early eighties and my ten year old mind thought he definitely had a snack while filming.  I recall talking about 'flygate' in my school playground at the time and the general consensus with my friends was that Freeman definitely had a sneaky snack. Paul Freeman talks about the famous 'fly' scene in an interview with  and settled 'flygate:' This is a bit of a dicey question so don’t get too upset. (Laughs) A movie’s always got bloopers in it, some have a lot, and some only have three or four. And the most remarkable blooper was right before the opening of th

Star Wars VII Movie Poster - Every End Is A New Beginning

Star Wars VII Movie Poster Just saw this Star Wars VII movie poster on Kyle Newman's Facebook fee d.  The poster is by  Lyndon Berresford and Paul Bateman.  I am loving this.  Who do you think the two characters are?  Lando and Leia?  Han and Leia's children? Have you seen other Star Wars VII movie posters?  Let me know. Rob Wainfur @welshslider

Explaining That "Weird" Cut In Poltergeist. Read The Missing Scene

Why Is There A Strange Cut In The 1982 Horror Classic, Poltergeist? If you're a fan of the 1982 Horror classic, Poltergeist then you will be very familiar with that "weird" cut in the movie.  It's 32 minutes and 47 seconds in to the movie and the scene is where Diane is explaining the strange phenomenon that is happening in the kitchen.  First, she shows to Steve a chair scraping across the floor all on its own then she does the same with Carol Anne.  Steve leans up against the kitchen wall and is completely shocked at what just happened.  It's at this point Diane starts to explain the sensation of being pulled and then...A very abrupt cut.  One moment we are listening to Diane and suddenly it cuts to Diane and Steve at their next door neighbours door.  Why the sudden cut?  It's on the VHS, DVD, Blu-Ray and even the streaming versions.  Why does this awful and weird cut exist in the movie, Poltergeist?  Watch the clip below to see the cut: Well, the ans