Rules for Kenner's 1977 "Escape from the Death Star Game"

I know this is a rather random post, but for all the other nerd garage-salers like me out there, I decided to go ahead and do it anyway.

A few years ago, I bought this game at a garage sale for a couple dollars.

It had most of the pieces.  And it was STAR WARS.  Anything Star Wars is worth a couple bucks, right? However, it's not really the type of game you sit down to play with your husband or a group of friends, so it really just sat on my game shelf for a lo-o-o-ng time.

Enter Miss E.  She is now old enough to love playing games.  And she is old enough to know that her daddy loves Star Wars (for some reason she doesn't believe I love Star Wars), so when she saw this game on the shelf we just had to play it.

It was then that I realized we don't have the instructions.  I'm pretty sure we had them when I bought it, but since the box is mangled, they must have gone the way of all the earth in one of our 6 moves during our 7 years of marriage.  Bring on the ever-popular Google search (by my husband), during which we found a lot of instructions for other "escape the Death Star" games, but not this one.  So we winged it.  But it bugged me.  So after the kids were in bed, I did my own search.  I didn't find any websites that had the instructions, but I found people selling it on Ebay who did a wonderful job of photographing all the parts -- including the instructions.

Since I had to type them up to print them out anyway, I thought I would put them out there on the world wide web for others to find.

There's my story.

And here are the instructions for Kenner's 1977 "Escape from the Death Star Game."  I copied these exactly from the rules booklet as pictured in the listings, including the bold, all caps and punctuation/numbering. (After typing these up, I'm thinking whoever wrote these rules back in 1977 thought the people playing this game were going to be idiots. Either that or he was going to take it personally if someone didn't win by EXACT COUNT. Haha)

Be the first player to reach the Rebel Base after escaping from the Trash Compactor of the Death Star.

Gameboard, 8 playing tokens, 4 Death Star Blueprint Cards, 4 Tractor Beam Cards, Spinner, and a deck of 52 FORCE CARDS.

Game Play -- 2, 3, or 4 Players
  1. Each player selects a color and places his two Tokens (Leia/Luke and Han/Chewbacca) on the matching colored area in the Trash Compactor.
  2. Each player spins.  Highest number goes first.
  3. Each player spins in turn and moves one of his two Tokens the number of spaces shown on the Spinner.  A MOVE MAY NOT BE SPLIT UP BETWEEN TWO TOKENS. Moves must always be made in the same direction and must follow the lines connecting the spots.
  4. If a player lands on a Blue Force Spot, he must draw a FORCE CARD and carry out the instructions.
  5. If a player draws a FORCE CARD that tells him to go to the Detention Block, he can get out by presenting a FORCE CARD that allows him to leave or by spinning a "3". If, after three turns, the player does not spin a "3", he may leave the Detention Block on his next turn.
  6. More than one Token can occupy a space on the board as long as they are not "like" Tokens.
    EXAMPLE: If your Han/Chewbacca Token lands on a space on which there is already a Han/Chewbacca, send the Token occupying the space back to the Trash Compactor.
  7. Before moving to the Millenium Falcon, all players must accomplish two missions.
    ONE -- Either Token must enter the Control Room by EXACT COUNT and acquire a Death Star Blueprint.
    TWO -- Either Token must enter the Tractor Beam Room by EXACT COUNT and take the card indicating the Tractor Beam has been turned off.
  1. When BOTH of the players Tokens reach the Millenium Falcon, he is ready to travel through Hyperspace to the Rebel Base MOVING THE TWO TOKENS AS ONE.
  2. The Millenium Falcon space is the only safe space on the board. However, if a players Tokens get sent back from Hyperspace, they only move back to the Millenium Falcon.
  3. The first move into Hyperspace is determined by the number spun  and Tokens may only move in a straight line from one of the 3 entry points.
    If you land on a Tie Fighter, you must engage in a Dogfight.
Spin to see if you win or lose {inside band of spinner}.
WIN and move one space in any direction.
{a} you may move to a Tie Fighter and continue to engage in Dogfights until you reach the Rebel Base
{b} you may move to an empty space and wait for your next turn.
LOSE and you are sent back to the Millenium Falcon.

  1. First player to arrive at the Rebel Base by EXACT COUNT or by winning the final fight with a Tie Fighter, wins the game.

We will be glad to answer any questions concerning these rules.
Write to: The Product Manager, Star Wars Game, Kenner Products, 1014 Vine Street, CINCINNATI, Ohio 45202



  1. Just picked this game up for $10, minus instructions of course. Thanks for posting these, my brother and I are going to relive our youths and play a few rounds. :)

  2. Just picked this up yesterday for $10 mint condition then realized I already had the instructions lol.

  3. I just played this game with my six year old, after having it since I was six years old myself -- but of course I never had the instructions. Until finding this post today. God bless the internet.

  4. Hello, does anyone have a list of all 52 force cards to the 1977 Star Wars Escape from the Death Star board game? Missing some!

  5. Thanks! Just dug out my old version of the game and played it with my kids for the first time!

  6. Thanks so much for this! Just bought it at an antique shop and thought it was going to be really tough to find out how to play it. Much appreciated!

  7. Thanks! We just pulled this game out of the closet from my old bedroom at my parents' house - they are moving into town from the country and we are packing everything up. It's a little sad because we've spent so many years here and there are so many memories like the time my brother and I made a fake ninja film and I pretended to be an old woman putting out her clothes on the line who he was trying to save but there was also the time my sister was upset about something and ran out behind the house and out into the famer's field and got stung by the electric fence on the way through and oh, it's going to be fine anyway, since we can all just hang out in town and it'll be a new period to our family history, right? Anyway, thanks for the game instructions. We're going to play it now.

  8. I am wondering what the DS- yellow spots are meant for.

    1. The force cards will tell you to move to a specific DS space sometimes. I think that's all they're used for.

  9. I just purchased this 1977 game with everything still there... even instructions. Hard for this 60 year old to figure out. 1. Do you have to leave the start (trash Compactor ) going up from your color? Such as green is DS-1 & DS-2... or start up anywhere? Think I got all figured out but that.

  10. I wondered what yellow spots were for also if meant something when ya land on it. And unclear if say green has to start up DS1&2, etc or you can head up any DS route to start???

    1. If I'm understanding your question right, you are wondering how to leave the trash compactor area. Each color has a Han and Chewie token and a Luke and Leia token. Both tokens go on their color in the trash compactor area. Each color has two routes that radiate out from them. You can choose which of the two you want your token to move onto after spinning. Once you are out of the trash compactor you can take any route to the death star plans and the tractor beam you want.