7. The "Dark Times" are officially over
Sometime around 1985, Star Wars stopped being cool. The toys were on clearance. The cartoons and comics were losing their audience. And except for a rarely encountered arcade conversion of Atari's Star Wars to The Empire Strikes Back, the gaming had come to a screeching halt. There were signs of life here and there in the years to come, but for the most part, the phenomenon was over. But then the early Nineties happened. And thanks largely to Super Star Wars, the franchise was rising from its grave.
It began in 1991 with the No. 1 bestselling book by Timothy Zahn, Heir to the Empire. Dark Horse Comics continued the trend with Dark Empire selling out at comic shops everywhere. Still, gaming wasn't setting the world on fire – neither Star Wars NES game of this period did much to move the needle in the eyes of gamers. Perhaps it was Zahn's summer 1992 follow-up bestseller, Dark Force Rising, that really made the gaming media take notice, as Super Star Wars for Super NES would grace the covers of both Nintendo Power and Electronic Gaming Monthly later that fall. And with that, the Dark Times were officially over. Star Wars was cool again. (The game was pretty good too…)