These aren't the birds you're looking for -- Angry Birds gets the Star Wars treatment

When we were young and saw Star Wars for the first time—when we met Luke Skywalker and identified with him, felt deeply his struggle to become something more than a sand-bound farm boy, cried with him when he lost his hand, spent three years wondering if Darth Vader really was his father, got grossed out when we found out that Princess Leia was his sister, and felt triumph when he saved his father and freed an entire galaxy—we hoped, in our heart of hearts, that someday the mythic hero who loomed larger in our imaginations than any other man or woman in all of the movies or books or epic poems we have ever seen or ever will see, would end up dressed like a chicken.This week we got our wish.

Use the Force squaaaaawk! Luke.

It neither happened a long time ago nor in a galaxy far, far away, but Angry Birds Star Wars and Angry Birds Star Wars HD made the jump to light speed Thursday across a variety of mobile and desktop computing platforms. The game from developer Rovio in conjunction with LucasArts brings together two beloved franchises like chocolate and peanut butter.

As in other Angry Birds games, birds and pigs are facing each other in epic battle—only this time on somewhat more mythic terrain, as the heroes face off against Darth Vader, “Dark Lord of the Pigs,” and try to destroy his fearsome new weapon, the Pig Star. (See the video below for a taste of the game and its sensibility.)

Players can explore more than 80 levels of gameplay as they try to attain the rank of Jedi Master, using lightsabers, blasters, and Jedi powers to ward off Imperial pigs. And they can make in-app purchases to “level up” their birds and improve their skills.

On mobile platforms, Angry Birds Star Wars is available as a free Android game, a $1 iPhone offering, and a Windows Phone game. (The HD version is available for iPad and Kindle Fire, among other tablets.) For desktop computers, Angry Birds Star Wars requires $5 to use the force on PCs and Macs.

For the full range of game and purchasing options, check out the Angry Birds Tumblr.

Thursday’s Angry Birds release comes a week after Disney announced it was buying the Star Wars franchise from creator George Lucas, with the intent to begin production on a new trilogy of films. The first Star Wars movie was released in 1977; the franchise has grown to six films, animated TV shows, and an endless number of games—including another famous crossover into the Lego universe.

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