How to Watch Star Wars in ASCII on Windows 10 and Mac

Old School nerds may remember a trick that let you watch the entire first Stars Wars film is ASCII via the command prompt. As it turns out, you can still do this even in Windows 10 and on modern Macs. Here’s how.

This trick will play out the entirety of the first Star Wars film entirely in ASCII characters. It’s very cute.

star wars ASCII

What is ASCII?

American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) is a character encoding standard that represents 128 characters as numbers. To put it extremely simply it allows computers to read these characters (such as ‘$’ or ‘M’) by assigning them numbers.

Each letter or character is assigned a number. For example, the ASCII number for an ampersand (&) is 38.

star wars ASCII

Star Wars ASCII

So this is how you actually get the Star Wars ASCII movie to run.

Here’s what to do on PC:

  1. First you need to install Telnet. While this was common by default in older systems, that us no longer the case in Windows 10. Go to Control Panel > Programs > Turn Windows features on or off > look for the Telnet Client and click OK.
  2. Now open the command prompt by hitting the windows key + R. Type cmd and hit enter.
  3. Type pkgmgr /iu:”TelnetClient and hit enter
  4. Type telnet and hit enter. Type o and hit enter. This opens up a Telnet connection and the command line will switch to ‘to’.
  5. Type towel.blinkenlights.nl and hit enter. You can now connected and the opening credits will roll.
  6. Enjoy you Star Wars ASCII adventure!
Star wars ASCII

And here’s what to do if you’re on a Mac:

  1. Open the terminal by clicking on the magnifying glass in the top right of your screen. Type terminal and hit return.
  2. Type telnet and hit return.
  3. Type o and hit return. This opens up a Telnet connection and the command line will switch to ‘to’.
  4. Type towel.blinkenlights.nl and hit return. You can now connected and the opening credits will roll.
  5. Enjoy you Star Wars ASCII adventure!