Alienware Aurora Star Wars Edition
If you dusted off your crimson Imperial Guard costume for the premiere of Revenge of the Sith, then Alienware has a gaming PC right up your intergalactic alley, with the Aurora Star Wars Edition. The AMD-based system gives you the turkey-sandwich choice of light or dark. The Dark Side case features the Death Star, Darth Vader, and Emperor Palpatine; the Light Side showcases Luke, Yoda, Chewie, and the gang. Customization options are the same no matter which case you choose; the price of the baseline configuration is $1,499 and quickly goes up from there when you select upgrades such as an Athlon 64 FX processor and SLI graphics.
Upside: The Star Wars theme extends beyond just the case, with Dark Side and Rebel skins and wallpaper. And along with the system, you get free membership to the official online Star Wars fan club and music samples from the movie. If you'll allow us to turn our attention away from Star Wars for a moment, we'll outline the specs. Processors range from the mainstream Athlon 64 3000+ to the high-end Athlon 64 FX-55. The system uses an Nvidia SLI motherboard, which means you can select a single graphics card, such as the default GeForce 6600, or double up with two GeForce 6800 Ultras for maximum performance. Lastly, we're happy to see that Jar Jar Binks's mug didn't make the case while old-school Han Solo's did.
Downside: Star Wars fans are capable of exhibiting enormous amounts of patience, whether it's waiting three years between the new episodes or waiting in line for days before the premiere. That said, we doubt many fans will like the fact that the Star Wars Edition case will delay shipping for almost two weeks. Also, we expected one of the many Star Wars games to be included in the package. Lastly, when we first saw the two Star Wars Edition cases, we were hoping Alienware would pit Intel-based configs against AMD-based models (we're not saying which company we'd expect to see aligned with the Dark Side case).
Outlook: It's safe to say that Star Wars merchandising efforts have met with a bit of success over the years, and we expect the Alienware Aurora Star Wars Edition to find an eager base of fans. Since Alienware is predicting that the systems won't ship until early June, it would seem the company expects plenty of fans to queue up for the special-edition PCs.