Launch Star

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This article is about the object from the Super Mario Galaxy games. For Rosalina's up special move in the Super Smash Bros. series, see Launch Star (move).
Launch Star
Launch Star
Super Mario Galaxy appearance
First appearance Super Mario Galaxy (2007)
Latest appearance Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope (2022)
“I'm going to transform into a Launch Star. Come over and fly!”
Luma, Super Mario Galaxy 2

A Launch Star is an object that launches Mario or Luigi to different planets in outer space, introduced in Super Mario Galaxy. Launch Stars are large stars, usually colored orange, that hover just above the ground of a planet, though they can sometimes appear floating in the air above a planet, or just floating in space.


Super Mario series[edit]

Super Mario Galaxy[edit]

A Launch Star to launch Mario to a galaxy when inside a dome

In Super Mario Galaxy, the first time Mario uses a Launch Star, the path of the Launch Star is originally invisible, but it is traced out in space as Mario is flying to the next planet. However, if Mario later returns to a Launch Star that he has already used to travel to another planet, the path will be visible before he uses it.

Mario standing on a tree stump on the Spiny Planet from the Gusty Garden Galaxy.
A Launch Star in the Gusty Garden Galaxy

Launch Stars can be activated only by shaking the Wii Remote and causing Mario to spin when he is either in or next to a Launch Star, though any Launch Stars in the level visibly spin when the Wii Remote is shaken, regardless of whether or not he is necessarily close to one. When activated, a Launch Star catapults Mario to another planet or set of planets. When Mario stands directly under a Launch Star, the gravity of it pulls him into the center of it automatically. If the player does not shake the Wii Remote after a few seconds, the Launch Star will release Mario and he will touch down on the ground again.

Launch Stars are not always readily available for Mario to use. In some cases, Mario must complete a certain task or objective before the Launch Star appears, such as collecting five yellow Star Chips, eliminating all the enemies on a particular planet, or freeing a yellow Luma or the Launch Star itself from a crystal or a cage. In addition, yellow Lumas are also able to transform into Launch Stars independently, though this is more common in the game's sequel, Super Mario Galaxy 2 (the player usually has to free the Luma from a cage before it transforms into a Launch Star, though this is not always the case). It is revealed in this game that these Lumas still retain the ability to talk to Mario while in Launch Star form.

Launch Stars often let Mario fly through space for a short time before landing on another planet, unlike their smaller related items, Sling Stars, which often fling Mario directly to another planet, with very little space in between. While flying through space, Mario occasionally hits a floating Star Piece Cluster that has been placed directly in the path of the Launch Star, and it often releases multiple Star Bits that float around Mario until he lands on the planet. Mario can collect these Star Bits when the player touches them with the Star Pointer.

A pink Launch Star in the Space Junk Galaxy

After Mario feeds a Hungry Luma, it transforms into a new planet or galaxy and leaves behind a pink Launch Star leading to that planet. The only Hungry Luma that does not leave behind a Launch Star after being fed is the one that transforms into the Hurry-Scurry Planet in the Sea Slide Galaxy (Mario must use a cannon to reach the planet instead).

A green Launch Star on the Comet Observatory

There is also a green Launch Star located onboard the Comet Observatory that takes Mario to the Planet of Trials when activated. This one, as well as the Launch Stars on the Planet of Trials, is the only green Launch Star in the entire game.

Though usually immovable, a Launch Star always stays (or appears after the player collects five Star Chips) in its permanent location. However, one Launch Star can actually be moved upwards and downwards regardless of where it sends the player. In the mission Sunbaked Sand Castle in the Dusty Dune Galaxy, the player must go to the second planet and collect five Star Chips to make the Launch Star appear on top of the tower. Since the player can make the tower rise or sink by pressing a Ground Pound Switch, the Launch Star can also rise or sink along with the tower, but it does not sink into the sand.

Super Mario Galaxy 2[edit]

Mario in the Sky Station Galaxy.
Mario activates a Launch Star, as seen in Super Mario Galaxy 2

In Super Mario Galaxy 2, Launch Stars function identically as in Super Mario Galaxy. The path of each Launch Star that Mario uses appears before he uses it for the first time, as well as each time he uses it following the first time. One exception to this is in the Grandmaster Galaxy, where no path is projected.

Mario Kart Wii[edit]

King Boo using the Launch Star cannon of Rainbow Road in Mario Kart Wii

In Mario Kart Wii, a single large Launch Star appears in Rainbow Road, where it acts as a cannon and shoots racers into a rainbow tunnel and through another large Launch Star at the end (the second Launch Star does not launch racers). The design of the railings of this course also has multiple Launch Stars on it.

Although Launch Stars do not appear in future Mario Kart games, the Star Rings on various Rainbow Roads resemble Launch Stars. The Launch Star pattern on the railings of Mario Kart Wii's Rainbow Road returns in the course's reappearances in Mario Kart Tour and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe; however, the Launch Star that leads to the cannon does not, and it is now a ring that merely resembles one.

Mario Tennis series[edit]

Luma during his Special Shot animation
Luma is launched from a Launch Star for his Special Shot in Mario Tennis Aces

Launch Stars appear in two games of the Mario Tennis series, having a different role between both appearances. In Mario Tennis Open, Launch Stars appear in the Special Game, Galaxy Rally, where the player can complete the meter, and by extension the Launch Star, by collecting Star Chips. For every consecutive hit by the ball, the Launch Star gives the player five more coins. The Launch Star's meter depletes after a certain amount of time. Once the meter reaches zero, the Launch Star disappears, and Star Chips reappear. In Mario Tennis Aces, Launch Stars appear only during Luma's Special Shot animation, where differently colored Lumas appear around the playable Luma and transform into Launch Stars, shooting the playable Luma from one to another to help him hit the ball with a powerful strike.

Super Smash Bros. series[edit]

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U[edit]

Main article: Launch Star (move)
Rosalina's Launch Star in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.
The Launch Star move in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

While Launch Stars themselves do not appear in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS or Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Rosalina executes a move in a similar manner to a Launch Star for her up special move, in which she propels herself from a pair of rainbow stars, even producing a similar sound effect.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

SmashWiki article: Super Launch Star
Ness after being launched by a Launch Star in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Ness being launched by a Super Launch Star in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

In addition to serving as the basis of Rosalina's up special, the Launch Star from Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2 appears as an item in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, under the name Super Launch Star (though it was referred to as simply a Launch Star in some pre-release material). It can be deployed similarly to a Bumper by picking it up and throwing it, and points horizontally if it is thrown to the left or right, or vertically if it is thrown upwards or downwards. After it is deployed, any fighter who runs into it is automatically launched in the opposite direction it was thrown.

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope[edit]

In Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, a miniature Launch Star appears on a bookshelf in Madame Bwahstrella's cabin at Pristine Peaks.


Additional names[edit]

Internal names[edit]

Game File Name Meaning

Super Mario Galaxy
Super Mario Galaxy 2
ObjectData/SuperSpinDriver.arc SuperSpinDriver Super Spin Driver
Super Mario Galaxy
Super Mario Galaxy 2
スーパースピンドライバー (Sūpā Supin Doraibā) Super Spin Driver

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese スーパースターリング
Sūpā Sutā Ringu
Super Star Ring

Chinese (simplified) 弹射星 (Super Mario Galaxy)
Tánshè xīng
超级弹射星 (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)
Chāojí Tánshè Xīng
Launch Star

Super Launch Star

Chinese (traditional) 彈射星環[1] (Super Mario Galaxy 2)
Tánshè Xīng Huán
超級彈射星 (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)
Chāojí Tánshè Xīng
Launch Star Ring

Super Launch Star

Dutch Lanceerster
Launch Star
French Super anneau étoile
Super star ring
German Sternenring
Super-Sternenring (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)
Star ring
Super Star ring
Italian Maxistella Lancio (Super Mario Galaxy 2)
Stella Lancio (Super Mario Galaxy)
Maxi Launch Star
Launch Star
Korean 스타링
Seuta Ring
Star Ring

Russian Пусковая звезда
Puskovaya zvezda
Launch Star

Spanish Anillo Estelar
Star Ring


  • The green Launch Star located on the Comet Observatory in Super Mario Galaxy is the only Launch Star between the two games that is actually inaccessible the first time it is encountered. It can be restored only after Mario has collected all three Green Stars hidden throughout the game.
  • When a Launch Star spins, it does not rotate perfectly on its axis, but it rather appears to wobble back and forth slightly while spinning around.
  • The Launch Star sound, when launched, synchronizes with the current music. This technique is used with a MIDI data inside the music file.[2]