When we first met C-3PO, one of the first things we did was rip him in half. We divided him in half by lifting his torso and plopping it down, and we could control his legs as they separated from his body, waddling around like a headless porg. We’re not sure why it’s an option, but walking around Tatooine as a pair of droid legs is just what Lego Star Wars needs.
Whether you’re in charge or just watching the cutscenes, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is amusing. We expected to be pulled to the Mumble Mode because of nostalgia, but we can’t imagine playing it without dialogue today. Hearing Han performs a sloppy Vader impression while carrying a red broomstick in a faux Spaceballs-style Dark Helmet was like putting the rose-tinted glasses back on for the Complete Saga.
The worst part about the later Lego games was that they used audio straight from the movies, complete with annoying background noise. There was no humor, only out-of-place acting that clashed with the crisply recorded new lines, but Lego has ultimately abandoned that strategy in favor of paying voice actors to bring the characters to life. Memes, bad jokes, callbacks, and parodies abound. Old Ben has a similar voice to Alec, but he’s just as naughty as Tom and Jerry.
That’s how we summed up our experience. It’s the culmination of everything Lego has been attempting for years. It took a long time for TT Games to arrive, but we’re delighted it did. The UI isn’t an awful, clumsy attempt to recreate open-worlds with bad speech boxes, the cutscenes finally evoke the same sensation as the originals despite the voice acting, and the combat received a much-needed overhaul that Force Awakens lacked. Combos, lightsaber throwing, an upgraded camera perspective, new force abilities, and adaptive AI make this Lego game far more engaging to play with. Furthermore, it accomplishes all of this while maintaining a laid-back vibe.
The Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens was a strange game. It had its moments, but it was excessively complicated, unintuitive, and strayed too far from Lego’s playful roots. It took us hours just to find the character creator. However, the Skywalker Saga has taken notice of these issues. Each level is accessed via your menu, which brings Dexter’s Diner and the Mos Eisley Cantina to your HUD, as well as a quest log to keep track of your objectives. There’s a logbook to keep track of everything, whether you’re scoring points in Jawa Football or blowing up the Death Star. And, while the battle is a little more complicated now, dying is still as unimportant as it was before. Oh no, we’ve misplaced some studs that we can simply replace. What are we going to do?
We watched A New Hope for an hour and were laughing, smiling, and wide-eyed as we were transported back to our childhood. We were exposed to Star Wars through Lego, so the Complete Saga holds a unique place in our hearts – when we think of Boba Fett, we think of the square-headed Lego man with a gigantic black cinder block for a gun, not the hardened, gruff bounty hunter. There are a lot of references to old Lego games, which really added to the nostalgia factor. On the Death Star, there are half-naked stormtroopers showering and even a hot tub full of them. There’s even a rave mode where the ancient Imperial March remix is played. Chewie, we’re home.
It’s a redesigned Complete Saga, with a more modern style that moves Lego away from its PS2-era platformer roots. This feels a lot like the transition between the initial Ratchet & Clank and the 2016 reboot. It’s a two-generation transition. The best aspect is how much more approachable the Skywalker Saga is. On the screen, there’s a mission log, indicators that indicate your goal, a minimap, huge subtitles with a contrasting background, and choices like aim aid, among other things. Not only can a whole new generation enjoy a new Lego Star Wars, but it’s also available to a wider audience than ever before.
A New Hope’s first hour hardly scratched the surface. We didn’t even get through the first episode, and there are nine more to go. We can’t wait to lose hours exploring this galaxy far, far away, with all the open-world side missions, collectibles, and smuggler runs. We were back in Elden Ring later that night, approaching the 100-hour milestone, and all we could think about was Lego Star Wars. We were captivated, and we couldn’t wait to return to Mos Eisley’s Junk Market.
Even in our favorite Lego games, such as Marvel Superheroes, side tasks felt like filler to acquire character unlocks, but the visual gags and slapstick humor drew us in. The Skywalker Saga pays homage to the original in a way that we thought had died away. That includes the in-between moments.
The missions do not tell the entire narrative. You go to the cantina to visit Han and Greedo, which is a peaceful area that connects two objectives, and while you’re talking to the patrons to find someone who can transport you to Alderaan, Luke gets into a brawl with two drunks. You slash them with your lightsaber, which is way too much, only to turn around and see Han shooting first. That’ll be a contentious issue. Or there’s the time when you’re with R2-D2 and you’re strolling through the desert bickering like an elderly couple. The previous games were quick, rushing through plot moments, but Skywalker Saga takes its time, and it’s all for the better.