Three years ago I reviewed Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens and found it an oddly incomplete experience. The whole film was there, miniaturised into Lego form. There were extra missions too – further adventures from Disney’s new franchise canon – included to pad it out. But it still felt a little too brief for a Lego game – experiences which, typically, cover a whole movie trilogy or more inside a single release.
Packing in all nine major episodes, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga feels like a direct response to that – and the appropriate next step for a video game series which, while it may not reinvent the brick from game to game, has evolved beyond recognition from the very first Lego Star Wars, released nearly 15 years back. Yes, we’ve seen the bulk of these stories transformed into Lego games before – most of them, in the now rather ironically-titled Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga – but this was a long, long time ago, in a very different way.
Lego games have changed a lot in recent years, and there’s a lot of the more recent titles evident in the Skywalker Saga demo shown at E3. The large open worlds, for example, seen in recent entries like Lego Jurassic World and Marvel Super Heroes and yes, The Force Awakens, make a return here – as does the latter’s Galaxy Map for navigating between them. In The Skywalker Saga, the map has grown far larger, and I noticed you were now able to choose from multiple destinations on a single planet. For example, we were shown Tatooine circa Return of the Jedi, but you could still land at your choice of Mos Eisley, Mos Espa or Anchorhead.