Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is finally here, after many years of teasing updates and crushing delays.
Developer Traveler’s Tales has recreated the nine main Star Wars films in its charming style, and we spent the weekend stepping among the bricks to see how they compare to other Lego sets. There are hundreds of characters to unlock, overhauled combat to master, flyable spaceships to pilot, and an entire galaxy to explore. The question is, is this the Star Wars game you’re looking for?
Your first decision in Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is crucial: which trilogy to start with. We went with the previous films, not because they’re our favorites (thanks to the original trilogy), but because the first Lego Star Wars game covered the previous films in 2005 and we want to push that nostalgia (and see how the games compare).
After a classic Star Wars exploration of intergalactic taxes and trade blockades, the glossy plastic forms of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn appear on screen in all their minifig glory. From there, it’s straight into what makes these games so charming: a cutscene that made us laugh immediately – Traveler’s Tales hasn’t lost any of its silly, self-referential humor over the years.
If you know the movies, you can expect to start the game in this alarmingly clean conference room which is absolutely no trap. Instead, Skywalker Saga’s take on the Phantom Menace kicks off with you in full control of the Republic ship on your way to negotiations. This is a preview of how big this game is compared to the 2005 original.
After landing on the Trade Federation’s doughnut-shaped spaceship, we stroll through the large, eerily empty docking bay. One change that immediately jumps out at you is the camera, it now sits much closer to Qui-Gon than in other Lego games, and it gives a more intimate view of the action. We do what any self-respecting Jedi would do in this situation and start destroying every inanimate object in the room with our lightsaber. A little orange objective marker tries to get us to talk to a waiting protocol droid, but those boxes weren’t going to destroy themselves.
Qui-Gon swings his lightsaber weightily, easily gutting the random assortment of objects around the room; it feels powerful to play, more so than in previous Lego games. Naturally, we can also use the force to pick up the crates and containers in the room, smash them against the walls to blast them into a shower of colors and Lego studs (the little plastic pegs that serve as your change). You can also throw your lightsaber at enemies (and boxes), using the force to bring it back to your lego hook hand, making it a devastating ranged attack.
Size doesn’t matter (but still impressive)
As soon as you open the holoprojector, you get a sense of the scale of the Skywalker saga. This menu screen displays a map of the entire galaxy, divided into sectors. There are also tabs for characters (there are hundreds of them), ships, and skills. It’s a bit overwhelming. But, as we got to grips with the game, it’s all useful information to have handy.
Surprisingly, the meeting room the protocol droid leads us into is a trap, but it gives us a great opportunity to destroy things that fight back in a decidedly unboxed way. We’ve used the Force to smash droids into each other, our lightsaber to slice them limb by limb, and we accidentally blew ourselves up with an explosive barrel, it’s ridiculously fun. A major change to combat from the traditional game is the introduction of a combo system that allows you to link your attacks together, instead of just swinging your weapon aimlessly. The combat overhaul makes combat feel smooth and responsive compared to previous games.
As the last battle droid falls, we rush to the cargo bay and smuggle aboard a droid invasion ship about to descend to the surface of Naboo. Aware that we walk into the arms of everyone’s favorite Gungan: Jar-Jar Binks.
A guided tour of Star Wars
Naboo hosts several domains that you will know from movies. You can explore the city of Gungan, run around the place as Jar-Jar Binks waving his arms and wagging his tongue, jump into the Bongo ship and return to the planet’s surface while dodging giant monsters, then , on the capital’s quays, find a huge central area to explore.
The royal city of Theed is filled with giant glittering statues, massive courtyards and lush gardens. There are characters with small floating bricks above their heads that need tasks for them. Completing side quests, like fixing broken statues around town, will reward you with Kyber Bricks, a resource you can use to unlock character abilities. We were in a hurry to save the queen, so the Theed statues are still unrepaired.
The ensuing rescue mostly involves battling waves of droid enemies while protecting the queen and her entourage from blaster fire. It’s a tough fight to get to the royal ship, but we board and orbit, safely on our way to Tatooine.
After the Trade Federation Clinic Ship and the grandiose Royal City on Naboo, Mos Espa and its teeming streets are a wonderfully dense change of pace. We find ourselves slowly moving the camera around to capture an environment that, despite being mostly plastic, feels alive. There are plenty of little details that might go unnoticed, like the way the hilt of Qui-Gon’s lightsaber glows as it swings back and forth under the harsh twin suns of Tatooine, and the way the earth and sand of the desert planet realistically cover her little plastic legs. . But, as minor as these details are, they all add to the scene.
As we walk through the rough city streets, a fight breaks out, with green-skinned Rodians emerging from the woodwork to attack us. This gives us a chance to try out the new shooter combat, as Padme is a fan of the blaster. When aiming at his sights, the camera will move closer to his shoulder and a reticle will appear on screen. This new aiming style makes headshots and armor pieces easier.
The Lego team wastes no time pushing the action forward, within about a minute of our arrival we go from buying parts for our ship to betting Anakin’s freedom on a Pod Race. Most players know the story of The Phantom Menace, so the fast-paced storytelling is refreshing.
This fast pace has its drawbacks, however. We would gladly spend more time racing pods, but it’s a pretty short segment in the Skywalker saga, and there’s no breathing room for it. It also doesn’t help that the controls aren’t intuitive, distracting from what could have been an adrenaline-filled interlude.
A true Mauling
The new combat system comes into its own when we return to Naboo and fight Darth Maul. Not only is it thematically relevant and consistently funny, but the dueling also offers a real challenge. With a mix of combo fights, fast-paced challenges, and puzzles, it’s the culmination of The Phantom Menace portion of The Skywalker Saga.
Completing the story unlocks Galaxy Free Play mode, allowing you to return to the planets you’ve explored, though you can continue with the trilogy and roll straight into Attack of The Clones. As you delve deeper into the trilogy, the action intensifies in both challenge and complexity. As we work through the Battle Droid Foundries on Geonosis and towards our battle with Count Dooku, we’re adding more characters to our party, many with new abilities to learn and mechanics to master, and we face more goals that are more complicated than anything we’ve seen. in the previous episode.
As you complete the story, you’ll find areas you passed through before opening up and offer more secrets for you to discover. The space sections you use to travel between planets will become free roaming areas, which you can roam using the ships you have unlocked. You’ll find Kyber Brick Comets to explode for rewards and random encounters that can lead to even more loot.
There are also plenty of side missions to complete, awarding you Studs and Kyber Crystals to upgrade your characters. For some of these quests, you will need to access a certain character class or have progressed enough in the story. For example, we met a guy called Biggs Darklighter who had a mission for us, but we could only activate him as a villain class character, and Whiney Luke didn’t quite fit the bill. But, Han Solo on the other hand unarticulated…
Although we’ve spent ten hours with the game, we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of this lovingly crafted world. In addition to the many side missions still to be completed, we have only reached Episode IV, which already added more mechanics and options from the start. There’s still a whole trilogy and a half to play, more planets to explore, and a truly daunting amount of content to discover. We are desperate to continue exploring this galaxy far, far away. One that’s filled with favorite characters, fantastical environments, and exciting challenges.
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga releases April 5 PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4 and XBO.