LEGO Skywalker Saga

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga builds on its predecessor, The Complete Saga, with new storylines from the sequel trilogy while featuring iconic characters  from the entirety of the Star Wars franchise.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I played LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga with my dad. After he got back from work late at night or during halftime when he watched the Eagles play on Sundays, we always found time to squeeze in a level or two. Fifteen years later, I’m booting up LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga in my dorm room. While I have every intention of giving this game an unbiased review, I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t a very nostalgic experience for me.

Unlike its predecessor, The Skywalker Saga boasts 45 levels as well as a sprawling open world. More planets to explore, playable characters and starships are all welcome additions. However, this treasure trove of new content comes at a cost. With the task of fitting three entire trilogies into a single game, each individual level feels noticeably shorter. Levels I vividly remember from the original game now feel like they’re cut off in the middle, leaving me slightly unsatisfied. This doesn’t mean the game is lacking in content, though, as there are tons of collectables, side missions and space battles to keep the player occupied for hours after beating the main story. 

There are 380 playable characters at the player's disposal making it safe to say that your favorite member of the Star Wars universe will be there somewhere. Characters are broken down into different classes; each has their own skill tree that can be upgraded with Kyber Bricks found around the open world. In addition to the skill tree, the game has a brand new combat system that’s far more complex than any other LEGO game that’s come before it. Players are able to create combos while fighting enemies, featuring aerials, counters and block breakers. There are also tons of ships you’re able to control, including the infamous Death Star. While the new combat system opens up a whole host of gameplay variety, sometimes the game appears to focus too much on it. Levels in previous games that emphasized teamwork and puzzle solving are now replaced with fighting waves of enemies or a boss.

Some levels consist entirely of lightsaber fights with an enemy. These are cinematic and make the player feel like they’re in the movie — unless they’re player 2. The battle between Anakin and Obi-Wan on Mustafar was such an iconic scene in the “Revenge of the Sith” film as well as a fan-favorite level in the original LEGO game. Every level needs to have at least two characters, and The Complete Saga addressed this by having one person play as Anakin and one as Obi-Wan. The two would have to work together to solve puzzles to avoid dying on the lava planet until fighting each other at the very end. 

In The Skywalker Saga, player 1 is Obi-Wan, while player 2 gets to be C-3PO and R2-D2. The droids aren’t able to fight Anakin themselves, and they only serve to solve a mindless puzzle once or twice in the level. While I played this game by myself, I’d often switch to the secondary character to see what younger siblings all over the world were stuck with. I don’t envy them. However, if you and your friend trade off every so often and share the responsibility of becoming a Jedi Master, you shouldn’t be bogged down too much. 

That said, this game masterfully caters to new, younger audiences as well as adults. The humor in cut-scenes is simple but not annoying. It’s not afraid to poke fun at the nonsense of the franchise and never takes itself too seriously. There are plenty of extra gameplay modifiers that make the game a complete, goofy joy to play. My personal favorite is “mumble mode.” Older LEGO games never had dialogue, leaving characters to mime and make silly noises to portray the story. Modern LEGO titles have since included dialogue from the movies, but “mumble mode” replaces spoken words with hilarious mumbles from the characters, taking me back to simpler times. 

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga isn’t life-changing or thought-provoking. It may not even be a game you replay later in life. However, it could very well be the game we look back on 15 years from now with a smile. At the end of the day, this is just good fun. After a long day of classes, being able to turn your brain off and pod race with your friend is something I’d recommend to any Jedi or Rebels out there.   

Contact Luke Freisner at freisnlx@dukes.jmu.edu. For more on the culture, arts, and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Instagram and Twitter @Breeze_Culture.