Drew Reviews LEGO: Star Wars



Andrew Carlin, HSETV Staffer

Can you do a quick favor for me? Cool, now I want you to remember the time when you were a wee little kid, without a care in the world for anything except the stupidest things. Pokemon cards, New Super Mario Bros, Easy Bake ovens, stuff like that made up literally the entirety of your stream of conscious. It was such an innocent and pure time, no finals or essays to worry about, instead it was whether or not your mom would let your friend stay the night. Remember going to the beach in the summer and jumping into every oncoming wave, or careening down Flat Fork at irresponsible speeds right after a solid snowstorm (or pelting your friends with the ample amount of cold hard ammunition just lying on the ground), or raking leaves into a massive pile with your family, and then jumping into it and undoing hours of work.

Alright, snap back to reality now. It’s hard not to be wistful for those times, right? I know there’s a hedonistic side of me that would love nothing more than to return back to my childhood, and I’m sure you’ve had those same thoughts too. Alas, time marches on regardless of what anyone wants, and we’re forced to grow up and mature, take on new responsibilities with every passing year. It’s just how life is, you know? You’re born, you grow up with your family, you land a good job and hopefully start a family of your own, and the cycle repeats with your kids. Especially this time of year for all of us students, it seems particularly stressful with the sheer threat of finals looming over these next two weeks. But, what if there was a way to go back to that simpler time, if only temporarily? Could anyone really blame you for taking it? I know I certainly couldn’t, and I am right about most things. In fact, I actually just that thing you need, well, I don’t have it, but I can show you it. Wanna see? Of course you do.

I give to you: LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga…




If you have red blood and breathe oxygen, then you’ve heard of Star Wars. It is pop culture by definition, such a famous tale of space exploration and adventure that actual aliens know about it (I think so, anyways. They won’t text me back.). Lightsabers and blaster rifles are recognized around the globe, main characters like Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Princess Leia will live far longer than you or I. George Lucas has created a franchise that spreads into movies, TV, theme parks, video games, regular clothing, full-on cosplay, breakfast cereal, band-aids, bars of soap, and much, much more. It’s hard to think of anything else that really rises to the level of popularity that Star Wars has achieved, which gives it its unique feature of borderline universal recognition. That recognition owes part of itself to the targeted marketing towards younger fans, say… in popular forms of media that already have an anchor in that critical demographic. Something like… video games, maybe?

Enter LEGO and a little known British studio named Traveller’s Tales (TT).

In 2005, the same year that Revenge of the Sith debuted in theaters, LEGO and TT teamed up to release the first LEGO: Star Wars game on PS2, Xbox, the Game Boy Advance, and PCs. The game featured interactive puzzles and fights that lined up directly with the movies, allowing players to make their way through the first three episodes as the famous characters themselves. Combining that already great story with a unique, irresistible kind of humor, TT crafted a true masterpiece. The first game was an instant success, able to put a smile on both the critics’ faces and the faces of children lucky enough to experience it all the way back then.

Ever since 2005, Traveller’s Tales has been making periodic releases of their famous LEGO: Star Wars games, including LEGO: Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy in 2005 and LEGO: Star Wars III: The Clone Wars: The Clone Wars in 2011. These two games managed to capture the same charm that the original had, retelling the story from a galaxy far, far away in its iconic and goofy manner. A few other games released after LEGO: Star Wars III, but they weren’t nearly on as grand a scale as the first three. Well, at least until 2022…

The Star Wars franchise was revitalized by the release of the sequel movies, The Force Awakens (Ep. 7), The Last Jedi (Ep. 8), and the Rise of Skywalker (Ep. 9). Meanwhile, multiple TV series captured the attention of Disney+ watchers, with the Mandalorian and the animated Clone Wars telling stories that expanded outside of the infamous Skywalker Saga. This new boom in Star Wars content rapidly raised interest in the previously-sleeping franchise, and Traveller’s Tales saw an opportunity. They immediately begun production a game with an unprecedented frame, encompassing all nine episodes in one neat package. Along with that already ambitious plan, TT began to add some of the side series into the game as separate levels, fully fleshing out the whole universe of Star Wars.

Finally, after four and a half  long years of development, TT released LEGO: Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga on April 5th, 2022. Boasting all nine episodes along with a slew of side content to enjoy, TT revealed their masterpiece, their magnum opus. The sheer amount of new content to enjoy is just one of the game’s many strengths, TT also added in a myriad of new features to separate this release from its predecessors. One of the new features is the ability to engage in dogfights when flying in space, as well as having the general area as a hub world. You can now chase down space pirate ships and take down entire fleets of TIE fighters, in any one of the iconic ships that you unlock throughout the game.

TT also revamped the combat system, changing both the physical and gunfire systems dramatically. Now you can string together powerful yet fluid punches and kicks, dealing with the dark side the good old-fashioned way. Or, if you don’t like to duke it out, then you can shoot your way through Stormtroopers with the new over-the-shoulder aiming system, akin to games like Resident Evil and GTA. Hungry for a real sense of progression? A new sub-system deals with Kyber bricks, a new currency you can collect through exploration and side missions to use on a multitude of upgrade trees. Every character you play now belongs to a class, such as Jedi, Sith, Scoundrel, and Astromech Droid. Every class has a unique ability that can be utilized to solve puzzles, making it necessary to use all of them comfortably. The gameplay here really has matured and evolved, right along with the rest of us.

Of course, the graphics are also infinitely better too. The backgrounds and water effects used to build environments look almost realistic, and the lighting is right up there with them. You can see the lightsabers shine on the character’s bodies, as well as on puddles on the ground. It’s absolutely beautiful, and all of it doesn’t interfere with the game itself. The mesh between LEGO assets and the realistic world is so smooth, you don’t even notice it half of the time. The comedy is still on point too, there’s always something to look and laugh at, which makes this game truly special. There’s so many jokes that the game doesn’t point out, it makes it all the more rewarding when you find them in the backgrounds of the wide shots.

In conclusion, LEGO: Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is the best culmination of all its predecessors, keeping everything that made the earlier games special while reworking and improving features to further enhance the entire experience. The game maintains its universal appeal too, making it easy to play with your friends, your parents, or your younger siblings/cousins. It’s impossible to play the game without a dumb smile on your face the entire time, making it the ideal pick-me-up game to play when you feel like you need to shed some stress. And at this time of the year, I think that this game is only that much more important to appreciate.

This has been Andrew Carlin, and may the Force be with you.