Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Review – A Fine Addition To My Collection

You reach that ultimate finale of the prequel era, the lava of Mustafar bubbling as two brothers strike blade against blade. It’s a heartfelt, momentous battle. “I have the high ground… don’t try it!” Only, instead of Ewan McGregor’s pain being felt, we get a little Lego Obi-Wan climbing a step-ladder he’s handily brought. Higher ground. Definitely don’t try it.

That’s every cutscene to a tee. Whether it’s Palpatine proudly egging on two villainous grandchildren as they fight, Kylo popping off an “I <3 Vader” shirt, or Jar Jar Binks getting bonked a few times by a droid carrier, Skywalker Saga is the funniest Lego game by a wide margin. You get to step into the world of the films like never before but with that added comedic flair. The older games bulldozed through the plot, but Skywalker Saga takes its time, meaning that not only is this a recreation of the films, but an expansion of them – you can walk down the streets of Coruscant’s underbelly, stare blissfully out the windows of Cloud City, or get your cape dirty in the sands of Tatooine, Jakku, or Pasaana. Dexter’s Diner even makes a return.

The Lego games were my introduction to Star Wars, even before the films. I was too young to understand what was going on, so I had the mindless fun of platforming and spamming buttons to keep me entertained. But it’s why I love Star Wars so much. Sure, the prequels are bad, but the Lego game gave me fond memories of the droid factory and Naboo under siege. Now, kids can build those same new memories with whole worlds. Imagine the magic of growing up having flown around space, hopping from Mustafar to Geonosis in Anakin’s yellow starfighter.

I’m more excited than ever for this new generation. They finally have a Lego Star Wars and it’s one that knocks the old out of the park. That’s because it’s a game that not only celebrates Lego but the PS2 era as a whole. The small world hubs have that interconnected feel of Jak 2’s Haven City, there’s that collect-a-thon charm of Sly Cooper, and the space hopping wonder of Ratchet & Clank. It’s no wonder I love it – it takes everything good about the PS2 era of platformers and merges them together.

Rather than the vast open worlds of many modern titles, Lego Star Wars is about digging into every nook and cranny, unearthing discoveries. But it’s not just the open world that has that distinct PS2 feeling. Each level is small and focused, standing against what Lego has become in recent years with its drawn-out spaces that often overstay their welcome. The signature puzzles, platforming, and boss fights are all present, but there are just as many on-rails fights and space battles that let you experience the action of the films rather than relegating it to a cutscene, and TT balances it in a way that means you get a good mix of both through the saga.

The levels aren’t about telling the story anymore. You get a lot of that in the interim thanks to the open-world design. Instead, the levels are about moments. They’re the parts of the films that would be the most fun to play. Rather than taking brief excursions that last a few minutes in the movies and expanding on them to create whole new sequences, TT Games opted to pick the highlights that go against what a Lego level usually is and it’s all the better for it. There’s a scene in the sequels that is just the Millennium Falcon flying through tunnels, firing at fighters, and destroying obstacles, raking up the studs. It isn’t as free as the levels usually are, but it’s satisfying in that simplicity.

Everything else is as you’d expect with a little added complexity. Combat is pretty much the same, but instead of mashing square, you’re throwing triangle and circle into the mix for combos. Cover shooting is there, but I never had to use it – you can just stand in the open and it’s very rare that you’ll get caught out. It’s a Lego game – a platformer that a kid can pick up and enjoy without hassle. Death is meaningless, studs are aplenty, and your favourites are there to earn and buy. Lego Jabba? Lego Rancor? Lego charred Anakin Skywalker? If you can think of it, it’s there. The simplicity that made the other Lego games a household staple isn’t lost.

But it’s gone a step further. This is a Lego game that bakes accessibility into its design – characters have little icons above their heads to point out who’s talking, quest markers show you direct paths to objectives, button prompts and tutorials can be kept permanently, and there are an abundance of options like large subtitles and aim assist. And the best thing it does is having all the episodes and levels in the menu, making it more intuitive than ever to navigate. Not only is it an easy game to get into, but more people than ever will be able to play it.

There aren’t many games I’ve been bursting to play. Skywalker Saga was a rare case, but that came with an added risk – not living up to the hype. It’s the first Lego Star Wars to bundle the films together since the Complete Saga and that’s a tall order, especially since it’s now nine films. Not just three trilogies, either, but all their worlds, their cities, and their landmarks. The old games had small hubs with Dexter’s Diner and Mos Eisley’s Cantina, but Skywalker Saga goes above and beyond to bring Star Wars’ galaxy to life. It lived up to the hype and shattered my expectations. Somehow, Lego Star Wars returned, and it returned with style.

Score: 4.5/5. A PlayStation 5 code was provided by the publisher for this review.

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