The wait for Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga has felt nearly as long as the lifespan of the legendary film series it lovingly parodies, but it’s finally here.
Spanning all nine mainline Star Wars films – or all three trilogies – The Skywalker Saga is the biggest Lego game ever and arguably the ultimate interactive love letter to George Lucas’ big-screen baby. The Lego Star Wars series has been around since the PS2 days, and in the years since, developer Traveller’s Tales has gone on to adapt most of the big blockbuster franchises you can name, finding a winning formula in its marriage of simple, accessible gameplay, moreish collecting and trademark slapstick humour.
Does Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga attempt to revolutionise the tried and tested TT blueprint for the PS5/Xbox Series X era? Of course not. Why would it? But it’s easily the most ambitious entry yet, and while what you get here is a package that feels comfortingly nostalgic, the introduction of open-world gameplay and a series of modern enhancements mean Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga should appeal to longtime series fans and newcomers alike.
By its nature a lot of the game is retreading old ground, but we’d argue that you can never surprise a Lego Stormtrooper bathing in a hot tub too many times.
A long time ago…
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga lets you play through brickified adaptations of all nine mainline Star Wars movies in one game for the first time. Previously, the Lego Star Wars series has taken us from the prequel trilogy right through to The Force Awakens, so you could argue that the only all-new additions are the second two films in the sequel trilogy.
But this is a ground-up remake of the entire series, running in sparkling 4K HDR 60fps on compatible hardware, and you’ll absolutely want to play through all three trilogies to see how much things have changed. Each episode is made up of five mostly linear levels, interspersed with open-world sections that we’ll get onto in a bit. You can start with any trilogy you like and hop between them at will (although doing so would be pretty chaotic), but you’ll need to play through each episode to unlock the next one in the trilogy it belongs to.
As you’d expect, The Skywalker Saga tells a condensed story of each film, skipping over large sections of plot that means you’ll be very confused if you’re not familiar with the source material. We (bravely) revisited the prequel trilogy for the first time in many years to refresh our memories before playing through the game’s take on them.
If you’ve played any Lego game in the past then you’ll know what to expect from the storytelling. Star Wars, much adored as it is, is also often very silly, which makes it the perfect fodder for Traveller’s Tales fondness for visual gags, purposefully naff jokes and knowing winks to the fans. To go into too much detail would spoil the fun, but it was rare that 10 minutes went by without us laughing out loud.
Whether it’s an Ewok emerging from the cockpit of an AT-ST holding a boombox, Darth Vader becoming increasingly exasperated with his clownish Stormtroopers, or a stubborn Luke Skywalker humming the Star Wars theme as he tries to ignore Rey’s appeals on Ahch-To in The Last Jedi, the game will always have you smiling. It’s arguably the best way to enjoy the still controversial most recent episode, The Rise of Skywalker, too, even if we wish the game had been a bit more willing to take the mickey with that one. Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga sees the funny side of Star Wars, but it never laughs at it.
Gameplay-wise, the Lego games have always been simple affairs, very much aimed at younger players and relying on the jokes and fan service to hook the adults. That’s still the case with Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, but a few tweaks definitely enhance the experience. The game is now played from an over-the-shoulder third-person perspective, making it more like a traditional action game. There’s a simple cover system, proper aiming and a combo meter for melee attacks. You can still very easily button mash your way through the game and rarely be punished for it, but we appreciate the added meat. A well-aimed headshot can knock the helmets of enemies off too, which never stops being amusing.
As you make your way through the levels and accompanying hub areas you’ll be fighting various baddies on foot and in the air, solving simple puzzles and, of course, smashing everything in sight to collect Lego pieces to spend on upgrades and gear. There will be times when you can build something that’s required to proceed in a level, such as a water cannon to put out fires in the opening level of Episode IV, or a drill that helps you get through the caves in the closing stages of The Last Jedi, and often you’ll need to switch to a different character class in your party to interact with a terminal or NPC.
Missions are a bit of a mixed bag. We always enjoyed any sequence that let us play as a Jedi character, using a combination of lightsaber attacks and Force Push to sling objects at foes, and while aerial dogfighting in space asks very little of you tactically, these sections offer good mindless fun and look fantastic to boot. Boss battles are mostly entertaining too, particularly the numerous multi-stage and surprisingly cinematic clashes with Kylo Ren. And while most Star Wars fans will have experienced the Lego take on the series’ most famous fight before, we enjoyed doing it again in Dolby Vision on a 55in OLED TV.
Sometimes, though, the game feels disappointedly padded, like in the aforementioned section of the game that sees Rey begging Luke for Jedi training. This should have been one of the best levels in the game, but for a lot of it you’re simply walking behind the disillusioned hero for long stretches before he sends you off on a dull fetch quest. There is a clever puzzle at the end of it all, but we thought this bit of the game – so vital to the film it’s taken from – could have been a bit more imaginative.
Your path you must decide
Seeing how Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga plays with Star Wars lore and story beats in the bite-sized levels that make up each episode is our favourite part of the game, and playing through each trilogy in your preferred order should absolutely be the first thing you do. But you’ll quickly discover that you’ve barely scratched the surface.
As with past Lego games, completing a level unlocks Free Play mode, which lets you revisit it and play as any character you’ve unlocked in the story. There are (genuinely) nearly 400 playable characters in the game, so you’re going to be going at it for a very long time if you want to play as every Droid, Jedi and freakish alien it has to offer. Completionists will have to replay levels to make use of a specific class or character’s skill set, so you’re best off finishing the story and unlocking as many characters as possible before you start poking around too much, as often your curiosity will be rewarded with an object you can’t yet interact with. That said, replaying is also encouraged for any player, as you’re likely to miss Easter eggs (those Stormtroopers really know how to unwind) the first time.
And the levels themselves only make up a tiny portion of the world. Before each one you’ll visit an explorable hub that’s usually a well-known location on a famous Star Wars planet. Each of them is teeming with side quests, environmental puzzles and hidden Kyber Bricks, used in conjunction with collected Lego studs to upgrade your basic skills and class-dependent ones.
These sections are so huge and stuffed with content that it feels like Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is effectively two games in one. We found what you actually do in the open-world to be far less interesting than pursuing the narrative, but it gives you the opportunity to play virtual tourist in some beautifully realised (if less obviously Lego-y) recreations of Hoth, Tatooine and D’Qar, to name a few. Completing each trilogy unlocks a new section of the galaxy, letting you freely fly to planets you’ve visited in the game, but you’ll need to finish all three to access it all. Space itself also serves as a Free Play location, with large-scale battles to participate in and even more Kyber Bricks to hunt down in your ship.
It’s enormous, then, and you’ll struggle to find a game this year that gives you more bang for your buck. Production values are also top-notch, with not a beep, boop or pew-pew-pew out of place. The old-school Lego game “mumble mode” is accessible via a cheat system, but most of the voice work is so good that we weren’t massively tempted by it. We did encounter some crashes and strange bugs ahead of release in the Xbox Series X version of the game, such as the skip button not working in the cinematic that plays when you boot it up. Luckily it’s enjoyable enough that we didn’t mind watching it several times. A word, too, for the title screen, which features every major character from all nine films in the saga posing for what looks like a team photograph. It’s about as good as fan service gets.
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga verdict
Star Wars is where it all began for Traveller’s Tales’ Lego adventure, and The Skywalker Saga is the culmination of everything it has learned along the way. It’s a dizzyingly enormous celebration of one of the most beloved film franchises of all time, and makes even its famously bad entries fun to revisit.
It remains a very simple affair and the perfect game to play with younger gamers who aren’t yet ready for a challenge, but Star Wars fans of all ages will have a good time collecting the many, many playable characters and jetting around a galaxy far, far away. The freewheeling open-world side of the game is less stimulating than the story missions, but it adds hours of optional content to an already generous helping, and even if you’re not a completionist, inflicting Jar Jar Binks on as many planets as possible is a perfectly good use of your free time.
Star Wars’ history with video games is decidedly hit and miss, but we’re happy to report that Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga undoubtedly in the former category, and if you have any fondness for the films and enjoy talking Lego figures cracking dumb jokes, then you should probably get it played ASAP.
The best Lego game yet and a brilliant celebration of all things Star Wars
Packed with Easter Eggs and in-jokes
Looks and sounds excellent
Hours of content
Some story sections are definitely weaker than others
Won’t win any awards for originality