Star Wars and LEGO have a long history, especially in the video game world. After all, the landscape of LEGO-licensed video games as we know it started with Star Wars. Back in 2005, Traveler’s Tales released LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game. Fast-forward to today, and Traveler’s Tales is still making LEGO video games based on various properties, and still even making Star Wars games. After all, the series made a massive comeback since then, with the latest trilogy about to come to a close. Alongside the “final” movie, a massive video game adaptation of the whole shebang will be released, called LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. This is an entirely new rendition of all nine movies in the core Star Wars saga, even the games that have already been covered in previous titles. That sounds awesome, but it may also be the last we see of this series for a while.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is going to be a massive game. This series has only grown in scale as it has gone on, but what Traveler’s Tales has announced about this one is a whole new level. Players will be able to choose whichever episode they want, then play in whatever order they want. Each episode will have its own hub, comprising various planets involved in the story. All in all, there will be a total of 45 levels, five for each episode, and each planet will be a fully explorable area LEGO game fans will be familiar with at this point. But it isn’t just the size of the levels we’re talking about here.
The gameplay for usual LEGO game is going to be obsolete once The Skywalker Saga launches. Based on what we’ve learned since E3 2019, it sounds like this game will be a near complete overhaul. For starters, combat will be completely different. Always one of the weaker points of the series, the LEGO games have mostly been about flailing around while mashing the attack button. Sometimes there’s a special finisher or a throw, but that’s usually about it. In the Skywalker Saga, there will be a split between light and heavy attacks, as well as a force button. Additionally, blaster-users will be able to swap perspectives into a third-person shooter. None of this is Earth-shattering stuff, and I doubt it’ll betray the child-friendly nature of LEGO games, but these are significant changes nonetheless.
So what about that stinger at the end of the first paragraph, begging the question of LEGO Star Wars’ future? Well, here’s the thing. The LEGO game brand has long been successful, but we’ve seen some weak links come lately, which generally comes along with franchise fatigue. The Marvel series seemed to come and go with little fanfare, and while LEGO Batman made a splash at first, the third game and subsequent DC Villains follow-up didn’t see much mindshare. Then there was LEGO Incredibles, which I forgot about until this paragraph.
We don’t have access to sales data, but notably, there was never a The Last Jedi standalone game. Perhaps The Skywalker Saga was in the pipeline already, but it seems telling that such a large release is on deck, not set to release until after The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters. Traveler’s Tales also stated it had no plans to adapt the Star Wars side stories, such as Solo or Rogue One, which is the usual early release “no plans” talk, but we’ll see.
Frankly what put me on this train of thought is the extravagance of this release as an individual project. Maybe we’ll see more LEGO Star Wars down the line, to match whatever form the Star Wars films series takes once this “Skywalker Saga” is over. But for now, this will be the definitive LEGO Star Wars, the endcap on 15 years of one of the most enduring modern video game series. With the gameplay changes, the scale of the worlds, and the inclusion of every movie in one game, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga has a distinct feeling of finality to it. I could always be wrong, but if this is it, it’s a pretty cool bookend.