LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga: Bigger, Better, Brickier

Ethan Glick, Co-Entertainment Editor

Well everybody, the moment that only the biggest of nerds, the most casual of gamers and literally no one else has been waiting for has finally arrived. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (LSWTSS, holy cow, even the abbreviation is a mouthful) has FINALLY been released. After multiple trailers and delays, the game finally came out on April 5, and because WB (Warner Brothers) and Lego absolutely own my soul, I was there to play it. So sit back, relax, grab something and enjoy this unnecessarily in-depth review of a game that only a very specific group of people care about.

When the game opens you have the option to play the first film in any of the three trilogies. I know, what a dilemma. Do you go with the original trilogy and start with the only truly good films? Or maybe the prequels: the films that are pretty bad, but are full of some of the best characters, music and memes in all of Star Wars? Or finally, the films that were made by Disney for a cash grab, which are full of plot holes and convoluted storylines and completely destroy the point of their predecessors? For me, the choice was simple; Prequels all the way baby, and if you have a problem with anything I said in this paragraph, feel free to come and hash it out with me.

After loading into The Phantom Menace and already being greeted with a couple memeable moments, we escape the fun little gas chamber the Separatists have created to stop us from exposing their illegal tax blockade. Y’know, the kind of content you find in a kid’s video game. 

After I escaped, I got to try my hand at the new and unique combat system the developers have created. In past LEGO games, the tactic used to defeat enemies has been as simple as pressing the attack button with such ferocity that you contract carpal tunnel after 10 minutes of playtime. Now, however, the game forces you to vary your attack inputs to keep your opponents vulnerable. If you fail in this endeavor, your opponent will begin blocking your attacks and you will become a disgrace. There are many different variations of attacks you can do, from launching into an aerial combo, to throwing your lightsaber, to incredibly powerful ground pound attacks. There’s enough variation for everyone. Or you can just sit back and deflect the blaster bolts until everyone is dead. Entirely your choice, but if you pick the latter option, know there is a chance that WB will find you and destroy everything you care about.

After absolutely decimating my way through a fairly surprising abundance of B-1 battle droids, we escape the Trade Federation and travel to the surface of Naboo, where we meet George Lucas’ (and absolutely no one else’s) favorite character, Jar Jar Binks. Luckily, the game seems to have embraced the Jar Jar hate, since the Jedi can barely put up with him. On the surface of Naboo is where I get my first look at the new skill tree, a mechanic entirely new to any LEGO game. Across the LEGO Galaxy are a total of 1166 “Kyber Bricks,” which are just the gold bricks from past games but renamed to be cooler. In LSWTSS, these Kyber Bricks are used as a currency to allow you to unlock different skills in order to make the different classes more powerful. Each skill can be upgraded a total of three times, using – you guessed it – more Kyber Bricks. The amount of Kyber Bricks needed to upgrade increases each time, which gives the player incentive to hunt down every last one of the things.

After rescuing Queen Amidala from being captured, we go to the desert planet everyone knows and loves: Tatooine. We meet Anakin, who certainly won’t cause any issues whatsoever for the Republic and Democracy as a whole. If you played the timeless classic, LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga, you’ll know that the podrace in The Phantom Menace is absolutely iconic. For LSWTSS, it’s been completely revamped, with the player now playing from a first person POV. The race retains the same feel as the original, with speed boosts and lots of fun little things to crash and die on. Because this game is for children, and I’m something of a pro-gamer, we breeze through the race and move on.

After getting through some filler levels, what the game calls “hub levels,” we finally get to the main event: The Duel of The Fates. As the music swells, and Darth Maul ignites his second blade, I, with the option to play as either Qui Gon Jinn or Obi-Wan Kenobi, get to try my hand at the first boss fight of the story. I choose, without hesitation, the legendary Qui Gon. 

New to the game is a combat system very reminiscent of other modern RPGs. The system includes dodges, blocks and most importantly, timing your attacks so you don’t get hit while still varying your attacks enough to keep the saberstaff-wielding Sith vulnerable. After defeating Maul and losing my husband and love of my life, Qui-Gon Jinn, we’re ejected into space playing as Anakin, who at the time is a whopping 9 years old, to take down the control ship, and I get to enjoy the Star Wars Battlefront 2-esque flying mechanics. 

“Now this is podracing,” Anakin exclaims from an N-1 Fighter class Naboo Starfighter, which is distinctly not used for podracing. 

After defeating the Trade Federation and returning to the Capitol planet of Coruscant to receive our accolades, we have completed the story for The Phantom Menace and have now unlocked free play! Now I can beat up Darth Maul as that little weasel guy, Babu Frikk, from The Rise of Skywalker. Just what I always wanted. 

All in all, LSWTSS is an absolute blast to play. I can tell the fun is only just beginning. The game feels much more like an RPG than past LEGO games have. The combat feels so much more interactive and immersive. The collectibles actually serve a purpose instead of being somewhat useless. The open world feels alive versus being barren except for a few quests. 

If I could sum up the game in one word, it would be “options.” There are so many different starting places, so many different characters to play as and so many different ways to play the game. It truly is a game of choice. I highly recommend this absolutely dandy experience, so give in to your temptation and give it a try!