Getting our first update in almost a year on the status of LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, the upcoming title from Tt Games that promises to deliver a saga-spanning series of Star Wars gaming, during the live-streamed Opening Night Live of Gamescom 2021 gave us much more insight into the levels and game mechanics than a quick viewing of the gameplay trailer might first suggest.
By painstakingly going through each sequence in the newly debuted gameplay trailer it is possible to pick out a startling amount of information from the nearly two-minute-long video that illustrates the depth of detail and the scope of the game’s design.
From a graphical aspect, the trailer either showed graphics from current and next-gen consoles, demonstrating the marked difference in the depth of realism, or there is still some development work to be done on some of the renders to bring the graphics up to the same level of quality throughout the game.
This is noticeable when Darth Maul ignites his lightsabers (neither the blade nor the handles show a depth of detail) and the segment that has Luke and Yoda jumping through the Dagobah swamp is noticeably flat.
On the flip side, considerable effort has gone into augmenting the realism of the game, and a number of sections that duplicate content seen in earlier footage show that the final product’s graphic quality has been improved up since the first in-game material was revealed in 2020.
Notably, the duel on Mustafar between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader, as well as the face-off between Rey and Kylo Ren (aboard his TIE Whisperer) have been clearly improved, with improved detailing on the character renders, more life-like appearance of the LEGO elements, and an increased color palette for the background, special effects and ambient lighting.
The whimsical humor that the LEGO Star Wars games have become known for is still important to the experience, and a number of subtle jokes and obvious gags have been stitched into The Skywalker Saga, helping to remind players that these games aren’t to be taken seriously.
The most obvious instance of this comes when Luke Skywalker, while looking at a picture of a young Obi-Wan as a Jedi general celebrating with Cody and his troops, asks Ben about his father. Ben’s guilty reaction and the box full of severed hands underline the rich back story of the Skywalker Saga.
Unavoidably, given that the game is based on pre-existing source material, some of the levels are revisited – but have been redesigned and the gameplay enhanced, in much the same way LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga (released in 2007) replaced LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game (2005) and LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (2006).
This is highlighted early on in the second gameplay trailer when the first demonstration of an actual level – which was originally titled Chancellor in Peril in LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game – was shown. Comparison shots of the level’s 2005 release and this new one show marked differences.
Other examples of locations from the older games that have been further expanded and new puzzles and side quests have been added to improve the scope of the Star Wars galaxy include Jakku and Takodana.
Additionally, all-new levels that span the entire breadth of the Skywalker Saga have been added, introducing locations and environments that have never been seen in any of the LEGO Star Wars video games before.
Bringing new scope to the first six episodes is the addition of the chase between Obi-Wan and Jango Fett through the asteroid field above Geonosis, the Force duel between Darth Sideous and Yoda during Revenge of the Sith, Han Solo’s search for Luke Skywalker (while riding a tauntaun) in The Empire Strikes Back, and Luke’s training to become a Jedi Knight on Dagobah.
While no new material from LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2016) was shown in the new gameplay trailer, new locations from The Last Jedi (Snoke’s throne room and the Battle of Crait) and The Rise of Skywalker (the Star Destroyer deck above Exegol and the search for Ochi’s ship on Pasaana) were highlighted.
If footage in The Skywalker Saga’s latest gameplay reveals is to be believed, the addition of duck-and-cover firefights in LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens is being put to shame by the upcoming title’s latest game mechanics improvements.
Upgrades to combat include combination attacks – such as using the Force during melee combat and third-person shooting while moving, while character mechanics have been jacked up with vaulting over objects and – making good on Finn’s exclamation that “they fly now” – player characters and enemies can now fly through the air without the need of an aerial vehicle.
The central hub used by players to navigate between levels in previous games – Dexter’s Diner in LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game, the Mos Eisley cantina in LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy, and the Star Destroyer known as Resolute and the Providence-class cruiser Invisible Hand in LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars – appears to be have been replaced by a galactic map.
The map shown in the trailer displays an incomplete galactic disc, suggesting that some sectors aren’t included in the game and only the unlocked levels (or planets) are visible. A number of unnamed planets (corresponding with Coruscant, Jakku, Mustafar and Takodana) are also included on the map. The zoom scale on the right indicates that the player can shift focus from the galaxy to a planet, and further drill into a region and a specific location.
Lastly, fans will be happy to know that side quests for power-ups and the highly popular minikits are still in the game – though the red brick has been replaced by the more in-galaxy Kyber brick.
What did you think of this latest update from Tt Games – did it meet expectations, are you still hyped for The Skywalker Saga’s release? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Fervent documentarian, effusive AFOL and founding partner, Jeremy manages the daily news content and set reviews.
Having enjoyed playing with LEGO from his earliest years, Jeremy started collecting LEGO Star Wars in 1999 when the theme was first released. He has shared his thoughts and opinions on LEGO via a number of websites – including starwars.com, rebelscum.com and brickset.com – contributed to the LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary series and served the LEGO Ambassador Network as a Recognised LEGO Fan Media representative.