LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Post-E3 Update Roundup
E3 came to an end last weekend, and with it, some outlets have managed to get a closer look at what LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga has to offer, as many of us have wondered about how much content is in the game. The answer: plenty.
In a new article from Variety, it’s made clear that the next LEGO Star Wars game is a complete reinvention of the entire TT Games-created “LEGO Adaptation” franchise, which while consistently charming, has run the risk of becoming stale, as there’s been little to mix things up since it began back in 2005. Nonetheless, 2020’s big installment will change the course of the franchise, and it’s fitting, then, that this comes with the title that commemorates the last major Star Wars installment for quite some time, much like how the first LEGO Star Wars served as a tie-in to Revenge of the Sith. What sets The Skywalker Saga apart from previous titles is that it will heavily emphasize open-world exploration, with everything from the camera and the hub world to combat and side missions completely overhauled. And, in case you needed a reminder, this game is a complete remake rather than a remaster with added content.
With this new design philosophy to how gameplay is approached comes a change that accordingly fits with the story being told. While The Complete Saga (which collected the original game and its sequel) had six story missions for every movie, The Skywalker Saga has five story missions per movie, but with three more episodes to work with, that results in a higher total level count overall. Not counting the bonus levels, the formerly-complete LEGO Star Wars collection had 36 missions compared to The Skywalker Saga‘s 45. This doesn’t mean that they’ll be skimping on content covered in previous games, though; according to Kotaku, certain story elements will be covered in the game’s hub world instead of in the story levels themselves. For instance, the first mission of The Phantom Menace involves the underwater escape through the core of Naboo, but the prologue involving Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon escaping from the assassination attempt on their lives will happen in the hub when you start that campaign off.
The escape through the core is an event that has never been playable in any prior LEGO Star Wars title, and the developers have stated that they want veteran players to expect to see scenarios that they didn’t play through before in previous titles as levels in The Skywalker Saga, likely saving some of the familiar sequences playable in The Complete Saga and The Force Awakens as hub events. But outside of the levels, the developers made a key note of making their open-world sections feel livelier by including a greater number of puzzles in each section. Not only that, but the game will also have smuggling runs and bounty hunts that will allow the player to take objects and people from planet-to-planet. The game will keep track of which sidequests you’ve started and which ones you’ve completed as well, a feature new to The Skywalker Saga and the “LEGO Adaptation” franchise as a whole. There was also a hint about the possibility of doing online co-op for the game, but the developers made no promises.
Since the developers are working on the game ahead of the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the question of how much they know about the new movie came up. According to Variety, the answer given by game director James McLoughlin is quite surprising:
“Nothing! And that’s not a line, it’s the truth; [we’re working on the first eight episodes, and when we’re done with those, Lucasfilm] will be sharing those kinds of things. It’s kind of good because I don’t want it ruined for myself.”
That’s quite a change in corporate philosophy compared to when LEGO Star Wars opened weeks ahead of the premiere of Revenge of the Sith, not bothering to hide major spoilers from audiences. Now, Lucasfilm are making sure that even the people contracted to work for them don’t know too much before the closing chapter of a generational saga is released. For the sake of the developers, I hope that Lucasfilm let them see the movie a bit early so that they can get a head-start.
In addition to the piece from Variety, there’s also some additional details on the title from around the web. PC Mag, for instance, suggests that a developer told them that the new game has 20 worlds to fully explore outside of the game’s campaign. Per Kotaku, each section of the overall world map is split into nine parts including 2-3 planets, so that just about matches up with the total described by PC Mag. Once you unlock a planet in one campaign, it seems that you’re free to revisit it in other campaigns. PC Mag‘s report made mention of a random encounter where a Star Destroyer appeared above a planet, giving the Millennium Falcon the options to attack it, to infiltrate its interior, to make a break for the surface of Tatooine, or to flee to another system. Hub exploration has been overhauled, as has the camera (which now opts for an over-the-shoulder view instead of a series of fixed angles) and the combat (with melee attacks being split into “light” and “heavy” varieties, ranged attacks now emphasizing the importance of aiming as opposed to shots automatically locking on to the nearest enemies, and Force use being much more dynamic in this title than in previous installments).
For those of you who prefer hearing the characters mumble gibberish phrases instead of pulling voice acting from the films, it sounds like the development team is working on something to keep you covered. While it was not part of the initial plan, positive feedback to the feature at E3 has led to the team to figure out if they can work something out before the game launches next year. That being said, voice acting will 100% be in the new game if grunting isn’t your thing. Additional comments from game director James McLoughlin can be seen below:
- While the game does not railroad you into completing objectives, there is a quest marker to help you indicate which way you need to head if you want to get back into the campaign for a given movie.
- You can dock into capital ships that appear in orbit of a planet, and can fully explore the interiors of those ships.
- You can use your ship to fast-travel to any of the major landmarks on a planet.
To cap off this roundup, I’d like to share a general overview of what to expect from the game from the developers themselves:
With over 200 playable characters, 150 playable ships, and 45 levels, and plenty more content to go around with the hub environments, The Skywalker Saga is looking to be one mega-stuffed project from start to finish. Here’s hoping that the biggest LEGO Star Wars title ever can fully live up to all the potential that it has.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is scheduled to release sometime in 2020, most likely in the first half of that year.
Grant has been a fan of Star Wars for as long as he can remember, having seen every movie on the big screen. When he’s not hard at work with his college studies, he keeps himself busy by reporting on all kinds of Star Wars news for SWNN and general movie news on the sister site, Movie News Net. He served as a frequent commentator on SWNN’s The Resistance Broadcast.