LEGO, Please Stop Expanding The Star Wars Galaxy
In what has become a time-honoured tradition, Traveller's Tales is once again jumping behind the controls of the Millennium Falcon and is attempting to do the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs. Since way back in 2005 with the release of Lego Star Wars: The Video Game, TT has become its very own Emperor Palpatine of the galaxy far, far away.
With great power comes great responsibility (oops, wrong franchise), and we're told the story will come to an end in 2022 with Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. The epic yarn of Anakin, Luke, Leia, and Ben reached their cinematic conclusion in 2019 with The Rise of Skywalker, and this year, the nine-movie fable is being recreated in brick form.
Over the years, we've seen the great and not-so-great Star Wars movies get the LEGO treatment, but for the first time ever, the whole story is being brought together. Well, we say the whole story. You might notice that spin-offs like Rogue One and Solo are MIA, which presumably has dollar signs ringing in Warner Bros. Interactive's eyes.
Much like Boba Fett's escape from the Sarlacc, we're guessing LEGO Star Wars will be making a surprise return. However, as the franchise continues to grow amidst complaints of saturation on the small and silver screen, is the LEGO Star Wars universe also set to stumble? We can already feel some rumblings in the Force.
Take The Saga To The Cargo Hold
From what we've seen of LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, it looks like a suitably grand epic that has captured the magic of George Lucas' original trilogy, his maligned prequels, and the sequel trilogy since Disney took the reins in 2012. Mixing that classic LEGO charm of ridiculous comedy and bustin' bricks, it's a family-friendly affair that still aims to appear to adults.
More than your standard LEGO game where you knock enemies to pieces, build access to a new area, and take on a generic boss battle, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga looks like it'll reinvent the wheel. Playing out like a level of Star Wars: Squadrons or Battlefront, you'll be able to fly your own X-Wing and try to save the day. Although we're expecting it to be a relatively easy task, at least the LEGO Star Wars games do what they say on the tin.
That's just it though. Once we've travelled from Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan's negotiations with the Trade Federation through to the Battle of Mustafar, Luke blowing up the Death Star to Rey's twin suns finale on Tatooine, what else is there that LEGO Star Wars can do? The general mechanics will stay the same, and while we'll get the odd chuckle from Porgs or an overly dramatic C-3PO, The Skywalker Saga is going to be packed with enough content to say enough is enough.
These Are Not The Spin-Offs You're Looking For
As we said, there are some gaps in the story. Since The Rise of Skywalker, we've already seen the Star Wars universe bloom at an exponential rate, with everything from The Bad Batch to The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett filling up our Disney+ watch list.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga already has some DLC content in the form of character packs that will add characters from the Outer Rim of the franchise. Although we're cheering that Grogu and Din Djarin will get their deserved time to shine, who was really asking for a Classic Character Pack that gives us Luke, Leia, and Han from A New Hope? Also, why weren't they here in the first place?
It seems like a suspicious business model that is queuing up an inevitable stream of either paid expansions or even full-blown games for the sake of it. With a slew of shows including The Mandalorian Season 3, Obi-Wan, and Andor all coming out in 2022, we're struggling to keep up in live-action, let alone LEGO. We'll admit that there's potential scope to explore the Mandalorian's offshoot in pixel bricks, but how much longer until Traveller's Tales tries to redeem the hated Holiday Special as a LEGO game?
Let The Hate Flow Through You
Look, we love the LEGO games. My first entry to the franchise was 2008's LEGO Batman: The Video Game, and I'd never played anything like it as a cocktail between the campy '60s series and Tim Burton's brooding Gotham. Instead of confining itself to the movies, Traveller's Tales branched out to tell its own story. We've also seen great success with LEGO versions of everything from Indiana Jones to Lord of the Rings, Jurassic Park to Marvel's Avengers, but where do you draw the line?
It sounds like something as equally massive as The Skywalker Saga is on the way, with reports of a LEGO Doctor Who game, which will inevitably spark debates about more pop culture titans getting the same treatment. There are already concerns about where we go next, and once you've polished off the likes of The Simpsons, Ghostbusters, and Transformers, it makes sense to loop back to what you know pulls in the money.
2011's Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars and 2016's Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens had mixed reviews, with many rightly asking what they really brought to the table and whether they needed to be made for any reason than to tick a box and cash a cheque. If TT is going to continue charting the map of Star Wars canon, it needs to pick its battles carefully. Then again, we'd like to see a LEGO adaptation of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.
Much like we've resigned ourselves to the fact The Rise of Skywalker won't be the end of the story for Rey, Finn, Poe, and the rest, Traveller's Tales is probably already flicking through the instruction booklet and trying to think of a way it can build its next LEGO Star Wars video game. As long as it isn't The Book of Boba Fett's achingly slow story or a Jar Jar Binks standalone, we don't really mind, but as Han Solo would say, "I have a bad feeling about this."