A long time ago, in galaxy far, far away, two iconic brands would be bought together to create an entirely new genre of video game. With the LEGO® Star Wars sets helping to reverse the fortunes of The LEGO Group, a little known band of rebel games devs from Traveller’s Tales had an idea to bring these sets to life in a video game. The LEGO Group were still fairly new to the gaming scene but they were on board and Lucasfilm fresh from bringing Star Wars back to the big screen also gave the go ahead.
LEGO Star Wars: The Videogame retold the somewhat exciting story of the prequel films and was even the first place to experience the events of the Episode III Revenge of the Sith as it was released a whole month before the film hit cinemas. This partly helped with its impressive sales and saw it become the 13th highest selling title of 2005. Naturally with great sales and positive reviews, a sequel appeared the following the year. With the first game covering the events of the new set of films, LEGO Star Wars II would tackle the original trilogy, with both titles later being combined to create the Complete Saga in 2007. Finally in 2011 LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars was released and focused on the events of the animated Clone Wars TV show. With characters stylized like their wider-eyed minifigures.
Five years on TT Games made a surprise return to a galaxy far, far away with a brand new LEGO Star Wars game based on the equally surprising return of new Star Wars movies to cinemas with The Force Awakens. Development duties were handled by TT Fusion, who introduced new gameplay elements, including multi-builds and cover blasting. It would also be the first LEGO Star Wars game to feature voice acting, with many of the cast providing voices for the Minifigures characters. That even included Harrison Ford, who was somehow convinced to say “Fuel, ammo, and Wookiee Cookies for Chewie.”
The concept was simple take the characters from films and replace them with their minifigure counterparts, then retell the much loved tales from a galaxy far, far away. Back then characters didn’t speak, but this just made TT Games inject further humour in the character animation and things happening in the backgrounds of cutscenes. During the infamous scene where Vader reveals himself to be Luke’s father, he simply holds up a family picture of himself and a pregnant Padmé . Thanks to the use of original sound effects and music, along with the visual humour, it managed to capture the magic of the Star Wars universe in a unique but loveable way.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing, at Brick 2014 I chatted to Arthur Parsons who revealed they learnt a big lesson after the game was released. During play Chewbacca along with other characters could use a switch to activate a Stormtrooper helmet allowing them to pass through various Imperial checkpoints. Due to the design of the Chewbacca minifig he can’t wear hats like his fellow blocky friends, so in-game the helmets would be partly cover his head. Soon after release LEGO received a number of calls from parents, whose kids had tried to recreated Chewie’s imperial hijinks at home and either lodged the helmet on the minifigure or cracked the helmet completely. Ever since then any LEGO seen in the LEGO Videogames adheres to the same system of play as the physical sets.
The foundations of gameplay established in LEGO Star Wars: The Videogame can still be found in titles released today from the LEGO Harry Potter titles to the LEGO Batman series and even the toys-to-life title, LEGO Dimensions. And so the LEGO Videogame was born, mixing family friendly content, cooperative play and lashing of humour. So even the craziest ideas could lead to something big. LEGO Star Wars set the formula for a completely new genre of games, which are still much loved today. But always in motion the future is…. and it seems TT Games will be heading back to a galaxy far, far way later this year for an all-new LEGO Star Wars game. It’s rumoured to be based on the entire Skywalker Saga, which spans the original, prequel and Disney trilogies. Gameplay is said to be partly inspired by the LEGO Worlds engine, much like the recent game based on The LEGO Movie 2. It’s also expected that additional content will visit the expanded Star Wars universe from the animated shows to Disney+ content. Expect more information to be officially revealed ahead of E3, this Summer
Galaxy on the Go
Originally available on PS2, Xbox and GameCube, you can also experience the entire LEGO Star Wars Saga on mobile devices. Experience the entire collection that combines the original LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game and the sequel LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy for hours of epic Star Wars content and fun gameplay, with 36 action packed levels and over 120 characters available to play on the go. Isn’t technology great. The most recent LEGO Star Wars gaming outing, based on The Force Awakens is also available on mobiles. This retold the events of the Episode VII and also expanded on brief moments from the film.
TT Games returned to the Star Wars universe with the top down scroll shooter-type game for mobiles created to celebrate the new LEGO Star Wars Microfighters range. You could pilot one of the six iconic vehicles from the first series of LEGO Star Wars Microfighters sets and blast your way across the 18 levels collecting studs, taking out enemies and facing off against epic bosses.
This was later replaced with a new version that changed the gameplay from a top down shooter to a drift racing game. Admittedly it’s nowhere near as fun as the TT Games version.
An App For That There Is
LEGO have also released a few LEGO Star Wars flavoured apps of their own to accompany various product ranges. LEGO Star Wars Yoda Chronicles allowed players to build, create and control their favorite characters and vehicles to smash enemies, solve puzzles and complete challenges within the LEGO Star Wars universe.
LEGO Star Wars Force Builder game was partly based on The Freemaker Adventures. Just like the TV show, you could build crazy crafts from various parts of scrap spacecrafts. You can then take them into space and see how their fly.