Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga review

By Luke Albigés,
I've been hitting it pretty hard lately, coming off the back of 150-odd hours of Elden Ring and around 80 in Tiny Tina's Wonderlands, so I thought I'd step off the gas a little with *checks notes* a game that features nine movies' worth of content. Oh. Yes, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is an absolute Rancor of a game — a planet-hopping, galaxy-spanning variety tour of all things mainline Star Wars that takes fans all the way from The Phantom Menace through to The Rise of Skywalker. This is no remake or remaster of earlier Lego Star Wars games, either, rather a brand-new adventure that pulls together all three complete trilogies for the first time, and however you feel about each of the movies themselves, there's no denying that TT Games has done an exceptional job of stitching them all together in one fantastic package with The Skywalker Saga.

Things start out rather familiar, and after a neat montage of key moments from all of the movies, you're presented with a set of nine cool little diorama scenes, one for each of the movies. Only the first of each trilogy is unlocked off the bat, so you'll need to choose which set you're going to start with. This setup makes it feel as though each is a self-contained entity, but as you start to progress through each of the stories, that sense of division begins to erode. Whether during downtime between main missions or in the dedicated Galaxy Free Play mode that unlocks nice and early, you're free to mix and match anything you've unlocked to make whatever manner of saga-straddling silliness you like happen. Send Jar Jar to Starkiller Base in Vader's TIE Advanced if you like, or team up three generations of Han and Chewie and let them out on the greatest smuggling run ever... while the sheer volume of content means that getting to the point where you can play out these kinds of mad scenarios will certainly take some time, fans will definitely find it to be worth the wait, and all kinds of crossover magic is possible along the way as well.

As usual, your first run through each story will use fixed characters, meaning there will usually be secrets and collectables that you won't have the correct abilities to reach. Things are a bit more logical in this regard than in many other Lego games, with the huge cast of characters broken down into nine specific classes (as well as an 'Extra' category for characters that don't fit into any existing archetype, such as the Wampa and D-O) that determine what special abilities each has. This means no more messing around trying to remember which characters can break certain kinds of blocks or falling back on ones you know have all the good abilities, which is not just helpful but arguably necessary when you're dealing with a roster of almost 400 playable characters. It's also easier than ever to get your hands on your favourites, with a new rumour system letting you splash a few studs to discover where and how a particular character can be unlocked. You'll still typically need to pay to unlock them when you do finally manage to add them to the list, however, and with more sources than every vying for your studs, you'll need to be a little bit selective with the characters and ships you choose to buy, especially early in the game when you're not sat on millions to spend on unlocks.

As well as investing in new vehicles and characters to play with, you'll also likely want to drop some studs into the new skill trees to make your existing ones even more powerful. There are ten of these in total — one larger tree that unlocks benefits for all characters, then nine class-specific ones that focus on improving the unique aspects of each of the character types. These all cost Kyber Bricks (Skywalker Saga's replacement for Gold Bricks and now a currency in their own right, what with there being close to 1,200 of the things up for grabs) as well as studs, but can be well worth the cost, particularly that general tree. Pouring resources into this can let you attract studs from further away, pinpoint collectables via the HUD, move quicker, deal additional damage, and even rack up additional health bars to make your team that much harder to defeat. Class trees are obviously more limited in their potential but can still be worthwhile investments if you have go-to characters of a certain type, and some can help you stockpile studs faster, like the Bounty Hunter perk that lets them earn rewards for each defeated enemy, or the Scoundrel ability to get discounts on rumours to help you finish your collections.

Red Bricks have also been reworked (or rather removed), with the Extras they once provided now locked behind Datacards instead. The key difference is that Datacards don't come with fixed bonuses like Red Bricks did, so each item on the Extras list simply requires one of these cards and a whole bunch of studs. The good news is that this lets you make a beeline for the most valuable ones (the stud multipliers, since most of the others are cosmetics), but the bad news is that they're really expensive. It'll cost you a cool million studs just to get your hands on the 2x multiplier, with costs shooting up for the later ones — costs factor in previous multipliers, so it'll take about as long to rack up the higher prices with multipliers on as it does to make your first million. It's a decent change, but it does make it hard to justify dropping studs on characters and upgrades when you're saving up for these bank-breaking Extras, at least until a bit later when you can cover the cost of most characters in seconds just by smashing up a few things with an 8x multiplier (or better) on the go. Or by doing anything else, for that matter... it's not like there's a shortage of things to do here, and the pool of options only gets deeper as you chip away at the saga.

Each movie is broken down into five main missions, but it's the way the team manages to weave these traditional chapters together with additional gameplay that makes The Skywalker Saga feel like a much more nuanced and interesting take on the format than the many other Lego games that followed what had become a pretty by-numbers formula. Each chapter in the saga introduces several large sandbox areas that help tie the main beats together, giving you a chance to wind down a little and take in some optional content should you so wish, or you can just push through these open areas and crack on with the story. You can return to these at any time via Galaxy Free Play or by visiting them from the Galaxy Map any time you're not locked into using certain characters as part of a story, and you'll likely need to as they are absolutely rammed with stuff to do.

Once you buy the upgrade that highlights optional pickups on-screen, loading into one of these maps can be quite daunting with markers everywhere ("Master Skywalker, there are too many of them, what are we going to do?"), and while some are simply Kyber Bricks that might require a little platforming to reach, others might be rarer collectables such as Datacards locked behind somewhat more devious puzzles. With over 700 such puzzles — on top of a bunch of side missions, Trials, and Challenges, all of which are even more involved — there's stacks to do in every one of these gloriously recreated locations whether you're taking time out mid-story or mopping up once a movie chapter is complete. Bear in mind, though, that like story mission Free Play runs, you'll often need characters with specific abilities in order to tackle certain obstacles, so you'll ideally need at least one character of each type before you can really start making much of a dent in the open world areas and the wealth of goodies that lie in store in each.

If you thought having all of those familiar locations as their own explorable hubs was cool, it gets even better. Most planets also make their surrounding space explorable and interconnected, meaning you can hop into any of your unlocked ships and take a cruise through the stars. Here, you'll find all sorts of extra missions like races, space battles, Kyber comets to destroy for a quick stack of special bricks, and more, and you can even travel through systems to reach nearby planets and see what new fun awaits in space there. Smuggler characters can also take on special assignments to sneak special cargo between locations, dealing with authorities and rival smugglers as you attempt to get your illicit package to its destination in one piece, while helping out in replayable space battles might draw the attention of a gigantic capital ship — defeat this and you can add it to your own collection. Both space flight and dogfighting feel fantastic, simple yet snappy and satisfying and while it never presents too much of a challenge, it's a brilliant way to break up the action both thematically and on a gameplay level.

That's one area in which I have nothing but praise for The Skywalker Saga, actually — in terms of sheer variety, there's not another Lego game that can hold a candle to this. On top of the typical Lego gameplay of platforming, puzzles, and combat, you get a bunch of extra layers, from light cover shooting, vehicle sections, and on-rails shooter elements to space battles, basic stealth systems (which somehow aren't awful), and even light RPG mechanics via the skill trees. It's a game that keeps you on your toes as you retread the events of these nine movies, and offers a massive amount of varied activities once they're all over, helping to do away with that usual Lego grind of rerunning lots of the same content during the endgame mop-up. You'll still have to do some of that, of course, as there's no way you'll be doing everything on your first run of any given story mission (True Jedi rank, five Minikit pieces, and three unique Challenges), but they feel so much less formulaic than typical Lego missions that the idea of replaying all 45 doesn't fill me with dread like it would in any other Lego game. Instead, I'm actually looking forward to taking characters from elsewhere in the timeline back into these sequences and seeing what madness ensues, plus as with unlockable characters, you can even purchase rumours for any Challenges you missed first time around to help you get them done on a repeat run.

One of my favourite reworks here is with combat, which has long been one of the weakest aspects of the Lego games — mindlessly mashing X to smash up everything in your path isn't exactly peak engaging gameplay, after all. Instead, The Skywalker Saga invites you to mix things up with different inputs, so after starting a melee combo with X, you can follow up with another strike (X again), an aerial attack (A), or a special move (B) that varies based on the character, from a Force Push as a Jedi to a stun rod jab from R2-D2. Varying your attacks nets you more studs, but it's also required against tougher opponents, who will start to block your attacks if you fall back on button mashing. It's a hard habit to break after decades of these games being as much of a menace to your X button as the Dynasty Warriors series, and it can feel a little unresponsive at times due to the contextual nature of working off that single combo starter, but it's great for a first attempt at deeper combat and showcases each character's abilities brilliantly — from droids swinging mechanical limbs wildly and Jar Jar's weaponised pratfalls to the controlled strikes of a Jedi or precise Bounty Hunter blows, it's just another avenue through which to channel pure character, something at which these games have always excelled and now do even better.

Further leaning into this system, characters now have more traditional health bars, leading to more interesting encounters as well as duels that feel like proper fights rather than rote repetition until that one damage window opens up and you can knock a single heart off — the Lego game classic which has gone unchanged for years, until now. These epic showdowns are some of the standout moments of the movies so it's only right that the same should be true in the games, and they're so much better here than in previous Lego Star Wars efforts, where they could feel stodgy and imprecise. Here, with a full suite of blocks, dodges, counters, and properly telegraphed attacks, they feel like legit boss battles and I always found myself looking forward to the next one. Some are naturally better than others, not unlike their big-screen counterparts, but chasing Darth Maul down that laser corridor while Duel of the Fates swelled reminded me that for all that flak it catches for being a glorified toy advert (a criticism which it has literally always been possible to level at the Star Wars movies), The Phantom Menace sure as hell had its moments. Some of the films' more meme-worthy moments even get played for laughs here too, and it's great to see the team given such creative freedom to have Star Wars be able to laugh at itself. Lord knows it deserves it sometimes. Even not having the full movie casts reprise their roles — a logistical impossibility at this point — doesn't detract from the experience, if anything even improving it, reinforcing the whimsy with which the game sends up Star Wars as much as it retells it while evoking that childlike sense of play of kids lobbing these toys around and doing the voices themselves.

I wasn't much of a fan of the shift towards 'realistic' backdrops with added Lego bits back in the day when it was first introduced, but have to concede that it makes a lot of sense here. As well as making for environments that look genuinely stunning without forcing block architects to somehow come up with builds for the entire Star Wars universe, this fusion of real and toy elements makes the game instantly readable — if it's not made of bricks, you can't break it. Simple. For a game aimed as much at kids as it is at nostalgic adults, that kind of clear visual language is crucial to creating an experience that doesn't frustrate, and with so many optional puzzles and challenges packed into the game, being able to quickly identify possible moving parts and reach (or eliminate) solutions is also extremely welcome. On the whole, modern fidelity just makes this mix of realism and plastic look fantastic, and runs great to boot, if a little slicker on Series X than Series S, where I sometimes wasn't sure if they were going for a cinema frame rate as a stylistic choice (like in the cutscenes, which almost have a stop motion feel to them at times like the Lego movies) or the game was just struggling a little on the digital console. Based on the fact that it feels significantly smoother on the X, though, I have to assume the latter, although performance was never a massive issue for me either way. I did have one crash, but that was the extent of my issues with the game, beyond a couple of extremely minor open world glitches like getting randomly launched miles into the air, which just added to the fun and chaos of those sections without harm.

But what of the Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga achievements, you ask? Well, achievements were disabled in the review build and we still haven't pulled in the list at the time of writing, but I can at least look at the PlayStation trophy list to discuss what we'll be up against here. Predictably, it's mostly just a classic Lego 'do everything' kind of list: complete each of the movies, True Jedi every level, all Minikits, all Challenges, all side activities and collectables, all upgrades... you get the picture. A handful are tied to specific tasks although I feel like I've done those just playing the game casually without seeing the list beforehand, and while some seem brutally grindy on paper (10 billion studs, anyone?), even that shouldn't be too bad once you've bought all the multipliers and are earning studs almost 4,000 times faster than usual by the end, although even just getting all five of those multipliers will take a good while. It's far from a difficult list, but also far from a quick one, so it's a good thing that The Skywalker Saga is as loaded with fantastic and varied content as it is.


There's a strong case to be made for Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga being the best Lego game to date, with a massive variety of gameplay styles, oodles of additional content, and that perfectly pitched playfulness that evens out the highs and lows of the Star Wars main series into a uniformly entertaining experience. The whistle-stop nature of the translation from silver screen to video game means that die-hard fans could find that some of their favourite scenes don't make the cut, but it's generally a rock-solid playable summary of all nine movies, all wrapped up in that typical Lego charm. With close to 400 characters and well over 1,000 optional objectives all spread out across 45 varied story missions and dozens of fully explorable locations all over the Star Wars galaxy, it's an absolute love letter to the sci-fi franchise. It might not put up too much of a fight but it doesn't really need to in order to stay engaging, with ever-changing gameplay and a seemingly endless supply of gags to help it feel fresh all the way from The Phantom Menace's title card to The Rise of Skywalker's credits. Also, I got to play as Jar Jar Binks in 2022. What a time to be alive.
9 / 10
* Luke spent around 30 hours building and blasting through nine movies' worth of content. A review copy was provided by the publisher, and played on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.
Luke Albigés
Written by Luke Albigés
Luke runs the TA news team, contributing where he can primarily with reviews and other long-form features — crafts he has honed across two decades of print and online gaming media experience, having worked with the likes of gamesTM, Eurogamer, Play, Retro Gamer, Edge, and many more. He loves all things Monster Hunter, enjoys a good D&D session, and has played way too much Destiny.
View discussion...
Hide ads