Inside the puns, humor, and bricks of LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

5.4.2022
By Brian Crecente

May the Fourth is always a special day for Star Wars fans for obvious, homophonic reasons. But this particular May the Fourth is extra special because fans of the galaxy far, far away and fans of LEGO bricks can come together to celebrate their love with LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga.

Released just shy of a month ago, this latest brick-empowered play-through of the entire Star Wars saga is already the best-selling LEGO video game in history.

It’s also packed with a lot to do spread across the nine movies, 45 story levels, 23 planets, and more than 400 teeny, tiny plastic figures.

Today, that enormous collection also gets two meaningful additions in the form of downloadable content. Both The Mandalorian Season 2 Character Pack–featuring Ahsoka Tano, Boba Fett, Bo Katan, Fennec Shand, and Moff Gideon–as well as The Bad Batch Character Patch–featuring Hunter, Wrecker, Tech, Crosshair, and Echo–hit today.

It’s also a great day for the team, who have been working on this enormous project for years, to reflect a bit on what they’ve created.

Keep in mind, this isn’t just the biggest game developed by TT Games, it’s the second run at retelling these Star Wars stories in brick form for most of the movies.

Lego Star Wars The Skywalker Saga Death Star

“It’s been incredible to read all the positive responses to what we’ve done with the films this time,” said James Pugh, TT Games’ writer on the project. “It was important to us that the adaptations and jokes felt fresh, whilst still respecting what we had done before; this is a whole new game, built from the ground up, so we owed it to the fans to really start from scratch and adapt the movies in a way that felt right for the fans of today.

“When it came to balancing the humor with the drama, it was a combination of our intuition and open discussions with Lucasfilm. The Cutscene Directors are world-class and made sure that we hit the moments fans expected, but in a way they didn’t expect. Really, the key was our complete love and respect for all the films. Unless you embrace all things Star Wars, I don’t think you can do something this comprehensive and heartfelt.”

Part of the joy of playing through the game is the surprise and delight of discovering the jokes and comedic references the team makes in retelling the stories. But there’s also a huge amount of Easter eggs to all things Star Wars, and beyond. 

Take, for instance, the slight nod to Mel Brook’s send-up of Star Wars, Spaceballs, that you’ll find hidden in the game. Pugh said the game is so packed with Easter eggs that he’s lost track of how many are in the title.

Lego Star Wars The Skywalker Saga Jump

“There were so many people working on the game, and they were all desperate to include their favorite bits of Star Wars canon,” he said. “It would probably be impossible to try and quantify all the little nods in there. It just goes to show how much love there is for these films within the team. Even as I play through the game now, I’m spotting some references for the first time! It’s so much fun. When it comes to Easter eggs, we try and make sure there is a logic to them, rather than forcing them in. The best references are the ones that organically fit into their surroundings, yet still catch the player off guard. The dialogue throughout the game is rife with nods to the wider Star Wars universe, fan theories, and all sorts. Of course, there’s the visual gags and all the in-game text, too. My mind boggles trying to comprehend how many Easter eggs there could be in this game!”

This is a game that is soaking in the developers’ love of all things Star Wars. Development on the game actually started during the lead up to the final two episodes of the movie sequel trilogy.

Lego Star Wars The Skywalker Saga At At

And over the course of the game’s creation, those movies came out, as did a number of spin-off television shows and movies.

“It was important to us to ensure that what we have created here is the best possible LEGO and Star Wars gaming experience out there,” said TT Games designer Mike Consalvey.

That’s where, for instance, the downloadable character packs come in.

The team also wanted to ensure that the game didn’t simply rely on sheer size to wow fans. They also worked to ensure that the selection of the nearly 400 playable characters in the game touched on what fans would want to see and that each would have a distinct feel.

“With so many characters that exist within the Star Wars universe, there was always going to be some difficulty in including every one that fans would like or expect,” Consalvey said. “So we had to prioritize those that made sense to the timeline of The Skywalker Saga across all nine films and some unique characters that were included just for fun that fans might enjoy from the wider universe, and those that populate some of the locations in the game. For those that aren’t playable, we did our best to at least have appearances where it made sense to the story or some of the quests throughout the galaxy.

“While every character belongs to a specific character class, a lot of the characters still maintain their own uniqueness in how they move or fight. For example, all Bounty Hunters have rapid fire-blasters to destroy gold LEGO, but characters like Jango and Boba Fett have jetpacks which are unique to them, so we did our best to ensure there is still something unique about every character in the game such as their weapons, items, or abilities.”

Lego Star Wars The Skywalker Saga Ewok

Combat, too, was overhauled for this particular game, the result of the team deciding to modernize the gameplay and combat mechanics in a way that made use of evolving technology and would deliver a fun, easy to understand system in a family-friendly game, Consalvey said.

Other fun little touches include the ability for players to run through the entire game in “mumble mode”–a throwback to the original game’s lack of voice acting–or play through the game with voice-acting.

Currently, there are no announced plans for future content for the game beyond the seven, now released, character packs.

Consalvey said the team, which was able to gather for the first time since the pandemic to celebrate the title’s launch, is delighted to see fans enjoying the LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga so much.

“For me personally, this has been the most important project that I’ve been a part of so far in my career,” he said. “So after many years of hard work from the entire team, we’re just so happy with the positive response to the game.”