Revealed at E3, the newest incarnation of LEGO Star Wars looks to be the franchise's most expansive game yet. CBR got the chance to speak with Anna Bailey, the Design Manager on LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga about the decision to include all nine films into one game, some of the ways gameplay has been tweaked and what it's like to bring fans an entirely new Star Wars experience.
The game is massive in a way the LEGO games have never felt before. Instead of just having a hub world, each setting feels lived-in and malleable in its own way. "We just felt it was time to rebuild everything and push further than we've ever been before," she said. "This was the perfect time to do this, with the new film coming out, and to redo [the series] all as one. It was the right IP to do it with too. Star Wars is huge, so why not push as far as we could?"
While previous games in the franchise were limited, the current generation of gaming lets LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga players explore a fully-realized recreation of famous Star Wars settings. Players will be able to interact with almost everything in the setting, either for productive use or just destructive fun.
It's a huge departure for the gaming franchise, but according to Bailey, "It made sense completely. We thought, 'Why shouldn't you see something on the side of the wall that's made out of LEGO? Why can't you rip that off the wall and use it? Why shouldn't you be able to do all those things?' That was kind of what it was all about. Making it feel like, why can't I use the Force like I want to be able to?"
"The development team has absolutely loved that challenge. They've done an absolutely fantastic job, especially the mechanics guys. Getting the Force feeling right; it's so intuitive when you use it to pick up items. It's just absolutely amazing to be able to do that, along with the shooting. To be that precise, to do the extra damage, it just gives you the freedom to choose how you play. So if you want to bash everything, you can. If you're a seasoned gamer, then you've got the choice to play a bit more differently.
It's not just the abilities of characters that have been revamped. Even basic travel has been improved and modified."Essentially, you'll be able to just explore space," Bailey told us, "whether it's through bounty hunting or just random encounters. Another really nifty thing is that the time period you're in will determine which kind of ships show up. It'll kick out all the relevant ships as well and engage you in dogfighting which makes it a lot more interesting."
Star Wars is a franchise that's beloved by entire generations. It's such an expansive universe that everyone can have a personal favorite piece of the world, but which one inspired Bailey the most? "My personal favorite is Return of the Jedi," Bailey explained, "because of Ewoks. I remember watching the animated TV show when I was younger, so that one for me is the best!
"We've done stuff with Star Wars before, but the chance to do it as one game... it just like the right time to completely redo this. If you're young and this is your first game, it is absolutely perfect. For the more seasoned players -- people who have played these games before -- everything is refreshed. We built it up from the ground again, brick by brick. It's an entirely new experience, and it's all nine movies in one game! It's the ultimate Star Wars experience."
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga comes out on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PS4 and PC in 2020.