The history of LEGO Star Wars video games
With the release of LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga just on the horizon, players prepare to return to the galaxy far, far away in all its blocky glory.
Last week, we covered the debut of the LEGO Star Wars brands in the physical sets that have dominated toy shelves for over two decades and counting. Today, let’s look at the game series that brought the brand to life like never before.
First released in 2005 is the original LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game which covered the previous three films. This coincided with the release of the “final” entry in the saga: Revenge of the Sith. The game received decent reviews and was a huge financial success. Given that the LEGO Star Wars sub-brand was already flying off the shelves at this point; no surprise there.
The success of that first LEGO Star Wars game acted as a resuscitation of LEGO games in general. In 2004, LEGO Interactive, the studio responsible for all of the company’s previous games, was shut down. Some of the former team members went on to found their own studio, Giant Interactive Entertainment, which went on to publish the first LEGO Star Wars game and has done so ever since under the new name TT Games Publishing.
The game’s success has been attributed to its ease of access, cartoonish charm, and highly adaptable cooperative gameplay. All of this would become the hallmark of the series as more entries were released.
The following year would see the release of the sequel to the game: LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy. Most of the game’s features were more or less identical to the original but of course took place in all three original films. Some improvements were to be seen in the form of improved camera angles that caused co-op headaches in the original, as well as the introduction of a custom character creation suite.
Following is a compilation of the two original games in LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga released in 2007. This entry had far less original content but is now considered the optimal way to enjoy the first iteration of the series. Some levels have been redesigned and included a brand new “bounty hunter” mode with new missions.
After three years of annual releases, there was a noticeable gap in the main series of LEGO Star Wars games. Finally in 2011, the series returns with LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars. As the title suggests, this entry borrows the plot from the 3D animated film and follow-up series The Clone Wars along with a notable array of technical updates. However, the game was not as well received as its predecessors which, even by this time, had become renowned classics.
Another big gap followed until 2016 with the release of LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens which, unlike the other games, only focused on one movie, this one of course being Episode VII. The game was seen as a return to form for the series which hadn’t had a major hit in nearly a decade by this time.
And so, with LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, that brings us to the present. Fans of the series have been waiting for this one for a while as the release will mark over half a decade between new games.
Originally announced at E3 2019, the upcoming entry has seen some serious delays. It was first scheduled to be released on October 20, 2020, its date was later pushed back to an indefinite time in 2021. Once again in April of that year, it was announced that there would be further delays. However, with a fairly detailed gameplay trailer, the new April 5, 2022 release date seems set in stone.
Although delays related to COVID-19 are likely, a recent report detailing serious issues, the use of outdated development tools, and management issues are also likely causes for the delay.
What’s your favorite LEGO Star Wars game? Let us know in the comments below! For all things Star Wars, check out Dork Side of the Force.