Licensed LEGO games have become a regular staple on consoles nowadays, with most major franchises wanting, and often succeeding, to get the brick treatment. Whether the focus is on DC Comics heroes and villains or the hobbits and orcs of Middle-earth, some good-hearted family fun is always on the cards. But now it’s time to take our minds back to where it all began and shine the spotlight on the original Xbox (OG Xbox) title that sparked a legacy still going strong 15 years later. So let’s remember LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game from 2005 and the ever-growing video game saga that followed.
LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game is the first LEGO game developed by Traveller’s Tales, which launched 5th April 2005 in North America (22nd April in Europe) for the OG Xbox – while also releasing in the same month for PlayStation 2 and PC. This video game adaptation covered all three episodes of the Star Wars prequel film trilogy; The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith.
Bizarrely, the release of LEGO Star Wars was weeks before Revenge of the Sith actually hit the cinemas, harbouring many potential spoilers. No one really batted an eyelid though, given that many fans could predict the unfolding of the key plot points; after all, the continuation of the story had already been played out in 1977 with A New Hope. Nevertheless, the best and most interesting moments from the three prequel films were recreated in LEGO form, with a sprinkle of charm and humour to make situations consistently light-hearted. Despite the target audience being kids, even the grown-ups can have a chuckle when enjoying a bit of parent/child bonding thanks to the two-player local co-op option.
Throughout the 17 main levels, which take you to Naboo, Kashyyyk and beyond, the overall aim is to defeat any enemies in your path and have a bloody good time smashing things up in order to create more useful things to ensure progress is possible. Back then, it was a novel idea, and I rather enjoyed swinging lightsabers at Droidekas and blasting Battle Droids with the Force. Unlike now when many of us have grown a little tired of that core concept after being exposed to it a little too often. I think LEGO Star Wars was helped by the fact that some levels would feature differing action involving Podracers and Starfighters. Having bosses to face off against, like the menacing Darth Maul and the dastardly Count Dooku, also kept the adventure fresh.
The LEGO games are known for their huge rosters of playable characters, with LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 featuring over 200 characters, and this early offering even managed to deliver 56 of them to unlock. Players could get their hands on all the big names such as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Yoda, Chewbacca, and fan-favourite Jar Jar Binks. For full disclosure, that number includes a fair few variants of certain characters, but it’s still an impressive amount for the first venture into the Star Wars universe.
In its day, LEGO Star Wars looked the part and provided a truly enjoyable journey through the galaxy, recreating the glorious battles between the Jedi and the Sith. It wasn’t the last time Traveller’s Tales would delve into this world either, with the original trilogy of films getting their moment to shine via LEGO Star Wars II a year later. Then came the more ambitious LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga in 2007, which spanned all six films and collated many of the story levels – as well as a couple of extras – found in the previous video game instalments. After 2011 though, when LEGO Star Wars III: Clone Wars brought the animated encounters to life and tried to incorporate strategic elements, everything went quiet on the Star Wars. Not for Traveller’s Tales however, who spent their time in the aftermath delivering LEGO Batman 2, LEGO Lord of the Rings, and LEGO Marvel Avengers, amongst others.
To be fair, there wasn’t an awful lot going on where the Jedi were concerned; at least until 2015 when J. J. Abrams’ blockbuster hit The Force Awakens reignited the sci-fi behemoth. This led to TT Fusion taking on the gaming adaptation for a change, and so Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens was born. Despite having experienced many LEGO games already, it felt fresher than ever due to the blaster battles, the ability to choose what to build, and the opportunity to fly the legendary Millennium Falcon. The presence of voiceovers by various actors reprising their movie roles was a welcome one too.
What does the future hold for this series I hear you ask? Well, Traveller’s Tales are back on the case for the upcoming LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga – featuring the story arcs of all nine Star Wars films. While you explore the saga in any order you wish to, you can be sure to encounter lots of silly antics as well as tons of recognisable characters like Luke Skywalker and Kylo Ren. Fans can look forward to visiting places such as the Starkiller Base, the swamps of Dagobah, and the desert-lands of Geonosis. Hopefully we’ll see it at some point this year, but as of yet there’s no concrete release date.
I know it’s been a while, but do you have any fond memories of playing LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game on the OG Xbox? Which is your favourite game of the LEGO Star Wars series to date? Please do get in touch and share your thoughts via the comments section below!