Can you believe it’s been 20 years since LEGO first teamed up with Star Wars?
The very first Star Wars brick sets, based on the original film trilogy, came out at the same time as The Phantom Menace in 1999, with new sets coming out to coincide with the release of each new movie after.
The very first LEGO Star Wars video game came out in 2005, and it’s largely thanks to that game that we have so many amazing LEGO video game versions of our favourite franchises today.
So here are five reasons why the LEGO Star Wars games were so very important to the LEGO video game series as a whole. But first, here’s something to set the mood…
1. They set the tone for future LEGO games
A lot of the features which we now take for granted in LEGO video games actually first came into being in LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game, which was the very first in the series. After all, it wouldn’t feel like a LEGO game if you couldn’t switch between characters with different abilities to solve puzzles, smash objects (and baddies) to collect gargantuan numbers of studs and unlock bonus characters and abilities, and collect minikits from hidden locations scattered across the world.
Even some abilities which seem as though they were designed for the Star Wars universe (like Jedi Knights using the Force to assemble bricks in mid-air, for instance) ended up translating very well to other universes, like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. It sure wouldn’t feel like a LEGO game if you couldn’t actually build any LEGO.
2. They’re (still) a blast to play
One of the things we love most about the LEGO Star Wars games is their quirky sense of humour. Regardless of whether you’re a wise and wizened Jedi master (or Sith lord, we won’t judge), or a Padawan youngling just setting out on your Star Wars adventure, the LEGO Star Wars games are still enormously good fun.
Light-hearted, faithful to the movies and full of great visual puns, they’re an immersive, madcap romp through the Star Wars universe which never take themselves too seriously. Also, a lot of the world is destructible, and you really can’t help but enjoy repeatedly smacking Stormtroopers to pieces.
3. They built upon the original films
The LEGO Star Wars games let you visit all your favourite locations from the movies, lovingly recreated in brick form, and better still, you can explore them as any character you like, as long as you’ve unlocked them first. So if you want to run around as Darth Maul or R2-D2 instead of Luke or Anakin, you can.
And even in the earliest games, when you visited the faithfully recreated scenes from the movie you never felt as though you were being forcibly funnelled from one set-piece to another, without getting to see something new along the way. We got to see corners of our favourite Star Wars settings that we never imagined we’d see, and there were tons of secrets and hidey-holes to discover by venturing off the beaten track.
4. It really sounds like Star Wars
Featuring everything from John William’s glorious soundtrack through to the very same pew pews, beeps and vroooms from the movies, you could run around the world of LEGO Star Wars with your eyes shut and really think you were inside the movies. The later games even incorporate the actors from the more recent movies, which is particularly brilliant when you get to see the baddies being just a little bit silly.
Oh, and the music is dynamic too, so battling always gets suitably epic when you start twirling your lightsaber around. Doesn’t get much more Star Wars than that.
5. They’re made to a winning formula
LEGO video game developer Traveller’s Tales did such a great job with Lego Star Wars: The Video Game that they’ve continued to make every licensed LEGO game since. Of course, we’ve still got our fingers crossed that some of our other favourite movies will eventually get the LEGO video game treatment too… but for now, we’re just thrilled that we’ve had five amazing Star Wars games already, as well as mountains of others set in some of our very favourite universes, like Marvel, Harry Potter, and The Lord of the Rings.
What sort of LEGO video games are you hoping to see in the future?
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