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Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

Ryan Roper on Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga's delay, important story moments, and freedom

We caught up with a designer from TT Games to talk about the ambitious, upcoming Lego title.

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Back in 2019, during Microsoft's E3 appearance, TT Games revealed a new Lego Star Wars game. Set to span the full Skywalker saga and including levels and moments from all nine films (even The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker), the title is set to be the developer's biggest game ever. But, despite being an exciting premise, we've yet to experience the game for ourselves due to a few different delays that have seen it slip from a 2020 launch, to 2021, and then most recently until a Spring 2022 release. With Spring looming, as part of a new trailer, TT Games has officially announced that the title will be debuting on April 5, and ahead of that date, we've caught up with Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga's designer, Ryan Roper to chat about how TT Games has used the extra time to improve the title and more.

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How have you used the extra development time since the delay to improve Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga?

The extra development time has been used to fine-tune the game's features and systems to make sure that we're delivering the experience that fans of our titles have come to expect and more. It's the biggest game that we've ever made, and we really wanted to make it as good as it can possibly be.

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It's mentioned in the game's product description that the game will allow us to "experience all nine films like never before". With this in mind, how are you approaching covering events that were already explored in previous Lego Star Wars games?

When choosing the story levels for this game, we really tried to tread new ground as much as possible and adapt areas of the movies that we hadn't done before. However, there are some moments that we've explored before that absolutely had to be included, like The Battle of Hoth and the Duel of the Fates, but thanks to the new gameplay systems we've introduced for this game we were able to make these moments feel brand new and different to what our players have experienced in our games before.

With nine films to draw from, how do you determine which events in a movie should be covered as a level in-game, without detracting from the overall Star Wars storyline?

There are a lot of important story moments and fan favourite scenes from the movies that must be included whenever you adapt Star Wars into a video game. As a fan of the series, you expect to be able to play as Anakin in the Pod Race in Mos Espa or Luke as he confronts Darth Vader on Bespin. Once the story is covered, we look at things from a gameplay perspective. We choose scenes that provide unique opportunities for gameplay or that we know could provide a fun experience for our players. There are a lot of people in the development team who are very passionate about Star Wars and have moments or details that they themselves want to see included. Luckily for us, this game is packed with a lot of content so we were able to include a lot of cool things that we can't wait for people to find and see when the game releases.

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Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker SagaLego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

We've seen over the years that Lego games have become increasingly less linear, with more and more ways to travel around an overworld between levels. Will this style return in Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, and how do you go about making a galaxy more free to explore?

Freedom was one of our key pillars when we set out to make this game. We really wanted to give our players the freedom to explore the galaxy in a way that a lot of Star Wars fans have wanted in a video game for a long time. You'll be able to fly through space, travel between planets and land in many of your favourite places from the franchise. We also wanted this sense of freedom to be reflected in our story levels. This means there are often multiple ways to finish the same level or different routes you can take to make replaying them more rewarding than ever before.

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With over 300 characters to unlock and play as, what were the parameters for choosing which characters you wanted to include from this vast universe?

We know that fans of our games have come to expect a large roster of characters that they can spend time unlocking. This game is no exception. We have tried to include as many characters as possible with all the obvious fan-favourite characters such as Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader available to collect and unlock. However, the most exciting part of building a character roster such as this is being able to include some of the lesser-known characters that some fans might not expect to see. My personal favourites are the ones that are unusual shapes and sizes such as Babu Frik and Jabba the Hutt.

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker SagaLego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker SagaLego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

We've never seen The Last Jedi or The Rise of Skywalker as a Lego game before. What are some parts of the final two movies you're most excited for players to check out in-game and how does it feel to be closing out The Skywalker Saga in Lego form after all these years of creating Lego Star Wars games?

It's an amazing privilege to be able to work with these two movies, especially adapting them into video games for the first time. They are both filled with great moments that we couldn't wait to work with. I played the original LEGO Star Wars games as a child and loved them, so to be able to work on them and be a part of this amazing team has been an incredible journey. Personally, I can't wait for fans to play the attack on the Dreadnought at the start of Star Wars: The Last Jedi as Poe Dameron, and fight Kylo Ren on the ruins of the Death Star on Kef Bir in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

We know that Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga will be coming to new-gen consoles. Will this version differ from the last-gen version at all, and likewise what does the newer hardware allow you to do that older systems perhaps didn't?

Thanks to the talented team, we are proud to say all versions of the game will deliver the experience we wanted for our players.

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A massive thanks to Roper and TT Games for chatting with us. You can look forward to playing Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga for yourself on April 5, when the title debuts on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, and Nintendo Switch.

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