“LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga” may not be an HD remake, but it certainly looks gorgeous. More importantly, it appears to have captured the effortless humor and satisfying gameplay that make the “LEGO” games such fun escapes from reality. Naturally, you won’t get your hands on it until after “The Rise of Skywalker” has had its theatrical run; you can play it on PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Switch next year.” />
You may have noticed that there are nine stories in “LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga,” but only eight movies (at least until “The Rise of Skywalker” concludes the 42-year story on December 20). So what do the developers know that we don’t?
The biggest change to the saga is the newfound sense of freedom found in every story. If you’re playing through “Return of the Jedi,” you could head straight to the Sarlacc pit for Jabba’s theatrics and play through a story mission. Alternately, you can switch up your character and roam Tatooine’s vast deserts, checking out the Skywalker and Kenobi homesteads before heading over to Mos Eisley for some drinks and debauchery.
There was a lot of chatter about EA’s “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order” at E3 this year, but that wasn’t the only “Star Wars” game on display. But Game Director James McLoughlin says that’s not the case; every “Star Wars” adventure was “built from the ground up. Considering that there have already been LEGO games adapting the first eight movies, you might think “The Skywalker Saga” is simply an HD remake with one new title thrown in. Freshly announced at Microsoft’s media briefing earlier this week, “LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga” combines all nine core “Star Wars” movies, including the yet-to-be-released “The Rise of Skywalker,” into one game.
“And that’s not a line, it’s the truth.” Instead, the team at Traveller’s Tales are working on “The Phantom Menace” through “The Last Jedi,” and by the time those episodes are done, “Lucas[film] will be sharing those kinds of things.” “It’s kind of good because I don’t want it ruined for myself,” he told us. “Nothing!” McLoughlin insisted with a laugh.
In earlier “LEGO” games, there wasn’t any voice acting, so characters spoke in an incoherent mumble while conveying their dialogue through physical movements and context clues. The CG trailer used a “mumble script” to evoke the nostalgia of the previous games, while in the E3 show floor demo, “we'll have the voices because we expect people will want the voices. One thing that surprised McLoughlin about fans’ reactions to the announcement trailer: “There's been a big response about the mumble,” he said. And then people are like, we want the mumble.” The response could lead to some changes in the final game: “We're going to go back to the team and see what we can do because we didn't have that in the plan originally.”
“Jedi” would have been a very different movie if, instead of helping his rebel friends, Lando Calrissian hopped back in the Millennium Falcon and took off for another planet, but that’s exactly what this game lets you do. While the more recent “LEGO” games have incorporated some elements of exploratory freedom into the gameplay between levels, “The Skywalker Saga” takes it even further.
It’s a much more humorous telling of an epic saga, with plenty of hidden gags designed to make the player smile. “We get more rope than anyone,” McLoughlin said of the development team’s relationship with Lucasfilm. Most “Star Wars” stories are serious affairs made with strict compliance to canon and lore, but the “LEGO” games are all about telling familiar stories in new ways, and that’s what “LEGO Star Wars” has always done.
“We want to make a game that people can play with their kids and kind of experience ‘Star Wars’ like they may have experienced it like 10 to 15 years ago,” he said. This year marks the 20th anniversary of LEGO’s licensing partnership with “Star Wars,” and 14 years since the first “LEGO Star Wars” video game was released. Kids who were playing it back in 2005 might have kids of their own now, and McLoughlin sees “The Skywalker Saga” as a story that spans generations.
While that makes each episode seem rather brief, McLoughlin said, “The world itself is obviously huge. We expect players to spend a lot of time there, as well as exploring all the little nooks and crannies of all the different planets and locations we give them.” Each story moment is only about 10-15 minutes long; story moments might also be boss fights or vehicle sections. Instead of a lot of linear levels, each episode of “The Skywalker Saga” has five “story moments” that encompass the major beats of each movie. The focus on exploration has changed how “LEGO Star Wars” tells its stories.
“We have new AI, we have new camera systems, we have new combat, we have new shooting… “This isn’t an HD remake,” McLoughlin said in an interview with Variety. we wanted to do a whole new overhaul of all of our technology, which essentially has meant that we've designed the game completely different.”

For one, Luke Skywalker's lightsaber — presumably lost — is in fact still around. It seemingly pops up in some of the first frames of the new trailer, wielded by Rey. Meanwhile, original "Force Awakens" newbies kept a tight lip on "Star Wars" secrets, despite a few interesting details. "The lightsaber that Rey inherited from Luke lives!" Ridley exclaimed.
Not in that movie, Lando!
Luke's Lightsaber: Not Dead Yet!
When Does "Episode IX" Start in the Galaxy Far, Far Away?
Surprise host Stephen Colbert welcomed "Episode IX" director Abrams, president of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy and a large returning cast including Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian), Daisy Ridley (Rey), Kelly Marie Tran (Rose Tico), John Boyega (Finn), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron) and Joonas Suotamo (Chewbacca) to the main stage.
Abrams explained that the next film will start many months after Rian Johnson's "The Last Jedi."
What's Next for Finn?
It confirmed the return of the galaxy's great big bad. How McDiarmid will be used in the film is not certain, but his cackling laughs at the end of the first teaser have already sent the internet ablaze.
On a down note, she also confirmed that there would be no more shirtless scenes from Driver's Kylo Ren, as seen in "The Last Jedi." You win some, you lose some.
Meet D-O
Same. The audience was then presented with the first still of Rose from "The Rise of Skywalker," proving that Rose has healed from her injuries in "The Last Jedi." Abrams told the crowd that his favorite thing to come from Johnson's movie was the casting of Tran.
Billy Dee Is Back
Who is Jannah?
"There was actually a way to use those scenes to continue her story," he added.
Missing from the presentation was Adam Driver (Kylo Ren) and new cast member Keri Russell, who are currently co-starring in a Broadway play together.
Here's everything we learned about the end of the Skywalker story….
However, Ackie did reveal that her character will cross paths with the Millennium Falcon crew at some point, which seems fairly obvious, as they're all in the same movie. But hey, it's something.
Despite "Rogue One's" decision to recreate the late Peter Cushing's Grand Moff Tarkin and a younger Fisher as Princess Leia, there will be no computer-generated Leia in this film.
As for Finn, Boyega explained that while his character may have seemed a bit lost in the last two films, "this movie he's a full-fledged Resistance sexy young man.”
The director explained that he pieced together new Leia moments with unused scenes from "The Force Awakens." “You don’t recast that part and you don’t suddenly have [Fisher] disappear," Abrams said.
Speaking of Lando, legacy star Billy Dee Williams held court on the Celebration stage, causing the crowd to cheer at the first image of the actor back in his iconic cape.
“The movie doesn’t pick up immediately after the last film; some time has gone by," Abrams explained.
Another legacy cast member who wasn't a part of the "Episode IX" shoot: Carrie Fisher, aka General Leia Organa. Thankfully, Leia won't be returning in a computer-generated form. Lucasfilm had previously stated that Fisher's death in 2016 wouldn't deter them from using her character in the closing chapter of the Skywalker saga.
How Will Carrie Fisher Return?
When asked to comment on the fan theory that Jannah is actually Lando Calrissian's daughter, Ackie joked, "He could have children all over the universe!"
The Emperor Returns
The first bits of plot details to come from the event were about timing, a simple fact that was particularly difficult for Colbert to get out. "Oh, I see, you asked me to come to Chicago to ask questions, not get answers," the host joked.
"Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" will hit theaters on Dec. 20, 2019.” />
Lando never left me!” When asked how he returned to the character, Williams simply replied, “How did I find Lando again?
By the way, did anybody die?" "All of a sudden I’m talking about me, not Lando Calrissian. "I get sick and tired of being accused of betraying Han Solo," Williams said. He was up against Darth Vader… Williams did use the mic to clear up an age-old "Star Wars" spat.
#TeamTico
“I saw the blue pants coming out of the cupboard and was like, ‘I'm in "Star Wars" now!'" And that was the big reveal about Finn: blue pants. The character also has a whole new look, which includes new pants, something Boyega went wild over.
He then showed the crowd a piece of concept art reuniting Chewbacca, Poe, Finn, Rey, BB-8 and C-3PO under the Millennium Falcon. The gang might appear together in the rendering, but there's still someone missing: longtime castmate R2-D2. "This an adventure that the group goes on together," the director said.
The stage glowed red as actor Ian McDiarmid appeared, smiled and, in his best Emperor Palpatine voice, commanded the Celebration crew to "roll it again." After fans were treated to the premiere of the teaser trailer for "The Rise of Skywalker," there was yet another twist.
BB-8 is propelled by a large ball and makes adorable chirping sounds, whereas D-O is propelled by a wheel, makes adorable chirping sounds and is green. It's different!
The return of the "greatest evil" is just one of several reveals made during the "The Rise of Skywalker" panel at the Star Wars Celebration in Chicago.
After giving fans a first look at her character, Jannah (above), the actress dodged questions like a "Star Wars" pro. New to the Celebration stage was Naomi Ackie.
Rose received a standing ovation from the crowd, an act that forced Tran to wipe her eyes and cheer. The undisputed biggest cheer of the presentation went to Kelly Marie Tran.
Abrams is bringing the biggest, baddest villain of the "Star Wars" galaxy back. J.J. The Emperor Palpatine will appear in "Episode IX," which we learned is officially called "The Rise of Skywalker."
"The idea of having a CG character was off the table," Abrams said.
The panel also brought out a whole new adorable rolling droid, D-O, which is totally different from the latest rolling droid BB-8. If you thought there was going to be another "Star Wars" movie without a new toy that your kids will demand, think again.