Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy preview

They’re back, and they’re more customizable than ever! Lego Star Wars is thankfully returning in the incarnation we wanted to see from day one: the Original Trilogy. Episodes 4, 5 and 6 will be represented on the Xbox 360, Xbox and Playstation this September by Lego’s animated plastic men.

This extension of the original Lego Star Wars game keeps the core gameplay including coop intact while offering a few noticeable and welcome tweaks and an emphasis on humor. All vehicles can now be piloted by either player, customized, and in some cases such as Luke’s Landspeeder, washed and sold to scavenging Jawas. Some vehicles must be built first via the game’s many puzzles, like the AT-ST in Mos Eisley. Any character other than droids has the ability to build vehicles and other objects, unlike the first game where only Jedi possessed this skill. LucasArts defines this tactic as “building with purpose” since most everything built is a necessary component or answer puzzle needed to move forward through a level.

Speaking of skills, the Jedi now have a more robust repertoire of Force abilities at their disposal. Look for Force chokes, Force lightning and a couple other surprises coming from the Emperor, Darth Vader and other lightsaber wielding followers of the ancient religion. Non-Jedi characters have now been given their own unique attacks to spread the wealth such as Chewbacca’s arm-out-of-socket move, Lando’s martial arts kick and slave Leia’s dance attack. Even Dewbacks contribute to the humor by pooping frequently as they walk about. Maybe that’s not a physical striking blow attack but it is a unique attribute nonetheless.

The meat of new additions comes in the form of either a single or multiplayer character customization lab where literally millions of character combinations can be created by easily putting together various different Lego Star Wars pieces. Each combination yields one of many freaky CPU generated names that LucasArts is adding to on a daily basis. Not all of the character customizations will be available up front. Many appear as progress is made through the campaign mode.

Revisiting the Lego Star Wars series is perhaps the easiest sequel for LucasArts to nail. All they needed to do was build upon a sound foundation laid by the prequel Lego Star Wars title without tinkering with what works for the sake of unnecessary change. They did just that with new additions complimenting gameplay instead of impeding it. “Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy” will be the second and hopefully not last hit in the Lego Star Wars series.

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