At E3 2019, Traveller’s Tales revealed their return to the galaxy far, far away. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is a massive undertaking for the studio. With nine films, hundreds of characters and dozens of planets, TT Games has their work cut out for them. We sat down with Mike Consalvey, a level designer on LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, to see how the studio was rebuilding the Star Wars saga.
[Hardcore Gamer]: More than a decade ago, you launched LEGO Star Wars. How does it feel to go back to where this phenomenon started?
[Mike Consalvey]: It’s such an opportunity to celebrate our history. I’ve been a huge fan of the LEGO series since before I even joined TT Games. It was a real honor to be able to be a part of this.
LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga came before LEGO Batman 2 and LEGO The Lord of the Rings. That game came at a time where LEGO games were more linear and didn’t contain any dialogue. How have you approached rebuilding Episodes I-VI to fit into the current LEGO mold?
We used to have the mumbles and grunts to comedically show off the story beats, but then we evolved with later games, as you said. We’re going to bring back the mumbles in some manner, though we can’t reveal too much just yet. The Skywalker Saga is a celebration of what LEGO games used to be mixed with what they are now. It’s what the fans want and we hope to give to them.
There is voice acting. We do have voice recordings in the game.
We’re seeing a massive upgrade to the gameplay. It doesn’t appear like it’s just about button-mashing anymore. Could you elaborate on some of the new mechanics?
With all the new technology, we’ve been able to build the game from the ground-up. We have a new combo system and camera. The opportunity was there to introduce all these new systems and make a new type of LEGO game. It’s literally the next-generation of LEGO games with The Skywalker Saga.
It definitely seems like the Force users are getting a lot of great improvements. They’ve always been the stars of the LEGO Star Wars games, but what about the blaster characters? What improvements do they get to make them viable picks?
Without going into too much detail, every single character has their purpose within the levels. Some characters have different abilities, like Jedis who can lift and manipulate objects. Then there’s C-3PO who can interpret different languages. There are lots of different character types that have unique ways to get around the different levels. The level of freedom within the level design is high and players can decide how they want to get through them with the characters they want.
We have five levels per episode. In-between each of those levels you’re exploring on the planets or in space. You’re looking at spending some pretty lengthy time in each episode.
There are just so many Star Wars characters. You have your classics like Darth Maul, Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, and then you have some lesser known characters. You probably can’t say right now, but do you have an estimate about how many playable characters will be in the game at launch?
I’d say that, while we can’t put a solid number, there’s more than 200. I will say it’s the largest roster of characters we’ve ever had in a LEGO game. There are nine movies to pull from, so it’s going to be quite big. You’ll have to wait to see just how many there are.
The Clone Wars is a fan-favorite show and many are excited that Disney’s bringing it back. Any chance we’ll see stories from the show pop-up in The Skywalker Saga?
Right now we are focusing on the Skywalker Saga. It’s a massive task and it’s important for us to represent what that means to fans. This time, we’re just focused on Episodes I-IX. We have no plans to address anything else currently.
We’ve always had a great relationship with them and are working closely to fully represent their brand. Of course, they also work with us to add the additional humor elements and make sure they feel authentic to Star Wars. It’s a constant back-and-forth, and they’ve been really good to us.
When can players ignite their lightsabers in LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga?
It’s out in 2020 on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Switch.