The release of LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga marks a big milestone for the long-running LEGO games. Traveller’s Tales has been adapting some of the most beloved franchises into adorable brick-sized adventures since the original LEGO Star Wars was released in 2005.
The franchise has come a long way in these last 17 years; the original games lacked voice acting – aside from grunts – and had rudimentary gameplay that boiled down to little more than whacking everything in sight, then running around to collect the hundreds of studs that would come flying out of smashed objects.
That’s not to say there wasn’t enjoyment to be had. The necessity for visual storytelling and emoted gags helped create the LEGO signature humour. Additionally, the charm of exploring a LEGO version of some iconic moments was innately delightful, however, for anyone other than only the youngest fans, those early games were far too shallow of an experience to hold up after more than a few hours of play. Over time voiceover from the films it was recreating before eventually having games feature their own uniquely voiced dialogue and original scrips that acted as a loving parody of the source material.
The gameplay evolved over time, too, featuring better platforming, more interesting puzzles, and more intricate level design. As hardware technology has advanced, so too has the scope of these games, featuring large hubs and open worlds, as well as staggeringly vast rosters of playable characters.
This finally brings us full circle back to Star Wars with The Skywalker Saga. All nine mainline movies are reimagined from the ground up in beautiful plastic bliss, but it’s not just the ambition of translating three trilogies of content. The gameplay and design structure has been reimagined and is probably the biggest step forward the franchise has ever taken.
Large environments flesh out the world with plenty to explore, side missions to take on, and alternate paths to discover. Space exploration, X-Wing combat, and Pod Racing action add variety to your adventure as you hop around the galaxy’s 20+ planets. Even the moment-to-moment gameplay has been reimagined. No longer are you simply mashing an attack button; Jedi can perform combos, bounty hunters can aim over their shoulder while ducking in and out of cover, and different classes of characters can be upgraded with a brand-new skill tree, making the nearly 400 playable characters feel more unique than ever.
All of it comes together to deliver an ambitious package that is brimming with content, but soon, after the space dust settles and we look forward to the next horizon, where does the LEGO franchise go from here?
Traveller’s Tales has always outdone itself on each project it releases, and now with the bar set so high, it’s harder than ever to imagine what could come next. To start with, what franchise could even provide the same level of content needed to match the scale demonstrated with The Skywalker Saga? Nine films, 20 planets, 400 characters – that’s a lot, and not many franchises could provide the same level of content to convert into LEGO brick form. So, let’s talk about some of the potential options and examine how likely they are to be the next adventure we explore with our digital licensed Minifigures.
Despite the abundance of attention that Marvel has gotten from the LEGO franchise in the past, The Skywalker Saga proves that there is still an abundance of additions that could be made.
Instead of limiting the game to one hub environment, many of the iconic locations from the Marvel franchise could be represented with their own vast explorable areas. LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2 featured a hub world that was the Frankensteined amalgamation of many of these recognisable locales, however, they could be better served as their own unique areas.
Wakanda, Titan, Asgard, Nowhere, Xandar, and countless more iconic Marvel staples could provide an equivalent to the 20 planets that were just featured in Star Wars. As far as characters go, Marvel defiantly has a roster large enough to match the new 400+ standard that was just set, and with such a variety of heroes and villains, the re-imagined combat would help give the colourful roster some much-needed variety.
A new LEGO Marvel game could once again feature a totally new and unique story; however, it would also not be out of the question for the developers to try to once again adapt the MCU. This does actually present the inverse problem where it’s hard to imagine all of the 23 films from the Infinity Saga being LEGO-fied.
However, a possible compromise could come with a recreation of a dozen or so of the most crucial entries or portray some of the movies in smaller, more concentrated levels streamlining them all into a game that tells the entire story without having to be a scene-by-scene recreation. Regardless of how Traveller’s Tales choose to do it – if at all – Marvel remains to be one of the most popular media empires, and that alone makes it the most likely contender.
Similar to Marvel, DC could also benefit from the Skywalker Saga treatment despite how many LEGO games have already taken us to the streets of Gotham.
Many fans would rejoice at the ability to fully explore Atlantis, Apocalypse, Oa, Thanagar, or even a yet to be destroyed Krypton made accessible with some time travel worked into the plot. Also, like Marvel, the roster could easily hit 400+ and benefit from the newly refined combat and gameplay.
As far a story goes it’s probably safe to assume Traveller’s Tales would write an original plot. While the DCEU is a more achievable conversion than the MCU when it comes to the number of films it would need to adapt, there isn’t nearly as much love or widespread appeal for those particular stories, and in its current state, there wouldn’t be the same feeling of a climactic conclusion that would be needed to punctuate the game with a satisfying finale.
Given how much could still be done with a DC LEGO game and the fact that Warner Bros both owns that IP as well as Traveller’s Tales, I could see this potentially being the next project.
Marvel vs DC
Since Marvel and DC are the most trotted ground of any of the franchises that LEGO has touched, one way to make something totally fresh and original would be to finally offer a piece of media that gives us the epic match-up fans have always clamoured for.
Given the goofy nature of the LEGO games this actually seems like the most logical way to approach a cross over like this since it would be easier to level out their powers and never give a true answer to who is more powerful.
While fans would still not know who would in win in a battle between Batman and Spiderman, they could still revel in hearing their dialogue with one another as they quip back and forth and comment on each other’s world. Everything I said above about the content for each one is doubly true here and would leave a lot of room to expand even further in sequels.
The Lord of The Rings
While Middle Earth is only a single planet there is enough location variety to where the prospect of a massive LEGO open-world that meticulously re-creates the iconic landscapes like Mordor, The Shire, Rivendell, and The Lonely Mountain could provide a game that is just as vast as the combined area featured in Star Wars’ 20 planets. It would also have the added benefit of being a seamless open world that would once again push the boundaries and provide something new that has not yet been achieved by any prior LEGO game.
The story could be a reimagining of all six of the iconic films spanning from the first Hobbit movie all the way to The Return of the King, and potentially include the first season of the new show coming to Amazon Prime later this year. It’s hard to imagine there being 400 characters to adapt into playable Minifigures, however, a more limited roster could provide an opportunity to further develop the combat system and provide even more nuance to each archetype.
Harry Potter/The Wizarding World
Warner Bros.’ signature magical franchise has gone through its ups and down since the release of The Deathly Hallows Part 2 in 2011.
However, with the release of the Fantastic Beasts 3, as well as Hogwarts Legacy being on the horizon, it’s safe to say that Harry Potter and “The Wizarding World” at large still commands a lot of selling power.
The largest setback to its potential as a new LEGO game would be from the limited diversity in available content. There are eight movies in the original story, and while that is only one shy of what The Skywalker Saga just tackled, most of those movies take place in Hogwarts Castle and it’s hard to imagine how much that space could be meaningfully changed as you progress from year to year.
Certainly, you could expand the castle to be as close to a one-to-one recreation as possible, as well as flesh out the other locations that do appear throughout the story, however, it still seems like a limited offering when compared to the other properties LEGO could adapt.
It’s also not nearly as exciting of an idea to explore a brick version of Hogwarts when in you could instead explore a realistic rendition come this winter. Then there is the roster problem, as “The Wizarding World” lacks the ability to provide a comparable number when lined up against the likes of Star Wars, DC, or Marvel.
There is a potential to really develop the combat and magic systems, especially considering most of the characters are some deviations of a witch or wizard and would need to play relatively similar to each other, however, again it is difficult to imagine it stacking up when compared to what Hogwarts Legacy will likely be offering.
The one thing that a “LEGO Wizarding World” adventure would have going for it would be offering an adaptation to the films in the Fantastic Beasts trilogy. Not only would this be completely new ground for LEGO to build on, but it would actually be the only time those movies have been adapted into a game at all.
Fantastic Beats would offer a greater variety in environments and characters as the prospect of controlling LEGO versions of some of its signature monsters could provide a bit of charming variety to the gameplay. Still even with the prospect of all 11 films being converted into Minifigure adventures, it’s not nearly as exciting of a proposition as some of the other options available.
It’s hard to come up with too many properties that LEGO has yet to adapt that also provides the popularity, breadth of content, and family-friendly aesthetic needed to make it a logical next move.
However, what if instead of tackling a single IP, LEGO took a dozen or so of the best Pixar or Disney moves and delivered detailed recreations, taking us to locations such as Andy’s bedroom, Radiator Springs, Arendelle, Agrabah, and much more. The opportunity for locations, characters, and unique gameplay moments are too vast to attempt to list out fully, and while it would be impossible to adapt every iconic movie in its entirety, the fact that most of them are stand-alone stories provides the developer with the luxury of choice.
Partnering with Pixar and Disney also has some established precedence as Traveller’s Tales has already adapted both of The Incredibles films into its signature style back in 2018, so expecting a follow-up project between the companies isn’t too much of a stretch.
Unlike any of the other options listed above, this one provides the most opportunity for brand new content that has never before been represented in a LEGO game, making it potentially the most exciting option.
Finally, I could see Warner and Traveller’s Tales bringing back LEGO Dimensions, just not as a “toys-to-life” project. For anyone unfamiliar, LEGO Dimensions released in 2015 and capitalized on the “toys-to-life” trend, where consumers would buy real-life toys that would also act as playable characters for the game when placed on a base that connected via USB to your console of choice.
The larger point was to sell relatively expensive Minifigures to anyone obsessed with collecting them all. While admittedly fun while it lasted, the gimmick quickly burned out as consumers got tired of buying each character.
It did, however, provide Warner Bros and Traveller’s Tales the chance to adapt a slew of unconnected properties that would never have been popular enough on their own to ever be translated into a stand-alone game.
As much as I personally enjoyed collecting and building a real-life LEGO Batmobile that could be driven by my in-game Homer Simson, I can’t imagine the “toys-to-life” element ever making a comeback, however, the novelty of so many different properties together in one game is an idea I would love to see revisited.
Doctor Who, Scooby-Doo, and Back to the Future may not have the scope, popularity, or roster to support an entire game, but together, combined with all of the other properties that Warner Media has at its disposal there is nearly limitless potential. On top of expanding on some of the best worlds the original LEGO Dimensions game had to offer, new properties like Dune offer possibilities for fresh content and new characters.
I’ve thought a lot about this over the last few days and those are all of the most likely options I could come up with, but please let me know your thoughts and theories. Which of the options I provided would you most like to see? Can you think of any that I missed? Let us know in the comments down below!