- Writer of LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga talks about talking.
- Collaboration led to an authentic, funny, and cinematic game experience.
- LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is available today for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.
The Star Wars films have some of the most iconic dialogue in cinematic history, yet our original LEGO Star Wars games contained none of it. No “Never tell me the odds,” no “Hello there,” no “I hate sand.” People didn’t mind though, as LEGO games were a different beast back then; a hilarious, miming beast, at that. Over time, these games became classics, and a generation of gamers are rightfully nostalgic about them. However, when it came to creating LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga — available now for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S — we wanted to make a totally new experience, not just a remaster. That meant we had the chance to add dialogue.
An old Jedi once said, “The ability to speak does not make you intelligent,” but it does allow you to parody classic film moments in ways we haven’t done before. In addition to just being able to make people laugh, including these iconic lines could add an extra level of Star Wars authenticity. Those original games are a tough act to follow, but with this being an entirely new experience, hopefully fans will appreciate hearing Anakin’s Palpatine-themed alarm clock yelling “Dew it!”
The films are full of iconic lines, so for the story missions and cutscenes, we started by using as much of the film dialogue as possible. Fans may not notice that large chunks of the dialogue in the cutscenes have been recorded to match the lines from the film down to the frame, but they will hopefully feel that authenticity.
When it came to writing original stuff, it was important that the lines felt essential to either the design, the story, or the character. Every line should either be directing the player, making them laugh, or making the characters feel alive. Keeping lines in-voice is much easier for characters like Han Solo, whom we have all grown up with. However, it’s a little harder for lesser heard characters like Yaddle, for example. Does she inexplicably have a Northern English accent? Probably not. Does she talk in the same cadence as Yoda? Well, good question.
The team at Lucasfilm Games were great and were always on hand to ensure that authenticity was there, whilst still allowing us to bring our distinct brand of humor to proceedings. It’s also worth noting that not every character speaks Galactic Basic (English). We’ve got a plethora of alien languages such as Jawaese and Ewokese. There was a point where I’d spent so long writing dialogue in Huttese, that I was answering the phone with “Chuba da naga?” My dedication ran so deep that concerning my family and confusing telemarketers was totally worth it.
Once we had all the dialogue approved, it was time to assemble our fantastic cast. The voice recording sessions are such a fun part of the process, but they can also be quite daunting. There is a lot of pressure to get everything perfect in such a short amount of time. Luckily, I had some help in the form of human-Star Wars-holocron, Matt Wood. The man is Star Wars royalty, and I could have listened to his stories for hours. Alas, recording studio time is not cheap. Not only did he direct numerous sessions, but he also lent his voice to several characters. In fact, Matt wasn’t the only “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” alumni to return to the booth, which as a fan, was very exciting.
I think one of my favorite parts of the game is the Obi-Wan and Anakin fight at the end of “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith” purely because it’s all performed by James Arnold Taylor and Matt Lanter. It is so cool hearing those iterations of the characters act out that climactic scene. Then to top it off, Sam Witwer’s Emperor Palpatine shows up with a fishing rod to fish out what’s left of his apprentice. We really wanted to focus the game on the nine saga films, so having some of the “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” cast come in was a great way of showing love to the wider Star Wars universe, and I’m so glad we were able to do it.
By weaving dialogue into the game, I think we have found a new way to parody these films, but I can only take a midichlorian-sized amount of the credit. Everyone has worked passionately to try and make this the best Star Wars gameplay experience possible. However, Master Yoda once said “Try not. Do or do not. There is no try,” so it’s up to the fans to decide whether we have done it or not. I hope we have. May the Force be with you, always.
You can play Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga starting today for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.
LEGO® Star Wars™: The Skywalker Saga
Warner Bros. Games
LEGO® Star Wars™:The Skywalker Saga Deluxe Edition
Warner Bros. Games