Episode IV: Your Favorite Moments, LEGO Style!
LucasArts' release of LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy this fall on multiple platforms continues the original's tongue-in-cheek approach to our favorite galaxy far, far away, also adding new gameplay features such as in-depth character customization plus vehicles and creatures to ride through on-foot levels. But it's perhaps the Original Trilogy setting itself that has many fans most intrigued. Equally excited are the people actually creating the game, both at developer Traveller's Tales (a division of TT Games) and LucasArts.
At this point in development, most of the levels based on Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope are nearing completion. With that in mind, which cherished moments from the movie that started the entire Star Wars phenomenon have the team most enjoyed giving the LEGO treatment?
"I love seeing the fantastic variety of aliens that populate the Mos Eisley Cantina come to life in LEGO form," says Jonathan Smith, director at TT Games. "Our character modeller has done an amazing job on all the individual headpieces, and each one makes me smile - both as a Star Wars fan and a LEGO fan. The Bith band members are particular favorites - and great to mix into the Character Customizer!"
"I think my favorite moment from Episode IV is the trench run," says David Perkinson, producer at LucasArts. "Getting into the cockpit of the X-wing, battling TIE fighters and ultimately destroying the Death Star is something that every Star Wars fan will love. Plus, the cinematic leading up to the introduction to the Death Star level is incredible!"
"Yeah, I also get a thrill every time I see the X-wings of Red Squadron wheel into their assault on the Death Star," adds Smith. "Those LEGO models are so cool, and as the music strikes up it remains an awesome moment in the story."
"I've really enjoyed working on the opening scene of Episode IV, set on the Rebel Blockade Runner, Tantive IV," comments James Cunliffe, lead artist at TT Games. "It's great in Story mode, with fantastic cutscenes depicting the ship's capture by a Star Destroyer, as Leia is trying to escape with the plans for the Death Star."
"That's my favorite part, too," chimes in Jeffrey Gullett, assistant producer at LucasArts. "It's the first scene of all the Star Wars movies, and is still one of my favorites. I'll never forget that first time I saw the stormtroopers blast through that door - I think that we've done an amazing job of capturing the feeling of that moment, while also adding the fun and humor of LEGO."
"It's got a lot of the features which are new to LEGO Star Wars II, as well," says Cunliffe. "And in Free Play, there's even more to do. You can even 'grow' a LEGO tree, then blow it up. What could be better than that?"
Only one thing, according to John Hodskinson, TT Games' lead programmer for the game. With all of the great moments in Episode IV, it's easy to forget what's at the core of what makes the movie so special - the characters. Hodskinson says it's important to realize this, and the team is working especially hard to keep in line with this spirit. "From Han's cocky swagger to Vader's menacing appearance, the personalities of all the main characters have been brilliantly brought to life by the animators throughout the game," he says. "All but the hardest of hearts will find their scenes together both funny and nostalgic."
NEXT STORY: "Cruisin' the Galaxy"
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