Return of the Jedi
You’d imagine the ending of the original trilogy would be an absolute joy to whittle through, but Episode VI struggles to match the heights of the previous episodes. Opening with a slow stealth section is never a great place to start, but things start to pick up once we’re away from Jabba’s palace and onto The Khetanna. A thrilling showdown with Boba Fett increases the excitement, but the brakes are slammed on as we play out an all-too-long fight with the kingpin Hutt and his pet, Salacious Crumb.
Similarly, things improve with the speeder bike section through Endor. The Skywalker Saga is excellent at conveying speed (as we’ll get to), and the speeder bikes are no exception. Weaving through the forest was a joy to play the first time, and then again multiple times as I hunted every minikit. Sadly, much like with the previous level, things slow to a frustrating crawl. “The Chewbacca Defense” is an excellent name for a level, but the trudge through Imperial forces is less so.
The episode’s finale is a strange one, too, because any level that has you face Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine has the makings of an excellent time. And it is! Two bosses in one sitting is a lot of fun, and is exactly what you want from a Lego Star Wars level. The issue is that one of the most important moments from Return of the Jedi is nothing more than a cut scene. Yes, the attack on the Death Star II is not playable in The Skywalker Saga, which just feels odd. Was the idea of two Death Star levels deemed too much for TT Games? Maybe. But it’s difficult to look at how much downtime there is in Return of the Jedi and feel like it’d be further up the list with an exhilarating space combat section to end