by Catriona Mills

Lessons I Have Learned From Playing Lego Star Wars

Posted 7 October 2008 in by Catriona

1. Blowing up Star Destroyers is improbable, but fun.

2. Life in space comes complete with entirely irritating camera angles. This makes jumping in any environment or running along the edge of a platform on the Death Star fraught with danger.

3. There are many excellent reasons to spend all your money buying invulnerability (see point two). But the best reason is that when you’re playing as Bounty Hunter Leia, don’t quite get close enough to a lever to pull it down correctly, and instead drop a thermonuclear device, you don’t die.

Of course, that begs the question of who thought it would be unproblematic to have the actions “pull lever” and “drop thermonuclear device” controlled by the same button.

4. Ewoks run like girls.

I know, as a good feminist, I shouldn’t use phrases such as “run like a girl.” But it’s true: the female characters (which is to say, Leia) and the Ewoks have the same odd, splay-legged run, as though their knees flick out ninety degrees when they move.

I’m uncertain as to the significance of this, but I’m sure it can’t be good.

5. Girls are a bit rubbish.

Oh, sure, Leia has thermonuclear devices and can open bounty-hunter specific doors. That’s helpful. And if you play as Lando Calrissian and let Leia get too close to him, she’ll slap him in the face, which is frankly hilarious (if a little inconvenient when it happens in the middle of a battle).

But she’s not a great shot. And if you leave her standing around, she’ll put a hand on one hip, throw the other hip out, and stand there posing while stormtroopers try to kill you.

Of course, there aren’t any female Jedi characters, either, but I can’t blame the game for that—George Lucas doesn’t believe in female Jedis, either. (Oh, wait: there was that one in Revenge of the Sith, wasn’t there? The one who got cut down from behind without even having a chance to draw her lightsaber? Yep: I remember her.)

6. Nobody respects Darth Vader.

You’d think he’d be a force (ha! I crack myself up) to be feared throughout the galaxy. And at points, to get through stormtrooper-specific doors and to move objects that are only susceptible to the Dark Side, you have to play as Vader.

And the stormtroopers shoot at him.

The temptation to shout, “I am Darth Vader, your lord and master! Stop shooting me, you daft gits!” is overwhelming.

I think their helmets must affect their hearing, though, because they don’t stop.

7. Allies are more trouble than they’re worth. Really. They get in your way while you’re trying to kill stormtroopers (or when you’re jumping, and then you fall in a pit of lava and die, and there’s crankiness all round).

And then you catch them on the backswing with your lightsaber, and they die.

And, really, they deserve it for getting in the way. If they only stood behind me, it wouldn’t be a problem.

But . . .

Some of them make horrendous noises when they die. The Ewoks and R2D2 are particularly plaintive.

And who want to be the person who slices R2D2 into spare parts?

(Special Additional Lesson I Have Learned While Blogging About The Lessons I Have Learned Playing Lego Star Wars: when you microwave a cup of coffee, it doesn’t just make the coffee hot. It makes the cup hot, too. I feel this is a serious design flaw. Or, just possibly, my failure to realise this is a serious design flaw in me.)

8. Most spaceships have low ceilings, which makes it impossible to do the patented Jedi double jump then forward roll in mid-air.

This in turn negates any value in being a Jedi Knight, at all.

(Nick was showing me his barbarian character in Diablo yesterday, and pointing out how awesome the character was, since he can jump enormously high. “I can do that,” I said. “Plus, I have a lightsaber.”)

9. General Grievous really is a dreadful character. (A four-armed robot with four lightsabers? Gee, George Lucas, why not just give everybody lightsabers?)

Similarly, his level in Lego Star Wars is rubbish.

Possibly, I’m only saying that because it’s my least-successful level, even though it’s only one giant landing platform with some vague rocky landscaping around it. (And yet I can’t work all the way through it. It’s a blow to the ego, that’s for sure.)

But I prefer to blame it on Grievous. He’s no Jar Jar Binks, but still . . .

10. Few things on earth are quite as much fun as watching a Lego version of Darth Vader push boxes across checked surfaces. He really puts his little Lego back into it.

I make Vader do all the required box pushing.

He has to expiate his crimes somehow.

Share your thoughts [1]

1

Drew wrote at Oct 14, 09:22 PM

Brilliant!

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