Endless tinkering must be intrinsically linked to anything to do with the Star Wars brand. Look at poor old George Lucas. He just can't stop himself nipping into the backroom, whipping out those cans of film and felt-tipping brand new characters and space ships into his movies (before doing some quick sums and making 'cher-ching' noises to himself).
The Traveller's Tales folk seem to have caught a similar affliction, as this fiddled-with, bumper LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga package shows. They've taken the slow-burning, sleeper hit successes that were the two LEGO Star Wars titles and fused them together to form one great big adventure in a galaxy far, far away, filled with new stuff, older stuff in the newer game and newer stuff in the older game. It's LEGO Star Wars: Special Edition, if you will, released just in time to catch the Christmas rush.
But that's really the only trace of cynicism here. This is a vehicle for digitised LEGO characters taking the mickey - in the nicest, most good-natured way possible - out of a bunch of movies which are obviously held in high regard. Unlike some of George Lucas' infuriating extra touches, the merging of the two games together makes perfect sense, and the series' debut on the Wii is the ideal opportunity for those who missed their chance to get in on the act first and second time around.
All six episodes in the saga are included now, although graphically there's no great improvement over the GameCube versions (despite the game being beefed up for its PS3 and Xbox 360 releases). But then how much lovelier can plastic bricks look? No, the improvements come mainly from the new Wii Remote controls and from the simple fact that you're getting all the movies as one continuous experience. There's no glaring "what the heck is that doing in here?" moment of the Jar Jar Binks variety (although, unfortunately, he is included among the roster of 120 characters) either, but having said that, if you've played the original two games there's not a great deal here you won't have seen already.
It's A Touch-Up
The Complete Saga is mainly an excuse for the enhancements that were made to LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy to be incorporated back into the first game, The Video Game. So Qui-Gon Jinn and his co-stars can jump out of the way of blaster fire now, like Lea and co., and they also sport new melee and Force moves, like a more powerful Force Push which can flatten groups of stormtroopers. It's not exactly revolutionary but it certainly makes for a more complete LEGO Star Wars experience. And considering you'll rattle through each chapter in 15 minutes or so, that overall polish becomes that much more apparent.
Where The Complete Saga falls down a little is in its use of Wii-specific controls. It's much the same problem you see in other games sporting similar functionality. Waving your arms about - say when you're using a lightsaber - only generates one or two pre-scripted movements. The raving octopus-like scene you create in your front room never translates fully to the action in-game, so the initial thrill of actually controlling a real stick of lethal light is lessened by seeing the same two moves repeated no matter what you do.
Mind you, taking things directly into your own hands does make swishing more effective. Frantically squeezing Z is never quite as fast as jerking the Wii Remote, so you'll sometimes find yourself swamped by Imperial types if you neglect to go physical (though not often - The Complete Saga stays firmly on the 'fun' side of the pleasure-pain spectrum). Blocking and deflecting blaster bolts is a lot more intuitive when you physically move the Remote as you would a lightsaber. We defy you to jump into a storm of blaster fire and swat away bolts without sticking your tongue out in slobbery concentration.