Our first real glimpse of Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy was of Luke Skywalker running over pedestrians in a landspeeder. As he thoughtlessly careened around the streets of Mos Eisley, any Lego people who got in his way were reduced to flailing their limbs while lying helplessly on their backs. No wonder those goons in the cantina don't like him.
While it still features plenty of the adorable lightsaber-swinging, puzzle-solving, multiple-character-controlling action that made the original game a hit, Lego Star Wars II looks to give fans a lot more freedom. While the first game restricted building stuff out of Legos to Jedi, any non-droid character can now sling bricks like a pro. A second player can jump in at any time. And if you play as Chewbacca, you can pop the plastic arms right off any stormtrooper you meet.
You'll also be able to build your own vehicles from the ground up and take them just about anywhere (to the point of flying a swoop bike through the Death Star trench run, according to the presenter). We saw this demonstrated as Obi-Wan used the Force to uncover a few large caches of bricks, which he then built into an AT-ST walker. A stormtrooper immediately hopped in, though, giving Obi-Wan a chance to show off his Jedi carjacking powers and yank out the usurper with the Force. This new mechanic will let a second player steal their own ride when building materials are scarce, allowing both to stomp around and blow stuff up cooperatively.
Lego Star Wars II will also give players the chance to make their own heroes out of spare parts from 50 different Star Wars characters (or up to 100, if you've got a save file with unlocked characters from the first game). This is more than just vanity customization, though; picking a character's head will give you their special attack (like Emperor Palpatine's lightning bolts or Chewie's arm-rip), and giving them a blaster or lightsaber determines whether they can use the Force. It's even possible to assemble a team of your own creations and storm through the game in Free Play mode.
In addition to creative mayhem and customization, Lego Star Wars II will offer a story that faithfully parodies the first three movies, complete with puzzles, dialogue-free cinemas and lots of hidden stuff to find. To ensure that anyone can play and have fun, the game will constantly monitor how well you play and adjust its difficulty accordingly. Unlockable minigames will round out the package, and the handheld versions will even pack in special multiplayer modes. Expect them all to ship in September, alongside the DVD re-re-release of the original Star Wars films.