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Lego Star Wars II hands-on

A rebel ship disappears from orbit, sucked into the belly of an Imperial Star Destroyer. Rebels hold their breath and take up defensive positions as a door is breached. Stormtroopers flood in. Shots are fired. Cute plastic heads clatter to the floor and slowly blink out of existence.

Beginning with the first scene of A New Hope, Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy finally gives fans what they really want: the chance to play through Lego versions of the first three films. We've finally had a chance to blast its plastic stormtroopers and TIE fighters ourselves, and while it's still a work in progress, it's already more polished, more fun and even sillier than the original.

Like the first game, Lego Star Wars II is a simple action/platformer that sends players through parody versions of the trilogy's action scenes. We started out just watching its plastic Princess Leia grapnel up ledges and build control panels out of scattered debris to open doors, but we soon joined in as Captain Antilles for some co-op play (which you watch by hitting the Movies tab above).

The action was brisk and simple, and we were able to blast stormtroopers (and huge swaths of scenery) into their component blocks with ease. The sequel does add a few new flourishes, though, including a dodge move performed by firing just when a blaster shot's about to hit you. We also uncovered a "hat dispenser," which lets you get through certain doors by fooling them into thinking you're a stormtrooper.