Excerpts detailing the new characters and their abilities follow after the jump, as do the three screenshots mentioned, which capture Chewie, Han, Leia, and even Obi-Wan doing his best non-canon work (as can be seen in the Free Play shot aboard the Blockade Runner featured here).
If you played through the original LEGO Star Wars on consoles or the PC, you'll be able to import its unlocked characters into the sequel, which should come in handy to begin General Grievous's training with Yoda. (More prequel characters = more sequel lightsabers.) And if you unlocked that secret (but short) bonus level--after completing all the mission requirements in the prequel--you know that you'll need to get your hands on the sequel. Anyone else lookin' forward to more LEGO action this fall?
First, here are the screenshots you're looking for:
Wookie gone wild: Chewie "disarms" an Imperial Trooper. Kenobi looks on in envy, awe, and maybe a little amusement.
Han sends Leia a non-verbal message: "WINK." Body language can be a powerful thing.
Obi-Wan taking a swing on Leia's Blockade Runner. Must be that Expanded Universe stuff...
With the previous game save from the original LEGO Star Wars, it's actually possible to have over 100 premade Star Wars characters available in the sequel, with over 50 from the original and close to 60 from LSW II (and that number doesn't count all the user-customized characters possible). The following are quotes and direct excerpts of the new characters and abilities from the upcoming title:
But what good is having so many characters without them showing some, well...character? Thankfully, LEGO Star Wars II prevails by staying true to the likes of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia with character-specific attacks. Chewbacca rips arms out of sockets, for instance, while Darth Vader Force chokes enemies to pieces, Jawas disable droids with their ionization guns, and bounty hunters like Boba Fett, Bossk and IG-88 unleash thermal detenators to clear groups of enemies or to break through scenery. You might even recognize new abilities for characters making a second appearance in a LEGO Star Wars game, like R2-D2, whose periscope allows him to see where he's headed as he navigates the swamps of Dagobah.
"My favorite character-specific move has to be the Emperor's Force lightning. I would hate to be on the receiving end of that," comments [producer David] Perkinson. "I also love Obi-Wan's Jedi mind trick and the humorous ways it stuns its victims. When he performs his mind trick, Jawas get stars over their heads while stormtroopers' heads actually turn completely around."
With so many characters available in LEGO Star Wars II, the game presents endless replayability possibilities as you take the character of your choice through Free Play mode. "You can make Darth Maul a hero of the Rebellion," says Perkinson. "Or you can have Grand Moff Tarkin take on the rancor at Jabba's Palace. Or help General Grievous train with Yoda on Dagobah."
"Grievous training with Yoda would certainly be interesting, although I doubt he'd have the patience!" jokes [director Tom] Stone. "I'm looking forward to freaking out a young Anakin Skywalker and introducing him to his later self aboard the Death Star."
- LEGO Star Wars II: Return of the Original Trilogy
- More pics from LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy