What’s your first memory of Star Wars? Snowspeeders dropping gigantic Imperial AT-ATs on the icy planet of Hoth? Luke Skywalker learning who his real father is in a dramatic duel that he barely survives? The Emperor luring the Rebel Alliance fleet in a well orchestrated trap?
While the original Star Wars movies may be ancient by the Hollywood standards of today, they’re still solid flights of sci-fi fantasy, a groundbreaking trilogy of special effects and universe-building. The old trilogy is still rightfully regarded as the best trilogy of Star Wars.
Return of the Jedi
And that’s the focus of Disney Infinity’s latest expansion, Rise Against The Empire. When it originally shipped, Disney Infinity 3.0 came with Twilight of the Republic, a prequel-era playset featuring the likes of Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
And it was good! It told it’s own tale, had some great boss battles and I could even forgive it having a Jar Jar Binks section. But it was missing some magic. A certain spark, that Rise Against The Empire manages to faithfully capture. If you’re a kid that is.
There’s no denying that Disney Infinity 3.0 is geared towards younger Star Wars fans. And that’s ok. That’s the kind of game that it was designed to be, leaving the more complex world-building toybox to a tag-team of parents and children.
But there’s something wonderfully nostalgic about Rise Against The Empire. A familiar feeling, of good versus evil and finding hope in the unlikeliest of allies.
If you only new the power, of the toy side
Rise Against The Empire succeeds in that regards, creating an expansion that plays out like the Saturday morning cartoon that you wished Star Wars had when you were a kid. Like other playsets, it’s not the longest of campaigns, but it does serve as a better extension of the brand than Twilight of the Republic.
And that’s thanks to the sheer level of variety on offer here. Each major part of the story plays out like a highly-condensed Star Wars movie (Imagine if The Empire Strikes Back took place solely on Hoth), resulting in a quick-paced narrative that is populated with the traditional Disney Infinity missions and more action-packed space sequences.
And the result is magical.
Comprised of three main hubs (Mos Eisely on Tattooine, the Rebel base on Hoth and the forest moon of Endor), Rise Against The Empire makes full and proper use of the Old Trilogy license. There’s the Mos Eisely cantina band jamming a few tunes in the corner, Tauntauns to ride , hopping in a Snowspeeder engages a familiar soundtrack while you think of kicking a few Ewoks around.
Never tell me the odds
Exploration is a bigger driving theme behind this expansion, with players now working to earn credits in order to get their own mini-base up and running, while engaging in a few side missions that do lean towards the repetitive side from time to time. But it’s a properly armed and fully operational experience nonetheless, with each hub serving as a mini-sandbox to explore and complete challenges in.
The on-rails space combat sequences, were a particular highlight, as the Death Star run focused on not only taking down TIE Fighters, but protecting fellow Rebel ships, avoiding Darth Vader’s lock-on, dodging Death Star turbo-laser batteries and firing a few torpedoes down a glaring design flaw on that battle station.
Good fun all around, and a nostalgic trip down memory lane as the established chronology was tossed aside for a quicker story that realises that Star Wars was meant to be fun. And the figures ain’t bad either.
Last Updated: September 30, 2015