Right around the time of the theatrical release of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Traveller's Tales released the surprisingly enjoyable Lego Star Wars, a kid-friendly action adventure game that inexplicably rendered the exploits of young Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi to look as though they were made out of Lego building blocks. It was a curious combination, but it worked because the gameplay was novel enough, the combined nostalgia for Star Wars and Legos was potent, and the experience was delivered with a humorous, lighthearted flair. Lego Star Wars II is an even better package than the original, due almost entirely to the fact that the emotional connection to A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi is much stronger for most people.
You start out in the Mos Eisley Cantina, which serves as a hub from which you can access all three episodes, as well as a counter where you can purchase extras like cheats and additional playable characters, and a new character creation counter. Initially you'll have access only to A New Hope, though you'll gain access to Empire and Jedi after beating the first chapter. The game hits nearly all of the most memorable sequences from all three films, and it does it all with a goofy sense of humor. Since the game will no doubt attract some hardcore Star Wars fans, it's also worth noting that Lego Star Wars II seems to be taking most of its cues from the original theatrical releases. This means you can expect Han to shoot first, Darth Vader to have eyebrows, and Return of the Jedi to end with the classic "Yub Yub" Ewok song. They're all minor points, but it's the kind of stuff that fans will definitely appreciate.
Lego Star Wars II is still primarily an action adventure game in which you control a group of characters as they blast their way through enemies and do some light puzzle-solving and the occasional platform-jumping. The size of your group expands and contracts regularly, growing as large as seven characters and shrinking down to a mere two characters at times. You control only one character at a time, and you can switch characters easily on the fly. Your artificial intelligence-controlled companions are pretty worthless, save for a few specific scripted sequences. There's also a small loophole where enemies rarely target droid characters, which makes it easy to walk right through certain areas unscathed. Usually, though, the characters you're dragging around are there for a reason, as there are several different classes of characters, each with unique abilities that you'll need to progress. Jedi characters sport lightsabers, can perform double-jumps, and can use their Force powers to manipulate certain objects in the environment. Regular hero characters like Princess Leia and Han Solo pack blasters and can use special grappling hook points to reach areas other characters cannot. C3PO and R2D2 can open special doors and activate certain equipment, and R2 has the added bonus of being able to hover short distances. Short characters like Jawas and Ewoks can access special ducts that lead to otherwise inaccessible areas.