Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Star Wars: Lethal Alliance

If you've ever fantasized about watching one of Jabba The Hutt's half-naked slave dancers break free of her chains and blast everything in sight, Ubisoft has a game for you. In this minor adventure set before the first Star Wars film, the Alliance has recruited Twi'lek gun-for-hire Rianna Saren to steal the plans for the first Death Star. To get them, she and her droid Zeeo must plow through obstacle courses, booby-traps, and stormtrooper shoot-outs.

Rianna's washboard abs could make her an alien sex symbol, even as the eel-like appendages stuck on her head flap hilariously behind her. But cheesecake aside, something's missing from this game. As far back as the first Star Wars movie, the story had to have a Luke Skywalker and a Han Solo. Left on their own, the Jedi are prone to long-winded mysticism, and you need some cussing and blaster fights to keep them in line. But without the Force, Star Wars would just be another space opera about scaly aliens running down hallways and shooting each other. And that's what you get in Lethal Alliance. Rianna's exploits boil down to about half a dozen hurdles that repeat over and over. The bulk of the game feels like a training exercise for the final scenes on the Death Star, where the action moves quickly enough to feel like an adventure.


Beyond the game: As message-board fans have been pointing out, it was the Bothans, not the Twi'leks, who stole the Death Star plans for the Alliance. So if that's going to be a big problem for you, don't play this game.

Worth playing for: The most Star Wars­-like part of the game is the John Williams-esque soundtrack. That music could make flossing your teeth feel like the Hero's Journey.

Frustration sets in when: The security mini-games are inscrutable, due to poor instructions and confusing interfaces.

Final judgment: A tiny adventure for tiny screens.