Growing up, there’s no denying that you have played with LEGO at least once in your life. In addition, it is also unlikely that you haven’t heard of the various parodies that spawned under the LEGO brand, such as LEGO Star Wars for kids. The LEGO brand has taken the pop-culture world by storm, spawning kid-friendly parodies of characters from many different media.
Furthermore, the Star Wars community cannot deny the existence of the LEGO Star Wars Merchandise. The success of LEGO Star Wars has also made the name Star Wars relevant for the years to come. Many children have started to become Star Wars fans because of LEGO Star Wars; that’s why it’s worth looking at how they deliver the saga’s plot to cater to a younger audience.
Focusing on LEGO Star Wars, let’s look closer to its origin and the different merchandise that will stay relevant for the years to come.
Who is LEGO?
History of LEGO
We cannot talk about LEGO Star Wars without talking about The LEGO Group first. So, what is The LEGO Group, and why is it so popular?
In 1932, a carpenter named Ole Kirk Christiansen began manufacturing toys in Billund, Denmark. Two years after its inception, Ole Kirk Christiansen has named his newfound company “LEGO”— derived from the Danish word “leg godt” or play well in English. LEGO continued to manufacture wooden toys; it was not until 1947 when LEGO started manufacturing plastic toys.
Self-Locking Bricks Design
The “self-locking bricks” style earned a patent in the United Kingdom years before the inception of the first LEGO block. In 1939, the “Kiddicraft Self-Locking Bricks” was the first patented plastic-made interlocking building block, but when Ole Kirk Christiansen saw its design, he marketed his own LEGO version of the self-locking brick. In 1949, LEGO released the “automatic binding bricks,” which evolved into the LEGO brick in 1953.
However, Kiddicraft claims that they never knew about LEGO making a version of their patented design. By 1959, The LEGO Company expanded to the United Kingdom, selling their first set of toys in 1960. In 1981, LEGO acquired the rights to the design of the self-locking brick by paying Kiddicraft a sum of £45,000. Today, LEGO still acknowledges that its design came from Kiddicraft.
Starting from their famous plastic automatic binding bricks, LEGO’s influence spread in pop culture as time progressed. Furthermore, LEGO usage in many forms of media is a statement of how successful and popular the toy brand has become. In 1998, the National Toy Hall of Fame inducted LEGO as one of the most influential toys in history.
In addition, LEGO is widely used and accepted in the academe today. LEGO is used often in robotics and even incorporated in some NASA models. LEGO is helpful in science, and it also introduced a generation into the science fiction genre by incorporating the Star Wars Saga.
History of LEGO Star Wars
The LEGO Star Wars franchise was undoubtedly popular during the early 2000s. The LEGO Star Wars theme spawned massive media and LEGO Star Wars for kids merchandise throughout the decade and the years after. But how did this concept start in the first place?
Since 1999, LEGO acquired a license to produce Star Wars content that was supposed to last until 2008. However, the massive success of the LEGO Star Wars merchandise and media has extended this license. The first extension was until 2011, second until 2016, and then recently until 2022.
The LEGO Star Wars storyline focuses on parodying the whole Star Wars Saga, recreating movies, games, and toys that offer a significant entertainment value. Still, the LEGO Star Wars is not in any way considered canon, expanding the reach of the LEGO Star Wars until the Expanded Universe— which supposedly occurred after the events of Episode XI: The Return of the Jedi. Nevertheless, the LEGO Star Wars merchandise and media have dramatically affected Star Wars in countless positive ways. Regardless, LEGO Star Wars will remain a staple in the foreseeable future, contributing to the Star Wars Saga representation worldwide.
LEGO Star Wars Merchandise
Undeniably, the LEGO Star Wars theme has spawned many products, such as books, motion pictures, games, and the best star wars toys for kids. Since 1999, LEGO Star Wars Merchandise has made a significant impact on Star Wars sales. Being Star Wars as their first licensed theme, The LEGO Star Wars video game series alone has sold a whopping 50 million copies and counting as of 2019. The numbers prove that Star Wars and the LEGO is a perfect match made in heaven.
Moving on, let’s look at the different products the LEGO Star Wars Merchandise offer that helped bring the name Star Wars where it is today.
The Star Wars Saga is home to countless iconic spacecraft, speeders, and transports that shaped generations. These memorable Star Wars spacecraft and transports spark creativity within the LEGO company; from the iconic Millenium Falcon to the destructive AT-AT, the company accurately captured the essence of these crafts. Being incorporated into the LEGO brand, the eye-catching and challenging Star Wars LEGO sets are the mainstays and best-sellers for the LEGO company.
So, what are some of the most notable spacecraft from the LEGO Star Wars line?
The Millenium Falcon
Millions of Star Wars fans will surely know how important the Millenium Falcon is Star Wars. Being the only ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, the Millenium Falcon is truly a sight to behold. Furthermore, seeing the corridors and corners where the original trilogy has taken part is genuinely nostalgic. From Han Solo to Rey, the Millenium Falcon has been with the saga since time immemorial and will continue to be significant for the years to come.
As a statement of LEGO’s dedication to replicate iconic Star Wars ships, the LEGO Star Wars toy line came up with the LEGO Star Wars 75105 Millenium Falcon. This specific Millenium Falcon design is one of the newer models based on the recent Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. The Episode VII-based Millenium Falcon features new characters such as Rey, Chewbacca, Han Solo, Finn, and BB-8. All in all, this specific building set caters for younger Star Wars Fans.
However, the more rare LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon 7965 is truly a fan favorite as it returns to the whole saga’s roots. Based on the iconic Millenium Falcon’s escape from the Death Star. LEGO has incorporated this iconic scene from Star Wars and repackaged it into a toy. Featuring detailed construction and characters such as Luke, Ben Kenobi, Leia Organa, Darth Vader, and Chewbacca, this Millenium Falcon is genuinely a jump in the past.
The Death Star
That’s no moon… because it got incorporated into a LEGO Star Wars model! The Death Star is Star Wars’ iconic battle station that spawned many references across pop culture. Up to this day, the Death Star remains the best-seller of model LEGO Star Wars building kits; however, its production has come to a halt. Still, the LEGO Star Wars Death Star 75159 Space Station Building Kit is one of the best offers of LEGO Star Wars.
The LEGO Star Wars Death Star features 3,803 pieces, making it one of the hardest to assemble LEGO building kits. In addition, the Death Star features meticulously designed multi-layers that will surely provide challenge building it. Featuring different scenes from Episode IV: A New Hope’s Death Star scene, this building kit is jampacked with many characters that will surely bring nostalgia to fans.
After the destruction of the first Death Star from the hands of Luke Skywalker, the Empire hurriedly created a 2nd Death Star. This Death Star fueled the Empire’s hopes of crushing the Alliance during Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. The LEGO Star Wars version of the Death Star II features a more accurate representation of the 2nd Death Star. In addition, LEGO has put aside the wacky niche of the first Death Star model. The Death Star II features a height of two feet and 3,417 LEGO pieces. Similar to the first LEGO Star Wars Death Star model, the Death Star II is also one of the most challenging LEGO building kits to assemble.
Imperial Star Destroyer
In the Galaxy Far, Far Away, all tremble to the sight of an Imperial Star Destroyer. Featuring a wide array of arsenal and various galactic starfighters, one Imperial Star Destroyer is enough to raze a planet to the ground, rendering it uninhabitable. However, a LEGO Super Star Destroyer will cause a Star Wars fan to be busy in real life.
Featuring an intricate assembly of 3,152 pieces, the LEGO Star Wars Super Star Destroyer is the 2nd most complex LEGO Star Wars kit to build. Not to say that it’s one of the most expensive, priced at around $1,799, the costly building kit from LEGO Star Wars is one of the most south after products in the community.
Furthermore, the LEGO Star Wars Super Star Destroyer replicates the Imperial Star Destroyers from the first trilogy. Therefore, the LEGO Star Wars Super Star Destroyer building kit includes Darth Vader, Admiral Piett, Dengar, and droid figures. In addition, the centerpiece of the Super Star Destroyer detaches to uncover a control module inside; how cool is that? Measuring at around 50″, the LEGO Star Wars Super Star Destroyer is a sight to behold when finished.
The Star Wars Saga was not only purely film. In fact, the Star Wars Saga has spawned multiple books and novels across its timeline. Some of them are cannon, such as visual novels that explain certain plot holes between movies. On the other hand, some of the Star Wars literature is non-canon, such as the Star Wars Legends arc. In addition, Star Wars has also made several Star Wars books for kids that scale down the lore perfect for a child’s understanding. Nevertheless, LucasArts has produced countless comics and novels that expand the saga to a greater height, making the story more intricate and captivating as it goes.
In this light, the LEGO Star Wars for kids merchandise has also made parodies to some of these book expansions. However, LEGO Star Wars has focused more on expanding its encyclopedias, visual dictionaries, LEGO Star Wars film adaptations, LEGO Star Wars for kids stories, strategy guide for games, and activity books. The majority of these works caters to children; therefore, it makes LEGO Star Wars a child-friendly media source.
Encyclopedias and Visual Dictionaries
The LEGO Star Wars for kids encyclopedias and visual dictionaries guide readers on different LEGO Star Wars product references.
Since 2009, LEGO Star Wars has written three visual dictionaries, namely “LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary (2009)— Guide to sets and mini-figures from 1999 to 2009”, “LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary: Updated and Expanded (2014)”, and LEGO Star Wars Visual Dictionary, New Edition (2019). These books aim to guide readers on the different sets and mini-figures the LEGO Star Wars offers since 1999. The book is then updated every five years to provide fans with an updated guide as the years come.
On the other hand, LEGO Star Wars character encyclopedias have been around since 2011, having two installments under its belt. One is the LEGO Star Wars Character Encyclopedia (2011), and the other is an expansion released in 2015. The purpose of character encyclopedias is to provide fans with a guide and reference on LEGO Star Wars’ vast minifigure collection. The 2011 version features all Minifigures from Episodes I to VI; on the other hand, the 2015 version adds the minifigures from the expanded Star Wars Rebels and Legends.
Lego Star Wars Film Adaptations
The story of the Star Wars Saga experienced a revamp when LEGO Star Wars released its movie adaptation back in 2011. LEGO Star Wars reprised the whole saga to the theme of LEGO to cater the story to younger readers. In other words, they have adapted the Star Wars story for DK Readers levels 1 and 2.
For instance, the “LEGO Star Wars: Save the Galaxy!” released in 2011 aims to retell the story of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. As a result, they made the story shorter and appealing to kids. Furthermore, LEGO Star Wars also features the “LEGO Star Wars stories” that portray characters’ lives within the Star Wars Saga. For example, the “LEGO Star Wars: Anakin Space Pilot” released back in 2011 features Anakin Skywalker’s piloting achievements from Tatooine up until his fall to the dark side.
Featuring LEGO characters and a kids-friendly portrayal of Jedis and Siths, the LEGO Star Wars film adaptation books are undoubtedly excellent choices for children starting to read.
Following the first LEGO Star Wars video game release, LEGO released game guides. These guides subsequently turned into a partner on every major game released. However, even though LEGO Star Wars has released 11 games under their belt, only four strategy guides are released for LEGO Star Wars. The games that features game guides are LEGO Star Wars I, II, III, and The Complete Saga.
The video games that feature strategy guides are the ones based on the original Star Wars Saga. LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game (2005) incorporates the actual plot of the Star Wars Prequel trilogy and retells the story using LEGO Star Wars characters and humorous storytelling. Furthermore, the sequel LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (2006) retells Episodes IV, V, and VI via slapstick comedy, while LEGO Star Wars III (2011) features the story of the television series “The Clone Wars”. To culminate the success of LEGO Star Wars I and II, LEGO has released the “LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga (2007)”, which combines the two games into one cartridge.
Years after these core games pioneered the LEGO Star Wars game industry, and in 2016, LEGO Star Wars continues its video game adaptation of Star Wars film by releasing the LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Still, LEGO is not finished with the franchise and plans to make the ultimate LEGO Star Wars game. In 2019, Matthew Wood announced the LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, which features overhauled games from the first two trilogies while featuring new games from the recent Star Wars movies from 2015.
The massive success of the past games provides a bright future for upcoming LEGO Star Wars games. Furthermore, the LEGO Star Wars games have been a great way to introduce younger generations to the Star Wars Universe. Consequently, these games ensure that the LEGO Star Wars theme will stay relevant for the years to come.
It is undeniable that LEGO Star Wars has sustained a massive following and support across the Star Wars community. Furthermore, the success of the LEGO Star Wars merchandise enabled it to expand to internet videos and television series. Therefore, let’s look at the motion pictures that shaped the LEGO Star Wars we love and known for years.
LEGO’s first short film was the LEGO Star Wars: The Han Solo Affair back in 2002. The short film features a stop-motion animation incorporating different LEGO characters available at the time. The plot of this particular short film occurs after Han Solo’s capture by Darth Vader and Boba Fett. After Han Solo’s freezing, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, R2-D2, and Luke Skywalker executed a desperate attempt to rescue Han Solo. However, they were overpowered by their enemy, leading to Han Solo being delivered to Jabba the Hutt. This short film serves as a gap-filler between Episode V and VI. Furthermore, this explains how Han Solo ended up from Cloud City to Jabba’s palace at the start of Episode VI. However, LEGO claims that LEGO Star Wars media are non canon. Therefore, these short-films are only created to market LEGO Star Wars merchandise.
This stop-motion short film has paved the way for LEGO to produce different short films years after the first one. LEGO has produced various short films in mainstream television channels like Cartoon Network. This include shows such as LEGO Star Wars: Revenge of the Brick, The Padawan Menace, and The Empire Strikes Out. The success of these short films and various television series cemented the name of LEGO Star Wars among children’s minds. In addition, the shows also introduce Star Wars to younger generations in the process.
The widespread and massive success of the Star Wars franchise to younger generations stems from its partnership with LEGO. In addition, this success has spawned different media that gained acceptance within the Star Wars community. Moreover, the building kits of LEGO Star Wars for kids offer ways to replicate iconic Star Wars vehicles and starfighters. As a result, it enables fans to experience Galaxy Far, Far Away first hand.
In conclusion, this partnership between LEGO and the Star Wars allows the introduction of Star Wars to all ages.