BLOG Star Wars Lego

SFX Blogger Steven Ellis thinks Lego and Star Wars click together beautifully

I got a new book the other day; that book was the Lego Star Wars Character Encyclopedia. It’s a great tome, with information and detailed photos of over 300 different Lego Star Wars minifigures. My other half has already identified about a dozen that she says we must own.

As a kid growing up I had many varied toys but I had more Star Wars and Lego than anything else by far. Star Wars is great. Lego is great. Lego + Star Wars is brilliant!

And in 1999, when some bright spark thought to combine the two, they hit on a real winner. There’s just something about the world of Star Wars that fits so well with Lego. The kits were a bit basic to begin with but slowly they’ve become more complex and sophisticated. There have been over 180 sets in the last 12 years, from little vehicles right up to a giant Death Star. Some of the kits available today are just amazing. Kids today! Humph. They don’t know how good they’ve got it…

Just look at the Millennium Falcon set from 2007, with over 5,000 pieces and a 300+ page instruction manual; these sets have come a long way from the ten-minute build time Space Lego sets I used to play with. Having Mensa qualifications is a distinct advantage when you’re building Lego these days. I got a Republic Gunship set a few Christmases ago and it took me three hours to build and that was only 1,034 pieces. I’m not to proud to say there was a little stress and head-scratching that night, but when the model was finished it was all worth it. My little Lego Larty is a sight to behold.

Although the kits are impressive, it’s the minifigures I really love. Those little characters are something else: from Darth Vader through to Greedo and the little Clone Troopers, every one of them is a mini work of art. They may only be inch high lumps of plastic but the designers have captured something distinctly Star Wars in their creation. They’re all so damn cute as well. And if, like me, you can’t afford to buy all the actual sets there’s books like the above mentioned Lego Star Wars Character Encyclopedia or the Lego Star Wars Visual Dictionary to drool over instead.

And it’s not just the kits these days. There are pens and key rings and tee shirts and fridge magnets… Heck, you can even get a Lego Star Wars advent calendar this year. And then there’s the game; the Lego Star Wars complete saga game is a wonderful thing. Again there is something about Lego and Star Wars that just clicks. I’ve played Lego Harry Potter, Lego Batman and Lego Indiana Jones and while they’re all entertaining and fun games, they just aren’t quite as good as the Star Wars games. I’m far from the biggest gamer in the world (I think my skills peaked with Chucky Egg) and maybe it’s my love of Star Wars colouring my view, but I think there’s something to be said for having your little Lego avatar running around with his little Lego lightsaber destroying his little Lego world that can improve even the worst of days. I can lose my self for hours in The Lego Star Wars complete saga or the newer Clone Wars game.

Let’s bring this rave about all things Lego to a close with a selection of links to some great Star Wars Lego cartoons. Both official and fan made, there are plenty of funny videos out there, if you haven’t seen The Quest for R2D2 or Bombad Bounty then you should definitely click through and check them out, they’re well worth the time. They’re brilliantly funny and chock full of little in-jokes and fan pleasing nods. The fan-made video accompanying Eddie Izzard’s Death Star Cantina skit is also worth watching. The recent half-hour one-off TV special The Padawan Menace is definitely worth seeking out too; I hear it’ll be coming to DVD in the New Year.

So, do I end this with a joke about never being too old to play with Lego? Or do I tell you about my Lego sets and how my son looks longingly at them as they sit on a shelf that’s out of his reach? Or do I say I think that the world is just a tiny bit slightly better off for having these little Star Wars-themed toys made of little plastic bricks in it? How about all three? How about I just say I think Lego Star Wars is great and I hope you do too.

Right. I’m off to check eBay for a Lego Quinlan Vos minifigure.