LEGO Star Wars is one of the most popular and successful LEGO themes ever created, combining two iconic brands that have captivated generations of fans. But how did this collaboration begin, and how has it evolved over the years? Here is a brief history of LEGO Star Wars, from its origins to its future.
The story of LEGO Star Wars starts in 1998, when The LEGO Group obtained a license from Lucasfilm to produce sets based on the Star Wars saga. This was a risky move for both parties, as LEGO had never made licensed sets before, and Star Wars was about to launch a new trilogy with Episode I – The Phantom Menace. However, both companies saw the potential of combining their creative visions and fan bases.
The first LEGO Star Wars sets were released in 1999, coinciding with the release of Episode I. There were 13 sets in total, covering scenes and characters from both the original trilogy and the prequel. The sets were well-received by fans and critics alike, who praised their accuracy, playability and innovation. Some of the highlights included Darth Maul's Sith Infiltrator, Anakin's Podracer and Luke Skywalker's Landspeeder.
The success of the first wave of LEGO Star Wars sets led to more releases in the following years, covering all six movies as well as spin-offs such as The Clone Wars animated series. The sets became more detailed and complex over time, introducing new features such as light-up lightsabers, motorized functions and minifigure-scale models. Some of the most impressive sets included the Ultimate Collector's Series Millennium Falcon, which had over 5,000 pieces; the Death Star, which had over 20 rooms; and the Super Star Destroyer, which measured over 1 meter long.
The LEGO Group also expanded its LEGO Star Wars offerings beyond sets, creating video games, books, magazines, TV shows and even theme park attractions based on the franchise. The video games were especially popular, featuring humorous adaptations of the movies with original stories and characters. The first game was released in 2005 for Lego Star Wars: The Video Game, followed by five more titles until Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga in 2020.
LEGO Star Wars shows no signs of slowing down in its third decade of existence. With new movies such as Rogue One, Solo, The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, The Rise of Skywalker, TV shows such as Rebels, Resistance, The Mandalorian, books such as Master & Apprentice, comics such as Darth Vader, games such as Jedi: Fallen Order, theme park attractions such as Galaxy's Edge, there are plenty of sources for new LEGO Star Wars sets and products.
Some of the recent highlights include The Razor Crest, which featured a highly detailed model of Mando's ship from The Mandalorian; Mos Eisley Cantina, which recreated one of the most iconic scenes from A New Hope; and Helmets, which offered realistic replicas of Darth Vader's helmet, Boba Fett's helmet and Stormtrooper's helmet.
LEGO Star Wars is more than just a theme; it is a phenomenon that has brought joy to millions of fans around the world. It is a testament to the power of imagination and creativity that two different brands can come together so harmoniously. As long as there are stars in the sky, there will be LEGO bricks to build them.