A brief history of: LEGO Star Wars
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A brief history of: LEGO Star Wars

Name a more iconic duo than LEGO and Star Wars… we’ll wait. Since 1999, fans of LEGO and Star Wars alike have been treated to countless new sets, history-making Minifigures, short films and even a video game series - all thanks to the longstanding licensing deal. Here’s everything you need to know about the history of LEGO Star Wars.

Episode I

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… the LEGO Group announced a new partnership with Lucasfilm, allowing them to sell sets based on the inimitable film franchise.

The year was 1999. ‘Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (Episode I)’ had just been released in June, and fans of the franchise were already on cloud nine. Enter: LEGO Star Wars.

The first ever LEGO Star Wars sets were released in November of that year, allowing fans to live out their favourite movie moments with LEGO. These sets included:

  • 7101 Lightsaber Duel
  • 7111 Droid Fighter
  • 7121 Naboo Swamp
  • 7131 Anakin's Podracer
  • 7141 Naboo Fighter
  • 7151 Sith Infiltrator
  • 7161 Gungan Sub 
  • 7171 Mos Espa Podrace

Around the same time, The LEGO Group also released its new Star Wars Mindstorms line with the 9748 Droid Developer Kit

Old meets new 

In 2000, the LEGO Group brought together the Original Trilogy and Episode I with an even bigger release. The sets included ‘7104 Desert Skiff’ and ‘7190 Millennium Falcon’ from the Original Trilogy, and  ‘7115 Gungan Patrol’ and ’7159 Podracer Bucket’ from Episode I.

But that wasn’t the only exciting release the LEGO Group had up their sleeves that year. 2000 also saw the very first little packs become available to the public, containing three Star Wars Minifigures and three display cards. With three sets from the Original Trilogy and one from Episode I, this drop was a collector’s dream - but more on Star Wars Minifigures later.

It was also the year that we got our first taste of Star Wars-themed Technic. The first sets in this line were all from Episode I, including the ‘8000 Technic Pit Droid’, ‘8001 Technic Battle Droid’ and the ‘8002 Technic Destroyer Droid’.

Not done yet, the LEGO Group released a new addition to its Star Wars brand with the Ultimate Collector Series; a line of larger scale, more detailed models like the ‘7181 TIE Interceptor’ and the ‘7191 X-wing Fighter’.

Yep, the year 2000 was quite a time to be alive for LEGO Star Wars fans.

Episode II

With the 2002 release of ‘Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones’ came a bevy of new LEGO sets for fans to get excited about. From the ‘7103 Jedi Duel’ to the ‘7163 Republic Gunship’, fans got to relive the excitement of the latest movie by building and displaying memorabilia in LEGO form.

Adding to the excitement, the LEGO Group also released sets from the Original Trilogy like the ‘​​7139 Ewok Attack’ and the two-part Final Duel (sets 7200 and 7201). 

This line grew in 2003, too, as did the Ultimate Collectors Series and Mini series - but the final sets of the Star Wars Technic collection were released in 2002.

Episode III

In May, 2005, the final Star Wars movie - at least, for the foreseeable future - ‘Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith’ aired in theatres. This saw the LEGO Group release a number of new sets inspired by the film, including the ‘7251 Darth Vader Transformation’, ‘7256 Jedi Starfighter and Vulture Droid’ and the ‘7283 Ultimate Space Battle’ - not to mention the ‘65771 Episode III Collectors' Set’. 

In the same year, more sets from the Original Trilogy were also released like the ‘10131 TIE Collection’ and the ‘10144 Sandcrawler’.

Where are we now?

Since the licensing deal began in 1999, an estimated total of 842 LEGO Star Wars sets and polybags have been released. That includes up to 36 Ultimate Collector sets, two Master Builder Series sets - a subtheme of the Ultimate Collector series with a huge range of Minifigures - and five sets in the Helmet Collection series, not to mention more than 1000 Minifigures and a newly-announced Diorama collection, coming this year.

Star Wars Minifigures

As with the Star Wars films franchise, characters - in the form of Minifigures - are arguably the most important part of the LEGO Star Wars line. Some of the rarest LEGO Minifigures are part of the LEGO Star Wars range, like the gold chrome-plated C3PO (released for Star Wars’ 30th anniversary), a 2005 Darth Vader (released exclusively at the Nuremberg International Toy Fair) and the 2010 chrome Storm Trooper (10,000 were given to visitors who spent a certain amount of money at The LEGO Store in 2010).

The Star Wars series can also claim what is said to be the most expensive LEGO Minifigure in circulation - a 2010 gold reproduction of bounty hunter Boba Fett, from the original Star Wars trilogy, of which only two were produced by The LEGO Group.

Did you know that we’re constantly updating our website with new Minifigures - including tonnes of LEGO Star Wars characters? Check out our range of LEGO Star Wars Minifigures right here, or stop by our showroom to Make Your Own Minifigure for just $4 each (or three for $10).

Five fast facts about LEGO Star Wars:

  1. The LEGO Group’s 1999 collaboration with LucasFilm was its first licensing deal, paving the way for partnerships with Disney, Marvel, Minecraft and even the NBA.
  2. Originally, the partnership was supposed to end in 2008 - thanks to its popularity, LEGO Star Wars will be around until at least 2032.
  3. The Millenium Falcon set is one of the largest ever released by LEGO, measuring around 83 centimetres long, 56 centimetres wide and 20 centimetres tall.
  4. In 2005, LEGO forayed into video games with LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game, which had a total of 59 playable characters. The games are still being made today.
  5. Talk about movie-ception - LEGO Star Wars got a nod in ‘The LEGO Movie’ when Han and Chewie flew in to save the day on the Millennium Falcon.

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