LEGOLAND California announces new The Force Awakens models for 2017

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LEGOLAND California announced a major addition to their LEGO Star Wars Miniland to open in March 2017. While the Carlsbad theme park currently has Star Wars miniland dioramas representing key scenes from the first six films, as well as a jumbo-sized Death Star model, they are planning a whole set of scenes to build The Force Awakens into their fantastic Miniland style.

Joined at the press conference by a lifesize LEGO R2-D2, LEGOLAND California Resort’s General Manager Peter Ronchetti detailed the plans for The Force Awakens Miniland Model Display at the theme park:

“Right now, at our secret Model Shop in Carlsbad, Master Model Designer Nik Ehm of our Merlin’s Magic Making team is working on creating six scenes that represent the first 30 minutes of Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” said Ronchetti. “There are two primary focal points – the more traditional character-driven scenes on the planet of Jakku, and an enormous LEGO model of the Star Destroyer Finalizer. At 16-feet long, it will be the longest LEGO Star Wars Miniland model ever created!”

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According to the press release, the scenes, which will be in the center of LEGO Star Wars Miniland and feature lights, sound effects and animation that bring the scenes to life, will include:

  • Kylo Ren’s capture of Poe on Jakku
  • Rey’s rescue of BB-8
  • Poe and Finn’s escape from the Finalizer
  • The wreck of Finn and Poe’s TIE Fighter
  • Rey, Finn and BB-8’s escape from Niima Outpost
  • The escape from the Starship Graveyard

The park announced that this new model display will open to the public for their annual LEGO Star Wars Days on March 4-5, 2017, perfect for spring break.

“At LEGOLAND California Resort, we pride ourselves in innovation, creativity and memorable experiences for our millions of guests we see each year and 2017 continues that tradition,” said Ronchetti. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens set records as the top-grossing film nationally of all time and we’re excited to bring it to life here in our popular LEGO Star Wars Miniland!” said Ronchetti.

Other upcoming additions to the LEGO-themed resort in 2017 include an expansion for the LEGOLAND Water Park, called Surfer’s Bay, and the addition of NINJAGO themed rooms and suites to the main hotel, replacing the castle themed rooms, with the plan to open a new separate LEGO Castle themed hotel in 2018, in front of Sea Life Aquarium.

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The new The Force Awakens model will be replacing the model currently in the center of LEGO Star Wars Miniland: a large diorama depicting the Battle of Christophsis from 2008’s The Clone Wars animated film. This diorama, which features Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker, Obi-wan Kenobi and Captain Rex leading clone forces against an army of battle droids and larger weaponry amid the crystalline buildings of Christophsis, is one of the original seven dioramas from when LEGO Star Wars Miniland opened in 2011. I hate to see older exhibits taken down, but a sixteen-foot Star Destroyer towering over the guests will certainly bring a wow factor as a centerpiece to the whole Miniland experience that just isn’t there presently. I’d love to see a built-out Niima Outpost, complete with Unkar Plutt’s shop, and the spaceport, and will be interesting to see how they incorporate a different scale for the spaceship chase dioramas.

While I am certainly looking forward to seeing The Force Awakens brought to LEGO Star Wars miniland, I still feel that there is so much more they could do – after all, there’s Rebels and the LEGO The Freemaker Adventures also to build on, and by the time this opens in 2017, Rogue One will have been released. But I also know that there’s not a lot of real estate in the LEGO Star Wars Miniland area without doing some major surface regrading as the area is terraced on the side of a hill. Hopefully they are planning ahead to where will they put the eventual Episode VIII & IX displays!

Check out the official announcement video for a sneak peek at some of the early renderings of how the new models will appear in Miniland (For just the Star Wars portion of the announcement, watch from 0:19 to 0:49):

Catching up with Rogue One: Who’s in the mystery tank?

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Making Star Wars had a big post today about an old friend who’s probably showing up in Rogue One (you know the one) and who exactly is in that tank from the trailer.

In less (possibly) spoilery news, Riz Ahmed talks to Entertainment Weekly about Star Wars, and “level of attention to detail and care that goes into building that world.” MSW chimed in with a tidbit they’ve heard about weapons.

And finally, the Rogue One teaser trailer in LEGO:

LEGOLAND California brings out the fun for the holidays


While winter brings the cold across much of the U.S., southern California stays snow-free near the coast – except at LEGOLAND California in Carlsbad. The theme park puts on its annual winter celebration, Holiday Snow Days and Winter Nights, and Baby Jawa, Grandma Jawa and I got the opportunity to check it out. This was a big treat for baby girl as it was her first time in the snow! Plus we got a chance to see Star Wars miniland and the rest of the park.

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Spoilerphobes beware: LEGO leaks give us a few more names from The Force Awakens to chew over

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The toy leaks for The Force Awakens have begun.

Earlier today, From Bricks to Bothans posted a few leaked images of two upcoming LEGO sets from the film. One is an (officially) unrevealed X-wing that we saw at a certain filming location, and the second is the Millennium Falcon. Both include multiple mini-figures – and the Falcon one gives us a few new names. (Though it’s noteworthy that both Finn and Rey remain just ‘Finn’ and ‘Rey.’)

FBTB has since deleted the images, but since they’ve been widely distributed across the internet, I’m putting them up below the cut. Check them out, or not…

Continue reading “Spoilerphobes beware: LEGO leaks give us a few more names from The Force Awakens to chew over”