Few things get my panties in a knot faster than the mention of Star Wars and Lego. The former because it is the forerunner of Sci-Fi movies today and the latter because – well, which little geek has not tried to (re)create fantasy worlds with coloured bricks?
So when Legoland Malaysia announced its Star Wars Miniland attraction to celebrate its second anniversary, I had to round up a legion of Star Wars geeks for a roadtrip of galactic proportions.
Star Wars: Episode 6 and ¾
The first barrier to the trip was Uncle Owen’s insistence on getting through the harvest season – that, plus the difficult decision to ride a bus or rent a transport from dodgy smugglers. In the end, dodgy lost out to common sense and we bought passage on a wheeled-dropship – with a malfunctioning hyperdrive.
Time taken: Two hours
We arrive at Legoland Malaysia! Only a 300-metre path separates us from the entrance. At this time, our eyes were scanning the horizons for signs of the 501st Stormtrooper legion to no avail. The Star Wars theme song blaring over the ticketing stations offered a little comfort. After a quick discussion about the route – our ‘droids offered no assistance because we didn’t get local SIM cards for this day-trip – and it was a brisk walk to the Star Wars Miniland. We had decided to leave the rest of Legoland to the afternoon despite a weather warning of impending rain because we had priorities.
11am – The Entrance
Like a standoff at Mos Eisley, cameras, phones, selfie-sticks, camcorders were whipped out as the Star Wars attraction came into view. Right off the bat, we dropped our gear for a photo-op with Darth Vader and his two Stormtroopers. We were not taken captive because we had wisely eschewed bringing our lightsaber umbrellas.
11.15am – Some old friends
After a quick snaps of a life-sized R2D2 and C3PO at the entrance, we were whisked into a mini-theatre where a special Star Wars mini-movie was screened. To avoid spoilers, the mini-movie starred Jar Jar, Boba and Vader – that’s all you’re getting.
11.20am – Episode I
Like shaaks, we were herded into the first of seven scenes – the droid attack on Naboo. As the first thing you see, it was relatively impressive as audible gasps, “oohs” and “aahs” echoed around the room. Be sure to catch the lightsaber duel between Qui-Gon Jinn and Darth Maul in the laser shield room; it is quite hidden and if not for my eagle-eyed companions, I’d have missed it. For such an important scene in the movie, I had thought it deserved a bigger stage. Following the Naboo battle is the underwater Gungan city and then Anakin taking down the Droid Control Ship with his N1 Starfighter.
11.35am – Episode II
Following the chronology of the movies, the following room featured the Clone Wars and Battle of Geonosis scenes in two very epic dioramas. Even the Petranaki Arena set where Obi-Wan, Amidala and Anakin took on the Acklay, the Nexu and the Reek was kinda cute.
11.50am – Episode III
The third room started with war on Kashyyyk and ended with Mustafar. I have to admit this wasn’t my favourite episode and I didn’t even realise I had passed Kashyyyk. I did like the animated duel between Anakin and Obi-Wan, especially when their lightsabers actually clashed in the action. So much so Ani’s lightsaber was a little bent out of shape. I was a little disappointed Grevious didn’t make an appearance here though.
12pm – Episode IV
If I was impressed with the dioramas in the aforementioned rooms, I was blown away by the sets in A New Hope – especially the giant “flying” Millennium Falcon. It even had Chewie and Han in the cockpit! Hang a right at the Falcon and you’ll see the Mos Eisley cantina where Han shot first (yes, he did). The animated Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes band was a nice touch to the bar room set.
12.30pm – Episode V
HOTH!! The ice-world set from the animated Wampa to the gigantic AT-AT-snowspeeder-battle, complete with Luke Skywalker scaling one of the armoured transports, was so detailed and awesome I could live here. It was at the rebel base here – with a powered-down X-Wing – that I realised protocol droids like C3PO bore a striking resemblance to Bender from Futurama. We wondered why minifigs were not used instead. I later found out none of the Star Wars exhibits in the six Legolands around the world used minifigs.
1pm – Episode VI
It seems every room we visited got better as we got farther. The Endor scenery was detailed from the giant trees and leaves to shrubbery and a scout-trooper circling a tree. As you get around the bend, the sight of an AT-ST getting bashed in by the Ewoks’ log-trap; Lord Vader arriving on his shuttle on the landing platform – with the shield generator in the background – was breathtaking.
1.30pm – Clone Wars
The last scene in the Star Wars miniland came out of the Clone Wars animation. The battle on planet Christophsis at Crystal City was by far the most epic. The recoil action on the AV-7 mobile cannons and the barrage from the AAT tanks make for an exciting scene.
2pm – The Lego Store
If you wanted to recreate any of the scenes you’d seen, here was it. Besides placing the Lego Star Wars kits at the beginning of each room, the excursion ended with a shop with new Lego Star Wars kits as well as hard-to-find kits like the X-Wing fighter, R2-D2, Super Star Destroyer, Millennium Falcon, Death Star, etc.
2.30pm – The Character Catwalk
After a grueling 30 minutes debating the merits of purchasing an X-Wing over keeping my liver, minifig Darth Vader barrelled into the room and turned my attention from the coveted starfighter. Then it was a catwalk past the Hall of Fame, featuring waist-high Lego characters like Yoda, Anakin, Ewok, Clonetrooper, R2 and more to close the circuit.
Before you leave, be sure to take part in the activities surrounding the exhibit (Only during the month of September it seems). We were rewarded with some awesome swag after completing a Star Wars treasure hunt.
Legoland doesn’t close until 6pm so don’t forget to take in the sights and rides. Or, if you’re a water-baby, check out the newly opened water theme park. After a full day filled with the adrenaline of walking through all six episodes of Star Wars, I was glad to nestle into the plush seats at the 4D theatrical presentation.
Note to Lego: We, as a group of Star Wars geeks, were disappointed there wasn’t a space battle scene to conclude the tour. We would have been happy with a formation of X-Wings, B-Wings, frigates aimed at a Death Star. We don’t even need the light and sound show. Actually, I’d have been happy with just an X-Wing in battle mode set against a backdrop of the Death Star. It would have sealed my decision to get the X-Wing Lego set.
Star Wars Miniland Highlights
- Qui-Gon Jinn vs Darth Maul: Don’t miss the lightsaber duel between Qui-Gon Jinn and Darth Maul in the laser shield room; it is quite hidden and if not for my eagle-eyed companions, I’d have missed it.
- Battle of Geonosis – Animated Nexu: The Petranaki Arena set where Obi-Wan, Amidala and Anakin took on the Acklay, the Nexu and the Reek was kinda cute.
- Obi-Wan vs Anakin: Anakin and Obi-Wan’s lightsabers actually clashes at various points in the animated duel.
- Millennium Falcon: A moving giant Millennium Falcon featuring Chewie and Han in the cockpit! Also look out for Han and Greedo at the Mos Eisley cantina.
- HOTH!: The entire set here is the highlight. The ice-world set boasted an dramatic AT-AT-snowspeeder-battle, complete with Luke Skywalker scaling one of the armoured transports.
- Don’t miss the trees: The Endor scenery was detailed from the giant trees and leaves to shrubbery and a scout-trooper circling a tree. Lord Vader arriving on his shuttle on the landing platform – with the shield generator in the background – was breathtaking.
No visit to the Star Wars Miniland at Legoland Malaysia is complete without getting force-choked by Darth Vader. So dress light and be prepared for a Sith hold on your throat.
May the Force Be With You.
Visit Legoland.com.my for ticketing details and the myriad transport options to the theme park.We close off with this video capture of a Scout Trooper on his speeder bike above, and a Darth Maul exit signage below 😛