The biggest ever collection of Star Wars Lego sculptures — including the biggest Lego Millennium Falcon ever — is being assembled at Legoland California. And you can watch it all happening, via a webcam.
Click here to get an inside view of the final preparations for the opening ceremony, which will take place at 9:15 AM PST today, just before the exhibit formally opens to the public. There are more than 2,000 Lego Star Wars sculptures in the exhibit, and identical copies are also being put on display at Legolands in Germany and Denmark. (All the sculptures were created in Germany over the past 13 months, and the U.S. ones have been shipped stateside for final assembly at Legoland California.)
CNET's Daniel Terdiman posted an amazing gallery of photos of the Lego Millennium Falcon, the Lego R2D2 and the Lego Chewbacca being unloaded and assembled. Here are a few of them — check out the rest over at CNET.
Want to know more about the seven different Star Wars dioramas being set up at Legoland California for today's opening? Here's the full press release:
The countdown has begun to the opening of LEGO STAR WARS™ Miniland here at LEGOLAND California. For the first time ever, we invite fans both near and far to watch live, in real time, the preparations for an opening event.
Guests can enjoy seven of the most famous scenes from the six live-action Star Wars movies, as well as a scene from the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars™ all made out of 1.5 million LEGO® bricks built in 1:20 scale. Guests will be further immersed into the Star Wars experience as they pose with life-size LEGO models of Chewbacca, R2-D2 and Darth Vader.
Following a chronological path through the Star Wars timeline, LEGOLAND guests retrace the major events of the beloved Saga. Some of the 2,000 LEGO models will be more than 6-feet-tall. Interactive buttons will allow children to activate animations throughout the scenes.
Episode I: Naboo
Naboo is one of the most geographically varied planets in the Star Wars galaxy. This scene depicts the Battle of Naboo and the capital Theed – both the Royal Palace and the hangar can be seen here. In this battle scene, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn encounter and fight the Sith apprentice, Darth Maul. Look closely at the details of this scene, but not so close that you may be pulled to the dark side!
Episode II: Geonosis
In this scene, visitors have a fantastic view of the Geonosis arena, in which Padmé Amidala, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker battle ferocious creatures. Witness the clash between Count Dooku's droid army and the Grand Army of the Republic.
Episode III: Kashyyyk and Mustafar
In this scene, two planets are revealed: Kashyyyk and Mustafar. On one side, you'll be placed right into the Battle of Kashyyyk – the home of Chewbacca and the Wookiees. Here you'll discover fantastic vehicles modeled from LEGO bricks, such as the massive Clone Turbo Tank. On the other side, catch a glimpse of the fateful duel on Mustafar between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker.
Episode IV: Tatooine
Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, C-3PO and R2-D2 can be spotted in this desert planet...introducing Tatooine. Here you'll discover Uncle Owen's moisture farm, where Luke Skywalker lived as a child; peek inside the Cantina where the animated Cantina Band plays and stand above the spaceport where the largest LEGO model of Han Solo's famous starship, the Millennium Falcon, sits ready for take-off.
Episode V: Hoth
The Rebels take refuge on this icy planet, but the Empire tracks them down and the Rebels are forced to flee. Introducing....Hoth. This scene features LEGO models of the Imperial AT-ATs, Rebel snowspeeders and Luke Skywalker's X-wing starfighter. Look closely and you'll see Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia.
Episode VI: Endor
Next we travel to a forest moon and home of the Ewoks, who fight against the Imperial Forces alongside the Rebels...Edor. The Endor system plays a key role in Return of the Jedi as the site of the Battle of Endor, fought to prevent construction of the second Death Star. This scene presents the final victory of the Rebel Alliance over the Empire. Here you can view a large-scale model of an Imperial shuttle on its landing platform, delivering a fearsome passenger - the Dark Lord of the Sith himself, Darth Vader.
The Clone Wars: Christophsis
The seventh area brings us to a scene from the animated series The Clone Wars on the planet Christophsis. Chronologically, the series takes place between Episode II and Episode III and focuses on the adventures of Jedi Knights Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. The LEGO scene depicts part of the planet's surface, with the largest of all LEGO Star Wars models: an approximately 8-foot tall building from the Crystal City. You will also a scene showing a battle between Separatist battle droids and Republic clone troopers.
How the LEGO models are created:
The roughly 2,000 LEGO Star Wars models are being developed and built by eight model designers and two animation electricians at our sister park, LEGOLAND Deutschland in Günzburg, Germany. It is up to the Master Model Builders at LEGOLAND California to bring the scenes to life with the help of animation electricians, technicians and landscapers all working to ensure the LEGO models appear as realistic as possible with special effects and landscaping.
Planning started in March 2010. The individual film scenes were selected after careful consultation with Lucasfilm Ltd. Pictures and drawings of the figures, spacecraft, vehicles, landscapes, etc. were taken as the basis for the detailed construction blueprints. The model designers used a special LEGO drawing paper for this, on which one square is equivalent to one LEGO knob. In the next step, they calculated how many bricks and which colors and forms would be needed for the models. For particularly difficult model parts, prototypes are first built, before the model is constructed brick by brick. To help the LEGO models last longer, all of the bricks are glued together and then sprayed with a special UV coating.
Authentic Star Wars sounds, actions and lighting effects help to make the models even more lifelike. For all models, only commercially available LEGO pieces are used.
LEGOLAND Deutschland and LEGOLAND Billund will also be opening new Star Wars Miniland displays in 2011.
[Legoland via CNET]