Thanks to Legoland Malaysia, you don’t have to go to a galaxy far, far away to get the (miniature) Star Wars experience.
Remember that scene in The Lego Movie where the Millennium Falcon suddenly shows up out of nowhere? Did anyone else let out a loud “Woohoo!” when that happened?
Well, this Star Wars and Lego fan did. Up to that point, I’d been wondering whether the filmmakers would ever include a Star Wars reference into the movie – after all, since the first Lego Star Wars set, an X-Wing Fighter, was released in 1999, it has been one of the toy company’s most lucrative and popular lines, adored by adult collectors and children alike.
If you love Lego and Star Wars as much as I do, then you’ll love the brand new Star Wars Miniland exhibit in Legoland Malaysia.
Taking almost 8,000 hours and over 1.5 million bricks to build, the exhibit consists of 1,122 models, the largest being a towering 2.5m tall Crystal Building from Star Wars: The Clone Wars. And yes, it has the Millennium Falcon, and a darn impressive one too – the 37kg, 1.8m long model took 143 hours and 15,000 bricks to build, and was the most challenging model the Malaysian Lego Workshop construct.
Having visited the Star Wars Miniland in Legoland California a couple of years back, I was naturally quite eager to see if the Force was strong with the Malaysian one as well.
The major difference between Legoland Malaysia’s Star Wars exhibit and the ones in other Legolands around the world is that the Malaysian one is housed indoors. Yes, you can now visit Tatooine without fearing the blazing hot Malaysian sun, and travel to Endor without having to worry about the tropical rain (fortunately, the air-conditioning is not cold enough to make you feel like you’re in Hoth).
As you approach the building, a life-sized Lego Darth Vader greets you at the entrance, along with a Lego R2-D2 and C-3PO. As you line up to get inside, a sign on the wall (made with Lego, naturally) depicting a Stormtrooper tells you to “Move along, move along” as you line up to enter the exhibit.
Why the queue? Well, because the first room you enter is a screening room with limited capacity where you will get to watch a special Lego animated short featuring Boba Fett hunting down a bumbling Jar Jar Binks (no wait, don’t go). After the film (which lasts only a few minutes), it’s on to the main exhibit.
The exhibit is made up of seven rooms each depicting scenes from each Star Wars movie, in chronological order. The first one you’ll walk into is of course, based on Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, with the majestic Naboo Royal Palace looming over the Battle of Naboo between the Naboo, Gungans and the battle droids’ of the Trade Federation.
Subsequent rooms will take you to Geonosis (from Episode II: Attack Of The Clones), Kashyyk and Mustafar (Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith), Tatooine (Episode IV: A New Hope), Hoth (Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back), Endor (Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi), and finally, Christophsis (from the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated feature).
Each room features a pivotal battle scene from the movie it represents, with my favourite being the Hoth room featuring the iconic AT-ATs facing off with the Rebel forces’ Snowspeeders. The largest vehicle amongst all the models is the Clone Turbo Tank in the Kashyyk display – made from 10,180 bricks and weighing 44kg, it took almost two weeks to complete.
It’s not just about the massive battles and giant vehicles though – take your time to pore over the exhibits and notice the details, and you will also see displays dedicated to the smaller iconic scenes from the movies. For instance, at the Tatooine room, once you’ve pored over the details in the Millennium Falcon, check out the Cantina display, where you’ll see tiny models of Han Solo and Greedo facing off in one corner.
Also, beneath the shadow of a massive replica of the Shield Generator at the Endor room, have fun spotting the various ingenious ways the Ewoks take out the Imperial Forces’ AT-STs.
In another welcome addition to the exhibit, Legoland Malaysia also takes full advantage of the indoor environment, enhancing each room with impressively lush backdrops with scenes from each movie, as well as lights and sound effects that really helps to draw you further into the world of Star Wars.
For some added fun, press some of the buttons that are located around the displays for some simple animatronics and light effects.
After spending more than an hour poring over the displays (it could have been longer too, but duty called), I came to the conclusion that it really doesn’t matter if you are a Star Wars fan or a Lego fan – the new Legoland Star Wars Miniland is a truly remarkable display of the qualities that make both properties so popular and iconic.
Besides, it’s got a giant model of the Millennium Falcon. What more could a Star Wars and Lego fan want?
> Book your tickets online at legoland.com.my seven days prior to your trip, and you can get a 20% discount! The Lego Star Wars Miniland model display is now open.