A short time ago, in a state far far away, I got to experience the magic of Star Wars at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios!
I still have mixed emotions about “Episode I: The Phantom Menace.” I want to love it, but at this point I think I’m going to have to settle for a tepid like.
I recall living in an apartment at the time a pop music radio station played “Duel of the Fates” for the first time. I couldn’t help but wonder what scenes we’d see unfold on the screen when that day actually arrived. Then, I remember painstakingly downloading the official trailers over a 56k Internet connection – in the days long before YouTube. Who were all of these wonderful new characters?!
The Battle Droids caught my eye, of course. The army was more than ready for battle – but against what? I’d have to find out at a later date.
I didn’t wait in line like so many of my fellow geeks did. Somehow, I made a connection through my brother that shot us close to the front of the line on the evening Episode I was released (at Midnight). We didn’t have Twitter – we didn’t even have text messaging – to keep in touch with nerds from around the world. Blogs were still a distant possibility, too. We were “Force’d” to socialize with one another in-person.
Was “Episode I” worth the wait? No. Was “The Phantom Menace” nice to see? Maybe. Would I watch the “first” Star Wars movie again? Sure. A fan of the prequel, I was not. You might make the argument that I was too old in my mid-20s to see what Lucas had served up, but I’d tell you that Sithy dialogue is Sithy dialogue no matter your age.
When LEGO began producing Star Wars sets for the fan base, I didn’t go out of my way to swoop up anything outside of the original Trilogy. Still, when it came time to populate my own Amazon wish list, I gave in and added a few Prequel items I thought would be worthwhile – if only to torture certain characters.
My girlfriend and I did have fun putting the Droid Invasion set together:
We now have more than enough Battle Droids in our library, though I’d hardly consider them minifigs (by my own definition). These things are near impossible to keep free-standing or fastened! If you wanted to grow your own Droid battalion, this set would be a good place to start; you can get plenty of Battle Droids for the price.
I got a LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar!
The idea of using an Advent calendar once held deep, religious significance for me – but since evolving into a non-Catholic, I only seem to appreciate the winter Holiday season for nostalgic reasons. I love the sights and sounds of Christmas, but… not its largely-borrowed-by-Christianity foundation. As such, I don’t feel the slightest bit of guilt when I go about my merry way, spreading love and joy without being chained to an outdated dogma.
Speaking of chains and Advent calendars… when I was a child, my brothers and I would find ourselves counting down the days to Christmas by stapling together (then tearing apart) a string of paper rings. It was a Christmastime staple! And, yes, we used staples to keep those chains together. I took the tradition too far one year and accidentally stapled my finger to one of the links.
On the 11th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… a bandage.
I’m quite grateful that LEGO is producing Advent calendars which do not require the usage of any pointed object. I may not have the best hand-eye coordination, but I can click bricks with the best of ’em. I’ve missed a few earlier LEGO Advent calendars, but that won’t happen again now that I’ve come out of the bin as an AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO). I even decided to completely assemble the 2011 Star Wars Advent Calendar long before this Holiday season was upon us.
My girlfriend and I stumbled through a couple of the models, but it wasn’t too much of a challenge. We’re certainly ready to open more presents! Having streamed the LEGO build live on YouTube, this particular walkthrough was an hour in the making.
The full list of items (including the ones I couldn’t quite identify by sight):
- Day 1 – Red Republic ship
- Day 2 – Nute Gunray
- Day 3 – Hologram Walker
- Day 4 – Homing Spider Droid
- Day 5 – Slave I
- Day 6 – Chewbacca
- Day 7 – Weapon holder with barrel of tools
- Day 8 – Rebel Pilot with completely white helmet
- Day 9 – X-wing
- Day 10 – Imperial Shuttle
- Day 11 – Battle Droid Pilot
- Day 12 – Rebel Snowspeeder
- Day 13 – Imperial Astromech Droid
- Day 14 – Mouse Droid
- Day 15 – Republic Gunship
- Day 16 – Clone Pilot
- Day 17 – Another Weapons Holder
- Day 18 – Y-wing
- Day 19 − 2010 TIE Fighter Pilot
- Day 20 – TIE Fighter
- Day 21 – Millennium Falcon
- Day 22 − A-wing
- Day 23 – Christmas Tree
- Day 24 – Santa Yoda
Wouldn’t it be nice for LEGO to create a full 365-day calendar with new bricks every day?