Come 6 September 2014, the good news is that the galaxy - that of the Star Wars kind - is not that far, far away anymore. And that is because the brand-new LEGO Star Wars Miniland Display has mushroomed beside LEGO Academy, in LEGOLAND Malaysia theme park!
In conjunction with its upcoming second anniversary, the LEGO Star Wars Miniland Display is the first attraction of its kind in Asia and the latest LEGO model display to open at a LEGOLAND around the world. And guess what? The entire display area is air-conditioned!
Yes, something that Darth Vader will surely approve too. And the droids.
The LEGO Star Wars Miniland Display is housed in an octagon building and one's galactic adventure begins with a hilarious LEGO Star Wars clip which served to condense some of the more exciting snippets of the Star Wars movies into 5 minutes.
The building is divided into eight areas. Six areas house one iconic scene each from the six Star Wars films, while the seventh area features a scene from the animated film Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The eighth area offers a dedicated retail section for LEGO Star Wars products.
Being the Star Wars geek that I am, the first six areas - in chronological order of the Star Wars films - were what I was looking forward to the most. And I was not disappointed.
The first area focused on Naboo in Episode I: The Phantom Menace, with the Battle of Naboo taking centrestage.
The battle pits the Gungans (remember Jar Jar Binks?) against the Trade Federations's Battle Droids, with both the Royal Palace and the hangar being seen here as well. The battle scene between Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn and the Sith apprentice, Darth Maul provides the closing scene to the first area.
In the second area of Episode II: Attack of the Clones, I witnessed the Battle of Genosis, where the Separatist Droid Army of Count Dooku clashed with the Grand Army of the Republic.
I just could not stop gawking at the fantastic attention to detail in each of the LEGO models!
There was even a view of the Geonosis arena, in which Padmé Amidala, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker battled ferocious creatures: the massive reek, terrifying acklay and the ravenous nexu.
In the Episode III: Revenge of the Sith area, two planets are revealed: Kashyyyk and Mustafar. On one side, the Battle of Kashyyyk depicted the Droid's Army assault on the home planet of Chewbacca and the Wookiees. Clearly, the star attraction of this scene was the massive Clone Turbo Tank, which was constructed from 10,180 LEGO bricks and took 168 hours to build!
On the other side is the volcanic planet of Mustafar, where the fateful duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker took place.
Personally though, I still prefer the Episodes IV, V and VI of the Star Wars franchise and these were the areas that left me in awe the moment I set my eyes on them.
Episode IV: A New Hope had the all-familiar desert planet of Tatooine, Luke Skywalker's home planet including Uncle Owen’s moisture farm, where Luke lived as a child.
Here, familiar characters like the Tusken Raiders, Sandtroopers and Jawas can be spotted too but the one that really had me jumping down in excitement was this.
Han Solo's iconic Millennium Falcon, which is made up of 19,200 LEGO bricks and measures 1.8m long and 1.3m wide by the way. The Falcon took 126 models and 1,098 man hours to complete. The end result? A Millennium Falcon that weighs 130kg – the heaviest of all the scenes!
And as if that was not enough, the Millennium Falcon takes off too, courtesy of a pulley and counter balance system!
Throughout the entire Miniland Display, there are interactive buttons which allows visitors to activate the animatronics within each scene.
Oh, do not miss the Mos Eisley's Cantina bar scene and see if you can spot Han Solo and Greedo.
The next area of Hoth in Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back ranks as my fave scene in the Miniland Display, simply because everything including the landscape was so fascinatingly re-created.
Okay, so the presence of one of my all-time fave Star Wars vehicles - AT-AT (All Terrain Armored Transport) and AT-ST (All Terrain Scout Transport or simply, the Chicken Walker) - certainly helped too.
On this icy planet, the Empire had discovered the Rebels' secret Echo Base and a huge battle ensued.
There's even a Wampa present!
Finally, the Episode VI: Return of the Jedi area wraps up with a scene from the Battle of Endor, where the Ewoks joined forces with the Rebels to destroy the the shield generator and prevent the construction of the second Death Star.
This scene also presents the final victory of the Rebel Alliance over the Empire. And here is an interesting bit of information - each tree in this scene took 3 days to create and are moulded from a real tree.
An eye-catching display here would also be the largescale model of an Imperial shuttle on its landing platform.
And with it, delivering a fearsome passenger - the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader himself.
The seventh area then brought me to a scene from the animated series Star Wars: 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 and a scene showing a battle between Separatist battle droids and Republic clone troopers.
The eighth area is where the magnitude of one's willpower is severely tested. And it is all thanks to a dedicated retail section for all LEGO Star Wars products, including hard-to-find LEGO building sets such as the Death Star, R2-D2, Millennium Falcon, Super Star Destroyer, Ewok Village!
All I can say to your wallet is: May the Force be with you!
In all honesty, if you or your child is a huge Star Wars fan, this is one place that you cannot afford to miss. The LEGO scenes and models are extremely well-constructed and just plain amazing to gawk at. Even better that the Miniland Display provides a wonderful excuse to escape the heat (or rain)!
Or simply because, Master Yoda decrees so.
In conjunction with the opening of the LEGO Star Wars MINILAND model display, there will be exciting activities throughout September in the park.
Explore and challenge your knowledge in all 6 Star Wars Episodes.
LEGO Academy @ LEGO Technic - 11am – 5pm
(Collect your LEGO Star Wars Galaxy Hunt Activity Kit here and complete your Hunt before 5pm!)
LEGO Star Wars Miniland Character Hunt
LEGO Academy @ LEGO Technic - 11am – 5pm
Characters Meet N’ Greet (6 Sep onwards)
LEGO Darth Vader appearances
The Beginning - 4 pm & 5 pm
Hotel Lobby - 11.30 am & 5.30 pm
LEGO Star Wars Mini Showcase
Hotel - 11am to 4.30pm (Daily)
LEGO Academy - 11am to 4.30pm (Fri, Sat, Sun)
Speed Build Workshop
Learn how to build LEGO Star Wars Models, crash course!
LEGO Academy @ LEGO Technic - 3.30pm (Registration only)
Colouring Contest @ LLM Hotel
Daily from 29 August to 30 September - 1:30pm, 3:30pm
LEGO Star Wars Mystery Mural Building Activity
Daily from 29 August to 30 September - 11am - 5pm*In celebration of LEGOLAND Malaysia's second Birthday, children who come dressed up as Star Wars characters between 6 and 30 September 2014 will be granted FREE entry to the theme park!
Entry to LEGO Star Wars Miniland Display is included in the admission ticket. For more information, visit HERE.