For Star Wars Day 2017, LEGO Australia is holding a special event for Star Wars fans in Sydney. To commemorate May the 4th (aka Star Wars Day) as well as the 40th Anniversary of A New Hope, you’re invited to build a massive LEGO Death Star model AND watch it get destroyed via a fun augmented reality game.
The LEGO Death Star that is currently being constructed will measure an impressive 2.4m in diameter and will use 210,000 bricks and weigh 545kg, making it the biggest Death Star model ever built from LEGO bricks in the southern hemisphere!
LEGO Master Model Builder Chris Steininger has flown in from the US to lead the build for the Empire’s ultimate planet-destroying weapon. Like previous LEGO Star Wars Day events, fans will be encouraged to help the build, by assembling specific oversized bricks that make up the massive LEGO Death Star.
He’ll be assisted by Lauren, a fellow Model Builder from the LEGO Workshop that he works in.
Fans can also look forward to seeing the Death Star explode in front of their very eyes via an augmented reality set-up which will re-create the climactic moment from A New Hope.
The official build process will going on this weekend at Westfield Warringah Mall, in Brookvale, NSW from the 29th to 30th April, with the grand finale and final brick moment happening at 2pm on Sunday, 30 April.
The event is free to attend and there will be plenty of fun activities such as meeting members of the 501st Legion, battle it out with Star Wars trivia, win prizes for best dressed, and leave with a miniature build from the event. If you dress up as your favourite Star Wars character, you’ll also get the chance to win a LEGO Star Wars goodie bag!
Once completed, the LEGO Death Star Model will remain in Westfield Warringah till Friday, the 5th of May so don’t stress if you can’t make it this weekend.
I also got the opportunity to have a short chat with Chris Steininger, the Master Model Builder who will be leading the build this weekend. This isn’t the first time that I’ve interviewed Chris, so if you’d like to find out more about him and his incredible job as an official LEGO Master Model Builder, be sure to check out my interview with Chris when he was last in the country for Star Wars Day 2015.
Hey Chris! Good to have you in the country again. What brings you to Australia this time?
Chris: We’re actually here this time to build a massive, two and a half metre tall LEGO Death Star. It’s pretty awesome actually. It’s one of the most difficult things to build out of LEGO, a sphere, so its going to be quite a challenging weekend for sure!
Why did you guys choose a Death Star for this year’s Star Wars Day model?
Chris: First of all, the reason we went with a Death Star was because this year iss the 40th year anniversary of Star Wars, so we wanted to go with something that was truly iconic to A New Hope. The Death Star is one of those things that makes Star Wars, well, Star Wars.
This is the original version of the Death Star. It’s got everything that you can expect such as the trench in it. We tried to put in as much detail as we possibly could. With this style of event, where it’s a freestyle build event, we obviously have had to simplify the design as we’re getting help from kids and the public to build it.
This one is a little bit chunkier compared to the detailed models that we build in our workshops – it’s very similar to the models you’ve seen in past events such as the Millennium Falcon.
Did you put anything in place with the designs to ensure that the Rebels don’t blow it up?
Chris: *laughs* I mean to be honest, I think the Rebels do have to blow it up to stick to the storyline. We’re also doing something pretty cool with this event that has never been done before.
There’s going to be an augmented reality feature where kids are actually going to get to help destroy the Death Star. They will be the Rebel force and they’ll get to stand in a specific spot on the floor, which will trigger the final destruction of the Death Star, which will happen virtually right in front of their eyes.
There are going to be screens in the actual build area and there’s going to be a camera pointing at them and the LEGO Death Star. The cameras will detect the kids standing in the area which will trigger the destruction sequence which will unfold on the screens.
What’s really cool during the sequence is that during the Death Star explosion, there will be virtual LEGO bricks bouncing all around and will even bounce off the person that’s standing there which makes it look like you’re really there.
Are there plans to blow up the actual LEGO Death Star Model?
Chris: *laughs* It was funny that you say that. When we first talked about this project, and the different things we could do, one of the questions that was tossed around was “can we just blow it up?”
After some thought, we decided that it wouldn’t be very safe! Actually blowing up the LEGO model wasn’t the best option which is why we went ahead with the augmented reality version.
What does the 40th Star Wars Anniversary mean to you?
Chris: There’s no beating the originals. There’s a certain thing about it that stands out as being super nostalgic. There are corny bits of humour in there. Believe it or not, I loved how Rogue One kinda finally came back around that standard typical Star Wars feel that you got with the original three movies.
Do you collect LEGO Star Wars sets? What have been some of your recent favourites?
Chris: Absolutely! One of my favourite recent sets was Poe’s X-Wing. The colour scheme is really cool and the functionality of it was awesome.
Do you know anything about the rumoured UCS Millennium Falcon?
Chris: I do… but I cannot talk about it!
Final question, why should LEGO and Star Wars fans come down to Westfield Warringah to help build the LEGO Death Star?
The best part about these events is that kids and their parents can get really involved building something really epic like the Death Star. They really should come down and have a really good weekend playing and help me build a massive LEGO Death Star!
That’s it! Special thanks to Chris and LEGO Australia for making this interview happen. I guess that’s another concrete clue that there is a UCS Millennium Falcon on the way! Between this and the teaser tucked in the newest Designer Video for the Carousel (it’s at the 0:02 mark), it surely seems like a UCS Millennum Falcon is on the way! I’m not one to delve into rumours and speculation… but these are pretty convincing clues!
The LEGO Star Wars Day 2017 event will be going on all weekend at Westfield Warringah, and the completed LEGO Death Star will be on display till the 5th of May.
Let me know if you’re heading down and it would be great if you could share some pictures from the event if you manage to go!
A very happy early Star Wars Day and May the 4th Be with you!
What a fun event! I’m going to see if there is anything similar close to where I live in the USA. Doesn’t sound like you’re going to this one, but have you ever been to one of these events in the past Jay?
Yei for the 40th anniversary of Star Wars! And for a UCS Millenium Falcon 🙂 🙂
Yeah I was there for parts of the Millennium Falcon build. It’s pretty fun and I love the mini builds that you can make there!
Great, just great. Why do no good things like this happen here in Canberra? I’m not going to Sydney anytime soon, so I guess I won’t be going there 🙁
Great, just great. Why do no good things like this happen here in Canberra? I’m not going to Sydney anytime soon, so I guess I won’t be going there. 🙁
Unfortunately when LEGO selects locations for events, it’s usually based on bigger population centers, which is why these events only tend to happen in Sydney or Melbourne.