March 31, 2011
Article by Rodel "Odie" I. Cruz-Herrera (odiewan)
Photos by Rodel "Odie" I. Cruz-Herrera (odiewan), Tamra Cruz-Herrera, David Huber, and Gareth Lo

Legoland in Carlsbad, CA rolled out the red carpet for their Star Wars Miniland premiere. Plenty of celebrities attended the event with their families to see the new Star Wars themed creations by the Lego Model Builders. A few of the these stars were Tony Hawk; Christian Slater; James Arnold Taylor, Obi-Wan voice actor from the Clone Wars; Katherine Tabor, Padme voice actress from the Clone Wars; Brook Burke, co-host of Dancing with the Stars; Tenley Molzahn & Kiptyn Locke, from the ABC’s Bachelor Pad; and Joel Gretsch, Father Jack Landry from the current V TV series on ABC. As the celebrities walked the red carpet and stop for some photo ops, the 501st were making their way to guard the Star Wars Miniland area to guard them from being seen by the public before the specified time. To help build the excitement John Williams Star Wars music was being piped in through the morning festivities.

After the stars made their way through the red carpet, park the opening ceremonies were emceed by ObiShawn, the car Modder who transformed his Honda civic to the H-Wing. He explained that 7 new Miniland scenes were added to the park; one for each movie and a final scene from the Clone Wars series. As he introduces each scene a small fireworks display erupted from each area and the member of the 501st guarding each area moved to show the public the new display.

Next ObiShawn presented 9-year-old Carson Weiner to the crowd. He has Leukemia and his wish was to meet with Master Model Builder Gary McIntire. Later it was discovered that he is a Star Wars fan so Make-A-Wish Foundation brought him out to Legoland to do the Ribbon cutting for the new Star Wars Miniland scenes with Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia. Carrie and Carson were presented with Lego figures of Princess Leia from the Hoth scene. ObiShawn gave Carson his lightsaber to cut the red ribbon to signify that the Star Wars Minland display is now open to the public to enjoy.

The Episode I Miniland display is centered on the Battle for Naboo, where the Gungan army run decoy against the separatist forces, to allow Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Queen Amidala’s forces to invade the Theed Palace. The details inside the Theeed Palace you can recreation of see Darth Maul and Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan battle from Duel of the Fates. Another scene you can easily identify is Anakin mistakenly heading off into battle from the hanger aboard a Naboo Star Fighter. One thing to note is the placement of the Gungan shield generator; the gun section is not aimed at the drum.

The Episode II Miniland display is centered on the Battle of Geonosis. In the Geonosis execution arena, you can see Padme, Anakin, and Obi-Wan battle Reek, Acklay, and Nexu. Outside the arena you will see the Grand Army of the Republic against the Separatist Droid Army. Full assortments of vehicles from both sides are present like Republic Gunships, Dropships, AT-TE vs. Separatist Hailfire, Dwarf and Homing Spider Droids. The attention to details by the Lego Model Builders is a nice touch where the Jedi Generals Mace Windu, Luminara Unduli, Eeth Koth, Plo Koon, Kit Fisto, Ki-Adi-Mund, Saesee Tiin, and Yoda are leading the clone troopers into battle.

The Episode III Miniland display is a duel scene between the Battle of Kashyyyk and Battle of Heroes on Mustafar. The Battle of Kashyyyk has Chewbacca and Wookiees defending his home battle against an amphibious assault from the Separatist Droid Army. A huge Clone Turbo Tank showcases the battle with AT-PT charging Wookiees against Tank & Dwarf Spider Droids, and Droid Gunships. In the tree tops of Wookiee village you can see Yoda, Chewbacca, and Commander Gree plotting for the defensive stand against the separatists.

The second part of this display on Mustafar you can see Senator Amidalia’s ship with R2-D2 and C-3P0 standing guard. At the base of the volcano you can see an animation of Anakin and Obi-Wan dueling as seen in Revenge of the Sith.

TThe Episode IV Miniland display is of the many scene of Tatooine from A New Hope. You can see in the distance Obi-Wan showing Luke Mos Eisley space port, to Jawa’s scavenging for droids, and Tusken Raiders in single file formation. There is a small remote location where the Lars homestead lies un-disturbed. At Mos Eisley you can see various citizens and denizens going about their business. This is the only area where Boba Fett can be seen in the whole Miniland. At the heart of the city is famous Cantina, where you can see that Han actually shoots first. The final area of Tatooine is hanger bay 94, where you see a massive Millennium Falcon being attacked by Sandtroopers.

The Episode V Miniland display center piece is the Battle of Hoth, where the Rebel forces are being invaded by Imperial AT-AT’s. You can see the Hoth Base scrambling trying to get their defenses in place. One of the Attacking AT-AT’s is being scaled by Luke Skywalker. Fine white sand is being used as snow for the scene, you can see AT-AT footprint in the wake of these machines. In the distance you can see Rebel shield generator and an Imperial probe droid. In a remote location of the display you can see Luke hanging upside down and Wampa at guard.

The Episode IV Miniland display focuses on the Battle on Endor, where Ewoks and Rebel forces invade the shield generator. The whimsical scenes of Ewoks taking down AT-ST’s and gliding thought the tree canopy is captured here. There is a large shield generator pointing upwards to protect the unseen 2nd Death Star. Next to this is the Imperial Landing platform that has a resting Tyderiam Class Shuttle where Vader is speaking with a officer.

The Clone Wars series display shows the Battle of Christophsis. The two main features are the Crystal City Building and the Separatist Octuptarra Droid. This scene is from the Clone Wars TV series where clones are led by Obi-Wan and Anakin against the Separatist droid army. Smoke periodically bellows from the battle field, where clones are under siege taking fire form Trade Federation tanks.

There are plenty of attraction at Legoland, CA for the young ones. There is a Sea Life Aquarium where the whole family can see fish and other water life in their natural habitat. There is a touch and see tidal pool where a guide will talk to about all the wonder life in the CA coastal area. To cool off there is the Legoland Water Park. Here there are various slides to get your thrill on or you can just lounge in the Build-A-Raft River.

I should mention to help celebrate this ribbon cutting ceremony, Travel Channel ‘s new show “Sand Guys’” built a sand display theme in Lego Star Wars. There are two main ships in the display, a downed AT-AT and the Millennium Falcon. The Lego characters in the display are Yoda, Darth Sidious, Darth Vader, Anakin Skywalker, Princess Leia, Boba Fett, and host of Storm Trooper in the background. Alone Snow Trooper stands guard by the main sign in front. The “Sand Guys’” show debuts on the Travel Channel Sunday June 5th. Check your local listings for more information.

This day was filled with excitement as the start walked the red carpet getting ready to see the new Star Wars Miniland. The small pyro techniques at the opening ceremony to the red ribbon cutting by Carson Weiner and Carrie Fisher, the excitement filled the air. Finally getting to see the each display up close and seeing the details in each item. The model builders and artisan of Legoland really out did themselves. Who would have thought that 34 years ago when George Lucas debuted Star Wars in theaters, there would be a miniature universe replica built out of Legos. I thank the people at Lego for allowing us to cover this event and sharing some time with us. Until next time troopers, untied we find!!!

To see the different photo galleries click on the links below.