Celebrating Star Wars Brick By Brick


My thirty-six blocks. Image: John Booth

No hinge pieces. No tricky angles or layered builds. Just 160,000+ Lego bricks hand pieced onto 4,608 six-by-six-block tiles over the first three days of Star Wars Celebration V.

Watching this 8-by-15-foot mural come together has been one of my favorite things this weekend. You came up to the often-crowded table, received a white tile with a number on the back and color-coded squares on the front, and then spent a few minutes fishing through bins of 1×1 bricks and building the tile yourself. Upon completion, they clicked each tile onto the giant correspondingly numbered grid.

Some tiles were just one or two colors, making for quick assembly. I got handed one with three shades of blue, two shades of gray, white and pink, so it took me a bit longer, but it was awfully neat watching them put my contribution into the larger picture.

Here’s the mural as I saw it last Thursday:

August 12, 1:40 p.m.

By Friday afternoon, the image was becoming recognizable:

August 13, 3:05 p.m.

Saturday, just a few hours from completion:

August 15, 11:28 a.m.

This was a really popular attraction – the giveaways of Ralph McQuarrie concept-style Boba Fett minifigs added to that, I’m sure – but even with the crowd, I loved seeing parents and kids side-by-side poring through the bins of bricks, double-checking their work, and watching intently as each bit of the puzzle took its spot.

I wasn’t around for the official final tile placement late Saturday, but this morning, seeing the end result was stunning:

"Impressive. Most impressive." Image: Jim Carchidi

It took Lego designers about 20 hours to come up with the bookending art, digitize the classic Empire Strikes Back poster for the middle section, and print all the tiles with their color codes.

Taking in this gorgeous piece of work seems a fitting close to a weekend made of a hundred small moments of awesome which have all added up to an incredibly enjoyable salute to the Star Wars saga.

Look back at all the GeekDad Star Wars Celebration V coverage here.

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