What did you think of the Plot?
Oky: Well, this is it. This is the episode where we finally get to see the final confrontation between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Maul, a battle that fans have been waiting for for years ever since Maul was brought back in The Clone Wars, and one that this show has been building up to since the Season 2 finale. Maul finally tracks Kenobi down on Tatooine, the two stare each other down, Maul charges at his life-long adversary, and what happens? Kenobi kills him in a single blow. Years of hype and build-up are diminished in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment. Never have I seen such an anti-climactic ending to a story arc in this entire saga. Now, don’t get me wrong, I get what they were going for. This is how a sword fight between two old masters of the art would realistically go down and it’s a homage to the samurai films that inspired Star Wars. It was much closer to Kenobi’s slow and short duel with Vader in A New Hope than the over-the-top duels in the prequels which makes sense considering this takes place shortly before ANH, and as short as this duel was, there was some poetry in how Obi-Wan switched to Qui-Gon’s stance, causing Maul to attack him the same way he did when he killed Qui-Gon, which allowed Obi-Wan to preempt Maul’s attack and avenge his old master. However, this doesn’t excuse how anticlimactic and unsatisfying this fight was. The fact that the rest of the episode didn’t have much action either and was just Ezra wandering aimlessly through the desert didn’t help.
No, you’re not dreaming: the new UCS Millennium Falcon actually looks that good! It defies all expectations by outperforming the previous incarnation from twelve years ago with a less dull color scheme, a great mix between studded and studless areas, smoother curves, more details (loving the use of the tank tread pieces!), better proportions, more play features, more minifigures… The rumors that it could represent both the original trilogy as the sequel trilogy version were happily confirmed: not only are there minifigs from both trilogies – two Hans, Leia, Chewie, Threepio, Finn, Rey, BB-8, two porgs and LEGO’s first ever Mynock – but the sensor array is indeed swapable and you can add a part I didn’t even know was exclusive to the newer incarnation. Some people were hoping for a full interior and others feared that any interior at all would be impossible to pull off, but LEGO comes with the happy surprise that some sections open to reveal the most important sections with the cockpit, the holochess table and the hyperdrive room: the perfect compromise. The cockpit windscreen, the sensor dish and other crucial parts are printed, with only a couple of stickers for less important details. The size was kept the same as the previous incarnation to make for a more or less accurately scaled model with a high level of detail. And have you seen how gorgeous that box art is? Sure, the price will be high (800 USD, 800 EUR (DE), 650 GBP), but it sure seems like you will get a legendary set in return that will be the crown jewel of your collection for years to come. The set will be available on October 1st or already in two weeks if you’re a member of the (free!) VIP program. I’ll wait a bit longer saving up my money, but I’m quite confident this flagship set will be available for many more years to come, the benchmark for all future UCS sets, the envy of ten year old you, the 75192. In the meantime, head over to the official press release and discussion on Eurobricks to find out all information, watch and rewatch the designer video and study each and every of the 7541 pieces that make up this biggest LEGO set ever that’s so massive the box doesn’t comes in a plastic bag but in a custom trolley… No, you’re not dreaming, but you will do so happily tonight and for many days to come!
There’s just something about seeing creations with your own eyes on a convention that you don’t quite get when you’re looking at your screen. You can walk around models, choose your own perspective and discover hidden details instead of looking at the same few pictures everybody else gets to see. And you get to take your time, gazing at the models for minutes on end instead of flicking to just another picture after some seconds without real investment. All of this is especially true for those big dioramas that you see so often at conventions but rarely online. Luckily, lostcarpark‘s Hoth diorama made the jump to our screens and still looks extremely cool.
His creation has something to love for everyone, making his Echo Base very fun to explore even online. Wonderfully detailed rooms that capture the atmosphere of the movie perfectly sit right next to rooms we’ve never seen before but that have some fun stuff going on, showcasing that even in such a dire situation, people need to go to the restroom or need to take a break. There is an exciting battle going on outside with pre-existing models that are cleverly arranged for forced perspective when looking from the Rebel standpoint. There are incredible custom builds for this diorama like the shield generator, the turrets and the service gantry over the X-wing which could be respectable MOCs all on their own. And there’s some brilliant landscaping going on with a wonderfully meandering trench and a snowy landscape with wedge plates in a more or less consistent direction to give some structure to the snow, which is nicely broken in some busy areas to showcase the variety in the terrain. All of those factors coming together makes for a multi faceted yet coherent creation that just invites you to look closer, linger and have fun: you connect with it. And not just now, because this creation is a work in progress, so much more joy is ahead of us. Thank you, lostcarpark, for bringing the joy of conventions to us without us even having to leave our hangar door!
LEGO has been teasing a huge new set the past couple of weeks. Fans with some clever photo editing skills were able to confirm the rumors that this set would be a new UCS Millennium Falcon. But now you can see it with your own eyes, without the need for any special skills and no fancy software other than your browser, on the teaser video released by LEGO. You should be able to see the radar dish piece that will most likely be used for the windows as in the previous iteration, an assembly that looks suspiciously like the beginning of the cockpit or one for the docking rings and a lost BB-8 floating around, confirming that there will be Sequel Trilogy figures included in the humongous set. Some sources also suggest that there will be original trilogy figures as well. But let’s stick to what we know: 1) This will be the biggest LEGO Star Wars set ever, surpassing the already legendary 10179, one of the few sets everybody knows the set number of by heart. 2) It will be released on October first, and the Store Calendar makes it pretty clear that there will be early access for LEGO VIP members (sign up now, it’s free!) starting from September 15th. 3) Even from the few glimpses we’ve been able to catch, it looks like a phenomenal set people will dream about for years to come. So you better start saving right now!
Are you as excited as I am, who only found out about the 10179 after it was retired, and do you want to analyze every single frame of the twenty second long teaser? Then head over to the 2017 Pictures and Rumors thread to join the party and the examination!
Technic functions are supposed to make your creation come to life, especially when they’re motorized. However, they often fail to achieve that goal. Only the best Technic builders with well-engineered mechanisms succeed in eliminating jerky motions of components that rob the action of all realism, reminding you that you’re looking at a scaled down and lifeless toy. But not always. Takamichi Irie surprisingly embraced and even stimulated the shakiness and jerkiness of his motorized BB-8 creation. A stroke of genius that for one time leads to a realistic build that truly comes to life.
The head of his BB-8 is connected to the body with only a single Technic axle, which itself is connected to a thin base. The result is that it wobbles a lot, nicely accentuated by the antenna that enlarges the movement. Consequently the head seems to be constantly adjusting itself, experiencing the roughness of the terrain as it goes along. This is enhanced by slight variation of the rotational speed of the ball, as if to indicate variance in terrain. But that’s only half of the movement involved. The bigger, orchestrated movement of the head is superimposed to put the small stabilizing movements into context so that it really looks as if he’s adjusting his head to look at something instead of it being random noise. I also love how those bigger movements gradually accelerate and decelerate to give them more of an organic feel. It also gives the head a sense of inertia, doing away with the downsized toy effect. The superb combination of well-made deliberate mechanisms and the accentuated imperfections naturally generated by the bricks make this the most lively brick built BB-8 that has ever rolled across my screen: bowler hats off to you, Takamichi Irie and your truly moving photostream!
Technically Star Wars takes place “a long time ago”, so then you could say it’s really strange that there are so few builder who build both in historic themes and in that galaxy far, far away. That might change with Carter Witz, who inspires with how he uses techniques that are common for creations in the historic themes but are rarely seen in outer space to bring us a unique and gorgeous slice of Jedha city. The extreme texturing that comes back in a lot of historic MOCs works perfectly to give that archway that worn down feel with all of those grooves and protrusions. Still, looking worn down is good and all, but it’s not enough to make something feel ancient, like this archway does. Carter’s brilliant technique to give his creation a real sense of history might actually be the composition of his scene. Because that archway doesn’t stand on its own: there’s another archway attached to the back of it that looks more modern in its architecture, in its less worn down texture and in the incorporation of more technological elements. In front, you have a piece of wall in exactly the same spirit, and even another piece of wall on top of that which was built in another period. Better still, there’s that dark tan building in the foreground which looks almost new in comparison with the other buildings but sits on foundations that might have been recovered from a previous building. Having buildings or even just tiny fragments from different time periods helps you to appreciate how old that archway really is and how much history that city must really have to have known so many different waves of construction and destruction. You get relativity in the build, context. That’s why the Jedha of Carter Witz lives and has lived for a long time, the summit of a used universe. This MOC sure is historic in every sense of the word, so waste no time to check out the pictures!
In my final year of high school, we all had to dress up as super heroes. It’s no surprise then that I kept to a loose interpretation of the theme and decided that a Jedi was close enough. So I hired a costume. The only one they had was Episode III Anakin though, but still that’s better than no Star Wars at all! I had a nice day in the end, and if it weren’t for that costume, I would have never appreciated Erik Petnehazi‘s custom Episode III Anakin as much, and that would have been a shame.
Of course there’s the detailing that’s spot on, but there are way less obvious aspects as well. Like how faithful the depiction of the different materials used in the costume is. That’s something you really notice if you’ve worn the physical costume. On the figure, it’s just the same shiny ABS everywhere, but a clever use of color and lines can go a long way to differentiate materials. The part of the costume that’s made of fabric has less colors in it and doesn’t have folds that are too dramatic. The leather part, on the other hand, has both reflections and shadows without being too crowded with lines, and some of the folds are in unusual directions just like the real stuff. And then there’s the really subtle stuff that adds depth to the figure. The belt sits slightly off center and at an angle, to showcase it’s really used. And look how Erik used that minuscule overhang of the torso part over the hip part to make it look like the belt really sits on top of the clothes. And then that face… There’s no method to this and a small change can have huge consequence, but Erik nailed it. I love the tortured expression that still works within the Lego aesthetic, totally conveying emotion. Even though his face never moves, you can’t accuse this minifig of stiff acting! The same goes for all of the other wonderfully designed, carefully rendered and fantastic custom parts sporting Chosen Ones you can find in Erik Petnehazi’s photostream!