While that classic 2005 wave wasn’t completely without fault – we don’t remember Mace Windu gallivanting around the beaches of Kashyyyk with Commander Cody – there was one potential trap that the LEGO Group managed to sidestep: Palpatine could have had a blue lightsaber.
In the original script for Revenge of the Sith, Anakin ventured to the Senate chambers with Mace Windu, Kit Fisto et al to arrest Chancellor Palpatine. Rather than whipping out his own gold-hilted red lightsaber, though, Palps instead ‘borrowed’ Anakin’s blue blade to duel the Jedi, while Skywalker stood around doing, well, basically nothing.
The Star Wars Archives author Paul Duncan shared a shoot sheet for the changes to the scene that saw Mace and co. duel a fully-armed and operational Palpatine, while Anakin stayed behind to struggle with his inner conflict at the Jedi Temple.
That’s the version we see on-screen in the finished film – but Lucasfilm Story Group member (and professional Star Wars nerd) Pablo Hidalgo added that the reshoots took place roughly ‘a year after principal photography had wrapped at Sydney’, which meant toy manufacturers including Hasbro ended up releasing a version of Palpatine with a blue lightsaber.
Hidalgo confirmed that ‘the very long lead times in toy manufacturing meant they couldn’t change it in time’, a problem we’ve seen in other LEGO sets based on upcoming movies. 7261 Clone Turbo Tank is a classic example, but more recent inaccuracies like 76008 Iron Man vs. The Mandarin: Ultimate Showdown and 75104 Kylo Ren’s Command Shuttle also spring to mind.
Thankfully for the LEGO Group, Palpatine wielding a blue lightsaber definitely wasn’t an issue in that original 2005 wave, mostly because the Chancellor-turned-Emperor wasn’t present at all. A pretty big oversight, sure, but one that actually turned out to be for the best. Plus, by the time 9526 Palpatine’s Arrest landed in 2013, there was no chance of getting it wrong.
The lesson here is: it’s well worth ignoring pivotal movie moments until years later, if only for the sake of accuracy. Now, about that Duel on Exegol…