LEGO Star Wars’ greatest hits: 25 years of ‘wow’ moments

In honour of 25 years of LEGO Star Wars, we’ve collected together some of the most impressive and far-reaching moments from the entire theme.

As one of the LEGO Group’s most popular themes, it’s no surprise that LEGO Star Wars can boast plenty of impressive feats. From minifigure design choices that have ramifications for the entire LEGO system to pushing the boundaries of LEGO design to new and dizzying heights, the LEGO Star Wars team has achieved a great deal in the last 25 years – so we thought we would document some of its greatest hits in one place.

Of course, over the last 25 years there have been a lot of greatest hits, so we’ve selected some of the most impressive. Think we’ve missed of some vital inclusions? Feel free to let us know in the comments and we can keep the list ever-growing.

1999 – 2004: A period of firsts

The very first LEGO Star Wars moment came at the very beginning in 1999, with the start of the theme itself. Within the LEGO Group, there was division about whether the theme should even be attempted, as we detailed in our deep dive into how LEGO Star Wars came to be. Luckily, the decision came down in favour of LEGO Star Wars and the very first sets were designed in partnership between Lucasfilm and the LEGO Group.


As the LEGO Group’s first third-party licensed theme, the LEGO Star Wars designers started off conservatively – but that doesn’t stop it from being a momentous moment. Released the same year as The Phantom Menace, Star Wars fever was going strong, and the first few sets focused on both the original trilogy and the preqeuls. While they look pretty simple and small now, knowing where the theme would end up 25 years on, it’s certainly an exciting milestone.

The following year in 2000, the LEGO Group began to push the boundaries of design and detail. LEGO Star Wars would go on to be the home of many firsts for the LEGO Group, and a few of those happened in just its second year. For example, 7190 Millennium Falcon included the first version of a Chewbacca minifigure. Chewie’s unusual proportions proved to be a challenge and the LEGO Star Wars designers devised a head with fur covering the back and front of the torso in a new element.

This format would go on to be used in many more minifigure designs since then, demonstrating the role that LEGO Star Wars was beginning to play in the wider LEGO system. Unusual alien creatures, the drive to pay close attention to detail, and growing interest in LEGO Star Wars as a theme would give designers the space to try new techniques and design fresh elements that would go on to populate plenty more themes as well.

LEGO Star Wars ships take up a central role in the theme as a whole – and none less so than LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Collector Series models. The very first ones came surprisingly early in the timeline of LEGO Star Wars, in 2000 with 7181 TIE Interceptor and 7191 X-wing Fighter.

The new box design, the dramatic logo, the sculpting of the ships: this was LEGO Star Wars as rarely seen before, with sets clearly designed for display rather than play. Just one year on from the modest beginnings of 7101 Lightsaber Duel, these UCS builds were designer to make a splash – and they certainly did.

Jumping forward to 2002, the LEGO Star Wars team was making further strides (literally) with the introduction of short legs, with Yoda in 4502 X-wing Fighter, a duo of Ewoks in 7139 Ewok Attack, and young Boba Fett in 7153 Jango Fett’s Slave I. Once again, this first step for LEGO Star Wars would have major ramifications for the entire LEGO system, opening up the possibility of different sizes and ages of minifigures.

2003 saw the LEGO Group also begin to start using skin tones in their minifigures, moving away from the iconic yellow for some themes. This began in LEGO Star Wars with Lando Calrissian. The following year, LEGO Star Wars expanded skin-coloured minifigures. While not the first licensed LEGO theme to do so (LEGO Harry Potter preceded Star Wars by a few months), this is the start of the level of detail that we’ve now come to expect (and argue over) in our LEGO Star Wars minifigures.

2005 – 2008: The launch of LEGO Star Wars icons

Part of the reason that LEGO Star Wars has captivated so many people for 25 years is that it has long since been more than a LEGO theme. Most memorably, this began with the very first LEGO Star Wars video game in 2005, simply titled LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game. This would spawn plenty more, culminating in the release of LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, a full 17 years later.

The video games were the first introduction for the galaxy far, far away to the signature LEGO humour, marked by spoofs on the original movies, slapstick humour, and in jokes for long-term fans. The LEGO Group continues to capitalise on this today, often releasing animated shorts with LEGO Star Wars characters for holidays and special occasions.

We’ve already touched on the very first LEGO Star Wars UCS models but an early follow-up that is still cited today as many people’s favourite set is 2007’s 10179 Ultimate Collector’s Millennium Falcon. As the biggest LEGO set ever at the time at 5,197 pieces, the sheer scale of the brick-built hunk of junk was breathtaking. Seeing it in pictures now is still awe-inspiring but for those who saw it for the first time in LEGO stores, it’s truly unforgettable – and a sign of the massive sets that would later come to LEGO Star Wars.

At the other end of the scale, 2007 also saw the introduction of the first battle packs: 7654 Droids Battle Pack and 7655 Clone Troopers Battle Pack. Many people’s love for LEGO Star Wars comes from army building, creating massive, large-scale battle displays.

Today, many of the most impressive displays can only be truly appreciated in person or with a video, such is the sheer scale of the landscapes. These feats would likely only have ever been possible with battle packs, offering cost-effective ways to scale up your armies fast, with battle-focused accessories to go alongside them.

While LEGO Star Wars UCS sets generally grab people’s attention for the size of the ship it depicts, 2008’s 10188 Death Star is particularly memorable for another reason: so, so many minifigures. Packed with 24 minifigures and droids (six of which were new and exclusive), 10188 Death Star included enough minifigure scale interior rooms to be able to recreate dozens of iconic movie scenes.

Looking back with hindsight now, it’s easy to see how a set like 10188 Death Star played a role in getting us to sets like 76178 Daily Bugle and 76269 Avengers Tower, both boasting massive minifigure line-ups designed to allow for cinematic displays in your LEGO collection.

2009 – 2014: From mini to massive

The period between 2009 and 2014 saw the LEGO Group pushing the scale of LEGO Star Wars builds at every mark along the scale. This began in 2009, with the first midi-scale ship, 7778 Midi-scale Millennium Falcon. This was an important marker in making the theme accessible to more people, offering a midi-scale, midi-budget option for collectors. Building up a huge collection of LEGO Star Wars UCS models is only realistic for a lucky few – and the LEGO Group appeared to be starting to offer more options.

That didn’t mean we were going to stop seeing massive LEGO Star Wars builds, however. In fact, in 2013, Times Square played host to the world’s largest LEGO model, a 1:1 replica of the LEGO Star Wars X-Wing starfighter. The enormous, life-sized model took 32 master builders, 5.3 million LEGO bricks and over 17,000 hours to complete – a breathtaking feat. While of course not a set that anyone can buy, this is a sign of LEGO Star Wars stepping more into the mainstream, taking up space outside of conventions and AFOL communities.

The following year in 2014, all the way down at the other end of the measuring tape, was the arrival of the LEGO Star Wars Microfighter series, a collection that still endures today. Quick and easy to build and inexpensive to collect, these compact builds are small enough to fit into a hand and large enough for just one minifigure. Plenty of iconic Star Wars ships have received the Microfighter treatment over the years – and it all leads back to here.

2015 – 2016: Hitting major milestones

2015 saw a new era of Star Wars begin and therefore a new period for LEGO Star Wars as well. Like them or hate them, the LEGO Star Wars sequels, starting with The Force Awakens in 2015, introduces Star Wars to a whole new generation of kids, giving them their own ‘wow’ moments to grow up with. It also provided fresh fodder for new and returning models, which leads us neatly into.

The release of the latest LEGO Star Wars UCS 71592 Millennium Falcon in 2017, spanning two eras of Star Wars in one set. With sequels characters like Rey and Finn and two age options for the iconic Han Solo (Chewie appears to be immune to ageing and therefore needed no update), this LEGO Star Wars UCS model can truly bridge the gap between fans both young and old.

The weird and wonderful world of Star Wars canon has been the topic of hot debate among fans and producers alike for years now, but 2018 saw a surprise and fairly niche subsect of Star Wars lore become canon: the Freemaker Adventures. The LEGO animated series that ran from 2016 to 2018 was all but officially canonised by the release of an official book, Star Wars: Droidography. It follows the droid R0-GR and is an excellent example of the symbiotic relationship between Star Wars and LEGO Star Wars, with inventions from the brick-built galaxy slowly making their way into the original world and canon.

We might be focused on LEGO Star Wars’ 25th anniversary celebrations right now but just five years ago we saw the 20th anniversary take place in 2019. For long-term fans in particular, this was a year of nostalgia, returning to some of the earliest and most popular sets to ever enter the LEGO Star Wars theme. As the first major anniversary for LEGO Star Wars to be celebrated, it was a mark of how far the theme had come, with the updated building techniques demonstrating the growth of LEGO Star Wars and the LEGO system as a whole.

Another mighty milestone was also crossed in 2019: the 1000th LEGO Star Wars minifigure. The honour went to…Iden Versio (Inferno Squad Commander). Because everyone remembers her, right? While not too momentous of a character to be replciated in LEGO form, it’s an enormous number of minifigures to be made (and still counting five years later, of course).

2020 – 2024: Still finding firsts in the modern era

You might think that after 20 years of LEGO Star Wars, the theme would have run out of firsts – but far from it. In 2020, we saw the dawn of the LEGO Star Wars helmet collection, an impressive line of miniature busts that filled the same gap as mid-scale ships. They are fun to build, look fantastic on display, and are relatively budget-friendly (as LEGO Star Wars sets go).

Some of the greatest moments from LEGO Star Wars are when the LEGO Group demonstrates howe well it knows fans, with in jokes and references that only the community can get. In 2021, the release of LEGO 30625 Luke Skywalker with Blue Milk is the prime example of that type of humour, referencing the blue milk seen on various planets throughout the Star Wars universe. As an exclusive polybag released with LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Deluxe Edition video game, it sparked waves of memes throughout LEGO Star Wars fandom.

There are also still some UCS firsts to be had after more than 20 years of LEGO Star Wars, with 2021 seeing the launch of the very first UCS AT-AT in LEGO Star Wars 75313 AT-AT. The enormous build is hard to visualise if you haven’t seen it in person, with room inside for 40 minifigures (although ‘only’ nine are included). The buildable model features posable legs and head, opening hatches, cannons with a realistic recoil action, rotating cannons, bomb-drop hatch, and a hook to attach to Luke Skywalker’s line, perfect for recreating the Battle of Hoth.

Another LEGO Star Wars UCS model that took the LEGO Star Wars community by storm (on the whole) came the following year with 75331 The Razor Crest. As noted above with the importance of the release of The Force Awakens, the ongoing releases of new Star Wars media is what offers us the possibility of sets like this one, sparked by the massive popularity of The Mandalorian. Not only is the set itself exquisitely detailed on the outside, it also features a detailed interior to minifigure scale, meaning display options are virtually endless.

Having new Star Wars media also means that the LEGO Group can return to older characters and ships with modern LEGO elements and techniques, just as it did in 2023 with the release of 75357 Ghost and Phantom II. When first rumoured, many thought this would be a recreation of the Rebels ship and characters but it actually is based on the live-action ship, 11 years later in Ahsoka. Nonetheless, this LEGO Star Wars set allowed for the return of beloved characters like Hera and Chopper, catering once again to a different era of Star Wars fan.

Our final greatest hit for this feature has only just been revealed at the time of writing: 75382 TIE Interceptor. Harking back to the very beginning (7181 TIE Interceptor), this 1,931-piece model is an impressive addition to the 25th anniversary celebrations this year, demonstrating clearly just how far the theme has come in 25 years. The Imperial ships’ silhouettes are some of the most impressive to ever take to the skies and this modern iteration shows us exactly why.

Support the work that Brick Fanatics does by buying your LEGO Star Wars sets using our affiliate links. Plus, stay up to date with all our latest features and deep dives for the 25th anniversary of LEGO Star Wars sets here and, with May the 4th just around the corner, get ready for this year’s headline LEGO Star Wars shopping event by familiarising yourself with all the promos ahead of time. Thank you!

Author Profile

Rachael Davies
Rachael Davies
I write about all the very best fandoms – and that means LEGO, of course. Spending so much time looking at and talking about LEGO sets is dangerous for my bank balance, but the LEGO shelves are thriving. You win some, you lose some.

Rachael Davies

I write about all the very best fandoms – and that means LEGO, of course. Spending so much time looking at and talking about LEGO sets is dangerous for my bank balance, but the LEGO shelves are thriving. You win some, you lose some.

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