Fans spent the entirety of Star Wars: The Force Awakens waiting for Luke Skywalker to turn up, and had to wait until the closing moment to get a glimpse of the Jedi Master. But the elderly version of the classic trilogy’s hero is still missing from the LEGO Star Wars line-up, despite being known to play a key role in The Last Jedi.
The Jedi Master is not alone, with two other characters notably missing from the recently launched Star Wars: The Last Jedi wave of LEGO sets. Often, when products are developed alongside a movie, certain designs are not finalized until too late for inclusion in the merchandise range. But in this case, there are a number of characters that other Star Wars licensees have produced, who for some reason the LEGO Group has not.
Like Darth Maul, Jango Fett, General Grievous and Captain Phasma before, the Praetorian Guards look to be the heavily trailed character that will probably not be the most significant part of the upcoming movie. The distinctive red armour and lampshade helmets of Supreme Leader Snoke’s elite bodyguards seems to have been deemed suitable for lots of marketing material.
Despite that, the LEGO Group opted not to include the Praetorian Guards in 75190 First Order Star Destroyer, despite Snoke being included in the set. Sure, a constraction version is available but that is not the same as a minifigure. Jakks Pacific managed a big action figure, Funko a Pop! bobblehead and Undergound Toys a plush, but the LEGO Group could not manage a minifigure…
These new critters seem destined to become fan favourites, with plush Porgs getting snapped up quickly during the Disney Store’s midnight madness event. Hasbro has the most appealing Porg available, an interactive, waddling edition of the creature with movie authentic sounds. Fans will have to have a heard heart to pass up on this version of the Porg.
As for the LEGO Group, the Porgs are missing from The Last Jedi launch wave. Two are being included with 75192 Millennium Falcon – but based on the minifigures included, that set is not based on The Last Jedi. The Porgs’ inclusion smacks of timing and marketing rather than them legitimately belonging in the set, as if anyone is going to drop the requisite £649.99 just for the two space puffins – the set will speak for itself, the addition of Porgs will not sway anyone who was on the fence.
Fans have been aching for a sequel trilogy Luke Skywalker minifigure since seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens almost two years ago, and the LEGO Group has only teased fans with a digital rendering. It is baffling that he is not included in this launch wave, as any of the sets would have been more tempting had the character been included.
Hasbro, meanwhile, is offering a beautiful Luke Skywalker 6” action figure in The Black Series range or a similarly excellent 4” version for traditionalists. It could be argued that they are based on his outfit from The Force Awakens, if fans wish to be pedantic (and Star Wars fans often do). Funko’s Pop! line has a bobblehead explicitly based on Luke’s The Last Jedi get-up. What this illustrates is that the reference material and opportunity was available… for some reason, the LEGO Group skipped Luke Skywalker for the time being.
This is not to say that fans will have long to wait for these key characters to get the LEGO treatment – with more sets expected in January and then even more ahead of the Star Wars Han Solo movie in May, there is ample opportunity for these guys to show up and satiate the appetites of LEGO Star Wars fans. It may just be a case of having a little more patience…