Then vs. now: LEGO Star Wars 20th and 25th anniversary celebrations, compared

The LEGO Group is celebrating 25 years of LEGO Star Wars in 2024 but this isn’t its first anniversary, so we dug back into the past to see what’s changed in the last five years.

Including a flurry of new LEGO Star Wars sets and a cast of six anniversary minifigures (according to the latest rumours), 25 years of LEGO Star Wars is having a wide variety of celebrations. Some features, like the 25-second film festival, were not present at all in 2019 for the 20th anniversary but there are some similarities and parallels to be drawn between the special-release minifigures and sets.

We’ve dug into what’s similar and what’s different between the two anniversary celebrations in LEGO Star Wars, starting with the minifigures…

Back to the start’ vs. ‘Never seen before

An obvious comparison to be drawn when it comes to the LEGO Star Wars anniversary minifigures is that the 20th anniversary selection in 2019 recreated some original minifigures – Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Han Solo, Leia Organa, and Lando Calrissian – harking back to the very beginnings of LEGO Star Wars. You could say that the 25th anniversary minifigure selection goes in the opposite direction, depicting characters that we’ve never seen before.


While not yet fully confirmed, the rumoured minifigure line-up for 2024 is Darth Malak, Saw Gerrera, Fives, young Leia, Cal Kestis, and Nien Numb, none of whom we’ve seen before and several of which fans might never have expected to see. The only real crossover is that we’ve got Leia in each anniversary celebration (a testament to the character’s presence in the franchise), highlighting the exciting new direction that LEGO Star Wars has taken in 2024.

Droids make the cut in LEGO Star Wars 25th anniversary minifigures – almost

Also sticking with the minifigures, LEGO Star Wars Creative Lead Jens Kronvold Frederiksen stated in a 2019 roundtable that the team deliberately decided against including droids in anniversary minifigures.

“We believed that the minifigures of human characters would look stronger than the droids,” he said. “Additionally, for example, R2-D2, even though the droid’s design has changed since 1999, the figure hasn’t evolved that much. As for C-3PO, we couldn’t bring him back because of the type of plastic we used then was different–it was a unique cream-gold color. We simply can’t recreate its original look right now.

“We decided that the lineup must consist of the most iconic heroes and villains.”

While the core rumoured line-up of minifigures also doesn’t include any droids, there are whispers that an R2-KT figure, while not be a full 25th-anniversary minifigure, will still be a limited-release minifigure, available only in LEGO stores and displayed on a base like the other confirmed anniversary minifigures. In our book, that’s pretty close to being part of the 25th anniversary line-up, meaning droids might have finally earned their place in the celebrations after five years. We’ll need to wait for official confirmation from the LEGO Group on whether R2-KT is on its way until we know for sure.

A shared focus on variety

Moving on to LEGO Star Wars anniversary sets, the releases for the 25th anniversary are varied in several ways: in the Star Wars era they’re based (ranging from the prequels to The Mandalorian), in the form of the set (including display sets, dioramas, playsets, and a new UCS), and in size and price (from £9.99 to £199.99).

That diversity is something that was a similar focus back in 2019, with Jens also sharing: “We decided that the anniversary lineup must include sets from different years, and not only those released back in 1999, as we are celebrating 20 years of the theme, not just it’s first year. There is a reason why we chose each of the five sets.”

While these considerations were focused on which previous sets to recreate for the five LEGO Star Wars 20th anniversary sets, the motivation behind those decisions is shared for both celebrations. Naturally, the LEGO Star Wars designers want to appeal to as many people as possible, to invite as many LEGO Star Wars fans into the anniversary celebrations as possible. The attention to both young and old fans through play and display sets, the inclusion of different periods of Star Wars, and the varied price ranges of the LEGO Star Wars sets means there’s hopefully something for everyone.

The return of the podracer

Zooming in on one vehicle that appears in both the 20th and 25th anniversary celebrations, Anakin’s podracer, it’s easy to draw parallels between the two sets, 2019’s 75258 Anakin’s Podracer and 2024’s 75380 Mos Espa Podrace Diorama.

Once again speaking in 2019, Jens said: “About 75258 Anakin’s Podracer, we know that not every fan likes the set, but a lot of children do love the model. As we have only done it twice since 1999, it was quite obvious that we must release it once again.”

While 75258 Anakin’s Podracer was a more play-focused model, the love for the vehicle has endured until 2024. Now, the LEGO Star Wars team has approached the same vehicle but in a more mature style, depicting the podracer in a diorama in 75380 Mos Espa Podrace Diorama. Offering a set more geared towards display, it appears as though the LEGO Group wants to capture the love of a classic vehicle in a new format, tying together the two anniversary celebrations subtly.

It’s finally time for LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon

When discussing how the LEGO Star Wars team selected which sets to recreate in 2019, Jens also noted: “We also had to consider what is on the shelves already. The Millennium Falcon is already there, as well as the iconic X-wing Starfighter.”

While five years ago, the Millennium Falcon was tried and tested – apparently too prevalent on shelves to warrant another set. 2024 is another story, with 75375 Millennium Falcon already on shelves, complete with its special 25th anniversary plaque. After all, one can never have too many hunks of junk.

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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.

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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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