Across a product portfolio that caters to (or has previously catered to) fans of all nine mainline Star Wars films, both silver screen spin-offs, The Clone Wars, The Bad Batch, The Mandalorian and even video games like The Force Unleashed, The Old Republic and Battlefront, the absence of any Jedi: Fallen Order sets is pretty puzzling.
After all, the original title from EA and Respawn Entertainment did big numbers when it dropped in 2019, selling 10 million copies within the first five months of release. It also had the fastest-selling digital launch of any Star Wars game within its first two weeks on sale, received critical acclaim and won numerous awards.
It’s not as if it’s short on marketable characters or vehicles, either: even a single set based on the Stinger Mantis, with minifigures of Cal Kestis, BD-1, the Ninth Sister and a couple of Purge Troopers would have been perfect, while a buildable version of companion droid BD-1 could have easily fit in with the likes of 75188 BB-8 and
None of that came to pass, of course – but theBrickset in 2020, Design Manager Michael Lee Stockwell revealed that while Jedi: Fallen Order sets were ‘certainly on the table’, there was a fairly major obstacle to bringing them to shelves.
“Video games present different challenges to the movies and television shows because their age ratings can affect the products we release,” Michael explained. “We have a much greater understanding of what [the age rating] will mean in the context of movies than we do with video games. We know roughly what the level of violence might be, for example, whereas video games can be more unpredictable in that regard.”
Jedi: Fallen Order is rated T for Teen in the US, and PEGI 16 in the UK. That puts it slightly above the LEGO Group’s normal demographic, but things have moved on since Jedi: Fallen Order originally launched in November 2019. The LEGO Group’s shift towards the adult market with the introduction of its 18+ label may have paved the way for future sets based on Fallen Order’s sequel, for example – although the company says it still won’t produce sets that are ‘not okay for kids’.
There’s another factor at play here, too: the LEGO Star Wars design team had no grasp on how well Jedi: Fallen Order would be received prior to its release. “Anticipating what might become popular is another challenge,” explained Design Director Jens Kronvold Frederiksen. “We always try to decide what will appeal to as many people as possible, of course, but it can be difficult.”
More recently, Jens told Brick Fanatics that the LEGO Star Wars team’s considerations do indeed extend to the company’s growing adult market, but appealing to as wide a demographic as possible is still the top priority.
“One thing is, what is the target for our product now?” Jens says. “We include products for kids up to adults. But in general, I’d say we would like to cover as much as possible, so if there’s something new out there, we definitely would like to have products.”
Michael has also previously explained why that thinking led to a delay in sets based on The Mandalorian, while Jens tells Brick Fanatics that a ship or character getting exposure across multiple sources – say, The Clone Wars and The Mandalorian – also increases its chances of getting a set, as with last year’s
While it’s surely too late for sets based on the original Jedi: Fallen Order, products based on its as-yet-untitled sequel could theoretically still happen – at least now the LEGO Group knows how popular the first game was, and now its considerations for its wider portfolio have shifted to embrace adults beyond the Ultimate Collector Series line.