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New 'Star Wars' Lego models unveiled at toy fair

Elizabeth Howell, News Writer
Feb 20, 2015, 6:09 UTC

Sen—Your parents' "Star Wars", this is not. Famed children's toy builder Lego has released several "Star Wars" sets in anticipation of a new feature film that will air at the end of this year.

The models came out to play at Toy Fair 2015, which takes place every year in New York City. True to Lego's tradition of providing buildable brick models for children and adults alike, the new sets include everything from small sets—perhaps, some of the droids you were looking for—to bigger vehicles such as starships.

"For more than 15 years, children and kids at heart have told and retold the Star Wars story through Lego brick play," said Jill Wilfert, vice president of licensing and entertainment for the LEGO Group, in a statement. 

"This year we will give them even more characters and elements to recreate the epic saga—including several sets with which to add 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' to their building adventures."

The unveiling is part of a larger marketing push by Disney, which is the studio behind the larger films. Disney is banking on the new series doing well in theaters and especially in merchandising, which is why it is working with Lego to make the sets available.

The sets include items such as a speeder bike from Disney's "Star Wars: Rebels" television series, microfighters and carriers from the prequel movie series of the 1990s and 2000s, and a few spaceships from the original set of three movies that aired in the 1970s and 1980s.

Some critics see "Star Wars" as helping to revive public interest in space exploration in the late 1970s, when NASA was finished with its moon missions and still working on developing the shuttle program. The movie franchise is also credited with rethinking some filming techniques in general, with the fast pace of the opening battle scene in "Star Wars: A New Hope" (1977) as an example.

The latest "Star Wars" film comes after a decade of film drought for fans. The prequel series was not as well-received as the original, but this new set of films has anticipation building. Several people from the original series will be making reappearances in the new set. Most famous among those is Harrison Ford, whose meteoric Hollywood career has continued in the decades since "Star Wars".

Luckily for space fans, "Star Wars" isn't the only space franchise in Hollywood lately. "Star Trek", whose roots are from the late 1960s, has a rebooted series that already spawned films in 2009 and 2013. A third is expected in 2016.

Another long-standing franchise, "Alien", will see a new release in 2016 when "Prometheus 2" hits the screens. The plot follows a crew that is hoping to learn more about humanity's origins by exploring space.