A not so long time ago in a country far, far away….
As I sit down starting to write this, it is 10:00am on Saturday morning in Sydney, Australia. That is 3:00pm on Friday afternoon in San Francisco, California. At this time last week I was at the Dad 2.0 Summit mingling with some of my fellow dad bloggers, enjoying the snack break and possibly having some of the nicest treats supplied by one of our sponsors that sadly, we can’t get in Australia. But more on that for a future post. While in the short term I was excited that we were only 15 minutes away from seeing Bill Peebles do a live reading of his wonderful post The Green Ball of Gratitude as part of the blogger spotlights, I would be lying if I didn’t say that like many of the people at this event, we were looking forward to 6pm when the buses would arrive at the hotel to take us to Lucasfilm Studios for a secret event.
One of the main sponsors of the Dad 2.0 Summit was LEGO® and seeing that we had prior notice that they were sponsoring the extracurricular activity being held at Lucasfilm Studios, the home of Star Wars™. From the get-go we were sworn to secrecy for this event with our invitation containing this passage.
“Attendance at this Jedi event is tightly monitored, so if you’d like to attend, you need to sign up here to secure your spot. Remember also that you are limited to one ticket per sign-up, all tickets will be cross-referenced against registered Summit attendees, and you’ll need your Summit lanyard/badge to get on the bus.”
Our pre-tour discussion that started late January when this secret event was announced included many of us hoping that we’d be seeing a little bit more than the trailer for the new film due out in December; Star Wars: The Force Awakens despite the copious amounts of notices from the organisers that we would NOT be seeing anything to do with the new movie with that being locked away securely in a vault. The joke was that we better shape up on our Jedi mind tricks if we wanted to convince anyone at Lucasfilm to open that vault and give us an advanced screening. But that didn’t happen.
On arrival at Lucasfilm we were ushered into the foyer/reception area where we started taking photos of each other standing in front of a life sized Darth Vader and Boba Fett and other props from the films while we were waiting for all the buses to arrive.
Once everyone was there we were taken down a corridor were the first of George Lucas’ priceless collection of old time movie posters adorned the walls before hanging a left into his private movie theatre. As we took our seats on the screen in front of us was a logo we were all very familiar with…
To say that we were all excited was an understatement. A hush went over the room as the representative from Lego took to the podium down the front and as he welcomed us to this special event a cheer went up around the room. It was like being at a Late Show with David Letterman taping when he mentions the word America, only this time the mostly American audience was cheering at the words “Lego” and “Star Wars” and “secret feature presentation.”
And then came the “bad news.” We were told that what we were about to watch would have an embargo placed upon it so that we were not allowed to discuss it with anyone who wasn’t present inside this private theatre right now. That meant no tweeting about it on Twitter, no public or private Facebook status updates, and definitely no blogging about it. Not until the embargo was lifted. And from this point on while inside the theatre; NO PHOTOS.
And then came the further “bad news” in the form of the press release that me and my fellow attendees received this morning. While we can tell you a bit about it, the embargo about what we actually saw is still in place. Basically, the 300 or so people inside that private theatre within the confines of the Lucasfilm Studios, plus those who are working on the production are the only ones who know about the content of what we saw on the screen last Friday night. But this is what we CAN tell you;
“LEGO® Star Wars™: Droid Tales,” An All-New Series of Event Specials, Acquired by Disney X.D
-Re-telling of classic Star Wars adventures in LEGO® brick form will help fans of all ages “catch up” on the legend –
ENFIELD, Conn. (February 27, 2015) – The LEGO Group, world renowned manufacturer of construction toys, today announced that Disney X.D has acquired LEGO® Star Wars™: Droid Tales for airing later this year. The animated content series consists of five 22-minute episodes that re-tell the Star Wars saga in chronological order from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace up through Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Disney X.D is also currently home to the animated hit series Star Wars Rebels.
“Since we introduced our first LEGO Star Wars set in 1999, we have seen and heard from countless Star Wars fans who have used LEGO bricks to tell their own version of this timeless story, re-enacting favorite scenes and imagining new story lines,” said Jill Wilfert, vice president of licensing and entertainment for The LEGO Group. “LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales gives us an opportunity to share highlights of the Star Wars story with a sense of humor and excitement that can only be conveyed through the LEGO brick, and will be a fun resource for families as they gear up for the next movie.”
As its title suggests, Droid Tales is a re-telling of the Star Wars universe through the eyes of C-3P0 and R2-D2. Following their victory celebration in the Ewok village on Endor, seen at the close of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, C-3PO and R2-D2 have gathered to regale Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca and the other Rebels with the tales of their adventures that led to the events of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. An accidental kidnapping occurs while the droids are reminiscing and suddenly viewers are taken on a new adventure that leads to encounters with familiar faces and places that prompt the re-telling of the entire saga. The series offers all of the playful humor that viewers expect from LEGO Star Wars.
Information on airdates for each episode is not yet available. Additional LEGO Star Wars activities to get the family caught up will launch throughout the year.
In Australia the Disney X.D programmes are currently shown as a first run on Foxtel but as what happened with the Star Wars: The Clone Wars series, I am sure that those without the pay TV service will be able to see this series, but I don’t know whether it will be before or after the release of the new movie. I also can’t give you an airdate for the release in any region yet as the press release showed.
After we watched the film we moved on to the Lucasfilm Studios canteen area where we enjoyed some finger food style dinner and a few beers, wines and soft drinks. And who was there waiting for us? Only R2-D2 himself. Oh, and two Stormtroopers…
After dinner and drinks we were shown a couple of tables set up with plastic containers filled with Lego parts and instructions to build our very own mini X-wing Fighters. I made two, one for each child (well, that’s what I’m telling everyone. It’s actually one for each of my own hands… pew, pew).
On my way out I made one last stop. This was to see George Lucas’ awards cabinet.
Seriously, my night was incredible. Our night was incredible. Since this night I have been making two jokes about it;
- I am never washing my eyeballs again after seeing these things with my own eyes
- I may have had two weddings and witnessed the birth of two babies, but this marriage between two of my favourite things, Star Wars and Lego and the offspring they’ve produced; LEGO® Star Wars™: Droid Tales and the fact that I saw a sneak peak of the show is the greatest single moment of my life.
Just don’t tell my wife and kids that…
Now earlier on as I was writing about being in the Lucasfilm Studio’s canteen it reminded me of the fantastic routine by Eddie Izzard so I thought I would embed the now viral Lego stop motion clip of his Death Star Canteen routine. If you’re not one of the 22,599,158 people who have already watched it, watch it, I promise you will laugh. And if you are part of that figure, watch it again. I have. Actually I’ve watched it 22,599,100 times…