The Making of a Jedi Master -

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The Making of a Jedi Master

YODA makes it to the big time

By ANDREW KARDON     August 13, 2002

He taught Luke how to harness the Force in EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, and kicked mondo butt in ATTACK OF THE CLONES. Yet, the little green guy named YODA's never been bigger than his recent trip to Complexe Desjardins in Montreal, Québec, Canada.

As part of support for their popular STAR WARS line of Lego toys, the Lego Group has been building huge figures of Yoda in a big tour that started in Indianapolis, Indiana and covered such ground as FAO Schwarz in New York City and The Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The over 13 foot tall Jedi Master was built by both kids and adults using 2005 modular blocks and over 80,000 Lego bricks. The group was working from a prototype that was roughly 1/5 the scale of the larger model and contained 2005 Lego bricks.

"We were absolutely thrilled with the way the Yoda-building event turned out," says Brian Bowler, Public Relations Associate for Lego. "The unique thing about Lego STAR WARS products is the ability you have to build and recreate your favorite moments from the STAR WARS saga. This event takes that concept to the next level by inviting people to take part in recreating one of the most beloved characters of all the filmsand making him larger than life. It also demonstrates that with creativity and imagination, anything is possible with Lego bricks."

Talk about your cheap labor...

Stemming from a new modular form of building with Lego bricks, kids and adults were able to join in on the fun and help construct parts of the Lego Yoda model. Those pieces were then carefully joined by Lego Master Builders to create an unbelievable model resemblance. When all was said and done, the Lego Yoda stood some 13 feet seven inches tall from his feet to the tip of his lightsaber. The event was capped off not only with the placement of the final bricks on the li'l guy's head, but also with the lighting of his lightsaber.

Originally developed at the company's Enfield, Conn.-based office, Yoda was envisioned to help support Lego's entire STAR WARS line. But based on the enormous success of the program, the company will be applying the formula to many future programs, assures Bowler. Next on the agenda? A large, lovable character from the magical world of Harry Potter. Look for that just in time to help Lego celebrate the launch of its new products based on the upcoming HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS film.

YODA stands head, shoulders and lightsaber above the Lego team.

And it's not just kids getting in on the fun. Apparently, Lego has no discrimination when it comes to age.

"This is an awesome event because it shows off the power of the Lego brand," says Bowler. "At any given time, you can see an eight year old building right along side a forty-eight year old, both having an equal amount of fun. Everyone becomes a kid when they have a pile of bricks in front of them."

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