As of this writing, I’ve yet to see “The Lego Movie,” and that’s not because it doesn’t interest me. It interests me greatly… I just haven’t had the time to see it, but I assure you I will.
Because I’m a 28-year-old man who loves Legos, that’s why.
As I sit in my office chair typing away at this column, I catch a glimpse of my Lego Star Wars Desert Skiff set (set No. 9496, for those at home keeping score) on the corner of my desk and something happens to my face. The corners of my mouth creep north and an amazing thing begins: a smile.
The set portrays that iconic scene in the first act of “Return of the Jedi” when its hero, Luke Skywalker (you may have heard of him), is pushed out on the skiff’s plank to be fed to the great Sarlacc Pit located in the middle of the vast Tatooine sands by order - and observation — of the vile gangster Jabba the Hutt from his Excellency’s barge. (Hutt and barge not included, but they are on my shopping list.)
The model is perfect with the ideal mix of Star Wars and Lego-style.
Currently, my desert skiff — think of a hovering sailboat without the sails, if by some strange reason you are unfamiliar with the film — sits between the telephone and the great and powerful Lego-ized Sarlacc Pit, which brews terror with its plastic tentacles, teeth and large beak protruding from the desert-colored bricks that serve as its platform.
I CHOSE to place Skywalker on top of the skiff’s railing “jumping” over the top of a Hutt thug (in quite acrobatic fashion, mind you) with lightsaber ignited while pal Lando Calrissian (complete in skiff guard disguise) is climbing back on the front of the skiff after previously falling off and attempting to deter Boba Fett (it comes with a Lego Boba Fett!) from shooting at Skywalker with his blaster rifle, which of course, would end the film rather early and anticlimactically if successful.
Now back to me: my smile has morphed to a grin.
“Gee, Brady,” you might be thinking, “that’s, uh, great that you shared that.”
Thanks. I know.
There is a point, here, though.
I loved Legos as a child and loved the creativity they fostered. But, then high school happened. Then jobs happened. Then girls. Then college. Then girls. Then more jobs. Then bills. Then rent. Then loan payments and of course, you can’t forget girls.
WHILE I’VE never stopped loving Star Wars (and never will), I’d slowly forgotten about the joy of Legos. That changed, though, over the past summer when the Lego A-Wing Starfighter caught my eye in the store one evening. It’s not that I wasn’t aware of Lego Star Wars — I had the video games — it’s just that I never thought to actually buy and build again. Perhaps I thought I was “past” such activities. But on that day, I was bored and thought, “Oh well… why not?”
I’ve never been so thankful for the results of boredom.
The A-Wing, another vehicle from “Return of the Jedi” (you may recall it crashing into the bridge of the Super Star Destroyer with such force — no pun intended — it took out the control systems of the Empire’s No.-2 battleship, thus allowing it to fall helplessly into the surface of the Death Star) was a blast to put together. Doing so turned gears in my mind that hadn’t been turned since I was a kid.
I’d forgotten how many pieces go into these things, how small the pieces could be and what great detail they had. For example, the A-Wing’s instrument panel shows an image of the incoming Super Star Destroyer bridge, and the pilot comes with two faces: one that’s determined and another that’s in panic of the aforementioned crash-to-be.
FOR ME, putting together these sets is therapeutic.
The older I get, the more I realize there’s no definitive answer for anything. Life can be very repetitive and a constant work in progress with no instruction manual or final product in sight. Because of all this, I can’t truly describe the great comfort I get from building Star Wars Lego sets. There’s a genuine sense of accomplishment when the final piece is placed.Plus, by the end of it, you have a tangible item — such as the iconic Millennium Falcon, which was my latest build. And who doesn’t want a Lego Millennium Falcon?
Besides, Legos provide a great lesson in that no matter how big or small one’s task, completing it begins with one small brick.