The call for a dedicated collectible minifig series of Star Wars characters is one that is as nearly as old as the license itself, and during its 20 year involvement with the Star Wars franchise, LEGO has made attempts to fill the gap.
Back in 2000, when LEGO released four sets containing three minifigs to test the demand for minifigs without sets, they raised the ire of Hasbro, who claimed that since these weren’t proper construction toys LEGO was in breach of contract. Since then LEGO has made up for the shortfall by producing battle packs and magnet sets that were minifigure heavy.
And now, in the 20th year of LEGO Star Wars, we finally have them – from a certain point of view…
Because in 2019 LEGO decided to include five exclusive throwback minifigures in their 20th Anniversary Edition sets in tribute of the LEGO Star Wars history.
The inclusion of these figures from the original sets released in the earliest years of the theme is more than just a hat tip to the old, yellow skinned days. These specially chosen minifigures fully replicate the genesis of the LEGO Star Wars line, right down to using the genuine Illustrator files created for the 1999 minifigure torso prints.
To set them apart from the first editions, these new versions have the 20th Anniversary logo printed on the back of the torso and come with special (and interconnectable) display stands.
Arriving with 75262 Imperial Dropship, Han Solo is the only minifigure to almost have a full life cycle captured by LEGO – from young boy, to teenager, adult and then old man – and this example dates from the first Millennium Flacon (7190) set, which came out in 2000. Ignoring the fact that this Han Solo minifigure is a patched up member of the LEGO Star Wars 20th Anniversary motorcycle club, this variation sports reddish-brown hair instead of the original brown hair element.
Having the accolade of being the very first caped LEGO Star Wars minifigure, this Darth Vader was the only helmetted minifigure that had a printed face until 2006. In its 20 year reign as being the Dark Lord of the Minifigs, has had 13 different face prints. The latest version of Darth Vader comes in the 75261 Clone Scout Walker set.
Packed into 75258 Anakin’s Podracer is this vintage Luke Skywalker in his characteristic orange flight suit. Interestingly this is the 47th minifigure (not including keychains or microfigures) of this character. It comes with a silver chrome-plated lightsaber, an element that hasn’t been used in any Star Wars set since 2010.
Inexplicably included with 75259 Snowspeeder is Lando Calrissian which, while not the first realistic skin-toned minifigure, is a facsimile of the minifigure that precipitated the full LEGO Star Wars skin-tone change in 2004.
Dating from 2000 when the original Princess Leia minifigure appeared in 7190 Millennium Falcon, which is Jens Kronvold Frederiksen’s least favourite model of this iconic spaceship, comes armed with a megaphone blaster. Incidentally the first (and only) apperance of this minifigure did not have any kind of blaster. This new Princess Leia minifig is packed in with 75243 Slave I, which is a fasimile of another set that came out in 2000.
Some more fun facts about LEGO Star Wars minifigures include:
- The first LEGO Star Warsminifigs ever seen in public was Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. These came in a special invitatoin to the launch of the line at New York Toy Fair in 1999
- Jar Jar Binks minifigure was the first ever to have a unique LEGO head sculpt (1999)
- The first new mail hairstyle piece in the history of LEGO came with Wui-Gon Jinn (1999)
- The original 1999 helmet that the first Darth Vader minifigure came with remained unchanged until 2015
- The only minifigure never to have a change made to its core design is the battle droid, which first appeared in 1999
- The first minifigs to receive the short leg pieces were Paploo and Wicket in 7139 Ewok Attack (2002)
- With the exception of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, clone troopers and battle droids, R2-D2 is the character that appears in most LEGO Star Wars sets
- The Zam Wesell minifigure from 7133 Bounty Hunter Pursuit was the first minifigure to have double-sided face decoration (2002)
- The first non-cannon minifigure – Jedi Bob – appeared (only once) in 7163 Republic Gunship (2002)
- The red Darth Vader helmet that started circulating in 2006 is not a real LEGO part
- The first non-plastic LEGO head was Kit Fisto’s, which was made of rubber (2007)
- At the New York Toy Fair in 2008, LEGO made a promotional giveaway that had both Indianna Jones and Han Solo in it
- The 24 minifigures and droids included in 10188 Death Star enabled fans to re-enact almost every single scene taking place on both Death Stars (2008)
- The only chrome silver-plated Jango Fett minifigure came atatched to a LEGO Star Wars pen (2008)
- In 2009 LEGO placed 10,000 limited edition chrome gold-plated C-3PO minifigures in unmarked sets. Not all have been found!
- The rarest plastic LEGO minifigure is George Lucas, made to mark the 10th anniversary of the LEGO Star Wars license in 2009, of which there are around 50 in existance
- The most bootlegged minifigure is “New York I ❤” Yoda from New York Toy Fair (2013)
- The most valuable LEGO Star Wars minifigure is the 14 carat gold C-3PO. One of the five made in 2007 sold for an estimated $50,000 in 2019
- At the time of going to press, counting droid figures, there are 1100 different LEGO Star Wars minifigures (2019)
The 20th Anniversary Edition subtheme is set to grow throughout the year and Rebelscum will be continually updating this collection, so don’t forget to check back. Purchases made using the links provided allow Rebelscum to generate a small affiliate income to help us to continue to provide awesome Star Wars collecting coverage.
Fervent documentarian, effusive AFOL and founding partner, Jeremy manages the daily news content and set reviews.
Having enjoyed playing with LEGO from his earliest years, Jeremy started collecting LEGO Star Wars in 1999 when the theme was first released. He has shared his thoughts and opinions on LEGO via a number of websites – including starwars.com, rebelscum.com and brickset.com – contributed to the LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary series and served the LEGO Ambassador Network as a Recognised LEGO Fan Media representative.