If you’ve spent more than a few minutes in any of the hundreds of LEGO Star Wars groups on Facebook in the last day and a half there are two things that won’t have escaped your notice – lots of fans are only just finding out that May The 4th Be With You (aka Star Wars Day) is nearly upon us and that a surprising number of people can’t comprehend that LEGO uses a number of languages on its packaging.
Spreading across the internet like the meme* that it is are a stupendous number of posts by people expressing confusion/dismay and/or excitement that they have found a misprint/rare variant.
It’s not, it is just Darth Vader in another language – French to be precise and a quick visit to the French version of the product page on LEGO.com will confirm that this is a legitimate translation of the Dark Lord of the Sith’s full and proper name.
Normally the graphics on a LEGO box are so eye-catching that the text is often ignored, but in the case of the new 75305 Darth Vader helmet that was added to the 18+ subtheme a few days ago, the black helmet on the black box doesn’t stand out as much as the white text – and the Dark Vador on the top flap is getting all the attention.
Following the focus that The Razor Crest received when it fell foul of a trademark battle last year, many fans have started to take note of what is printed on the boxes that their sets come in and while some have recognized the different text, others haven’t caught on that North American boxes include English/Spanish/French wording to cover the main language groups of the continent. It’s worth noting that since the early 90s boxes in Europe don’t have set names because there are just too many languages to easily accommodate, and the Australia-Pacific market just has English on them.
Hopefully this explanation will get as much traffic as the Dark Vador posts, and eventually the furore will die down.
* by which we mean definition first coined by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene as an attempt to explain how ideas replicate, mutate, and evolve (memetics), and not an image with “One does not simply…” on it.
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.