The early days of LEGO Star Wars were much different than they are now, but after more than 20 years this is to be expected. Of course, some aspects never change such as the inclusion of Luke’s Landspeeder or a TIE Fighter, UCS sets, and the introduction of awesome new minifigures.
In 2002 LEGO began releasing sets based on Attack of the Clones which meant that the iconic red and white 7153 Republic Gunship was launched. It featured a total of eight minifigures two of which are exclusive to the set and have never been released again. This is the point at which the unnamed Jedi Knight became cemented in LEGO Star Wars history.
So how did he become Jedi Bob? It’s well known that Bob is used as a generic name, and it seems that in the early days this Jedi Knight was given the name as a joke by fans and it stuck. The name was then written into LEGO canon by its inclusion in The Visual Dictionary.
As I remember it, I was in a meeting with Simon Beecroft at the DK office in London and we were going over some missing details in the LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary. He asked me who the unknown Jedi Knight in 7163 Republic Gunship was. Recalling that I’d read – on Eurobricks forum, I think – that someone, in a conversation about the set, had said something like “oh that Jedi, I call him Bob” I told Simon he was known as “Jedi Bob.” Simon included it in the Brick Facts boxouts that I was writing for the book, and it got approved by Lucasfilm.Jeremy Beckett – co-author of LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary
It has been suggested that Bob is supposed to be Nicanas Tassu who was seen in the Geonosian Arena in Episode II. This would make sense in terms of the timeline, but it was reported that LEGO stated previously that he was a unique creation. Regardless of the inspiration for the figure, he does bear a striking resemblance to Nicanas.
There is something nostalgic about the smiling yellow-faced minifigure that takes LEGO Star Wars fans back to those early days. For this reason, Jedi Bob was a contender – in the heart of fans – for the included minifigure with the UCS Republic Gunship. However it just wasn’t meant to be, and they went with an updated Mace Windu and Clone Trooper Commander instead.
With the rising interest in all things LEGO Star Wars, combined with the push for this minifigure to be updated, the prices soared for him last year peaking at over $100. Prices have since leveled out a bit averaging $60-80 depending on the condition. He is still one of the most expensive minifigures in the theme.
Do you have a Jedi Bob in your collection? Do you think there is any chance of an updated version, or will LEGO continue to stick with the named characters? Let us know your thoughts below.
As the chief archivist, Kevin Downard maintains and curates the library catalog.
Getting in at the ground floor when the LEGO Star Wars theme first launched, Kevin has been collecting ever since. He is a self-proclaimed minifigure guru and has a passion for tracking down and cataloging every minifig variation – no matter how obscure. He has assisted Rebrickable and Bricklink in maintaining their set inventories, helped overhaul the rebelscum.com LEGO forum, and created the LSW Collector mobile app.