Giant Lego Star Wars X-Wing lands on NYC's Times Square
AFP Saturday, May 25, 2013, 12:25 am TWN
NEW YORK -- A massive Star Wars X-Wing spaceship has landed on New York's Times Square.
Well, not quite. It's actually a replica of one flown in the famed movie franchise and represents the largest model ever made by Danish toy company Lego.
Unveiled Thursday, the spectacular structure consists of more than 5.3 million of the company's multicolored plastic bricks, weighs almost 46,000 pounds (20,865 kilograms) and took 32 builders about 17,000 hours to put together.
"I built pretty big things with Lego, but this is the biggest ever," said Lego master builder Erik Varszegi at an unveiling ceremony in the iconic Manhattan square that drew a crowd of curious onlookers.
"It's a life-size version," he added. "That means the same scale it was built for the film."
Used by Luke Skywalker to destroy the Death Star in the original "Star Wars" trilogy, the X-Wing model promotes the premiere of "The Yoda Chronicles" the Cartoon Network next Wednesday.
Its creation and transfer to New York is movie material in itself.
It began to be assembled a year ago in the Czech Republic before being transported by ship to the United States.
Once on American soil, it went to a warehouse in the state of New Jersey where — in three separate parts — it spent the last leg of the trek to Manhattan in a truck.
The model will stay in Times Square until Saturday before taking off again for the Legoland California Resort on the outskirts of San Diego, where it will be on show until the end of the year.
A George Lucas creation, "Star Wars" has achieved cult status since its 1977 premiere.
The movie, which launched the career of a young Harrison Ford, was soon followed by the equally popular "The Empire Strikes Back" (1980) and "Return of the Jedi" (1983).
In the late 1990s, Lucas drew mixed reviews when he resurrected the blockbuster series with a prequel trilogy: "The Phantom Menace" (1999), "The Attack of the Clones" (2002) and "The Revenge of the Sith" (2005).
Walt Disney Company announced plans to revive the series in October, when it bought Lucasfilm for US$4 billion. Sci-fi and action filmmaker J.J. Abrams will direct "Episode VII," scheduled for release in 2015.
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