SINGAPORE, Aug 30 — Legoland Malaysia’s Star Wars Miniland opens to the public next Saturday and we just can’t wait.

It will be the sixth Star Wars Miniland — after Legoland Denmark, Germany, California, Windsor and Florida — and one that will be on permanent display for a long, long time into a galaxy far, far away.

“It’s also the biggest and the newest Star Wars Miniland. We have the latest technology incorporated into the models,” said master builder and Legoland Malaysia model shop manager Stefan Bentivoglio. “There are more stimulations, light effects and animation here compared to the rest.” That’s good to know.

And Bentivoglio didn’t stop there. We got him to reveal more interesting behind-the-scenes trivia as the attraction takes shape.


1. Lucasfilm has to approve everything. And we mean everything. “We have to send pictures of every character and every model that we’re building to Lucasfilm. For example, we have to take pictures of Jar Jar Binks from every side and show these for approval. It can take up to six months. I remember C-3P0 took a couple of changes. Luckily, we got much (of the models and characters) approved when we started the first Star Wars Miniland five years ago. But it’s an on-going process. It’s time consuming for sure, but I think it’s good as it means that we’ve delivered on the high standards.”

2. But Jabba the Hutt’s Palace is a no-go. “I’ve always wanted to build Jabba’s Palace but we never got the approval for it. It’s never been built before. I think perhaps other buildings and scenes are more important.”

3. Bentivoglio has watched the “Star Wars” movies “too many times”. “We have seven rooms in the Star Wars Miniland, which showcases key scenes in each movie episode as well as scenes from the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. I’ve watched the movies too many times and I keep watching the scenes we’re building. I’m also responsible for the music and sound effects of the models so I’ve to pay very close attention to the scenes.”


4. Legoland created a special Lego Star Wars movie for visitors. “We made a five-minute movie to be screened for visitors before they enter our Octagon building, which houses the displays. While people have heard of Star Wars, not everyone will know exactly what it is about so the clip quickly goes through the storyline of all the episodes like an overview.”

5. Episode 2: attack of the clones was the most difficult to build. “The Geonosis arena (better known as the Battle Of Geonosis for fanboys) is probably the most difficult to build. Lucasfilm only provided me with one picture of it.’

6. You’ll need to build a sphere with Lego bricks first to get his job. “I applied for the job after watching a television commentary about how Legoland Germany was looking for model builders. One of the job interview tests included creating a cat from only blue bricks in 45 minutes. After that it was down to five of us and we were tasked to build a sphere. Two of us got in and I was one of them. I love what I do. I hope I’ll have the chance to build something similar to The Simpsons’ Springfield.” — TODAY

Princess Leia and her friends have no clue what's coming for them. — TODAY pic
Princess Leia and her friends have no clue what's coming for them. — TODAY pic