“Fans will be Able to Build, Code with 3 ‘Star Wars’ Droids in New Lego Set” by S.M. O’Connor

 

On Saturday, May 4, 2019, The LEGO® Group announced the forthcoming release of LEGO® Star Wars™ BOOST Droid Commander, the latest set in its licensed Star Wars™ product line on Sunday, September 1, 2019.  Star Wars fans will be able to build, code, and play with three customizable famous droids (as robots are called in Star Wars films): R2-D2,[1] the Mouse Droid,[2] and the Gonk Power Droid.[3]  This is the first time that drag-and-drop LEGO® BOOST computer coding technology has been used with a LEGO® licensed product.

The set includes a color and distance senor, an interactive motor, Bluetooth (Move Hub), and 1,177 pieces with which to build R2-D2, the Mouse Droid, and Gonk Droid.  Each droid comes with its own sound effects and music.  This set is for children and teens ages eight and up.  The retail list price is $199.99.

In this set, R2-D2 measures over seven inches or twenty centimeters tall and five inches (fourteen centimeters) wide; the Gonk Droid measures over seven inches (eighteen centimeters) high, three inches (nine centimeters) wide, and six inches (sixteen centimeters) long; and the Mouse Droid measures over five inches (fourteen centimeters) high, three inches (nine centimeters) wide, and six inches (seventeen centimeters) long.  The free LEGO® BOOST Star Wars™ app is available for selected iOS, Android, and Fire smart devices.  Using the LEGO® BOOST Star Wars™ app, “commanders” can build the droids, insert the Bluetooth-controlled Move Hub into the droid they want to see solve each of the more than forty missions, and animate (as in veritably bringing it to life) using the intuitive drag-and-drop coding environment.  “Missions” for the droids include plotting a course for R2-D2 or receiving and decoding an incoming message, preparing the Gonk Droid for a fighter pit, and preparing the Mouse Droid to deliver a message ore locate Rebels.

The LEGO® Group stated, “With the technology overhauled to match the LEGO Star Wars galaxy, the result is a whole new play experience in which kids and parents can team up to build, code and play with the droids, then create their own Star Wars stories and battlegrounds with inspiration from 40+ interactive missions. What’s more, every time they play with this LEGO Star Wars brick galaxy of lovable droids, they will also be honing their STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) skills, which are ever more important for children in today’s digital world.”[4]

The LEGO Star Wars BOOST Droid Commander set is the latest example of how the LEGO Group is using product innovation to help boys and girls gain vital STEAM skills like creativity, critical-thinking, problem-solving and communication – all while enjoying the thrill of playing with their favourite LEGO Star Wars characters.

Julia Goldin, Chief Marketing Officer of The LEGO® Group, stated, “We’ve been fuelling the imagination of young Padawans and Jedi Masters for twenty years and wanted to take the Force to a new level. By introducing LEGO BOOST and creative coding into the LEGO Star Wars galaxy, kids now have the chance to develop essential 21st century skills while immersing themselves in the amazing world of Droid Commanders. Our children are the problem solvers of tomorrow and STEAM skills will be essential to help them conquer the challenges of the future.”

Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019) will be released on Friday, December 20, 2019.  This will be the third installment in the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy made since The Walt Disney Company acquired Lucasfilm, Ltd.  Walt Disney Studios and Lucasfilm have stated this will be the final film in the Skywalker family saga and also the last Star Wars film to be scored by John Williams.

75253_LSW_BOOST_2HY19_ModelsFigure 1 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: The set LEGO® Star Wars™ BOOST Droid Commander includes three customizable droids: the Mouse Droid, R2-D2, and the Gonk Power Droid.

75253_LSW_BOOST_2HY19_PlayFigure 2 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: Young ‘Commanders” can animate (as in veritably bring to life) a droid using the Move Hub and intuitive drag-and-drop BOOST coding environment.  Here, we see two children animating R2-D2.

75253_LSW_BOOST_2HY19_BuildFigure 3 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: The set LEGO® Star Wars™ BOOST Droid Commander enables children to develop their S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematical) skills.

75253_LSW_BOOST_2HY19_CodeFigure 4 Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: This is what the drag-and-drop LEGO® BOOST Star Wars™ coding app looks.

Credit: The LEGO® Group Caption: The set LEGO® Star Wars™ BOOST Droid Commander includes three customizable droids: the Mouse Droid, R2-D2, and the Gonk Power Droid.

ENDNOTES

[1] R2-D2 (played by Kenny Baker in the Original Trilogy) scarcely needs an introduction.  George Lucas first depicted the character with companion C-3PO in Star Wars (1977), which George Lucas renamed Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope for the re-release in 1981 after he had released the sequel, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980).  The two cute robot characters provided comic relief and were inspired by the two bumbling peasants in Akira Kurosawa’s samurai film The Hidden Fortress (1958) and designed by concept artist Ralph McQuarrie (1929-2012).

[2] First seen aboard the Death Star in A New Hope, were cute robots on wheels the Galactic Empire used to ferry small objects around the corridors of large installations.

[3] The Gonk Droid, also known as the GNK Droid, was a walking power generator seen in the Jawa sandcrawler in A New Hope.

[4] Note that speakers of British English say “maths” where speakers of American English say “math” the way speakers of British English say a person is “in hospital” whereas speakers of American English say a person is “in the hospital.”

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