LEGO Star Wars “Bespin Duel” Set Celebrates The Moment That Changed Everything

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There are iconic movie moments, but then there are moments that transcend pop culture altogether. The revelation that Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker’s father is one of them.  What better way to commemorate the 40th anniversary of this event than with LEGO® bricks!

The Moment

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back made its debut on May 21, 1980. Episode V was an early game-changer for the franchise. As the film hurtles towards its end, Luke Skywalker engages Darth Vader in an epic lightsaber duel. Luke seeks revenge against the man responsible for his father’s death. Vader, on the other hand, tries to convince Luke to turn to the Dark Side. The duel ends with Vader disarming the young Jedi by slicing through his forearm. Vader then drops one of the biggest movie bombshells on an unsuspecting Luke with the declaration, “I am your father.”

This turns the young Skywalker’s world upside down as much as it did for audiences. After hearing those words, Skywalker drops down the central air shaft of Cloud City on planet Bespin. The revelation hung in the air for those of us in the audience as much as it did for a one-armed, upside-down Skywalker ejected by the floating city. Luke is rescued by Lando, Leia, and Chewie; his hand is replaced with a prosthesis. The film ends on an overall down note. I personally remember being one distraught little girl. I think I even cried.

The Set

Fast forward a few decades. That moment lives on through the ages even outside of dedicated Star Wars fandom. In Star Wars lore, the moment is known as the “Bespin Duel.” Fans are celebrating the 40th anniversary of this movie and its key scenes throughout the year in various ways. Collectible sets are one such method. LEGO Star Wars design director Jens Kronvold Frederiksen recently spoke about bringing this moment to life in brick form. The model launches exclusively on on August 27.

The set focuses on the “Bespin Duel” moment. From first looks, it looks like a fun build for fans and newcomers alike. The scene was part of previous, larger Cloud City builds. This is the first time the moment is a build of its own.

Frederiksen and her team approached the model’s design with the idea of a display rather than play. This is why the build includes a display base. Her team focused on the details of the moment from the film. According to Frederiksen, “When developing a model like this one, we typically watch the specific movie sequence over and over again. When we are using reference images, it is always original images supplied by Lucasfilm.” The team even reviewed some black-and-white stills from the movie set when it was filmed.

Everyone knows that this moment happens after the lightsaber duel concluded. Both Skywalker and Vader no longer have their lightsabers. Skywalker loses his lightsaber with his dispatched hand. Vader has turned his blade off. Eagled-eyed collectors will note that the Skywalker and Vader figures included in the set have their lightsabers even though at this moment they should not.

This is because Frederiksen was aware that fans have traditionally wanted their action figures to be complete with lightsabers no matter what. Thus, they are included. There are two small clips on the main bridge of the model where builders may put the blue and red sabers.

Frederiksen understands expectations are high for models like this. The team took their time to get the details right. After all, she is a fan herself! She and the rest of the LEGO Star Wars team are quite happy with the end result. They hope everyone else likes it too. The “Bespin Duel” set will be available on August 27 exclusively on

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