The LEGO Group held an 'Ask Me Anything' Q&A with LEGO® Star Wars™ Creative Director Jens Kronvold Frederiksen in Reddit's r/LEGO last month.
Get to know him more and find out interesting tidbits on what goes on in developing the iconic LEGO Star Wars sets!
"My name is Jens Kronvold Frederiksen. I am the Creative Director for LEGO Star Wars and the leader of the awesome LEGO Star Wars Design team. I started as model designer in 1998. The first project I was involved in was Rock Raiders. Launched in 1999, I designed two models for that theme - 4940 and 4990 - . Soon after I started on LEGO Star Wars, making the sketch model for the Y-Wing in set 7150. I have been working on LEGO Star Wars ever since! All these years later, I am still an avid builder and build all the products we create at least once! Beside model design, I have also sculpted many new elements, like animals, minifigure wigs, hats, and alien minifigures heads."
Take us briefly through the design process... I have always wondered, do you guys do a top down design? For instance, do you formulate an idea and THEN figure out how to make it happen with the bricks/pieces available? Or is the LEGO engineering/brick building present at every point in the design stages? - u/Willis2014
We normally set the assortment first together with Lucasfilm. Then we create it in LEGO. We are always trying to make the models from existing LEGO elements, but sometimes we create new ones to get the design right.
What is your all time favorite LEGO Star Wars set and why? - u/Drewboy810
I have many favorites, one is the UCS Millennium Falcon 10179, as it was the largest LEGO set at that time. Another favorite is the Death Star sets, because they have a lot of minifigures, and you can play out all the scenes happening on the Death Stars in the movies
As an engineer, I am fascinated by the technical side of LEGO set design. I know designers are constrained to using currently-produced parts and colors. I would love to know more about the management of available parts and colors given that it’s actually a pretty limited set.
Who decides the existing color palette for LEGO parts? For example, what prompted the return of turquoise and the new coral color in the past year?
What is the process for requesting an existing mold in a new color?
When existing elements aren't enough, how does requesting a new mold for the set you're designing work? I'm less interested in specialized parts like animals or minifigure accessories, more general elements like the recent element ID 36840 - u/Tusserte
The color palette is set across the company each year, and we are all working with the same palette. In the project we can decide to make pieces in new colors, and we often do.
When we are making new molded elements, in LEGO Star Wars most of these are used for minifigure parts e.g. wigs helmets. we are also making more regular LEGO elements, when we do that, we try to make them as universal as possible, so that they may be used for other things than what they were initially intended for.
You said you’ve built every LSW set—Which set(s) did you find the most difficult/time-consuming to build?
Follow up: Which set was the most complex to design? - u/einch
That decision happened almost automatically!
The first UCS Millennium Falcon 10179 was very popular, so we decided to make a new and updated version of that. We also wanted to add part of the interior, since it was requested by many. So when designing 75192 we very quickly saw that this would require a LOT more pieces, and with that, also a higher price. So we are of course happy that people appreciate the set, even the price is high.
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