Welcome Back to Builders’ Journeys, where an AFOL takes us back to remember one of those important sets from their life, that helped them to develop into the builder they are today. Today, we hear from Piotr, a Polish reader, who you can find on Instagram and Youtube, where he runs the channel ’Habit of Bricking. Piotr is the first of our AFOLs to bring a LEGO® Star Wars set to the fore. And it is one of the earliest: 7101 Lightsaber Duel from 1999. It has 2 minifigures and 52 pieces.
This small set, LEGO® Star Wars 7101 Lightsaber Duel, got me through some really sad times as a kid.
I remember I got it from my parents about the time they were about to split, just as I remember my dad telling me (before he moved out) that he’ll take me to the cinema to watch the Phantom Menace together.
I loved this tiny thing – a brave Jedi, a wicked Sith, a cool little swooshable speeder and a side build that could rebuilt into a droid or another small vehicle. And I remember Qui-Gon and Darth Maul were waging battles and leading their LEGO armies (which, of course, I had to build for both sides beforehand) to the war for the whole weeks.
This little set was a gateway to the whole galaxy of adventures, and it allowed me to get lost in them, and even escape for a moment.
Looking back, I think that’s how my affection for small sets started. Especially small Star Wars sets – after all, Microfighters released 15 years after the Lightsaber Duel were the line of sets that slowly brought me back from my Dark Ages, and made me an AFOL I am today in a sense.
But it all started with this Lightsaber Duel. It’s hard for me not to think about this set kindly and with tons of nostalgia.
Thank you for sharing your story with us, Piotr.
Being released in 1999, there are a couple of features which well and truly date this set: the set was released before the transition to flesh-coloured skin for licensed characters in 2004. The instructions appear to be in a transition point: we still see an alternative build in the manual! The vaporator included in the model is essentially square, rather than rounded: the addition of many curved elements embodies the nature of the change in elements in the early 2000s. Still, as Piotr told us, it is a set full of play value.
Looking at this set, with its minimalist building, I find myself thinking about 2021’s Duel on Mandalore. Indeed, another Sith vs Jedi duel, and again, it is Darth Maul! Sometimes LEGO Sets can just get a little bit too complex, and take too long to put together, when all you really want to do is play, and imaging how different parts of the story should have ended.
I do love the way that the smaller sets today, in the form of the Microfighters are what brought Piotr out of his dark ages. Be sure to checkout Habit Of Bricking on YouTube.
Would you like to contribute to our Builders’ Journeys column? I believe everyone has a set from their past that is significant for some reason or another, whether it was their first, a set you built with your grand parents, a set you built with your own kids. If you can write a paragraph or two, explaining why that set is special to you, why not send them in. If you do not have photos of it, do not worry: we can probably find one or two to convey what it was about. Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and until next time…