Mike Rayahwk LEGO Universe
Nexus Force Unite!
"The Nexus Force"

I'd like to hope that everyone's already seen the fancy opening cinematic for LEGO Universe featuring the voiceover talents of Sir Patrick Stewart, but I understand that not everyone obsesses about LEGO stuff the way I do. For anyone who hasn't gotten to see it already, I've included it below. Note that I didn't do any work on this directly; this video was produced for LEGO by Advance A/S in Copenhagen.

But before Advance ended up making the intro cinematic, we were all sitting around wondering what we were going to do for an intro cinematic. While we were nailing down story points, we were also exploring different style treatments for animation. The above banner illustration, which we ended up using as the cover for one of the DVD booklets, shows a story point that didn't make it into the final version - the freshly-created Maelstrom is ripping apart Crux Prime from under the four heroes' feet (including the ninja Vanda Darkflame, who was cut from the intro to be introduced later in the story), and they're using the last pure spark of Imagination to resist the Maelstrom effects and form the Nexus Force.

LEGO Universe Cinema Trailer - 2010
Created for LEGO by Advance A/S

What we need is a MONTAGE
"What We Need is a Montage"
Found It!
"Found It!"
Duke and the Baron
"Duke and The Baron"

The Mythran Temple
"The Mythran Temple"


A couple points of trivia for the die-hard LEGO Universe fans: the idea for the Mythran Temple changed a number of times, but originally it was going to be shaped as the tripartate Penrose triangle that would later become the symbol for the Assembly builders' faction. The Penrose triangle was also the basis for the logo of the LUGNET LEGO fan community, a fact no one realized until production was already far enough underway that it was too latte to change it. Hopefully everyone just thought it was an homage, but the truth of the matter is that no one in a position to make decisions had any idea.

In the "Noooooooo" story beat, Doctor Overbuild collects falling debris from their destroyed spaceship to build a makeshift seal over the Maelstrom. (The Maelstrom was originally contained within the planet rather than turning into a storm that spanned the whole planetary system.) The Maelstrom tries to stop him, and, as in the final video, Duke Exeter sacrifices himself to block the attack and give the Doctor enough time to finish the seal. This is too much for Hale Storm, who falls to his knees with the eponymous "Noooooooo" until the Doctor turns around and uses an Imagination spark to put Duke right back together again in front of the sheepish Hale.

Hale's reaction was a holdover from an earlier incarnation of the Hale Storm character, "Gail Storm," who, besides being female, also was intended to have some poorly concealed romantic tension with Duke Exeter. I don't know the reasoning behind the gender switch, although I'd guess is that the secret crush angle didn't market test well with the target market of grade-school boys. But as a result, the Gail minifigure exchanged her lipstick and cleavage for beard stubble and chest hair to become Hale. (The "official" story is that they're two sibling minifigures, but I've never seen both of them in the same place.)

Mike Rayahwk
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