The coronavirus quarantine is challenging in a number of ways, resulting in people finding new and unusual activities to keep them busy at home. One fan is combining his love for both Star Trek and LEGO into a fun activity that is producing some impressive results.
Recreating Star Trek: The Next Generation in LEGO’s virtual builder
Star Trek fan Chen Wang is working abroad in Hong Kong, and after his girlfriend returned to Europe, he found himself isolated, due to travel restrictions. Wang is also an IT professional and longtime user of Lego Digital Designer, LEGO’s free app that allows you to create LEGO builds in a virtual environment. Looking for things to do kill the boredom, he combined his computer skills with his fandoms.
The result is a series of virtual builds in Lego Digital Designer, each depicting a scene from Wang’s favorite show, Star Trek: The Next Generation. He started from the beginning, and so far has created scenes from the first half of the show’s first season. Wang has been sharing his work on Reddit for both the r/lego and r/startrek communities and agreed to allow us to share them here at TrekMovie.
Captain Picard goes on trial for humanity under the judgment of Q in “Encounter at Farpoint.”
Yar finds out if Data is fully functional in “The Naked Now.”
Yar demonstrates an aikido training program in the holodeck in “Code of Honor.”
The Guardian of the Tkon appears to the Enterprise landing party and Ferengi in “The Last Outpost.”
The Traveler and Kosinski get the Enterprise warp drive ready to test their enhancements in “Where No One has Gone Before.”
Worf gets shocked by mysterious energy in “Lonely Among Us.”
Wesley breaks the rules of Rubicun III by breaking the glass in “Justice.”
Picard faces off against Riker while in command of the U.S.S. Stargazer in “The Battle.”
Q pops into Picard’s ready room in “Hide And Q.”
Picard grapples with Lwaxana’s luggage in “Haven.”
Picard and Data indulge in a Dixon Hill holodeck adventure in “The Big Goodbye.”
Data fights with his brother Lore in “Datalore.”
Riker and Yar address Angel I’s council of mistresses in “Angel One.”
The Bynars prepare to upgrade the Enterprise’s computer in “11001001.”
How he does it
LEGO has never made officially licensed Star Trek sets, but what Wang has created shows how you can do without them, just using available LEGO components. Even though Wang’s builds are virtual, they should all be possible to build for real, as the Lego Digital Designer uses commercially available LEGO components for its building blocks. However, he admits that in some cases he might be using colors on some parts that may not be available to buy.
Each of these builds has taken Wang about two days to complete. Wang notes that the Lego Digital Designer is easy to use, but he is implementing some advanced techniques including “scaffolding” to complete his builds. After constructing each scene in the LEGO software, he exports the files to Pixar RenderMan to create the final high-resolution images.
The animation below shows how each build is created in LDD. Note, the abbreviation “MOC” is what LEGO builders call “my own creation.”
Wang tells TrekMovie he doesn’t have a specific target in mind for how many episodes from TNG he will recreate, but he plans to keep going. He is also considering taking on Deep Space Nine. He may also take a crack at ordering the LEGO parts to make some real builds as well.
You can try to make some of your own creations with Lego Digital Designer, which is free to download. Chen Wang has also made his LDD files available to download on Github.
Keep up with all the fun Star Trek great links here at TrekMovie.com.
The Lego builds are so cool!
I feel like a kid again.
Most of TNG’s first season was pretty bad. Legos don’t help.
Phil the first season of any Star Trek show is pretty bad, not just TNG. Even Picard was pretty bad by your definition.
Legos do help.
Does EVERY thread has to be a discussion about the same things over and over again? This is just amazing work and show fans love for this franchise.
These are very impressive!
Everything IS awesome, if you make it so!
I got that reference…! 😊
Incredible work. Even more amazing that this is being done for multiple episodes. Now THAT’s commitment!
I hope he really does start on DS9 next!
Well if he does all of TNG first you will have to wait for some time ;-)
Where’s the one for “Conspiracy”?!? I have to see what scene he chooses!
I’ll never understand Paramount’s thought process when they license stuff. They went with Mega Blocks years ago, something almost nobody buys, and then they went with HD DVD over Blu-Ray. Meanwhile Star Wars has always, and still does, get a lot of cool merchandise for the fans.
With Lego partnered with Star Wars/Lucasfilm it’s highly possible that going the Lego route just wasn’t a possibility.
I don’t know any details about how these licensing deals work but I guess Lego either wasn’t interested or Mega Blocks simply offered to pay more for the license. I mean, does CBS get its money simply for allowing licensees to use the brand? Or does CBS only get a cut of every licensed merchandise item sold? I guess it’s the first. In that case CBS doesn’t care so much about sales numbers.