A significant number of LEGO minifigures are created to represent characters from TV series or films. LEGO has been creating Star Wars minifigs since 1999 and has created a total of 1,276 as of July 2022. When creating a new minifig of a specific character, LEGO often chooses to create new parts specific to that character, and sometimes even multiple new parts to create different versions of the character with different outfits, hairstyles, or facial expressions. However, it is not always the case that all new parts are created for each new character. It is a common practice for LEGO to reuse the same part for multiple different characters, sometimes even if those characters do not look very much alike.
After finding that female minifig heads are reused more often than male heads in the Town category (see Part 1 and Part 2), we suspected that when looking at minifig heads representing specific characters, heads used in female characters may be reused more often for other characters than are heads used in male characters. We chose to explore this using a few of the most prominent characters in Star Wars: Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Kylo Ren, Poe Dameron, Princess Leia, and Rey Skywalker. We chose Luke Skywalker and Han Solo as comparable male characters to Princess Leia because all three of these characters are very prominent and are original characters who have been present from the first film (Episode 4). We chose Kylo Ren and Poe Dameron as male counterparts to Rey Skywalker because all three of these characters are relatively new and yet prominent characters, having all made their first appearance in The Force Awakens (Episode 7).
We used data from Bricklink to look at how many minifigures have been produced for each character, and within those, how many unique heads have been used. Then, for each head, we looked at whether it was specific to the character or had been used for other characters also, and if so, which characters those were.
Luke Skywalker (Screen Time: 132.25 minutes)
There have been a total of 55 Luke Skywalker minifigs released between 1999-2022. Among those, 20 unique heads have been used. As the bar chart above shows, 18 of the 20 heads are exclusively for Luke. Interestingly, the two heads repeated for other characters are the two most frequently used heads for Luke Skywalker minifigs. Each of these heads was repeated for one other character– head 3626bps2 was used for Obi-Wan Kenobi (another Star Wars character), and head 3626cpb1414 was used for Gunther (a character from a set on the television show Friends).
Han Solo (Screen Time: 138.5 minutes)
A total of 45 Han Solo minifigs were released between 2000-2022. Among those, there have been 15 unique heads used. As the bar chart above shows, 14/15 of these heads have been used exclusively for Han Solo. The one head that has been reused, 3626cpb2108, is featured on a wide range of other characters: Cedric Diggory (Harry Potter) (x4), Hawkeye (Avengers Endgame), Ikaris (Eternals), Marty McFly (Back to the Future), and Steve Rogers (Super Heroes).
Kylo Ren (Screen Time: 54.75 minutes)
There have been a total of 7 Kylo Ren heads released between 2015-2020. Among those, there have been 4 unique heads. As the bar chart above shows, all of these heads have been used exclusively for Kylo Ren minifigs. It is possible that this is the case because these heads look like they have more features specific to the character than the other heads explored, which mostly are more generic. Especially the scar, which Kylo got in Episode 7 during a major fight scene, is a specific defining characteristic of this character in particular.
Poe Dameron (Screen Time: 46.75 minutes)
There have been a total of 10 Poe Dameron minifigs released between 2015-2021, and surprisingly, all of them have used the same head pictured above. This head has been reused for one other character: Razor Fist from the Super Heroes: Shang-Chi category (pictured below).
Princess Leia (Screen Time: 77.5 minutes)
There have been a total of 26 Princess Leia minifigs released between 2000-2019. Among those, there have been 10 unique heads used. We can see from the bar chart above that only 4 out of the 10 heads have been used exclusively for Leia, while the other 6 have been used for other characters.
The top most frequently used Leia head (pictured above) has been used in 10 different Princess Leia minifigs, but also in Mon Mothma (another Star Wars character) and two generic soccer players from the Sports category as depicted above. It is notable that this head was produced both in yellow and in light nougat, and it was the only head used for Leia minifigs between 2000-2007. Between 2010-2019 the variety of heads used for Leia minifigs increased significantly. This pattern is consistent for Luke Skywalker and Han Solo heads also– there was only one Han Solo head and two Luke Skywalker heads for the first several years, and the variety increased after 2006/2007.
Finally, this last Leia head was used for Padawan (another Star Wars character) in addition to Leia.
In total, heads used for Princess Leia minifigs have collectively been used for 9 other characters across a wide range of series and films!
Rey Skywalker (Screen Time: 131.5 minutes)
Despite the fact that Rey Skywalker is one of the most prominent female characters in the more recent Star Wars films, there have only been a total of four Rey minifigs produced between 2015-2019, and all of them use the same head (pictured above)! This head has also been used for Gwen Stacy (Spider Man) and Lavender Brown (Harry Potter). It is likely the case that there are so few Rey minifigs because Rey has only appeared in the more recent Star Wars films. However, given that she is such a prominent character, it would make sense for LEGO to produce more variations of Rey minifigs with different heads in the future.
This comparison of four prominent male characters (Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Kylo Ren, and Poe Dameron) and two prominent female characters (Princess Leia and Rey Skywalker) clearly shows that heads used for the male characters are more frequently used exclusively for the specific character, while heads used for female characters are more frequently repeated in other characters. Only 2 out of 20 Luke heads and 1 out of 15 Han Solo heads were reused, while 6/10 (over half!) of Leia heads were reused. When looking at the more recent characters, there were fewer minifigs overall, and yet there were 4 unique heads created and used exclusively for Kylo Ren, while there was only one head used for Rey Skywalker, and that one head was reused. Poe Dameron is interesting because he also only had one head which was reused for one other character, so he does not follow the pattern as closely. In this analysis we are only looking at a few characters, so the generalization cannot be made across the board that heads of female characters are reused more often, and yet it provides clear initial evidence which warrants further exploration. Stay tuned for Part 2, where we will dig deeper into repetition of male and female heads across Star Wars, Avengers, and Jurassic World characters.
Screen Time data sourced from IMDB.