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Legoland trains Web cam on 'Star Wars' Miniland

Fans who can't be on hand for Thursday's grand opening of the new "Star Wars" Miniland will be able to see the teams put the finishing touches on the models, as well as see what's going on even after the ceremonies.

A screengrab of the live Web cam trained on the Legoland California Daniel Terdiman/CNET

In the world of enthusiasts, there are likely few groups more passionate than those who love Lego and "Star Wars."

So when you mix the two, what you end up with is a combustible mix of passion and excitement, and that's exactly what the people behind the all-new "Star Wars" Miniland opening tomorrow at Legoland California are hoping for.

But if you're not one of the lucky few who can be on hand for the opening, Legoland doesn't want to leave you out of the fun. That's why it has just launched a live Web cam that will be trained on the "Star Wars" Miniland for the official launch, and afterward as well.

If you check the cam out today or before the Miniland unveiling tomorrow morning, you can see the teams of Lego professionals--and who wouldn't want that moniker, by the way?--putting the finishing touches on the new exhibits. Fans can "enjoy the view from the top of the Model Shop as our Master Model Builders, animators, and landscape artists put the finishing touches on the seven scenes in 'Star Wars' Miniland," Legoland said in a release today. "Web cam viewers will also have a bird's eye view of the...opening ceremony [tomorrow] at 9:15 a.m. pacific, just before the area officially opens to the public."

I won't be able to be there for the opening, but I did get a chance to see some of the models up close and personal two months ago, and the ones I saw were terrific. There was a life-size Lego Chewbacca and R2-D2, as well as the world's-largest Lego Millennium Falcon. Plus a lot more.

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Legoland visitors, of course, will have access to more than 2,000 models built over 13 months of development and construction by eight master model builders and two animation electricians at Legoland Germany. All told, the project required more than 1.5 million bricks and weighs 1.3 tons. Visitors to Legoland Germany, as well as the company's flagship park, Legoland Billund in Denmark, will also be getting a "Star Wars" Miniland. Most of the models were made three times at the German model shop, with full sets of the models being shipped off to Billund and Carlsbad.

The models are based on all six of the live-action "Star Wars" films, as well as the animated "Clone Wars" series. The Miniland will feature models that depict one scene from each of the six live-action films and from "Clone Wars." From the original three films, visitors will be able to see Lego renditions of Luke Skywalker's home planet Tatooine--Uncle Owen's farm; the cantina; and the starport, where the Millennium Falcon will be installed--the Rebel's Hoth refuge from "Empire Strikes Back;" and the Endor system from "Return of the Jedi." As well, from the prequels, the Miniland will feature scenes from Naboo, Geonosis, and Kashyyk and Mustafar. Finally, "Clone Wars" fans will recognize a scene from Christophsis.