Draykov wrote:From about 2002-2008, this was their explanation for not having any original space themes...they didn't want to have to compete with their own Star Wars line. Eventually, I guess they had a change of heart and realized that an original space theme could exist alongside Star Wars without affecting sales negatively.
From 1999-2006 LEGO was actually under a contractual obligation with Lucasfilm NOT to produce any 'fantasy space' themes thanks to potential competition with Star Wars. But in 2007, LEGO's contract with Lucasfilm went up for renewal, and LEGO made sure to write into the contract that they were allowed to produce fantasy space themes again (not sure of the details).
Now, how they got away with Life On Mars in 2001 is beyond me-- I was never overly satisfied with the lack of explanation on that one from Jake and Brad, who were the community reps at the time. And I remember specifically being told (by Steve, I think?) that that aspect of the contract was going to expire in 2007, and BAM! As soon as 2007 hits, we got Mars Mission.