Following our reviews of 75152 Imperial Assault Hovertank (SPOILER: NOT A HOVERTANK!) and 75153 AT-ST Walker, we’re continuing our reviews of the Rogue One LEGO sets released in October, now that the movie is out two months after the LEGO sets hit stores. 75155 Rebel U-wing Fighter includes 659 pieces with 5 minifigs, and retails for $79.99.
Now that the movie has been out for a couple of weeks, our reviews will reference character details and plot points, so come back again after you’ve seen the movie if you don’t want any spoilers.
The U-wing comes in five numbered bags, with a 120-page instruction booklet spanning 202 steps. Like most larger sets with a sticker sheet, the instruction booklet and sticker sheet come in a protective wrap.
The first bag includes Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor, and the parts build the central core of the vehicle. Like most sets larger than about 12 studs long, the central core is full of Technic beams sandwiched between plates for sturdiness.
Like the hovertank, the spring-loaded missile launcher bricks are integrated quite early into the build, and there’s an interesting mechanism you build in steps 36-38 that we’ll come back to later when discussing the play features in the finished model.
Bag 2 completes much of the outer hull, including the variable sweep wings, which click into place with tow bar balls.
The third bag includes the door gunner, Bistan, along with a Rebel soldier. With the pieces in this bag, you build the passenger compartment. There’s more Technic here for sturdy connections with the upper hull, and a bit of studs-out building for shaping. The passenger compartment is built as an independent component that locks into the main build with Technic pins. The pins are covered over by other elements later in the build, though, so you won’t be able to easily remove the compartment. The doors click onto Technic arms so they can swing out.
With the fourth bag, which includes the U-wing pilot, you build the pilot’s cockpit and the attachments for the engine blocks in Bag 5. This bag also contains a UCS X-wing canopy for the lower viewport in front of the passenger compartment, with some additional bricks attached to the canopy studs-down. Two long stickers are applied to this canopy, and can be tricky to align properly.
The area behind the cockpit has some solid greebling, and the cockpit canopy (the new X-wing canopy from the Force Awakens sets) is fully printed.
The fifth and final bag includes the parts for four essentially identical engines. There are some surprisingly complex building techniques inside the white cowlings just to create the T-shaped engine intake cooling vanes.
The finished model
The Incom UT-60D U-wing starfighter is more akin to the Republic Gunship in its role as a troop transport and close air support platform than it is to true starfighters like the X-wing and Y-wing. This is reflected in the passenger compartment with swinging doors (with stud-shooter door guns) slung under the vehicle’s main hull.
The swinging S-foils and quad engines also reflect a shared design with the Incom X-wing.
One of the coolest play features is the pair of spring-loaded missile shooters between the wings, which are activated by subtly raised buttons built into the blue section in front of the cockpit.
The U-wing does rely on stickers for some of its details (particularly on the passenger compartment doors), but would still look good without all of the stickers applied.
While I felt the vehicle was a bit unwieldy when I first saw it and built the LEGO kit, it makes complete sense in the context of its role during several key scenes in the movie. One surprising aspect is just how large this model really is. With the wings swept forward, the U-wing is over 18 inches (45 cm) long, and when the wings are swept back it has an incredible span of over 25 inches (64 cm). Despite the very long swing-wings, the LEGO U-wing is incredibly sturdy, and totally swooshable in either configuration. All of the play features on the ship make sense, particularly the clever missile shooters.
Based on the minifig selection, this LEGO set depicts both Cassian Andor’s U-wing from the first half of the movie, which gets destroyed in a crash on Eadu, as well as the U-wings that bring in Rebel reinforcements on Scarif.
Thus, Jyn and Cassian are in their cold-weather gear for the Eadu mission. Jyn sports a rain poncho in soft cloth, with her vest underneath. I’m not entirely clear what her accessory is supposed to be — Stormtrooper-whacking truncheon, maybe (but then why not a pair)?
Her hat includes hair at the back, with a microphone on one side, and she has a dual-sided head and printed back.
The U-wing pilot wears a dark blue flight suit with a standard Rebel flight helmet in a new printed design. However, it’s interesting to note that the U-wing microfighter in the 2017 Rogue One LEGO sets has a unique helmet that looks more like the pilots’ helmets in the movie. Cassian Andor looks great in his dark blue parka.
Both the U-wing pilot and Cassian have an alternate expression and rear torso printing.
Bistan the door gunner and the Rebel ground trooper indicate the U-wing’s role during the Battle of Scarif at the end of the movie. Bistan has a unique head and wears an olive green flight suit, while the Rebel trooper has a unique helmet, olive green torso and dark tan legs.
Each of them has rear printing as well.
Conclusions & recommendation
This set is easily my favorite LEGO set from Rogue One, particularly after seeing the movie. The vehicle plays an integral role in multiple scenes, its design makes complete sense, and the LEGO set’s play features are fantastic.
It was also quite an interesting build, with some interesting techniques to make the fairly large vehicle quite sturdy. The minifig selection is also spot on, reflecting two key locations in the movie (Eadu and Scarif).
The main complaint most builders will have is the price in relation to the part count. In stark contrast to the frankly underpriced hovertank and AT-ST, the U-wing clocks in at $80 for only 659 pieces and 5 minifigs. This is pretty normal for licensed sets like LEGO Star Wars sets, but is a bit of a big jump from the two smaller sets in the line. (The set is currently just $68 from Amazon.com, which brings it back in line with a good value for the money.)
Nevertheless, this is an excellent set, reflecting both stellar concept design and LEGO set design, fun play features, and wise minifig choices. I’d be hard pressed to recommend it as a parts pack or to someone unfamiliar with the new movie, but it’s a must-have for any Star Wars fan.