With Star Wars: The Last Jedi in movie theaters in just a few days, we’re focusing again on the LEGO Star Wars sets released ahead of the film’s release. 75188 Resistance Bomber joins a substantial line of LEGO Star Wars sets from The Last Jedi, including 75187 BB-8 and 75204 Sandspeeder we reviewed previously. 75188 Resistance Bomber includes 778 pieces with 5 minifigs and retails for $109.99.
The box & instructions
75188 Resistance Bomber comes in a standard retail box that includes six numbered bags (with two bags numbered 1). The single instruction booklet comes in its own wrapper, along with the sticker sheet.
The back of the box has the usual play feature highlights.
The instruction booklet is 144 pages long and spans 280 pages. The first bags include Admiral Holdo and the Resistance bomber pilot, as well as the parts to build the central core and half of the outer shell of the lower wing. As with most LEGO Star Wars vehicles, the central core is built from Technic beams connected with pins and reinforced with plates. The core also incorporates a mechanism that we’ll return to later, and it’s interesting to see how the designers have created a triangular shape that supports the angled structure.
The first stickers turn up in bag 1, applied to 2×2 round tiles on the wing’s surface.
The second bag completes the outer shell of the lower wing, adding various weapons and/or sensor arrays (we’ll know what they are when the movie comes out and DK releases reference books like the Visual Dictionary and Incredible Cross-Sections).
Bag 3 includes the Resistance bombardier, along with the pieces for most of the main fuselage. The fuselage has a central channel that connects to an opening that passes through the lower wing. The cockpit’s controls are represented with printed 1×2 cheese slopes. However, several large stickers add detail to the upper fuselage.
The fourth bag completes the main fuselage and includes the printed canopy piece — a variation of the trans-clear Millennium Falcon cockpit piece.
The final bag includes Poe Dameron the Resistance gunner. This bag adds the horizontal winglets and the two rear-facing ball turrets, along with some really cool details that connect to the outside pair of engines.
The finished model
75188 Resistance Bomber is a hefty, beast of a vehicle that has real weight in the hand — appropriate for the first dedicated (non-TIE) bomber in the Star Wars universe. (Remember that the venerable Y-wing is a multi-role fighter-bomber.) It’s also great to see the Resistance piloting something other than a revamped Rebellion starfighter like the T-70 X-wing based on the original T-65.
The front of the bomber bristles with detail, both on the nose and below. The spring-loaded shooters are incredibly well-integrated into the body of the vehicle.
The cockpit seats both the pilot and the bombardier, who faces back toward the bomb chute with a window into the chute.
Behind the bomb chute, Poe Dameron and Admiral Holdo have a comfortably roomy space that looks a bit like an office but I imagine is some kind of mobile command center.
There’s an observation post at the rear of the command center where a minifig can sit and see the action from above.
The bomber’s rear of course features engines — a bank of six engines indicative of the speed and power that the vehicle must achieve in the movie.
As we noted during the build, the external engine details are excellent, with curved pipes using “macaroni” pieces that give the vehicle a decidedly dieselpunk look.
The bottom of the lower wing has a pair of small winglets that help stabilize the bomber when it’s landed, and the ball turret swings up out of the way.
In flight mode, the ball turret flops back down again with gravity. Both ball turrets also swing on their horizontal axis so that they remain vertical regardless of the main vehicle’s orientation, reminiscent of the B-wing’s cockpit.
Each ball turret opens to allow the gunner to sit comfortably, if rather exposed to enemy fire.
The doors that open between the cockpit and command post provide access to the bomb chute, which continues through the bottom of the vehicle.
The bombs themselves are black Bionicle balls, all of which fit in the bomb chute and can be dropped individually by pressing the Technic mechanism built into the core in the very first bag.
75188 Resistance Bomber includes five minifigs — Poe Dameron, Admiral Holdo, and a complement of Resistance crew (pilot, bombardier, and gunner). It remains to be seen how movie-accurate these minifigs are, but let’s take a closer look.
All five minifigs have torsos printed front and back, as well as reversible faces with dual expressions. The three Resistance crew members wear identical flight suits, and all three have breathing masks like modern fighter pilots (what purpose they serve in a Star Wars context also remains to be seen). Poe Dameron also wears an orange flight suit, but without the life support gear the others wear. Finally, Admiral Holdo has bright pink hair and what appears to be a flowing, robe-like outfit.
The crew members’ helmets are also worth a closer look, though we’ll leave it to intrepid readers to parse the Aurabesh lettering (I very consciously avoid even the tiniest of spoilers ahead of a movie’s release).
With stations for at least six minifigs (pilot, bombardier, command center, observation post, and two ball turrets), one more crew member would have been welcome, but the Resistance crew minifigs have incredibly useful parts for modern military builders, and it’s great to get Poe Dameron in a different outfit, along with a new character.
Conclusions & recommendation
It’s hard to render a final judgment on a set based on a movie that’s not out yet, without the usual reference materials I typically rely on, but with a fun build and cool finished model with great minifigs, I very much enjoyed 75188 Resistance Bomber.
That said, $110 for only 778 pieces (with an arguably “missing” minifig) doesn’t make this set a very good value for the money. While “evergreen” (Prequel and Classic Trilogy) LEGO Star Wars sets don’t go on sale that often, the sets aligned with The Force Awakens and Rogue One (the latter of which had very reasonably priced sets like the AT-ST and stellar Y-wing) have consistently gone on sale for 20-30% off fairly soon after each movie’s release.
Given all that, I can’t recommend running out and purchasing this set now — wait until it inevitably goes on sale in order to get your Resistance crew and Admiral Holdo minifigs. But when you see this set on sale in the coming weeks or months, do snap it up.