It’s rare that a LEGO set on its own serves as a major spoiler for a movie. From the now-classic Indiana Jones sets to Jurassic World sets more recently, LEGO sets provide characters, vehicles, and locations without revealing much more than a character’s name. But 75201 First Order AT-ST reveals several fundamental plot points of a major scene late in the movie. The set includes 370 pieces with 4 minifigures. Beyond just our usual criteria of design and value, is the set worth the spoilers?
We’d normally add a SPOILERS! warning here before the jump to the full review, but hey, LEGO has already spoiled several key plot points by releasing the set, so let’s just dig in.
The box and instructions
75201 First Order AT-ST comes in three numbered bags, with the instruction booklet and small sticker sheet loose in the box.
The back of the box highlights the set’s play features.
The first bag includes the gantry Rose climbs to fire down on Phasma fighting Finn, along with the parts for the AT-ST’s body. This first bag also includes Finn and Captain Phasma. The gantry is an incredibly simple structure, with a platform that slides up and down a Technic beam, with a latch that holds it in place in a couple of different positions.
The AT-ST’s core includes a mechanism to turn the vehicle’s missing head, like previous AT-ST sets like the excellent (though overly large) 75153 AT-ST Walker from Rogue One.
The second bag includes the parts for the AT-ST’s “neck” section and blasters, along with Rose.
Finally, the third bag completes the AT-ST by adding its legs. BB-8 shows up at this point, but that’s not really a surprise is it?
Both the AT-ST’s feet and several panels on its body are detailed with stickers. These stickers feel fairly unnecessary, given the minimal detail (in gray) that they add to the model.
The finished model
The completed AT-ST feels unfinished, because it is. In the movie, the AT-ST’s “head” armor seems to be connected to the gantry above it, and when BB-8 attempts to walk it out of its parked position, the armor tears off, leaving BB-8 piloting nothing but the “neck” and legs — a headless chicken walker. Even though we don’t publish low-resolution leaked images taken with a shaky camera phone from the pages of retailer catalogs marked “Confidential,” we can’t help but pay attention to leaks like that, so that we can bring our readers LEGO news when that news does turn up from a more-reliable source and with higher quality. When the first images of 75201 appeared online in the weeks leading up to the release of The Last Jedi, we were obviously frustrated by the major spoiler that the image represented, since as Star Wars fans we wanted to experience the movie itself “fresh.” And yes, the release of tension through BB-8’s unexpected and comedic exploits was significantly reduced because we knew what was coming, thanks to those leaked images from this LEGO set.
At the same time, we kind of assumed that LEGO would never release such an incomplete set, and that those first images were just part of the set. We assumed that the set would include a complete AT-ST, and between the movie’s release in mid-December and the reveal of final set photos a few days later, we thought that it could be cool to have an AT-ST with pop-off or rip-away armor play features. But obviously, those first leaked images turned out to represent the complete set, which does not have such play features. It’s interesting here to compare this so-called AT-ST with the most recent LEGO Star Wars AT-ST, released just over a year ago to support Rogue One.
The legs of this latest AT-ST are built very similarly to the legs on the previous AT-ST (similar angles, many similar parts, and similar techniques). That’s where the resemblance ends, with the First Order AT-ST sporting a large neck section and huge chin-mounted blaster module. We thought the Rogue One AT-ST might have been a little large for minifigure scale, but its shaping and functional features combined with great value made it an excellent buy ($39.99 for 449 pieces and on perpetual sale at $31.99 — a screaming deal for a LEGO Star Wars set).
75201 includes only 370 pieces for the same price, with even fewer pieces in the AT-ST itself. The gantry feels like a throw-away portion of the set that’s just there to add back some of the “missing” part count. I’ll acknowledge that the gantry’s ratchet system is clever, but it’s a component of the set that shouldn’t be necessary.
One of the reasons that the Rogue One AT-ST worked is because it works as a standalone model — the minifig pilot sits comfortably inside and doesn’t distract by being too small for the scale. Not so with the First Order AT-ST. BB-8 sits at the controls, a tiny blob atop a pair of enormous legs.
A knob at the back of the AT-ST’s body turns gears connected to its neck, turning the remnants of the walker’s head.
One reason the chin-mounted blasters are so monstrously huge is because they incorporate 1×4 spring-loaded shooter bricks with those long, trans-red missiles.
Overall, the AT-ST’s shaping is way off from the movie vehicle (depicted in reference books like DK’s The Last Jedi Visual Dictionary and Incredible Cross-Sections), which is very similar to the original Imperial “chicken walker.” The body and neck sections are too large, and the chin-mounted blaster module is just ridiculous.
One relief from the boring build that results in a couple of lackluster models comes in the form of the set’s four minifigures. 75201 First Order AT-ST includes Finn, Rose, Captain Phasma, and BB-8. Finn and Rose wear First Order officers’ uniforms that they steal from a laundry facility. Rose wears a dark blue major’s uniform and carries a small blaster while Finn wears a gunmetal captain’s uniform and wields a baton.
Rose wears a unique hat that integrates her hair with a dark blue First Order cap, and she has a reversible face. (Finn does not have a reversible face, since he wears a short cap that would expose the second face on the back of his head.)
Captain Phasma carries her quicksilver baton and wears her signature chrome armor (in pearl-silver in LEGO form). Aside from her three-piece baton, Phasma is essentially identical to the minifig released in 2015 for The Force Awakens, with a very minor update to her helmet that we didn’t notice until a keen-eyed reader pointed it out in the comments.
This is disappointing, since she has a plain black head underneath her helmet rather than a LEGO version of Gwendoline Christie — particularly since we finally see part of Phasma’s face as she falls into a fireball at the end of her battle with Finn.
BB-8 is the same BB-8 as all the other BB-8’s you have in your collection already.
Conclusions and recommendation
By this point in the review, unless you’ve skipped over my write-up above, readers should be expecting a poor recommendation, and you’d be right. This is a poorly designed LEGO set that not only misses opportunities for interesting play features and new solutions to existing designs, but also misses the mark on price while spoiling the movie for anybody who saw the set before seeing the movie.
So, let’s recap the key plot points that this LEGO set reveals outside of trailers, production photos, and other well-controlled media that enable the average movie-goer to avoid spoilers.
- Rose and Finn wear disguises to infiltrate a First Order facility. This fact — and even Rose’s key place in the movie more generally — were never revealed outside the movie itself.
- BB-8 pilots a stripped-down AT-ST. This plot point came as a big surprise during the movie, and served as a major point of comic relief during an incredibly tense scene.
- Finn has a major hand-to-hand combat battle with Captain Phasma. This scene did feature in some publicity photos that appeared online just prior to the movie’s release, but that one photo was easily avoidable.
Bad design, bad price, and a major movie spoiler. This set just shouldn’t exist — don’t buy it. If you want the two unique minifigures, you can find them on BrickLink. Rose is available for under $10 and Finn for about $7, and we expect those prices to fall as the set goes on inevitable discount — at which point we suppose you could pick up the full set if you really want it.
But LEGO Star Wars sets from The Last Jedi aren’t all terrible. Check out our reviews of some of the other sets we think are pretty great:
75201 First Order AT-ST includes 370 pieces. The set is available now from the LEGO Shop ($39.99 in the US | $49.99 in Canada | £54.99 in the UK), Amazon.com (20% off at $31.99), Target, BrickLink, and eBay.