Star Wars is one of the flagship themes that has kept LEGO fans on their toes every single year since its first appearance in 1999, and there seems to be no end to it. 2019 marks the 20th Anniversary of the Star Wars joining the LEGO lineup. In celebration, the latest wave of sets feature nostalgic packaging and some unique exclusives to commemorate the early years of LEGO’s best-selling license. Today we’re taking a hands-on look at the largest set, 75243 Slave I – 20th Anniversary Edition, which comes in at 1,007 pieces and is available starting April 1 for $119.99 US | 159.99 CAD | 109.99 UK.
The Box, Packaging, and Instructions
Two silver lines extend out from the main Star Wars Logo to wrap around the edges of the box, which is a very similar retro look to the old Star Wars 3.75 inch Kenner-issued action figures.
Two other designs on the box stand out. The front features a highlight of the set’s exclusive Princess Leia re-issued minifigure. On the back, there’s a throwback to the first 7144 Slave 1 release from 2000.
The set comes with 8 similar-sized bags and an instruction booklet with the sticker insert.
The instruction booklet has an additional few pages to describe the history of the LEGO Star Wars collaboration and a nod to the previous Slave 1 sets. The first fold is an introduction to the anniversary sets. The second fold reveals the first Slave 1 released in 2000 with a comparison to the current set.
The highlights of the 20th Anniversary Edition mentions 3 key aspects that are new to this design:
- Extra Playability – Slave’s 1’s flight mode incorporates a handle for maximum ‘swoosh’
- New Feature – Spring-loaded shooters are triggered from the base when in flight mode
- Updated Design – A more screen-accurate design, with far more pieces and a new sloped brick developed just for this model
We will explore these features in the review as we go along.
The third fold showcases the 4 other sets that are part of the 20th Anniversary series, while the fourth fold shows a few key film scenes, including a large image of the ship on the Cloud City landing platform as carbonite-frozen Han is loaded into the cargo bay.
Bag one consists of the parts for the base frame of the Slave 1. Consisting of large elements, a quick build around the structure is up first. Bag 1 also contains 2 minifigures, the pre-frozen Han Solo and Boba Fett. We’ll come to the minifigures a little later.
Technic Liftarms are also strategically placed for stability and strength, which will basically hold the structure of the entire build. Laying out the plates reminds me of the silhouette of a midi-sized Millennium Falcon.
But once the familiar dark reds are placed strategically at the edges, the outline of the Slave one starts to takes shape. Bag two builds another layer above. We get to see a little more of the bulk and curves that shape the Slave 1.
A smaller part is constructed to be the bow (or front–at least when landed) of the ship and eventually attached to the main body.
Bag 3 focuses on the underside of the ship, which starts out with a flat and unfinished look.
Detailing and add-ons for the thrusters and jets give the ship a little more life. The large Technic liftarm that goes down the middle is actually a handlebar that slots out for a grip of the Slave 1 for better play handling.
Bag 4 is where the buildup of the cockpit area takes place. Further layering to give the body a little more shaping is added while a myriad of Technic liftarms are put in place for the eventual connections of the cockpit section.
The cargo section is covered with a door which lifts up and down. This is the space where the precious cargo of frozen Han Solo will be held.
The fifth bag starts with the construction of the vertical cockpit beam.
A little asymmetrical layering with the sand green and dark green slopes clads the internal structure, giving the exterior its characteristic weathered look.
The cockpit beam is finally attached to the lift arms and this point, and the build is quite sturdy and strong enough to be lifted just by the beam. I had to smile a little as I lifted it and it really reminded me of a clothing iron of sorts.
Bag 6, contains the build for skinning the cockpit beam that covers up the currently exposed internals. Once the skins are placed on, the only remaining builds in this bag are the twin-blaster cannons.
Bag 7 consists of the engine section built with large earth green coloured 6x6x2 round arch bricks, which have been used in almost every other Slave 1 build including the massive UCS 70560 Slave I.
The inner structure of the wings is also then constructed and fitted to both sides of the ship. Some texturing is done using the 1×2 grilles
Bag 8, besides having the final parts that need to complete the Slave 1, holds the rest of the mini figures: 4-LOM, Zuckuss and the special throwback Leia. The build consists of the wing extension and detailing of the repulsor lifts and the front of the cockpit.
Placing these final pieces and securing the transparent cockpit cover completes the Slave 1. But in case you haven’t noticed, there’s something that’s missing – the stickers! I left them off during the construction, just to see what the completed build would look like without the stickers. Honestly, it didn’t look like anything was amiss!
I worked my way back to now include the stickers all at one go and here is the result. Can you spot the difference?
If you couldn’t spot them all, here’s where they are placed. I personally felt the stickered tiles showing parallel lines on the wings could have easily been replaced with 1×2 grille parts. The rest of the stickers definitely seem optional if you’re not into sticker placement.
The finished build of the Slave 1 is quite the view. For a 1,000-piece design, and the odd shape of the Slave 1, I think the design team pretty much nailed it.
The wings swing down to level out when the ship rotates thank to a gravity-powered design.
Although many LEGO sets typically have a bad unfurnished side, but for this particular build, there’s no getting away with it as the underside of the base of the Slave 1 is part of its signature look. It’s good to see that a decent design effort was made to dress it up.
Anniversary Edition Features and playability
Let’s take a deeper look at the features highlighted for this build of the Slave 1 and some of the play functions. One of the built-in functions made with Technic liftarms is a grip. It can be neatly folded away.
There are two spring-loaded shooters that can be triggered from the base of the build. It’s well within reach of your thumbs along with the grip being held.
If you recall the earlier claim from the manual that there’s a new and updated design for this build, which includes bricks that were uniquely designed for this set. Actually, it’s technically two bricks with a matching left/right pair. While the particular molds have been released in white in the Overwatch set, these appear in dark red for the first time. These curved slopes do give smaller builds better shaping. It’s our guess that these elements were indeed designed for this set, but the Overwatch set simply ended up in stores first.
The final play function is the cargo section where Boba Fett stores all his favorite frozen goods.
This set comes with 5 minifigures plus the Frozen Carbonite Han Solo block piece. Let’s take a closer look at each one of them individually.
4-LOM the bounty hunter makes his second appearance in the LEGO world. He was first issued in the 75161 Bounty Hunter Speeder Bike Battle Pack in 2017 and appears to be identical here. 4-LOM’s origins are as a protocol droid, and the design does have that protocol droid look. The headpiece is unique to this character, with a good resemblance to the odd bounty hunter from the Empire Strikes Back.
Amazingly, Zuckuss makes his first appearance ever in the minifigure form here. Both Zuckuss and 4-LOM only had about 7 seconds of screen time in Empire Strikes Back and neither has any direct connection to the Slave I (apart from sharing an occupation with Boba Fett) but they will be nice additions for Star Wars minifigure collectors. Like 4-LOM, Zuckuss has a unique molded headpiece.
No Slave 1 is complete with Boba Fett. This issue of the minifigure was last seen in the 75137 Carbon Freezing Chamber. Everything is similar to the most recently issued Boba Fett minifigure issued in the Master Builder Series 75222 Betrayal at Cloud City with the exception of the printed arms, which still make that version an exclusive. Underneath the helmet, he wears the same generic grin of the Clone Troopers headpieces, which are available in abundance.
The Han Solo figure sports the same parts that were issued in the 75192 Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon, with the exception of the headpiece which is the dual printed version featured in the Master Builder Series 75222 Betrayal Cloud City.
Last but not least, the figure we’ve all been waiting for, Princess Leia. This figure was first introduced together with the 7190 Millennium Falcon. Technically the first ever Princess Leia minifgure ever released by LEGO. It comes with the simple dots for eyes and in the traditional yellow skin-toned pieces that LEGO moved away from around 2003.
Princess Leia stands on a brick built base featuring a unique print bearing her name and the anniversary logo. She wields an old-school LEGO megaphone blaster.
What makes her even more special is that she features the anniversary logo printed on her back as well.
The Slave 1 LEGO 20th Anniversary Edition is most definitely unique, and the second-largest Slave 1 to be issued, right after the Ultimate Collector Series version. Although it is at just about half the piece count of its UCS cousin, it definitely does a good job of capturing the essence of everyone’s favorite bounty hunter’s mode of transport. The larger UCS version is accurate minifigure scale, so this one is technically a bit small, but you wouldn’t know it at a glance. It does also come with a unique character (Zuckuss) who’s never been issued before, so it’s one to go after if you must have all of Boba’s buddies in your collection.
The build process does not have any particularly complex techniques, and building each section slowly revealed the experience bit by bit, but visually, the end result is quite pleasing. The only slight peeve I have with a ship like this is that there is no mechanism for the Slave 1 to be displayed in flight mode (as opposed to just leaving it flat down in a parked mode). The UCS version included a stand to display it upright, but there’s no such feature here. However, this should not be too difficult to fix with LEGO parts of your own, but the beauty of the Slave 1, to me at least, is when it’s displayed upright.
If you don’t already own the Ultimate Collector Series ship, it’s almost a no brainer to get this and experience the build and play features, as this definitely outshines the previous non-UCS sets. If you’re a minifigure collector, you know you’ve got to have the exclusives with the unique 20th Anniversary Edition print. All said and done, this is a safe bet to re-live the Classic Star Wars theme that started two decades ago.
Here’s a quick overview of all the “minifigure-scale” LEGO Slave 1 sets that have been released to date. The 75222 (2018) version is a bit unique since it’s actually a part of the Betrayal at Cloud City set. We did a part count ourselves of just the ship model.
Check out our full gallery of images below: