The ninth and final film in the Skywalker Saga is due in movie theaters in about a month and a half, and we continue to look at the first wave of LEGO Star Wars sets released in advance of the film. So far, we’ve looked at 75248 Resistance A-wing Starfighter, and today we’re reviewing the largest set in the first wave, 75257 Millennium Falcon. The set includes 1,353 pieces with five minifigs and two droids, and is available now (US $159.99 | CA $179.99 | UK £149.99).
Not counting the monumental UCS Falcon released in 2017, this is the third Millennium Falcon released since Han & Chewie’s Falcon The Force Awakens (2015) and Lando’s Kessel Run Falcon for Solo (2018). Other than minifigs, let’s find out what’s new about this latest iteration.
The packaging, instructions, & sticker sheet
The largest of the new LEGO Star Wars sets comes in a substantial box appropriate for its part count, but is otherwise a fairly standard box — relatively thin cardboard with the artwork you’d expect. The front of the box shows the Falcon in flight over a planet with all the minifigs in an inset, while the back shows off the set’s play features.
The parts for the set come in ten sets of numbered bags, plus an unnumbered bag with larger pieces and the instruction booklet and sticker sheet protected by their own plastic envelope.
Sticker sheets have become a standard part of LEGO Star Wars sets over the years, and the latest Falcon depends on numerous stickers for key details like exhaust vents, the hyperdrive, and benches.
Unsurprisingly, the base of the Falcon is built mostly from Technic pieces, reinforced with System plates.
Although there are minor details, the build by the end of the first bag is largely identical to the base for both of the previous Falcons of the past several years.
The build begins differing significantly from the 2015 Millennium Falcon (75105) right at the beginning of the second set of bags, which add the parts for the rear interior sections and part of the engine strip, completed with the parts in bag 3.
Bag 4 builds up the central core with seats for the quad cannons along with the sections over the escape pods to port and starboard.
The next several bags continue to add detail to the interior, the outer ring, and the hull over the walkway to the cockpit.
The Millennium Falcon‘s iconic shape fully emerges with the addition of the front mandibles in bag 8.
The final two bags represent the biggest difference between this latest LEGO Falcon and every previous LEGO Falcon at this scale going back to 4504 in 2004. LEGO has finally solved the problem of large gaps in the Falcon’s upper hull by using wedge plates to create five larger sections that open on a smaller number of hinges, rather than eleven separate sections that all open up like a big gray flower.
The finished model
Even though the overall shape and even most of the details are not substantially different from the 2015 Falcon, the new upper hull sections make a huge difference, resulting in a much smoother, more unified hull without huge gaps between the angled sections.
The rear engine section is also an entirely new design, using trans-light-blue tiles rather than a hose for the blue engine exhaust and a pair of flex-tube to achieve the actual curve. I’m not entirely convinced that the flex tube is an improvement, but I do think the 1×2 tiles look much more like the actual exhaust than the thick tube.
Nevertheless, the flex-tube does curve around the hull nicely, attached securely on both ends.
A top view shows just how different this Falcon is from previous versions. Several sections that had been light gray have been replaced with dark gray, perhaps indicating battle damage — or perhaps simply wear and tear since its shiny days as Lando’s sweet ride.
As always, the underside of the Falcon at this scale is entirely unfinished. Landing gear bolts in via Technic pins, but otherwise the only details you’ll see are structural.
The left front mandible has the most obvious change in color from light to dark gray, but also includes a really cool use of the fairly new 2×2 curved corner tiles, replacing the 4×4 circle plate.
In both versions, the forward maintenance access bays (which on even earlier LEGO Falcons had been closed) provide access to launch the flick-fire missiles, but the tiles provide a much smoother look than the large circular plate piece with visible studs.
The main engine exhaust ports on the rear upper surface are still achieved with 4×4 Technic disks, the greebly area behind the central pair use paint rollers rather than a modified 1×2 plate with handles. It’s a subtle difference, but increases the level of detail substantially.
Segments of the cockpit’s “neck” connecting it with the main fuselage also show signs of wear and tear, even though the overall structure is similar to the 2014 and 2018 Falcons. The connecting walkway shows the biggest difference, integrating directly into the rear of the cockpit using wedge plates rather than ending in a flat stop with a gap.
The cockpit pops off as a single piece, with a dedicated print for the cockpit window reused from previous Falcons.
The cockpit itself seats two minifigs, with the tiny new droid D-O tucked in behind (D-O gets built in while assembling the model, rather than being shown separately for some reason).
With all the improvements throughout the model in filling long-standing gaps in the design, one area that still has a large gap is to the left of the cockpit. This is a bit disappointing, given that just a few pieces attached to the base could likely have filled this very obvious gap in the hull.
Another major improvement to the design of this latest LEGO Falcon is the use of ski poles for the quad cannons. It remains to be seen whether this reflects a change to the in-universe design of the quad cannons — like the change from dual cannons on Lando’s Falcon to Han’s quad cannons in the Classic Trilogy — or if it’s simply an improvement to the LEGO design. Nevertheless, the narrower ski poles are an improvement over usage of the Technic flick-fire missile pieces.
The round rectenna on both Lando’s and Han’s Falcon is back on this latest version. Lando knocked off Han’s circular sensor dish inside the Second Death Star, which Han apparently replaced with a rectangular version between then and its appearance in The Force Awakens. The dish is fully articulated on a ball joint, and can be pointed in any direction.
What Millennium Falcon would be complete without the ability to man the quad laser cannon turrets and blast TIE fighters? The large round plate under the quad cannon opens up so you can access the turrets’ seats.
Two minifigs can fit on a sliding pair of seats back to back, which slots neatly into tracks within the turret.
The seats are rather rudimentary, but function perfectly well to represent the back-to-back quad cannon action from the movies.
My biggest complaint with the 2015 LEGO Falcon (and there were several) was that it felt far too low to the ground when placed on a flat surface. This is still true, and it means that the boarding ramp can’t fully extend, and a minifig certainly can’t duck just a bit to run up the ramp while firing a blaster pistol at stormtroopers behind them.
The section over the cargo loading hatch between the mandibles lifts up to provide access to the interior.
Let’s take a closer look at the interior itself, which includes the most differences from previous LEGO Falcons.
As we mentioned earlier, the top hull folds open in five sections, enabling you to open up the Falcon and use the interior as a play set.
A control panel with a great brick-built chair sets between the lounge area and the entrance to the cockpit access tunnel.
The venerable lounge area has changed little since Lando’s days as owner, with a Dejarik holochess board in front of the benches. The benches are properly rounded now, with the same pattern on the sticker from the 2015 edition.
Han’s 2015 LEGO Falcon had flat sleeping berths, while the 2018 version from Solo had one great, fully enclosed berth. We’re back to unenclosed berths with this version, but the beds are built sideways, using tan palisade bricks to add texture, with a brick with studs on its side providing an attachment point for the minifig’s feet.
The starboard rear quadrant of interior space aboard the 2015 LEGO Falcon was just a jumble of cargo and equipment. In this version, the area is a kitchen.
The area in front of the rear engines has typically featured engine details such as the hyperdrive. The 2015 version had a highly detailed hyperdrive unit, with a pair of hyperdrive cores on either side of the area. This section of the interior was also important to the plot of Solo and received attention in the LEGO version of Lando’s Falcon. The interior engine detail in the 2019 Falcon has been reduced to a single hyperdrive unit squeezed behind one of the berths, leaving room for a smuggling chamber under the deck that can fit a minifig.
LEGO designs for the Millennium Falcon have come a long way since the first version (7190) back in 2000. That version was built from a mere 540 parts, with enormous panels for the hull (inherited from the UFO theme), a poorly scaled cockpit (inherited from the very first LEGO Falcon), minimal hull detail, sensor dish full of holes, and more. As nostalgic as many older LEGO Star Wars collectors may be about some of those original designs in 1999-2001, current designs are a huge improvement, and each iteration brings new innovations that improve the shape, play features, and level of detail.
While we can bemoan the loss of detail in the engine compartment, the overall improvements even from the basic structure of the 2018 version (ignoring the white-and-blue color scheme) are undeniable, particularly to the gaps in the hull plating, as well as to subtle details like the shapes of the benches, texture of the berths, and tiles surrounding the maintenance access bays.
The 2019 edition of the LEGO Millennium Falcon from The Rise of Skywalker features five minifigs and two non-minifig droids — Lando Calrissian, Chewbacca, Finn, C-3PO, R2-D2, D-O, and new alien character Boolio.
Chewbacca is exactly the same as the new-style Wookie minifigs we’ve had for several years, and Chewie carries the stud-shooting bowcaster introduced with the 2015 Falcon. Lando is an entirely new minifig, featuring a shirt and cape similar to the outfit he wore in Solo along with a cane and what appears to be another type of bowcaster.
Lando’s cape is double-sided, with a blue interior and black exterior. Underneath the cape, the torso is a fairly basic yellow, but the strap on the front continues across the back.
Lando has a reversible head, showing an alternate frown compared with the grin he sports normally.
Finn’s minifig is also entirely new, with new hair, new head, new torso, and new legs. He appears to be wearing a Resistance trooper tunic underneath a vest that could be a highly modified version of Poe’s jacket. Boolio is a brand new character about whom we know nothing. He has a uniquely molded head with soft plastic horns, and he wears what appears to be a flight suit or hazardous environment suit.
Finn’s basic vest design continues on the back, but Boolio has some really cool mechanical details on the back of his torso.
Finn also has a reversible head, with a scared face in place of his smile.
Two-thirds of the droids are your standard Threepio and Artoo, but D-O is new. Some LEGO builders were hoping that D-O would be a two-piece droid with new parts like BB-8, but sadly that is not the case — D-O is a single-piece character.
D-O’s “nose” appears to be a different plastic, showing how LEGO has increasingly used dual-molded or over-molded techniques in minifig elements. The new droid has a different design on its left and right sides.
Conclusions & recommendation
75257 Millennium Falcon just might be the best non-UCS Millennium Falcon that LEGO has released to date. Just like the major differences between the two UCS Falcons in 2007 and 2017, each new version of the LEGO Falcon has added clear improvements over the last. However, it’s been many years since there’s been a truly major improvement — certainly nothing like the huge leap in the hull design with the move away from large Aliens panels in 2004. But this new LEGO Falcon represents just such a leap. Additionally, subtle improvements to details like the texture of the berths and the areas around the maintenance access bays also make a difference.
It’s difficult to judge the minifigure selection for a movie that hasn’t been released yet, but Star Wars fandom has been aflutter ever since Lando Calrissian appeared in a trailer for The Rise of Skywalker (the excitement has been tempered by some trepidation for the fate of this iconic character). New versions of Finn as well as the brand new Lando make for a great addition to the selection of Resistance/Rebel minifigs, joined by classic versions of Chewie, Threepio, and Artoo as well as the mysterious new droid D-O.
One point of contention for this set is likely to be the price. The cost of LEGO Falcons has continued to climb while most LEGO prices have remained fairly stable. The 2011 LEGO Falcon was $140, the 2015 version was $150, and this one with a similar part count (and fewer proper minifigs) sits at $170. Inflation and the rising price of oil both have unavoidable effects on the price of LEGO, but with the price of other redesigned LEGO Star Wars sets remaining fairly constant, it feels like you’re paying a premium to purchase the most iconic vehicle in the galaxy crewed by unique new minifigs.
Nevertheless, it’s hard not to recommend such an excellent iteration of the LEGO Millennium Falcon, even at full price. If you’re not sure right now, you can expect the set to be discounted on Amazon at some point during the holiday shopping season leading up to the release of the movie right before Christmas.