LEGO Star Wars 75273 Poe Dameron’s X-wing Fighter from The Rise of Skywalker [Review]

Poe Dameron seems to go through X-wing starfighters more quickly than Carrie Bradshaw goes through Manolo Blahniks. His latest is a cute little number (75273) in orange and white with azure accents, which you can pick up for yourself for a mere $89.99 USD | $119.99 CAD | £89.99 GBP. Poe Dameron’s X-wing Fighter includes 761 pieces with three minifigs (plus Artoo) and will be available January 1st, 2020.

We’ll do our best to avoid any major SPOILERS, and we ask our commenters to do the same for another week or two, until more people reading this will have had the opportunity to see Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker.

Notes on terminology: For simplicity throughout this article, we’ll often reference the Resistance X-wing’s model number and compare and contrast it with the original X-wing from the Classic Trilogy. The model number for the original X-wings flown by the Rebel Alliance was T-65. The updated New Republic / Resistance X-wing’s model number is T-70. Similarly, the wings that give the X-wing its name are technically called S-foils (as in “Lock S-foils in attack position!”). To avoid repetition, we’ll occasionally call them wings.

The packaging, instructions, & sticker sheet

The components of this LEGO set include six numbered bags, with the instruction booklet and small sticker sheet loose in the bag. The small size of the sticker sheet is unlikely to result in it getting damaged among the plastic bags, so the absence of a protective sleeve for the instruction booklet means having one less bit of plastic to throw away (or recycle, where possible for this type of material).

As we’ve come to expect, the back of the box illustrates the LEGO set’s play features, and places the three minifigs in a jungle context. (The only minor SPOILER worth mentioning here is that these three characters never intersect in the movie like this.)

The sticker sheet provides a mere three stickers for the entire model, and I would consider all of them optional — the finished X-wing would still look great (and more importantly complete) without them. As I first opened the box and began building, this was a great omen for how well the vehicle’s design was recreated using bricks rather than stickers.

The build

There’s an argument to be made that, over the past 20 years, the LEGO Star Wars design team has slowly but surely perfected the LEGO X-wing. Structurally, this third version of the T-70 Resistance X-wing is not radically different from the classic T-65 in 75218 X-wing Starfighter released last year, merging details from 75102 Poe’s X-wing Fighter and 75149 Resistance X-wing Fighter while taking advantage of new parts released in the past four years.

LEGO Star Wars X-Wing evolution infographic

The central core of the nose remains subtly tapered, with a top skin attached via jumper tiles to a Technic axle core. The biggest difference is around the engine intakes, which use new curved corner slopes instead of wheel well arches.

Similarly, the S-foil open/close mechanism is identical to Luke’s X-wing from last year, with a lever behind the droid slot that opens the S-foils. A pin on the underside flips the lever back and allows rubber bands to pull the S-foils closed. In other words, the LEGO design team seems to have recognized what worked well structurally and functionally, and avoided messing with a good thing.

The finished model

Even though the underlying structure is the same as recent X-wings, Poe’s latest starfighter gets a snazzy facelift for The Rise of Skywalker. Ever since Gulf Oil sponsored racing teams in the 60’s and 70’s, resulting in iconic light blue Ford GT40 race cars with orange and white accents, the combination of these three colors has implied SPEED!, as evidenced even within the Star Wars universe by Torra Doza’s Blue Ace racer in the “Star Wars: Resistance” animated TV series.

The color scheme is particularly striking from above, with a triangular shape overlaid on the white base, with the azure accents reminiscent of Red Squadron’s identification stripes on starfighters like Luke’s Red Five X-wing in the Classic Trilogy.

The implied racing aesthetic certainly adds to the charm of Poe’s latest T-70, but it looks great from just about any angle, even when landed, as it will more often than not be displayed in a kid’s bedroom or on their parent’s desk at work. Although this set doesn’t include any Resistance ground crew, the set does include a simple boarding ladder so Poe can quickly scramble.

The tail of the fuselage is enclosed in curved slopes rather than sharp angles, further reinforcing the sleek, modern look of the updated T-70. This area was a square box with the rounding turned 90 degrees in the other direction on the 2015 and 2016 T-70 X-wings.

The S-foil mechanism on Poe’s new X-wing is identical to the version on Luke’s 2018 X-wing, with a lever to open and close the wings rather than a knob you turn.

I’ve never been a fan of the rubber bands that enable this clever mechanism, but at least with this X-wing they’re white rather than a jarring blue (as they were on Poe’s original X-wing in 2016). I’m sure that anybody who’s had braces will agree that seeing these rubber bands make your teeth ache…

Poe’s X-wing looks especially gorgeous from a rear three-quarters angle, showing off the orange color scheme to best effect. This angle also highlights the scissor design of T-70 X-wing wings, compared to the full wings that characterize the original T-65 X-wing — the upper and lower wings fold together to create a single complete wing surface.

Naturally, this LEGO X-wing incorporates the new X-wing canopy introduced with Poe’s first X-wing four years ago. For those who build their own custom X-wings, having more of these canopies at their disposal will always be welcome (as is ensuring they remain in production).

One of my few complaints about last year’s otherwise excellent T-65 X-wing was that the laser cannons had been simplified in length while adding a bulky spring-loaded missile launcher brick to the top of the wings. For this latest X-wing, the laser cannons have a proper length, and the missile bricks are slung under the lower S-foils rather than appearing on top. Overall, it’s a much better look, and the missile bricks are easily removed without affecting the vehicle’s structure or stability.

Similarly, the stud-shooters on each side of the cockpit are well-integrated, and could also be replaced with minimal disruption to the vehicle’s shape.

The minifigures

Two to three minifigures for single-seater starfighter sets is the norm in the LEGO Star Wars line, and this set follows that direction with three figs (plus R2-D2). The set includes Poe Dameron in his flight suit, Jannah, and Vicrul, one of the Knights of Ren.

The Poe Dameron minifig is identical to the first Poe we saw with the original Black One X-wing ahead of The Force Awakens in 2015. His helmet includes an integrated trans-yellow visor, and the set includes black hair so he doesn’t have to walk around the Resistance base bald.

Jannah appears on Kef Bir in the second half of the movie, and we won’t say more about her background or origins for now. She carries an old-style LEGO Castle bow, which doesn’t quite match the look of her powered bow. But the minifig itself is an amazing recreation of the actor and character, with a dark tan right hand for her archery glove, macrobinocular goggles on her forehead, and even the location transponder strapped to her right arm.

I’d love to see more arm printing on LEGO minifigs to add detail that we often see mainly on third-party custom designs like the amazing minifigs from Citizen Brick. (LEGO has been doing arm printing on minifigs for years, going at least as far back as Boba Fett in the original Cloud City set in 2003 — it’s just still very uncommon.)

Both Poe and Jannah have alternate expressions. Poe looks stern while Jannah looks determined.

Nearly every LEGO Star Wars set for The Rise of Skywalker has featured one of the Knights of Ren. If you want all of them (at least the ones LEGO has made), you’ll need to buy nearly the full assortment of larger sets across both the pre-movie and post-movie waves of sets. This particular set includes Vicrul, the “harvester of souls.” He carries a brick-built recreation of his annealed phrik scythe blade. His coat made from reptile skin wraps around, and he wears a helmet unique to this minifigure.

Conclusions & recommendation

In terms of pure design and well-integrated play features, 75273 Poe Dameron’s X-wing Fighter is my favorite iteration so far of the new X-wing starfighter. If you haven’t bought one of the new X-wings in the past few years, this is a great one to start with (although Luke’s more iconic Red Five is still available and currently 20% off, marked as “Retiring Soon”). I also appreciate the extra minifigs included with the set, since it’s doubtful we’ll see any sets in the immediate future that include Jannah in particular.

Where I’m hesitating to make an unequivocal recommendation is the price. $90 for under 800 parts and only three minifigs is pretty expensive. Last year’s classic X-wing was $10 cheaper for only 30 fewer parts, so it’s hard to justify such a steep price jump for what is more than likely less-popular source material — no matter whether you liked or disliked The Rise of Skywalker, Poe’s third X-wing will never attain the iconic status of Luke’s Red Five.

But as X-wings go, this is a pretty perfect X-wing, with three great minifigs and several new parts, plus lots of orange in useful shapes and sizes. So, if you’re a LEGO Star Wars completionist or really appreciate the design itself, this is an easy buy. If you’re on the fence about The Rise of Skywalker or you’re sick of the endless march of throw-away T-70 X-wings, you may want to give this one a pass or wait until it goes on sale at a discount.

LEGO Star Wars 75273 Poe Dameron’s X-wing Fighter includes 761 pieces with three minifigs and will be available January 1st, 2020 from the LEGO Shop online ($89.99 USD | $119.99 CAD | £89.99 GBP) and elsewhere.

The LEGO Group provided The Brothers Brick with an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.

3 comments on “LEGO Star Wars 75273 Poe Dameron’s X-wing Fighter from The Rise of Skywalker [Review]

  1. Peter Schwartz

    Not a fan of the wing opening. P
    Not able to set them to stay open like the old arc170 fighter.

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