Every year for the increasingly merchandised “May the Fourth” Star Wars holiday, LEGO has produced an exclusive item to include for free when you buy other Star Wars products. This year’s promotional set is 40407 Death Star II Battle, a microscale vignette from Return of the Jedi featuring an A-wing and TIE Interceptor skimming the battlestation’s surface. The set includes 235 pieces, and will be included with Star Wars purchases between May 1 and May 4 from LEGO’s website over US $75 | CAN $75 | UK £75. LEGO is also offering double VIP points on all Star Wars purchases over the same timeframe. LEGO lists the set for US $14.99 | CAN $19.99 | UK £13.49, but it isn’t available to purchase directly, and likely won’t ever be unless LEGO ends up with a lot of extras after the promotion ends.
The box and contents
The small set comes in a similar hinged box to last year’s 40362 Battle of Endor set (find it on eBay), which was a promotional item to celebrate the 20th anniversary of LEGO Star Wars. The similarities don’t end there, though, as the scale of the set and general design language make the two sets fantastic accompaniments for each other.
Inside the box are just three bags, which are unnumbered, plus a small instruction manual.
There’s no sticker sheet included, and just a single printed element, which is the unique 2×4 tile nameplate for LEGO Star Wars 2020. And speaking of unique, there’s one key element in this set that will prevent you from simply rooting around in your collection and recreating the set: the transparent 1×1 tooth plate, which has never before been available in clear. Also of interest are the dark red 1×2 grille pattern bricks, which have previously only appeared in last year’s 71044 Disney Train and Station.
The build is very straightforward, and despite the lack of numbered bags, won’t take you long at all. First up is the base, which is built sideways with lots of exposed SNOT bricks to attach the Death Star II’s greebles.
You’ll build three of these sections, each of which is unique, and connect them together to form a swath of the superweapon’s hull. For fans wanting to expand their display a bit, it should be easy to add on and make room for a custom Millennium Falcon, X-wing, and more. The greebles are all common elements, but do their job well of adding visual interest to the surface.
The completed build
The Death Star II’s battle may not be quite as iconic as Luke’s trench run in A New Hope, but it’s one of the best space battles in the entire saga, and this little vignette conveys a wonderful sense of action with its weaving fighter ships. The scale is small enough to make it a perfect office desk or shelf display, and the nameplate adds to the effect nicely. Meanwhile, Death’s Star grey surface is nicely detailed, and the bits of dark red break up the surface enough to keep things interesting.
The two ships are the real highlights, though. Both are completely new designs for this set. The A-wing has appeared twice in this scale previously, but this version is definitively the best. Getting accurate shaping at this tiny scale is no easy feat (there are just 14 pieces), so compromises are inevitable. But the result is instantly recognizable and remarkably sleek, capturing all the important details, including the two-tone color scheme.
The TIE Interceptor, meanwhile, has appeared three times before in a somewhat similar scale, but only one came very close to the tiny size of this version, and this model is clearly an upgrade from that. In large part, this is thanks to the new 1×4 wedge plates, which are the first wedge plates to come to a sharp point. This allows much more accurate shaping on the Interceptor’s solar arrays. My one gripe is that the windscreen (a standard 1×1 round plate in trans clear) could have been vastly improved by employing the new faceted 1×1 tile from the Dots line or even a printed 1×1 round tile like the Arkenstone.
Conclusion and recommendation
Death Star II Battle is a fun little set that fits its niche well as a simple, small microscale depiction of one of the best moments from Star Wars. What’s not to like, except that I’d love to see more sets like this. It’s particularly fitting (and surely no coincidence) that the set includes an A-wing since LEGO’s only other new product available for May the Fourth is the Ultimate Collector Series 75275 A-wing Starfighter.
You technically can’t buy the set, so it’s hard to judge the set’s value. If you’re already planning on buying a qualifying amount of Star Wars LEGO–for instance, that UCS A-wing–you’ll get this for free automatically, which makes it undeniably a great deal. But would I pay LEGO’s stated MSRP of $15 for it? Yes, I think I would, and I’d buy a similar scene of Hoth to go along with the Endor bunker, and maybe one of Jabba’s barge at the Sarlacc pit, or the Millennium Falcon in Docking Bay 94, or a Lambda-class shuttle on the Death Star, or countless other scenes that would fit this scale perfectly.
40407 Death Star II Battle is a promotional item included free with Star Wars purchases over US $75 | CAN $75 | UK £75 between May 1 and May 4 from LEGO’s website. LEGO lists the set for US $14.99 | CAN $19.99 | UK £13.49, but it is currently not available to purchase separately.
The LEGO Group sent The Brothers Brick an early copy of this set for review. Providing TBB with products for review guarantees neither coverage nor positive reviews.