During the final season of The Clone Wars that aired on Disney+ last year, one episode featured Clone Force 99, also known as the “Bad Batch.” Through that backdoor pilot, this group of misfit clone troopers got their own Disney+ series, with inevitable LEGO Star Wars tie-ins. The first (and so far only) LEGO set based on the TV show is 75314 The Bad Batch Attack Shuttle, which includes 969 pieces with five minifigures for US $99.99 | CAN $139.99 | UK £89.99. The set is available for pre-order now, and will be released on August 1st.
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.
The box & packaging
LEGO Star Wars packaging for builders of all ages is highly standardized, with a “hero shot” showing the minifigs and vehicles in action, with key play features highlighted on the back. Appropriately, three of the clone troopers appear in the upper-right of the box’s front, rather than an unrelated character like Darth Vader.
Seven numbered bags provide the parts, with two bags numbered 1. Despite their relatively small size, the instruction booklet and sticker sheet come in their own wrapper.
The sticker sheet itself features stripes, technical details, and display screens.
The first bag includes the parts for two speeder bikes. These are very standard LEGO Star Wars speeders, and we’ll return to them later in the review.
The shuttle itself begins with the nose and cockpit, with tiles angled with hinge bricks and a few studs-out wedges for shaping.
The cockpit then attaches to the aft fuselage and crew compartment. Click-hinges provide angled connections and even some inversions, just behind the cockpit section. Technic joint disks with liftarms provide anchors for the folding wings.
The folding wings are composed mostly of wedge plates and attach to the Technic joint disks on the main fuselage. 1×2 plates with Technic pin holes create hinges to attach angled areas between the crew compartment and wings. A large gap remains between the wings and the nacelles to allow the wings to fold up.
The upper wing is attached to the cover for the crew compartment, which in turn connects to the cockpit canopy.
The finished models
The “Bad Batch shuttle” depicts the Havoc Marauder, a customized Omicron-class attack shuttle. Although similar to the many tri-wing shuttles that appear throughout the entirety of the Star Wars canon, this shuttle is unique to the Bad Batch and first appeared with them in their debut episode on the final season of The Clone Wars.
The “real” vehicle is large enough to feature a ramp that folds down from the cockpit section. By comparing the characters on the show entering and exiting through that hatch, it’s clear that the LEGO version is only about 1/3 minifig-scale.
While it’s not reasonable to expect a UCS-style vehicle that’s “properly” minifig-scale (as variable as the definition for that may also be), the minifigs that accompany this set dwarf the shuttle itself.
Since it’s built from plates rather than bricks (as the upper wings on LEGO Star Wars Imperial Shuttle sets typically are), the upper wing on the Bad Batch shuttle is studded on one side, with an anti-stud texture on the other. It’s also easy to attach backwards by accident. In fact, you may notice that we did exactly that, and unfortunately didn’t realize until after we’d shot the pictures, though even positioned properly it’s still quite ugly. The sublight engines follow the angles of the nacelles. With the wings up, the underlying Technic structure that makes the folding wings and their connections to the fuselage sturdy are highly visible. The fact that the 1×2 plate with Technic pinholes isn’t available in black makes them stand out even more.
In flight mode (on a stand we built for these photographs — not included with the set), the shuttle is eminently swooshable, and doesn’t look too bad from most angles.
However, one of the most egregious differences between this LEGO version and its animated inspiration is the cockpit canopy. On the show, the cockpit certainly doesn’t open (with the hatch on the side), with the forward viewports inset into the angled nose and divided by a vertical section.
The viewports themselves are of course transparent, though the interior lighting that shines through is indeed a soft red, similar to the red light used on submarines to maintain the crew’s night vision. However, all of these details are smashed together with a single printed piece, which curves up from the straight, angular nose. As we can see on the real vehicle, the shuttle has a straight-line profile from the nose to the top of the cockpit and does not suddenly change to a curve.
Although the cockpit is compressed, two minifigs do fit, seated one in front of the other.
The crew compartment includes a fun cargo locker with a removable box, although this play feature uses quite a few pieces and further compresses the cramped compartment. Stickers add details behind the compartment, though I’m not clear what purpose these serve since they would not be accessible with the top closed.
LEGO Star Wars set designers have mastered the art of recreating the complex angles of rear engines, making the back end of the Bad Batch shuttle a lot prettier than its face.
Another disappointment is the total lack of landing gear. The shuttle simply sits on its belly, raised slightly by plates and inverted tiles.
My critique of the shuttle’s scale and lack of detail is compounded by the inclusion of two speeder bikes in the set. These undeniably add playability for younger builders, but like so many LEGO Star Wars speeder bikes, they’re absolutely huge, built from a significant proportion of the set’s overall part count. I really wonder how much better the shuttle itself might have been if the number of parts used to build these massive speeder bikes had been used to add detail or scale to the main vehicle.
From their first appearance in Attack of the Clones, utterly uniform clone troopers steadily became more and more unique, with wonderful characters like Captain Rex introduced in The Clone Wars, culminating in a truly singular group of individual clones we know as the Bad Batch. The set includes all five members of Clone Force 99 as the team was composed in The Clone Wars — Hunter, Wrecker, Tech, Crosshair, and Echo, plus a brick-built gonk droid.
All of the minifigs are unique. Wrecker wears a uniquely printed Iron Man helmet rather than a clone trooper helmet. He wears large pauldron armor on his shoulders. In the animated series, Echo wears a custom helmet that fits over his cranial cybernetics. His cybernetic arm is depicted with arm printing (the only minifig with arm printing in the set) and a gray hand, though a pirate hook might have worked better.
Echo’s complex helmet is likely impossible in LEGO, so a print that reflects the helmet’s narrow visor with printing is a good start, but the lack of printing on the back of the helmet to show the cybernetics is a little disappointing.
In a rare packaging mistake that came as a wonderful surprise, our copy of the set (sent from LEGO HQ in Billund, Denmark) included an extra piece of pauldron armor. The armor doesn’t scream “Star Wars!”, so I expect to see this on cyberpunk warriors and post-apocalyptic brutes soon.
Tech and team leader Hunter are no less distinctive. Hunter has the most standard of armor, with just a knife as his accessory. Meanwhile, Tech’s armor and helmet are the most distinctive in light gray rather than gun-metal.
These two minifigs also come with hair pieces and have dual-sided heads. Tech’s helmet is one of the craziest pieces of dual-molded LEGO we’ve ever seen, with light and gray plastic and multi-color printing for additional details.
Crosshair wears all-black armor with a green visor. He looks a bit like a death trooper, providing another bridge from The Clone Wars to the Classic Trilogy era (which I argue now begins with Rogue One).
And … that’s all the minifigs. If you’re caught up on The Clone Wars enough to be watching The Bad Batch as it airs, a key character is clearly missing from the minifig assortment: Omega. Five minifigs make sense for the price point, and of course, we would want all members of the original Clone Force 99, but the set feels incomplete without this new character.
Conclusions & recommendation
Obviously, the stars of this LEGO Star Wars set are the minifigures. Nevertheless, it’s fair to expect the main vehicle to reflect key exterior and interior details of the “real” vehicle, which this scaled-down version does not. The huge speeder bikes feel like they detract from the potential of the shuttle, rather than adding to the overall set.
As disappointing as the shuttle itself may be, if you’re a fan of the Bad Batch, it’s hard to argue you should pass up the set. Besides, this much sand blue makes for quite a nice parts pack for this fairly unusual color, with 969 pieces at $100. So, as strange as it may be to be recommending a set I’ve roundly criticized, that’s what I’m doing. It’s doubtful we’ll be getting another Havoc Marauder or all five members of the Bad Batch in a single set anytime soon again. Pick it up while you can.
LEGO Star Wars 75314 The Bad Batch Attack Shuttle includes 969 pieces with 5 minifigures and will be available beginning August 1st, 2021 from the LEGO Shop online (US $99.99 | CAN $139.99 | UK £89.99) and elsewhere.